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Lectures >2002 Speeches > 26/04/2002

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ayatullah Al Ozma H.E. M. H. Fadlullah delivered two khotbas (at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque) Safar 13, 1422h /April 26, 2001 (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer).

Be Righteous and you will be Rewarded

The First Speech

In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful

Man should follow principles not instincts

Allah wants man to adhere in everything he says, does or thinks to a certain principle that acts as a guide that enables him to decide whether to do something or to refrain from doing it.

That is why He sent His Messengers, from Adam to Muhammad to ensure that man adheres to the line of righteousness:{This is My straight path, so follow it, Follow not other ways} and He taught us to say:{Show us the straight path. The Path of those whom thou hast favored. Not (the path) of those who earn your anger nor of those who go astray}.

He also told us that He said to His prophet:{Unto this, then, summon (O Muhammad). And be thou upright as thou are commanded}. He showed us that if they follow His path they will be rewarded with His graces:{If they (the idolaters) tread the right path, We shall give them to drink of water in abundance}.

He also told us that it is this righteousness that will bring you the glad tidings of paradise {Lo! those who say: Our lord is Allah, and afterward are upright, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not nor grieve, but hear good tidings of the paradise which ye are promised}.

In the right of this, Allah warned against not following His line and expressed this attitude by following one’s passions or desires and making them the only motive that drives him to take one direction or another. We know that such a man is unbalanced, for passion and desires are uncontrollable. We might find ourselves wanting something today and rejecting it tomorrow, or loving someone today and hating him tomorrow, or taking one stand today and adopting its opposite tomorrow, for passions and desires are like the wind which might be strong or light, coming from the south or from the north.

That is why Allah has warned man against following our passions. For such a man would be totally lost not knowing where he is now and where the wind would lead him in the future. Yet, Allah does not want us to suppress our desires. He created the instincts (such as food, sex and even survival) and made fulfilling them necessary for our very being and existence. But He wants us to control and rationalize them.

Regarding foods and drinks, He said: {eat and drink, but be not prodigal}. As For sex, He controlled it through marriage so as people won’t practice adultery or homosexuality: {And come not near unto adultery, Lo! It is an abomination and an evil way}.

Marriage is as an instrument to control instinct

And because He limited the practice of sex to marriage He called for facilitating it. All the complications that are associated with marriage like demanding a very high dowry are but a product of the society that lead to encouraging abomination. Thus Allah does not want us to suppress these instincts, but rather to rationalize and organize their practice.

Seeking Allah’s satisfaction

Moreover, we - as Muslims - ought to follow the line of Islam, which concentrates on the principle that says: “You should not move one step forward or backward unless you know that it pleases God”.

Thus before you eat, drink or do anything you should be positive about Allah’s view towards your act. Following your impulses or desires will only lead you astray or at least lost as the result of the lack of any guiding principle. Let us listen to Allah’s description of the difference between those two kinds of people: {Is he who relies on a clear proof from his Lord-those who follow a clear rule that will enable them to judge any action before they put it into practice- like those for whom the evil that they do is beautified, while the follow their own lusts} or even follow those who are unjust whether towards themselves by commuting sins or towards others since injustice is a product of following ones passions which makes one neglect the rules of justice and piety.

The Quran describes those who follow their lusts as such: {now there has succeeded them a later generation who have ruined worship and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception}.

This is not the road that Allah wants you to follow. He wants you to repent and ask for forgiveness while those who follow their lusts want you to go astray: {And Allah would turn to you in mercy; but those who follow vain desires would have you go tremendously astray}.

Imam Ali (a.s.) explains to us in one of his sayings that if you want to take the road that leads to paradise, you ought to do many things that are against your desires. He also tells us that obeying Allah demands that we force ourselves to do what we might not be inclined naturally to, while disobeying God is usually by doing acts that tend to fulfill our desires.

In another Ayat, Allah says: {Have thou seen him who chooses for his god his own lust? Would thou then be guardian over him?}. He who obeys his desires and disobeys Allah would be treating his passions and desires as a god that he worships. Imam Ali(a.s.) says : “Lusts are a worshipped god while the mind is a good friend”. If you find that your desires or impulses are about to lead you to go astray ask your mind for it is a good friend who wants to show you the right path of piety and balance.

The impact of passions

The impact of passions in our life cannot be underestimated. Muhammad (p.) says that there is no god apart from Allah that people worship greater than passion. Thus we find that Allah used to warn His prophets, the infallibles - not to follow their passions {(And it was said unto him): O David! Lo! We have set thee as a viceroy in the earth; therefore judge aright between mankind, and follow not desire that it beguile thee from the way of Allah. Lo! those who wonder from the way of Allah have an awful doom, for as much as they forget the day of Reckoning}.

If this is what Allah says to His prophets who are infallible (that they should not follow their desires and go astray) then what about us, the sinners?

In differentiating between those who will end up in paradise and those in hell Allah says: {Then, as for him who rebelled. And chose the life of the world. Lo! hell will be his home. But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust. Lo! the Garden will be his home}.

Knowledge does not negate the need for piety

Allah also tells about those who studied religion and wisdom but who nevertheless were prisoners to their passions: {Recite unto them the tale of him to who we gave him Our Ayats…. and he became of those who lead astray. And had We willed We could have raised him by their means, but he clung to the earth and followed his own lust. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog; if you attack him he pants with his tongue out, and if you leave him he pants with his tongue out. Such is the likeness of the people who deny Our revelations. Narrate unto them of the history (of the men of old), that haply they may take thought}.

Thus, we should not rely on our knowledge and wisdom, because they do not constitute a guarantee that our passions will not overwhelm us. We should always remember our God and examine all our feelings, sayings, acts and thoughts to make sure that they are pious and just. Moreover, when we find that our emotions are taking us away we should always resort to our mind and accept its judgment.

Allah has bestowed on us the grace of being Muslims. We ought to treasure this gift and remember that we will stand before Him in the hereafter. Thus we have to make sure that we have prepared well for this day and did not allows our lusts , passions , desires and impulses to drive us away from the straight line of piety.


The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, The Compassionate, the Merciful


Attempts to put an end to the Palestinian Cause

Palestine, our most central cause, is still in the whirlpool of the international game of the UN with new resolutions that are issued unanimously everyday demanding the Israeli withdrawal from the 1967 territories or establishing a fact-finding team to learn about what happened in the camp of Jenin. But to no avail, for Israel either rejects these resolutions, or has its reservations on them. Meanwhile, America provides it with the necessary political cover, by issuing such statements as Sharon is a “man of peace” and that the US understands Israel’s need for self-defense and fighting “terrorism” and that there is no evidence that a massacre was committed in Jenin.

America than declares that the Palestinians in particular and the Arabs have to fight what it brands as “terrorism” and they have to consider the Martyrs as murders… In the meantime, Israel continues its aggressions occupying new villages and towns everyday, arresting hundreds and killing scores of people…

Moreover, despite all resolutions and mediating efforts the siege remains on the Palestinian President and the church of Nativity.

Thus, as a result of the American role that aims to yield politically the results of what Israel had done militarily and to pave that way for the second phase that whose new victim might be Gaza … For the Republican party is waiting for the congressional election which he hopes to win by the votes of the Jews and the American Christian right who is more Zionist then the Zionists themselves.

Furthermore, the American president seeks a second term in office; He also has to appease the pro- Israeli congress to pass certain laws… Thus, the Palestinian cause gets lost in the vortex of the internal American political game at the expense of the Arab and Palestinian interests.

The Helpless Arabs

As for the Arab visits to America, they did not change any of its stands: It still calls for the Israeli Withdrawal without exerting any pressure, Instead it talks all the time about the war against “terrorism”, and calls on the Palestinians to fight “terror” although they are the real victims of state terrorism… It also praises the Saudis for refraining to use oil as a weapon, for America does not accept any Arab pressures to remain free in providing total support to Israel.

The problem is that although the Arabs have a lot of weapons, besides oil, like the billions of Dollars of funds in the US, that they could threaten to withdraw, or the boycott weapon, they do nothing; which suggests that they are still helpless, and failures... with their peace initiative smashed a result of the Israeli rejection and American stalling…

In this atmosphere, it is ironic that the prime minister of an Arab government has asked for 100 billion Dollars to fight as if he was announcing that we have reached a stage of surrender to “Israel” whether in its military war against the Palestinians or its political war against the Arabs .

The Arabs can neither fight nor establish peace… What do they want? Has the Palestinian cause become a humanitarian one with no political dimension?

It is also ironic and even surrealistic that the American president is asking the Saudi officials to put certain limits and controls on the popular Saudi donations for the Palestinians that would prevent them from reaching the Intifada… He has been reassured that these donations will be used exclusively in the humanitarian field, as if helping the Mujahideen is a political crime.

The Balanced European Stand

The European stand on the other hand is different. And we would like to express our appreciation of the statement made by the French foreign minister who declared that: “it is wrong to justify the destruction of the Palestinian Authority by fighting terrorism, and that is why the battle of Sharon is not our battle’. We also appreciate the foreign Affairs commissioner of the European Union who said: “Europe wants a viable Palestinian state that is not full of holes like Swiss cheese”. We want Europe to hold its strong stand, and not be intimidated by Shimon Perez’s accusations of anti-Semitism.

We know that Europe does not have enough power to pressurize Israel as a result of American pressures, but we believe that its interests lie in keeping this civilizational stand which makes its relations, with the Arabs and Muslims very close. Thus we call the Arab and Muslim peoples to boycott American products and replace them with European products, in addition to the national and Asian products and all those who take balanced stands.

Deploy all potentials and resources

We also believe that the Palestinian wounded people should keep up their heroic steadfastness in the face of Israeli brutality. They ought to continue their Intifada in accordance to their abilities, for Israel, along with America, does not want them to attain their just rights, but rather to remain an Israeli satellite… We appreciate how difficult and critical the situation is, but we believe that the Palestinians have a great dealt of resolve and patience for they know that they have nothing to lose.

The Arab and Islamic peoples should understand perfectly well that the Zionist challenges, as well as the American stand that supports them, are not against the Palestinians only, but the whole nation as well, which means they all have to deploy all of their potentials to face them… The Muslim religious scholars have to rise up to the level of standing with their peoples, while the Christian clergy should rise to the level of Christian values in facing the Zionist brutality and savagery against all Palestinian sacred places and beliefs.

In this occasion, we appreciate the statement made by certain Christian religious men in the context of what is happening in the Church of Nativity: “Man is greater than temples” which coincides with the Islamic stand that considers, the sanctity of a believer seventy times greater than that of Kaa’ba.

Therefore, let us all stand with the weakened against the arrogant, for this is what Allah wants: to ensure justice on earth.

Lebanon: a need for unity and planning

Lastly, we say to the Lebanese that the country should unite in the face of the dangers threatening it, especially the repeated threats of the Zionist enemy…

They also have to unite to face the economic crisis that could lead the country to bankruptcy.

We need unity and careful planning so as to be able to solve the problems or at least ease them.

Any sectarian or partisan affiliations and bias will only make things worse.