Famous Turkish Islamic Scholars: A Legacy of Knowledge and Inspiration

Turkey has been home to many influential Islamic scholars throughout history, contributing significantly to various fields such as theology, Sufism, jurisprudence, and philosophy. Here are some notable Turkish Islamic scholars:

Famous Turkish Islamic Scholars

  1. Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207–1273) – One of the most beloved Sufi mystics and poets, Rumi founded the Mevlevi Sufi order, known for the Whirling Dervishes. His major work, “Masnavi,” is considered one of the greatest works of Persian literature and Sufi mysticism.
  2. Haci Bektas Veli (1209–1271) – A prominent Sufi thinker, philosopher, and spiritual leader, Haci Bektas Veli is the founder of the Bektashi order, which has had a significant impact on Turkish and Balkan Islam.
  3. Imam al-Ghazali (1058–1111) – Although born in Persia, al-Ghazali became a highly influential Islamic theologian, jurist, and mystic, whose works were also well-received in the Ottoman Empire. His magnum opus, “Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din” (The Revival of the Religious Sciences), is a cornerstone in Islamic spirituality.
  4. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1877–1960) – A Kurdish Islamic scholar from the late Ottoman and early Republican period of Turkey, Nursi wrote the Risale-i Nur, a collection of Qur’anic commentary and philosophy, and is a key figure in modern Turkish Islam.
  5. Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan (1888–1959) – A Turkish Islamic scholar known for his efforts in the revival of the Islamic tradition of memorization and recitation of the Quran in Turkey, particularly during a time when secular reforms were transforming the country.
  6. Fethullah Gülen (b. 1941) – A contemporary Turkish Islamic scholar, preacher, and founder of the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet. He is known for his teachings promoting interfaith dialogue, education, democracy, and science.

These scholars have contributed to the rich tapestry of Islamic thought and have had a profound influence both within Turkey and in the wider Islamic world.


The contributions of these famous Turkish Islamic scholars have greatly enriched the Islamic world, leaving a lasting legacy of knowledge, inspiration, and wisdom. Their expertise, authority, and trust have guided millions of individuals on the path of righteousness, spirituality, and personal growth. As we reflect on their lives and teachings, may we continue to embrace their valuable insights and strive to embody their values of love, tolerance, and harmony in our own lives.

by Abdullah Sam
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