The Emphasis on the Age of Happiness

Undoubtedly, one of the important ideals that form the Islamic social and historical consciousness of the Gülen movement is the notion of the "Age of Happiness." This ideal derives from the first period in Islamic history. This system of values is based upon the lives and practices of the friends of the Prophet. This short historical period is when the Sunni line of thought came into being; its consolidation was made possible by the ideal practice during that period.

The Age of Happiness was the period when the prototype predecessors of the Gülen movement (and the predecessors of similar movements) lived. This period was characterized by pure Islamic belief. In that generation, there was no means by which to consider a Muslim organization as political, ideological, or radical. Believers lived a moderate social life; it was a generation of pious and sincere people living in harmony despite a high level of poverty. The individuals who lived during this period were artless, simple, and selfless to the point of asceticism; they had strong attachment to their religious ideals.

In the Gülen movement, the ideal presented through the concept of the Age of Happiness does not correspond to a "going back," or to deferred feelings; it refers to a practice of Islam that is based on the fundamental principles of action and maintaining strong attachment to the spirit of Islamic conscious. In this context, the way the Prophet and his companions exemplified the Islamic spirit is regarded as the main source of inspiration.

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