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Lectures >2002 Speeches > 20/12/2002

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Grand ayatullah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons (at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Shawwal 16 1423h - December 20, 2002 , several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

 

Hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together; lest you lose heart and your power departs


 

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

  ·       Wisdom and fair exhortation

Allah, the most Exalted, says in His Glorious book: {Call into the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation and reason with them in the better way.

Lo! Your Lord is best aware of him who strays from His way and he is best aware of those who go aright}. 16:125

This is the way the Muslim should follow, when he wants to call people to believe in something or be committed to it. When you want to convince someone of something you should study the way he thinks, what opens his mind and what closes it, for the mind has keys and locks... One word might open it and another might close it.

That is why Allah, the most Exalted, asks us through what He says to His Prophet (p.)  to be wise when we call, and being wise is saying the right word at the right place and time…

Just as we need a civil engineer to construct the road to a certain destination, we need engineers who would design and construct the roads to the feelings and minds of others and this is what wisdom means.

We also notice that Allah, the most Exalted, has divided the Prophet’s mission in two tasks: to teach them two things: the Book and wisdom.

The Book is the Quran which contains everything and which represents the theory, while wisdom is the practice: The way to transform this theory into a belief in the hearts and into a reality. {Call into the way of your Lord with wisdom} means that you ought to study the mentality of those you are addressing… If you are taking to your children for example, you should turn into a child.

·       Study the mentality of the other

A youth’s mentality should also be studied… It differs whether he is an intellectual or not. If he is an intellectual you should be an intellectual too. Or you should let an intellectual talk to him.

We have to study the mentality of our children whether if they are still young or have turned into teen-agers. Certain fathers consider themselves autocratic rulers in their houses; they impose their views upon all their members. But this is not what the Quran tells us. It asks us to reason in the best manner: to use kind words that enter the heart.

This way you can live in peace. If you use force, they might obey, but they might develop a feeling of uneasiness towards you, which might complicate things… For there is no difference between a dictator of a country and that of a house… Our children are not things… they are human beings.

When we were young, we used to be angry when our parents used violence against us. Our children too will undoubtedly feel the same… Therefore, when we become parents, we should remember how we felt towards our parents when we were children...

Your children are human beings and so is your wife. They are not pieces of furniture; you did not buy your wife: {They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them}[18:72] {either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness}[2:229]. {And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect}[30:21]

It is a relation between two human beings and not between a ruler and a subject. Each party has certain rights and certain duties in a relationship governed by love and understanding.

Dear loved ones… We are now living in a community that does not adopt this method of resorting to wisdom. We live in fanaticism and individualism. Our morals are beastly in which the strong oppresses the weak… We have turned our houses into psychiatry wards whose members need therapy…

We live in an ever-mounting tension and do not know how to live in peace.

We try to compensate by consuming… buying furniture and new houses and the like… But this is not what makes us feel happiness and tranquility… What bestows this feeling on us is tolerance, wisdom and humanitarianism.

·       Reason with them in the better way

“Reason with them in the better way.” When there are differences of ideas or creeds there are two ways to go about them: violence whereby one resorts to cursing and threatening, this way you might feel relieved but you will never win the person, you are talking to, to your side. On the contrary you will make him more hostile.

Thus, the violent manner that dominates the political and religious differences of our society is in breach of what Allah, the most Exalted, has ordered us… The Quran says: {And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits they should abuse Allah out of ignorance. Thus have We made fair seeming to every people their deeds; then to their Lord shall be their return, so He will inform them of what they did. }[6:108]. The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.), tells his followers, while they are in war against Muawiyah, who later became the first Umayyad ruler, that instead of abusing their foes they ought to describe what they are doing. Moreover, he asks them to pray to God, the most Exalted, to save the lives of Muslims on both sides, and guide them to the right.

This is the sublime Islamic spirit: Even when you are in war against fellow Muslims, you should never hold a grudge, and you should always try to resort to reason with them in the better way.

This is your duty, but it does not extend to whether they are guided or not {Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder}[88:21].

Even when we are arguing with the People of the Book, we should use the method that lets our words enter the hearts and minds: {And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong- Like the Jews in Palestine who cannot be considered as people of the book because they are now aggressors whom Allah, the most Exalted, has ordered us to fight- and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our Allah and your Allah is One, and unto Him we surrender }[29:46].

This method is not restricted to religious or sectarian differences for Allah’s commands us to go back to Allah, the most Exalted, and His Messenger (p.) in everything we differ about.

We should know that good and kind words will surely have an impact on others, but unfortunately we have let our hearts to be filled with hatred, that our ears no longer hear. Our role model in our moral behavior should be the Prophet (p.)  whom Allah, the most Exalted, told us of how merciful he was:

{Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate)[3:1597]Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you;][9:128].

Dear loved ones:

We are living in a world that wants to divide and control us. It wants to exploit our differences so that it can dominate us… We have to be aware of that because this is the weapon that can defeat us. Whereas if we unify our ranks, no power will defeat us {And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited,

And obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart}

 [ 8:46 ].

This is the issue: If you want freedom, freedom comes with wisdom and unity, and if you want power, it also comes with wisdom and unity…

May Allah, the most Exalted, grant us success to what He pleases.

 

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

      

·      Attempts to end the Intifada

 On the Palestinian front everything is frozen, even with respect to the “road map” project of the Palestinian state. The American Secretary of State has forced the Quartet Committee to accept this freeze, for this is what Israel has asked: to postpone everything until after its elections. But no one has asked Israel to stop its military and economic aggression on the Palestinian people, for the American policy aims at giving the Jewish State a chance to create a new situation one on the ground that prevents the Palestinians from achieving their goal of establishing an independent state on the entire occupied lands, being. according to the American logic, disputed territories.

As for the British call for the Palestinian Authority to meet in London to discuss political and security reform, it is a call to freeze the Intifada and preoccupy it with trivial issues until the Zionist elections end in peace and the war against Iraq proceeds in the planned manner.

The Americans now want to reassure the Arab World, and this is what explains the phone calls that Bush had with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Jordan .

·       Soothing words

 He wants to tell the Arabs some soothing words to calm them without giving them anything on the ground. At the same time America coordinates with Israel , its strategic partner, to plan for the future of the region after overthrowing the Iraq regime and substituting it with a regime that serves its interests. The strategy also includes making more threats against Syria and Iran to end their support to the Intifada in Palestine .

All those who are free in the region should study these threats thoroughly… It is not yet clear whether the war in Iraq is going to topple the regime only or it is also going to kill tens of thousands of Iraqis. The nature of the regime it is going to install in Iraq is also not clear. Does America believe in democracy knowing that such a democracy will lead to the Iraqis’ rejection of American hegemony? The American democracy in the Third World is determined by what serves its interests and not by the people’s will and freedom. Moreover, what are the guarantees America offers the Iraqi people following the oust of the dictator? What are the real capabilities of the opposition to fight the American hegemony that replaced an autocratic regime by another autocratic one with some democratic makeup?  

·       When the nation decides to confront…

Some might talk about helplessness, like the Arab regimes and most of the Islamic states, but this is not true. When the nation decides to confront, it is capable of doing so even by taking to the streets with all resolve and determination, and this might thwart many plans. As for the war against what it calls terrorism, America is continuing it by passing additional laws, that permit its security and intelligence agencies to kill whoever it accuses without trial, just like what Israel is doing. It is the law of the jungle, with all the barbarism and primitivism it involves… Yet America asks why do the Arabs and Muslims hate us? It is the American extremists that are distorting America ’s image. It is the American Administration policy that have made the nations see in the States a beast that wants to change the peoples into herds of innocent animals that willingly accept to be slaughtered.

·       Discard trivial differences and enhance internal unity

 As for Lebanon whose people are starving, dreaming of job opportunities, demanding stability, revolting against corruption and yearning to immigrate to find a decent living…

As for Lebanon whose people have sunk in the quagmire of sectarianism and partisanship…and whose people are ignorant of the dangerous events that await its economy and security…

This Lebanon whose political life is so fragile, that any political raw might destabilize it…

What are its people’s politicians and leaders waiting for to rise to the level of the imminent threats?

In these times of critical challenges, we have to know how to confront them as unified people who are looking forward to build their future... We have to discard our trivial differences and enhance our internal unity, the unity of strong and free men.