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Lectures >2002 Speeches > 20/09/2002

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Grand Ayatullah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday speeches at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque Rajab12, 1423h, September20, 2002A.D., Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.


The Birth Anniversary of Imam Ali (a.s.):
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The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful

Ali (a.s.) the Commander of the Faithful

{And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees}[2:207]. }

This Holy Ayah was revealed when the Imam (a.s.) slept in the Messenger's bed, as the Prophet (p.)  left for Medina . He wanted to sacrifice himself and be killed instead of Muhammad (p.); this was the Imam whose life was not his, it was solely devoted to Allah, whether in his feelings, actions or thought even if any action or stand he took displeased those who were around him.

Thus, Allah (S.W.T) revealed the following Ayah when he gave his ring in charity during his prayers: {Your leaders are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, those who establish regular prayers and pay Zakat and they bow down humbly (in worship)}[2:207]. Then came the Holy Ayah that commanded the Messenger   {O' Messenger! Proclaim the (Message) which has been sent to you from Your Lord. If you do not, you would not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission. And Allah will defend you from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guides not those who reject Faith} [5:67], which prompted the Apostle of Allah (S.W.T) to gather the believers on his way from the farewell pilgrimage. Then Muhammad(p.) proclaimed  that “Ali is the leader of all those whom I am their Leader”. The Messenger also said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”, meaning that he had taught Ali (a.s.) all the knowledge he attained. In this respect, Ali (a.s.) said: “The Apostle of Allah has taught me a thousand fields of science, and in each field one thousand fields will be opened for me”. Thus Ali (a.s.) was the most knowledgeable in Allah's Book, the Prophet(p.)’s traditions and the way Islam wants man to lead his life.

Furthermore,  the Prophet (p.)  made it clear that Ali (a.s.) and the truth are inseparable. Truth and righteousness are manifested in Ali (a.s.), his teachings and actions. This is why to learn Islam from any companion we would have to turn to Ali. All those who agree with the Imam side with the right and all those who disagree with him disagree with truth and righteousness.

In the light of this, you cannot be with Ali (a.s.) if you side with falsehood, whether in religious issues or in political and social ones.

He had, as the Messenger (p.) said, “ you are to me as  as Haroun was to Mousa, with the (exception) that there are no prophets after me».

Thus Ali who lived with the Messenger's heart and mind and accompanied him in every breath he breathed and in every action he took. Their relationship began when Ali (a.s.) was a very young child , beginning when the Messenger (p.)  came to Ali's father asking to take one of his children to raise, for he had a lot of children and could not afford to support all of them.

The Imam (a.s.) describes this stage in one of his speeches; he says: you knew how close I was to the Prophet (p.), who used to hug me, make me  sleep in his bed, and even chew the food for me. He then adds that he used to follow the Prophet(p.)  like a baby camel following his mother. Thus the character and personality of the Messenger(p.) was imprinted in Ali (a.s.),  for the Prophet(p.) used to teach him something new in knowledge and morals everyday, and ask him to learn it and abide by it.

The Prophet(p.)  used also to go to the cave of Hira ' (A cave near Mecca ) each year, where Ali (a.s.)  would be the only one to see him . At that time, the only house that united people in Islam was the house of Muhammad(p.)  and Khadiga, with Ali as the third person. The Imam  says: I used to see the light of Messenger(p.)   and feel the secret of prophethood. I heard Satan's grumbling when the revelation was sent to the Messenger(p.)  and asked him about what that was. He told me that it was Satan expressing his despair and adds: “you see what I see and you hear what I hear, but you are not a Prophet, you are a minister …”

Ali describes the Members of the House as such: “I am from those who do not care about any criticism, when it is an issue of God”. That is, they will say the truth even if everybody stands against them. They are the honest and truthful with God, with themselves and with fellow men. They cling to the line of the Quran and they are guided by it and guide others to it. They uphold the laws of Allah and the teachings of the Messenger (p.).

They are not conceited; they are humble with all men. They do not go to the extremes and they do not corrupt.

Regarding how others view him, the Imam (a.s.) reminds us of what the Messenger (p.) told him:

O' Ali, no believer will hate you, for you represent the right, and no hypocrite will love you.

The Imam (a.s.) further adds that two categories of people will be destroyed because of their relationship with him. The first kind is “the excessive lovers”. Those who would equate between Ali and God, for the issue is not to love Ali in absolute. To be a follower of Ali (a.s.)   is not to love him in absolute, it is to love Ali (a.s.) in his place regarding Allah (S.W.T) and the Messenger (p.). He was proud that he was a servant of Allah and he used to say: It is a great honor for me to be Your servant. We also hear him say in the supplication of Kumail “… I am your poor weak and humble servant”… Thus, Ali (a.s.) and all the prophets (p) and good believers were great because they acted from their positions as devoted worshippers of Allah (S.W.T) to become closer to him. And we are by no means allowed to elevate them into higher ranks than the ones Allah (S.W.T) assigned them. The second kind of people is those who viciously hate him.

Thus, Ali was a role model in his humbleness to God. If he was praised by what he did not think appropriate, he would say: «O God, make be better than they think, and forgive me for what they do not know about me». Moreover, as a caliph, he used to ask people to criticize him even it were in a hash way, and to always side with righteousness and justice, He says: «Do not talk to me as you talk to tyrants. And do not think that I can not tolerate words of truth or calls for justice. He who cannot tolerate words of truth or prepositions of justice, it will be more difficult for him to abide by them” . Therefore, it was not a matter of personal ambition but rather a means of establishing right and abolishing falsehood.

Ali the champion of Islamic unity

Ali was also the champion of Islamic unity. He wanted to safeguard the unity and interests of Islam and Muslims against all their enemies and conspirators even if he did not agree with the rules, or even if those who ruled have taken what was rightly his (assuming leadership). Ruler or not, he always considered defending Muslims and Islam as his responsibility and duty, never caring about any post or prestige and never having any personal ambitions. Did not he say: I would keep peaceful so long as the affairs of Muslims are secured and the only injustice that has taken place has befallen on me only!

This is the lesson Ali (a.s.) gives to all Muslims – Shiites and non-Shiites alike. When there are outside threats, the leadership and the whole nation should freeze their differences and unite in preserving Islam and the Muslims. Therefore, all those who incite sectarian and professional strife are in reality acting against Ali because his principles, teachings and practice have always called for not letting the arrogant and the infidel exploit our sectarian, religious and national differences, in order to destroy Islam. And this is what he said to the people of Egypt . “I was shocked when I heard the people pledging legality to so and so… But when I heard that there were people who wish to destroy Islam, I was afraid that if I do not support Islam even if I were denied my rights , there will be a catastrophe that is far greater than assuming the post of ruling, which is something very trivial that will last for a few days and then disappear like clouds, I had to act until the falsehood was defeated…” This is the line of Ali (a.s.). How far are we from this line, when we incite sectarian differences at a time we are faced by grave threats. How could we use the name of Ali to betray his message?

The Imam (a.s.) suffered many pains for his problem was that he did not know but to stand with the right, and he expresses this fact by saying that standing with “the right had left him no friends”. He has proved, both while he was caliph as well as outside the institution of the caliphate, that his only concern was to uphold Islam. There was no Muslim other than Imam Ali (a.s.), whether a companion of the Prophet or not, that had the thought, knowledge, the legality and the readiness to leave all worldly matters to defend the cause, and uphold, establish and defend Islam. It we study the heritage of all the other companions, we will find that there is no match for Ali (a.s.), to the extent that we do not need to quote a saying or any other textual evidence to prove that he was the only one qualified to shoulder the Message after Muhammad (p.) and to lead the Muslims after him.

A life of Love

Ali (a.s.)was born in Al-Kaa'ba, God's international House, He opened his eyes on the prayer niche, spent all his life in serving Allah (S.W.T) and closed his eyes in another niche saying: “I swear the Lord of Kaa'ba that I have won” . This is Imam Ali (a.s.) who, in his birthday, We have to be reborn in his mind, thought and struggle, for being a Shiite is not only a matter of love for Ali (a.s.). It is in the first place a matter of action and commitment. It is what he himself has called upon us, when he asked us knowing that we cannot be as astute as he was, to be pious, chaste and righteous.   

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The miraculous Palestinian steadfastness

The miraculous Palestinian steadfastness gives all humanity a new lesson, that if the people decide to fight for the cause of freedom, Allah (S.W.T) will ultimately grant them victory.

 In this stage, as we remember the massacres of Sabra and Chatila ( Palestinian refugee camps at the suburbs of Beirut) that took place in this month of 1982AD, and that was followed by the Massacre of Qana, South Lebanon … and as we remember those two massacres as  well as all the other massacres in Palestine and Lebanon… we remember that although victims fell in vast numbers in those massacres, scores of  victims are falling every day.

Nevertheless, America does not consider these atrocities as terror. It also does not consider Sharon, Peres, or any other Israel butcher as terrorists. It even sides with all its power to prevent any condemnation to Israel in the Security Council. On the contrary, in America ’s view, the Palestinian victims are the terrorists who ought to be condemned. Meanwhile, it continues to give Israel the green light to eradicate the Palestinians in the name of self-defense. 

It is the Americans who claim to be the champions of human rights that are responsible for all what is going in Palestine , for they provide cover to all those Zionists that changed man into a beast the name of progress, civilization and freedom.

America ’s continued offensive

Now what about the Americans’ continued offensive to consolidate their hegemony on the entire region.

We have firstly, the meeting of the quartet international committee, that called for the establishment of Palestinian  state in three phases by the year 2005, on the basis of executing Bush's vision. In addition to its members, the EU, Russia , the UN and the United States , five Arab ministers as well as Palestinians and Israeli representatives attended the meeting.

However, this meeting only made things worse, for it did not change anything in the tragic lives of the Palestinians, nor did it ask the occupation to withdraw or exert pressure to lift the imposed curfews. The committee did not even condemn the organized daily killings or the destruction of the infrastructure. The Arab ministers in their turn did not exercise any pressure to elevate the sufferings of this wronged people.

The only reason this committee was established is to control any political move to pressurize Israel . In addition, it served its purpose for we no longer hear any condemnation of the Israeli barbaric acts.

Secondly, the American Congress whose majority is pro Israel , has begun to discuss the Syrian Accountability Act, with a Zionist mentality that fabricates lies, distorts facts and plants hatred among the American public opinion.

For Syria still resists the American -Israeli pressures, in an orchestrated drama in which the roles were distributed among the American Administration and the pro- Israeli American politicians, as well as trying to exploit, in an ugly way, some of the stands of one the Lebanese parties, or the general climate in the region.

Yet, we believe that Syria and Lebanon will be able to continue to resist these pressures, which aim at instituting political and economic sanctions. However, here we have a question to ask: Why don't the rich countries help the free states that defend the Arab rights instead of providing financial assistance for the American war on the region.

Fourthly; America is still threatening to wage a war against Iraq as a prelude to dominate the whole region with all its resources, despite the yielding of the Iraqi regime to   the return of the international inspectors. America now wants the UN to succumb to its new demands to change the regime which
America itself has given all the power that it used to oppress its people and threaten the entire region.

We have to follow up closely all the developments for there are many tempests heading towards us.

Moreover, we have to think about the wronged Iraqi people that suffer from the American besiege and starvation in the name of besieging the regime, knowing fully well that the latter will not be affected.

We call on all free Arabs and Muslims to realize the magnitude of the sufferings of the Iraqi people who now wish to be released of this big prison regardless of the circumstances. We also have to differentiate between our opposition to the American war that might increase the sufferings of all Iraqis by killing thousands of them, and between supporting their aspirations of being salvaged of this intolerable situation.

 A need for wisdom in Lebanon

Lastly, we call on all Lebanese who are facing regional and international threats, not to be distracted by sectarian and personnel differences. The entire country is shaking and needs all its resources and potentials to face the external threats, as well as its economic crisis.

We call on all parties to be more prudent and wise. We call upon them to study these challenges before the temple falls on their heads. Their preoccupation with the rows concerning “dialogue and national reconciliation”, weakens the Lebanese stands against the enemy, and enables Israel to find a way out of its current impasse, and continue its execution of the plans to control the Lebanese waters under the pretense of sharing the waters of the Middle East .