The Institute for Sufi Studies at Üsküdar University was established through the joint efforts of Üsküdar University’s Founder President and the President of the Executive Board of Üsküdar University, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan and founder of Kerim Foundation Cemalnur Sargut in July 2014. Starting from the holistic view of Sufism, the Institute aims to be a source for raising individuals who have made an effort to better understand science, themselves and the world, who have internalized the spiritual and moral dimensions of human beings, who are sensitive to art, who think, research, who are creative, who know the value of time, who are hardworking and tolerant. Another aim of the Institute is to contribute to the development of the intellectual infrastructure and taste necessary for an adequate understanding of Sufism.
Üsküdar University provides undergraduate education in the fields of medicine, psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, bio-engineering, molecular biology, genetics, software and electronics, forensic sciences, international relations and communication. In addition to the Institutes of Health, Social and Natural Sciences, the University carries out graduate and doctorate programs in many disciplines, from clinical and applied psychology to social work, from behavioral sciences and neuroscience to different branches of forensic sciences, from engineering applications to humanities. There are 34 application and research centers within the scope of the university. The Institute for Sufi Studies is part of a vibrant scientific and cultural atmosphere structured in relation to each other.
Our Institute, which is the first academic structure in the history of modern universities in Turkey that focuses on Sufi studies, apart from the Faculties of Theology and Islamic Sciences, offers graduate education and continuing education opportunities that can reach all layers of the society. The Institute is supported by the Kerim Foundation due to its unique institutional structure and establishment. Üsküdar University Institute for Sufi Studies is the natural beneficiary of international academic partnerships and collaborations developed by the Turkish Women's Cultural Association (1966) and the Kerim Foundation (2014). In this context, Kenan Rifai Islamic Studies Chair at North Carolina University, Peking University Institute for Advanced Humanities Kenan Rifai Chair for Islamic Studies and Kyoto University Kenan Rifai Center for Sufi Studies are sister institutions of our Institute (Sister Institutes).
Our country is the most important heir of the Sufi Islamic tradition and is a treasure with its resources. Ken'an Rifai, one of the Ottoman sufis of the last century, during the period when traditional Sufi institutions were secreted (1925), expresses that this legacy will always continue to be cultivated with the words "One day Sufism will be taught in academies". While this foresight says that Sufism will find its own place in the modern university system, it also points out that today many different disciplines are actually intertwined with "sufi thought". The ability to see the future is possible by knowing yourself, the society and the past well. While this foresight says that Sufism will find its own place in the modern university system, it also points out that today many different disciplines are actually intertwined with "sufi thought". The ability to see the future is possible by knowing yourself, the society and the past well. The Institute has determined the Sufi texts of the Seljuk and Ottoman Periods as the main study material. The Arabic, Turkish and Persian works, which filtered through the 1000 years of Islamic civilization, are not well known in international academic circles, especially the Turkish ones. The Institute contributes to increase the international awareness of the works in question and to take their deserved place in the literature, with its studies by focusing on the Sufi texts of the Seljuk and Ottoman Periods.
Interdisciplinary studies are based on increasing the possibilities of thinking by bringing together different disciplines and researchers from different disciplines, without conventional restrictions and by going beyond the known patterns. We do not yet find sufficient knowledge in the literature about the new possibilities that will arise from the meeting of Sufism's own concepts and methods with other disciplines. The Institute works to contribute to the formation of the infrastructure of thought that concerns the society, produces added value, shares social responsibility, and produces solutions in every field that affects sustainable development, from the outputs of the texts that constitute a source for the studies in question, as well as on the subjects of mysticism, history and literature of the Islamic civilization. The encompassing language of Sufism, which combines science with love, makes our Institute a center of attention around the world, within the broad network of humanities, with the programs and research it carries out.
Director of the Institute for Sufi Studies
Board Member of Kerim Foundation
Prof. Dr. Elif ERHAN