First Class Revolution: From Medina to Mecca - By Dr. Aland Mizell

Leader as Model

If you want to know about the real motives and goals of Fethullah Gulen’s
movement, you need to know about Muhammad. If you know about Muhammad, then you know Islam; you will also know how Muhammad founded Islam and the process of his Political Islam. If you do not understand Muhammad, then you do not know Islam. And you will not comprehend Gülen and his motives or how he started his movement and became a global power. Every Muslim’s life and goal are to imitate Muhammad in every detail. Muhammad led a fascinating life: he was a businessman, leader, commander, warrior, revolutionary, father, grandfather, politician, prophet, and founder of the Islamic religion. Because Muhammad is equal to the Qur’an itself and the Qur’an says that every human being should do everything that Muhammad did, for Muslims, then, Muhammad is the perfect pattern of life for all people for all time. Islam is a religion of submission; every follower of Muhammad must be submitted to him and his teachings, so that their lives are patterned after him, since he was a perfect man and gave them the perfect pattern.  If you know the Gülen movement and his followers, you realize that, like Muhammad’s followers, they never object to Gulen’s teaching and totally submit to their leader. If they do not submit to their leader, it means that they are not a good follower and violate one of the Islamic principles because Islam urges a follower to pledge loyalty to a leader. 

This principle of submission also applies to the leader himself. If the leader
does not follow Muhammad’s way of living and teaching, then he violates the
principles of Islam. Muhammad used a methodology to spread Islam around Mecca. 

To solicit commitment to his message, he began with a few well known youth in
the Meccan society. He secretly gathered an underground movement.  After several years he gained more power and more followers and began publically preaching against the idols that Meccans worshipped. It is important to take note that the Qur’an was revealed in a span of approximately twenty-three years, not all at once. So his was a process based on conditions of time and place. Even some point out that Muslims were not called to prayers with loudspeakers but silently prayed, so that others would not hear them and come after them. During his time at Medina, Muhammad’s influence was still weak, and Muslims did not have much power compared to the Jewish people, who were socially and economically more powerful than Muslims. Therefore, Muhammad told his followers not to confront Jewish people until they got enough power. Even during Muhammad’s time in Medina, Muslims prayed toward Jerusalem, but after Muhammad came to power, he turned to Mecca for prayers. If Muslims are commanded by the Qur’an to follow the example of Muhammad’s teaching and life, then his example demonstrates the Muslims’ struggle for statehood and subsequently their duty to secure a state.

Necessity of Islamic State

Muhammad acted as a prophet for twenty-three years of his life. He spent much of his time involved in various political activities including four major wars with
non-Muslims to ensure the stability and freedom of Muslims. The purpose of these activities was to establish an Islamic nation. First, when Muhammad started to preach and gain followers in Mecca, the resistance of rich merchants against him was very strong, forcing Muhammad and his supporters to take another tactic. Second, other leading people in Mecca imposed economic sanctions against Muhammad and anyone associated with him. They did not want him to have influence because they were afraid that his teachings would interfere with the flow of the many goods in Mecca and other trade. Third, Muslims were not welcome in Mecca and faced many difficulties. Muhammad and his followers immigrated to Media, where they established the first Islamic State.His followers also went with him to save their lives, so that a continued state of conflict existed between Mecca and Medina. Interludes of war and peace continued until Mecca was defeated by Muhammad’s army. Medina was very important because it provided Muhammad and Muslims a safe heaven to conduct their mission and to grow economically and socially in order to set up the new Islamic state  After several years, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca, where they conquered the city and made the inhabitants worship one God rather than idols.

Gulenists’ Ties to Turkey

Muhammad’s life gives us strong evidence that Islam requires Muslims to
establish a State. What then is the relationship between such a State and
Gulen’s ties to Turkey? Many are wondering how Gulen will come back to Turkey from his long hiatus in the United States. Will he come back in a Khomeini – style homecoming? When will he return? Gulen and his followers transformed his movement from one of barefoot intellectuals into a formidable political force
with its media, schools, universities, police, sports, movie industry, banking,
judiciary, security branch, and financial organs, capable of taking over a
state’s power. Meanwhile Gulen and his supporters developed a somewhat eclectic brand of Islam, one shaped by a desire for leadership among Muslims and recognition that to be successful, his political Islamic movement must be
modern. Gulen and his followers helped to install the Justice and Development
Party (AKP) in power in Turkey, giving them the opportunity to put his ideas
into practice. I think that Gülen will return to Turkey after this upcoming
election, not in a Khomeini-style homecoming just like he did not undertake a
Khomeini -style revolution. Instead, he will come to Turkey like Muhammad went
back to Mecca. Similar to Muhammad’s fleeing from Mecca with little power but
significant persecution since the social and economic power of the Mecca was
under the control of non Muslims, Gülen left Turkey, because the military had
control, and he had been charged with attempting to overthrow the secular
Turkish government. At that time the government was not dominated by his people; secret service had profiled him and neither his followers not his Dogan media group had much power. Before his flight, the Dogan media group and other secular media were controlled by the media in Turkey, and his business company could not get many big government contracts. His schools were still under the suspicion of the government, and the public did not recognize his schools. Not many Turkish ambassadors or diplomats were Gulenists; the judiciary was still using the Red Book as the Constitution of Turkey and thus the basis of law, and only later did they rewrite the constitution. Before his immigration to the U.S., the Judiciary, the President, the Prime Minister, and the Military were not under his control. Rather, he was on trial for trying to overthrow the secular system, and his organization was considered a threat to it. Today his status is reversed: all of these entities are dominated by him. That is why Gulen will not return like Khomeini did in Iran but instead like Muhammad returned to Mecca without any resistance.Since then Mecca has never changed. Gulen and his followers have one agenda, no matter what Americans, Westerners, Asians or Secular Turks think. He wants to create an alternative system to capitalism,
which as many argue, will eventually die. Gulen and his followers believe that
when capitalism breaks down, he will replace it with the Islamic State. In his
view, the secular system of government and capitalism have not solved human
problems but instead have created unequal distribution between the haves and
have-nots. In addition, Gülen and his movement view Islam as a solution to
universal suffering.

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January 24, 2011
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