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Lectures >2003 Speeches > 27/06/2003

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Grand Ayatollah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer     sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, June 27 2003, 27 Rabi AlTani 1424 h, (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu'a prayer)


Study all your weak and strong points to change for the better

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Knowing yourself before knowing others

Allah, the most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah, and let every soul consider what it has sent on for the morrow, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do. (59:18).

One of the educational goals of Islamic education is to know one's self before knowing others… You have a mind and Allah has given you this mind to guide you and hold you responsible for what you do… You have also a heart with emotions that relate you to others… you have also a movement and a will power in which you seek to accomplish your goals.

But you cannot guarantee the soundness of your mind, the balance of your emotions, and the righteousness of your acts and sayings, if you do not understand your mind first. You have a mind by which you can think about God, the universe, your relations… etc have you ever stopped to study how was this mind formed?

It was formed by your parents, your schools, your community, your playmates... You have taken from all these elements the way that your mind works, which might be superficial and emotional or it could be objective, studying the pros and cons of every action….the prospect of its success and the alternatives …etc.

Studying the mind

Who sat down with his mind and tried to understand it, in an effort to address some of the bad influences that has penetrated its way of thinking by people who do not want you to think. In all societies there have always been people who would tell you that you should not think, ask or discuss. This of course, is contrary to what Allah, the most Exalted, wants from us. For he has created our minds free.

If you sit in your room and think about any topic you feel like. Whether politics, faith, economy… Could any body stop you or put any obstacles for you?

No the mind cannot be imprisoned in a cell. Only when you do not use it in thinking you will be imprisoning it… There are those who tell you to do just that. One of our traditions has it: "Thinking for an hour is better than worshipping for a whole year."

This is because when you think you will know God, yourself and the people around you.

In the past, the societies used to call the new generations to adopt the cultural choices of their fathers. The Holy Quran has told us about those who told the prophets Surely we found our fathers on a course, and surely we are followers of their footsteps. (43:23).

This puts an end for any intellectual development, for people used to repeat the same ideas and actions over and over again, for hundreds of years. But Allah has put your fate in your own hands and wanted you to change and free yourself of your points of weakness :Allah does not change a people's lot unless they change what is in their hearts (13:11). Allah, the most Exalted, has put your fate in your own hands and wanted you to change and free yourself of your points of weakness)… He wanted you to be free and strong free in using your mind and strong on the road of change in what serves Allah best.

Thus, each of us has to check his mind to study what are the influences that began to have an impact on it which he did not choose or accept. You have to recheck your beliefs in politics, social change and even faith to make sure that they are still sound and conform with your understanding of the right. If you feel you can't do that alone, then go to someone you trust and engage in a dialogue over these issues.

Even if it has to do with certain religious ideas that could well be based on pure myths or ignorance... beliefs that will make you deviate while you still think that you are on the right path. Moreover, when you want to speak against these backward beliefs and ideas people will tell you: Why do you want to be different than others? Well you ought to have the proof that what you are criticizing is false, you have to have the knowledge that enables you to criticize a scholar… and when confronting some thing new you have to ask those who have both e knowledge and righteousness... For it is more dangerous to have our mind not think in the proper manner than any other sickness or loss of money or power… Consequently, we have to spare some of our time to examine our mind and study the external factors that influence it. If we do not do so we will not be able to think properly. And a nation that does not think is a nation that cannot face challenges, and will turn to be a worthless nation that nobody cares about. We do not want such a fate, knowing that Allah says that we were the "best" nation… This is true as long as we hold our responsibility towards life and fellow humans, and not because we are Arabs.

The Freedom of thought

The same thing goes for emotions. We, I am sorry to say, inherit our emotions… we love whom are fathers loved and hate whom they hated without knowing the reasons behind this love or hate… You do not choose whom you love or hate … you are told to do so by the family, the party, the sect … You love by decree while love is a matter of the heart… Who could tell my heart whom to love and whom to feel captured by?

When you are convinced by the agenda of a certain party… go ahead and belong to it, but this does not mean that they have the right to control your feelings. In the West, being a party member does not put any restrictions on your feelings and even on your positions. In Britain there is an ongoing debate about Blair's credibility… Who is raising the issue? It is the Labor party ;the party Blair is supposed to head.

Thus when you belong to a party, it means that you adopt its strategic goals only. But here in the East you have to adhere even to minute details.

Members of parties, trade unions and the like need to think and objectively criticize if their institutions are to grow and develop…

People who lead these institutions ought to be held accountable for their actions. In this respect, who could be greater than Muhammad who was not chosen by the people to be responsible before them? Did not he say: "You cannot hold anything against me. For I only made lawful what Allah had made lawful and prohibited what Allah had prohibited.

Holding yourself accountable.

Since our actions are what determine out place in the Hereafter, we ought to keep an eye over every action or saying.

We have to ensure that we work for our hereafter and hold ourselves accountable for what we do because this, according to Muhammad(p.), indicates that we are the most wise, while if we follow our passions and desires we will be the most foolish. It is not a matter of wishes… It is a matter of responsibility and accountability that drives as to working hard in seeking all that pleases Allah, the most Exalted, and ensures that we draw close to Him.

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The only solution is Israeli withdrawal

George W. Bush still uses every opportunity to talk about dismantling and disarming the militant Intifada organizations, as if he were the American international spokesperson for Sharon… He has lately called on the European Union to take decisive measures against Hamas and cut off funding. He was almost issuing a threat against any European independent stance towards the Palestinian issue.

To the American president who always talks about liberation, we ask: Why does he put the carriage in front of the horse? Why does he not focus on the Zionist occupation which gave rise to the Intifada and which will end when it ends? The martyr operations were a reaction to the enemy’s daily atrocities, killing Palestinian civilians and destroying their infrastructure.

Why does not Bush save all this bloodshed by pushing Israel to withdraw and this ending the problem?

The reason for not doing this might be that America, along with Israel, wants to end any opposition or protest against Israel, even if were against its brutal and barbaric crimes within the framework of a plan that aims at striking a deadly blow to the Arab and Muslim spirit in the entire region, whether by war internal strife's economic blockades, or by accusing them of making weapons of mass destruction, as in the case of Iran and Syria, while America and Israel owns the most powerful nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal. They even threaten to use them every now and then as America did the beginning of its war against Iraq.

Destroying any source of strength

The paradox is that in the middle of all this the U.S National security Advisor stated that the world security is linked to Israel's security and the former has to make every effort to protect the latter... Why does not president Bush remember the American resistance against British occupation or the French resistance of the Nazis… Does he consider this resistance as being an act of terror.

How would he then explain the Atomic bombs America killed about a quarter of a million Japanese with during the Second World War.

Bush has refused the Palestinian proposal of a cease-fire just because Sharon refused it. We therefore doubt that the president is serious in his search for a just solution, for what America cares for is the Israeli security on all levels, whether political or economic or geographical, and even at the expense of the security of all Arabs.

We have all confidence that the Palestinian people, and all its militant symbols will hold steadfast and insist on demanding his legitimate rights, we are also sure that it will protect the Intifada and safeguard its national unity.

The Palestinians will not offer any strategic concessions, and they will act in such a way that their tactical moves will protect their Liberation strategy.

Divide and Rule

The Iraqi people are still suffering a lot both politically and economically. The security too is still shaky, as a result of the occupation after by the humiliation it inflicted on the Iraqi people and the hurting of it religious and social traditions have backfired…

The occupation does not trust the Iraqi people and its various political leaders. It does not dare to let the Iraqi people run their own affairs and practice their right of self-determination, knowing that is a very civilized people who possess all the potentials.

The situation now calls for a close monitoring of r all the movements of the occupation especially those intended to stir strife based on the principle of divide and rule... Nevertheless, staring at the present does not relief us from the necessity of planning for the future, since the question is: What is after occupation? The international struggle over their interests demands that all differences should be frozen and our slogan should be: "No cause is more important than the cause of liberation:"

Is Lebanon a State or a farm for a band of individuals?

In Lebanon, there is an issue that has to do with the future of our youth… The spread of drugs in the Lebanese society in such a way that it is threatening the in particular, among high school and university students, the rich and the poor alike.

The entire society, especially the government, should make every effort to solve this problem for its danger cannot be overestimated.

There is another problem that of the deterioration of the industrial sector. Certain factories especially in the southern suburb, have started to close and layoff its workers as a result of the heavy taxes and tariffs, in addition to having to compete with foreign goods that enter the country without any restrictions..

These are all signs of political corruption, which governs not only the trade sector but also the agricultural sector, that represent the only hope to develop the deprived regions.

Is there a plan to develop industry and agriculture …a plan that would solve the problem of the poor, the working classes and the deprived regions… a plan that initiates economic development… The country can not grow or develop by loans whose interests consume all its production, unless the officials start to plan for a comprehensive solution that secures the domestic production and protects the future of the unique economic position of the country.