Edip Yüksel

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Edip Yüksel
Edip Yuksel 2015-3-28 Tucson-7.jpg
Born December 20, 1957
(age 59 years and 6 months)
Güroymak, Turkey
Residence Tucson, Arizona, United States
Nationality Kurdish-Turkish Americans
Citizenship Turkey, United States
Education Juris Doctor, College of Law, University of Arizona
Alma mater University of Arizona
Occupation Author, Activist, Professor
Organization Co-founder of MPJP Muslims for Peace, Justice and Progress
Known for involvement in the Islamic Reform movement, promoting philosophy and critical thinking, and literary works on the subject
Movement Rational Monotheism, Peacemaking, Quranist Islam
Board member of United Submitters International
Website 19.org

Edip Yüksel (born December 20, 1957 in Norşin, Turkey) is a Kurdish American intellectual considered one of the prime figures in the modern Islamic reform and Quranism (Quraniyoon) movements. Author of many books on the Qur'an and Islam, he has gained much attention through his works and speeches.[1][2][3]

His main aim, as stated throughout his writings, is to spread an Islamic understanding that is rational, progressive, and humanistic, which in his eyes can only be gained through accepting the Qur'an as the only Divine authority.[4] He is also a promoter of Theistic evolution, an understanding he gets from science and the Qur'an, instead of Creationism.[5] Specifically, Yüksel is critical of Islamic creationists such as Harun Yahya.[6] Yüksel is a former member of United Submitters International.


Yüksel was born in Turkey in 1957 into a Kurdish family.[7] His father, Sadreddin Yüksel, an Islamic scholar, taught Arabic at a Turkish university. His brother Metin Yüksel, an Islamist activist, was assassinated by far-right nationalists. Yüksel says that he was an outspoken Islamist as a youth, and spent years in prison for his views. Yüksel says that he broke with Islamism in 1986 and adopted the Qur'an Alone philosophy as preached by Rashad Khalifa, the inspiration of the United Submitters International whose beliefs include: the dedication of all worship practices to God alone, upholding the Quran alone, and rejecting the Islamic traditionalist hadith and sunnah attributed to Muhammad. Because of this, Yüksel's traditionalist father, Sadreddin, declared his son an apostate, and he received many death threats from Orthodox Muslims.[8][9] In 1989, he was sponsored for immigration to the US by Khalifa. Yüksel moved to Tucson, entered college, got a legal degree, and became a prominent member of the United Submitters International.[3] He became a U.S. citizen in 1993.[10]

Professor Aisha Musa, from Florida International University, says in her book Hadith as Scripture about Yüksel:

"Edip Yüksel [..], is a prominent figure among advocates of the doctrine of Qur'an alone. His works are published in the traditional print media, and he also maintains two active websites.[..]Born and raised in Turkey, [...], Yüksel comes from a traditional Sunni background. [..] Although Yüksel initially came to his belief that the Qur'an is the only legitimate source of religious guidance in Islam, his own writings show much more independence than does the work of Kassim Ahmad. Like Khalifa and Ahmad, Yüksel rejects the Hadith using the same Qur'anic criteria. However, he differs with Khalifa in his interpretation of the Qur'an on a number of issues, [...]. Yüksel's work represent a new trend that has emerged in the modern-day Qur'anist movement in the last several years,[..]"[1]

He now teaches philosophy and logic at Pima Community College and medical ethics and criminal law courses at Brown Mackie College. He taught Turkish to high school students at a charter school, where one of his two sons attend.


Yüksel is the author of over twenty books on religion, politics, philosophy and law in Turkish. He has published many pamphlets and essays in English, most of them put out by the United Submitters press—his former congregation., and has written many articles on his own website and several press-websites.[3][11] His new publications are with Brainbowpress.[12] His official website [1] remains banned in Turkey following complaints by Adnan Oktar (a.k.a. Harun Yahya).


Yüksel has published the following works in English:[13]

  • The Quran: A Reformist Translation (2007-2012, Brainbow Press, ISBN 978-0-9796715-0-0) The transcription reads: "The Reformist Translation of the Quran offers a non-sexist and non-sectarian understanding of the divine text; it is the result of collaboration between three translators, two men and a woman. It explicitly rejects the authority of the clergy to determine the likely meaning of disputed passages. It uses logic and the language of the Quran itself as the ultimate authority in determining likely meanings, rather than ancient scholarly interpretations rooted in patriarchal hierarchies. It offers extensive cross-referencing to the Bible and provides arguments on numerous philosophical and scientific issues. It is God's message for those who prefer reason over blind faith, for those who seek peace and ultimate freedom by submitting themselves to the Truth alone".[14][15]
His translation has been praised by many well-known authors and activists as Professor Riffat Hassan, Dr. Amina Wadud, Dr. Reza Aslan and Irshad Manji.[14]
"A bold and beautiful translation that serves a timely reminder to all believers that the Qur'an is not a static scripture, but a living, breathing, ever-evolving text whose sacred words are as applicable today as when they were first uttered by the Prophet Muhammad fourteen centuries ago." Reza Aslan[14]
"A testament to the fact that faith need not suffocate reason. This is bound to be among the smartest of 'smart bombs' in the battle of ideas within Islam."Irshad Manji[14]
  • Manifesto for Islamic Reform (English; Turkish, 2007-2012, Brainbow Press, ISBN 978-0-9796715-6-2 ). An essay on many notable differences between the Qur'anic message and traditional Islamic beliefs and doctrines.[16][17]
  • Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform (English; Turkish, 2009-2012, Brainbow Press, ISBN 978-0-9796715-7-9 ). An anthology edited by Edip Yüksel, Arnold Mol and Faruk Peru, containing articles of leading 30 progressive Muslim reformists.[18]
  • Peacemaker's Guide to Warmongers: Exposing Robert Spencer, Osama bin Laden, David Horowitz, Mullah Omar, Bill Warner, Ali Sina and other Enemies of Peace (English, 2010-2012, Brainbow Press, ISBN 978-0-9796715-3-1).[19]
  • Test Your Quranic Knowledge Contains six sets of multiple choice questions and their answers. 2007-2012, Brainbow Press, ISBN 978-0-9796715-5-5 ) [20]
  • The Prime Argument/Asal Tartışma (English; Turkish). A two-round argument with Prof. Carl Sagan regarding claims for a mathematical structure in the Qur'an. (The Monotheist International, Tucson, 1995, 64 pp.); Turkish translation (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 1998, 92 pp.)
  • Running Like Zebras (English, 2012, Braionbow Press, ISBN 978-0982586730 ). An Internet debate with Abdurrahman Lomax. (The Monotheist International, Tucson, 1995, 114 pp.)
  • Unorthodox Essays (English). Essays on usury, domestic violence, and abortion. (The Monotheist International, Tucson, 1994, 28 pp.)
  • Nineteen Questions for Christian Clergy/Hristiyan Din Adamlarına 19 Soru (English; Turkish). An examination of the teachings and practices of modern Christianity. (Monotheist International, Tucson, 1993–1999, 3 editions, 100 pp); Turkish translation (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 1998).
  • Nineteen Questions for Muslim Clergy/Müslüman Din Adamlarına 19 Soru (English; Turkish). Criticism of the Muslim clergy. (Renaissance Institute, Tucson, 1991, 66 pp.; The Monotheist Productions Int., Tucson, 1992, 80 pp.); Turkish version (Gösterge, Istanbul, 1992, 72 pp.; Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 1997–2001, 5 editions, 110 pp.).


Yüksel has published the following works in Turkish:[13]

  • The Message: Qur'an’s Translation/Mesaj: Kuran Çevirisi. A Turkish translation of the Qur'an. (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 2000–2008, 5 editions, 600 pp.)
  • Purple Letters/Mor Mektuplar. Essays on religion, politics, law, philosophy, women, human rights. (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 2000–2008, 2 editions, 232 pp.)
  • Democracy, Oligarchy, Theocracy/Demokrasi, Oligarşi, Teokrasi. A discussion of Turkish democracy and secularism (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 1998–2008; 133 pp.).
  • On It Is Nineteen/Üzerinde 19 Var. A study of the mathematical structure of the Bible and the Qur'an. (Milliyet Publishing, Istanbul, 1997, Ozan Publishing, 2000–2008, 4 editions 320 pp.).
  • The Prime Argument/Asal Tartışma (E; T). A two-round argument with Prof. Carl Sagan regarding claims for a mathematical structure in the Qur'an. (The Monotheist International, Tucson, 1995, 64 pp.); Turkish translation (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 1998–2008, 92 pp.).
  • Errors In Translations of the Quran/Kuran Çevirilerindeki Hatalar. A book comparing eleven Turkish translations of the Qur'an. (Gösterge, Istanbul, 1992, 164 pp.; Milliyet Publishing, Istanbul, 1998; Ozan Publishing 2007-2008 182 pp.)
  • Nineteen Questions for Christian Clergy/Hristiyan Din Adamlarına 19 Soru. An examination of modern Christianity. (Monotheist International, Tucson, 1993–1999, 3 editions, 100 pp); Turkish translation (Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 2 edition 1998-2008).
  • Nineteen Questions for Muslim Clergy/Müslüman Din Adamlarına 19 Soru. A book challenging Muslim clerics. (Renaissance Institute, Tucson, 1991, 66 pp.; The Monotheist Productions Int., Tucson, 1992, 80 pp.); Turkish version (Gösterge, Istanbul, 1992, 72 pp.; Ozan Publishing, Istanbul, 1997–2008, 10 editions, 110 pp.). The English version is currently revised for a possible publication.
  • Censored Essays/Sakıncalı Yazılar. A rebuttal of published articles critical of "Interesting Questions-2." (Devlet, Istanbul, 1989, 2 editions,100 pp.)
  • Books Are Dangerous/Kitap Okumanın Zararları. A book urging the reader to become a critical thinker. (Beyan, Istanbul, 1988, 106 pp.)
  • Interesting Questions-2/İlginç Sorular-2. (Yüzondört, Istanbul, 1987, 190 pp.; Beyan, Istanbul, 1988, 2nd-3rd editions, 190 pp; A revised version was later published by Ozan, Istanbul, 5th edition, 1999, 184 pp.)
  • Interesting Questions-1/İlginç Sorular-1. Essays on religion, philosophy, and politics. (İnkılab, Istanbul, 1985–1987, 8 editions, 214 pp.; Beyan, Istanbul, 1988, 9th edition, 214 pp.)
  • Chemical Properties of Iron in the Quran/Kuran'da Demirin Kimyasal Esrarı. A booklet on Qur'an 57:25. (Timaş, Istanbul, 1984, 48 pp.)
  • Is The Bible God's Word?/Kitab-ı Mukaddes Allah Sözü müdür? Critical evaluation of the Bible. (İnkılab, Istanbul, 1984, 2 editions, 164 pp.)
  • The 40th Commandment of Joseph/Yusuf'un 40. Emri. Poems (Madve, Istanbul, 1984, 72 pp.)
  • Quran, the Ultimate Miracle/Kuran En Büyük Mucize. A book co-authored with Ahmad Deedat re Islam and science. (İnkılab, Istanbul, 1983–88, 16 editions, 204 pp.).
  • The Interrogation/Soruşturma. A novel about police interrogation and torture of a political detainee (XYZ, Istanbul, 1982, ??? pp.).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Aisha Y. Musa. Hadith as Scripture; Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam 2008, ISBN 978-0-230-60535-0.
  2. ^ http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2008-9/weekly/301008/adverts.htm
  3. ^ a b c Jamie Glazov. From Radical to Reformed Muslim. FrontPageMag.com, December 04, 2007.
  4. ^ http://deenrc.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/a-reformist-translation-0979671507.pdf. Page 487.
  5. ^ http://deenrc.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/a-reformist-translation-0979671507.pdf. Page 510.
  6. ^ Higgins, Andrew (March 17, 2009). "An Islamic Creationist Stirs a New Kind of Darwinian Struggle". Wall Street Journal. 
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120220012547/http://www.yuksel.org/e/law/kurd.htm
  8. ^ http://www.Yüksel.org/e/law/terror.htm
  9. ^ http://www.livingislam.org/n/np_e.html
  10. ^ Yüksel, Edip. "In The Name Of Allah: The Saga of an Islamic Dissident and Reformer". Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  11. ^ http://www.19.org/?articles
  12. ^ http://www.brainbowpress.com/
  13. ^ a b "Edip Yüksel's Resume (long version)". Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  14. ^ a b c d Quran: A Reformist Translation. Product information, Brainbow Press.com.
  15. ^ http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979671507 Amazon.com
  16. ^ http://brainbowpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=5
  17. ^ http://deenrc.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/exposition-on-the-manifesto-for-islamic-reform.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979671574/
  19. ^ http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979671531/
  20. ^ http://brainbowpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=4

External links[edit]