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Imam Ali's Sermons Transcend Time and Place

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, 11th of April 2008, 5 Rabi'II 1429 H, several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

The Eternality of the Imam's knowledge

When we read the advice the Commander of the faithful has given to the people regarding their problems and status, concentrating on the negative circumstances and their deviations, we notice that he was not only dealing with the problems of this generation but that of all times…

When we read his sayings, letters or sermons, we feel that the Imam is actually living with us and showing us our own problems. This is the greatness of Ali (a.s.); it is the fact that he held the truth of all times since it was based on the eternality of the truth of Islam.

Islam was not sent for a special generation, it is the religion of humanity in all times and places; it solves the problems of man and life in a universal manner.

Furthermore, Ali's (a.s.) sole teacher was the Messenger of Allah, He was his guardian, mentor, guide and teacher, since his early childhood. He used to follow him (p.) like a babe-camel following its mother. He used to accompany him (p.) day and night in his travels and his staying in the city. He was the first to listen to the revealed Quran after the Prophet (p.) who used to tell him about its deep meaning. That is why Ali (a.s.) said: The Messenger has taught me one thousand branches of knowledge of each one thousand doors will be opened for me".

He used to think about what he had learned and deduce from it a lot of what man needs in life. The Messenger (p.) taught him the basics and the principles and he used to deduce the applications. That is why the Messenger (p.) described him as the gate of knowledge that the Messenger himself is its city. It is as if he was telling us that who wants to learn the knowledge of the Messenger he has to do it through Ali (a.s.) who taught it to his sons. This is what Imam As-Sadiq confirmed when he said: My Hadith is that of My fatehr whose Hadith is that of his father which is the Hadith of his father. The Hadith of Ali (a.s.) is that of the Messenger and the Hadith of the Messenger is that of Allah

That is why our commitment to the Imams of Ahl el-Beit is based on our commitment to the Messenger, which means that it is an adherence to what Allah has ordered us, since Allah wanted the Messenger to be a messenger for all people and a mercy to the worlds.

Ali's (a.s.) Guiding Advice

On this occasion, we would like to quote some of what The Imam (a.s.) told us

O’ creatures of Allah! You are in a period when steps of virtue are movingbackwards,-If you study the state of the society, you will find that good is retreating- steps of evil are moving forward- people deal; with each other with hatred and malice, although they are Muslims- and Satan is increasing hiseagerness to ruin people. -He has gained popularity and people started worshipping him instead of Allah, although he denied any responsibility in this and said I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me . Why did not you use your minds and follow the books and the messengers that Allah sent you? What kind of a world are we living in that is dominated by the American and the European demons, in addition to the Arab demons that confiscate the lives and freedoms of people?

This is the time that his equipment is strong, his traps have been spread and his prey has become easy (to catch).

Then the Imam asks the people to study the realities around them whether in their country or the entire world : Cast your glance over people wherever you like, you will see either a poor man suffering from poverty, or a rich man ignoring Allah, despite His bounty over him, – since to thank Allah for his grace is to give the poor and the needy some of the money Allah has entrusted you with And in their wealth and possessions (was remembered) the right of the (needy)- oran unrulyperson closing his ears to all counsel.... “Verily we are Allah's and verily unto Him shall we return.” (Qur'an, 2:156)

Mischief has appeared-in the world especially the Muslim world- and there is no one to oppose and change it, nor anyone to dissuade from it or desist from it. – all people want to be near Allah but without holding the responsibility of enjoining the good. Do you, with these qualities, hope to secure abode in the purified neighborhood of Allah and to be regarded His staunch lovers? Alas! Allah cannot be deceived about His paradise and His will cannot be secured save by His obedience. Since there are no special relationship with Allah. The Messenger himself said that: And I am commanded that I shall be the first of those who submit. Say: "I would, if I disobeyed my Lord, indeed have fear of the Penalty of a Mighty Day. He also said in his last speech that “if I disobey I would fall." The Imam then says to those who preach people but do not follow what they preach: Allah may curse those who advise good but they themselves avoid it, and those who desist others from evil but they themselves act upon it.

When we study this section of Ali's (a.s.) sermon, we feel as if he is among us talking about our problems, since we are living today the same problems, and the same situation. That is why we have to listen to this historical advice that opens up on the Islamic current reality so as to be among those who adhere to the line of Allah, The Most Exalted, His Messenger and the Imams of Ahl-el-Beit as we were commanded by Allah's saying: Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.

The Second Sermon 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Israel Messages of Threat

In Occupied Palestine, there is a show of force, represented by these manoeuvres that have been described as the biggest in the history of Israel. These manoeuvres were imposed by the psychological crisis Israel is living, as a result of the clashing defeat the Islamic Resistance has dealt it in the summer of 2006. Israel has tired to send reassurances to several parties, while continuing its threats to Iran, Syria and the Resistance in Lebanon.

We believe that Israel is trying to send a message to the world as well as the Zionist state itself that it is still the strongest country in the region and that its army is still invincible, despite the moral and physical losses it encountered in its war against Lebanon. It is also a psychological warfareagainst the Arab world to prevent it from mobilizing all its potentials in the struggle against the enemy and strengthening the opposition against the occupation whether American or Israeli, especially with the official oppression of some American ruled regimes, that have friendly relations with the Zionist enemy, and that were called moderate by the American Administration, as they were faced by the arrogant offensive and these grave American and European challenges.

Our Muslim and Arab worlds have to rise to the level of facing these challenges. They should not be intimidated by any military or psychological threats posed by America and Israel to destroy their morale. They have many points of strength. Moreover, the July war has proved that the Mujahideen are capable of defeating the so-called invincible army.

Palestine: Fighting besiege and settlement

In the light of this, we have to develop all the nation's resources to confront these challenges. We have to keep away of the spirit of weakness that suggests defeat. The critical stage we are passing in demands that all faithful elements in our nation should adhere to the causes of freedom, and building the future, on the basis of strength and consistence.

Moreover, we believe that the latest operation in Gaza, that surprised and bewildered the enemy, has come as a practical retaliation to the brutal besiege of Gaza. It hit the enemy in the heart of its arrogance, and proved how weak it is in its threats and maneuvers.

On another level, the meetings between the PA president and the enemy’s prime minister is only a waste of time, and an Israeli attempt to win the international public opinion, claimingthat it seeks peace at a time it does not realize any of the Palestinian rightful demands. Their officials have declared that Israel will continue to build settlements in the Jerusalem area and in the areas of its major settlements, which means that these areas will be a part of any future agreement with the Palestinian without having to realize any of the commitments Israel made in Annapolis, like ending the closure of crossings, especially inthe West Bank that suffers from a tight Israeli closure, in addition to the building of settlements that hinder any possibility of establishing a viable Palestinians state.

The American Administration, meanwhile, deals with all this, with consuming statements that do not exert any pressure on Israel, its favorite ally, since it coordinates with the Israeli government and supports its policy of confiscating Palestinian lands, while talking deceitfully about peace fooling some Arabs and Palestinians by saying that it will take place before the end of the year, and depending on the fall of Arab summit resolutions under the feet of the enemy.

Drowning in the Iraqi Quagmire

In Iraq, which enters its sixth year under occupation, the American killing machine continues to target innocent civilians, and spread chaos to ensure that the service and welfare blockade that promotes its policies is maintained. Moreover, America is planning to create a state of political and sectarian division, which emphasizes that the occupation was not able to solve the problem of Iraq. It only solved one problem to be replaced by one that is equally dangerous and complicated. In the meantime, the occupation continues to drown deeper in the Iraqi quagmire with more than 4 thousand soldiers killed and tens of thousands wounded.

The American occupation and its aids did not so far understand that the Arab and Muslim peoples oppose its policies and seek to confront the everywhere. This is what we have seen in Afghanistan, where they could not apply their strategy despite the presence of NATO troops. Thus we see that Instead of providing stability to this country, the chaos has extended to Pakistan.

Hindering solutions in Lebanon

In Lebanon that is about to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic war on the 13th of April, theinternal political crisis is still aggravating without any development that might lead to a solution despite all this talk of the loyalists and the opposition about being committed to the Arab initiative. Moreover, the Arabs themselves have differed in interpreting this initiative making them two internal Lebanese parties. If we add to this the loss of confidence between the Lebanese politicians, we can say that Lebanon is no longer one country, but rather two Lebanons, as a result of the internal partisan and sectarian complications as well as the international interference.

Furthermore, some of the major powers as evident from the statements of their officials, have no problem freezing the presidential issue, so as to ensure that the current government that accommodates their policies will remain in power.

As for the Arab solidarity, it is lost in the midst of conflicting Arab positions regarding the various crises, especially the Lebanese one. Thus, we notice that those who talk about Syrian- Lebanese relations do so in a way that further complicates the issue, by talking about the relations in the media in a hostile manner that would encourage freezing and not moving forward.

Thus the Arab relations will remain in a state of negative polarization that governs the bilateral or trilateral relations, making the prospect for an Arab foreign minister meeting one that means nothing and could change nothing in the Syrian-Lebanese relations, since the language that is used is one of incriminatory accusations, and not one of friendship and openness. Therefore, the efforts that are made are likely to end in the Arab freezer in which most Arab issues are stored.

The Lebanese people, meanwhile, continue to face the soar in prices that is eating all their savings, and the general dept that has reached 45 billion Dollars and might even reach 50 billions as a result of the loss of balance in the official economic policies. In addition, some of the Arab countries have told their citizens not to spend the summer in Lebanon, due to the unstable security situation, although there is no security problem in Lebanon, but it is a way of exerting pressure on the Lebanese.

We need to voice our objection to pressurize those who are creating the problem of this poor and hungry country that is being more deprived as a result of making it enter in the mazes of sectarian and even personal differences, by those who want the Lebanese to worship them instead of God… where is this country going?

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