Stands >2006 Stands >The Stand of  17 Jamada I 1427H /June 13, 2006 A.D.


Harmony between rhetoric and practice

Sayyed Fadlullah: We call for a new Lebanon in which the new generations choose their own leaders from among them on the basis of honesty, qualification and faithfulness

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: What is Islamic view regarding one's commitment to what he says?

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said

There is a strange paradox that throughout manís history, that of the contradiction and inconsistency between what he says and what he does. Man, by his very nature, praises the values of good, justice and fairness, but when it comes to real life he would act differently. Imam Ali says that the right is very broad to describe, but very narrow when it is applied.

Such a preachy extends to all fields of life, whatever economic-social political or other vise.

The Holy Quran has deplored this duality of mind and practice and maintained that it is part of belief to have your practice in harmony with what you say: O you who believe! why do you say that which you do not do? It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that which you do not do

If such a harmony is supposed to be a trait that everyone possesses, it is all the more so with respect to leaders and responsible officials who should act as a role model to others: When a parent commits a mistake of contradiction between his sayings and actions, he will not only have committed a personal mistake but he would have also taught his children to emulate him and commit the same mistake.

Preachers and religious scholars too will only be effective if their talk does not contradict with their behavior. Imam Ali says: Who make himself an Imam should start by teaching himself before teaching others. His morals should be reflected by his actions before his speechÖ

The same thing is true with respect to politicians, whose responsibility is greater, since it involves not only themselves, but also the nation which will be affected by their betrayal of the confidence it had put in them.

Unfortunately, what characterizes politics in our Muslim and Arab world is that it is not based on principles, but rather on personal moods and interests. That is why we find the leader or the official say something and its opposite, and do something and its opposite, and we find that the nation will praise him in both cases which are indicative of how low the nationís awareness and sense of criticism has become.

We should always compare between the promises which officials make and how much they are committed to them, so that we will hold them accountable on election day. But the problem is that the leaders in our society rely on the weak memory of the masses on the one hand and the need of the people for the politicians to employ them in the public sector on the other hand, for our political system has divided civil service jobs into sectarian quotas, that no longer have anything to do with qualification.

Sectarianism, especially in Lebanon, have appropriated the state and its institutions, and undermined all the mechanics of holding any official accountable, since the condemnation of any official means the condemnation of the sect itself. Thus, each sect has grown to protect its corrupt elements which led to the undermining of any reform in the name of sectarian interest which now has became more defended by politicians than those who are considered the official representatives of each sect.

We call for treating the national issue with an objective mentality and not a sectarian one, since sectarian fanaticism will lead the country to collapse and destruction. We also call for holding any official accountable without any regard to his sect, so as not to consider the condemnation of this official a condemnation of the sect he belongs to. The members of his sect themselves should be the first to criticize him since the damage he creates will be reflected on them in the first place, although it will also hurt the country as a whole.

When we deal with national issues, it has to be the interest of national welfare that we have in mind, and not our petty politicking and sectarian differences.

We believe that the basis of the Lebanese internal problem is that many of its leaders do not have a political agenda that people could hold him accountable on its basis. Thus they say some thing and its opposite, and do another thing and its opposite, without being confronted by anyone.

Therefore, we call for a new Lebanon in which the new generations choose their own leaders from among them on the basis of honesty, qualification and faithfulness because we claim that we need change on the levels of both the leaders and the agendas.