The First Sermon
the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
loss is the loss of the Hereafter:
Allah says in His
“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
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
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
"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!"
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.
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
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
Lebanon: Protecting the
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
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.
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
policies pose a great danger on the entire region, starting by
Palestine passing through Lebanon and Syria and ending by Iraq and
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
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.