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The path of serving the truth in the face of obstacles

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in The Broken Jug

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The path of serving the truth in the face of obstacles

Question: Considering the present conditions, we can see that people who have contributed to charitable works are being raided with the intention of defaming them and the truth is being obscured. How should volunteers understand this and what should their philosophy of action be?

Answer: People on the path of serving the truth must firstly accept the following reality. Just as it happened yesterday, today as well, people with vices such as hatred, envy and intolerance, because of their paranoid mood, will declare as enemies other circles of people who do not think like them. They will continually attack here and there and reveal their malice in various forms for the sake of protecting their illegitimate gains. However, the devoted souls must constantly seek refuge in God, may His glory be exalted, completely relying on and submitting to Him. They must always focus their acts on gaining God’s good pleasure; always tread in the footsteps of His Messenger and, in spite of all evils and obstacles, they should keep walking on the righteous path with a noble conscience to embrace all of humanity. 

While walking on this path, you may sometimes be betrayed by those you expected to be loyal; you may be rejected by those who shared the same destiny so far or find yourself unexpectedly stabbed in the back. However, you should still stick to your unwavering course on the righteous path and not be hindered by such negativities, by opening up new doors in your conscience. By utilizing some new strategies, you should constantly seek to set higher standards in terms of the horizons of your conscience and immensity of your soul.

The sound guides

We are passing through a chaotic era that is referred to by hadith books in their sections of Fitan, which means disorder and corruption rooted in rebellion against God and recognizing no laws. This is happening on a wide scale and to a horrible degree; upheaval and turmoil are following one another and deception is considered to be a merit. In such a period, there is urgent need for sincere guides who do not deceive or misguide people, and who always inspire trust in hearts. So what falls to you is to give humanity a lesson in “not deceiving,” by never deceiving anyone with your sincere words, bearing and attitudes. If others monitor you for some fifty years, they should not be able to find the slightest indication of deception. 

It is a fact that in our time so many people set their sights on worldly ambitions. Therefore, you may have difficulty in making others understand you correctly. They will view you as themselves, by projecting their own worldliness onto you. They might seek different intentions behind your coming into contact with the world, your opening of a school and cultural centers everywhere, your embracing the entirety of humanity with love, and your efforts to bring together and reconcile people of different cultural backgrounds. As every action they take is to gain some form of worldly return, they might think that you are also running after some worldly benefits. Even some of the people who stand close to you, whom you love and hold in esteem, might be deluded by such apprehensions and anxieties. By interpreting your attitude and behaviors according to their own feeling and thoughts, they may derive different meanings from these and thus perceive you as a threat to themselves. However, without caring for any of these much, you must explain at every opportunity that you have no target except for gaining God’s good pleasure and indicate this with your attitude and behaviors. 

Decency of intention

It is unthinkable for volunteers who solely seek God’s good pleasure by seeking reconciliation between people and trying to create a world of love with their initiatives in different parts of the world, to have worldly ambitions. Even if the volunteers, who have fixed their sights on God’s good pleasure with heartfelt dedication and have resolved to beautify the face of the world, cannot realize their plans of love and peace, they will be the heroes of their own intentions and will be rewarded by God accordingly. As the noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once stated: deeds go by their intentions and everybody will be given what they intended. Therefore, the factor that will truly benefit someone is the sincerity and worth of their intention. God Almighty will reward a person with otherworldly returns according to his intention and immensity of conscience.

For example, you set forth with the intention of enabling the entire world to find peace with God’s permission and grace. As far as the conditions allow and a suitable atmosphere is formed, you do not fall into lethargy but increase your efforts even further. However, there comes such a time that some obstacles appear on your path and you cover only one tenth of the distance you targeted. As your intention was ten out of ten, God will reward you accordingly. 

However, in order to attain such a beautiful result, you must be so sincere in your efforts on the righteous path that thoughts such as, “I wonder if they will give us an administrative position in return for the services we carried out?” must not even pass through the corner of your mind. On the contrary, when such considerations visit your mind, you must consider them to be devilish urges and distance yourself from them immediately.

This does not mean that some people will not be awarded certain positions they deserve and are eligible for. Surely, such people will gain different high-level positions in the state administration. However, people who are devoted to service for the peace of humanity and do not think of anything but God’s good pleasure must not seek any worldly positions for the sake of worldly gains. They should even not hasten to accept when they are offered such a position as being a minister of the prime minister, but consider first whether such an offer will be good for their ideals and then decide accordingly. Otherwise, in spite of having set forth in order to seek God’s good pleasure, they will have adulterated their considerations on this path, personally destroyed the possible influence they could make in others’ hearts and lost the credit and trust of people around them.

In my opinion, let alone seeking such administrative positions, they should see seeking worldly targets as a demotion for themselves, even if there is a matter of being the world’s greatest conqueror. Even such worldly glory will remain as a drop in the ocean next to saving one person’s eternal life. In this respect, the volunteers of our time who have migrated for their ideals must take it as the greatest ideal to help a love for truth be kindled in hearts, to let morality and virtue be germinated in hearts, and for different people to become bosom friends. They must design their life according to these lofty ideals without wasting a moment of it.  

This article has originally been published in Turkish on 20/03/2016.