• Studies

    Academic works on the Risale-i Nur Collection
  • 1


Zeki Saritoprak, Ph.D

Zeki Saritoprak, Ph.D., has held the Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, since 2003. He studied Arabic language for several years in Cairo while researching for his dissertation in Islamic Theology, entitled The Antichrist (al-Dajjal). He has also taught and conducted research at Harran University in Turkey, Georgetown University, the Catholic University of America, and Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He is the founder and former president of the Rumi Forum for Interfaith Dialogue in Washington, DC. He is the author of over thirty academic articles and encyclopedia entries on topics in Islam. He has served as guest editor for issues of the journals Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Muslim World. He is editor and co-translator of Fundamentals of Rumi’s Thought: A Mevlevi Sufi Perspective (in English; New Jersery: The Light, 2004); editor of a critical edition of al-Sarakhsi’s Sifat Ashrat al-Sa’a (in Arabic; Cairo, 1993); and author of Al-Dajjal in Islamic Theology (in Turkish; Istanbul, 1992).


Selected Publications by Dr. Zeki Saritoprak



Fundamentals of Rumi’s Thought: A Mevlevi Sufi Perspective (Sefik Can), edited and translated by Zeki Saritoprak (New Jersey, 2004)

Critical Edition of al-Sarakhsi’s (d.1100 CE) Sifat Ashrat al-Sa’a (Islamic Eschatology),(Cairo: 1993) (Arabic)

Al-Dajjal in Islamic Theology,(Istanbul: 1992) (Turkish)


Edited Journals

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Special Issue on Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, vol. 19, no. 1, January 2008 (guest editor)

Islam in Contemporary Turkey: The Contributions of Fethullah Gulen, Special Issue of The Muslim World Journal, vol. 95, no. 3, July 2005 (guest editor)


Academic Writings


1993- “Dabbah Al-Ardh
This is an entry of Islamic Encyclopedia in Turkish on the Islamic concept an eschatological theme known by Muslims as Dabbah or the beast.

1994- “Deccal”
This encyclopedia entry elaborates on the concept of Anti-Christ as an eschatological theme in Islamic theology.

1994- “Hz. Ibrahim’in (a.s) Tevhid Mucadelesini Yaparken Delil Kullanmada Takib Ettigi Metod Uzerine”
This article elaborates on the struggle of Abraham as a prophet of God in the Qur’an, and his methodological approach to prove the oneness of God against idol worshippers of his time. The article uses Qur’anic verses as a major source for Abraham’s approach.

1995- “The Beautiful Names of God and the Problem of Understanding God”
This Turkish article elaborates on the divine names in Islam and pre-Islamic sources and on how Muslim theologians approach the divine names and whether it is necessary to have the divine names in only Arabic. The article also focuses on the reflection of the divine names in the universe.

1997- “The Mahdi Question According to Bediüzzaman Said Nursi”
This article discusses the Islamic understanding of the Mahdi, an Islamic Messianic figure, as presented in the writings of Said Nursi which is considerable different than the classical view of Muslim theologians.

1999- “The Science of Kalam: A Critical Approach”
This article written in Turkish elaborates on the development of Islamic theology, and examines some aspects of the science of Kalam that the author believes were reasons for the lack of interest in Kalam in later Islamic period.



2000- “Said Nursi’s Teaching on the People of the Book – a case study of Islamic social policy in the early twentieth century”
This article is a concise biography of Said Nursi with regard to the People of the Book and Muslim-Christian relations.

2000-“The Eschatological Descent of Jesus: Muslims Views.”
This article discusses of eschatology according to Muslims. The article will refer to Qur’anic verses.

2002- “Visible Islam in Modern Turkey” Book Review.
This article reviews one of the very few books that have been written on Islam in Turkey.

2002- “The Mahdī Tradition in Islam: A Social-Cognitive Approach”
This article discusses the Mahdī and its universal hope in Islam. The article will start in early Sunnī tradition and move its way through history.

2003- “The Legend of al-Dajjāl (Antichrist): The Personification of Evil in the Islamic Tradition”
This article offers an Islamic understanding of al-Dajjāl while referring to the Qur’an and the Hadīth, two major sources of Islam.

2004- “Allah” in The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia.
This article discusses the Islamic understanding of God as presented in the Qur’an.

2004- “Rod” and “Sand” in the Encylclopaedia of the Qur’an.
These articles discuss the significance of the words rod and sand in the Qur’an.

2004- “Eschatology” in The Qur’an: an Encyclopedia.
This article discusses the Qur’an’s view of al-akhira (afterlife) and Islamic eschatology.

2004- “Fethullah Gülen: A Sufi in His Own Way”
This article discusses Fethullah Gülen’s unique way of Sufism, and his relationship to classical Sufi traditions.

2005- “Fethullah Gülen and the ‘People of the Book’: A Voice from Turkey for Interfaith Dialogue
This article discusses Gülen’s dialogue, theology, and practices, and also speaks on the various meanings of the term ‘People of the Book’, a Qur’anic term used for Christians and Jews.

2005- “Gülen, Fethullah (1941-)” in The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature.
This article discusses Gülen’s view on two aspects of nature, nature as a veil and a revelation. It elaborates on his article “Tahrib Edilen Tabiat” (The Nature that is Destroyed).

2005- “An Islamic Approach to Peace and Nonviolence – A Turkish Experience”
This article speaks of Nursi’s understanding about peace and nonviolence in Turkey. It also elaborates on the life of the Prophet and how he sent a group of his companions to Abyssinia, modern day Ethiopia, to avoid violence. The practice of the Prophet constitutes foundation for Nursi’s teaching of nonviolence.

2005- “The Qur’an” in The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature.
This entry discusses the Qur’an’s theocentric approach of nature while referring to many Qur’anic verses.

2005- “An Interview with Fethullah Gulen”

This is the English translation of an interview with Mr. Gulen on his views of statehood, Shari’ah and women within Islam as well as jihad and terrorism.

2008- “Said Nursi on Muslim-Christian Relations Leading to World Peace”
This article examines the views of Said Nursi, specifically on Muslim-Christian relations through a survey of Nursi’s writing and examples from his life. It also elaborates on the possible contribution of such cooperation to the world peace.

2008- “Bediüzzaman Said Nursi” in The Islamic World.
This book chapter discusses Said Nursi’s life, his intellectual endeavors, and his impact on Muslims today.

2008- “Guest Editorial” in the special issue of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations dedicated to Bediüzzaman Said Nursi.

2008- “Islam and Politics in the Light of Said Nursi’s Writings”
This article speaks of Said Nursi’s view on politics. His famous statement “I take refuge in God from Satan and politics” is examined.

2009- “How Commentators of the Qur’an Define “Common Word””
This article elaborates on common themes between Christians and Muslims and particularly the theme mentioned in one of the Qur’anic verses that invites the people of the book to common ground. Classical Muslim commentators view is examined.



2010- “Fethullah Gülen’s Theology of Peacebuilding”
This book chapter speaks of Fethullah Gülen’s views on peacebuilding through active engagement in various areas, including education.

2011- “Fethullah Gülen and His Theology of Social Responsibility”
This book chapter discusses the Islamic theological discourse on the concept of social responsibility.

2011- “ The Nature and Dignity of the Human Person from an Islamic Theological Perspective”
This article elaborates on the dignity and nature of the human person as presented in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam.

2011- “Reconciliation: An Islamic Theological Approach”
This book chapter examines the idea of reconciliation and forgiveness as two major themes of theology.

2011- “Said Nursi” in the Oxford Bibliographies.
This entry discusses Said Nursi and explores different scholarly writings on Nursi.

2012- “Muslim Reflection”
This article discusses the need for Just Peace, and refers to Gülen’s idea of reducing threat.

2012-“Dialogue between Muslims and Christians: Qur’anic Guidance, Historical Precedence, and Contemporary Prospects in the United
States” in Can Muslims and Christians Resolve their Religious and Social Conflicts? Cases from Africa and the United States, eds.
Iwuchukwu, Marinus and Brian Stiltner (Lewiston, NY: Edwin MellenPress, 2012).


Newspaper and Magazine Articles


2002- “An Islamic Approach to Nature: a book to be contemplated”
This article discusses Islam and their view of nature by focusing on the Qur’anic understanding.

2004- “Be Kind to your Parents”
This article discusses family relations and respect for parents from Bediüzzaman Said Nursi’s point of view, in light of Risale-i Nur Collection.

2004- “Prayer: an inexhaustible treasure for the human spirit”
This article discusses the significance of prayer, and the means of a relationship between humans and the Creator. There are several Qur’anic verses throughout this article.

2005- “The Creation of Evil is Not Evil: Nursi’s Theological Approach to the Existence of Evil”
This article elaborates on Said Nursi’s view on evil. The approach is from an Islamic theological perspective.

2005- “Love: the Reason for the Creation of the Universe”
This article discusses Said Nursi’s view on love as the reason for the creation of the universe.

2005- “Pope worked to improve Catholic-Muslim relations” published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper.
This article briefly speaks of Pope John Paul II and his work to improve the relationship between Catholics and Muslims.

2006- “Muslims, Cartoons, and Freedom of Expression”
This article discusses the rage of Muslims over a disrespectful Danish newspaper cartoon.

2008- “Impressions upon meeting the Pope”
This newspaper article discusses the Pope’s visit to Washington and his meeting with scholars and faith leaders.

2008- “Local Muslim professor among faith leaders to meet Pope” in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
This short article elaborates on Pope Benedict XVI and his meeting with faith leaders.

2009- “Impressions from the Gülen Conference in Los Angles”
The article discusses an international conference on Gülen held in Los Angles, and briefly speaks of participants contribution to the conference.