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Lectures >2003 Speeches > 10/01/2003

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Grand ayatullah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons (at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Zoul-Qida 7 1423h - January  10, 2003 , several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

 

The Lessons of history’s first crime


The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

   The first crime

The First murder in history was mentioned in the Glorious Quran to act as a lesson for humankind that emphasizes the religious respect of human life. It is the story of Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam.

Although Adam (a.s.) has undoubtedly told his sons about what happened between him and Satan, and explained to them how he had been deceived and lead out of Heaven….

 And although He also made clear that Satan’s motive was jealousy, for he believed that he was better than Adam whom Allah, the most Exalted, ordered the angels to kneel before him...

But the problem is that Adam’s sons might, like some of our children as well as the parents, have heard the sermon, but did not learn the lesson.

Allah, the most Exalted,  asked Cain and Abel to offer sacrifices. Then a Devine fire would pass by each sacrifice. The one it consumes is the one that Allah, the most Exalted, accepted… They did this and the fire consumed Abel’s offering. Cain grew jealous and threatened to kill his brother.

Two Models

The Holy Quran tells us this story because they represent two different attitudes in life: the positive and the negative. Let us read the verses and learn from them what benefits us in our life.

{ And relate to them the story of the two sons of Adam with truth when they both offered an offering, but it was accepted from one of them and was not accepted from the other. He said: I will most certainly slay you. (The other) said: Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil)}. ( 5:27 )

I have nothing to do with it; Allah, the most Exalted, accepted my sacrifice because He knows that I am faithful in my worshiping. Why blame me, and forget yourself? You ought to go back and study the reasons that made Allah, the most Exalted,  not accept your sacrifice. You have to study your relation with Allah. Your righteousness… Your fairness… the love that fills your heart… etc.

:{ Surely I wish that you should bear the sin committed against me and your own sin, and so you would be of the inmates of the fire, and this is the recompense of the unjust} (5.029).
I did not commit unlawful acts… You are my brother and you have not done anything that deserves killing…

Allah, the most Exalted,  has taught me to live peacefully with others… Violence is not the norm that we should adopt in dealing with one another. Allah, the most Exalted,  does not want people to resort to violence just because they differ in certain views. He does not want jealousy to make us live in anxiety and anguish, which will ultimately make one loose his purity and nobleness.

Why should we envy others? Why should we wish that they would be deprived of what Allah, the most Exalted, has bestowed on them? Instead we should ask Allah, the most Exalted, to give us what he has given them. Why do you envy others? They have worked hard while you sat down and did nothing.

Even if you are jealous of one's beauty it is a beauty that Allah, the most Exalted, has given him.

Here one might ask: Why did not Abel defend himself? How was he killed? Was he killed in a fight?

The Quran does not mention these details, because it is not a novel that you would have fun in reading it. It tells stories so that one can deduce the ethical principles that guide us in life.

Fanaticism leads to Devastation.

Thus we are presented with these two personalities: The first is the one that is driven by jealousy, envy and malice; it is guided by the selfishness, fanaticism and the like… He is like a scorpion whose very nature impels it to bite… They are those who practice falsehood and command others to follow suit.

They are infected with all kinds of fanaticism, whether partisan, sectarian or even to one person… These fanaticisms leave no room for recognizing the other. In their view, the solution is to eliminate the other, just as Cain killed Abel.

The other personality is the one that believes that life is wide enough for everybody to have a place under the sun… That love could produce everything man needs while hatred and envy lead only to destruction… that people could live together despite their differences, which could be solved, through dialogue. Thus is the logic of Abel: the logic of non-violence with your folk and not with your enemy who forces you to fight. We have to believe in non-violence, for this the only way for our society to develop and prosper.

Together we can build life while those who destroy it will be forgotten and crushed, only those who produce love will remain.

After Cain hilled his brother, he carried him around, not knowing what to do with his body. So Allah, the most Exalted, sent him a crow to show him how to burry his brother:

{Then Allah sent a crow digging up the earth so that he might show him how he should cover the dead body of his brother. He said: Woe me! Do I lack the strength that I should be like this crow and cover the dead body of my brother? So he became of those who regret.

 On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land}
.  (5:31-32.)

 Let us plant love instead of hatred… good instead if evil… for this is what builds life and makes us pious and faithful believers.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Palestinians continue their Intifada with martyr operations, proving that the dialogue in Cairo will not make the militant (Jihad) factions freeze these operations regardless all the attempts to prove that they are un-humane, or politically counterproductive, as if they were aggressions that target innocent civilians…

To all those who condemned or denounced these operations, we ask: What could the Palestinians do to confront all these international Zionist and Arabian pressures, while they do nothing to stop the Israelis’ killing and destruction? How could they get rid of occupation? What has the Quartet Committee done to ease the severe pains of the Palestinians?

The American Diplomacy: A model of killing and terror.

The truth of the matter is that the Palestinians have been devastated both militarily and economically, and the enemy is trying to destroy all their securities. There is nothing left to them but to storm the Israeli security with the only means they have.

As for president Bush who continues to declare on every occasion that he recognizes the Israeli right of self-defense in the way they deem appropriate, we ask him: What about the closure of three universities? What about the roadblocks, and the closures that isolate all Palestinian cities, towns, camps and villages? If this is not a collective punishment what is? Who is preventing the Palestinian Authority from organizing a meeting to discuss reform, as was suggested by the Quartet Committee has to do with self- defense?

Moreover, if a Palestinian faction carried out a martyr operation does it justify attacking Palestinian camps and killing Palestinian civilians, especially children?

Is this the democracy Bush wants to present to the Arab world: allowing Israel to kill all the Palestinian people and occupying their land in the name of self-defense?

Doesn't this answer their question: Why do they hate us?

The War of American Interests.

In this atmosphere, America continues to beat the drums of war in that region: they do want to liberate the Iraqi people, whom the US announced that it will occupy their land for a long period for the sake of modernizing their regime, a pretense similar to that used by the old colonialism.

We believe that the Iraqis need to get rid of their oppressive regime, but could this be accomplished by American occupation while everybody knows that the Americans are here to stay? They want to put their hands over the region’s, especially the Gulf’s, vast resources, and transform it into a military base to launch aggressions against its peoples, and besiege Syria, Iran and any other power that might confront the Israeli enemy that was given the exclusive right of possessing mass destruction weapons to maintain its military supremacy over the region.  

 The Israeli threat: a preventive media war

 Finally, Israel continues to issue threats, against Lebanon ; and although these threats are so far merely a preventive media war, for the enemy knows that it will have to pay a heavy price if it attacks Lebanon , we are concerned about what is happening on the homeland front. The Lebanese political life is deteriorating to a level that does not honor a civilized people like the Lebanese, especially with respect to the freedom of the press. In this respect, we believe that saying that the freedom of press should be constrained so as not to hurt Lebanon 's relations with its friends is irrelevant.

And to the officials we say: if Lebanon respects the rule of law just as it cherishes civil liberties, then they should all be ruled by the constitution that determines, the authorities’ duties and rights … If certain laws contain some mistakes, then they should be amended by the proper constitutional authorities without threatening the security and stability of the country, or distracting its people from focusing on the major challenges that face Lebanon.

On another level, we deploy the criminal acts of revenge that recently took place in the Biqaa' region, and call upon the wise and the reformists to control these backward habits, and put an end to these crimes, as well as the other brutal crimes that we are witnessing like those against judges and other civilians.

Be responsible officials

We would like the government to be concerned with developing the deprived regions especially Biqaa’ and A'kar. It should not make its sole concern how to milk the people by imposing new taxes that target the poor and the middle class, to balance the budget's deficit which is the responsibility of the successive governments, including this government, in the first place.

The people are already very poor; don’t make them poorer. They are already hungry and unemployed… Don't make their circumstances even worse… Be responsible responsibles.