His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rabi Al-Awal 15, 1440H/ November 23, 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:‘And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds’. Allah,The Most Exalted, speaks the Truth.
The anniversary of the birth of The Messenger(p.) , has passed , or will pass, owing to the different narrations, during this week. For, there are those who believe that he was born on the 12th of this month while others believe that it was on the 17th .However thisshould not be considered a part of thesectarian Shiite and Sunni difference as it was also among the Shiite scholars and the Sunni scholars.
The nation of Islam
Today we celebrate this occasion, along with all the downtrodden and the Muslims, for it marked the commencement of the getting out of darkness, ignorance, backwardness,division and alienation to the Islam of light, knowledge, progress, unity,clarityof visionof the way ahead to the great human goals the Messenger(p.) was sent with.
Allah, The Most Exalted, pointed out to these goals. He said :“Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error”,“O Prophet! Truly WeHave sent thee as a Witness, a BearerOf Glad Tidings,And a Warner, And as one who invitesTo God's (Grace) by His leave,And as a LampSpreading Light”.
The Messenger(p.), and those who were with him, set to make ,from a nation that was a marginal one,a nation that we believe is the mother and the base of all civilizations. If Muslims became backward afterwards it is because they forgot what they were reminded of and became overwhelmed with trivial matters or were driven by their greed and fanaticism.
Today we are going to ask about the tools with which the Messenger(p.) built this great civilization, that was not established by money or power, butby a virtue that we are going to demonstrate by two examples .
The first example
In the sixth year after the Hijrah, The Messenger (p.), may the blessings of God be on him, decided to expand the scope of his mission. He sent eight letters to rulers in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding areas inviting them to Islam. One of these rulers was ThumamahibnUthal Al-Hanafi.When ibnUthalreceived the letter, he was consumed by anger, hatredand contempt.He refused to listen to the invitation of Truth and goodness. More than that, he felt a strong desire to go and kill the Messenger(p.), He waited for a convenient time to carry out his design until he metonce group of companions and and killed them. Not long afterwards, ThumamahIbnUthal decided to perform Umrah. And left al-Yamamah for Mecca. As he was passing near Medina, a group of Muslims who were patrolling the districts of Medina and outlying areas on the lookout for any strangers or anyone intent on causing trouble came upon him and apprehended him. When the Messenger(p.) knew about the incident he ordered the Muslims to give him the best food and drink .
The Messenger(p.)then approached ThumamahIbnUthaland asked him "What do you have to say for yourself","If you want to kill in reprisal,"ThumamahIbnUthal replied, "you can have someone of noble blood to kill. If, out of your bounty, you want to forgive, I shall be grateful. If you want money in compensation, I shall give you whatever amount you ask." Then Muhammad (p.) turned to his companions and said:"Set him free."
ThumamahIbnUthal left the mosque and rode until he came to a palm grove on the outskirts of Medinah near al-Baqi', then he turned back and made his way to the Prophet’s mosque. There, he stood before a congregation of Muslims including the Messenger(p.) and said: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger .O Muhammad, by Allah, there was never on this earth a face more detestable than yours. Now, yours is the dearest face of all to me… I have killed some of your men," he continued: "I am at your mercy. Whatever will you do to me?"There is now no blame on you”.TheMessenger(p.) said,"Becoming a Muslim obliterates past actions and marks a new beginning."ThumamahIbnUthal was greatly relieved. His face showed his surprise and joy and he vowed, "By Allah, I shall place my whole self, my sword, and whoever is with me at your service and at the service of your religion."
He went on to say:"when your horsemen captured me I was on my way to perform Umrah. What do you think I should do now?" "Go ahead and perform your Umrah," replied the Prophet, "but perform it according to the laws of Allah and His Messenger."Thenhe taught him how to perform Umrah according to Islamic rules. ThumamahIbnUthal left to fulfill his intention. When he reached the valley of Mecca, he began shouting in a loud, resonant voice:
"LabbaykAllakummalabbayk.Labbaykalaashareekalakalabbayk.Innalhamdawa-n ni'matalakawa-l mulkLaashareekalak. (Here I am at Your command O Lord, Here I am. Here I am. No partner have You. Here I am. Praise, bounty and Dominion belong to You. No partner have You.)" He was thus the first Muslim on the face of the earth to enter Mecca reciting the Talbeyyah.
When Quraish heard the sound of the Talbeyyah, they set out towards the voice to punish the one who had thus assaulted their preserve, and said: "What's wrong with you, Thumamah? Have you given in and abandoned your religion and the religion of your forefathers?"
"I have not given in," he replied, "but I have decided to follow the best religion. I follow the religion of Muhammad. He then went on to say : "I swear to you by the Lord of this House that after my return to al-Yamamah, no grain of wheat or any of its produce shall reach you until you follow Muhammad." Then he performed, under the watchful eyes of the Quraish, Umrah as The Messenger(p.) had instructed him.
When he returned to his land he ordered his people to withhold supplies from the Quraish. The boycott gradually began to have effect and became more and more stringent. Thereupon, they wrote to Muhammad (p.), saying: “we know that you maintain the bonds of kinship but you have gone against that. You have cut the bonds of kinship. ThumamahibnUthal has cut our supplies and inflicted harm on us. Perhaps you would see fit to instruct him to resume sending us what we need."
The Prophet(p.) sent a messenger instructing ThumamahibnUthal to lift the boycott and resume supplies to the Quraish. And thelatter obliged.
The second example
The second example that the biography of Muhammad (p.)narrates what happened to two men of the Khazraj tribe (Asa’ad bin Zurara and Zakwan bin AbdQais)who came to Mecca seeking the aidof the tribe of Quraish in their war with the Aws tribe. They met Ataba bin Rabia who told them thatQuraish was busy with a man who claims he is a messenger from God .
So they went to the Prophet(p.) and asked him quitesimply: O Muhammad; what do you call for? The Prophet said: I call for bearing witness that thereis nogod save Allah, The Most Exalted, and that I am messenger of Allah, The Most Exalted, and to what was revealed in the Book of Allah, The Most Exalted, . He then recited the following Ayats of the Anaam Surah that reflects the morals of the Quran:" Say :Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason."
“And do not approach the orphan's property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember”.
Morals are the basis
Dear loved ones : these two examples have shown the position of morals in Islam.It was by morals that the Messenger(p.) presented himself and his message to the people and elevated his high position in the minds and hearts and lives of the people:“It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal gently with . Wereyousevere or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you”.
Thus,morals is not something trivial or marginal in religion. They represent the depth of the personality of the Messenger(p.) and that of his message.
That is why when Allah, The Most Exalted, introduced His Messenger , He did not present him as the worshipper,despite the fact that he worshipped Him until his feet were swollen, or the scholar although he was the city of knowledge, or the Mujahid although he fought many wars and achieved many victories, but as a man of sublime morals:“And indeed, you are of a great moral character”.
How would be faithful to the Messenger (p.)
Thus to be faithful to the Messenger (p.) is to emulate him in his morals and follow his lead of truthfulness , trustworthiness, tolerance , forgiveness , kindness and purity of heart ...We shouldnot only celebrate his birth and recite his Ziyarah . He also expects us to follow his lead and build the best society that is based on morals:“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often”.
The second sermon
Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself with what Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.), whose birth is on the 17th of this month, advised a man who came to him and said :“I was a Christian, I became a Muslim and went on Pilgrimage. My father and mother are still Christians and my mother is blind. Shall I live with them and eat from their pots.”The Imam asked him: “do they eat pork?the man replied: “and they don’t even touch it”The Imam (a.s.) then said : In this case it is alright and you should treat your mother well and when she dies don’t let anyone else take care of herThus the man went back began to feed his mother and serve her. The mother said:Why didn’t you do that before when you were Christian?”
The man said:“One of the descendants of our Prophet (p.) has ordered me to do this”.
The mother said:“This man is a Prophet”.
The son explained to her:“There will be no prophets after Mohammad (p.) but that it is just one of his sons”.
The woman said:“My son your religion is the best religion. Tell me about it”
She then prayed the noon, afternoon, evening and night prayers and she became sick and died. The next day it was the Muslims who buried her and the son who put her in the grave. This is the advice of Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.);he wants those who love and support him to call for Islam not only by their tongues , but also with their deeds, so as to becomedistinguished in doing good in all aspects of life. And when they do that they will be more able to face challenges.
An Intractable crisis
We begin by Lebanon that celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence, which we do not want it to remain a mere occasion to celebrate , but rather an opportunity to remind all the political parties that run the country of their responsibility to protect and fortify it , since its independence is threatened both from the inside and the outside.
We expected, along with all the Lebanese , that recalling the sacrifices and the blood that has beenshed whether in the struggle against the French Mandate , the Zionist Enemy , the Takfiris or anyone who wants to violate the integrity or the freedom of this country, will impel the political parties to shoulder theirresponsibility in fortifying the country whose independence cannot be preserved if it maintains its political and economic feebleness or its debt, corruption and waste or if it does not uphold the responsibility in securing a national preparedness to confront the enemy’s ambitions.
This feebleness is what tempts all those who wish to extend their hegemony overLebanon to have a foothold in it. Occupation is no longer usurping the land only; it is also tightening the grip over the political and economic decision. Unfortunately, the celebrations ended and the Lebanese went back to their accustomed reality, with the exception of certain calls to end corruption and waste which we hope that they will be realized.
Faced by this reality, we renew our call to the political parties to rise to the level of all these challenges, by working together for the sake of this homeland . The country cannot be built by division, exchanging accusations, creating tensions and exclusion. It is built by dialogue and reaching common factors, which we have reached before and which we will reach later. So let us stop wasting time,as the President said.
As to the intractable crisis of the called Sunni knot, we renew our call all the relevant parties to stop blaming one another , or overplaying the problem and attributing to it regional and international dimensions , or claiming that it aims implicitly to amend the constitution and the like . We should seek to find a consensual solution, which the Lebanese political parties are good at and can accomplish the intentions are genuine.
These parties should know that it is their responsibility to save the country. For no one else will, since it has become clear that Lebanon no longer enjoys the concern of the regional and international powers. It might be true that they do not mind if it collapses in this stage , so as to will redraw it in a way that serves their interests and not that of the Lebanese.
In the meantime, the crises of this country aggravate including that of the water ,the Litani River, the sewage, and even the food we eat. However, in view of the feebleness of the state and municipalities and their balking in dealing with these crises, the civil society and the NGOs ought to take the initiative to save the country and the people.
No change in Yemen
In Yemen where the humanistic conditions are still the same, we call for exerting intense international pressures to set concrete measures to establish a ceasefire and a fixed date for starting the negotiations thatare the only way to reach a political solution.
But in the meantime, one should be careful from the maneuvers certain regional parties could initiate to continue this war which has become an embarrassment to all the states of the war and which the Yemeni people are paying its bloody price.
A kingdom ruled byThumamahibnUthal Al-Hanafi
Struggler or striver