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Lectures >2002 Speeches > 29/11/2002

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, Ramadan 24 1423h - November 29, 2002 , several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.


Do not listen to what is Prohibited

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

What is permissible in Music?

Once of the commands the Messenger (p.) stressed in the speech he made to welcome the month of Ramadan is: “Do not listen to what is unlawful to hear”. Thus, the Prophet (p.) emphasizes in this command that there are things we should not listen to, due to their negative impact on ourselves and on the society.  Of the things we are prohibited to listen to for its negative moral impact is the music that arouses the instincts, creating a desire for unlawful wishes. This is due to the nature of the music itself, even if its impact is indirect. What we are talking about is the kind of music that is, by its own nature, of a negative impact. There is also the violent music, which affects the nerves and ultimately the psychological balance of the human being.

These two kinds of music are prohibited, but the other kinds of music which elevate the soul, calms the nerves and create a state of peace or tranquility, or the national music that drives man to fight the enemy, those are not prohibited whether in our judgment or according to several other religious authorities.

The same thing applies to the songs that accompany the music.

At certain times, the content of the songs runs against righteousness as in the wording that arouse instincts, or they might propagate falsehood, praise an unjust or arrogant force, support an unjust line in the society or anything that calls for falsehood. All these kinds are prohibited, for Allah, the most Exalted, says: {Shun the word that is false} 22:30 . They have interpreted that to means singing, while in fact it means falsehood, they have also said that idle tales in his saying: {But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the path): For such there will be a humiliating chastisement} [31:3] include singing that also leads man to falsehood.

As for the songs that serve a right or a sublime cause like praying to God, the most Exalted, praising the Prophet (p.), the Imams (a.s), those that express need to pay one’s duty towards the motherland, those expressing one’s longing to his family or country or those that describe the beauty of nature… all these are not prohibited for they can not be categorized as falsehood. We have to distinguish between righteousness and falsehood because when Allah, the most Exalted, prohibits something his concern is man’s interest, which Allah, the most Exalted, wants his spirit and feelings to be clean and balanced. We know that music enters the heart, and consequently has an impact that could be good or bad but it is, in both cases, involuntary. Allah, the most Exalted, does not want us to be adversely affected by forces that we do not control. He wants our morals to be balanced and not affected by involuntary emotional factors.

Backbiting: A major sin

The other thing that we should not listen to is backbiting. We know that backbiting in unlawful, and that it is one of the major sins that makes man dwell in hell. Certain traditions have it that the listener is also a backbiter if he does not prevent the act or withdraw from the meeting.

The Quran has emphasized that if you are sitting in a meeting or in a social gathering, and people start talking in a way that  does not conform with  Islam, or even start making fun and ridiculing Allah’s signs, backbiting a believer or making vicious attack on an Islamic personality, he ought to voice his opposition if he feels that he could so, or at least withdraw in case he could not. If he does not, he will be treated as a hypocrite.

{Already has He sent you in the book, that when ye hear the Messenger of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the Hypocrites and those who defy Faith-all in Hell} (4:140).

You should leave because if you remain silent, it means, according to social traditions, means that you agree with what is being said. Thus withdrawing is a must that has been adopted even in diplomatic procedures. If a state is being attacked in front of its ambassador he should leave, since he cannot, according to diplomatic norms, retaliate. If he does not he would be punished by his country.

The second point is that if Islam and Muslims are attacked with no objection, it will encourage the offenders to continue their attack and heighten it.

The Quran also warned us to turn away from idle talk considering it one of the traits of believers: {and when they hear vain talk, they turn away there from and say: "To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant}. [28:55]. Allah, the Most Exalted, also has described the Jews that lived at the time of the Prophet (p.) as those who listen to lies. Therefore, when you sit with someone who is telling lies, you are actually encouraging him to go on with his lies that can cause enormous damage to the society.

The Quran refutes the claim of liars

One of the experiences the Muslim community that was living with the Prophet (p.) was something that has to do with his private life: Some hypocrites accused some of the Prophet’s wife of adultery. The rumor spread and people came to ask the Prophet (p.) about what they should do, and he said: I am waiting for Allah’s command. Then the Ayats of the Nour Surah was revealed, which act guide for us telling us how to behave in such circumstances:

{Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves: think it not to be an evil to you; On the contrary it is good for you: to every man among them (will come the punishment) of the sin that he earned, and to him who took on himself the lead among them, will be a penalty grievous * Why did not the believers - men and women - when ye heard of the affair- put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, "This (charge) is an obvious lie"? *  Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars! *  Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this affair*  Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah. And why did ye not, when ye heard it, say? - "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah! This is a most serious slander!" Allah doth admonish you, that ye may never repeat such (conduct), if ye are (true) Believers * And Allah makes the Signs plain to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and ye know not}. (24:11-20)

Piety is the way to Heaven.

From this Quranic guidance, we deduce that the issue is not restricted to rumors about adultery but include every rumor that hurts the honor of any person, especially if he is a pious believer and a religious man who is engaged in the struggle for the cause of Allah.

This is what Allah, the most Exalted, and the Messenger (p.)  want us to adhere to, so that our fasting is accepted and we can go to heaven and earn Allah’s satisfaction: {O mankind! Fear your Lord! For the convulsion of the Hour (of Judgment) will be a thing terrible} (22:1)


The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Jerusalem Day

The Palestinian civilians are still suffering  from the horrors of collective punishments… cities, towns, villages and camps are besieged, tens scores of civilian are being arrested and detained children are being shot at with live ammunition… The occupied areas are being enlarged at will. All this without any American, Russian, European and Arab condemnation, while all these parties have condemned the defensive operations the Palestinians are performing, regardless if they were martyr operations or ordinary military ones… They do not even care to examine the facts, as in the case of the Hebron operation.

The same thing applies to the Quartet committee, that have not taken into account the issue of occupation and the barbaric Israeli atrocities that incite Palestinian reactions… It is as if they consider that the whole thing does not have anything to do with war.

On their part, the Palestinian people have decided to go on with their Intifada being the only means that will enable them to gain freedom and independence.

In this respect, the Israeli elections are irrelevant, for the majority of Jews have taken the Nazi position of opposing the Palestinian right of self-determination…

In view of all this, and on the occasion of Jerusalem Day, we call on mobilizing the Arab and Islamic worlds to produce a new stance that emphasizes the universal confrontation of the Zionist occupation… Jerusalem is not merely a city in a certain geographical location… It is an Arab and Islamic Holy site, whose liberation is an integral part in the struggle with Zionism and International arrogance, especially the US , which has become committed to the Israeli plan of dominating Palestine in a direct way and the entire region indirectly. America wants to re-colonize the world in a new form, and a more dangerous one for that matter.

We are facing a very critical and dangerous situation in the coming stage, which means that we have to be ready for, by enhancing our unity on all levels, renewing the elements of strength we possess and dealing with the points of weakness… This is the meaning of this day… it is not only a day for cheering and demonstrating, it is also a day of thinking and planning… it is a day to reassert one’s will and resolve so that this day will transcend its time prison to make every day is the Day of Jerusalem.

Withdraw your money from America

On another level, the American President has issued an executive order, permitting the Americans, who were victims of violence of individuals or groups of a certain state to be compensated from the frozen funds of that country in America … Let us suppose that this violence was indeed initiated by individuals or groups from a certain country why should the people who own the frozen money be responsible? And how could the accused guarantee the justice of the American judiciary that has become subject to the interference of the Administration which issues everyday new laws that legalize the confiscating or freezing of funds, even those that belong to Islamic charity foundations that have nothing to do with what America describes as terrorists.

We ask the American president: Does he allow the Palestinians or the Lebanese who have been victims of Israeli massacres to ask to be compensated from the Israeli funds in the US ? Would America accept to be treated by the other countries in the same way: Would they accept similar laws to be legislated in these countries that punish the Americans for the war crimes they committed in many regions of the world? Faced by these laws and unjust regulations, we call the Arab and Muslim states and the individual businessmen who have invested in America or saved their funds in its banks to withdraw their money. For America is no longer trustworthy.

Listen to the logic of the mind

 As for the situation in Lebanon , we call on all parties to listen to the logic of the mind and make a scientific assessment to our financial and economic situation.

This is not an issue that one should let political competition invade, lest the country will enter into an endless maze.

We also call the officials to provide the people with all the information in the clearest possible way; we have to learn all about the budget deficit, the debt, and the result of privatization… We also call on them to find a solution for the difficult situation the teachers in Lebanon live.

The state should try to give them their rights without overburdening the treasury. We also call for a review of our tax system. The Lebanese are hardly able to secure their basic needs...How could they satisfy this tax monster that has eaten all their earnings?

Lastly, we want to receive the Feast (Eid) with an atmosphere of joy. We have grown tired of manufacturing sadness, and turning every beautiful thing into an ugly one.