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Intellectual Stagnation Hinders Allah's Messages

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, 21st of November 2008, 23rd of Zul Kaada 1429 H.. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon 

Intellectual stagnation

Allah says in His Glorious Book: Just in the same way, whenever We sent a Warner before thee to any people, the wealthy ones among then said: "We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we will certainly follow in their footsteps."

When it is said to them: "Come to that Allah hath revealed; come to the Messenger": They say: "Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following." What! Even though fathers were void of knowledge and guidance?

Allah, the Most Exalted, talks in these two Ayahs about the approach of intellectual falsehood and stagnation that was followed by the nations which Allah sent prophets to.

The prophets used to convey Allah's Messages to their nations and ask them to know their secrets and accept their truths.

But they had closed minds that refused to think about the principles and doctrines that they were asked to adopt, since they considered themselves a cultural extension to their fathers, just as they were a biological one. They also used to associate between the emotional aspect of their relations to their fathers and the doctrinal one as they thought that their denial to what their fathers believed in represented an abuse to their fathers' history as well as their relation with them, even though the new thought was a revelation sent by Allah. This was the problem of these nations; a problem of intellectual stagnation and of not being independent in the domain of cultural struggle to determine what they should believe in.

That is why the Messengers used to say to them: Come to what Allah has revealed, and provide them with proof that what they were asked to believe in was the truth. But they shut their minds and ears, and refused to open up on what the others said, even it was a Heavenly Message; to the extent that they have undermined their humanity by this intellectual and psychological stagnation.

Thus, they did not discuss with the messengers what they had conveyed or decreed. They only had one answer: "Enough for us the way, we found our fathers following." And the Messengers would answer: What even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance.

What is the intellectual level of their fathers, what knowledge and experience do they have? What is the basis of their worshipping of idols that neither benefit nor harm them?

 It is because man should follow those who adopt the line of guidance and rely on science. As for the ignorant who does not know the meaning of what he is following, or those who are misguided, how can a man who respects his mind follow him?

The Prophets' Cultural Struggle

This was the problem of the prophets with their nations. They wanted their people to think about and discuss what they had brought them, and compare between the thought they inherited from their fathers and the thought the prophets brought to them. The Prophets wanted the people to respect their minds and use it to distinguish between right and wrong and good and evil. But the peoples used to consider falsehood as truth, evil as good and wrong as right.

This was the result of their ignorance and the fact that they did not have a balance to weigh the issues of doctrine and ideology.

Following without proof:

Talking to the people, the Messenger (p.) said: Do not be an Uma'a (one who follows the people without having a personal opinion). Do not say that if people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determine that if people do good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress, you will not oppress like them.

The Messenger is talking about a group of people whom we see in our societies; who are not independent in their thought and do not have the freedom of opinion. Instead they follow their families or peoples. If those people do good they will do good too, and if they oppress they will oppress like them. And this is what we see when sectarian and partisan fanaticism prevails: If some of their party members wrong someone the others will stand with him against the wronged, just because the oppressors belong to their parties.

Imam As-Sadiq says to one of his companions: Do not be Uma'a who says I am with the people – when they ask whom do you support and whom are you against, you would say: I am with my party or family, although they may certainly be wronged – I am like anyone else. Linguists explain the meaning of Uma'a as the follower who has no personal opinion. It is also said that he is the one who tells everybody:

"I am with you".

Imam As-Sadiq also says: Do not endorse a man without proof –believing in all what he says – and call the people to his sayings" This tradition deals with the issue of supporting someone to be a leader of a president whether in a political or a religious position, without any argument .

Therefore, never do such a thing and support someone whom you cannot defend before Allah.

Imam Musa al-Kazim says:

Convey what is good and say what is good and do not be an Umma, which is to say I am with the people and I am like any of them. He added: the Messenger said that there are two spheres: that of good and that of evil. Don't make the realm of evil be more to your likening than that of the good.

In the context of explaining the meaning of the following Ayah: They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, The Messenger says: they did not worship them but rather when they told them that something is halal they treated it as such and when they told them it is haram they also considered it Haram.

 Commenting on the same Ayah, Imam As-Sadiq says: They have not called on them to worship themselves, and they would not have responded if they did, but they made what is halal haram and prohibited what is halal, thus worshipping them without knowing".

This is because worshipping is total surrender and subjection to the others. This also applies on those who follow tribes and parties.

The mind

Allah also says:

And everyone of them will come to Him singly on the Day of Judgment.

And every soul sill be (held) in pledge for its deeds.

Thus, each of us will be held accountable individually. Therefore, Allah wants us to develop our minds and follow them, since they are the argument that justifies our accountability.

A divine narration mentions that when Allah created the mind He told him, come and he came; then He told him go and he went. Then the Almighty said: by my glory and magnificence, I have not created a creation better than you. It is you whom I order and I forbade; I reward and I punish."

Therefore do not sell your minds to anybody, and do not let them be under the influence of anybody.

Develop it by thoughts, reading consultation and everything that makes it strong and able to differentiate between right and falsehood.

Allah wants our nation to be a rational, unified and independent one. Those who follow  the leaders who are not armed with the mind and faith, are like a herd of sheep taken to the slaughtering house; since ignorant and irrational  leadership leads its  followers to punishment and hellfire.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

The barbaric siege of Gaza violates the most lenient laws of Human Rights

On the Zionist scene, the enemy is sure or the Arabs' silence and complicity, allowing him to continue his raids on Gaza, killing more civilians and accusing the Intifada factions of violating the state of pacification, although he is the one that has been killing, assassinating, and detaining the Palestinians for the past two weeks, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank. 

 In the meantime, the barbarian seize of Gaza, continues in a form of collective punishment that the most lenient laws do not accept. But the suffering and pains of over one and half million Palestinians are worth nothing in international politics calculations, or in the decisions of the EU and Western states that do not raise the issue of human rights except when a handmade Intifada rockets fall near the Zionist settlement of Sidrot, which has become a wailing wall that is visited by every western official who comes to the usurping entity.

As for the Arabs, they continue their usual expected silence, with their biggest state taking part in the siege of the Palestinians... It also rejects the Egyptian court ruling to stop providing Israel with gas. As for the Arab League, it is in a state of deep sleep, while everybody is preoccupied with other trivial matters.

They listened to Perez who refused to accept the Arab Initiative. Instead he gave the Arabs some more meaningless and hypocritical words, and left them confused in a negotiation drama that extends from one generation to another.

The Palestinian front remains controlled by several American – Israeli Arab plans that seek to force the Palestinian people to recognize Israel as a legitimate state without any conditions, just as some of the Arabs states have done whether directly or indirectly. Meanwhile, the world has not been introduced to the borders of this state which refuses to withdraw to the 1967 borders. On the contrary, it wishes to annex the settlements of the West Bank, and all of Jerusalem, in execution of their historical plan that consider all of Palestine as the land of the Jews.

The Arabs believe that their problem is with Iran and not Israel

Israel, as a state that has been imposed in the region to separate between the Arab states, is no longer a problem to the Arabs. It has become as a result of the American – European and Arab strategies, a fait accompli that cannot be denied, the fact that it has not defined its borders notwithstanding.

The problem that occupies the Arab and Western mind now is Iran that has turned in the intimidating media into a threat to the Arabs, especially the Gulf States. They point out, in this respect, to its nuclear project, although Iran has emphasized that its project is a peaceful one that does not seek to make the bomb.

But they do not accept that, because America does not let them verify the Iranian claim. On the other hand, the Israeli huge nuclear arsenal does not represent any problem to them, since, according to the west, Israel is a threatened country in the region, although everyone knows that it is Israel that constitutes a danger since it has always resorted to continuous aggressions as well as barbarianism and occupation to the territories of several Arab states.

Iraq: The security agreement aims at keeping the occupation and continuing the chaos

 

On another lever, the American and Iraqi officials are getting ready to sign the security agreement which was presented as preparing the ground for an American withdrawal, after three years, which means giving the occupation a legitimacy for three years. And we have noticed how the American Administration planned for occupying Iraq and using it as a bridge to get to the heartland of the Arab and Muslim region, and usurp its wealth and extort the industrial states that need oil and energy, such as China, Japan and Europe. But America which benefited from Iraq's tyrant until his task ended, has failed in its occupation of Iraq, as a result of the Iraqi resistance, and the refusal of the Iraqi people to the occupation and their insistence to drive it out without accomplishing its goals.

We know quite well that the Iraqi authorities have been asked to choose between two bitter options, either anarchy or occupation, but we say to the Iraqis:

You should not accept three more years of occupation, because it will be three more years of anarchy. Independence will be a prey of the separatist forces, as well as those who do not differentiate between their people and occupation. This will also enable the occupation to exploit the complicated internal situation that it has expressed its intention to benefit from, when it declared, as the American Chief of staff said, that the withdrawal from Iraq is associated with a number of  factors,  including the situation on the ground.

We call on the Iraqis to unify their ranks in insisting on the occupation's unconditional withdrawal, and to solidify their internal unity and prevent any political or security penetration of their ranks, which the occupation will be seeking any opportunity to do, since it enables him to remain in Iraq and threaten its security and that of the whole region.

Lebanon: A court for local and foreign players

Lebanon has been visited lately by a number of European officials that some of them do not feel ashamed to describe the Resistance as terrorists. Then they go to the Zionist terrorist entity and condemn the fall of handmade Palestinians rockets, while they do not say anything about the barbaric Israeli aggressions that are evident in the siege of Gaza, starving its people and killing its youth and elderly.

We want the Lebanese to view their issues and their country and nation from the viewpoint of their internal and national interests, and not through the approach of these visitors who only care about Israeli security and interests, in addition to their own.

We look forward for a Lebanon whose officials do not take into account the sectarian, partisan, and personal interests and do not seek to attain new privileges having consumed the old ones. But the reality shows that they are overwhelmed with the calculations of the coming elections, making the homeland a football they shoot to score goals. Meanwhile, the country remains a court for local and foreign players, while the poor, the deprived and the hungry, are waiting for the political money (money paid to attain political goals), such as voting) that can make them pay for some food and school fees. The debates and rows that are called national dialogue continue to create problems here and there, and the security continues to be an obsession, due to the terrorist attacks and the increase of   criminals' and thieves' activities.

The discussions about the defense strategy are reaching the enemy, while everyone knows that it should be confined to closed rooms, with nobody, but those who shoulder the responsibility of protecting the country knowing of… Yet all Lebanon's secrets and conditions remain an open secret which all intelligence agencies make use of to undermine the country and the people. 

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