• Salam alaikom. The sheikh was right among all this insanity and chaos.

  • Muhammed Ashraf

    Based on the reports from other Arab Spring countries i do not believe that there will be better justice as long as people with such radical minds are leading them..Everyone needs change but what change..it should be good to better not better to worse…See what is happening in Iraq..The issue is not who is ruling majority or minority leader..but whether there is peace and prosperity. i see these coalition team will prove to be another power mongers in future..You cannot expect from such a diereses ideological groups better rule and justice..They fight not for the country but for power..May be Shaiksh also saw such signs when supporting Assad…Do you think better justice will be established when power transforms to a democratic group..Study History..

  • auwais

    Thank you for this balanced and empathetic perspective Professor Safi. Perhaps a slight caveat: Sunni quietism is underpinned a wider metaphysic that is fully aware of God’s continuous control of history, an awareness that despite political vicissitudes it is attachment to God that is the core aim, and that seeming worldly injustice would be taken to task, whether in this world or the next. Given this perspective, what counts is fidelity to what is believed to be the dominant position of Sunni political scholarship, even if it proves to be unpopular in the eyes of many. May Allah continuously elevate the darajah of the Shaykh, and reward him for his ijtihad.

  • Dear Auwais, with salams. Thank you friend for your astute observation. I think the point about seeing the connections between political theory and metaphysics is particularly valid. If I may suggest one further elaboration, I would say that such nuances are/were particularly valid when Muslim societies could count on a meaningful application of Shari’a even if–and especially when–there was political instability. And by Shari’a, I mean as understood in the light of the maqasid tradition that was held to be identical with justice. Today, sadly, we have genocidal leaders that slaughter indiscriminately, violate every standard of human dignity, and bulldoze every part of a vast and glorious tradition. May God help us strive to a better place than we are, insha’allah.

  • Lalamumu

    Misery, injustice, and then war and death under a stubborn megalomaniac tyrant…
    What would Muhammad do?
    Talk about tradition, love and piety while uttering sweet words to the despot??!
    How did Sunni quietism ever developed when our beloved Prophet never ceased to strive against injustice with his words, actions and life?
    Or should we aim to emulate him in every aspect except this one?
    That the opposition does not promise to be better does not justify complicity with the current authorities.
    May God hear your prayers.

  • Pingback: Chemical attack in Syria? From "crisis fatigue" to action | What Would Muhammad Do?()

  • Tsai Xing Wei

    I know that this is an old thread but sometimes the passage of time has its own way of throwing light on past events. Looking at what is currently happening with ISIS filling the power vacuums in Syria, Iraq and Libya, may we not now conclude that the late Sheikh was right in his convictions?