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Between this life and the afterlife

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful.

His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, JamadaAth-Thaniya13,1441H/ February 7, 2020. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is an edited text of the sermons


The first sermon

Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book:“And seek the home of the Hereafter by means of that which Allâh has given you. And do not neglect (to acquire) your portion (of righteous deeds) in the present life. And do good to others as Allâh has done good to you. And do not seek to promote evil in the land, for Allâh does not love the evil doers who create mischief” [28; 77]. Allah, The Most Exalted,speaks the truth.

The deviation of Qaroun

This Ayat talks about Qaroun who was, as the Quran says, one of the people of Musa, but he deviated .

 Allah, The Most Exalted, gave this man a lot of wealth and money, but instead of using them in the good and giving the needy and the poor from what Allah, The Most Exalted, has given him, he used them in the way of corruption and corrupting others. That is why he was advised “to seek the home of the Hereafter by means of that which Allâh has given you”,and follow the path God wants him to follow. However, he did not listen andimagined that his money and status had made him immune. He did not take into consideration what Allah, The Most Exalted, said about him:“Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him of generations those who were greater than him in power and greater in accumulation [of wealth]? But the criminals, about their sins, will not be asked”[28; 78].Then came the end,which showed who is stronger in this life: “We caused the earth to swallow him and his home. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor was he of those who [could] defend themselves”[28; 81].

The Hereafter is the objective of believers

By this story, Allah, The Most Exalted, wanted to point out to the objective that man ought to seek. It is the goal that ensures his safety in this life and the other:"And seek the home of the Hereafter by means of that which Allâh has given you".

The Hadithsays:Verily Allah - glory be to Him - has made this world for what is after it and has put its inhabitants to trial so that He may know who from among them has the best deeds, and we have not been created for this world, nor have we been commanded to strive for it. Allah, The Most Exalted, has denounced those who all they care about is this world and said:"Indeed, those who do not expect the meeting with Us and are satisfied with the life of this world and feel secure therein and those who are heedless of Our signs * For those their refuge will be the Fire because of what they used to earn”[10; 7-8].He also said to those who were deceived by this world:“So let not the life of the world beguile you, and let not the beguiler beguile you with regard to Allah”[35; 5].

To make the picture of this world clear. Allah, The Most Exalted, portrayed for them the image that they watch every year in spring “And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability”[18; 45].In this context, Jesus Christlikened this to world to a woman who married many men. He told her: “How many did you marry?” She said: “Many.” He said: “How many divorced you?” She said: “None, I killed all of them.” Jesus said: “How come your remaining spouses did not learn lessons from the past ones?

The believer’s share of this world

Butthis does not mean that Allah, The Most Exalted, wants us to leave this world and not care about it. That is why He added:“Do not neglect (to acquire) your portion (of righteous deeds) in the present life”[28; 77].Had He not wanted man to take his portion of life He would not have beautified it: “Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return” [3; 4]. He also forbade them from deeming impermissible what Allah has made lawful: “Oyou, who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors” [5; 87].

Thus, the believer should enjoy hislife, but the difference between him and others is that he always thinks about the other life.  He should deal with this life in the manner the Prophet(p.) explained: “O people! This world is transient and the hereafter is perpetual. Therefore, take from this world for your abode”. We should live in this world and enjoy it, but we should concentrate on what secures us the bliss of the Hereafter.

The Hadith likened this world and its relation with the Hereafter by some people who were travelling to a place to live in. They passed on their way by an island that is full of goods and were told that they should spend their time in carrying what they need intheir lastdestination. Those who did as they were askedwere able to benefit from what they carried, while those who wastedtheir time enjoying what was on the island, were the losers in the end and they were remorseful for wasting the chance they had had.

The way to the Hereafter

Therefore, dear loved ones, let us engage in what Allah, The Most Exalted, has called us to, when He said: “O you who have believed, fear Allah . And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow” [59; 18].But the question is:  how do we do this?

The messenger answered this, when he said to his companions that they ought to give in charity even if a part of a date or a good word, explaining that this is what they will answer Allah, The Most Exalted, with, when He asks them about their good deeds that will protect them from Hell.

TheHadith says:“Guarantee for me six deeds and I will guarantee for you Paradise: Be truthful when you speak, keep your promises when you make them, fulfill the trust when you are trusted, guard your chastity, lower your gaze, and restrain your hands from harming others”.And“ If should maintain three things that will assure complete faith in Allah, the Almighty , namely: (1) Justify others and give them what they are entitled , even though it may be against one’s soul. (2) Offer greetings to all people , those whom you know and those whom you do not know, and (3) Be generous to others even if you are poor”.

Dear loved ones:

Your abode will not bein Heaven by dreams and wishes. Such a  big goal  demands  being patient , enduringcalamities and doing good deeds   Imam Ali (a.s.) used to be surprised by those who seek Paradise , but were not ready to do what makes them deserve it. He said:“Do you, with these qualities, hope to secure abode in the purified neighborhood of Allah and to be regarded His staunch lovers? Alas! Allah cannot be deceived about His paradise and His will cannot be secured save by His obedience”.

Let us be among those whose aim is Paradise and who have sought to earn it: He, the Most Exalted, says:“Indeed, those who have said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’, and then remained on a right course - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve” [46; 13].

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted: I advise you and myself with what The Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali(a.s.) advised us, when he said … more