Prof. Sonmez KUTLU from Faculty of Theology in Ankara University gave a seminar namely ‘Imam Maturidi and Freedom of Religion’ in Eurasian Research Institute meeting room on 27 November 2014.
In his seminar, Prof. KUTLU stated that Imam Maturidi focused on scientific knowledge in explaining human and freedom in Islam and based on two main concepts (wisdom and inspiration). He mentioned that both Imam Ebu Hanife (the prelector of Imam Maturidi) and Imam Maturidi used the method of discussing on all issues with their scholars and then come to a conclusion which is today known as ‘common sense’. Besides, Prof. KUTLU said that according to Imam Maturidi no one can intervene any person for their religious believes, a person can only believe in God when he/she uses wisdom and feels inspiration, otherwise no one can be forced to believe in God because every one is free to believe or not. In this sense, Prof. KUTLU stated that Imam Maturidi defined faith by explaining evidence which is called ’faith with wisdom’ and freedom of religion depends on this wisdom. At the end of his seminar Prof. KUTLU referred to women’s rights in Islam and emphasized that according to Imam Maturidi both men and women have equal rights in terms of wisdom and freedom of religion, no one has priority over the other because priority depends on taqwa not gender differences in Islam.
Participants from other institutes, universities and Almaty Office of Mufti emphasized on the great importance of the issue for today’s social problems and indicated that more detailed studies should be made on this issue.