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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 12/03/2004

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, Muharram  20 1425 h,March  12 2004,  (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer)


Kindness and Leniency in the Messenger’s course of Action


The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mercy and leniency

Allah says in His Holy Book in the context of talking to His Messenger about how the Prophet deals with his companions and with people in general: “Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust”. In this Ayah, God stresses that the secret of the prophet’s success is his Message that made people listen to and follow him lies in his gentleness.

For although Allah has given him the highest rank in mankind, he used to treat all people as brothers, forgiving anybody who hurts him. This is one of the characteristics of any leader, to forgive those living with him when they make mistakes, and build self-confidence in them.

He has the duty to develop their intellect so they could help him in running the affairs of the nation. Thus, the Messenger (p.) is asked to consult with the people.. He should encourage them to think, making each one of them a potential leader who engages actively in finding solutions and not merely following orders.

The Messenger is the supreme role model

The Messenger (p.) does not certainly need this consultations, having been given all the knowledge he needs, by the Almighty God.

But we are given an object lesson about the relations between future leaders and the people: The leadership should confer with the people informing them about its plans and projects except those who might harm the security before it takes its decisions, especially when the leader is as gentle as the Prophet (p.): Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate (9:128).

If the prophet was the gentle and merciful who used to have the concerns of the nation in his heart, then all leaders in all fields whether political, jurisprudence, security or social have to follow his lead: Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much. (33:21). This is what all believers should adopt: whenever a problem occurs, believers should try to solve it in a gentle and kind manner, knowing that Allah rewards more on gentleness them on violence: And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! He between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend. (41:34).

Based upon this logic, we used to say to many journalists, especially Westerners, that Islam teaches us to be the friends of the world, and to seek to win them as friends. It prohibits us to fight unless in self-defense.

This is what Islam teaches us: kindness and gentleness, not violence. Since even on the practical level, gentleness is what enables our society to become a society where the strong does not oppress the weak…

A few days ago the woman’s day was celebrated. The slogan this year was “Violence against women”, whether the wife, the daughter, the sister and the employed.

There is a kind of racial discriminations men in general even in the so-called civilized countries practices against women.

Violence against women in the West, takes various forms including beating, rape and even killing, and we have started to feel the impact of this violence in our society through T.V. shows or other media means. The UN has disclosed that women are more inclined to contract AIDS than men through the violence of the latter. This kind of violence is absolutely not accepted by Islam.

Rules of married life

Talking about the relations between husband and wife Allah, the most Exalted, says:
“O you who believe! It is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straiten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. And if you wish to have (one) wife in place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, then take not from it anything; would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong? Has placed abundant good in it. And how can you take it when one of you has already gone in to the other and they have made with you a firm covenant”

The Ayahs are quite clear: you should always be kind and loving even if you decide to divorce. You should keep your legal promises and never try to force your wife to forego he financial rights.

There is another kind of violence against wives. To kick her out of her house. This is also unlawful; a man should never kick his wife out of the house, as long as they are married. On the other hand, the wife is not entitled to go to her parent’s house unless she fears for her life or she is subjected to an extraordinary pressure.

Then there is the issue of beating the wife. This is also religiously unlawful. Even cursing is unlawful since she remains similar to any other woman in the society. All the husband’s rights are those stipulated in the marriage contract.

Although Islam made the husband responsible for providing for the family, it did not make the woman a slave to the man. Islam wants their common life to be based on love and kindness. They are a married couple in body but they are brothers in religion.

Similarly, one cannot beat his daughters or sons except when it is absolutely necessary, and even then it should be gentle and does not cause bruises, or any harm.

That is why we have issued a fatwa that prohibits wounding the children to let their blood spill in Ashoura. A father does not have the right to injure or harm his children… If he wants to teach him to love Imam Al-Hussein, such love cannot be based on such backward practices that distort the image of Islam in the world.

Education on the Quran

It is also a form of unacceptable violence when a father or a brother prevents his daughter or sister from marrying the qualified man she wants, for this could lead to the commonly known practice of “Kidnapping” and then the men would commit murder claiming they are averaging their wounded honor.

There are also many other kinds of social violence, where by the strong, be it a party, an individual or a group, would force their will on others, and prevent then from practicing their freedom and sometimes in the name of Islam.

Therefore we should all be educated on the culture of the Prophet (p.), which is the culture of the Quran: To be kind and gentle in our personal, social and political lives to recognize the other and respect him, we should not hasten to accuse who does not agree with us of unbelief.

Dear loved ones: This is Islam. It is not enough to practice the rituals, but they should also be accompanied with good treatment to the others. This is what this Friday prayer is meant for: to teach people of how to face their social and political problems in the best manner, and not merely to bow and kneel.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Israeli Impasse

Palestine is still in the midst of political mazes and projects that serve the American Israeli interests. Nonetheless, these projects are confusing both the Palestinians and the Arabs in general. Meanwhile there is no longer any talk about the Road Map, with the Zionist project about withdrawing from Gaza taking its place in the limelight. Could the Palestinians overcome the challenges of this new plan as they did in the past, especially with all the talk about who would be in charge of security in Gaza, leaving to the Palestinians various parties to agree on its limits. Or should Egypt be in charge as Israel demands while the Egyptians are weary since its represents a minefield? Moreover, is the withdrawal a free propaganda to boost Bush’s fortunes in the coming elections? And could it lead to an Arab-Israeli rapprochement that would enable some Arab regimes to enter the American paradise from the Israeli gate...

Meanwhile, the Zionists continue to commit daily massacres, in an organized and systematic operation to eradicate the Palestinians under the pretense of fighting terrorism led by the United states which sees in every cry or action against the Zionist occupation an act of terror, thus permitting the Israelis of continuing to divide the Palestinian territories into isolated islands so that the coming round of negotiations, if it occurs, will merely be an accession to sign on the demanded concessions in the name of preserving peace.

We warn the Palestinian people who proved to be a spot of light in this political darkness confront this plan which aims at serving Israel from the imprisonment of the impasse of the Intifada has put the Israelis in, and perpetuate occupation. We are confident that they would devise a wise and practical plan to face these challenges.

Iraq: No legitimacy for the occupation measures

In Iraq, the occupation is still dominating Iraq’s security, economy and politics in an effort to ensure that the future of Iraq would conform to its imperial interests.

In this respect, the provisional constitution leaves in every article many question marks that enable those who wish to destabilize the country to interfere. It enables certain parties to have a greater share than its real size, thus creating several confessional and national problems. Even those who have signed have done so with many reservations out of fear of being accused of stopping the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis.

We say to all Iraqis that there is no legitimacy to any political or constitutional move taken under the occupation’s sponsorship or intimidation.

We ask all Iraqis to unite and beware of all the plans that aim at inciting strife. They should plan for their future and think about every step they take to ensure that it paves the way for liberation. They should know that there could be no sovereignty with the presence of this occupation that did not assign a certain date for the final withdrawal of its military forces.

Freedom and Democracy in Lebanon

The Lebanese state ought to protect the rights of its citizens, especially the students whose thinking is focused on the future. It should preserve the freedom of speech and expression, and resort to dialogue and not oppression, no matter how negative the views are . Lebanon cannot be built except on the basis of unity and reconciliation in a country where the rights and duties of citizens and not sects are respected, especially in these difficult times where we face the American imperial projects in the region.

The state should also provide social security by finding job opportunities that curtail immigration… It should listen to the rightful demands and confront the problems, which the regime itself created… What preserves social and political security is openness and not oppression, plurality and not exclusion. If no effort is taken in this direction the country’s image will remain one where the people starve while their rules accumulate wealth, and where corruption becomes the dominant culture.

Lebanon is the country of freedom. It is not permitted to turn it into an oppressive one, and a country where hunger, corruption and waste are abundant.