|In an address to the Lebanese and Arabs and Muslims on Christmas, Ashoura, and the New Year:|
Fadlullah: The region is ahead of critical deadlines and choices; Lebanon is in a desperate need for unity
On the birth of Christ, the Hijri (Islamic) New year and the Ashoura occasion, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah addressed a letter to the Lebanese, Arabs, and the Muslims in general. The following is the text of the letter:
We commemorate these days cherished Islamic and Christian occasions. These spiritual occasions have intersected with the aspirations of the believers here and there for peace, a peace that is rooted in the marches of prophecy, the righteous men, and sincere worshipers of Allah.
A few days ago, we have commemorated the birth of Jesus (a.s) who represents the pure divine message of love that was open to the entire mankind. God has addressed Jesus and his mother Mary in the Quran in two great verses and He gave him testimony by doing two great miracles. As such, his birth opened the horizons of freedom, justice, peace, and the divine heavenly messages which intersect with the march of the prophecy on the occasion of the new Islamic year as the latter represents an extension of the heavenly messages. This occasion consecrated the values of truth and goodness sought by all the followers of the prophets to establish justice and raise the voice of righteousness over wickedness and respect mankind.
We regard the honorable migration of the Prophet (p) [Al-Hijra] as being a starting point for the march of Islam, as it paved the way for the birth of Islam. Ashoura is a movement that is inseparable from the meanings of the migration as it is a migration for the sake of Islam and a movement to correct the Islamic reality, and an active renaissance movement in the face of injustice repudiated by all religions and laws. Ashoura is also a revolution on evil meant to become the track and line of the nations and meant to be deep-rooted in the culture and movement of this nation.
As we commemorate these occasions and the New Year occasion , we notice that the Islamic calendar and the Gregorian calendar have intersected. We would like to make the following remarks:
First: These occasions should be a chance for rapprochement and understanding between the followers of the heavenly religions, namely between Islam and Christianity, because we believe that religions integrate and complement one another , through which Allah wants to send messengers of love and compassion to the people to bring them from darkness into light, and to take them from the abyss of ignorance and oppression to the horizons of knowledge and justice, in the framework of subsequent movements, each of which represented the righteousness during its time.
Therefore, anyone seeking to manipulate these occasions to provoke strife, hatred, and disputes, instead of opening the horizons of dialogue and understanding and love, will be rebelling on the concepts and meanings and values of these heavenly messages carried by the prophets to bring about love and compassion between people.
Second: Those who believe that the joyful meanings of the honorable migration of the Prophet (p.) contradict with the tragedy and meanings of grief and pain represented by Ashoura are mistaken. They are unaware of the joy lived by Imam Hussein (a.s) in his movement and renaissance. Imam Hussein summarized his sacrifice and loyalty to Islam by saying: " what made this easy on me; is that it is in the eye of God."
Third: Lebanon today desperately needs to preserve the unity of its people and the cohesion of its various political groups and sects, under this alarming and difficult situation and as many regional and international sides are ahead of major deadlines and choices that would cast their influence on this country whose people should secure their national unity. The Muslims for their part must make every effort to preserve their Islamic unity, and must not open the way for the advocates of deceit and superstition and the takfiri movements to infiltrate into their societies to provoke havoc and manipulate their unifying Islamic occasions, such as Ashoura, to provoke dispute and rift, for Imam Hussein (a.s) is a unifying Islamic figure blessed by all the Muslims. He who spreads the seeds of discord among the Muslims cannot claim affiliation to Islam. No sect or confession can claim monopoly of Islam and its movement and revolution, because Islam as a whole is a model for a revolution on injustice in the entire Islamic world, and an example of pride and dignity for the free people of the world throughout history.
Fourth: We are living under a chaotic Arab and Islamic reality, not only in terms of the ambitions the arrogant powers have in our country and their occupation of our lands, but also in terms of the internal Arab and Islamic impotency. We glimpse on the horizon a looming Arab reality in which Arab official sides collude to undermine the resistance and finish off the intifada and kill its leaders, to the extent that the Arabs are about to appeal to Israel to invade Gaza and annihilate its people. They wagered on a quick and swift settlement with the enemy to get rid of Palestine and the Palestinian cause, but they were surprised at Israel's defeat by the Lebanese Resistance in July 2006. Today, they wager on defeating the Intifada and its factions in Gaza, in order to engage in quick talks with the enemy, the goals and results of which are previously drawn. Some Arabs are waiting for the right moment to relinquish the Palestinian cause and disown the blood shed in Gaza and its homes and neighborhoods.
Fifth: Many voices are saying that the Middle East represents a vital region for the United States for political and economic and strategic reasons and mainly to secure Israel's national security. They add that we have to consider the American interests and understand the motives behind the US policy towards our region. In response, we stress that this region, which has been the cradle of religions throughout history, and which has the largest world reserve of energy, is a vital region for its people who deserve to belong to it thanks to the sacrifices they made in the face of the mightiest armies and difficult occupations. The situation in Palestine is an evidence of the sacrifices made by the people for the sake of their homeland, and [an evidence] of the land usurpers who threaten the Church of Jerusalem on the eve of the holidays, with siege and blockade and restrictions according to the Patriarch of Jerusalem , Fouad Tawal. They also threaten Al-Aqsa Mosque with destruction and continued excavations according to the Judge of Palestine ,Tayseer al-Tamimi, in his recent address to the Islamic Conference Organization.
We call on the Arabs and Muslims to manifest a united stance to defend the Islamic and Christian holy shrines in Palestine, and to defend our causes and people in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia and elsewhere, in the face of the powers of evil and occupation and aggression who have never learned from their previous experiences. Besides, their arrogance and concern about Israel's interest might push them to resume their military and economic wars with new methods and means this time.