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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nasr and the Shah

Many Iranians have never quite understood why Nasr remained so faithful to the Shah even in the last years of his reign, when the costs of Nasr’s faithfulness were becoming so great. I suggested various reasons in my Against the Modern World, but a correspondent has just drawn my attention to a reason I never considered. Nasr, it is suggested, agreed with Schuon that “kingship flows from an archetype but presidency does not.” “The worst king is better than the best president.”

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

it is interesting that even a traditional doctrine such as the 'velayateh faqih' is criticized by schuon, when he calls khomeini the 'prince of darkness'

Mahmutcehacic said...

Nasr is the sage of our age,but after 79,if he can study in İstanbul/Turkey,he can more effective in the born-islamic people,now he has a respect from muslims(generally in Turkey,Iran and little bit Morocco)but his effects are very limited ecolly perspective,capital of islamic world was always istanbul until 1924,and istanbul lived serious modernity(not all turkey) experience,for this reason Nasr can understand by Istanbullers bestly,Turkey's religious intelluctuals are generally villagers,there is no intellectual like Nasr in Turk-islamic thought,Nasr is civilized,elite,havass origined intellectual..Turkish religious intellectuals are not effective on Turkish havass/elite classes...

Anonymous said...

It is interesting indeed that Seyyed Hossein Nasr "agreed" with an Islamic-Sultanate State (in Iran; the Farsi is "Hakumat-e Sultanat-e Islami") rather than the present Theocratic State under the 'Wilayat-e Faqih' (Governerance of the Islamic Jurist).

However, it must be stated that Frithjof Schuon may have been "unaware" (for we would not like to say "ignorant") that Ayat Allah Khumayni himself was an 'arif/mutasawwuf (Gnostic/"Sufi" in the truest snese of the term- his works are proof in the putting) first and foremost, and that, Schuon was, as we may presume, "unfamiliar" (again, not "ignorant") with Khumayni's works and speeches, let alone background.

* * *

Where could one find more information (exact references would be appreciative) on Schuon's view of government/polity?

Also, as regards to the comment made by the anonymous blogger, where can one obtain the reference of Schuon criticizing the 'Wilayat-e Faqih' and calling Khumayni the "prince of darkness"?

Anonymous said...

" it is interesting that even a traditional doctrine such as the 'velayateh faqih' is criticized by schuon, when he calls khomeini the 'prince of darkness' "

Where can Schuon's view on 'velayateh faqih' and khomeini as the 'prince of darkness' be found?

Anton Shmakov said...

For mahmurcehacic:

As-salamu aleykum!

I am not mistakening you for a well-known Bosnian traditionalist thinker, am I?

David said...

"Autrefois, le prince des ténèbres combattait les religions surtout de l'extérieur, abstraction faite de la nature pécheresse des hommes; à notre époque, il ajoute à cette lutte un stratagème nouveau, du moins quant à l'accentuation, lequel consiste à s'emparer des religions de l'intérieur, et il y a largement réussi, dans le monde de l'Islam aussi bien que dans les mondes du Judaïsme et du Christianisme. Cela ne lui est même pas difficile, -- la ruse serait presque un luxe inutile, -- étant donné le prodigieux manque de discernement qui caractérise l'humanité de notre époque ; une humanité qui tend de plus en plus à remplacer l'intelligence par la psychologie et l'objectif par le subjectif, voire la vérité par "notre temps". [Christianisme et Islam, Visions d'Oecuménisme ésotérique, p. 78].

Frithjof Schuon calling Ayatollah Khomeini the prince of darkness.

Robert said...

David,

Where, in this passage, or in the whole chapter from which it is excerpted, does Schuon refer to Khomeini?

David said...

Though it is not explicitly stated that Schuon refers to Khomeini as this "prince of darkness" who seeks to destroy tradition from within, it is well known by most traditionalists that Schuon does infact consider Khomeini as such a prince.

David said...

Though it is not explicitly stated that Schuon refers to Khomeini as this "prince of darkness" who seeks to destroy tradition from within, it is well known by most traditionalists that Schuon does infact consider Khomeini as such a prince.

Robert said...

Thank you, David, for the clarification.

Btw, it is edifying to note Nasr's objectivity concerning Khomeini in his article "Theoretical Gnosis and Doctrinal Sufism and Their Significance Today" [Transcendent Philosophy 6:1-36, December 2005 - see particularly pp. 18-20 (online at iranianstudies.org)].

David said...

hello robert, Yes I really did find the entire article very interesting. Perhaps you would find it beneficial to join the forum on religioperennis.org?

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Salaams,

Over the holidays I happened to be in a Border's bookstore checking out their Islamic books and picked up S.H. Nasr's Sufi Essays.

As I was skimming it in the store I thought to myself, it would be ideal if somehow one could cross someone like Nasr with someone like Malcolm X? (Since I already have plenty of books of Malcolm's speeches I ended up picking up some Stokley Carmichael instead...)

And then I started to wonder if such a person would be an oxymoron.

The thing I like most about Perennialism is that it provides a framework which allows for a radical amount of tolerance across religious diversity. But somehow Perennialism/Traditionalism seems to be associated to elitist and Fascist tendancies. Is that an accident? Are there thinkers out there who are serious thoughtful Perennialists but who are also progressive and democratic?

Mark Sedgwick said...

See my reply to Abdul-Halim V., "Traditionalism and Fascism."

Anonymous said...

Velayat-e faqih is not a traditional doctrine. It is an innovation in Shii political thought. All major Shii authorities at the time were against Khomeini in this respect.

Sayyid Ḥasan Raḍawī said...

The concept of the “Wilāyat al-Faqīḥ” (ولاية الفقيه) is not new in the Traditional Doctrine of Islām. Rather, it is based on the tradition (ḥadīth) of the Prophet (ﺹ) that the doctors of the (Revealed) Law—the ‛Ulamā—are the “successors” of the Tradition. There are also likened to the prophets of the Banī Isrā'īl. The doctors of the (Revealed) Law are the custodians and guardians of the Tradition; they are the safe-keepers of the exoteric. For, without the exoteric how shall one pass to the esoteric? The ‛Ulamā—and let it be said in any respected orthodox Tradition—make sure the “shell” is intact so the “kernel” can be “tasted”, so to speak. For those who do not understand the matter of the “Guardianship of the Jurist”, they shall refer to the speeches based on the concept by Īmām Sayyid Rūḥu'l-Lāh Mūsawī al-Khumaynī himself:

http://www.al-islam.org/islamicgovernment/

One may also read:

http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/default.asp?url=fusion.htm