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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 09/04/2004

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority, Grand Ayatullah Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Safar 19 1425 h,April 9 2004 AD, (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer).

To Follow Imam Al-Rida is to follow Islam.

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Shining face of Islam

Allay says in His Glorious Book: :{Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a though cleansing} (33:33).

One of those Imams whose death anniversary was on the seventeenth of Safar is Imam Ali bin Musa Al-Rida (a.s.).

This Imam was the most knowledgeable scholar of his age. He was also the most ethical and the most respectful to all those whom he talked with. Whenever he used to talk to anyone, even his enemies, he was never heard saying any harsh words even when he was cursed.

He also needs to go to the Prophet’s Mosque while all the top scholars used to meet and answer the people’s questions. When they could not answer a question they used to refer it to him. Thus, he was regarded as the supreme authority even by those who did not recognize his Imamate.

Al-Ma’moun, the caliph who used to be an accomplished scholar unlike those who came before or after him, made the Imam discuss philosophical and theological issues of religion with a group of intellectuals representing all schools of thought including Christians, Jews, Zaradustran …etc and the Imam was able to overcome all of them.

Thus, the Imam used to be regarded by all Muslims of all sects as the authority in matters of religion and thought.

In this respect, there is a fact about Ahl-el Beit, I want you to beware of: They are not simply people who use their intellectual and religious tools to reach certain rulings, and consequently they could be either right or wrong. They are infallible.

The Infallibles

As Shiites, we believe that the Imams are infallible… Their sayings are those of the Messenger. Imam Ali said: “The Messenger has taught me one thousands fields of knowledge and in each field one thousand gates (branches) were opened before me” to enable him to address all what people need.

Imam Al-Sadiq also says: “My sayings are those of my father’s (They are not independent judgments) and my father’s are those of my grandfather’s and theirs are those of Hussein, while the sayings of Hussein are those of Ali, and the sayings of Ali are those of the Messenger. The sayings of the Messenger are those of God”.

Thus, we believe that the imamate is a continuation of the movement of the Prophet’s Message. The Imams are not religious scholars who try to understand the Message and explain it; they convey what the Messenger has said. Thus, our sect is not simply one of the Islamic sects it is a continuation of the Message.

For we believe in the infallibility of the Imam, despite what certain Sheiks might say, May Allah guide them.

The Imam’s Era

Imam Rida lived in a decisive era that was full of events.

When Al-Ma’moun was victorious, over his brother in their struggle over power, he called on Imam Al-Rida to become the caliph or at least agree to become his heir. Although historians differ in the reasons that motivated Al-Ma’moun, and whether he pressurized the Imam to accept his offer, as he acted as a crown-price, the Imam was able to present a lot of services to the Islamic culture and to the ethic of Islam as well as trying to relief the poor and address their pains and sorrows.

Historians also differ in how the Imam died. Some say that Al-Ma’moun poisoned him after he reconciled with his family. In any case, when we remember Imam Al-Rida who filled the Islamic world with knowledge, spirituality and morality, we have to review some of his sayings. We should imagine that if his body is away, he is still with us through these sayings.

The Imam’s teachings

In one of his letters to Sayyed Abdilazim al-Hassani, one of the great Shiite scholars who used to follow the school of Ahl el-Beit, the Imam says: “Give my best whishes to my followers, and tell them not to enable Satan to find his way to them. Do not let him seduce you to obey him in what makes you disobey God. And tell them to be truthful in what they say, and to return what they are entrusted with to its owners, and do not involve in debates in what does not concern them. Tell them also to be close to one another and exchange visits.

They ought to visit one another and not go and pay a visit to the Imam’s shrine while fighting one another. He added: They should not be concerned in breaking up one another.”

Those who do so, the Imam has asked God to punish them in this world and in the Hereafter…

He ends by saying: “Let them know that Allah has rewarded those who had done good deeds among them, and forgiven those who sinned, except those who assumed partners to God or hurt one of Allah’s followers… If they do so, Allah will not forgive them until they cease to do so. This is the Imam’s will to the believers who follow the line of Ahl el-Beit to unite and refer their differences, if they differ, to Allah and His Messenger.

Yet we do not live in a society that is governed by such teachings.

We live in mutual hatred, even on the basic of religious fanaticism that manipulates religion to serve partisan causes.

We have enough enemies as it is, but we are more dangerous on one another than our enemies. We have turned into sects and parties that live on hatred and fanaticism, even to religious authorities. We produce every single day a new sect that feeds on hatred and fanaticism.

Yet, we travel to visit the Imam’s shrines. If this the way you intend to maintain, save your money and pay your tribute to Imam Al-Rida from where you live. It is far more important to act according to his teaching, which we will talk more about in the future.

We ask God, to make us of those who follow Imam Al-Rida and the other Imams. We ask him to make us soldiers in the army of his grandson who will fill the earth with Justice, the major theme we all seek to establish. But it is a principle that should be followed in all aspects of life whether with God, with oneself, with his own family, or with the other people.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Massacres in Palestine and Iraq are committed by the same enemy

The bloody scene in Palestine of Barbaric Israeli massacres against the Palestinian civilians including children, women and the elderly is being repeated by the American brutal massacres in Iraq… Moreover, if the Palestinians are fighting in Palestine as a reaction to the occupation and its crimes, the Iraqi people too are fighting in this latest episode as a reaction to the occupation and its atrocities.

Furthermore, the collective punishments of the villages, cities and camps by bombing Palestinian civilians to retaliate for detaining one person or killing one soldier, are also being practiced by the American f-16 fighters in Iraq whether in Najaf, Baghdad or Faluja... The siege forced on 500 thousand civilians in Faluja is similar to the siege imposed on all the Palestinian people.

If the Americans are talking about liberating Iraq and establishing democracy and freedom there, we ask them if this is the way to convince the Iraqis in the American brand of democracy! Do excessive force and indiscriminating bombing make the Iraqis love America and support its policies?

Would not it lead the Iraqis and the rest of Arabs and Muslims to hate America even more?

We notice that there are two countries in the world that do not allow to try their soldiers for the crimes that they might commit against civilians: Those countries are America and Israel.

We also know that America punished some of the countries that had voted in favor of trying them, and it also protects its ally of any similar trials.

Thus, these two countries do not have anything to be afraid of on the international level when they commit their atrocities.

We believe that before America could talk about serving justice in Iraq, it should present itself to justice to be tried for its crimes in this country… If it had thrown the totalitarian regime to promote its own interests, this is a thing that belongs to the past. The question is what about the present and the future?

Does America want to increase the collective massacres, as it did in the past when it encouraged its agent, Saddam, to crush the popular Intifada in Shaaban.

It is true that there have been some complications in Iraq, but they could not be treated by this American brutal way.

The American political stupidity have embarrassed even those who collaborate with them leading to their confusion and issuing ambiguous and cloudy stands, with the exception of certain non-Arab Iraqis who described the opposition as “Murders and terrorists”, being motivated by their national inspirations that unfortunately interact with the American strategy.

No to violence against civilians

On the other hands, just as we condemned the American management of the latest development, we emphasize our strong rejection to the violence that targets Iraqi civilians in their mosques and Holy places as well as their humanitarian institutions. Such violence whoever commits it and regardless of their motives, could not be given the honor of being called resistance. They are rather criminal and terrorist acts.

No to sectarian strife

Thus, we denounce the communiqué issued by Al-Zarkawi: especially that he did not deny it. It calls for committing aggressions against Shiite leaders and Imams. All Iraqis especially Sunni clerics should voice their condemnation of this sectarian mentality that executes the arrogant plot of creating strife among Muslims.

We also condemn others attempts to create sectarian strife, such as the books and tapes distributed in Kuwait, and call upon our brothers, there, to stand united as Kuwaitis and as Muslims.

A test for all parties

In this atmosphere of chaos, we warn against those who are trying to create trouble even by creating a new massacre in Karbala like the one that was committed on the tenth of Muharram, and we call for extreme vigilance… We also call upon all parties to respect the lives and properties of all citizens, and prevent the thieves and criminals from destabilizing the general order, for anarchy benefits the occupation only. We also urge the faithful and honest Iraqi politicians to stand with their people and not with the occupiers, since the current stage represents a test to them.

As for the Arab and Muslims regimes’ total silence in the face of the American massacres, just as the heavy silence they face the Israeli massacres with, we ask: What Arab summit are they talking about: The last summit was post power due to an American suggestion and the coming summit will be held due to another American suggestion since what the Americans want to change has been changed.

Lebanon: They simply refuse to leave

Lebanon is living a crisis of many levels sectarians incitation, economic depression, rise of the national debt to reach twice of the local product, increase in taxes of which 90% go to some of the rich who are provided by 3 billions every year from the pier.

Yet the political class engages in its feuds that end any stability or viability the country possess, and continues to follow its course of corruption and theft. They are simply unable to solve any problem yet they refuse to leave and try to distract the people with sectarian differences that make them forget their hunger. When will all this end?