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Lectures >2005 Speeches > 18/02/2005

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, Muharram 9 1426 H, February 18 2005 A.D. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.
 

Imam Hussein's Call in Ashoura:
Be free in your life, with a view to win the hereafter

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

The loss is the loss of the Hereafter:

Allah says in His Glorious Book: “Say: To whom belongs what is in the heavens and the earth? Say: To Allah; He has ordained mercy on Himself; most certainly He will gather you on the resurrection day-- there is no doubt about it. (As for) those who have lost their souls, they will not believe.

And as for him whose measure (of good deeds) is light those are they who have made their souls suffer loss because they disbelieved in Our communications

Serve then what you like besides Him. Say: The losers surely are those who shall have lost themselves and their families on the day of resurrection; now surely that is the clear loss”.

In these Holy verses, as well as in others, God talks about the loss of one's self and his family. He states, May He be glorified, that the loss that matters is the loss of the hereafter, because it is the final loss that cannot be compensated for, like the loses in the worldly life. This is what Allah wants us to think about and plan our lives in its light, judging every action or even position we take by the criterion of how much we stand to win or lose in both lives, and thus earning Allah’s, the most Exalted, satisfaction.

Al-Hussein Party: Winning the Hereafter

Taking Ashoura as a case study, we notice how the people were divided as a result of their choices with some choosing this world and others choosing the hereafter. The party that sided with Imam Hussein had God in their hearts and minds and sought to make sure that all the actions or stands they took conformed with Allah's commands. And this is what the historians who described the companions of Hussein on the eve of Ashoura have reflected. They have posed them as praying and reciting Quran. They were living with God although their bodies were on earth. To them, Al-Hussein (a.s.) was the Imam whom Allah has commanded them to obey and whose love is a part of loving Allah, the most Exalted, since the Imamate represent the spiritual and practical extension of the Message.

Thus, we find this closeness to Allah and this love to Allah filling the companions of Imam Hussein on the morning of the day after; the Day of Ashoura. They were being shot at with arrows from all over the place, while their minds and spirits were thinking of Allah and how to be close to Him. One of them told the Imam at noon, while the battle was at its climax: “I do not like to leave this world before I perform the noon prayers". The Imam performed the noon prayers with his companions to indicate that they were thinking of Allah and not of themselves.

Al-Hurr

One of the members of the Husseini party was a man who had great ambitions and dreams, for he was expected to become one of the leaders and commanders. This man was Al-Hurr bin Yazid Al-Riyahi who led about one thousands soldiers who were supposed to capture the Imam and bring him to Kufa. Yet this man had a big heart and a spiritual virtue that made him unable to fulfill his mission. He was a man of ethics who did not even react when the Imam wished to see him dead. Instead of taking the Imam to Kufa, he agreed that the Imam could take another road that will not return him to Medina nor take him to Kufa.

The man was thinking about God. He was not pressurized by his task or mission, but by his morals, for he represented human freedom that seeks to understand the deep meaning of things. He was not a slave to his desires and ambitions but a free man in the sense that freedom means to think objectively about what one stands to gain and lose. He was not a slave to his position although it could bring him worldly gains. He was thinking about God, and he left all the darkness of ambitions and greed to the light of the spiritual love of Allah.

The decision he took was a very difficult one, for it meant that he was about to leave all the fortunes and authority he had expected to gain. He began to become agitated and worried. A friend of his was surprised and asked him "What wrong with you Hurr? I am puzzled by your case, by God if I were asked about the bravest man in our army I wouldn’t hesitate to mention your name, and now you are so disturbed and worried?"

"I find myself between the Hell and the Heaven, and I have to select between them, and by God I will not chose but Heaven, even if I were cut to pieces or burnt to ashes!"

Ibn Saad: The triumph of this life

On the other side, we have Omar bin Saad, who was a relative of Imam Hussein (a.s.). He too was reluctant to fight Hussein although he was offered a high government post if he did.

But in the end, he decided to fight the Imam (a.s.) and win the gains of this world, sacrificing those in Heaven, saying if there actually were a heaven and a hell, then he would repent.

The lesson of Ashoura: freedom

In Ashoura, the event that will remain alive through time, we are not supposed to surrender to grief. Although, to be sad when a tragedy happens to your loved ones is very human, but Ashoura is also a lesson of how to act when faced by a challenge involving our principles. The lesson of Ashoura is freedom. Imam Hussein (a.s.), his family and his companions chose to be the free ones in Ashoura. Being free is not restricted to the political domain only. It is also a matter of cultural freedom and freedom of piety before God: To be the master of one's psyche and not let its instincts control you. You should stand in Ashoura and say to Imam Hussein (a.s.): Satan wants to lead us astray, whether it was a human one or not. But on this occasion we pledge that we will stay with you in the line of freedom and we will say "no" to the devil, when he calls us to disobey Allah, the most Exalted, and stand with the oppressors.

The call of Imam Hussein is: Be free in your lives with a view to win the other life. This is how we win and thus is the way we do not lose. This is the way that leads us to Imam Hussein and the Members of the House, who wanted us to hold these ceremonies at all times, seeking to make a following for Imam Hussein.

Thus, the Imam is looking for supporters of Islam and freedom in all times. Do we want to be of his followers? 

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The US and Israel: destabilizing our region

Since its occupation of Iraq, the US has instigated political violence in several countries in the region, so as to destabilize them and make them preoccupied with their internal problems. This was demonstrated in particular, by the American pressures on Iran, Syria and Lebanon citing the supposed intervention in Iraq although the Americans themselves were not capable of protecting their own forces, and the Iraqi people from the resistance against the occupation forces or the terrorist actions against the Iraqis.

The US talks on behalf of the international community as if it is its ruler. It claims that the Syrians and Iranians are not confronting the American policies but those of the international community. But we know that the challenges that face the region are American and not international in their nature.

Since Israel was established, it forced violence on the region and invaded several countries that resulted in the occupation of Palestine and some neighboring regions. It also coordinated with the American intelligence to commit assassinations of several leaders of the peoples of the region, to incite civil strife here and there.

And this is what makes it the only suspect that comes to mind in every association attempts, including the one that targeted the Lebanese ex prime minister Rafic Hariri. Since Israel does not want Lebanon to be a stable and safe country. It also does not want Lebanese to coexist peacefully.

Lebanon: Protecting the Country.

What happened in Lebanon comes at a time when all the cards in the region are being reshuffled, and the elements of tension are overlapping. Moreover, it is a stage where the political relations between the various states are polarized in a very complicated way.

Thus, Lebanon, the country that is vulnerable to be influenced by what happens in the region is probably the weakest ring of the chain in times of tension or in the face of the dramatic political and security changes in the positions of international or regional parties.

I have called the Lebanese, time and again and even during the war, to look around them, and read what is happening in their country in the light of what is happening on the international level. And I find that I have now, and in the aftermath of this catastrophe, to respect the same call, because I believe that what is going to happen in the region and in the world is by far more dangerous than what had happened before.

In view of the surrounding tempests, we have to protect the country and immunize it against the impact of the regional and international pressures and changes. We should not be carried away by our emotions at a time we need to be objective, rational and vigilant.

We have to avoid making emotional judgments that are not supported by any proof. Such a trend has invigorated to the extent that Israel that has a long history of tampering with the Lebanese security was not accused.

What all parties should do is to emphasize the unity of the country so that they would not to be influenced by the sectarian and confessional slogans. This is a betrayal to the principles of coexistence on which the country was based. In this climax of incitement it is stunning that some are calling to replace one "mandate" by another.

There is nothing rational in such calls which will merely add additional complications to the already existing ones.

Dialogue:

Regardless of how tough the situation is, we have to resort to an objective and realistic dialogue to reach a common ground that preserves the unity, independence, the economy and security of the country. I believe that it is not yet too late despite all the existing tensions. But we should not miss this chance, for things are changing rapidly in the region and the international powers seek to promote their own interests not ours, even if it seems on the surface that there is an intersection of interests… It is the language of rationalism that preserves the stability and freedom of the country while the emotional and tense discourse could well leave the country with no immunity in the face of the storms that are shaking the region.

Protecting the Nation

The American-Israeli policies pose a great danger on the entire region, starting by Palestine passing through Lebanon and Syria and ending by Iraq and Iran.

We, as Arab and Muslim peoples, have to face this danger with further readiness, vigilance and unity, before the entire region falls in hands of the American-Zionist arrogance.

This is the time when the question could be summed as to be or not to be. And our choice is to strive to be to make us anew a future of pride and dignity.