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Lectures >2001 Speeches > 22/06/2001

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ayatullah Al Ozma H.E. M. H. Fadlullah delivered two khotbas (at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque) RabiI 30, 1422h /June 22, 2001 (Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer).

Would you like to eat the Flesh of Your Dead Brother?

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

God (SWT) says in His Glorious Book:

  “O you who believe; avoid suspicions as much as possible, for some of them are sins.

Do not spy on one another, or backbite.

Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No you would be horrified: 49:12

In the Holy Quran, God (SWT) calls upon us in two ways: the first  -‘Oh people’, the second : ‘Oh you who believe’. In the latter case God (SWT) wants us to understand that he is talking to us as believers, that is what he demands us to do when he uses these words is part of our belief, part of what we ought to do if we were true believers, for believing is more than just making declarations.

It is a way of life and a commitment to the best code of ethics.

In the light of this conception this verse sets the basic principles of the relationship between believers by commanding each of them to refrain from doing certain sins. God (SWT) wants the community to be based on the respect of each individual towards the others.

If you respect yourself and want the others to respect you you should respect them too. You have to treat others in the manner you wish them to treat you. In this way the community would be able to establish its balance and security. But if it is not built on these foundations it will turn into an arena for hatred and conflict.

Let`s consider the verse I read in the beginning and see what the things are that God (SWT) wants us to refrain from doing in order to establish a balanced and secure community.

  Do not be over suspicious

“O you who believe avoid being suspicious as much as possible for some of them are sins”.

. This part talks about the impression you might develop about someone from limited negative aspects of his or her character. You would then generalize your view and come to believe that he is mean, hypocritical or even a spy. Forgetting that you had based your judgment on a certain details and that you do not have all the elements of the picture.

This is neither just nor fair. If we pass a judgment on someone we should learn everything about him and not jump into conclusions out of our own unfounded suspicions for some of them are sinful.

Imam Ali (A.S) has advised us that we should always avoid misinterpreting any word our brother says if it could be understood in a better way. Such a view represents the principal that the world has now come to accept i.e. the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

Therefore, when all members of the community adhere to this rule, a just and fair community can be established... But if each one of us feels that he has been judged on the basis of suspicion and hearsay without being given the chance to defend himself, wrong doing and injustice will spread in the society. In another verse, God (SWT) says:

  “And do not take a stand over that of which you have no knowledge, for surely hearing, sight, heart, will all be held responsible.” (S17,36)

  Think about what you are going to say when God asks you, about the basis of your judgment or when you accuse someone of a certain bad deed.

I always tell myself what I am telling you now: Do not say anything you are not able to defend before God (SWT). This is the mark of a true Muslim: He only says or does what pleases God (SWT).

  Don’t spy

“Spy not…”  

Do not try to learn all that the other hides whether in his relations or his conditions and life. Each one of us has private things he wants to keep concealed like letters, needs, relations…etc.

To please God (SWT) you have to respect the freedom of others.

Therefore, spying is essentially unlawful except when the national interests impel that we spy on the enemy who spies on us.

We have lived and are still living such a situation with America and Israel. We have a duty to protect the nation from what is being plotted against it. But there are strict conditions that ought to be observed. Yet spying techniques have been developed nowadays that can record all phone calls. These recordings are sometimes used for blackmailing or extortion. But I say that there should be no bugging or recording without piety.

And that is what we miss even in certain governmental and party agencies.

  Do not backbite

“Do not speak ill…”

But backbiting has become the major concern of our religious men and politicians… It is the food of the dogs of hell... It is worse than adultery for if you commit adultery and ask God (SWT) for forgiveness, He might forgive you, but He does not forgive backbiting unless the person that is being spoken ill of forgives first.

Backbiting has a negative impact on the community in at least three aspects. First it offends the honor of the person that is spoken ill of. It gives the impression that the community struck by backbiting is a corrupt one. And thirdly it creates enmity between the backbiter and the backbitten

To make us understand how horrible this act is God (SWT) told us that it is similar to eating the flesh of your dead brother.

Could there be a more disgusting act.

These are the elements of social safety. Let us apply the Islamic moral system, to live peacefully in this world and to enjoy God (SWT)’s heaven in the hereafter.  

The Second Speech

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, the Merciful

Worshippers of Allah (SWT), be pious and uphold your responsibilities towards other Muslims by respecting them and respecting their rights.

Moreover, uphold your responsibilities towards your nation especially its major cause in Palestine.

 The Intifada continues

 The Intifada is still continuing in spite of all the Israeli deception of the international public opinion claiming to adhere to the ceasefire while continuing its aggressions and siege… As for the Palestinian authority, it is currently in a very tough situation. On the one hand it has to face, all the international and Arab pressure that holds it responsible for the spread of “violence”. And on the other, the continuing popular pressure that feels that the continuation of the Intifada is the only way to achieve victory.

The people know that America that holds all the cards and succumbs to all the Israelis’ conditions continues to interfere in favor of the Israelis whether through the Mitchell project, the CIA director or the coming visit of the American secretary of state. It is trying to create additional pressures on the Palestinian authority so that it will accept the Israeli conditions of agreeing to a ceasefire that the Israelis violate everyday and continue their aggressions against the Palestinian territories.

The problem is that the other international parties, including Europe and Russia, play marginal and ineffective roles that cannot induce any change in the American policies that have become dominated by the Zionists, to the extent that America has lost its political independence. . Moreover the Arab states are incompetent, with each state acting separately according to its own priorities, which means that they cannot create pressure that would affect the current balance of force, which currently tilts towards Israel. Therefore, unless the Arabs do something to change the current balance, Israel will impose its notion of peace i.e. a total economic and political hegemony on the region of the Middle East.

The Palestinian Authority should reject any new agreements that include new concessions.

The Palestinian cause should stay alive as a rightful cause that enjoys the recognition of the world. But the Israelis are trying to stifle this cause and it seems that they need the recognition of the Palestinians to accomplish this and give their actions the legitimacy they seek. We should deny the Israeli enemy this recognition that makes it feel that it had finally won what they refer to as the 1948 “war of independence”.

No one has the right to offer concessions that could put an end to the Palestinian cause being a national Islamic and Arab cause. If the current leadership cannot safeguard the legitimate rights of the nation let the issue be left to the future generations to take its free decision.

If we cannot achieve victory now, we will certainly do so in the future.

The problem is not one of a state. It is the cause itself, the cause of freedom and of independence. Such a cause will remain alive whatever happens.

 Lebanon’s New Political Rows

 In Lebanon, political rows have degenerated to even greater depths. It is becoming more and more a personal feud that aims at sharing the posts in the civil service, with major posts, remaining vacant because the politicians have not agreed on their relative shares. Moreover, every now and then a new row erupts with the aim of scoring points without solving any problems that are then solved by way of certain compromises.

In this respect, we are facing now the problem of recording private phone calls, which do not aim at protecting the security of the state or the people, but rather at learning their secrets and using them to blackmail politicians and non politicians alike.

Furthermore, phone tapping is no longer restricted to the government’s security agencies. There are even certain parties and politicians, who are actually tapping the phone calls.

Then there is the problem of illegal phone calls that certain companies are providing. It is actually a theft of public money by people who cannot be brought to justice because they enjoy political protection. And this is only one of the ways of using political influence to become rich.

Then there is talk about political corruption as well as bribery and commissions.

Nevertheless, the budget deficit is attributed to the war and its devastating effect, and never to the grand thefts, that are practiced by all the regional, sectarian and party protectorates.

The people in the deprived regions are crying for help.

 The people in the South are asking about what happened to the promised development of the liberated lands and no one answers while the people in the Biqa,a are asking about the developmental projects they have been promised and again no one answers. Instead they are complaining about the return of prohibited agriculture. Why do not you help them in planting what is legal?

Are we losing our state because nobody in this country cares about strengthening and developing it?

In these circumstances, what chance do we have of any of solving the economic crises?