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Patience: One of the Pillars of Faith

29/01/2010 A.D 14/02/1431 H

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

His Eminence, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Safar, 14th 1431 H. - January, 29th 2010. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

Patience and apprehension

Islam associated a great importance to the moral aspect in life, and the Holy Quran dealt with many related titles amongst which two titles stand out when man faces challenges and hardships: patience and apprehension. Patience is the state of balance and cohesion when man encounters life's problems, pains, and sorrows. As for apprehension, it represents the state of surrendering to the problem in a way that prevents man from facing life's basic issues.

In one of his traditions, Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "Patience to belief is like the head to the body, so the one who has no patience, has no belief, just as the body that has no head has no value." He (a.s.) also says that he who is not saved by patience will be perished by apprehension. Apprehension is a negative attribute by which man surrenders to life's difficult issues.

Forms of trial

As a matter of fact, Allah ordains us to be patient in a strong, open, and aware manner at all levels, as well as in matters pertaining to obedience, sins, and trials. Allah has rendered patience the basis that enables us to reach His satisfaction and get closer from Him. Allah says in His Glorious Book: "Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say, when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return." (02:155-156).

Throughout his life, man faces many challenges, problems, and miseries that might inflict fear, hunger, and even death upon him, so Allah ordains man to take a conscious faithful stand leading him to realize that Allah has created life on the basis of the decrees He has set. Life is not entirely filled with relief or distress; but rather relief might encounter a kind of distress that would eventually lead to a kind of relief. When man faces some distress on his way back to Allah – and we shall all return to Allah – or when he is overburdened with hardships, he ought to be patient so as to enhance and strengthen his will in order to reach a solid and balanced stand and attain a cohesive character.

"Be sure we shall test you – that is, we will test you willpower – with something of fear – that defies your internal security, depriving you of your spiritual tranquility, and your external security disturbing your body and threatening your political, economic, and military systems – and hunger – we would test you with hunger by depriving you from the essential food – some loss in goods – represented in the financial losses that hit man as a result of catastrophes, wars …etc. – or lives – you will lose your men, women, and children who will perish due to wars, diseases, earthquakes, and volcanoes, as well as aerial, marine, or terrestrial catastrophes, just as the tragedy of the ill-fated Ethiopian airliner we are experiencing nowadays –  or the fruits (of your toil) – represented in the loss of life's blessings – but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – those who take a strong stand, and forebear, and rebel against deprivation, and remain steadfast before any kind of instability, in order to move on with life's message without any retreat, collapse, or deviation.

It is a test that emanates from the Divine will and decree that encompass the natural laws and causes Allah has set for the universe. Man ought to feel pain when he experiences agonizing circumstances, and feel hungry in times of hunger, and be scared when life plagues him with dreadful situations.

Glad tidings for the patient

Then, comes the glad tidings for those who patiently persevere: Who, when afflicted with calamity – if Allah wishes to inflict them with a certain calamity – say: "To Allah we belong – we belong to Allah and we submit to His will – and to Him is our return" – we will all eventually return to Allah – and: "Every soul shall have a taste of death." (21:35).

What could these glad tidings be?

"Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord– Allah bestows His blessings and mercy upon the believers just as He bestowed them upon His Messenger (p.). Allah would have mercy on His servants, and forgive and care for them, and ease their pains, and fulfill their needs – and those are the followers of the right course," (02:157), those who were balanced on the road of the right and bore all its difficulties and pains, by which they do their best to reach Allah's satisfaction and get closer from Him.

The Second Sermon

Palestine between the Zionist occupation and the Arab siege

On the Palestinian level, there appears the picture of the enemy's Prime Minister planting the tree of the Zionist colonization project, declaring that the occupation and the settlements will forever remain on the chests of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, an Arab official, in one of his speeches, defends the steel wall he named "the constructions" that preserve " sovereignty and national security"; thus, the enemy goes on forth with its project and the Arab regimes continue to build walls that protect the enemy's entity and prevent the Palestinians from acquiring the basic living standards and deprive them of the legal self defense means.

Judaizing Galilee and Negev

As if what is happening in the West Bank was not enough, for the enemy has embarked on setting a new plan for judaizing An-Naqab (Negev) and Al-Jalil (Galilee), where the enemy's Prime Minister has given the Zionist soldiers free construction licenses to build houses in these two regions, so as to establish the entity's Jewish identity and expel the Arabs and impose a fait accompli that smears the talk on resuming the negotiations that will only result in more nominal negotiations, as the enemy dominates over the rest of the land.

This is the American – Israeli game, in which both parties play concerted roles, and whose features are becoming clear through what the American envoy has suggested during his last visit. He suggested negotiations under the title of the so-called "improving the situations of the Palestinians in the West Bank," which is more like an echo to Netanyahu's project that aims at improving the Palestinians' economic situation in certain aspects, in return of passing more colonization projects that would eventually lead to ending the cause once and for all.

We warn everyone, including those exchanging accusations with their people under the pretense of their concern over the sovereignty, that once the Palestinian cause falls in the hands of the enemy, all walls will collapse before it [the enemy], encouraging it for dominating over the remaining Arab sovereignty and national security with what best serves its own security that goes way beyond the ocean and the gulf.

Iraq: Sinking in blood

Not far from Palestine, the Iraqi tragedy steps out to the front, for the occupation, on the one hand, and the groups of savage and brutal assassins and murderers, on the other hand, aim at turning the Iraqis into the fuel that enflames the projects of fragmentation that prolongs the duration of the occupation and manipulates the coming elections in accordance with what serves the interests of the nation's opposing axes and forces that aim at making Iraq sink in seas of blood, through the spiteful explosions whose plotters and perpetrators have forgotten the occupation and pointed their spite and fires towards the innocent civilians of their own people.

We warn that Iraq represents the second phase of pressure after occupied Palestine, and it is meant to be an arena for testing international and regional projects whose overall image has not been finished yet, nor its fires have been quenched… Actually, we call on all the Iraqis of all affiliations and trends to unite and reject these schemes and projects, from which the people ought to pick one of two choices: either to succumb to the terms of the occupation before its retreat or to associate their political and electoral processes with the occupation and its supporters… However, the Iraqi people have always chosen unity in the line of dignity, pride, and sovereignty over anything else, and we do not believe that this time they will abandon this choice for the interest of the occupation and its gangs.

Lebanon: For strengthening the bonds of love

On another level, Lebanon has experienced a new kind of tests a few days ago, which is represented by the catastrophe of the Ethiopian airliner that united the Lebanese in their miseries and pains, and in the interaction with the devastated families that presented a vivid image of that people that the occupation forces and aggressions have always pursued and the wars, economic crises and big disasters have always followed. Despite all that, this people remained firm and steadfast even in the most critical moments that deprived them of their beloved ones and some of the country's best potentials and competencies.

We say to the officials: This catastrophe, which managed to unite you and focus the state's entire movement on relieving it, is a message for you all to join your efforts for the best interest of this people. You ought to undertake practical steps that lead to establishing a strong and just state that is capable of embracing its children and their competencies and potentials, preventing them from going overseas and eventually being caught in the trap of fate during their everlasting journey of torture as they sweat for a better and dignified future; a life that has was always been marked with strain and struggle, but eventually finds death awaiting it to bereave it of its beauty and livelihood.