Islamic Himmah and Christian Charity: An Attempt at Inter-Faith Dialogue

The Islamic concept of himmah, as many Gülen scholars have noted, is central to the operation and growth of the Fethullah Gülen movement. This is the name for the regular local fundraising activities to finance its wide educational network or other cultural activities within Turkey or abroad. The concept of himmah (himmet in Turkish), a spiritual virtue in the Islamic Sufi tradition, also holds a key role in Fethullah Gülen’s understanding of Islam and teaching on the moral education of an ideal Muslim. The Sufi connection should not be surprising as it is well recorded that Gülen’s understanding of Islam has been deeply shaped by the Sufi tradition, which has been an undercurrent of Turkish Islam since its beginning.

by Dr. Ali Ünsal