Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was synonymous with many facets of Shiite political society, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraq’s Dawa Party.
If he must be lauded for one aspect of his long clerical career, let it be his issuance of fatwas that did not lack rationality.
While Al Azhar churns out edicts addressing (non)pertinent subjects such as Mickey Mouse and breast-feeding co-workers, Fadlallah called for women to have the right to strike their husbands when attacked.
Such an agenda is sorely lacking in contemporary clerical circles, and even more so for his demise at the age of 75.
(An aside: odd how the press proffers attention to the more whimsical fatwas, while those of real use passed uncovered.)
There may not be a cleric as influential for a long time to come, but let us at least hope that his realistic approach to edict-construction will endure as a lasting legacy.