Dr. Savas Barkcin was born in Ankara in 1966. After completing his primary and secondary education there, he pursued his undergraduate studies at Bogazici University, majoring in the Department of Political Science, and graduated in 1989. Subsequently, he embraced on a career in the civil service that same year, where he specialized in international relations, strategy, political communications, administration, and consulting until his retirement in 2018. In 1966, he earned his Master’s degree in World History and Theory from Johns Hopkins University in the USA, followed by a PhD in political philosophy from Bilkent University in 2001. Throughout his career, he has lectured at various universities and foundations, and he has authored numerous articles spanning topics such as music, history, literature, philosophy, politics, and culture.

The concept of “value” has been defined in various ways from the past to the present. Not only in the West but also in the Islamic world, various studies have been carried out on the concept of value. Can we hear your definition of value? 

There are differences in definitions based on postulates. The postulates, the style of conceiving the universe, is based on beliefs. So a Muslim’s conception of value is different from that of a non-believer. As a Muslim, I’m going to make a definition based on my convictions and beliefs. The ultimate value is servanthood to Allah. For us, whatever is beneficial in our relationship with our Creator is valuable. Is the value like all the other values that are defined in other philosophical systems? They may be relevant, but we always match them with our set of principles. If they conform somehow to the Islamic set of principles, we say that value can be included as well. But ultimately the value is something that saves you from the dangers of your ego in the world and which puts you in a brighter light in the hereafter. That’s how I define a value. 

Allah (swt) has created the human being as the noblest of creation (ashraf al-makhluqat) and endowed him with superior qualities. Islam calls upon the individual to mobilize his inherent talents and potential and to discover the secrets of creation in the universe, especially in himself. It can be said that Islam seeks to build the individual primarily at the level of consciousness. In this context, what should the conscious person be in the modern world from the perspective of Islam?