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Lectures >2001 Speeches > 27/04/2001

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) Safar 3, 1422h /April 27, 2001 (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer).

Anger is the Gateway to All Evils

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful

Islamic ethics emphasize in both the Quran and the prophet’s traditions that man should learn and practice how to enable his mind to study any matter in a cold and objective manner so as not to be driven by his impulses and drives.

          A man should not take any action before he considers all its results and consequences, for he will be held responsible for what he does or says in the hereafter “
On the day every soul will speak for itself” 16:111. When you stand before God, you ought to be able to justify what you have done.

In this context, Islam talks about rage or even anger, which many daily incidents at home, work or in the community might cause even on a daily basis. When a believer faces anything that raises his temper he has to fight against himself and calm down. He should develop a will power that would enable him to treat what might normally make him furious as an objective obstacle that needs to be studied and solved. Being emotional does not solve the problem; it only aggravates it, and creates additional problems.

          Today, I would like to talk about some of the Messenger’s and Imams` traditions regarding this Issue.

Imam Abu Abdullah, Jaa'far Al Sadiq quotes the Messenger as saying: “Anger contaminates belief in the same way vinegar contaminates honey”. For anger makes man lose his balance and pave the way for his passions to take over.

          In another story, a man came to the Prophet and asked him for advice  .The prophet said: Go and do not get angry. And the man said: This is enough for me. He went back to his tribe and found them preparing for a war against another tribe.

          As a first reaction, the man went to get his arms and go with them. Then he started to think it over. He went to the other tribe and told them that he would pay them what they had thought to be their right from his own money. The people accepted his proposal because they knew he was not talking out of weakness but of a genuine wish for peace and they even decided to forego their claims.

          This is the method we ought to resort to in our homes, our work places and our social and political spheres so as to avoid bigger problems.

          Imam Jaa’far Al-Sadiq considers rage to be the road to all evils. Such a judgment is especially true in our community, which acts on the basis of sectarianism and partisanship and in which each individual behaves as a member of a group that he believes to be always in the right.

          Imam Muhammad bin Ali Al-Baqir says:” There is nothing worse than rage”. A man -or a woman- might get angry enough to kill a fellow human or to accuse a chaste woman of adultery.

Imam Jaa’far Al-Sadiq says: God veils the shortcomings of those who restrain their anger”. When a man gets angry and loses his temper all his shortcomings will be revealed.

          Imam Al-Baqir also said that God told Moses:” If you restrain your anger against those you have authority over in your house or your community -if you are a political leader- I will withhold my anger against you.

          God has promised that those who control and withhold their temper will end up in Heaven:" Be quick to seek the forgiveness from your Lord, and for a garden whose width is that of the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who spend freely whether in prosperity or in adversity, who restrain anger and pardon all men ". (3:133-134). Therefore Heaven is not necessarily guaranteed. It needs a lot of effort and struggle, as well as awareness and good reasoning. Thus, when we deal with the community we have to be reasonable, because an individual could tolerate the community’s actions, but the community cannot tolerate his anger and emotional reactions. Therefore, remember that you will responsible for everything you do or say on the Day of Judgment, and try to control your anger lest you lose your temper and become driven by your passions, and liable to commit sins that your would not have committed had you learned how to control your temper.

 The Second Khotba

In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful

Worshippers of Allah; be pious, and do not let your passions and emotions affect the way you understand your political responsibilities. Resort to reason, objectivity and planning in order to defeat the enemy who is counting on our emotional and hasty reactions to create divisions among us being the easiest way to defeat us.

The Jews are celebrating the anniversary of occupying Palestine and establishing their entity on its soil, with the support of the major powers of that time while the Arabs were powerless being under the political hegemony of these powers.

          This was followed by a period of successive coups, internal and regional wars and political anarchy under the pretense of liberating Palestine. Meanwhile the enemy was gaining more strength and power and achieving successive victories. All the Arab conditions were dropped and they substituted the call for war by a call for peace, without any planning or preparing for the coming stage. The peace slogan turned into an acronym for the Arab weakness with the enemy exploiting this weakness by threatening to go war in the name of the Israeli security needs. Throughout this period the US was, and still is, providing Israel with all the support it needs, making Israeli security the only goal a ”peace” settlement should achieve.

This made Israel a force that could threaten the whole Arab region, to the extent that some of the Zionist leaders threatened to bomb the high Aswan dam in Egypt, the Camp David accords notwithstanding.

 Taking all this into consideration, we ought to sit down and review all that has happened and where we went wrong, what our weak and strong points are… What our future needs are… We should study the whole struggle taking into consideration the interests of all parties, for this is the language that states understand. Shouting and cursing will do us no good.

We should study the experience of the Lebanese Resistance and how it managed to defeat the enemy, in order to make use of whatever we learn from it in the course of the on- going struggle with the enemy.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Intifada still represents the major challenge for the Zionist entity. It is celebrating the occasion in its own very special way by upgrading its fighting methods and moving from throwing stones into mortar shelling and self-sacrifice operations, to the extent that no settler feels secure anymore, despite all the unprecedented sacrifices the Palestinians are offering, with more and more martyrs falling daily… and the starvation as well as the destruction of their lands and houses.

This steadfastness the Intifada militants are demonstrating is the major element of strength in this battle against the enemy. It has made the enemy, along with the US and its allies hasten to find a way out of the current impasse, through an Arab initiative that seeks to end the Intifada. But this initiative is bound to fail due to the steadfastness of the Intifada on the one hand, and the inability of the enemy to keep up the same pace on the other.

The problem with most of the Arab regimes lies in the fact that their political moves and actions are controlled by the US. Consequently they do not take any practical steps to support the Palestinians, nor do they even threaten to exert any pressure on an international level for they are afraid of being punished by the Americans.

As we voice our call on the Arab and Muslim peoples to exert pressure on the regimes to force them to support the Intifada, we believe that there is a dire need for planning to ensure that all economic and political conditions that enable the Intifada to continue are met. We have to study all the circumstances so that our actions can address the actual needs of the current situation. Words and emotional support might play a role but they are certainly not enough. We need both action and words.

At the same time we would like to express our appreciation for the Jerusalem conference that was held in Tehran and we hope that the meetings there have been able to achieve something on the ground. We do not doubt the good intentions of those who delivered speeches in support of the Intifada, but what could these speeches achieve it they do not produce any practical results.

I have read, in the final communiqué, a call for the Arab and Muslim people to boycott American goods. I believe that the first step should be a fatwa issued by all religious authorities (Marja’) to boycott these goods. Boycotting the Americans` goods should not remain merely a call in a communiqué but should become a religious duty. All Muslim religious scholars should be contacted and urged to issue such a fatwa.

I have already issued one, and several other religious scholars have also issued similar fatwas. For we do not want communiqués that only serve to make people feel good, we need actions.

We have recently heard the Americans saying that a strong Lebanon would have a stabilizing effect on the region. Do they really mean it or is it a diplomatic compliment?

Why then has the donor countries` conference not convened and why was the Arab aid that needed American approval not released? What are the American conditions for such aid? Do they demand an end to the Resistance just as they seek an end to the Intifada? Do they want the Army to go to the South to provide security for Israel?

The Arabs, especially those who had a peace deal with the enemy, have had quite a long experience of American promises, could the Lebanese believe that they are truthful this time knowing that it was the American policies that devastated Lebanon with the civil war and the various internal and external pressures.

The struggle against the enemy is very long and complicated and all those concerned should prepare themselves for a long and extremely difficult fight.