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Lectures >2001 Speeches > 12/01/2001

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) Shawal 17, 1421 hij /January 12, 2001 (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer).

Since believing means to stand for the truth, deceit and betrayal lead us to hell

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful

God (SWT) says in His glorious book:

"O believers do not betray God (SWT) or His Prophet (SAWS) nor knowingly misappropriate that which is entrusted unto you" (S8,v27)

"Yes, God (SWT) defends the believers; God (SWT) does not like unbelieving traitors" (S22,v38)

"God does not love those who are treacherous" (S8,v58)

Therefore God (SWT) wants the Muslims to build their personality on the bases of being committed to vows that you make either to God (SWT) or to yourself. To be a Muslim means that you uphold your commitments promises and responsibilities. If you betray a trust, you are not the kind of Muslim that God (SWT) would be pleased with.

Imam Jafa'ar As Sadeq (AS) said:

"A believer can develop any bad habits but not lying or disloyalty"

(...because if you are a liar or a traitor you would no longer be a believer...)

The Messenger said:

"If any of these four things enter any house it will be devastated: betrayal, stealing, drinking alcohol or adultery"

He also says:

"Who betrays trust is not one of us"

...whether with money, religion, honour and the like. In another saying the messenger said:

"Deceit and betrayal lead to hell"

Imam Ali (AS) said:

"Betrayal is the same as lying"

"Betrayal is the worst form of hypocrisy"

and: "Betrayal is the worst sin"

He added although there are few people who listen him or follow his teachings:

"Stay away from betrayal because it is against Islam"

One of the companions of the Imam Mohammad Al Baqer (AS) narrated the following story:

"I once told the Imam that I wanted to leave Mecca but I owe debts to one of the Morgia (a sect that deviated from the school of Ahl Al Beit) but he told me that I have to go back and pay the debt because a believer does not betray a trust."

Whether or not a person is of a different sect, religion or political belief is not the issue here. The issue is what you believe and the believer does not betray either a believer or a non-believer.

The Messenger (SAWS) said:

"Give back whatever you are entrusted with even to the killers of a Prophet's children."

And Imam Ali bin Hussein Zeinal Abdine (AS) said:

"If I were entrusted by the assassin of Imam Ali (AS) with the sword he used to kill him I would give it back to him."

With this in mind I would like to mention an important issue. Some people go to America and Europe and get loans from banks in one way or another and then run away without paying it back. It is a pity that some sheikhs issue fatawas endorsing this act on the grounds that they are taking the money from non-believers and arrogant people while this is not the point. The point is that a Muslim must be trustworthy and keep his commitments therefore those who issue such fatawas are encouraging betrayal. And this is what happened during the war in our country when some of the Shiites began to steal money from non-Muslims and then later from non-Shiites. In the end they also stole from other Shiites on the grounds that they don't pay Al Khoms - as if they were the ones responsible for collecting it.

In such cases Islam wants to stay away from any kind of mistrust or dishonesty. It wants the believer to be the model of trustworthiness so that people will love Islam through him. The messenger (SAWS) was able to gain all the non-believers hearts with his truthfulness and trustworthiness. All the people entrusted him with everything they had. But being trustworthy does not only mean that you keep people's trust. If you are an employee you have to work all the time. You cannot pretend that you are sick and it is not permissible for a doctor to issue a sick leave for some one who is not sick or to cheat the social security.

Some people justify this kind of behavior by saying that 'if I don't take the money someone else will' or they don't care about the state's money -as if it were from out of the president or the prime minister's own pocket. It certainly is not and it is the people's money so any stealing of this money will affect the people themselves because the government projects are funded by money from the people and not by this or that official. Stealing money from the social security or from the funds allocated to the dislocated is not religious and it is a big sin.

But these are not the only forms of betrayal. When Imam Jafa'ar As Sadeq (AS) was asked by one of his companions about doing the same thing with someone who has taken some money from him and does not want to give it back. The Imam said:

"Don't betray the person who betrayed you and don't do that which you feel others shouldn't do."

Moreover the messenger said:

"Disclosing your brothers secret is a betrayal"

Imam Mohammad Al Jawad (AS) said:

"Being faithful to traitors is also a kind of treason"

God (SWT) wants the believers to be trustworthy and to hold their responsibilities and commitments as well as being faithful to their homeland and the Islamic nation. The biggest form of treason is to the nation or to the homeland by acting as a spy and enabling the enemy to occupy land and every Muslim has to make sure that he isn't committing such wrongs before he meets his God (SWT) when nothing can save him but his good deeds.

The second Speech

In the Name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful

In these sad moments we bid farewell to one of our great religious scholars who was of multiple dimensions, flexible in his positions, very understanding of the people and the age in which he lived and who expressed this understanding in his ideas, style and methodology. His life has been a landmark that has had impact on many things and aroused debate on many issues.

In spite of everything, I feel upon the passing away of Ayatollah Sheik Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddine, that a chapter of my life has ended. We have lived together both in Najaf and in Lebanon for a long time. We agreed sometimes and we differed at others just as any two religious scholars would. But this does not have anything to do with love and friendship. I used to carry this love for him because my motive in everything I do is to serve Islam and the people. There is no place for animosity or hatred because they serve no cause and build no society.

There is an emptiness left in the place where he used to be and on the fronts where he used to serve the Arab and Lebanese causes. But we have to accept God (SWT)'s decision and ask Him to have mercy on his soul, send him to heaven and help the nation to endure this great loss. We have to call for unity and solidarity among the Shiites and all Lebanese. There are a lot of people who are waiting to exploit any differences that may arise to incite strife.

We always have to resort to dialogue, understanding and unity whenever we face a tragic or catastrophic incident; people come and go but the message and the nation stays and we are responsible before God (SWT) for this nation. Therefore I appeal to everyone, those who share the same opinions as me as well as those who don't, to co-operate for the sake of Islam and the Muslims.

There are those who want to incite strife and I will not allow anyone to do so. I will repeat what my Grandfather Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb (AS) said:

"I will remain peaceful as long as the interests of the Muslims are safeguarded and the only wrong done is to me."

On this painful occasion I encourage all brothers and sisters to attend his funeral as a tribute to his memory and to safeguard our unity, love and goodness.

When we look at what the Zionist enemy is facing because of internal conflicts, political chaos and the exchange of accusations. We can see the impact that the resistance in Lebanon and the Intifada in Palestine has had on the enemy, even to the exof inflicting political and military defeats which impels me to encourage additional, decisive, militant positions and careful political awareness that would dispel the much held belief that Labor is different from Likud and bring us nearer to peace. Events have proven that they are two sides of the same coin as far as their political and strategic policies are concerned.

We have been hearing more threats from the enemy recently who have recently increased their actions against Lebanese territory. I therefore call for an increased state of alertness in preparation for anything that the enemy might do since they may use any relaxation on our part to implement its political and military plans.

The Israeli chief of staff has been talking about preparations for new military operations by the Islamic resistance. We know that the enemy is afraid of this resistance but what he is hoping to do through making such statements is to find excuses for his possible future aggression which means that we ought to be vigilant and cautious at all times and increase our solidarity and political unity.

On the Palestinian front, the Americans in co-operation with the Zionist enemy are still trying to contain the Intifada and pressurize the Palestinian authority to the extent that we are worried that they might achieve some results that have a negative impact on the Palestinian cause.

America has the Israeli interests at heart and wants the Palestinians and others to take a stand that would favor its Zionist candidate. The Palestinian people who have made the greatest sacrifices for the cause of liberation should not yield to any pressure, regardless of the hardships because the Intifada is the one and only chance they have left of attaining their goals of freedom, pride and dignity.

In this context, we have great confidence in the Palestinian people who know how to hold fast in spite of the wounds inflicted on them and how to reject the American plan that aims at taking the enemy out of its political and military crises.

On the Lebanese internal front there are some points that, I feel, should be raised. Firstly, I appreciate the Lebanese government's efforts to solve the problem of the mines that were implanted in our Lebanese soil. I would also like to express my surprise that the UN has failed to exert pressure on the Zionist entity who declare they have no plans for these mines. Secondly, the Lebanese government should act as if in a state of emergency in order to confront the cases of Hepatitis in western Beka'a that has suffered from deprivation and lack of interest on the part of the government. Thirdly, I would also like to renew my call for the government to take care of the other deprived regions especially Akkar, Beka'a and the liberated territories in the south.

I call upon every party to stop all these petty political games and inciting political strife. Freedom should be respected but should not be used against the country's interest especially when the international arrogance is plotting against us.