His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rabi Ath-Athani7,1440H/ December14, 2018. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is an edited text of the sermons
The First sermon
In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful.
Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book:‘But whoever earns an offense or a sin and then blames it on an innocent [person] has taken upon himself a slander and manifest sin’. Allah, The Most Exalted, speaks the Truth.
The story of the shield
This Ayat was revealed after the following incident: A shield was stolen from one of the companions of the Messenger(p.) of the tribe of Aws. He accused a man of the Ansar of the tribe of Khazraj. So he came to the Messenger(p.) to accuse the Ansari and retrieve the shield.The suspect knew that The Messenger(p.) was informed and he threw the shield in the home of a Jew . His tribe went to the Messenger(p.) and claimed that it was the Jew who stole the shield and that it is in his house. Upon finding the shield in the Jew’s house, the Prophet(p.) ruled that the Ansari was innocent and the Jew was the thief.
It was natural for the Prophet to judge in this way for his judgment was based on the evidence provided to him by the defendant andthe accuser. That is why he used to say:“I am only a human being, and you people (opponents) come to me with your cases; and it may be that one of you could present his case eloquently in a more convincing way than the other, and I give my verdict according to what I hear. So if ever I judge (by error) and give the right of a brother to his other (brother) then he (the latter) should not take it, for I am giving him only a piece of Fire."
Acquitting the innocent Jew
Then the following Ayat was revealed to point out to the Messenger(p.) the truth of the matter:‘Surely, We have sent down to you the Book in truththat you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you, and do not be for the deceitful an advocate’.
This Ayat came to prove that the Messenger (p.)was sent to judge between men by justice and right , and that he would not defend a thief or one who does not keep the trust even if he were the closest to him . And to show how grave thiscrime is.Allah, The Most Exalted, said:‘But whoever earns an offense or a sin and then blames it on an innocent [person] has taken upon himself a slander and manifest sin’.
Thereafter, the Messenger(p.) called upon the believers in a hurry to tell them what Allah, The Most Exalted, has informed him that the Jew was innocent. The Muslims were surprised tolearn that Allah, The Most Exalted, has revealed QuranicAyats to acquit a Jew and convict a Muslim. However, this increased the Muslimsbelief in this religion and the Messenger(p.) that does not wrong anybody. The Jew was deeply touched by this and embraced Islam while the Ansari instead of repenting,went to Mecca andapostatized from Islam which led to the revealing of the following Ayat:‘whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers - We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination’.
Rules to safeguard the society
These Ayats were not revealed in the Quran to deal with an incident that happened at the time of the Messenger (p.);they wanted to lay out several rules that should govern the community of believers and act as its basis:
The first rule: Preserving the dignity of the individual,which should not be offendedfor any reason.One of the most significant means to maintain such preservation is not to utter false statements thatdamage a person's reputation.
Unfortunately, we have grown accustomed to witness such behavior in our reality …There are those who distort the image of those who differ with them whether in politics or religion, or those whom they see in them probable competitors. They would accuse them of deeds they have not done or statements they did not say, or at least take what they said out of context.
The Quran and the honorable Hadiths have warned against such a behavior. The Holy Quran says:‘And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin’.
The Hadith says: ‘If a believer accuses his brother-in-faith of something, his faith will dissolve from his heart, in the same way salt dissolves in water’.
In addition: ‘Whoever accuses a believing man or a believing woman, God Almighty will put him on a hill of fire until the accused one is freed from the accusation’.
Justice for all
The second rule: justice in this society is for all, and not for some only. Justice in Islam is not affected by the emotions of love or hatred, or by thedifference in religion or political stances… It does not yield to the balance of power and money, since it is above all that. This is what Allah, The Most Exalted, called for when He said:‘O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted’and‘O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do’.
Imam Ali (a.s.) says in his will to his sons: ‘You have to stick to the word of Right in time of contentedness and rage, and you have to stick to justice with regard to the friend and enemy’.
Moreover, we have seen how the Quran sided with the wronged Jew at the expense of the Muslim sinner, at a time there were many reasons for the verdict to be on the side of the Muslim.
First, the Jew, the Ayat talks about, was known for being very hostile to the Muslims.
Second, the Muslim who was condemned inthis Ayat is from the Ansar who supported the Prophet and this condemnation might have led to a negative reaction from them or it could have enflamed the tension between the two Ansari tribes, since the thief belongs to one of them while the owner of the shield was from the other.
Therefore, it was not politically correct for the Ayat to acquit the Jew and condemn the Muslim. However, the criterion of Islam is based on the right and justice and not any other consideration.
The third rule: Do not defend the corrupt
Islam guides the believers not to defend anyone who betrays his trust and steals or falsely accuses others, even if he were among the closest to them. The Quran says:‘do not argue on behalf of those who deceive themselves. Indeed, Allah loves not one who is a habitually sinful deceiver’And‘Here you are - those who argue on their behalf in [this] worldly life - but who will argue with Allah for them on the Day of Resurrection, or who will[then] be their representative’.
Commitment to such a behavior is what deters the thieves and the corrupt. They will be deterred when they see no one justifying their deeds, just as if we justifytoday the actions of the political leaders that steal and corrupt. Allah, The Most Exalted, has held us, as a community, responsible for this when He said,‘do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire’.
Who protects the wronged?
Dear loved ones:
The Holy Quran was revealed to ensure justice, to acquit the innocent, and to try the wrongdoer. But should this end, nowthat theQuranicAyats are no longer revealed . Allah, The Most Exalted, has shouldered us theresponsibility of upholding justice at all times, by being callers for justice and never accept thatan innocent man be accused or wrongdoer be acquitted.
The second sermon
Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself with what Imam Ali (a.s.) advised us when he said: Pledge yourself with prayer and remain steady on it; offer prayer as much as possible and seek nearness (of Allah) through it, because it is, (imposed) upon the believers as (a) timed ordinance (Qur'an 4:103). Have you not heard the reply of the people of Hell when they were asked: What hath brought you into the hell? They shall say: We were not of those who offered the regular prayers (to Allah)! (Qur'an, 74:42-43). Certainly, prayer drops out sins like the dropping of leaves (of trees), and removes them as ropes are removed from the necks of cattle. The Messenger of Allah likened it to a hot bath situated at the door of a person who bathes in it five times a day. Will then any dirt remain on him ?
Its obligation is recognized by those believers whom neither the adornment of property nor the coolness of the eyes produced by children can turn away from it. Allah, the Glorified, says:‘Men whom neither merchandise nor any sale diverts from the remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying the poor-rate’”.
We are in a dire need to strengthen the need for prayers in our hearts and souls , being a weapon against what Satan whispers to our minds and hearts and a supporter to us in this life . When we do this, we will be more capable of confronting challenges.
The danger of collapse
We begin by Lebanon, where there is a new round of consultation triggered by the President tosolve the last knot in forming the government, since no relevant party has shown his readiness to offer any concession although the country has reached a state of deterioration on all levels, especially the economic one. In this respect, the warnings made by many international and local officials, including the President, are serious and objective. They do not aim to serve political purposes to pressurize other patties to form the government. Nevertheless , we unfortunately, have not noticed any awareness of the imminent danger that is about to befell , which makes the Lebanese wonder about what the political parties are betting on and whether what they want to accomplish matches the catastrophe that is about to occur.
This does not mean that we should be indifferent to the demands of this party or that which might be justified, but it also does not mean that we should not take into consideration the miserable situation that country might reach and would inflict all parties and threaten the country.
We used to bet on international interference and some economic sedatives, but this is no longer available, since the world is preoccupied in its own problems. We are even afraid that the world wishes Lebanon to reach the verge of collapse before it comes to say: we will give you , but you should pay back from your freedom , security and the stability and strength of your country .
Based on this, we callon the political parties to find solutions based on the rule of no winners and no losers
The enemy threatens Lebanon
Meanwhile, the enemy continues to dig at the borders under the pretense of tunnels with all the threats that accompanies this , the last of which was made by the PrimeMinister who aims to pressurize Lebanon and the UNto change the mandate given to its peacekeeping forces and perhaps realize through threats what it could not through wars. But this will not happen , for the enemy is too weak to impose its conditions,as a result of its confusion , after what happened in Gaza and the West Bank ,as well as the readiness of the Lebanese Army and the Resistance and the awareness of the Lebanese people who are no longer frightened by the Enemy’s threats .
Heroism in confronting the enemy
In Occupied Palestine and the West Bank, where the heroic operations continue, the last of which took place to the east of Ramallah, which reaffirmed the unity of the resistant efforts in Gaza and the West Bank.
As we salute these operations that prove that the Occupation cannot subduethe Palestinian people, we call on all Arabs and Muslims to shoulder their responsibility and solidify with the Palestinian people and provide all the means that will enable the Palestinians to continue to hold fast and increase their strength.
Lastly, we hope that the decisions that were reached by the Yemeni parties in Sweden would open the door of ending this catastrophic war.