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Lectures >2002 Speeches > 09/08/2002

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ayatullah Al Ozma H.E. M. H. Fadlullah delivered two speeches (at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, JomadaI 29, 1423h, August 9, 2002 (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer).


By Righteousness, the Community will enjoy well-being, stability and Unity.

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful  

Righteousness is obeying Allah

 God says in His Glorious Book {It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and give Zakat, to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and through all periods of panic, such are the people of truth, the God –fearing}[2:177].

This Holy verse was revealed when Allah changed the place Muslims turn their faces to in prayer from Jerusalem to Al-Kaaba (in the Sacred Mosque of Mecca); as it says in the Quran: {We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the Heavens. Now shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque wherever ye turn your faces in that direction}[2:144].

Those of you who performed pilgrimage have probably visited the Mosque in which the Messenger prayed towards Jerusalem. Then when the verse was revealed, he prayed the second prayer towards the Sacred Mosque.

The Jews exploited this event to arise questions among the Muslims concerning which one of the two was Allah’s ruling and how did it change? It was a trial for Muslims in showing obedience to Allah (S.W.T) for He is the One Who says what is lawful and what is not. And He might command something today and another thing tomorrow. Jesus Christ (p.) said to the children of Israel “And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you”[3:50].

It is also said that the Imams answered those who wondered how the children of Adam (A.S) married being brothers and sisters, that making something lawful or not lawful is in the hands of God  (S.W.T) alone. Thus, this verse wanted to explain to the Muslims that they do not have to be concerned about the direction of the prayer, for this is not righteousness, Righteousness is obeying Allah’s commands and being charitable; righteousness is obeying Allah (S.W.T) in everything you believe and in everything you do. That is why the Messenger   said: “I was commanded to be the first Muslim”. If Allah orders you to do something today and to something else tomorrow you have to obey
{it is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision. If any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path}[33:36].

In this verse, Allah (S.W.T) wished to list in one verse all what Muslim should believe in and do. He wanted to join those two aspects because belief is worthless without action and action is worthless without belief {By the time. Verily man is in loss. Except such who have faith , and do righteous deeds, and join together in the mutual enjoining of the truth and of patience and constancy. } [103:1-3].

 The main components of righteousness

It is not as the verse says to turn your faces towards the east or the west, for this is merely a detail that Allah decides upon. It is to believe in God. The basic belief of a Muslim is to believe in the one God that has no partners. Then there is the belief in the Last Day that you will be raised and be tried by Allah (S.W.T) in the Hereafter.

Then we should believe in the Angels, and the Book (Quran), meaning all the Heavenly messages that Allah (S.W.T) has sent His prophets and messengers.

These are the basic beliefs that make man a Muslim. If he does not believe in any of them he would not be a Muslim. As for the other sectarian beliefs like the issue of the Imamate, if one does not believe in it he is still considered a Muslim. Although we believe that it is one of the religious realities, which Allah ordained and commanded His prophet to declare {O’ Messenger! Proclaim the (Message) which has been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou did not, thou would not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief), for Allah guides not those who reject faith}[5:67].

Then the Quran goes on to describe the practical side of righteousness. It says: {to spend out of love for Him} (either that he gives the money that he loves, or that he gives the money for the love of Allah, as did the Members of the House) {And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan and the captive * (Saying), We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: No reward do we desire from you, nor thanks}[76:8-9]. For your kin (and some said it means the Messenger’s Kin), the orphans (in all possible way including sponsoring them) for the needy, for the wayfarer (those who do not have any money to continue their journey) for those who ask (based on an actual need) and for the ransom of slaves (to help in freeing the slaves, at the time there were still slaves in the Muslim community) to be steadfast in prayer (which is the believers’ journey to Allah) and give Zakat (all the money Muslims give whether as a religious duty or out of charity) to fulfill the contracts  (whether with  you family or in your social and practical life) and to be firm and patient in pain and adversity (you should  be patient  if you are poor, and cling to your religion and principles; that is, you should not compromise them for the sake of money or any other worldly gain.

You should also be patient in sickness and in war. Those are the righteous and the pious that fear Allah and obey Him for the love of Him.

Staying away from sins 

Allah says: {Help one another in what is good and pious, not in what is wicked and sinful} (5:2).

 Allah wants all communities; especially the Muslim believing one, to help one another, for this is the way a society is built. But it should be a cooperation that leads to the good, to what raises the level of the community socially politically and culturally.

This is how Islam views cooperation… It does no want you to help one another in what is sinful. You should not help one another in attacking others, out of you partisanship or any other sort of fanaticism. Allah (S.W.T) does not want us to attack any unbeliever as long as he is peaceful. He also does not want us to commit any aggression against any Muslim.

Thus, whenever we are asked for help by any of our relatives, friends, compatriots and fellow party members... we should study the purposes of this help. If it is for the good, we will help enthusiastically. But if it is for a sinful or wicked cause, we will not only abstain, but we will also try to deter those who are calling for it.

The Reward of righteousness and charity:

The Messenger (p.) tells us that those who are charitiful and seek to be righteous will be rewarded in this life before they are rewarded in the Hereafter. He says: that “charity is the only thing that prolongs life”. He also says “charity is the fastest good to be rewarded”.

 Imam Ali (a.s.) stated: “Charity does not perish”. Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) says: “Be good to your parents, your children will be good to you”.

This is the atmosphere that Allah (S.W.T) wants us to live in. It is an atmosphere of cooperation for the good and piety, because this is what fills our community with love and ensures its unity and stability. As for cooperation in what is sinful and wicked that is based on partisan or sectarian fanaticism, such cooperation will ruin the society. And we are responsible for all these acts whether good or evil.

The Second Sermon 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful 

The Israelis are carrying on with their killing and destroying operations, while the American Secretary of Defense does not consider the West Bank to be occupied but rather territories won in war. He also refuses to call Israelis to dismantle the settlements; the fact that the UN resolutions, as well as the American policy, consider it as such is notwithstanding.

 On his part, the American President continues his campaign against the Palestinians under the pretense of fighting terrorism and views the Israeli massacres and atrocities as self-defense… all this is done for the purpose of giving the Republican candidates a chance to win by the votes of the Jews and the Christian fundamentalists who are more Zionist than the Jews.

A thorough study of the American plan

The Americans and Israelis are playing complementary roles with the aim of deceiving the international public opinion. The American Secretary of State receives some Palestinian ministers to manage the crisis in a way that it does not exceed certain limits with no intention at all to solve the real crisis of occupation or even stop the daily atrocities against the Palestinians.

They might even want them to enter in a civil war to be proclaimed innocent from the accusation of terrorism…

As for the Israeli, they have proposed “Gaza (a Palestinian strip) first” on a trial basis…

They want the authority to crack down the Intifada and arrest the Mujahidieen, hinting that they will allow it later on to build its security apparatus… Yet once the Authority accepted the proposal, they added new conditions, as it is the standard procedure of Israel to   exert more and more pressure to make the Palestinian Authority surrender in the end. The Mujahideen refused this security plan and insured at the same time that they will not take part in any internal conflict, whatever sacrifices they have to make.

 We believe that what is going on now is making the world preoccupied with the Iraqi question so that they will be distracted away from the Israeli brutality and give Israel the chance to crush the Intifada.

Save the Iraqi people

But as we draw the attention to the tragedy of the Iraqis as a result of internal and external siege, and as we call upon all free men to save the Iraqis and return to the people of Iraq their freedom of self-determination and rid them from the tyranny, we would like to emphasize that America is not concerned with the sufferings of the Iraqi people. All it cares about is putting its hand over their resources and crushing any Muslim and Arab force that might confront the Israeli occupation… It is regretful that some factions of the Iraqi opposition have believed the US and started to discuss with it the future of Iraqis, although America does not engage in a dialogue but merely gives orders.

We call for a thorough examination of the American plan for Iraq. We feel that it is still being cooked on a law temperature as a result of the political regional and international complications… Thus, we advise those who are in a hurry to receive the American blessing, which at any rate will not be in the interest of the Iraqis, to review their calculations because America seeks an Afghan- like opposition whose president justifies the killing of civilian Afghanis.

As the Palestinians and Iraqis face severe dangers, we have to remember the statement of President Bush against the Islamic Republic of Iran in which he made no differentiation between the various parties in the political spectrum whether reformists or conservationists...

America is concerned only with its interests, even if all the nations of the world would suffer as a result. Those nations ought therefore to be aware of the American plans and be prepared to confront them, especially after America is becoming more and more arrogant in its policies and actions with the feeling that it is the strongest power in the world. The weakened nations should know that their resolve to fight back is the source of their strength and ultimately their ability to win.

Sectarian demands do not establish freedom and independence

In Lebanon, we believe that sectarian coalitions will not serve the purposes of freedom and independence. And we would also like to ask: What is the meaning of these voices that are saying that the problem in Lebanon is Syria and not Israel, or that the laws the American Congress is going to pass to pressurize Syria provides the solution for Lebanon.

The Lebanese are the ones responsible of solving their problems through objective dialogue, for this is what makes them reach the freedom and security they are looking for.

If there are certain deficiencies in the relationship with Syria all parties should start a dialogue about them.

Negative and emotional reactions especially when they come from a sectarian side could further increase the Lebanese division. Therefore, we have to be realistic and know that our internal problems are a product of seeking external support.

Dear Lebanese…

We ought now to collect points and not to score them. A dialogue in which no one listens to the other will lead us nowhere. We do not have to forsake our principles; we only have to learn how to be realistic and how to let these principles guide us towards finding a solution and not complicating things.