Harun Yahya is a well-known author of several books on political, religious and scientific issues. His books appeal to a wide audience and they concentrate primarily around the theme of presenting the signs of God's eternal existence. In an exclusive interview with MCBDirect, he speaks about his life as an author, his aims and his motivations.
|`Explaining to people that Islam is a religion based on love, peace, tolerance, compassion, altruism and affection is the most important responsibility incumbent upon all Muslims.'
Tell us something about yourself, your background and early education?
I was born in Ankara in 1956. Then I came to Istanbul in 1979 to study at university and from here, my intellectual struggle began. The two universities I attended had become nests of materialist philosophy and ideologies. For that reason, I felt it was very important to convey the truths of religion at both universities. In those years, I undertook very detailed research into Darwinism and the theory of evolution, which constitute the base of materialist philosophy. At the same time, I invited people around me to conform to the way of Allah by telling them about the errors of materialism and Darwinism. During that time, I had many friends who abandoned materialist thought and began to share the same opinions as me. My friendship with many of them still continues.
Why did you choose to write with a pen name?
I prefer to write under a pen name rather than with my own because the important thing is the subject matter of my books, not my name. As for why I selected the name Harun Yahya: Harun (Aaron) and Yahya (John) are the two Prophets who fought against lack of faith. Thus, in the memory of these two esteemed people, I chose the name Harun Yahya and have been using it for years.
Recently, you have chosen to live a very secluded life. Why?
My books take up a great deal of my time. After writing them I take a very close interest in the entire publishing process. The little time I have left over from my activities, I spend with my family and friends. Due to my heavy workload I am unable to accept requests to appear on television programmes and at conferences. For the moment, I prefer to share my ideas with people through my books.
What is the difference between your life as Harun Yahya, the writer and your personal life as Adnan Oktar?
My day-to-day life passes in the same way that I talk about in my books. As I frequently emphasise, a Muslim is someone who fears only Allah, who takes Allah as his only friend and guardian, and who submits to Allah with all his heart. Allah hears and sees everyone at every moment, and will demand an account for every moment. It is therefore impossible, for the words and writings of someone who fears Allah to be different to his actions. In the Qur'an, our Lord asks,
`Do you order people to devoutness and forget yourselves, when you recite the Book?'
Holy Qur'an 2: 44
This verse is a most important reminder for everyone.
What general writing style do you use in your books?
In my books I am careful to use a sincere, wise, pithy, simple and flowing style that can be understood by everyone, from the ages of seven to seventy. All the subjects dealt with in my books are explained in such a way as to leave no doubts or question marks. Thanks to this effective and unaffected style, these works are often described as 'books that can be read in one sitting.'
What is your biggest fear in life?
A believer fears only Allah's disapproval and being the kind of servant with whom He will not be pleased. Apart from the eternal torments of Hell, a Muslim has no earthly fears. Every event, small or big, that took place throughout history was realised within a perfect destiny prescribed by Allah and within His will.
There are very important warnings and lessons that should be taken from each one of these events. Consequently each of those disastrous events was a special occurrence Allah has created for us to think upon and take lessons from.
Every man has a source of inspiration and a role model to follow, who gives you incentive to continue your work?
Throughout my life, I have seen Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a role model. Also in the verse,
`You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.'
Holy Qur'an 33: 21
Allah states that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sets an example to us. After our Prophet (peace be upon him), many great scholars emerged in the Islamic world through the centuries. The works of Imam Rabbani, Imam Ghazali, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and many other Islamic scholars are all important guides in the life of every Muslim.
What in your opinion is your greatest personal achievement?
Our Lord has notified us what the measure of superiority is before Him in a verse,
`The noblest among you in Allah's sight is the one who is the most God conscious'
Holy Qur'an 49: 13
Therefore, in each one of our works, we feel the necessity of emphasising the importance of sincerity again and again. We invite people to strive only for gaining the good pleasure of Allah without expecting any return, position, rank, reputation or material gain. In my opinion, this is truly an achievement.
What is the most important issue facing the Muslim world today?
Explaining to people that Islam is a religion based on love, peace, tolerance, compassion, altruism and affection is the most important responsibility incumbent upon all Muslims. Muslims must make intense efforts to inform everyone in the world about the true nature of Islam. We must co-operate with humanity in a spirit of tolerance and work together to do away with all prejudice.
Fe'reeha M. Idrees