Date of Submission
Sertkaya, S. (2016). The sīrah genre: An evaluation of Fethullah Gülen’s approach (Doctoral thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4226/66/5a9cd729b0bda
In the Islamic tradition, Prophet Muhammad is an important and central figure. The Prophet’s role is critical as the receiver of revelation, and Qur’anic verses describe him as an exemplary role model. Among the Islamic disciplines, the genre of sīrah deals independently with the life of Prophet Muhammad, his biography within the framework of incidents in his life, generally in a chronological format. This study examines Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s approach to the sīrah genre, how he reads it and what original insights he brings to the study of sīrah, especially in terms of his approach and methodology. It questions through comparison whether Gülen’s approach differs radically from other prominent Muslim scholars, such as Mawlana Shiblī (d.1914) and Muhammad Hamīdullah (d.2002), and analyses whether Gülen adds any new perspective to sīrah. In addition, Gülen’s unique approach to “sīrah philosophy,” in attempting to link the lessons learnt through historical events and incidents that took place in the Prophet’s lifetime to the problems of the current day and age, is examined and analysed with various examples. Special attention is given to the incident of Hudaybiya, which is regarded as one of the most important cornerstones in the life of the Prophet. These dynamic evaluations of sīrah, as practised by Gülen, demonstrating his distinctive approach, with its novel systematic and unique methodology, are likely to provide an alternative perspective for future inquiries into the sīrah discipline of the modern period.
School of Theology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy