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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 24/09/2004

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, Sha'ban 9 1425 H,September 24 2004 A.D. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Do not spy for the unjust and arrogant

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

Avoid suspicion

Allah says in his Glorious Book: {O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy}. In this verse, Allah, the most Exalted, is discussing an issue that has to do with dealing with the other; what one thinks or imagines about the other and how do these ideas demonstrate themselves in making judgments, especially negative ones. We notice this when, for example, the husbands or the wives accuse one another of bad things, basing their accusations just on appearances with no solid point to substantiate them.

Allah, the most Exalted, says that we ought to avoid suspicion; those judgments that there is no evidence to back them. Such suspicions should be avoided for surely conjecture will not avail aught against the truth, and they are sometimes sinful.

Then Allah, the most Exalted, stresses on another point when he commands us not to spy. Spying in this sense is when man tries to find out what the other is hiding, or when one does not respect the other’s privacy:

In family life, certain differences or problems might occur between the husband and wife, the father or children who they like to keep in the family…

Moreover, certain aspects of man's business might be best held in privacy… In short, all of us have our privacies which Allah wants us to respect, since when revealed, they might create some problems or fail some business projects.

If each of you returns to himself, he will find out that he does not want anyone to spy on him. Each one of you has secrets and things he does not want anybody to learn about … Would any of you let anyone spy on his personal family matters or his business deals and accounts? Or even learn about his mistakes and we all commit mistakes? Certainly not.

In this respect, the Messenger (p.) summarizes these two points in one saying: Do not yield to suspicion for it is the purist of lies, and do not spy… Suspicion is based on psychological and emotional illusions that have no sound basis, while spying is a sin since it involves probing into the privacy of others.

The Messenger (p.) has often declared that he was not commanded to look into the hearts of others.

It is as if he was saying that he takes people by their word and not by what it is inside their hearts. He also warned those who try to reveal the mistakes and falls of others that Allah will expose their own mistakes. If you try to learn the secrets of others to threaten them with exposing what you know, then Allah who knows all about you (_He knows the stealthy looks and that which the breasts conceal_), might punish you in this world revenging for those you have spied on by exposing your own mistakes.

Spying is unlawful

Once Omar bin Al-Khattab was walking about Medina when he heard a man singing. He climbed up the fence to see the man and told him: "You enemy of God! Did you think that Allah will hide you while you are sinning"? The man said: Hold on…If I had committed one sin, you have committed three: the first was that you spied while Allah says: Do not spy. He also said that you should "go into the houses by their doors". And you have sneaked in. the third is that you did not ask for permission while Allah says:

O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates; this is better for you, that you may be mindful.

Omar then had to ask the man to forgive him and he let him go. This story gives us an idea about how that society was running. The people then had the right to confront the ruler with his mistakes, while the caliph did not feel that such an attitude ought to be punished.

But spying is no longer just an act targeting individuals to unveil their personal secrets; it has become an international affair performed by specialized agencies whose network covers the entire world.

The CIA, for example, has branches in every part of the world, and in all these countries, it recruits agents and put them on the payroll. These could well be party leaders or even heads of states who would be commissioned to do tasks that run counter to the interests of their states.

We also know that the CIA has recruited many Muslims to spy on their communities including the country's politicians, religious leaders, leading businessmen… etc, in an effort to destabilize the security of these countries and create social, political and economic hardships. This type of spying, practiced also by the Mosad, is the evil kind, but there is also a legitimate kind of spying that seeks to protect the society and confront the evil spying agencies. Yet, such agencies whose line of action falls in the category of obeying God needs to be headed by good and faithful believers whose only concern is to protect the interests and causes of the people.

The Prophet (p.) is said have practiced what has become known now as counterespionage. Imam Ali (a.s.) says: The Messenger (p.) sent me along with Al-Mukdad and al-Zubair to a place called Rawdat Khakh where we were to find a woman carrying a letter, and ordered us to bering the letter. The woman denied at first but then yielded under pressure. We took the letter to the Prophet (p.), who found out that it was from one of the companions, Hatib bin Al- Balta, and addressed to certain unbelievers telling them about some of the affairs relating to the Prophet.

Faced by this information, the man said that he was only trying to protect his folk in Mecca, and swore that he was not a traitor or that he had denounced Islam. The Prophet (p.) believed him and did not punish him. We also know, as Imam Al-Rida told us, that the Messenger (p.) used to send some of those whom he trusted with the army so as if this army accuses any ruler, they would verify the information.

We understand from all this that spying is in principle unlawful, especially spying for the arrogant and the oppressors, for these spies are responsible for all the hardships the arrogant might inflict on their countries, having provided them with information that enabled them to carry out their schemes..

Nevertheless it becomes permissible when it serves the interests of Islam and Muslims, provided that it is managed by a faithful leadership that abides by what Allah, the most Exalted, has deemed lawful and what He has commanded us not to stay away from.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Brutality of American Soldiers

The world this week has been listening to the American President in his ceremonial address in which he reasserted his international imperial position. In this speech, President Bush tried to defend his illegitimate war, since it was not endorsed by the Security Council, the only institution according to the UN Secretary General that holds the authority of making the decisions of war and peace.

Since Bush did not have any justification, he went on from one lie to another, and he had to avoid any mention of weapons of mass destruction and concentrate on toppling the tyrant regime in Iraq, the regime that was an ally to America and that was even nurtured by it…

He then talked about seeking a "safer world" although it is common knowledge that he has plagued the world with war and devastation. He talks about Iraq as a model for the other Arab countries, but we do not know how he could describe the brutal daily killing of this downtrodden people, with 37 thousand Iraqis killed, since America has waged its war on Iraq… the country that faces daily atrocities with American planes killing in cold blood civilians who gather for example to watch a burning American tank, killing scores of civilians including reporters.

Bush: The best recruiter for Al-Qaeda:

Furthermore, the Iraqis are demanding security reconstruction, provision of vital services, building the state on a solid foundation, but nothing of this sort has been established. The American army and its allies have become concerned of their own security instead of that of the Iraqis, who are facing daily assassinations by the sectarian parties.

If the American President is talking about terrorism, it is he who created favorable conditions for it to grow. He is, in the words of the British Ambassador in Italy, the best recruiter for Al-Qaeda...In addition to the fact that he equates between terrorism and resistance, as when he talks about the liberating Intifada in Palestine.

He also talks about genocide in Darfor without even mentioning the real genocide committed by the Zionists in Palestine by means of the various American developed weapons. In this regard, he tends to forget the issue of liberation that he keeps mentioning in his preaching.

Moreover, when he talks about children, he only talks about the children of Jerusalem, but he forgets the Palestinian children killed every day in the West Bank and Gaza by the Zionists.

The Problem with this president is that he is speaking as an Israeli and not as an American.

Even when he talks about the settlements and the racist wall, he forbids the Security Council from condemning Israel.

He focuses all his pressures on the Palestinians calling the world to boycott Arafat and deal with the Intifada militants as "terrorists". Meanwhile, Palestinian blood is being spilled daily all over Palestine without any American, European or Arab condemnation, and without any pressures from the international Quartet committee. Then, if the Mujahideen defend their country and their people, condemnations will be hurled all over them… As if the Palestinian blood is worthless while only the Israeli blood is of value.

The American plan: Humiliating the Iraqis

We appreciate the heroic steadfastness of the Palestinians and call on them to deepen the Israeli impasse, for this is the way of liberation. As for Iraq which we look forward for its independent future through the movement of its people towards freedom, we are following up the atrocities inflicted on them by the American Army and its allies… This army that resorts to arbitrary shelling of various regions, including even those that have declared a ceasefire like the Al Sadr City, for they wish to humiliate the Iraqis and force them to surrender.

On the other hand, we have condemned the various kidnappings and slaughters, which we believe that they are unjustified.

We also believe that claiming that such actions are Islamic distorts the image of Islam and could well be exploited by its enemies.

Lebanon and the concept of citizenship

Lebanon is passing through one of the toughest stages marked by the bitter violent debates that are neither rational in content nor realistic in means.

We say to them: The state is bigger than all parties, for it has to do with all the people especially in these times of economic hardship.

We want to build this country on the basis of citizenship that equates between all citizens regardless of their sects or positions. We also call for all parties to join hands on the basis of spiritual and moral values and conduct calm and objective dialogue, since screaming only hurts the ears, but does not open the minds.

You have a beautiful country; do not lose it. And you have an educated citizen who is potentially creative; do not kill his spirit… Let us conduct a dialogue on how to build and not how to destroy.