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Lectures >2003 Speeches > 09/05/2003

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, May 9 Rabi' Alawal 1424 h, (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer)..


The Death Anniversary of Imam Al-Askari: Honor us
and do not disgrace us

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Nation comes first

Of the purified Members of the House of Muhammad (p.) is the eleventh Imam Al-Hassan bin Ali Al-Askari whose death anniversary is on the eighth of this month.

When we talk about the Imams of the House we are talking about the infallibility in actions, thoughts and teachings; We are talking about purity of souls, minds and tongues. We are talking about the knowledge that stems from the revelation.

We remember the Members of the House because they used to live among the people, serving them teaching them and guiding them to the straight path. They taught them that they should not be neutral when it comes to injustice and that they should uphold Muslims' unity, and have the general interests of Muslims in mind, just as Ali(a.s) did when he was denied his rights. By saying that he will remain peaceful as long as the affairs of Muslims are not undermined, he was telling us, and this is an important part of his legacy, that he would not do or say anything that would create strife or partisanship among Muslims. He was leaving for the Imams as well as all Muslims an object lesson: Whenever they have to choose between the public and private interests, they ought to choose the general at the expense of the personal .

Universal Justice

Imam Al-Askari is one of the members of this House that follows these teachings. He is the last one who appeared before the Imam Al-Mahdi came to be prepared by Allah to establish justice in the universe, being the message of all heavenly religions which were topped by Islam.

When we remember the Imam, who was called Al-Askari, because he lived in a neighborhood in Samira' known as Al-Askar, we remember that all our Imams have suffered a lot from the Abbasids who used to be afraid of them. They were afraid because they saw how popular the Imams were living among the Muslims, teaching them the true basis of Islam and gaining huge following. They were not afraid that the Imams will stage military coups, but rather spiritual and moral ones.

The members of the House used to plant in the minds of the people the need to remain with the truth, and say what they believe to be true respectable of the reactions, it might provoke for Allah says:{ The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve} 18:29.

They taught the believers that they ought to be just in all domains of life, whether in their houses, in their wor, or in their political stands. They stressed that man should always preserve the human being in him regardless of the pressures he faces, especially that the dictators, in every time and place, have always wanted man not to live his freedom. For if the people could speak out what they believed in, all dictators would not be able to force them to accept slavery.

Pride and Freedom

This is the Message of the Members of the House that they hadlearnt from the Glorious Quran that says the honor belongs to the believers as part of the Honor of Allah and His Messenger (p.) { But honor belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers} 63:8.

This is the Message of the members of the House, which they have taken from their grandfather ,Imam Ali (a.s.) , the Champion of freedom after the Messenger(p.) , who used to say: "Do not be a salve of others while Allah has made you free ".

Imam Al-Askari used to stress these values, which made the caliphs grow afraid of him, and as a result they began to prosecute him.

One of the wardens in the Abbasid prisons is said to have told those who came to ask him to torture the Imam even more so as to get rid of him: "What can I do, I have commissioned two of the most vicious villains to torture him and they turned to be two of the best worshippers.

When I asked them :what is the matter with you? they said: What can we do with someone who fasts all daylong and prays all night, and when he talks he keeps on mentioning the name of Allah. When he looks at us, we shiver…"

Appreciating the Imam

Ahmad bin Ubaidallah bin Khakan, one of those who lived among the Abbasid elite talked about the respect the Imam(a.s.) had enjoyed even among the inner elite and ruling circles. He says: "I have not known or seen any Alawite in Samira', who is like Al-Hassan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Al-Rida. I have never heard about any one who matches him in his guidance, charity, chivalry, generosity whether among his relatives or among the ruling Abbasids or all the Hashimites… I have never asked any of the Hashimites, the Military commanders, the judges, the jurists and all other people about him without getting the same answer... that he was the most respected and honored… I have never seen a friend or a foe who does not praise him”. Ahmad's father an Abbasid minister says: If the caliphate were to be removed form the Abbasids, there is no one in the Hashimites who deserves it but him; he is the most chaste, the most knowledgeable... The most pious…"

Islamic unity

The Imam used to guide the Shiites who believe in his Imamate and followed him. In this respect, his teachings are meant for all generation of Muslims, for they are the teachings of Islam. He used to say: "… Be pious and fear Allah, be truthful, and give others, whether good or evil, their dues and be good to your neighbors... This is what Muhammad came with… ". Emphasizing the need for enhancing Muslim unity in the Shiite dealings with follow Muslims, the Imam used to say : “pray among their tribes, attend their funerals, visit the sick among them and give them their dues. If you are pious in religion, truthful in your speech, trustworthy in giving people their dues and of good manners, when they say you area Shiite, I will be happy… Be pious, and seek to honor us and not to disgrace us… Let people love us-talk to them about our religious knowledge and faithfulness to God, instead of using the language of cursing and hatred- Defend us against all falsehood-whether cheer lies or exaggeration-since we deserve the good that is said about us, for we seek good manners action and goals and we call upon people to do … while the bad things that are said about us are not true. We have a right in Allah's Book and we are related to His Messenger, and however claims that he is purified by Allah other than us is lying...

Keep on remembering God and death… when you remember death you will know what this life is worth and you will become aware of your responsibilities and prepared to be held accountable in the Hereafter –keep on reciting the Quran and send blessing to the Prophet".

That's the line of the Imams of the members of the House(a.s.). It's a line that extends throughout life and moves hand in hand with Islam.

Therefore, following them(a.s) ought to be in our attitudes, actions and line and not in one naďve emotions and affections.

The Members of the House(a.s) remain the torch that light one road, because they spent their life treading in the steps of the Messenger(p.) and following the Glorious Quran.

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

They said about America's war on Iraq that it is the earthquake that will devastate the whole Muslim and Arab region; its impact will reach other international axis especially in Asia, as well as Europe, which will feel some of the pressure.

America wants the United Nations and the countries of the world to admit that it is only power in the world that will not let any other pole emerge; all other countries must yield and follow orders.

The beginning was with the visit of the American Secretary of State to Syria and Lebanon that carried a threat to the Arab and Muslim world put in a diplomatic form, saying that they have to deal with the new developments in a new manner.

America has dropped the carrot and it deals now with the stick alone: You should not interfere with the affairs of Iraq even if you were Arabs or Muslims, for you will be undermining American interests. You should not also try to hinder the realization of the Road Map plan to resolve the “Palestinian- Israeli conflict”. You should not help the Palestinians in any means, even if humanitarian only.

Use your intelligence agencies to pressurize the Palestinian Authority to crack down the Intifada that destabilizes the Israeli security which comes, according to the American view, before any other security in the entire world…

America wants to benefit from the war on Iraq to complete its arrogant project. It is exploiting its overthrowing of the dictator in Iraq who used to enjoy the American support. But we all know- like everyone else –that it did not did so for the eyes of Iraqi people…It had its own political economic and security interests in mind.

The Road Map: A political deception

As for the "Road Map", it represents a political deception for Israel is already urging the Jewish lobby in the U.S. to undermine it. Although the plan does not respond to the Palestinian aspirations, Israel does not want any Palestinian independent state in Palestine. And everybody knows that President Bush is incapable of exerting any pressure on Israel, because the “Hawks” in the administration who try to serve Israel by all means will not let him, and because next year is the election year, which means that he is not allowed to anger the American Jews who are more loyal to Israel than they are to America.

This is why we believe that the Palestinian and Arab acceptance of this map is a kind of weakness and helplessness. It also indicates political naivety. They did not take their time in studying it and defining what they have against it, for they were afraid of being accused of hindering the peace process.

The Palestinian people, whether its leaders, its militant factions, or its government, should not be bitten by the same snake twice. They have tried the Oslo Agreement, which was downed by the Jews, and they will surely down this road map, with the other parties in the Quartet Committee unable to do anything to save it… Thus there is a dire need to study the current situation from the viewpoint of a people who seek independence, and not out of a feeling of defeat that America is warning everybody of… They will not be able to cancel a whole people even if they destroy half of it… The Palestinian people should not allow the deception to be renewed… We are not calling for an adventure at random, but rather a careful planning for the future, and playing different but concerted roles; that is using certain subtle tactics that protect the strategy.

 Chaos in Iraq

As for Iraq; it is still living in a state of chaos in all social and security fields, not to mention o the economic collapse. The occupation has turned Iraq into a laboratory for its new experiments, at a time the American companies are being given several opportunities to exploit the Iraq resources.

We appreciate the joy of the Iraqi people, being liberated from the dictator regime, but we want this joy to be rational and realistic that reflects on the present and the future. We want them to study what is going on economically, which could turn the Iraqi vast wealth into a looted one.

They have promised you that Iraq will become a heaven. But have they fulfilled even some of their promises? The American officials who were appointed in Iraq, including the new ruler, are in fact representatives of Israeli polices. What kind of Iraq world these people make knowing that they want it to fall under Israeli influence?

We believe that the current situation in Iraq calls for national unity and for agreeing on a plan that would bring back Iraq to its people and liberate if from the foreign occupation which might find it in its interest to install another dictator like the one that has been ousted, since he was a part of the intelligence of this occupation.

The Iraqi people has some great cultural, political and creativity potentials... It does not need a foreign guardianship. Therefore the Iraqi people should prove to world that it is able to run its affairs, and restore the Iraqi leading and civilizationary role in the region and in the world as well.

The need for more awareness in Lebanon

In Lebanon that is still suffering from its economic crisis, its petty politics and its foreign impasses, we notice that the officials do not seem to be rising to the level of the challenges, especially those of the American-Israeli alliance that renewed controversies regarding the Syrian- Lebanese relations.

I call upon the Lebanese to be armed with wisdom, rationality and awareness. They should keep their eyes on the future, for the trivialities of the present will force the future into a dark tunnel.