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An Introduction to Sufi Psychology:

Sufi Characters from the Perspective of "Emerald Hills of the Heart"

Course Date: June 8 – July 27, 2021

Course Description

Sufism is Islamic mysticism, and the core aspects of Sufism is love and sincerity. Sufism has established a method through which one seeks spiritual and moral education. In “An Introduction to Sufi Psychology: Sufi Characters,” we will explore major Sufi characters such as Waliy and Awliya, Darwish, Salik, Vasil, Mukarrabun, Awtad, Qutb and finally Universal Man. As we will learn in this course, accomplishing spiritual and moral development is not so much a matter of acquiring knowledge, rather it is often a matter of developing an intimate relationship with these moral personalities and characters. Sufi characters are poles (al-Qutb) or pillars (al-Awtad) by which the spiritual world has been sustained. Learning from the spiritual and moral characters of the Sufi tradition are crucial for those individuals who wish to develop a healthy inner world, nourish their soul, and purify their heart. In this course we are going to explore the Sufi characters as the exemplars of our own spiritual journey.

Objectives of Course

The primary objective of this course is to make the students familiar with Sufi characters. Furthermore, this course also aims to develop an understanding that morality and spirituality are essential ingredients for not only one’s personal moral self-cultivation but also for the betterment of our social structures. Lastly, it aims to show the strong correlation between attaining a virtuous life and possessing a good personality which could be better established by familiarizing oneself with Sufi characters.

Student Learning Outcomes

To make familiar to the conceptual understanding of Sufism

To make the students aware of Sufi Characters

To be able to attain a new dimension of personality through understanding of the Sufi characters

To introduce the sufficient sources for a deep religiosity

Rediscovering self in Sufi psychology and to communicate the realized qualities with others

June 8 - July 27, 2021 Every Tuesday

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)

Tuition Fee:

Course Schedule

1st Week

June 8

Introduction to Sufism and Presentation of the course content

2nd Week

June 15

Waliy and Awliyaullah

(Saints and God’s Friends)

Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol III, pp. 37-40.

3rd Week

June 22


Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol II, pp. 263-69

4th Week

June 29



Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol II pp. 270-275.

5th Week

July 6


(One who has reached)

Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol 3, pp. 16-22.

6th Week

July 13

Muqarrabun and Awtad


Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol III, pp 41-43/ 49-53.

7th Week

July 20


Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol III, pp. 53-56.

8th Week

July 27

Universal Man

(Insan-ı Kâmil)

Gülen, “Emerald Hills of the Heart” Vol II, pp. 289-302

About Instructor

Professor Dr. Adnan Aslan

He was born in Turkey, educated in Turkey and England. Received MA degree at Kings College London in 1990 and PhD degree at Lancaster University in England in 1995. He has published scholarly articles and books both in English and Turkish. His main interest includes the issue of religious pluralism, inter-religious dialogue, İslam and modernity and perennial philosophy. He worked in various universities in Turkey. He was the dean of faculty of humanities and social sciences at Süleyman Şah University in Istanbul. He was an adjunct professor at the department of philosophy at Notre Dame University and a faculty associate at Indiana University of South Bend.