On the passing of Shaykh Muhammad Sa’eed Ramadan al-Buti
On Thursday evening it was with great sadness the Muslim world came to know that a towering personality’s life had come to an end. Shaykh al-Buti was considered by many to be the spiritual reviver of Islam in the 15th century, he authored many books and was a regular figure on Syrian religious TV, he delivered classes around Damascus on a near daily basis, and above all he was firm in his religious and personal convictions.
I wanted to write something in his honour, and particularly touch upon his stance with regards to the Assad regime. But I found Shaykh Abdullah Ali’s piece to be more than sufficient, and much more poignant than what this faqir could write.
What I will close with saying is this: many are calling for democracy in Syria. I would ask, is democracy what they truly need? Has it worked in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan? Many will say they are new to “freedom” and so it will take time. Fine then, I would ask, what about Pakistan? Only now in its 66 year history has Pakistan been able to have a democratic transition of power from one election to the next, and that last election lead to the presidency of the most hated politician in the history of the country, a “democratic period” filled with power shortages, violence, corruption and political back biting which did nothing for the country. Shaykh al-Buti knew rebellion and the call for a fallacy of a post-colonial proto-Hellenic governmental system in an Arab Muslim country would do nothing for Syria. Democracy does not work with an uneducated populace, and just because Uncle Sam wants you to think so doesn’t make it right.
I ask everyone to remember the Shaykh in their prayers, and to ask Allah to accept his words and deeds and look over any faults he may have had. To Allah we belong and to Him we return.