This is Shaykh Mahmoud al-Dalati who, like many other scholars throughout the country, has joined the armed resistance against the Assad regime. Shaykh Mahmoud is an honoured member of the Dalati family of Homs, one of the city’s well known and well respected families which has produced several scholars and other accomplished individuals. This is a picture of the Dalati Mosque from 1930:
Shaykh Mahmoud was part of the city’s traditional scholarly community which, much like in the rest of Syria, has always been characterized by spirituality, wisdom, and tolerance, its heritage free of extremism and sectarianism. Here is Shaykh Mahmoud with Shaykh Wasfi al-Homsi, who passed away in 2010:
This is Shaykh Mahmoud with Shaykh Adnan al-Saqqa:
And here he is with Shaykh Usama al-Rifa`i:
Shaykh Mahmoud did not operate on the margins of society, but was cooperative instead, much like the rest of the scholarly community, seeking to benefit the people and to promote in the best of ways a better religious understanding and practice. What could have possibly brought someone like him to carry a weapon and join the fight? The answer to that is the story of the Syrian revolution, it is why soldiers, officers, teachers, students, farmers, workers, merchants, doctors, artists, athletes and others from all parts of society have done so. All of them sought to protect their people against genocide and destruction that the Assad tyranny unleashed upon the country.
Like many, he was forced to leave the country after that. The following are his words [from Lebanon] directed to the exiled people of Homs who gathered in Cairo in October:
And here he is with some of the wounded from Homs on the Turkish-Syrian border, as one person who lost his leg sings a song:
He then returned to Syria, this is from Idlib:
And this is his most recent message:
Something amongst many other things to be pointed out in this video is that he speaks of a Syria free from the sectarianism of the sectarianists.
One of his most recent articles is called “The Muslim’s Ethics in Differing with Opponents”
أخلاق المسلم في الخلاف مع الخصوم
He begins by stating that “Whoever lost [his] ethics has lost the war, even if he has won the battle.” He mentions God’s command to discuss with the people of the Book (Christians and Jews) only in the best of ways, and to do so with fellow Muslims as well, and explains the importance of justice, equity, patience, kindness and politeness in dealing with others who do no share the same opinions, especially concerning mistakes people make in the revolution. As an example he mentions an important issue that I haven’t seen mentioned before, and that is the unfortunate case of Abdul Razzaq Tlass, although not mentioning him by name, who was the leader of the Farouq Brigade in Homs and an immensely important early defector and Commander in Baba `Amr. Yet after an alleged scandal in his personal life was cast aside.
أخلاق المسلم في الخلاف مع الخصوم
Finally, this is a more recent picture of the Dalati mosque in Homs and the street named after it, from a couple of years ago.
And this is what the Assad regime did to it, beginning in March 2012 all the way up to October from when this footage was taken:
The Dalati family’s website:
Shaykh Mahmoud al-Dalati’s website: