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Friday Sermon: The Birth of Imam Al-Mahdi (aj.): A New Dawn of Islam

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

His Eminence, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Shaaban, 16th 1430 H. - August, 7th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

The downtrodden are the heirs of Earth

Allah says in His Glorious Book: "And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs, And to grant them power in the land, and to make Firon and Haman and their hosts see from them what they feared."(28:05-06), and "And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it."(21:105), and "Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me; and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the. transgressors." (24:55).

These Ayahs suggest to us that there will come a time in the future when Allah will empower the weak and the downtrodden and weaken the arrogant. Thus, Allah will enable His good servants to inherit the earth and rule it, upholding the religion which Allah wanted all people to obey its orders in what it had deemed permissible and what it had prohibited. This stage in time is the stage the Prophet (p.) was referring to when he talked about the end of the world and about the Islamic leadership that will originate from the descendents of Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) to fill the world with justice having been filled with wronging and injustice. He has talked about this in the narration which says: "The world will not end, until it will be ruled by a descendent of Al-Hussein who will fill it with justice as it was filled with wronging and injustice". Allah wants this world, which the arrogant and the unbelievers have filled with injustice, to witness a day when there would be no more injustice. Justice would, then, be the norm which every human being will live, whether with himself by not wronging himself, with his God by observing God's rights, or with others by not wronging any other human being. Justice should also be the norm when it comes to any ruling which should observe justice as its sole guide.

Allah, the Most Exalted, did not wish the world to end before a just Islamic leadership would establish Islam on earth, so that all human beings would submit (become Muslims, since one of the meanings of the word "Islam" in Arabic is submission) to Allah following the guidance of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.): "When his Lord said to him, Be a Muslim, he said: I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds." (02:131). And we know that submission to Allah is to seek His satisfaction in all aspects of life. It is He Who sent all the Messages and Holy books, and it is He Who established the balance so that all people would be just. And this is what we are waiting for with all our hearts and minds and which would be represented by Imam Al-Mahdi (a.s.).

Association between the Progeny and the Quran

The Messenger (p.) has emphasized the fact that the Holy Book is associated with his progeny throughout time. He says: "I am leaving among you what if you hold on to, you will never be led astray: The Book of Allah and my progeny who will not part until they come to me in Heaven."As long as the Book of Allah is being recited, there will be one of the descendents of the Prophet of Islam who will strive to make the people follow God's Message and the teachings of His Prophet (p.).

Thus, we are living in a state of waiting. But, what is our responsibility as we look forward to this just leadership? When we study the mission of the Imams before Al-Mahdi, we notice that it was to fill the world with Islam through their talks, teachings, and lessons regarding both the principles and the details, so that the people would not be in need of any new Islamic ruling or a clarification of any Islamic concept. Then, when Imam Al-Mahdi came, he told those who asked him about anything: "Go back to the narrators of our traditions." They are entrusted with our heritage to convey it to the people. Thus, our heritage has explained everything concerning Islam, whether regarding the interpretation of the Quran or the Sunnah of the Messenger, so much so that the people did not experience any confusion regarding any juristic ruling or an Islamic issue.

Our responsibility during the major occultation

Thus, the major occultation commenced for reasons pertaining to the wisdom of Allah. However, there remained the guidelines that the other Imams (a.s.) had left in this stage of the occultation. Every Muslim, whether male or female, and especially the scholars that are the heirs of the prophets and the trustees of the messengers, if they do not get indulged in this world, should abide by the heritage of the Holy Book, the Sunnah, and the traditions of the Members of the House (a.s.) and spread them amongst people. The Prophet, (p.) who warned and threatened the scholars residing at their homes doing nothing for the sake of the Call, is reported to have said: “If innovation appears, then the scholar should reveal his knowledge; however, if he does not, Allah will lay His curse upon him.”

Therefore, we ought to participate, each according to his culture, potentials, and circumstances, in extending Islam, as a culture and movement, in the entire world. Actually, Allah holds anyone who knows a religious ruling or an Islamic concept responsible of explaining and teaching it to the people. Therefore, the matter does not only lie in the fact that we look forward for his (aj.) appearance, but also in doing what he wants us to do by launching the Message, in order to create in every location of this worldly life, whether in the East or the West, an Islamic base and an Islamic society.

Our responsibility is not to wait for him until he starts spreading Islam, but rather it is that we should carry the banner of Islam during his occultation and spread it all around the world, so that he will notice that there is an Islamic movement that opens up to all the reality in life. It is also our responsibility to realize that the world we live in contains both justice and injustice, and that there are nations living under oppression. Therefore, we have to work on spreading justice amongst people, for that is what Allah commands us to do. Moreover, Allah wants us to be just among people to achieve the major goal; the goal of Imam Al-Mahdi (aj.), so that justice would prevail in all places and positions. Therefore, we ought to take a stand with every just cause, as well as with every people calling for justice and demanding their rights, be they Muslims or non-Muslims, for Allah refuses injustice against all people, even if they were atheists. In some narrations, it was reported that Allah “enjoined one of His prophets living in a country under the rule of a tyrant: “To go to this tyrant and tell him that I did not make use of you to shed the blood (of the people) and gather wealth. I made use of you to soothe the cries of the wronged, because you should not neglect their plight even if they were disbelievers”, therefore, it is impermissible for us to take a stand with those who oppress people and deny them their rights in all life’s aspects.

In the world, there is another group whom Allah calls the downtrodden; i.e. the people that the arrogant powers control and confiscate their wealth. Our mission is to solve the problems of these downtrodden people, by supporting them and taking a stand with them, so that the 25th of Shaaban would become the day for supporting them, as Allah says: “And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs.” Thus, we ought to support the downtrodden and unify their struggles, so that they would become a powerful force that faces and defeats the arrogant.

During the major occultation, Allah has held us responsible of several tasks, including working on spreading justice and Islam throughout the world, as well as on failing the projects of the arrogant, so that if the era of the Imam’s appearance comes, we would join him and tell him: O our master, o our Imam, o Allah's argument to his people; we have assumed our responsibility.” We ought to declare our loyalty to him, for by doing so, we would be declaring our loyalty to the Message, justice, and the cause.

Beware the hypocrites

Moreover, we ought to warn against all those trying to deceive the people and pretending to be the Imam’s representatives on earth claiming that they are meeting him… we say that those are liars and deceptive people who try to exploit the love that people hold for the Imam. Therefore, we ought to fight and fail them and try to reveal their lies and deceptive claims. The Imam did not meet anyone after the end of the phase of representatives; therefore, anyone who claims that he had met him is an absolute liar.

We await him by fulfilling our duties and working to spread the Message and justice, which set the basis for establishing justice amongst people in this position or the other. Therefore, we ought to take a stand even with those who have different points of view or belong to a different sect provided that they have a just cause, for Allah desires that justice should prevail among all people.

“O Allah, make us among those who would have the honor to see his honorable face! Let us become among his supporters and those who will be martyred for his cause! O Allah, send blessings on the Custodian of Thy commandments, the vigilant Guardian, the reliable Patron, the awaited Justice, surrounded by Thy favorite angels, assisted by the Holy Spirit.”

The Second Sermon

Palestine: the tragedy worsens

In Palestine, the episodes of kicking Palestinian families out and throwing them out to the streets continue. The Jews are gradually confiscating what is left of the houses in Jerusalem in an effort to reach the pure Jewish state that was promised by Bush and is currently being covered up by the new American President by pushing the Arabs to normalize their ties with the enemy even as the number of the Palestinian refugees increases, and the Muslim and Arabic features of Jerusalem, the supposed capital of the Palestinian state, are being effaced.

What is happening nowadays in occupied Palestine, and specifically in Jerusalem, is not merely a process of expelling the Palestinians from their houses. It is rather putting an end to the entire Palestinian cause, a political and actual appropriation of an entire nation and a humiliating disdain of all what holds an Arab or Muslim identity, to the extent that the Arab officials, whom the American envoy stated that they told him something different from what they said in their public statements, did not find any interests in taking a strong stand, the least of which can be not receiving an American envoy, not to mention suspending their initiative or calling for an urgent meeting to study the developments in Palestine.

We say to the Arab and Muslim peoples, who have perhaps yielded to the pressures of the regimes, that the least they can do is to take to the streets in a protest against the liquidation of the Palestinian cause that is taking place today amidst a very suspicious Arab silence.

The game of nations has aimed at consecrating sectarian divisions between the Sunnis and the Shiites, trying to foment sedition and fragment the Muslims whose destiny is to unite not in their slogans, but rather in their plans of action. They have to rearrange their priorities in a way that conforms to what Allah and His Messenger want from us as to refuse injustice, occupation, and usurpation of the Muslim lands in Palestine and elsewhere.

The Messenger has warned us from the depth of history when he said: "The nations are about to summon one another against you as a host calls his guests towards a feast." He was asked: "Will that be due to our little number on that day?" He answered: "No, that day you will be many in number, but you will be like the foam that is upon the ocean. Allah will remove the fear from the disbelievers' hearts and will place "wahn" in your hearts…" This day has come, as we have differed over our right, although we have the Book of Allah, a rope that extends from heaven to earth, at a time when the nations have united over their falsehood to confront our crucial and fundamental causes.

Palestine: An Islamic-Arab cause

On this occasion, we say to all the Palestinian factions whose presence, at all times, was justified by the fact they are freedom fighters who seek to liberate their country… we say to them: the Palestinian cause is not only your concern; neither it is the concern of only one of your factions, and thus, no one has the right to concede any part of it to the usurping occupier. Moreover, the Palestinian cause is the concern of all Arabs and Muslims, for it is connected to the past, the present and the future, as much as it is connected to the land and the sacred places… We call on the Palestinian people who proved that they are the miraculous people that confronted and failed all the attempts aiming at eliminating them… we call on them to pressurize their leaders to abandon the marginal disputes and unite against the occupation, for that is the only way to triumph over all its schemes.

The humiliating American terms

On another level, the American pressures on the Arab officials continue to urge them to accept the Israeli terms for the settlement, claiming that the Arabs should take additional concession steps. The Americans are also pressuring certain Arab states to deploy American missiles and establish central communication bases, to create a defensive umbrella in the face of the nuclear Iran – as came in some of the media sources. As such, the aim behind frightening these countries from Iran becomes clear, not only at the level of concluding arm deals, but also to establish more military bases in new Arab countries, resulting in a practical occupation and a broader economic and military one.

We warn from the scheme being executed by the American Administration that finds its interests in those of the Israelis and seeking to deploy its forces in several locations in the nation, in order to expand the circle of its military, security, and political expansion after its crashing failure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, we call on the vibrant forces in the nation to refuse this masked occupation, as they have refused the direct occupation.

Lebanon: The catastrophic effect of indulging in the political game

On the Lebanese scene, people have become drugged by the political rhetoric and in the disputes on the quota system that begins with the government formation and does not end with the small jobs. Moreover, the citizens are getting so much involved in the political game that they are forgetting all about their living concerns and economic crises that are worsening due to the power rationing and the widespread of cheating and deception in the basic commodities, because of the lack of actual supervision and control, since everyone is ignoring the people's sufferings and the challenges of the future.

The Lebanese have become addicted to this miraculous type of politics, to the extent that they feel estranged at every political and constitutional crossroad if certain officials acted responsibly when it comes to the people's fate, in its past and future. Moreover, the Lebanese have become addicted to the idea that they cannot run the country without external dictations, be they regional or international, that we have become a people that do not know what we really want, at a time when we raise slogans and demands that does not have any real content. The result is: we have become a country that lures others to colonize it at the political, economic, and security levels.       

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