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Lectures >2001 Speeches > 26/01/2001

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ayatullah Al Ozma H.E. M. H. Fadlullah delivered two khotbas (at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque) Thul Qa’da 1, 1421h /January 26, 2001 (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer).


Conciliation is essential for the well-being of the community


The First Sermon

In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful

God (SWT) says in his glorious book:

“Most of their requests are worthless except those that encourage giving to the poor or a great good or a reconciliation between men.” (S4,v114)

“The believers are brothers. Make peace between your brothers” (S49,v10)

“Fear God! Keep the peace among you” (S8,v1)

“Whoever helps a good cause becomes a partner therein” (S4,v85)

Thus there are many verses that talk about reconciliation between people because any division within a family will lead to its breaking up and any division in the society will make it unbalanced.

A balanced Society

For a society to be balanced, its social classes should compliment each other with each giving his experience, opinions and efforts so that they will all co-operate over public issues that affect the very existence of the society. In contrast, a fragmented society is one whose individuals do not enjoy peace and security and whose energies are wasted and directed against one another, which leads to a general weakness and social decline. God (SWT) has warned us against this by saying:

“Obey God and His Messenger; don’t quarrel otherwise you will lose heart and your strength” (S8,v46)

Solving differences by dialogue

I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with people having different social, political and religious backgrounds for God (SWT) did not make all humans one nation but this does not mean that we should fight and destroy each other. We should rather discuss what we differ upon. Why should everyone say that they are right and the others are wrong? You are only human beings, whether you are scholars, individuals or even a religious group and your ideas originate from your forefathers, your environment, your schools and what you have read or heard. But all this is limited. Your fathers might have been wrong. God (SWT) has told us about those who used to say:

“We found our fathers following a certain religion and we will certainly follow in their footsteps” (S43,v23)

And God (SWT) answered them:

“Even if their fathers were devoid of knowledge and guidance” (S5,v104)

“What! Even if I brought you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following” (S43,v24)

I have my own point of view and you have yours but neither of us are infallible so lets sit down and talk, especially as God (SWT) says:

“Refer your differences to God and the Prophet” (S4,v59)

The problem we have in our community is that each of us considers that he is right and the others are wrong and as we become preoccupied with the disagreements between us we forget about the enemy.

Reconciliation, a religious responsibility

Thus the issue of reconciliation is a vital issue for the well-being of the community whether within the same family, religious group or society. And since we all say that there is no God (SWT) but God (SWT) and that Mohammad (SAWS) is his messenger, it is our duty to reconcile amongst ourselves. Reconciliation does not mean that one party should concede 100% but rather that we should know where we agree and how to put our differences into perspective. Let’s learn how to comfort one another and not tire each other out. Our problem is unfortunately that the parents, the Sheikhs and the teachers teach us how to tire each other out and we are tired at all levels. On the Islamic level we have the Sunnis and the Shiites and on the national level we have the Christians and the Muslims. And amongst the Shiites we have added the differences between political parties and divisions between those who emulate different Marjas. What has religion to do with all that?

Reconciliation is a deed that God (SWT) and His Messenger (SAWS) have called for.

We have already stated the verses in the Holy Qur’an that talk about the importance of reconciliation. In his turn the Messenger said when talking to a man called Abou Ayoub:

“Shall I tell you about a good deed that God (SWT) and His Messenger love: Reconcile among those who differ.”

Imam Ali (AS) said:

“One of the things that brings happiness is to seek to reconcile people.”

To those who take an oath not to reconcile among those who differ, God (SWT) says:

“And don’t make God (SWT)’s name an excuse in your oaths against doing good, acting in a good manner or making peace between people.” (S2,v224)

With love we build humanity

When we confront the social fragmentation in our Islamic reality we have to make every effort to study peoples’ differences and learn what they agree on so as to use what they agree on to solve what they differ on. For the differences especially when they turn into a kind of partisanship could result in spoiling our religion, our politics and our society as well as causing us to lose our strength. Therefore we should all seek to be closer to God (SWT) by preparing groups of people who have knowledge and experience and who are well informed about religion to help people enter into a dialogue on what they differ over so that love will spread amongst us. Let love be the means that one could convince the others with for love builds our society, our homeland and our nation while hatred and malice build nothing. Love those with whom you differ to guide them to the right path and love those with whom you agree to meet with them on the basis of obeying God (SWT). For those who lived in hatred died, their hatred turned into ashes when they themselves turned into ashes and they left the hatred to those who came after them. But those who lived in love returned to God (SWT) and were rewarded by His heavens.

The second Speech

In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful

The Intefada is exhausting the enemy

The Palestinian cause is still under the influence of regional and international pressures, especially now with the Israeli elections approaching. The enemy’s government insists on refusing the vital demands of the Palestinian people such as Jerusalem and the return of the refugees. While the head of the Likud party is using the language of war and hatred in the name of security and peace.

Nevertheless, the Intefada should still be able to avoid falling into carefully laid traps during the course of the ongoing negotiations. It is true that martyrs are still falling every day but the fact is that the enemy are also suffering casualties at the same.

Therefore there is a big question over how much the Israelis will be able to endure the upcoming military strikes of the Palestinians. Futhermore, I call upon the Palestinians to strengthen their unity and to make use of their political variations to play different but well co-ordinated roles. It needs a great level of political subtlety to do this because we are still afraid that political demons will succeed in creating serious divisions within the Intefada. I can emphasise strongly enough that the unity of the Intefada is the basis of safeguarding the political gains that have already been attained and of attaining new ones. Moreover we as Arabs and Muslims need the Intefada to continue so as to keep the torch burning for all our great political causes.

The UN’s unequivocal commitment to Israel

The Secretary General of the United Nation’s report proves that this organisation is still subjected to American pressure. In underscoring the importance of the Israeli security and in neglecting the Lebanese (it does not even talk about the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territories or the continuing Israeli aggressions and violations of Lebanese airspace). This suggests that this report has been prepared with the aim of pressurising Lebanon into pulling back the resistance and thereby guaranteeing the security of the enemy as well as freezing the situation without creating any new problems for the occupation.

We do’t want to dispute with the we cannot accept it being subjected through its secretary general to the policies of the US government in its unequivocal commitment to Israel against all the aspirations of the people in the region, and especially in Lebanon. For the UN did not exert any pressure on the enemy to present the detailed maps of the land mines that are causing a lot of casualties in the ranks of innocent civilians. It also didn’t establish any committee to investigate the enemy’s use of depleted uranium in South Lebanon.

The strategic relations between Syria and Iran

I would also like to welcome the strategic relations between Syria and Iran that have become well established as they serve both the Arab and Muslim interests, especially those of the Lebanese. The two countries stand together to support the Lebanese people’s struggle against occupation. In addition, Iran supports Syria in liberating their occupied lands (the Golan Heights) and the Palestinian Intefada that aims at liberating the occupied Palestinian lands and the sacred shrines that belong to all Muslims.

Maintaining co-operation between Iran and Syria will solve many problems in the region, especially those that the arrogant countries may try to stir from time to time by creating divisions between Iran and some of the Arab countries.

Lebanon needs a comprehensive solution

I feel sad about the ongoing Lebanese internal row which has more to do with personal rather than national interests at a time when the economic crises has reached the level where the whole country is on the verge of economic collapse.

In response to the issues that have been raised on the occasion of discussing the national budget, I call for a comprehensive national plan to study the country’s future that will study administrative reform in the public sector and in industry. This plan should include all ministries and not merely one of them. All with a view to economic development that gives a priority to supporting agriculture and farmers especially in Beka’a, Akkar and the south.

Squandering is still abundant in all government departments and that is why any treatment of this issue should include all possible levels in order to block those who are benefiting as well as those who are protecting them. But discussion of such a plan should first be done behind closed doors and not through the media in order to ensure its success.