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Lectures >2005 Speeches > 20/05/2005

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, Rabi' II 11 1426 H, May 20 2005 A.D Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Ascertain the Truth

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

Media's Role

God says in His Glorious Book: {O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done. And know that among you is Allah's Messenger; should he obey you in many a matter, you would surely fall into distress, but Allah has endeared the faith to you and has made it seemly in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you unbelief and transgression and disobedience; these it is that are the followers of a right way}. (49:6-7)

There are some Quranic verses that guide believers in all places and times. This is especially true when it comes to vital issues that might lead to dangerous consequences including a war. It might also destabilize the society or end marriages. To counter these effects the Quran sets an important rule that every believer should adopt.

The verses we recited deal with the issue of the people’s relations whether at home, in the marketplaces in the clubs, and in the general political, security and economic spheres.

The verses discuss the issues of the news that people tell one another, which could be individual or social but could also be political and economic. In the past, the only means of spreading news was the direct way from one person to another, but with the development of the media, we now have the radios, the cables network and the internet, which have made transmitting all kinds of news false or true, possible.

Various intelligence agencies benefit of various media to spread ramous that promote their interests and world plans.

Studying the news:

Theses verses warn us of the dangerousness of these news that harm individuals, groups and the entire nation. God says: If a wicked person comes to you with any news. Who's the wicked? It is the person who transgresses Allah's limits, the one who does not fear Allah, but follows his instincts passions and desires, and feels no responsibility toward the others' safety or interests. If this wicked comes up with a story, then you have to verify it with whatever means you have. Ask those whom you trust, and study the evidence. Believing the story which might be totally false, could make you act negatively towards someone or even boycott him although he is totally innocent. You would be thus wronging him, lest you harm people unwitting.

Then you will repent, and Allah will hold you responsible for your wrong-doing.

Such false stories could undermine the relations between brothers or between husband and wife. Saying things the other party did not say or changing what has actually been said might lead to divorce, or turning family life into hell, and even to murder, as members of tribes tend to kill just became somebody accused the wife or sister of infidelity, under the slogan of avenging one's honor.

In Islam, there is a civilized rule based on justice that says: "The accused is innocent until proven guilty". Islam thus has asked for proof and for verifications by means of taking an oath. It is impermissible to rely on rumors or the stories of the untrustworthy.

This is also true with respect to religious, social and political authorities, whom one might adopt a negative attitude towards, as a result of certain rumors. Although such authorities are not above criticism, one should not pass a judgment without any proof. {And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety}

We ought to be just in all our judgments even when we hate the people we are dealing with.

In this respect, religious authorities are not infallible, but there are political underpinnings for judging a certain Marga' that he is not qualified to issue fatwas, Moreover, during political fights contradictory things might be said at the same true just to draw parties nearer or away from one another. Thus, we should have a judging stick even when it comes to security issues. In economic matters for example: people may try to spread various rumors to raise or lower the prices of stocks, and the same thing goes for all levers of societal life.

Thus, the verse we recited is a rule that we should always follow: We should not accept anything unless the source is reliable, be it a newspaper a political party or an individual… For we should not keep in our minds any convictions that do not benefit our development, our life and our righteousness.

We live now in a state of critical and complicated circumstances, especially during the period of elections which is full or rumors and lies. Let this Ayah be you guide in what you believe in and what you don't, so as to ensure that you are just in all aspects of life whether personal, social or political, and so that you defend yourself, before God, when nothing does you any good but your good deeds.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

Palestine and the Israeli whirlpool

In Palestine, the Palestinian cause is still in the midst of the Israeli whirlpool that is protected by the American plan. For Israel does not want the Palestinians to have a viable independent state, but an interim one, besieged by the racist wall, invaded by the settlements, and exploited by Zionist economy… It is also under a constant threat of Israeli aggressions in the absence of a realistic strategy to resolve the conflict with Israel.

This is what we notice in the Israeli game with the Palestinian Authority: while the Israeli economy is once again thriving, the Palestinian economy did not advance a bit; the Palestinian prisoners are still detained, and the building of the wall goes on, the settlements continue to expand, the right of return is still denied, and the Palestinian were not offered anything in return of the concessions they were forced to give, especially the latest truce the Authority and the factions agreed on..

On the one hand, Israel is still demanding the disarming and dismantling of the Intifada factions, which could incite internal strife, and on the second hand Israel resumed its shelling of the Intifada militants, and detaining the youth. If the Intifada has begun to retaliate by shelling the settlements, it is only a natural reaction.

America: Israel is above the world

America is trying to freeze things for the time being in an effort to protect Israeli security, but it does not see any need to pressurize its ally. Its policy is simply to pressurize the Palestinians to offer additional concessions, and this is what the Palestinian leader could expect in his coming meeting with President Bush, for the latter cannot, or does not want, to pressurize his favorite ally _ Sharon.

This is the American policy historically one that sees that Israel is above the world. America has been, and still is, tailoring its policies to fit Israel only, regardless; of the American interests. This is what the Palestinians, in particular, should know, so as not to be deceived by the American envoys who wish only to sedate them.

This is what the Arab, and Muslims should understand, so that they won't offer new political economic and security concessions, everyday.

Iraq: The Clerics' responsibility

In Iraq, where the occupation still uses all means to ensure its total hegemony, including exerting pressures on the government to further limit its nominal freedom of movement, tens of civilian victims and perhaps hundreds, fall every day, while only of few occupation soldiers are hit.

Moreover, Sunni and Shiite mosque Imams are being assassinated, while condemnations focus only on one party without proper investigations. Such statement might incite internal sectarian strife, although all parties know that those who are planning for an internal war are mostly members of the old regime who wish to spread chaos.

We hold all people especially the clerics, the responsibility of confronting all conspiracies that aim to incite strife among Iraqis who have been immune against any internal war throughout their history. We call upon the clerics to establish a body for investigating to determine who the real criminal is. We also believe that the occupation is responsible for it has created this atmosphere, so as to stay long as his interests demand, claiming that it is providing security in Iraq while actually creating a state of chaos.

Constructive chaos

In Uzbekistan, people are ruthlessly shelled and hundreds of victims fall, leading for the demand of an international investigation committee. And, in Sudan political and security instability widens, while the people are starving. In Egypt, Islamic and national opposition militants are being arrested in a way that does not serve any reform or respect the popular will. Faced by all this we ask:

Are the regimes policies an echo of the American policy of constructive chaos?

In the meantime, the Americans, continue to talk about free elections, freedoms and human nights, and claim that the best way to reach these goals is by spreading the so-called "constructive chaos" which only further aggravates the existing problems.

Lebanon: outside intervention

The political elite in Lebanon have become addicted to external intervention.

This is what we notice by the movement of American representatives who have started to interfere even in the small details of electoral alliances.

In this respect, we would like to emphasize that the Lebanese want freedom, being the secret of Lebanon and the lung by which it breathes.

But if it did not accept an Arab guardianship it is not going not to accept an American or French one.

If some of in the Lebanese political club have become addicted to the intervention of the external powers, we believe that the Lebanese citizen wants to be addicted to his country, freedom and independent decision. We don't have any complexes against the others, for we open up on the entire world. But we do not want to fall in the same trap several times. There is a big difference between being enslaved by the outside powers to promote their own interests and between cooperation with us to solve our problems, on the basis of mutual respect.

National Unity

The Lebanese sectarian discourse is dominant despite all the attempts to disguise it by national slogans. Religious authorities have come to protect political leaders, and electoral alliances are based on ensuring the success of additional MPs, and not or political or national platforms.

In this atmosphere, national unity turned into a slogan to consumption, while the vote, is the cow whose milk crushes the thirst of those seeking power. The question is what kind of Lebanon will this state yield? Wouldn't corruption and collapse be the name of the game under the new guardianship?