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Lectures >2003 Speeches > 08/08/2002

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, August 8 2003, Jamadi-Althani 10 1424 h, (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer)


Piety and obedience is the way to please God and reach heaven

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Obedience brings you closer to heaven 

In the Holy Qur’an the qualities of piety and obedience are emphasised as ways to reach Heaven. Even with respect to prophets and prominent religious figures. God , who is the creator of all human beings, does not have a special relation with any of them other than those who seek to please Him in these ways. This is what the Messenger (p.) and the Imams have told us.

Among the sayings that emphasise the importance of obedience is what the Prophet is reported to have said in his farewell speech. It was as if it was the Prophet’s last wish. In this speech Mohammad reportedly said:

“Oh people! By God, there is nothing that draws you nearer to heaven and further away from hell that I have not told you to do. And there is nothing that draws you nearer to hell and further from heaven that I have not warned against doing. The faithful spirit…”(This is probably a reference to Gabriel )“…has told me that no one will die until they receive what is due to them. Therefore be pious and try to obtain what you need you in the best way.” So do not try to obtain things in unlawful ways and do not be obsessed with material gain. “…there is nothing than can obtained from God other than through obeying Him.”

In another saying the Imam Baqr (A.S.) is reported to have said in the context of what Shiism means. According to him it is not enough to love the Ahl Al Beit to be a Shiite. You must also have commitment, be pious and be obedient. There are some people who say that loving Ali is a deed that saves you from everything. But the Qur’an refutes this idea when it says:

“This shall not be in accordance with your vain desires or in accordance of the followers of the book Whoever does evil shall be punished for it and he will not find any other than God to help him.”. 4.123

This is what the Qur’an says and whoever says differently we should ignore. 

The followers of Ahl Al Beit are those who are pious and obedient

Imam Baqir(a.s.) is reported to have said:

“Is it enough for whoever claims to be a Shiite to say he loves us? By God…”

(And whenever the Imam Baqir swears it has to be very important)“…the Shiites are those who fear and obey God. They were known for being humble, trustworthy remembering God often, being kind to their parents and neighbours especially the poor, the needy and the orphans. They were truthful, often recited the Qur’an and only spoke about the good qualities of others. Do not delude yourselves. It is not enough for a man to say I love Ali and follow him if he does not reflect this in his actions. He could have said that he loves the Messenger (p.) for the Messenger is better than Ali…”

(Let those who are trying to say that the Imam Ali is better than the Prophet Mohammad hear this!)

“…If a man says I love the Messenger but does not follow his teachings, his love will do him no good. Therefore be pious and know that has a special relationship with God. God loves those of you who are pious and obedient most. We have no power to save you from the fire! And God is not obliged under any circumstances to save you either. Whoever obeys God is one of our followers and whoever disobeys Him is one of our enemies. Being one of our followers cannot be attained other than thorough hard work and piety.” 

Patience is the way to heaven

Of course this hard work and piety needs a lot of patience which is made clear in several Quranic verses. In one of the reported traditions , Imam Baqir tries to explain to us who the followers of Ahl Al Beit are and he emphasises that they are not fanatics and I am repeating this to counter those who exaggerate the position of Ahl Al Beit:

“Oh followers of Ahl Al Beit! Be moderate so that both those who exaggerate and the ones who understate will follow you.”

When asked who those who exaggerate are he answered: ‘They are those who attribute things to us which we do not have…”(In other words give them a higher position than God gave them) “Those people do not belong to us and we do not belong to them. By God; we have no guarantee of salvation… we have no special relation with God that obliges Him to save us. Our only way to draw nearer to God is through obedience. Therefore, only those of you who obey God will benefit from being our followers. Oh people! Do not be deceived. Do not be deceived”

God wants us to be closer to Him and this is why we pray, fast or go on pilgrimage. When we live in this world we realise that it is not eternal and thus we must always think of the afterlife. It is like what the people of Qaroon told him:

“And use what God has given you to reach your future abode and do not neglect your portion in this world. Do good to others as God has done good to you and do not seek to create problems in the world. God certainly does not love those who are mischievous.”23:77 

The Second Sermon 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Appeasing the Zionist Lobby

The Palestinian cause is still lost in a maze of details that are being complicated by the Israeli entity in an effort to brush the political issues under the carpet and replace them with issues of “security”. This issue therefore is how to protect the Jews while the root causes of the problem that of occupation, the right of Palestinians to self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state are totally forgotten.

The American administration has supported this view for although it talks about an independent Palestinian state it invariably links it with the disarming and dismantling of the organisations that are fighting against the Israelis and it exerts pressure on the Palestinian authority to carry out the suppression of the latter. On the other hand, America does not pressurise the Israelis either to facilitate the execution of the Road Map plan or to stop building the wall to separate them from the Palestinians. They are content to make some remarks in order to pay lip service to the Arabs. The whole thing seems to be an American-Israeli plan that enables the Israelis to continue their policy of settlement with a nothing more than a few public condemnations from time to time. America has adopted the Arabic habit of saying one thing and doing another! 

Seek to remove the Zionist occupation

Everybody knows that the Israelis, especially the present government, are trying to thwart any political solutions that give Palestinians their legal rights because they view this as a threat to its own entity that rejects any independent Arab or Islamic free existence. That’s why it is playing the game of releasing some prisoners and detaining multiples of the number released while invading their cities and villages and making road blocks that prevent the Palestinians from carrying on with their daily life. They might remove some of these barriers only to erect other ones but in doing this they will succeed in deceiving the American public opinion and win the support of the American President.

Sharon aims at driving the Palestinian militants to break the truce so as to put the ball in the Palestinian court and say that they are not committed to the truce or the Road Map before he then imposes a truce on them under his own terms.

We believe that the Palestinians should stick to the central issue, which is the removal of the occupation and achieving national independence. Any details should conform to this strategy so as not to lose track of our aim in the game of tactics. If some are talking about real-politicks meaning that we should accept the American-Israeli conditions, we believe that being realistic is finding the means and the tactics that serve our own strategy.

This stage is thought to be the final one meaning that the Israeli solution will be imposed on the Palestinian people. In this respect, putting one’s stakes on America is but a mirage which will lead nowhere. For America is implementing the following policies: 

Syria and Iran should stand firm against American threats

The first of these policies is the heavy stick it is using to threaten several Arab and Muslim countries. It threatens Syria so that the latter will pressurise the militants is Syria and Palestine as if it is Syria’s duty to stand against what America calls terrorism and what is actually the Zionist occupation of Palestine. In this respect, we appreciate Syria’s firm stand against these threats. America also threatens Iran in order to push it to recognise Israel or to impose the conditions of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which are in fact American conditions. They have not even acknowledged Iran’s right to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes. We would like the Iranians to understand that in the face of these huge threats that are almost military in nature, it ought to stick to its unity, which represents the integrity of Islam and freedom. 

Iraq: Different but concerted rolls in resisting the occupation

The American occupation of Iraq is still pressurizing the Iraqis both publicly and privately domains. Despite efforts to give the impression that they wish to let Iraqis run their own affairs, every single political economic and security decision must be passed by the American. We have absolute confidence in the Iraqi people and we want them to understand thoroughly what the occupation is really about. The past is dead with all its crimes and all its atrocities. Now we must concentrate on the present for the sake of the future, so that we will be able to distribute the roll of fighting the occupation among us. 

The third point is the bombing in southern Beirut, which has many implications and possible consequences for the resistance and Lebanon in general. Every citizen must be constantly on alert in order to try and prevent the perpetrators of such deeds from succeeding. 

The explosion in Indonesia distorts the image of Islam

In our religious capacity, we strongly condemn the bombing that occurred in Indonesia in which many innocent people died. It distorts the image of Islam and complicates the conditions of Muslims. We believe, even as a Fatwa, that such actions do not have any Islamic legitimacy in fighting the American policies which should use uniquely Islamic legitimate means. We should study the interests and security situation of the Muslim community and all the possible repercussions of any action. Jihad is not a violent emotion reaction that is not part of an objective and carefully studied plan.

Lebanon is sinking fast in the bog of corruption

As we face several political and economic scandals in Lebanon that leave their devastating effects on the living conditions of ordinary people and as the debate over the responsibilities of the various parties heightens, we would like to ask the following question: Most of these problems, like the electricity, social security garbage collection…etc are not new problems but many ministers and officials have been faced with these problems for many years so why are these people not held responsible for these problems? It seems that far from solving them, many have actually benefited from them. Lebanon, the country of enlightenment, is becoming the country of darkness... The country of creativity is becoming the country of backwardness. Where are you taking this country? And don’t say that you have the confidence of the people because the confidence of the parliament does not necessarily imply the support of the people. Especially as the current electoral laws serve sectarian interests rather than reflect, as they should do, the wishes, of the people.