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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 15/10/2004

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority, Ayatullah Al Ozma Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Ramadan 2 1425 H,October 15 2004 A.D. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Welcoming the Month of Ramadan:
Let Us be more Committed and Merciful

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

Months are a universal phenomenon

Today is the first day of the month of Ramadan. If the jurists, both Sunnis and Shiites, differ about the beginning of this month, this has to do with the existence of two methods for determining it.

The first is the well known one of depending on seeing by the naked eye; some jurists even say that telescopes are not allowed.

There is also the issue of being trustworthy. Twenty five people have claimed to have seen it in Bahrain while about twenty said that they saw it in Saudi Arabia and an additional number in Lebanon, yet some jurists were not convinced and they proclaimed that Saturday is the first of the month.

As for my own opinion which I have published over ten years ago, I consider that the beginning of the month is part of a universal system Allah has made. Just like the sunrise and the sunset happen at a certain time whether people see them or they do not, the same thing is true for the moon. The lunar month ends when the moon is on the same line with the sun and the earth, and hence it can no longer been seen, and the next month begins when it leaves this line. Such a system existed before man (Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah's ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth).

It is known that calculating the beginning and the end as well as all other astronomical phenomena has become an exact science that enables the scientists to determine the beginning of the months for the next 50 years and more. A case in point would be the eclipse of the sun and moon that has long been determined before hand.

Thus, we believe that seeing is just one of the ways of knowledge. Hence if the astronomers tell us that the moon has begun to store light, then the month has started. We have called on the Muslims scholars in the Muslim world to adopt the scientific calculations and we are in contact with the scientists, which allows us to determine the beginning of the months of Ramadan and Shawal before hand although some might not like it.

I am not here to discuss which method is better, but I am saying that the second method allows the Muslims to end their differences in determining the end of the month.

It is Ironic that people have assigned three different days for the beginning of the last moth Shaaban. Such a multiplicity of views confuses people and creates various troubles. In addition, it invigorates fanaticism with people starting to accuse others of unbelief, which is a symptom of backwardness.

Better manners:

We remain this week with the Prophet's sermon in the last Friday of Shaaban. In this sermon, the Messenger (p.) talked, as we said last week about the spiritual, worshiping and social sides of fasting. In the rest of the sermon, he is talking about human relations, asking to respect the human side in the other and treat him with mercy. Whether he is a member of your family, a neighbor or an employee, you ought not to be tough on him or hurt his ego by giving him too many tasks. Furthermore, being merciful with the others will be rewarded by Allah.

The Messenger says: O’ People! Anybody who may cultivate good manners in this month will walk over the ‘Sirat’ (Bridge) in ‘Qiyamat,’. This sirat is the road people walk on to their way to where they will be tried . Many people are not able to reach this place without falling down. But if they wish to walk the road safely they have to improve their manners in this month. The reward of good manners is the avoidance of Allah's wrath. And this gives us an idea about the spiritual value of good manners in Islam. It has even been said in some traditions that a man whose worshipping is little but who has good manners will reach the level of a fasting and praying worshipper.

Thus Allah, the most Exalted, wants man to base his relations with others on good manners whether with his family or with those he contacts within his work. The basis of these good manners were explained by the Prophet when he linked good manners with faith and said: none of you will believe until he loves for others what he loves for himself and hats for others what he hates for himself.

Not hurting others

The Prophet goes on to say: Anybody who makes his servants (male or female) take light work, in this month, Allah will make easy his accounting on the Day of Judgment.. He is asking us to decrease the time of work, since those who fast may not be able to work with the same pace as before…

Anybody who does not tease others in this month, Allah will keep him safe from His wrath in Qiyamat. Thus, in the month of Ramadan, we have to be in peace with all people never saying or doing anything that would abuse others… And you should start by your own family… There is no reason at all to start yelling around, on the ground that you are fasting. Before you beat others just because you are angry you have to remember Allah's anger Who is always with the downtrodden whether in this world or in the hereafter.

Relatives and orphans

Anybody who treats well his kinsmen, in this month, Allah will bestow His mercy on him in Qiyamat, while anybody who maltreats his kinsmen in this month, Allah will keep him away from His mercy, in Qiyamat. You have to remain in contact with your relatives even with those who have boycotted you. Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said to a man who asked him if he should treat those who have boycotted him in the same way: If you boycott them, Allah will boycott you. But if you treat him with kindness, Allah will be kind on you.

"And who will treat an orphan with kindness, Allah will be generous to him when he meets him". Treating orphans with kindness has many forms whether directly or indirectly, that is through the orphanages. Be sure that you will be rewarded if you treat the orphan with kindness and help in supporting him.

The Prophet (p.) then turns to the worshiping side and says: (Whoever offers Sunnat (Recommended) prayers in this month; Allah will give him a certificate of freedom from Hell. Whosoever offers one ‘Wajib’ (obligatory) prayers in this month, for him the Angels will write the rewards of 70 such prayers that were offered by him in any other month.

Whosoever recites repeatedly ’Salaat-o-salaam’ on me, Allah will keep the scales of his deeds heavy, when in Qiyamat the scales of others will be tending towards lightness. Whosoever recites in this month only one ‘ayah’ (verse of the Holy Quran), he will be rewarded in a manner as if he had recited the full Quran in the other months.

O’ People! The Gates of Paradise remain opened in this month. Do invoke that the gates may not be closed on you, while the Gates of Hell be closed. Do invoke that these gates may never be opened."

The month of Ramadan is the month of forgiveness and blessing, and those who are denied Allah’s Mercy in this month are the miserable.

We have to take this opportunity to strengthen our faith, commitment and humanitarianism, for Allah has made the month of Ramadan, a month that makes us pious in all the other months.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Zionist Atrocities in Palestine

What kind of army is this Zionist army, whose soldiers would deliberately kill a nine-year girl, and then an officer would come to empty twenty bullets in her soft body.

Another soldier would shoot directly at the UNERWA school killing a ten years old child inside her classroom and wounding several other children.

This latest operation in the on-going eradication process has led to the killing of 110 Palestinians in the last two weeks, the wounding of many others, and the uprooting of those whose houses were demolished.

Some of the Israeli officers themselves call for putting an end to this operation… Yet, America considers this as an act of self-defense, just like its own killing of civilians in Iraq ,under the pretense of fighting terrorism.

As for the world, and the Islamic and Arab World in particular, it is watching silently these massacres without taking any action, as if it has grown used to it, or may be it does not want to do anything that might anger the US and Israel.

What is going on in Palestine is a crime against humanity in which all silent or encouraging states are taking part.

The Security Council: A misunderstanding of terrorism

It is interesting that the UN Security Council has issued unanimously Resolution 1566 that deals with cooperation in fighting terrorism. But it did not elaborate on two issues that are vital in their relevance to human rights, freedom and independence of nations. These issues are:

First: The Resolution did not define the concept of terrorism to differentiate between the violence practiced by terrorists against civilians and the Resistance that defends its country, freedom and people, as in Palestine and other occupied countries. This had led the US and EU to consider Hamas as a terrorist organization. Yet, every one knows that Hamas and the other Palestinian militant organizations are a reaction to the occupation. If it resorted to certain methods in its resistance, it was only because it was the only means possible to face the eradication of the Palestinian people that uses the most advanced American weapons.

Secondly: State terror practiced by America and Israel in occupied lands, as well as the terror of dictatorships against their own peoples.

The problem is that the Security Council being under American hegemony and the veto power is no longer an institution that protects the rights of nations, but a place where one goes to complain and cry.

Iraq in the midst of the American whirlpool.

Iraq is still living in the midst of the American security impasse, with the occupation force that kills children and civilians claiming that they are targeting terrorist's hideouts. Thus, the occupation has become a problem for the Iraqis and not a solution to them.

It was not able to stop the assassination whether those committed for sectarian reasons or personal ones… It was not also able to put an end to kidnapping… It only cares now about protecting its own troops.

We are agonized by the sufferings of the Iraqis and call on them to confront the situation with awareness, unity and steadfastness, and depend only on themselves… The idea that the occupation will liberate the country and establish justice could not be more wrong. In fact, it is just as wrong as the feeling that withdrawal of occupation troops will turn the country into a front for civil war.

The Iraqis have to have confidence in themselves, their history, their civilization and their ability to run their own affairs…

Let the slogan of Islamic and national unity be the slogan of the present and future…

It is the only way they can save themselves... If America is talking about fighting terrorism in Iraq, the head of the international inspectors has said that the American occupation under the false pretense of weapons of mass destruction is responsible for re-spreading terrorism in the world.

Pakistan: Denouncing the Mentality of accusing others of unbelief.

The recent attempt to commit a brutal massacre in Pakistan that failed as a result of the sacrifice of the guards guarding the mosque in Lahore leads us to vehemently denounce the fanatic ignorant and backward mentality in understanding Islam... We call on all Muslim clerics all over the world to denounce it, for it has a negative impact on the Muslim unity in the force of international arrogance, the enemy of Islam and Muslims, and we call on the Pakistani government to put an end to these actions.

At the same time, we call for abstaining from any retaliation that will provoke a chain reaction especially that Pakistan is being under an internal and security attack both internally and externally.

Lebanon: A need for Salvation Plan.

In Lebanon, where many officials are telling us that power shortage will only worsen and that there is no solution even if all costumers pay their dues, the political debate still concretes on the formation of the new government.

What the Lebanese want is a government that could solve the economic crisis, a government that could face the internal and external challenges, especially the mounting Israeli and American threats against Lebanon and Syria. We need to act quickly to save the country on the social and economic levels, and not to go on with the endless debate about who will be in the cabinet without a change in the mentality.

We might need to try a cabinet of academics and experts who are known for their clean hands and righteousness.

We have tried several politician governments that failed to save the country, why don't we try a government of technocrats, taking into account how deep is the crisis we have sunk in.