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Lectures >2004 Speeches > 31/12/2004

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority, Ayatullah Al Ozma Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Zu Elqi'da 19 1425 H,December 31 2004 A.D. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

In Welcoming a New Year: Let Us Make Our Joy a Spiritual and Social one

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  

No problem with celebrating the New Year

Nothing wrong in celebrating the New Year. This is the last day in 2004, and the world will start a new year tomorrow. On such occasions, and when we celebrate a new year, whether the one that starts with the birth of Jesus Christ (p), God's Word and Messenger (p.), or that starts with the Messenger(p.)’s migration to Medina to institute the Islamic state, we emphasize that we do celebrate both occasions. God talked about the miracle in Christ's birth just as He talked about the Prophet's journey when those who disbelieved expelled him, he being the second of the two, when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. So Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, and made lowest the word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest; and Allah is Mighty, Wise. (9:40).

We, as Muslims, do not have anything against celebrating these two accessions, since we believe in God, His books, His messengers, His Angels and the Day of Judgment. This is the Advantage of Islam: it believes in all messengers, while the Christians do not believe in Muhammad (p.)’s message and the Quran as a revealed Book and the Jews do not believe in either Christ or Muhammad.

The Muslims in contrast believe in all books and all messengers.

How to make the future.

Thus, we are against celebrating the Christian New Year, but we call on the Muslims not to forget the Hijri calendar. Since it embodies the history of Islam… You live with the Prophet's journey to Medina to remember how he fought for his cause and he was plotted and conspired against. Then you live with all what happened with Muhammad (p.) in Medina, and then all the developments the Muslims encountered throughout their history. This is very important, whether in itself or as a guide for making the future, since all Muslims are responsible, generation after generation, to make a new Islamic history in the call for Islam and for insuring the strength and conserving the dignity of Muslims.

Let us be responsible in our joy

How do we say good-bye to an ending year and welcome a new one?

Some might adopt a traditional consuming approach in which they ignore what happened to them in the past year and what they are going to expect in the coming one. But when a year ends, it means that we have lost a year and that a whole year of our life has died… We die in retail and not as a wholesale. We are born everyday in the morning and then die when we go to sleep; that is why we read in a supplication that by Imam Zein Al-Abidein:

I thank You for awakening me from my sleep, for had it been Your will, You would have made it eternal.

Moreover, we ought to bear our responsibilities in the coming year as we did in the previous. That is why do not preoccupy yourselves with having fun, as many do in this night, drinking up until you are no longer conscious of what is going on around you as many do in believing this might would make them happy. It is but an illusion in which you delude yourself. On the other hand we want people to be joyful and happy but in a responsible way.

We want them to be happy because Allah has given them a new life and a new chance to attain His satisfaction by obeying Him. Let the New Year be an opportunity for you to think of what you are going to do in the coming year… Think about your nation; what victories and defeats did it have in the year that is about to end and how it will increase its victories and try to cut short its losses.

The year’s balance

All major companies and banks live a state of emergency of the end of year when they try to audit their accounts to obtain an annual budget showing their gains and losses.

We too have to do the same thing concerning our relations with God and the people… We ought to study where we went wrong and what to do to avoid them in the future..

We also have to study our balance sheet in our relation with God and with our nation.

This is a fresh, new day, over us a ready witness. If we do good, it will take leave from us with praise, and if we do evil, it will part from us in blame. O God, bless Muhammad and his Household, provide us with the day's good companionship and preserve us against parting from it badly by doing a misdeed or committing a sin, whether small or great!

Make our good deeds within it plentiful empty us therein of evil deeds, and fill what lies between its two sides for us with praise and thanksgiving, wages and stores, bounty and beneficence! O God, ease our burden on the Noble Writers, fill our pages for us with our good deeds, and degrade us not before them with our evil works! O God, appoint for us in each of the day's hours a share from Thy servants, a portion of giving thanks to Thee, and a truthful witness among Thy angels! O God, bless Muhammad and his Household and safeguard us from before us and behind us, from our right hands and our left hands and from all our directions, a safeguarding that will preserve from disobeying Thee, guide to obeying Thee, and be employed for Thy love! O God, bless Muhammad and his Household and give us success in this day of ours, this night of ours, and in all our days, to employ the good, stay away from the evil, give thanks for favors, follow the Sunna's norms, avoid innovations, enjoin good behavior, forbid the disapproved, defend Islam, diminish falsehood and abase it, help the truth and exalt it, guide the misguided, assist the weak, and reach out to the troubled!

This is what we could say it the beginning of the year and these are the principles that make time an instrument which man makes use of to benefit of all his potentials in carrying out the duties towards himself and towards those around him. Allah asks those who think only about the moment they are living in to think about what is ahead. He asks the believers to be pious, and think about tomorrow: 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.

He surely knows all what we do and He has promised to hold us accountable for everything we do, good or evil.

The Messenger (p.) as well as all the Imams have stressed on the need of holding ourselves accountable and preparing for the Day of Judgment. Imam Ali (a.s.) tells us how to do that when he says: He would go back to himself in the evening and say: O my soul: Another day has passed that is never coming back; Allah will ask you how did you spend it: Did you remember God and thank Him? Did you give a brother believer what is due to him? Did you relief him? And did you take care of whom he left when he died.

Did you help a Muslim remember what he did? If it were good he would thank God and if it were a sin he would ask God for His forgiveness and promise he would not do it again

When we recall the past, we do so to be balanced in the present and when we live in the present we have to plan for the future, especially if it is the Hereafter we are talking about… We have to be aware of everything we do or say and not to indulge like others in meaningless practices, especially the habit of firing shots to celebrate the New Year. This practice is a sign of social backwardness. We pay money to buy these bullets, which we desperately need to fight our enemy and not fire them in the air or in our internal fuels.

Then there is the issue of firecrackers, which we educate our children on…

Several years ago I issued a Fatwa that bans selling these crackers as well as giving children money to buy them, for they disturb others while they are trying to find some peace and rest civilization is not to acquire home appliances cellular phones and the like, but to respect the feelings of others, alas we are not civilized but rather backward..

Let us enjoy spiritual and social happiness and seek peace and tranquility, especially in this holiday and this season of joy.

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Natural and political earthquakes

The entire world should join to overcome the tragic results of any natural catastrophe in any country, for we are all humans, and this resembles our common human interests.

But in addition, there is a political and security earthquake that too is moving from one place to another.

It is called the war on terror but it really aims at changing the political face of our region in what serves the interests of the International Arrogance especially the Americans and Zionists. But if the natural earthquake is done and over with and we are now left to deal with its effects, the political earthquake is in a state of an endless continuing movement and causes a series of security, political and economic catastrophes which the natural ones would seem trivial if compared with it.

And that is because America seeks to become the only superpower in the world that dominates its resources, with the Arab and Muslim peoples paying the highest price.

The strategic goal of unity

In Palestine the Zionists, backed by the US, continue their war against the Palestinians on all levels… Assassinations, arrests, bulldozing houses and arbitrary bombing of camps have not stopped…

The Zionists have started to impose their political and security conditions that cancel the vital Palestinian issues as well as all UN resolutions. All this is coordinated with the United States that did not object the Israeli cabinet rejection of any European role in the peace process, but objected against the peace with Syria, because it is “weak and has to wait". Such an American talk suggests that America is not serious in its talk about peace, especially towards establishing a Palestinian state, since it has begun to adopt the impossible conditions of dismantling the Intifada first and without offering anything in return for the Palestinian security.

The Palestinians should know that the US policy in the region has always been to facilitate the executing of the Jewish strategy of putting their hands on most of the Palestinian lands, leaving them in a big prison whose boundaries are constantly changing. Knowing this fact will help the Palestinians to cement their national unity and resort to an objective dialogue that focuses on the strategic goals and does not undermine the Palestinian internal peace that is in fact the core of the proposed Palestinian state.

Let not ploys and booby-trapped political tactics lead you to offer concessions that undermine your strategic goals. The right in a homeland and in freedom are stronger in the end than occupation and arrogant.

Civil strife in Iraq

In addition to the security chaos in Iraq, recent development have witnessed the emergence of a new political and security language which, promoted and encouraged by the occupation, has begun to contain all the elements of a civil strife that will destroy everything including the future of the Iraqi people and their aspirations for freedom and prosperity.

We understand that some would oppose elections under the rule of occupation. But the killings of innocents, just because they favor elections, and accusing others of treason and apostasy, because they feel that election is a method to force the occupation out of the country or inciting Shiite-Sunnis sectarian divisions, are issues we cannot understand or accept. If Iraq engages in a civil war, it will extend to the Arab and Muslim world.

Moreover, the talk about a Shiite threat, despite the fact that the Shiites are only asking for a unified Iraq where all citizens are equal before the law is part of the criminal American-Zionist plan that aims at turning Iraq into a time bomb that would explode in the entire region.

Lebanon and Reconciliation

In Lebanon, we listen to all sorts of calls for partisan, political or sectarian reconciliation.

In this respect, what Lebanon needs is an in-depth political movement and frank dissuasions behind closed doors. It also needs real dialogues that pay no intention to media requirements.

There is a need to reconcile with the motherland, to emphasize the concept of citizenship and to acknowledge that all people are equal before the law, which needs to be fair and just. The electoral law in particular should provide such justice and should not be in influenced by any sectarian or political interests.

Do you want a country that you shoot like a football in the court of politics or do you want a state that is based on justice and one that studies all internal and external projects from the point of view of the Lebanese citizens who seek to achieve freedom, dignity and independence to their homeland by resorting to realistic methods that know how to protect it from the arrogant powers, the Zionists and the oppressors.