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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 19/03/2004

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Grand Ayatollah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer     sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Muharram  27 1425 h,March  19 2004,  (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer)


Imam Zein AL-Abidein:
 A Champion of Freedom, Knowledge and Morals.

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A diverse school of thought

Allah says in His Glorious Book: Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! (33:33).

On the 25th of Muharam was the death anniversary of Imam Ali bin Al-Hussein (a.s.). This Imam who was described by some of his contemporaries as such: “I have not seen any one who is better or more knowledgeable in religion than him…

I have not seen a friend of him in private or an enemy in public. For those who know him envy him, but they cannot declare their hatred to him in public.

This Imam, whom people used to make way for him when he came to the Kaaba, something they did not care to do for the crown prince of that time, Hisham bin Abdilmalik. The latter was so embarrassed that he had to claim that he did not know him although he was well known for his piety and knowledge.

He was respected and admired by the Muslim community of that time, because he was able to spread Islamic knowledge to all Muslims including those who did not recognize his imamate.

And this is what we conclude when we review whom his students were in all fields of knowledge. Moreover, when we read his supplications that are compiled in Al- Sahifa As-Sajadiah, we can see how it can easily turn into a cultural source of knowledge, along with his other supplications.

Patience and perseverance to attain the Right

The Imam was a role model in many fields including his piety, his worship of God, his neglect of worldly affairs and his tolerance. He witnessed the tragedy of Karbala right from the beginning and until the very end.

In this glorious battle the last words of his father Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) before he was martyred were: “I will tell you what my father told me on his death bed: Be patient and tolerant in pursuing the right no matter how bitter it might be”. It is as though he was saying: God is the Right; and His Message is the message of the Right.

Our cause is the cause of the Right. We should adhere to it no matter how bitter and distasteful it might be. Imam Ali says: “[Pursuing] the right has left me no friend”. Thus, Imam Hussein’s will was a call for patience and perseverance in following the right in all fields whether religious, political or social and never giving up regardless of hardships.

The freer of slaves

When we read about the life of Imam Zein Al-Abidein, we find that he was the freer of slaves.

The Imam lived in an age where due to certain circumstances slavery was not completely abolished. Islam fought this trend and encouraged the freeing of slaves, by various means including making it the atonement of deliberately not-fasting in the month of Ramadan, thus adopting a realistic plan to abolish this distasteful act…

Pursuing this noble causes, the Imam (a.s.) used to buy slaves, educate them and send them to Mecca to help pilgrims and then gather them in the month of Ramadan, and ask them in a gesture of humbleness, to forgive him if he had -God forbid-, have done them any wrong. Then he used to give them some money and free them. It is said that he has freed more than one thousand slaves.

The Imam also made every effort to educate the people on the necessity of not being fanatic or partisan. And as you know our society in the East is based on various forms of sectarian, tribal, political fanaticism that has even been evident in the behavior of some of those who give themselves religious titles. He used to say: The kind of fanaticism that is punished is the one demonstrated by seeing the evil among your falk better than the good of others It is not fanatical to love your own people nevertheless it is certainly so when you help them in being unjust”. Therefore, supporting your party or side while knowing it is wronging others is a fanatical act that is unlawful and will be punished for by God in the Hereafter.

An Exemplary model in humbleness

When the Imam used to travel in a convoy as was the case in his time, he used to choose to travel with a group that did not know him ensuring that they will treat him just as they treat anyone of them. Once he was asked by his fellow travelers to collect some wood for a fire while another convoy passed by with people who knew him among the travelers.

They told the first convoy who came to him and asked why he kept his identity a secret. He said I have traveled with some people who knew me and they gave me, as a tribute to the Messenger of Allah what I do not deserve. And I do not like to take what I cannot give an equal thing in return”.

The lesson we learn from this incident is that there are many political or social personalities in our society who might feel that it is the duty of others to respect them, merely due to their academic, social nobility or the like. You ought to serve the people and guide them to what is best for them. For God did not give anybody a right without assigning him a duty. There is not anybody who is greater than the Prophet, and yet it was his duty to teach and educate the people: O Prophet! Surely We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news. And as one inviting to Allah by His permission and as a light-giving torch as a warner and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.33:46

There are two rules you ought learn by heart and adhere to: when you give, do not think about what you will get in return “And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive “(76:8). The second when you want to take you have to think about what you had given...

Imam Zein Al-Abidein was a summit in knowledge, morals, the spirit of giving, and his love and service to all people.

This is how we should understand him. We should not restrict to the sphere of tragedy. True he used to cry upon his father and remind the people of Karbala, but he was also the man who used to teach and liberate the people and perform all the duties of the Message the Imams dedicated themselves for.

Do not imprison our Imams inside the tragedy… True we should remember their sufferings but we should also remember that they suffered because they had adhered themselves to the cause of Islam and the cause of Allah. 

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

American lies concerning Iraq

A year has passed on the American-British occupation of Iraq that was justified by the blowing up of the danger of the tyrant regime on America’s and the world’s security.

They have claimed that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction a lie that Bush insisted on in 237 statements and one that has proven to be false by the UN, as well by the American inspectors themselves.

But what he happened is not merely a lie fabricated by intelligence agencies, it is a war that has left as devastating impact on the region and on the entire world. It has opened the way for further false accusations to other countries of possessing WMD. It has also led to giving Israel the green light it needs to go on with its plot to eradicate the Palestinian people and to penetrate Iraq’s economy and security.

This intelligence-political lie has instigated a political debate about the future of the British and Australian prime ministers. And it has already brought down the Spanish prime minister who ignored the opinion of his people who were totally opposed to the war against Iraq, and whose policies have led to the criminal bombings that claimed hundreds of civilians, which many have considered a result of allying with the US.

If these liars are talking about the positive result represented by the fall of the tyrant regime, we do not object to this, but we all know that this was not the aim of the invasion. They rather aimed at putting their hands on the Iraqi oil and turning Iraq into an outpost to serve the American interests in the region, and act as a political, economic and security bridge to cross over to the region. But the occupation did not transfer the power to the Iraqis to enable them to safeguard the security of their country, because it wants to continue to occupy it until all its aims are accomplished… If the Americans talk about democracy, we all know that it could not be achieved through occupation. Political and military subjection do not conform with freedom and democracy.

Welcoming the Spanish developments

We welcome the political developments in Spain, the friend of Arabs and Muslims.

And we view them as big blow to the American plan that aims at extending its hegemony over Europe and dragging to follow its imperial policies. We also find in them a message to the European peoples to study their relations with the US on the basis of freedom of decision, and force their governments to side with the freedom of peoples and refuse unjust wars.

We also call on them to change the governments which do not adhere to their will in rejecting unjust wars. On the other hand, we call on all Muslims and Arab peoples to learn the lesson the Spanish people have given them: to change the governments if they do not serve the nation’s interests.

In this respect, we would like to point out to the fact that the officials in the regimes of this region despise their peoples and confiscate their freedom by means of the security agencies, the laws of emergences protection of corruption and subjection to the United States that enable the latter to talk about the need to reform the great Middle East.

The Palestinian steadfastness

In Palestine, we pay tribute to the martyrs who executed the qualitative operation in Ashdod that proved that the Mujahideen can strike in any strategic location in Palestine, despite the racial war and the road blocs. We believe that all threats and all plans to reoccupy Gaza will not compromise the will power of this great people who have created a big impasse to the Israelis, despite their war machine and all the American support.

In Syria, we would like to point out to the attempt to create turmoil by raising the Kurdish question without any political or economic basis. We feel that America is behind this in an effort to destabilize Syria and break its steadfastness threatening in the same time by the sanctions that everybody knows that they will not deter Syria or break its will.

Lebanon and the need for change

Lastly, what is going in Lebanon? Is it a political truce to temporarily halt the war between the influential circles that erupt every now and then to create chaos, freeze vital developing projects and the ability to face critical challenges? Or is it striking a compromise that serves personal and partisan interests, especially with the elections due to begin…

We had hoped that the alliances would have been based on an agenda of comprehensive reform that would give the citizens local governments that is different from the central one. We ask the people who are about to vote what are going to vote to: an agenda that would serve your interests, or on the basis of personal and partisan loyalties…

Lebanon needs a people that think, plan and has a will to change, and not one that is a slave to emotions and that signs whenever it is asked to.