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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 16/07/2004

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, Jumada'I 28 1425 H,July 16 2004 A.D. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Advice as a means of Social Solidarity and Peace

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

Advice and Belief

One of the moral values Islam has laid emphasis on is to advise people and never to cheat them. Living in a society, whether on a small scale like the family or the tribe, or in a bigger one, makes every member in need of those who have more experience in a certain field. There are those who might have experience in trade, others in politics, and others in real estate and so on. One might have a good experience in one field but lacks any in others, and thus, he needs the advice of others in the fields he is not well acquainted with, while he can give advice in the field he knows all about.

In Islam, a believer ought to give advice to all people and especially fellow believers.

A believer has to be concerned with the affairs of all Muslims and he has to advise them. For Allah wants him to be a blessing to all people. Thus, if you have an experience in any field or an opinion that might help others or illuminate their way, you have to offer it to anyone who needs it without asking about his or her national or religious affiliations. You should consider all people as God's children and the ones Allah loves most are the ones who benefit His children the most.

A Muslim is an international citizen who considers that it is his duty to give advice to the entire world. The Messenger (p.) says in this respect: “The most pious of you is the one who gives the most sincere advice to all Muslims”. In another saying, the Prophet (p.) equates between being a believer and giving advice. He says: "Religion is advice". If you do not advise others, then you are not a believer even if you pray and fast.

When asked to whom, he said "To Allah" -meaning that you would be doing what Allah has asked you to do- “the Quran, the Messenger, and to the Muslim leaders and public”.

In another saying, the Messenger talks about the quality of the advice saying: "Let each of you advise his brother as he advises himself": Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) says that one should advise his brother in his presence and absence. He also urges believers to advise God’s Children saying that there is no better thing to meet Him with.

Cheating is a mean act

But what happens, if you do not offer your advice when asked. Traditions tell us that you would be denied your “opinion” (ability of making sound judgment). This ability is given to us as a trust to offer advice when people need it, if you do not use it to serve this goal, you will be denied it, just as Allah would deny you His Blessings.

Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "The most evil of you is he who cheats people”.

There is also a kind of cheating that has to do with dealing and trade. In this respect, Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) considered mixing two different qualities of the same commodity so as to sell them at the price of the better one, to be unlawful, for a Muslim should not sell anything before explaining all its defects. The Messenger (p.) told us in several sayings that no one is allowed to sell anything before making sure that the buyer knows all about it. He used to go to the markets to check. And he once found a man selling some food. He plunged his hand deep down in the bag and found that the food in the bottom layer was wet. He said: "What you are doing is treason and cheat for Muslims. In another saying, he said: Who cheats Muslims is not one of them", and he would not be put with the Muslims on the Day of Judgment.

We should understand this issue quite well, because we suffer from a lot of deception in our community, both on the private and public levels, and even when we are asked to give an advice. When someone comes to you asking for your advice, you should know that he has put all his future and interests in your hands, especially when he comes to you asking about a girl to marry, a school to put his children in or a business to start. Here, you ought to forget about if this action serves you, or how could it suit you, and give your advice as if it were your interests at stake.

This is what preserves the society and establishes peace in it. And this is what makes people know where they stand and where they are going. Cheating has become a prevalent phenomenon in our society in all fields of life. For example, there are a lot of people who import items which are no longer valid and sell them to the people, and these might even include food or medicine, thus endangering the lives of those who consume them. Others might add water to oil or petrol and sell them as a pure and safe product.

You have to know that what you gain is what Allah has given you and not a result of your own cleverness. There is a story I have told you about before. It is the story of a man who became rich as a result of selling his milk after adding water to it. Once all his cows were killed by a flood. He was crying when his pious son saw him. The son remarked: This is the water you used to put in the milk. It has turned into a flood that swept away your cows.

Thus, you have to be honest in offering advice to others, because this will raise your rank on the Day of Judgment, the day when nothing would be of any good to you except your piety and good deeds. 

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The need for a stronger Palestinian Unity

As Israel continues to commit its daily massacres and is systemic demolishing of the Palestinian infrastructure, we do not hear any international, whether American or European, protests.

The American president sends his envoy to study building plans in the West Bank, which could have an impact on the borders of the future Palestinian state, having declared that all settlements will be excluded, and the Palestinians will be deprived of the right of return.

Thus, the pressure is increasing on the Palestinian people who have no means to defend themselves against the Israeli aggression that uses the most advanced American weapons except their light arms.

In the meantime, it is ironic and even cynical that the special UN envoy to the Middle East should talk about the Palestinian anarchy and that the Palestinian Authority is about to collapse, without any remarks about the Israeli massacres and other aggressions which hinder any reform attempt, especially that the Americans and the Israelis have transformed the political issue of occupation to a security problem.

The UN employee should have conformed with the ruling of the International Court of Justice concerning the racial wall, the settlements and the occupation itself, but Israel, backed by America, has planted agents in all centers of decision to defend its interests.

This is what the Arabs should monitor and what the Palestinians should confront, whether politically or through armed struggle… We would like them also to monitor the Israeli attempt to form a government of both the right and left wings in the Israeli political spectrum so as to besiege the Palestinians’ cause internally as well as in the region and in the entire world.

This means that all Palestinian trends have to engage in a dialogue to form a coalition in which all parties take part so as to enhance their unity and be able to face the great challenges ahead.

On another level, the American and British intelligence services have admitted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and that they did not report this to their administrations, because the plan was to find a pretense for the war to justify the occupation of Iraq.

The international intelligence agencies’ lies

The question is: who would protect the people from such lies made by international intelligence agencies to serve as a reason to declare wars and occupy countries? Who would prevent the arrogant forces from suppressing nations to serve their interests? Moreover, if there are some inquiry dynamics in America and Britain that can expose such lies, how can we find in our Third World who would dare to investigate what the security and intelligence agencies are committing against their people, especially that they run all the affairs of the citizens, and are linked in one way or another with the international intelligence agencies?

And this is what we heard of late when a high ranked CIA official said: "We have enough agents in Iraq even at the highest levels”.

In Iraq, the same things happen everyday, with bombs killing civilians more that it targets occupying forces, kidnapping and killing foreigners in an unhumanitarian way and a security movement of the occupation forces that indicates that the only thing that changed is the label.

We wonder: when will the Iraqis be in control of their fate and who would get the occupation forces out of the country? We hope that this injured and oppressed people would promote its unity and monitor all these criminals who serve the occupation by terrorizing innocent civilians.

And we want them to plan for the future in an objective way that distances itself away from emotional reactions and political and security anarchy.

Lebanon: Corruption never takes a vacation

The government, in Lebanon, has taken its summer leave, while corruption, waste, hunger, power shortages and the infertile debate that produces no result in promoting freedom and enhancing national unity, are not taking any vacations...

Yet, they talk about the coming presidential elections, but not on in the basis of saving the country and dealing with Lebanese as citizens and not members of sects…

The big challenge we have to be concerned with is how to secure a future of sunshine and clean air, where people join hands to fight evil, injustice and corruption that led the country to the verge of collapse that could make the temple fall on the heads of everybody.