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The Intellectual Laborers

  • The intellectual laborers who will lay the foundations of the future are those fortunate ones who feel the existence in their souls. They are the champions of truth, submitting body to spirit. But they only appear indistinctly, faintly; whoever expects worldly pomp to announce their advent will be disappointed.”1)
  • The intellectual laborers for tomorrow will be the constituents of the future and the guides of the generations to come. The way they think and reason will redesign the world, and their messages will brighten the future. Their behavior will never resemble spendthrifts, giving in to reckless extravagance. No, they will not squander, for anything they have gained will be the product of strenuous effort and swelter. What is little will run out in their hands and destitution will sprout into full existence in their beaming hearts.”2)
  • “Indeed, more than this or that declaration, what our world needs is people who are strong, resolute, and competent; the world needs people of love, fervor, and willpower who are intimately connected with their age, acquainted with a profound historical consciousness, who are taut and ready to be released like the string of a bow, exceedingly astute, and who have suffered in gathering all the hidden and disarrayed anguishes of society. They can transform them into a source of strength, and forever know how to furnish their willpower with the wings of history, with hands on the helm, and eyes on the compass; they are people who have set sail to eternity. They are the buds and fruits of the past, and the intellectual laborers, architects, and founders of the future. As they walk to the future, they break all the adverse waves confronting them, and perpetually beat as rhythmically as a heart and with the warmth of a pulse in the bosoms of those who follow them.”3)
  • “There seems to be a practice among the intellectual laborers, they actually are the kind of people who, amongst themselves, willingly get rid of considerations of posts, positions, and ranks such as manager, supervisor, chief, etc.”4)
  • “Our noble Prophet and his Companions performed very important tasks for the settlement and rooting of Islam. On one side, Islam was settling and being formed, and they, on the other side, worked hard as the intellectual laborers and servants of that structure. Because of this fact, the Qur’anic verses descended, and the honorable expressions of our noble Prophet were mostly related to them.”5)
  • “As with of the intellectual architects and laborers of every era, we too must thoroughly grasp and embrace the conditions and requirements of our age. Our knowing a lot, reading a lot, travelling a lot is meaningless if we do not take into account the conditions of the world in which we live, and determine our standards of action by subjecting these to extensive scrutiny and analysis. For instance, even if we were each an Abu Hanifa, it is an absolute that if we failed to take into account the conditions in which we find ourselves but act as did he in his era, our efforts would result in blunder.”6)
  • “Question: You say, ‘One of the tasks of the intellectual laborers for tomorrow is to end the alienation from the Qur’an.’ What do you suggest in order for this alienation to turn into union and closeness to God?
  • Answer: By ‘the intellectual laborers’ I mean people of love, enthusiasm and will who try fully with their minds and hearts to relieve all the hidden and apparent suffering of the people and the needs of the age which they understand very well; and those who know how to give wing to their wills with the winds of history and to take strength from the past; and those who have used all the blessings God has given on the path of His approval and their own ideals and have opened their sails to eternity. Among these builders of ideas perhaps there are some who can be called ‘architects,’ if they have been able to be raised, but even if the true candidates for that task have passed and there were people who carried this cause during one period and were on the level of architects, I believe that today each individual who is making an effort for the nation’s revival should be seen as a ‘the intellectual laborer.’”7)
  • “The Messenger of God said that he was sent (to humanity) as a teacher.8) Thus, he both, emphasized the importance of acquiring knowledge and teaching it to others. So a teacher is a representative of such a lofty mission, a worker, and an architect of ideas. I think a teacher with spiritual concerns can enlighten the minds and souls of his or her students by utilizing the advantages of the contemporary age and reaching into the essential points of sciences, finding ways through every branch of science such as math, biology, physics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and geology.”9)
  • “The pioneering sufferers, who have fully accomplished their mission in the past, have entrusted this to you today. You are the intellectual laborers and architects today. Out of your power of choice, by the universality of your spiritual nature to a certain extent and through the actions emerging from your general inclinations, you have been setting up today’s civilization, as well as arranging the footing of the bridge leading to the future. The generations succeeding you shall take over the trust from you and deliver it to another position. Of course, along the delivery, they will notice that the feet have already been constructed afore, and say, ‘So, all these have been done for this.’ As the doors were opened to the Companions, the Successors, and the generation after the Successors after the questions, ‘Is there anyone among you who has seen the Prophet?’, ‘Is there anyone among you who has seen someone having seen the Prophet?’, and ‘Is there anyone among you who has seen someone having seen somebody who has seen the Prophet?’, you, too, will take your particular position, and the doors shall be opened to you as well, with the grace of God.”10)
  • “Today people who have not despaired for a dynamic society should have sown seeds that will give long-term results. Now sprouting, these seeds should be able to grow tall towards the horizons in the near future. So, everyone should try and contribute to the quickening of this process and take their place in this caravan at whatever level, whether as the intellectual architect, the intellectual laborer, sponsor, or common worker.”11)

Other Languages


M. Fethullah Gülen, Çağ ve Nesil (Çağ ve Nesil-1), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 34; Erkan M. Kurt, So That Others May Live: A Fethullah Gülen Reader, New York: Blue Dome Press, 2013, p. 135.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Buhranlar Anaforunda İnsan (Çağ ve Nesil-2), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 60.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Yeşeren Düşünceler (Çağ ve Nesil-6), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 140.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Fikir Atlası (Fasıldan Fasıla-5), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 23.
Ibid., p. 122.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Gurbet Ufukları (Kırık Testi-3), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 82.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Ümit Burcu (Kırık Testi-4), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 90.
Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Ilm, 19; Sunan Abu Dawud, Ilm, 1; Sunan ibn Majah, Muqaddima, 17.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Journey to Noble Ideals, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2014, p. 24.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Prizma-1, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 29.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Prizma-2, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 219.
intellectual_laborers.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/02 12:51 by Editor