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Formal Muslimness

  • “… in order not to make the opposite of the intended effect, it is better to refer to wrongs concisely, tell about their harms, and then about their negative consequences in this world and the next. For example, while warning a man who immerses himself in sins, it is possible to remind him that he will lose his receptivity of spiritual blessings, not feel delight in devotions, blunt his insight, become unable to activate the latent fine faculties of his heart, or even become totally unaware of them. Such a person will be condemned to formal Muslimness (a mechanical practice of religion), will know God solely in theory, and will fail to feel the awe of standing in His presence. In short, it is wiser to draw attention to the bad consequences of a sin than giving a detailed account of it.”1)
  • “Unfortunately, one of the most important values we have lost is making the conscience internalize these values. We, the victims of formalism with respect to Islam, have lost our hearts; we have forgotten our inner depths. Although we may have learned some matters of religion—may God eternally be pleased with those who taught them to us—we are left alone with theoretical knowledge based on imitation. We have not actually learned the actual points about the heart, and thus have not experienced them. As it is stated in the following verses however, what will serve as a means of salvation in the next world is having a sound heart, and a person revering and standing in awe of their Lord: ‘The Day when neither wealth will be of any use, nor offspring…’ (ash-Shuara 26:89). ‘Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of perpetual bliss through which rivers flow, abiding therein forever. God is well-pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. That is for him who stands in awe of his Lord” (al-Bayyina 98:8).’”2)
  • Formal Muslims, who are unaware of where they stand while standing before God, cannot overcome this colossal destruction. If we are taking our Islam on the religious ideas of ordinary people, we will not be able to repair a big fortress, we will not even be able to repair our own internal repair. For, formal Muslims cannot solve any problem. In fact, those who make struggles in the name of Islam, generally do this because of their formal Muslimness. Unfortunately, on the one hand, there are ignorant people who think that they will achieve something in the name of religion by killing innocent people, killing children by being suicide bombers; on the other hand, there are indifferent people, who are in a state of inertia. Just as violence and terror cannot yield anything positive, so neither can inertia and the lack of enthusiasm. It is not possible for them to be able to repair a castle that has been destroyed for centuries, and to reconstruct the ruined values, or even to be able to heal the wounds in their own souls.”3)

See Also

Other Languages


M. Fethullah Gülen, Buhranlı Günler ve Ümit Atlasımız (Kırık Testi-14), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2015, pp. 211–212.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Yolun Kaderi (Kırık Testi-15), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2016, pp. 164–165.
M. Fethullah Gülen, İstikamet Çizgisi (Kırık Testi-17), New Jersey: Süreyya Yayınları, 2020, p. 192.
formal_muslimness.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/12 10:31 by Editor