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Lectures > 2007 Speeches > 26/01/2007

The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, 26th January 2007, several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Islam and Conflict Resolution:
A call for wisdom and arguing in the way that is best


The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

God says in His Holy Book

Invite all to the way of they Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: For they lord knows best who have strayed from His path and who receives guidance. And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! He between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend.

In these Ayahs, Allah guides us to adopt a methodology of solving our differences by means of wisdom and arguing in the ways that are best. He also indicates the results we should seek when these differences arise.

In the first issue, that of the call, Allah says:

Invite all to the way of they Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching.

When we want to call for the path of Allah and drive people to believe in Him and adopt Islam and follow the straight path, you have to be wise… that is you have to study the circumstances in an objective manner: to study people's mentalities, since they are of different ones, with some needing a scientific approach while others tend to be emotional. And you have to use with each the particular method that convinces him.

Studying the circumstances

You should study the general atmosphere before you get on the move. It might be an unfavourable one. There might be in the society a fanaticism that does not accept any other opinion or religion for that matter .And this is what we noticed in some of the conferences that were held lately where we heard some religious scholars talking in a negative way about the Shiites who are trying to pressurize Sunnis to become Shiites. Such an accusation was pronounced by scholars from Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries. But the fact of the matter is that there is no such thing.

We say that every caller has the right to call for his thought. And we have never discussed at any time the fact that some Sunnis are trying to call Shiites to adopt their school of thought. We believe that the issue was raised to increase the sensitivity against the Shiites especially in the heat of the current circumstances whether in Iraq or even in Lebanon to increase the sensitivity between the two sects.

In fact, there is no Shiite party who is planning for this. A Shiite individual might try to persuade a Sunni, or a Sunni might persuade a Shiite but this remains on the individual level. It has been said before, in Lebanon as well as other countries, that Muslims are calling Christians to Islam, and a lot of fuss was made about it, although Christian missionary work is carried out all over the world and no Muslim protested about it.

Therefore, a caller should study the atmosphere he is going to work in, so as to prevent others from causing problems that will undermine the call right from the very beginning. He must also resort to the best means whether that has to do with the mind or that has to do with the emotions, so as his call will reach both the heart and the mind. Moreover, if an argument takes place we should resort to what is best with no cursing or abasement. But in a way that proves to the other that we respect his thought and demand that our thought too should be respected

And argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: For they lord knows best who have strayed from His path and who receives guidance

Using the negative means will lead to no where.

As to the People of this Book, Allah has emphasized to use what is best

And do not dispute with the followers of the Book, except by what is best,

let it be a civilization humanistic and scientific debate in which the other does not feel that you despise him, except those of them who act unjustly because they do not conduct a dialogue but want to impose their thought on you and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our Allah and your Allah is One, and to Him do we submit. Concentrate on the points you both agree on and make this the basis of your dialogue.

Violence complicates things

As for the differences among Muslims, like the differences between Shiites and Sunnis on certain historical or jurisprudence matters including that of caliphate, God says: O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.

As for the problem resolution :if you face a problem try to find the best means to reach a positive result; the means that changes your enemy into a friend, no matter how much patience and tolerance, this method might demand of you

 And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune

 The Messenger said to his wife, the Mother of Believers, Aisha, that leniency is an addition to everything it is used with while it is a disgrace to anything it is lifted from. These were the Messenger's morals and that is why Allah tells him: It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them Were thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you. This is the Islamic method which you should apply in all what we differ on, especially if it evolves around political opinions.

Such opinions are not sacred, and there is no reason for accusing the other by violating the sacredness or not respecting it. It is an opinion which you either reach by personal effort, or by following leaders or your party.

That is why we have to adopt what is best in our ideological or political differences. We have noticed that the crisis the country lives in has driven several people of all parties to use all means of violence.

But this violence will not convince any party with the other's view, even if they use violence, that could even reach firing arms. They will only make the other party more fanatic. Thus, violence does not solve a problem, especially with in the same party and religion. We are Muslims and it is impermissible for us to kill or harm any other Muslim, even by cursing him.

That is why we believe that what happened yesterday, indicates that those responsible for it did not follow Islam or even understand it ,even if they pray and fast, since the significance of praying lies in that it forbids evil and enjoins good.

That is why we say to all Muslims, especially that there are those from outside the Muslim reality that are trying to incite them and trap them to engage in a sectarian strife that this is not acceptable by Islam. The Messenger says: Do not return after me to being unbelievers who kill one another.

Some religious scholars are inciting strife

We ask all those responsible for religious and political guidance to educate their people on the Islamic morals and on national themes. The emotional and instinctive reactions we have seen indicate that a lot of them – including religious scholars- are trying to incite the instincts of the people and not their minds.

It has been said: "if the food is spoiled we fix it with salt", but since those religious scholars are the salt of the society who would reform the society if they follow the politicians and the foreign powers.

 

The Second Sermon

 In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

The American plan in Iraqi is a failure

In his speech before the Congress, President Bush asked the Democrats and the Republicans to endorse his security plan in Iraq that calls for sending 20 thousand additional troops, to achieve his political and military victory. He also asked them to support his war against what he calls global terrorism, claiming that this provides security to America and repels any danger.

We believe that this plan will not achieve any success, no matter how much he multiplies his troops, since the way he ran things in Iraq military and security wise is what causes the Iraqis ongoing tragedies. Furthermore his political administration of the situation in Iraq was not good enough to solve the problems of the Iraqis who became less secure and more impoverished. He also did not give the Iraqi government any financial or military power that enables it to face the security threats (suicidal bombs) or improve the civil services. Moreover, some of the Iraqis discovered, having been deceived in a way that made them accept occupation, that America did not grant them a free service by ousting Saddam, but it rather sought to implement its strategy in the region, and use Iraq as a base to attack neighboring countries, and pressurize Europe Japan, China and others by controlling the region's oil. That is why the national Iraqi resistance that has nothing to do with the Takifiri racists notions has begun, and will continue to grow as the situation there worsens.

War against terrorism

As for the war on terrorism the problem with it is that Bush’s understanding of terrorism includes the fighters for freedom, liberation and independence. He considers the Palestinian Intifada, for example, a terrorist movement that ought to be besieged by the International Community. He also considers the Lebanese people who are fighting to liberate the land and whose land and economy has been repeatedly devastated in the last thirty years, as a terrorist people. America also considers the states that support the freedom of these people, like Syria and Iran, as supporters of terrorism that ought to be sanctioned.

Thus, the war on terrorism aims, according to the US plan, to destroy the Arab and Muslim world, and control them: it interferes in the internal affairs of the Arab and Muslim states, whether in politics security or economy, and has even imposed its hegemony on most of these states, denying them the freedom of taking any independent decision in their internal or national affairs. This escalating and overwhelming interference has practically paralyzed our region to the extent that those in charge have grown accustomed to wait the American instructions. And this what we notice in their positions vis-à-vis the Palestinian cause, especially after Washington has given Israel all what enables it to pressurize the Palestinian people confiscate their land, build the racial wall and dominate Jerusalem in a way that threatens the Aqsa Mosque. Israel also continues to kill the Palestinians, detain them, destroy their infrastructure and destabilize their internal unity that reached a level that threatens by civilian war.

In the meantime, Western delegations or ministers continue to talk about the Road Map for Peace. But this talk lacks any political seriousness. Rather it is a way of marking time and sedating the situation, since the American – Israeli plan aims at implanting the Zionist strategy of eradicating the Palestinian cause. Therefore, we call on our Muslim and Arab peoples, especially the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the Iraqis and the Afghanis, to confront the American arrogant polices and strategies, since they run counter to their interests and will not make them gain anything.

Iran wants to opens up

As American official said in a statement that Iran who wishes to impose itself in the Middle East should understand that the US has certain interests in the region, just as other Arab and Europe countries. He added that Iran does not have the right to extend its hegemony over the Middle East and the Gulf region, and that is why the US has sent two aircraft carriers.

We say to this official that Iran neither wants nor has to ability to do this. On the country, it wants to open up on the countries of the region and that of the Gulf, and establish a base for joint security. It also does not want the American occupation of Iraq to have a negative impact on its security economy and policies. It also does not want its nuclear peaceful project to be hindered by such habitual accusations as being a military one.

We do not want to defend Iran, but we ask: Does America have the right to maintain its interests while the region is denied such a right?

Who gave America the legitimacy to dominate the world, and the Middle East in particular? America is only evil, chaos and total destruction. The nations, especially the Palestinians, should understand this and seek to achieve political reconciliation. The Iraqis too who face daily massacres that have recently targeted the most impoverished people as the university student and teachers, should resort to national and Islamic unity, away from sectarianism and Takfiri mentalities to build the future of  Iraq on a firm basis.

Lebanon: An International and Arab Interference:

In Lebanon, we notice on explicit international and regional Arab interference in its internal affairs, under the pretence of supporting its government, to the extent that they have become a local party. We also notice that the political discourse of this party does not study the demands of the masses nor does it study the constitutional aspects of the Lebanese national pact, and does not try to establish a realistic dynamism to solve the problems of this country.

We are afraid that the foreign interference has aggravated the political crisis and made things worse.

Every country in seeking to promote its interests and not the real Lebanese interests. The states are not charity organizations to help nations. America wants to make Lebanon a base to implement the Greater Middle East in the region. They are pressurizing several internal Lebanese parties, and external ones, against the freedom party that wants Lebanon a free, strong and independent country that is based on citizenry that equates between the Lebanese, giving them equal rights and duties. They should establish a government that respects its people, listens to their needs, and adopts their cause, before the temple falls on the heads of all of us.

Internal fighting impermissible:

Lastly, I say to all Lebanese: Turning the political struggle into an armed one is one of the greatest taboos that are religiously forbidden. Any emotional talk that incites division and turns into a fire that burns Lebanon is very dangerous. That is why we say to all politicians: either talk about unity and call for dialogue and reconciliation or remain silent.

Lebanon, the country of freedom, dignity and pride, the country that defeated Israel, is at a dangerous crossroads. Nobody should forego his responsibility of trying to save it whether in his or her discourse or actions.