The death of Ayatollah Mohammed Hussain FadhlAllah is a massive blow for all those that believe in equality, dialogue and respect. The Ayatollah’s ability to speak to 21st century Muslims in a manner that really made them feel like he actually understood their issues was perhaps one of his most distinguished features. Yet another is the Ayatollah’s refusal to shirk at the massive responsibility placed on his shoulders and his insistence that his guiding principles be the main source of his rulings, even if they be counter to those of the more powerful, more conservative establishment.
In my mind, there was nothing controversial about the Ayatollah; he preached decency, moderation and peaceful coexistence- all universally acceptable themes in themselves. There will be other champions of his message, but the Ayatollah’s demise has left a huge void for his followers and the wider world.