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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 02/01/2004

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Grand Ayatollah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer     sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Zu elkoada  9 1424 h,January  2 2004,  (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer)


The Birth of Christ(p.): Let us meet on the basis of the unity of God and humanity

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The New Year: A turning point

Two occasions have passed in this week: the first is the new year which is associated with the birth of Jesus Christ(p.) while the second is the birth of Imam Al-Rida (a.s.).

As for the first occasion, we believe that the beginning of a new year is a moment for contemplation, and not for fun and disturbing others by fireworks and live bullets, or by doing certain nonsense acts and even drinking alcoholic drinks and taking drugs so as to give their mind a day off as if they want to start their year in an irrational manner. If they say that it is their right to be happy, we have to give this happiness a doze of rationalization and awareness, madness masked by joy is still madness.

The meaning of a year passing by is that we have lived all through this year, and we are responsible for everything we did in it. Allah will hold us accountable for everything we have done in this year. Moreover, what we did this year will have an impact on our present and future. Thus we have to sit down and think about what we have done, and find out if we can diminish their negative aspects and increase their positive ones.

When you start a new year, you should ask yourself about your plans for the coming year… What you intend to do to please Allah, the most Exalted… How to take care of your family… How to get on with your work and social life. The end of a year and the beginning of another is a very important turning point, in which one should hold himself accountable and decide on how to continue. All business firms do the same… They live in a state of emergency towards the end of the year, to find out how much they gained or lost and prepare their budget for the coming year…

Yet money is not everything… It is more important if you lose your future and your mind. And the greatest loss is that of your relationship with your god, and your place in the Hereafter.

Let us celebrate the new year whether the Christian new year or the Hijra, for we believe in Jesus Christ (p.) as we believe in all prophets of Allah. But let us celebrate by thinking and contemplation. For thinking for one hour is better than a year of worship.

Imam Al-Rida: A summit in Knowledge and Morals.

The second occasion is the birth of the eighth Imam, Ali bin Musa Al-Rida… This Imam whose age was an Islamic one, opened up on his age and developed all its fields of knowledge and took part in all its activities… He also lived in an age of political instability especially with the struggle for power between brothers, but this did not prevent him from enriching all the fields of life in that age.

He succeeded his father Imam Musa bin Jaafar, who gathered all his children and told them: “This is your brother, Ali bin Musa, the religious scholar of the House of Muhammad(p.). Ask him about your religion and learn what he is going to tell you”. For he represents the summit in his knowledge as well as in his other virtues.

Contemporary testimonies

All his contemporaries of the greatest intellectuals of that time, whether of those who believed in his imamate or those who did not, unanimously considered him as their teacher and reference.

Abdulsalam Al-Hirami says: “I have never seen anyone more knowledgeable than Ali bin Musa Al-Rida… Every scholar that met him has given the same testimony, without any exception. Al-mamoun made him confront all scholars of his time, whether those who used to be interested in Knowledge science and culture or religious scholars of various religions, as well as the most prominent Muslim theologians of that time, and he was able to gain the upper hand over all of them. I have heard him say: “I used to sit near the Prophet’s grave with the religious scholars all around. And they used to send those whom they could not answer their questions to me, and I would answer them”. The Medina at that time was the center of all religious scholars of various seats.

One of his contemporaries, Ibrahim bin Al-Abbass says: “Al-Rida was never asked about anything he did not know, and I have never seen anyone who knows more about what happened in history than him”.

Furthermore, he would use in all his answers quotations from the Holy Quran: This is the position he held and the status that those who lived in his age acknowledged. That is why the Mamoun chose him as his heir apparent. The Imam declined at first, but then various pressures led him to agree. Al-Mamoun told his relatives who criticized his decision: “He possesses knowledge I have never seen anyone matching it”.

As for his morals, Bin Al-Abbas adds: I have never seen him use harsh words, or even interrupt anyone until he finishes what he had to say... And he has never turned down someone who asked him for something if he was able to fulfill it… I have never seen him curse any of his slaves… I have never seen him laugh loudly, he would merely smile” He used to eat with his slaves and servants at the same table and say to those who protested: “We have the same god, the same father, the same mother and we are rewarded according to our actions”. He also used to say: I have sworn not to consider myself better than any body else simply because I descend from the Messenger unless my deeds are better.

He believed that no one is better as a result of his social status and the only thing that could differentiate between people is their work.

His will

He used to follow up the affairs of his followers and provide them with adequate advice.

He sent a letter to Sayyed Abdulazim Al-Hasni, a descendent of Imam Al-Hassan, and a very well-know religious scholar-saying.

Give any regards to my followers and tell them not to let Satan find a way to their souls …Order them to be truthful in what they say, and to return the trusts.

And tell them to keep silent and not to interfere in what is none of their business and tell them to visit one another.. This is how they become close to me”.. He went on to explain that they should not be occupied in “ripping apart” one another. He also explained that he considered those who do such acts are not to be considered among his followers. What would we say to Imam Al-Rida as we incite persecution here and there as a result of our sectarian and partisan fanaticism?

This is Imam Al-Rida’s will to his followers, the man who lived for Islam as a whole and for justice in its entirety. As we live with the Imam Al-Rida with his advice and guidance… with all his the scientific and spiritual wealth, we ask all Muslims to read the Imam’s heritage in a open minded manner, and try to benefit from what they read … Our relation with the Imams is a relation with the pure Islam and a relation with all that raises the level of the heart, the mind and life as a whole… May God bless Al-Rida the day he was born and the day he was martyred and the day he will be brought back to life.

May Allah bless his fathers and his children, especially Imam Al-Mahdi whom we await to fill the land with justice having been filled with oppression and injustice.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

As we take a look in the beginning of the new year at the Muslim and Arab World, we notice that international arrogance, especially the Americans, in imposing its dominance on its politics, security and economy, and trying to extend it even to its Islamic religion, while on the other hand, there is no active or strong movement to confront this trend if not by force, then by awareness and planning which means that the problems of the back trodden will not be solved this year, since the counter movement is still in a state of deep-freeze.

Occupying Iraq: A bridge to the region

If we want to turn to details, we find that the occupation of Iraq represents a strategic move towards the change of the face of the Middle East and international relations for many years to come… As for the claim about Iraq’s regaining it sovereignty in accordance with the set schedule, it will not lead to riddling the region from the American hegemony… for the American imperialism did not abandon its project to change the region in the way that serves best the American interests even if it has to undermine the interests of all other powers including the European and the Russian Unions.

In this grand plan, Iraq with the American military force in its backyard, constitutes the bridge the Americans will cross over to tamper with the entire region, including their allies who began to feel that they are the next victim.

This is why we want the Iraqis, the Arabs and the Muslims to be aware of… We do not want them to burry their heads in the sands, as certain states began to offer concessions in the name of realism that saves their face in front of their peoples… For the issue is the issue of independent decision… We would like to emphasize that the mistakes of the Americans will isolate them from the peoples of the region in an act of rejection to their polices. This the countdown will start sooner or later, but we have to be prepared for it.

In the meantime, Iraq continues to suffer of a miserable state with its political and security instability, the threats to its national unity, and the innocent civilians who fall every day…

But we have a great confidence in the Iraqi people that it is able to build its independent and prosperous future, based on its unity, awareness, and civilized experience.

Palestine: the Struggle continues

Looking at occupied Palestine we see the Nazi Zionist government committing acts which the international stances take a distance from… We also see internal confusion with some Israelis criticizing the immoral war and the brutal violence against the Palestinians and in finding no way out since they consider the problem one of security and not a political problem. All this will make the problem extend into a great part of this century, unless unexpected circumstances occur that would pave the way to a solution. For the Palestinians will not forego their rights and the Zionists will not be healed from their anti-human complex.

We believe that this struggle will continue as it is a struggle between justice and injustice… occupation and independence, and we have a great confidence in the Palestinian people and the coming Arab and Muslim generations.

In this context, we notice that Sharon, the butcher, has benefited from the American green light to get on with building the racist wall, and confiscating additional territories… He is exerting pressure on the American president and his Administration especially in an election year…

We believe that in the long run, this struggle constitutes an impasse for Israel and America and not for the Palestinians and Syria… Time is on our side, the side of justice and not on the side of injustice and hegemony.

American back Israeli Nukes

Syria submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council that calls for making the Middle East a zone free from mass destruction weapons, but America refused as usual claiming that both its timing and stipulations are wrong. For the Israeli nuclear weapons are part of the Zionist.

Thus, America would not let any resolution that calls for a nuclear free zone in the Middle East pass to ensure that Israel will keep its weapons.

At the same time, it haunts all the states of the world threatening them with sanctions if they do not give up their weapons… For America and Israel are strategic allies who talk behind closed doors things they do not say in public.

Sheik Al-Azhar and the veil

We were stunned by the statement Sheik Al-Azhar made, when he received the French Interior Minister. He gave the French the legitimate right to prevent the Muslim women from wearing the veil, although he did not forget to mention that wearing it is a religious duty. Nevertheless, he called on the Muslim women to adhere to the proposed law on the basis of being compelled.

It is as if he saying to all non-Muslim or even the Muslim countries that are not committed to Islam, to establish conditions that compel Muslims not to adhere to their religious duties. He is also saying to the Muslims in France and in the world: You have not the right to object even in a civilized and lawful way: You just have to adhere even if you were prevented from praying in mosques or fasting the Month of Ramadan.

France is historically the country of freedom and the Muslims have the right to practice their freedom in engaging in objective discussions and in peaceful objections.

The Sheikh has offended Islam and Muslims when he gave the French authorities an Islamic basis to pass such a law. He should apologize to the Muslims, and seek in his stances to protect Islam from every internal and external pressure.

Lebanon: The unity of Heavenly Messages.

Muslims and Christians in Lebanon are united by the values of justice, good and love that all message call for.

Let these messages unite us so that we would kick out of the temple all those who crucify the country on the cross of their greed and corruption… When they seem to be united in the face of tragedies... We would like to ask them: who is responsible for these tragedies any way.