Most respected scholars, intellectuals, and community leaders, who honored this symposium from Turkey and abroad; and distinguished guests and fortunate participants to this auspicious gathering:
I greet you with the greeting of Allah (swt) and offer my heartfelt respect, humbly expecting your favorable reception. Over the years, Yeni Ümit and Hira magazines have undertaken many significant events and contributed invaluably to our culture; once more, they are convening scholars and seekers of knowledge for this symposium, on “Ijtihad and Qiyas,” two important sources of our cultural heritage. I pray that this bountiful gathering will be beneficial for everyone.
As is already well known, all the messengers of Allah (swt) who came throughout human history always walked the same path on basic issues like tawhid, the afterlife, prophethood, worship and justice, whereas on secondary matters, the colors of their teachings, advice, and warnings were necessarily diverse, depending on historical circumstances and humanity’s level of development. In either case, they always pointed to lofty objectives and presented flawless heavenly meals of blessings to their followers.
The Prophet Muhammad, the Pride of Humanity (peace be upon him), on the other hand, is the last Messenger of Allah (swt) to humanity. He arrived to serve a humanity that had come of age; and the Qur’an is His final message and call. This divine messengership came to remind us of those eternal and definite essentials that are universally recognized in all religions. His messengership promised to fulfill all the needs of all times and places and perfected the truth of faith by progressive commandments . Humanity will be guided in the light of this last message by the Seal of the Prophets, the energy to develop and transform will be utilized by this new order, and efforts to attain absolute truth will be pursued under its auspices.
Ijtihad and Qiyas present a significant field of expansion for the potential treasury that transcends time and space as it is found in the Book and the Sunna. We will never run out of solutions and answers as long as these rich sources are available with their doors wide open for those who are able to benefit from them.
Hence, over the centuries, the genius and assiduous imams of tafsir, incomparable mujtahids of jurisprudence, timeless mujaddids of religion, luminous teachers of our spiritual life, scholars of kalam, reason, judgment, and the positive sciences, and thousands of scholars and scientists in hundreds of different disciplines have always embraced the Qur’an and the Sunna as the most illuminating, abundant, pristine, and reliable source of knowledge; they took shelter under their protection, solved problems with their prescriptions, which are both time-transcendent and time-relevant, and strived to fulfill their duty of vicegerency which is at the core of their creation.
Your gathering today is an example of revisiting the essential sources of our cultural heritage with untarnished feelings and with a petition of privation, and it is my sincere hope that it will contribute extensively to our academia and culture. With these feelings, I present my greetings, love, and respect to all participants, and expect them to include me in their prayers.
M. Fethullah Gülen