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Lectures > 2006 Speeches > 29/12/2006

The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque,29th December 2006, Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Celebrating the Birth of Christ while Preserving Our Islamic Identity


The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

The Miracle of Christ's Birth

We live in these days the occasions of Christmas and the New Year. How do we celebrate these two occasions? Our celebration of the birth of Christ should be in the same manner that the Quran celebrated his birth. The Glorious Quran did not detail the birth of any sacred person in the way it did when it talked about Christ, as one of God, greatest signs, especially in the Surah of Mariam (Mary) which is considered as one of the purified saints that opened up on Allah, having been dedicated to God by her mother So her Lord accepted her with a good acceptance and made her grow up a good growing, and gave her into the charge of Zakariya. The Angels used to send her food while she was worshipping her God whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary to (see) her, he found with her food. He said: O Marium! whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure She wanted to live in isolation to worship God away form the family
Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. : She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel He might have been Gabriel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects: while she was praying a young man suddenly appeared in front of her: She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah, the most Exalted,. She was shocked and afraid that he will harm her I am coming with another kind of message He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.

She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" She knew that pregnancy can not occur except through a relationship between a man and a woman .I am not talking about the normal way of mankind. It is God who has commanded, the Angel said, But this child will be conceived in your womb like any another child You are not to object because it is the will of God,
He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': It is a matter (so) decreed."
Historians differ over the period of this pregnancy, and it is apparently not a long one, since she would have been missed by her family if she had been away for nine month, but Allah knows best So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. She felt weak like any other woman, especially that she was alone and about to enter into a new experience) feeling the weight of having to face the people.

And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" who it is said that it was Jesus who called her saying you are being cared for and watched out by the God, and if you are afraid form people all you have to do is to fast from talking, a fasting that was costmary then.

But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;
"And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.
"So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being'
"

Christ the servant of God

She carried him to her folks, who were surprised knowing how chaste she was \ At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
"O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!"
O sister of Haroun! your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.
A grave and outrageous act, for you have made an illegitimate relationship with a man.

But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?"
"(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
"So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!
Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is.
Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight.

At this point Allah made the newborn, Jesus, speak. He said: I am the servant of Allah, in refute of the later claim of being a God, as the Christians say these days. He gave me the Book (The Bible) and made me a prophet to the children of Israel, and made me blessed (benefiting the people) He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;
"And He hath made me blessed whosesoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;

This is how Jesus was born and this is the story of Virgin Mary. They were as the Quran said And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).

How to celebrate the birth of Christ

Thus, dear bellowed, I want to say to all our brothers, that it is not wrong to celebrate the birth of Christ. On the contrary, we encourage you to do so, for he is one of Allah's Messengers, but we have to observe our traditions, let us meet at Christmas or New Year’s Eve, and read the Sarah of Mariam, or what it said about him and his mother in the Al-Umran Surah. Let us remember what Allah says about creating him in this Surah Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is.
SHAKIR: Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was
. to reaffirm the Islamic faith he is the Messenger of Allah who was given miracles that undermined the arrogance of his foes and made the dispels believe in him And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe.

This is our faith regarding Jesus Christ. He is Allah's servant and Messenger.

He was not a God, and Allah was not embodied in him. He is above embodiment or materialization.

Therefore we have to reaffirm our faith, and create our own traditions in the way to celebrate Christ birth to confirm with the Quranic line.

We ought not to borrow them from others; not even the Christmas tree which has come to us from Europe. Let it be a palm tree like the one that Virgin Mary shook and ate dates from when she was giving birth to Christ.

We would like to emphasize, dear brothers, that Allah wants us to be joyful at the times of Eids, but it should be a spiritual joy, a humanistic one, full of love that we offer to our children and fellow human beings not the joy of dissolution and getting drank until one passes out as they do in the west, on new year’s eve.

We should be joyful by God , His Messenger's and Messages. We have to retain our Islamic personalities in our Eids and preserve our Islamic identity. We can cooperate with others but not to dissolve in them.

Imam Baqir's death anniversary:

In these days too, we meet with the anniversary of Imam's Baqir's death who filled his age with thought and movement. He also opened up on the entire Muslim reality, giving his views and advice in all issues.

His school ,which was deeply rooted in the Muslims' reality, paved the way for the school of his son Imam Jafa’ar As-Sadiq who was a school by himself not only in thought but also in dialogue and accepting the other whether a Muslim of another sect, or a non-Muslim.

On this occasion, we will cite one tradition of Imam Al-Baqir in which he talked about pilgrimages explaining that it is better for a believer to spend

his money in charity then to repeat the performance of the duty of pilgrimage even as much as seventy times in this saying, the Imam emphasizes the importance of giving in Islam especially to the poor and needy in a way that protects their honour, since they no longer have to beg.

Dear beloved, these are the teachings of Islam, the teachings of our Imams. We have to adopt this line for it is the straight path of those Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

 

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Security Council serves US interests

We begin by the Arab Muslim catastrophe in Somalia, this deprived and hungry country which the American Administration sought to revenge from its people, giving its allies the green light to launch an aggression against it, and killing wounding and displacing thousands without any Arab or Muslim reaction. Even the Security Council did not call for a ceasefire or for stopping the carnage, because the goal the Americans waged the war for should be achieved just as in Lebanon and Iraq. This war might even extend to reach the African Horn to realize American's strategic interests, at the expense of the downtrodden nations.

In contrast, the Security Council which is unable to issue a desolation calling for a ceasefire in Somalia, has unanimously imposed sanctions against Iran, the fact that they are not based on the international law notwithstanding: All countries, including those of the Atomic Agency, did not provide any evidence that Iran is planning to make the bomb.

On the contrary, all religious and political leaders of Iran have emphasized that the Iranian nuclear project is for peaceful purposes.

This makes us ask: What made this West that has always been against the Arabs and Muslims a judge over us issue sentences and sanctions that extend to the entire region, while it does not do anything regarding the Israeli nuclear arsenal that threatens the entire region, especially that Israel in addition to its occupation of Palestine has waged several aggressions against Syria and Lebanon, and still occupies some of their lands. It also has made a strategic alliance with the US against Iraq which left the MOSAD free to act in all of Iraq.

We call upon the Iranian people to unite behind its leadership in their stand against the Western-American sanctions.

Palestine: Jihad until Liberation

In Palestine, the political situation is still unstable as a result of the differences between the cabinet and the authority, amid an Israeli, Arab and international atmosphere that plans to widen the rift between the two parties. The enemy's prime minister, for example, states that what he is offering to the head of the Authority aims at strengthening Abbas against Hamas that still refuses to recognize Israel and the agreements made with the enemy, for it does not promote the Palestinian interest.

In this state of affairs, we see in launching of the rockets on the Zionist settlements, a justified and obvious retaliation against the Israeli assassinations and detentions in the West Bank, as well as building a new settlement in the West Bank, to be added to the major settlements that have usurped the Palestinian territories.

We call upon the Palestinians, especially the Intifada factions, to solidify their unity on the ground so as to enhance their struggle, since Israel refuses to give the Palestinian people any of its legitimate rights, especially the Palestinian state and its capital Jerusalem. The Palestinians should not believe the Western and American promises, especially after the Arab league Secretary General has announced that Peace in Palestine is dead, which means that the armed struggled (Jihad) should continue until liberation.

A call for an Islamic national Iraqi unity

The wounded Iraq that is occupied by the Americans and their British allies, continues to bleed with additional daily causalities of innocent civilians, brutal abductions, and barbaric displacement, as well as the American and British occupation killing of Iraqi leaders and citizens. Meanwhile, some Muslim religious scholars are fuelling the sectarian divide by calling for sympathizing with one of the Iraqi parties, although all parties, Sunnis and Shiites alike, are been bombed and killed in many parts of Iraq. All this has made Iraq live in what is more like a catastrophe or a tragedy, as a result of what the occupation forces are doing on the one hand, and Takifiris on the other.

We call the Iraqi people to uphold their Islamic and national unity that protects its security and unity. No Iraqi should make any aggression against another, being bounded by Islam, citizenship and humanity. They should all engage in an honourable resistance in which violence target the occupation alone.

Lebanon between outside interference and internal sensitivities

The Arab initiative in Lebanon has begun to stumble, as a result of the complications of the internal Arab relations and internal sensitivities, in addition to the American and European plan that supports one party against the other and interferes both directly and indirectly in the affairs of the government.

Meanwhile, they continue to talk about democracy, but they turn a blind eye to all the popular masses in the streets, for all they care about is their own interests which have nothing to do with democracy.

On the internal level, the internal debate has become full of verbal threats that has made the Lebanese confused, not knowing where all this will end in or how to safeguard their present and future by forming a government that will try to resolve their political security and economic problems. Instead, they only see those who incite sectarianism among them.

We do not see how could the government can move forward to peace and security, if those who present themselves as a legitimate authority continue to turn a blind eye to the calls of the masses that has shaken the country, while they listen only to the foreign dictates.

The problem is that all they care about is their own interests and not that of the Lebanese.