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Edip Yüksel
quranism yüksel creationism

1. Introduction

Edip Yüksel (born December 20, 1957 in Güroymak, Turkey) is a Kurdish American author and philosophy professor of Sunni Muslim background. He is an exponent of the modern Islamic reform and Quranism (Quraniyoon) movements and is known for his criticism and rejection of both Sunni and Shiite versions of Islam. Author of several books on the Qur'an and Islam, he gained attention through his works and speeches.[1][2][3]

Yüksel promotes Theistic evolution as opposed to Creationism[4], and is critical of Islamic creationists, such as the jailed cult leader Harun Yahya, who is also known for his Holocaust denial.[5]

Yüksel is a former member of the United Submitters International group, some adherents of which believe there is a numerological significance to the number 19 in the Quran.

2. Biography

Yüksel was born in Turkey in 1957 to a Kurdish family.[6] His father, Sadreddin Yüksel, an Islamic scholar, taught Arabic at a Turkish university. His brother Metin Yüksel, an Islamist activist, was murdered 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.[7][8]

In 1989, Yüksel 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.[9]

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

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]

Edip organizes international Critical Thinkers for Reform conferences; so far in Atlanta, Oxford, Los Angeles, Almaty, and Istanbul. He has given lectures at various universities and institutions, including the University of Arizona, Emory Law, Princeton University,[10] University of North Carolina,[11] Oxford University (UK),[12] Middle East Technical University (Turkey),[13] Technische Universität Dortmund (Germany),[14] European Parliament,[15][16] British Parliament,[17] etc.

Edip is married to a Persian-American dietitian who is currently working at TMC as diabetes educator. They have two children. Yahya, who received his law degree from the University of Arizona and LLM degree from Tsinghua University (Beijing) and an attorney member of California Bar. Matine, who recently graduated from Princeton University[18][19] and presently working for a major ecommerce company as financial analyst.

He has taught philosophy and logic at Pima Community College since 1999,[20] and medical ethics and criminal law courses at Brown Mackie College. He taught Turkish to high school students at a charter school which one of his two sons attended.

3. Trivia

Yüksel discussed mathematics and his book NINETEEN: God's Signature in Nature and Scripture with late Princeton Mathematician John Horton Conway while enjoying Turkish Delight and Ayran on September 27, 2013.[21]

Yüksel called the Austin-based Atheist Experience call-in YouTube program on September 24, 2017. He discussed numerous topics with hosts Matt Dillahunty and guest Muhammad Syed. The call ended when Dillahunty hung up after almost 20 minutes.[22]

4. Publications

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][23] His new publications are with Brainbowpress.[24] His official website [1] remains banned in Turkey following complaints by Adnan Oktar (a.k.a. Harun Yahya).

4.1. English

Yüksel has published the following works in English:[25]

  • 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".[26][27]

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.[26]

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[26]
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[26]
  • 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.[28][29]
  • 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.[30]
  • 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).[31]
  • Test Your Quranic Knowledge Contains six sets of multiple choice questions and their answers. 2007-2012, Brainbow Press, ISBN:978-0-9796715-5-5 ) [32]
  • 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.).

4.2. Turkish

Yüksel has published the following works in Turkish:[25]

  • 19 Questions for Atheists/Ateistlere 19 Soru Philosophical and Theological arguments refuting atheism. (Destek Publishing, Istanbul, 2017-2018, 488 pp.)
  • 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.).
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. Aisha Y. Musa. Hadith as Scripture; Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam 2008, ISBN:978-0-230-60535-0.
  2. "Archived copy". 
  3. Jamie Glazov. From Radical to Reformed Muslim., December 04, 2007.
  4. . Page 510.
  5. Higgins, Andrew (March 17, 2009). "An Islamic Creationist Stirs a New Kind of Darwinian Struggle". Wall Street Journal. 
  7. http://www.Yü
  9. Yüksel, Edip. "In The Name Of Allah: The Saga of an Islamic Dissident and Reformer". http://www.Yü Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  10. Edip Yuksel (2016-09-07), Edip Yüksel (E) Peacemakers Constitution at Princeton University,, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  11. Edip Yuksel (2016-02-27), Edip Yuksel (E) A Bloody Good Business UNCG 1/2,, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  12. "Muslim Reformists’ Conference at Oxford University –" (in en-US). 
  13. Edip Yuksel (2013-05-09), Edip Yüksel (T) Teoloji Sempozyumu ODTÜ,, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  14. Edip Yuksel (2012-06-26), Edip Yüksel (T) Dortmund Konferansı 1/6,, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  15. Edip Yuksel (2012-06-07), Edip Yuksel (E) Speech at European Parliament on Human Rights,, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  16. Edip Yuksel (2012-07-28), Edip Yüksel (E) Last words at European Parliament,, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  17. Edip Yuksel (2017-12-08), Edip Yuksel (E) Speech at British Parliament,, retrieved 2018-04-23 
  18. "Examining materials through molecules and over millennia" (in en). Princeton University. 
  19. Edip Yuksel (2017-08-03), Edip Yuksel (E)(T) Matine's Graduation from Princeton (6/6/2017),, retrieved 2018-04-16 
  20. "Roster of Faculty Credentials 2016 - 2019". Retrieved 15 April 2020. 
  21. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
  22. "YouTube". 
  25. "Edip Yüksel's Resume (long version)". Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  26. Quran: A Reformist Translation. Product information, Brainbow
  29. "Archived copy". 
Name: Edip Yüksel
Born: Dec 1957
Güroymak, Turkey
Titles: Author Activist Professor Inventor
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
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View Times: 891
Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 01 Dec 2022
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