International Workshop on Science and Religion "The Harfi and Ismi Perspectives in Philosophy of Science and Education"

At the International Workshop held on September 7-8, 2023, in partnership between The Istanbul Foundation For Science And Culture (IIKV) and Darussalam Gontor University in Indonesia, numerous academics from various disciplines will engage in discussions on the topic of "Harfi and Ismi Approaches in Science and Educational Philosophy."


The program, which will take place over two days in four sessions at Darussalam Gontor University in Indonesia, was attended by Said Yüce, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Foundation for Science and Culture (IIKV), Prof. Dr. Necati Aydın, Prof. Dr. Alparslan Açıkgenç, doctoral candidates Ahmet Subaşı and Tuğba Türkoğlu from İİKV, and Hasbi Şen from the Nur Semesta Foundation in Indonesia.

During the Opening Program, Prof. Dr. Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi, the Rector of Darussalam Gontor University in Indonesia, mentioned in his speech that they have collaborated on many joint projects with The Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture (IIKV). He recalled the International Risale-i Nur and Modern Sciences Conference jointly organized with our foundation in previous years and also highlighted the "Nursi Corner" established on their campus following the agreement made with İİKV.


Zarkasyi emphasized that every Sunday, Risale-i Nur classes are held in their university's madrasa, and at the same time, many students from their university also write theses on Risale-i Nur. He continued as follows:

Additionally, we are conducting numerous studies on Said Nursi. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), one of last year's theses has been published this year. The initial study was conducted by Prof. Dr. Amal Zarkasyi. One of the most recent doctoral theses was titled "Said Nursi through the Lens of Civilization in the Issue of Humanity." We are very grateful to Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture. Insha'Allah (God willing), we will have even better programs in the future. Those interested in these studies can visit  The Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture to further their education."

After University Rector Zarkasyi, Said Yüce, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of  The Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture, took the podium to deliver the opening speech.

The speaker began by greeting the participants with the words, "Seeing you after long journeys removes all our fatigue." In their speech, they emphasized the brotherhood and unity among the believers with the words, "We come from different parts of the world, but as those who work for the good of humanity and the ummah, we are like one body." Yüce expressed their gratitude to the university administration for all the efforts made within the framework of Gontor University, including the activities, the madrasah, and the Nursi corner.

Yüce referred to our foundation's "Train the Trainers Program" with the words, "Two weeks ago, we organized a very successful event in Istanbul," emphasizing that it focused on instructing educators about the concept of "Mana-yı harfi" (the spiritual meaning of letters). They added:

Unfortunately, for approximately 200 years, there has been a philosophy worldwide that severs the relationship between the Creator and the created. This educational philosophy has been adopted not only in the West but also throughout the world. It claims that everything happens by chance, by nature, or by self-realization. Today, if we look at any educational textbook or scientific journal, these perspectives occupy a significant place in all of them.

Emphasizing that distinguishing between the concepts of "mana-yı harfi" and "ismi" is a crucial point in the struggle against this philosophy, Yüce stated, "The manifestations of the Divine Names in the universe through laws can only be seen through the perspective offered by the concept of 'mana-yı harfi'." They provided the following example:

For example, a lamb nursing from its mother is a very clear indication of the Divine Name "Rahim" (the Merciful).

Yüce concluded their words by mentioning that over the next 2 days, there will be discussions with many scholars from the region on "how the concept of 'mana-yı harfi' can be integrated into the philosophy of science." Following that, there will be 2 days of "intensive 5D training for educators." As a final remark:

"For our greatest aim in life is to work, first for ourselves, and then for the faith of all humanity. I extend my thanks to everyone," he said.

Prof. Dr. Alparslan Açıkgenç, who is actively involved in research on "Mana-yı Harfi" and plays a leading role as an educator in all the discussions and training sessions, began his opening speech with the words, "The history of Islam is not like the history of other religions." Açıkgenç stated that the history of Islam is also the history of law, knowledge, and science, explaining the reason for this as "the process of knowledge in Islamic civilization starting with Islam itself," and continued:

"The Quran says: 'They have eyes but they do not see.' This is because in Islamic civilization, the most important device is the heart. If the heart is not revitalized, the intellect, eyes, or other devices cannot perceive and comprehend spiritual knowledge and meanings."

Açıkgenç emphasized the importance of truly understanding the concept of knowledge, and he mentioned that even more crucial is grasping the process of knowledge formation in Islam. He underlined the significance by saying, "If we lag behind in knowledge, we lag behind in everything," and he highlighted the importance of knowledge with the following questions:

"So, what is meant by this knowledge? Is it merely the raw data taught by Western philosophy, or is it the understanding infused into the sciences?"

Açıkgenç stated that Islamic civilization is, for this reason, a civilization of knowledge from beginning to end. However, he also pointed out that this knowledge is not the same as what modern philosophy understands as knowledge, emphasizing that understanding this distinction is the foundation of everything.

The International Workshop on "Ismî and Harfî Approaches in Science and Educational Philosophy" will continue with sessions for two days. Following that, for the next two days, Prof. Dr. Necati Aydın will lead intensive 5D thinking courses on "Mana-yı Harfi" in collaboration with IIK (Integrated Islamic Knowledge) and IIKV. The program will conclude entirely on September 10th.

Some Images from the Opening Day:

International Workshop on Science and Religion "The Harfi and Ismi Perspectives in Philosophy of Science and Education" 

Click here to watch on Youtube