Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) was asked:
“How can killing and oppression take place in lands where there are numerous pious people? Do the pious not protect such areas from these tribulations?”
He replied: “Does not the existence of these pious people not make it incumbent on the habitants of those lands to realise their sanctity and follow their example? How can we live in lands where these people exist and then forget them and be heedless of them and go against their teachings and methodology? Some of us even insult them. We have neglected the Sacred Law; we have neglected their legacy; we do not read their biographies or attempt to emulate them; we do not love them or have veneration for them.
What has happened recently is a result of these things that have happened previously. We have replaced the stories of the pious with the stories of the heedless and those that call us to evil. We have left the pious and their places and headed for the places of heedlessness and disobedience. Then we ask: “How can these things happen in our lands?”
We have to ask: “How did what came before happen?” The punishment we are now receiving is nothing compared to what we deserve. Had it not been for Allah’s kindness things would be much worse.
So let us return to the way of the pious and look at how they constantly returned to Allah. Let us pledge our love for them and allegiance to them for the sake of Allah. By them Allah will then remove these tribulations and calamities.”
-Shaykh Amin Buxton.