Chaos And Belief
The earth has so far witnessed many upheavals one after the other, and mankind have suffered disappointments because of these upheavals. However, as night is followed by morning and winter by spring, no upheaval has been permanent and it has been followed by a happier time.
The modern age will probably be remembered in the future as the period of the deepest convulsions and the cruellest and most destructive upheavals. I think that the earth has never witnessed craziness so widespread and great as today’s. As Bernard Shaw once put it, if there are living beings on other planets resembling us, they most probably see the world as an asylum. It is true that modern man is in depressions incomparable to those witnessed in previous times and, accordingly, resembles a lunatic more than anything else, and so the world comes to resemble a land of lunatics.
Up to this age, mankind were aware of only local happenings. That is, most people knew about and were interested in the events that happened in their near environment. But today, because of the gigantic developments in telecommunication and transportation, the world has contracted into so small a place that every happening in some part of it interests everyone deeply and causes either uneasiness and anxiety or joy and the feeling of security. However, we, the people of ‘the third world’, have so far not been able to get relief and have lived in endless anxieties. It seems that this will continue until righteous people, who combine intellectual enlightenment with profound spirituality and great activism, seize the reins of the world.
There may be some who regard it as impossible for humankind to recover once more. However, we have never despaired of the future of mankind and, even in the most distressing periods, we have maintained our hope that mankind will one day re-discover their essential identity and build a new world for themselves. The sensitivity and awareness which the world-wide tumults begin to arouse in the consciousness of people is strengthening this hope. It is our conviction that mankind will, in a near future, find the exalted values which have been long sacrificed to some passing fancies, and re-adopt them. Among these values, belief in God, which no upheavals or even radical changes in social or intellectual arenas have ever been able to eradicate from the hearts of people, has always been, and will undoubtedly be, the foremost and most important support of mankind in reshaping the world.
New movements of religious revival are being observed in Christendom. These movements will one day find their true course and play a significant part in world-wide revival of mankind. In the Muslim world, mosques increase in number day by day and are filled particularly by young people. All this shows that, while hundreds of world-powers have become things of the past, and hundreds of rulers, like Caesar or Alexander the Great or Napoleon, are subject to being forgotten, religion shows its invincible power once more.
Some claim that belief is something no longer powerful enough to move masses, and that believing persons are narrow-minded and usually ignorant. This argument is no more than a deceit intended to hinder the spread of Islam among people. As admitted even by some sociologists, the next century will no doubt be the age of the true religion and no one can prevent the majority of mankind from reunion with their essential nature. Belief will once more defeat the forces of atheism, and no one will be able to extinguish the light which God has put in the hearts of people.
Existence took on the form of ‘cosmos’ after a chaotic state. The same is true for all the chaotic states in the history of mankind. Many convulsions or revolutions have finally brought about agreeable changes in the course of history. There has never been a year during which winter did not lead on to spring, and nights have always been followed by daytime. Therefore, we hope that mankind will overcome the present disrupting and reach the morning of a happy future.
Human history has never been devoid of ‘heroes’, who lead their communities to salvation. Among them, the Prophets and their successors whether in intellectual or spiritual or social arenas, have usually been able, despite the many obstacles put in their way and torments of every kind, to illuminate the way of their people to truth and ultimate victory. Mankind have entered upon the same way once more and will, by God’s Will and Power, reach their ultimate destination.
By M. Fethullah Gulen