In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Muharram 5, 1430Hij - 2nd January, 2009, several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.
The First Sermon
Since the early years of Islam, the Muslims chose the immigration as the starting point of the Islamic calendar. It is also said that they consulted Ali (a.s.) and he agreed. Then, in the year 60H. Imam Hussein (a.s.) immigrated from Medina to Makkah (Mecca) and then from Makkah to Karbala.
Between these two dates, the beginning of the Prophetic Hijra and that of Hussein (a.s.), many big events took place . The first of which was the Prophet's establishment in the Medina of the first Islamic state. It included the Muslims along with the Jews who signed a pact with the Muslims to live under an Islamic state that ran the affairs of Muslims on the basis of the Islamic Sharia, and laid the foundations of the challenging and striking force that was about to face the entire disbelief and create a new situation in the region, enabling the people to feel that there was no longer a single force that they would be afraid of, namely that of Quriash and its allies of infidels and Jews. A new force emerged that was founded on the solid basis of reason, science, Divine revelation and Islamic Shariah; a force that possess a law that runs the affairs of the people on the basis of Shariah which was by far different than the force Quraish relied on. Following the Prophet's (p.) death, many events took place. The legitimate Caliph, Imam Ali (a.s.), was denied his right, and the entire Islamic state became destabilized as a result of ideological and jurisprudent differences. And although there was a chance for the expansion of Islam through the war the Muslims were engaged in with the Romans and the Persians, there was also the strife in which the third caliph was killed, that was followed by a second strife when Muawiyah exploited the death of Othman. Then when Ali (a.s.) assumed the Caliphate, they put all sorts of barriers in his way and declared war on him in all countries.
Then after the peace that was imposed on Imam Al-Hassan (a.s.) due to the weakness of his army that was not unified, the Umayyads consolidated their power, and Muawiyah forced the Muslims to pledge allegiance to Yazid.. It is said that the man Muawiyah commissioned to do this, held a parcel of coins in one hand and a sword in the other and asked the people to choose one of them.
Thus, Yazid, the dissolute man, who drank wine and killed innocent people, and who was never really a Muslim, was imposed as a caliph.
Al-Hussein (A.S.) refuses to pledge allegiance
Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) was committed, with his brother, Imam Al-Hassan (a.s.), to the pact they signed with Muawiyah which stipulated that they will never rebel against him as long as he was alive. Imam Hassan (a.s.) was then poisoned and Muawiyah died. Imam Hussein (a.s.) was asked to pledge allegiance to Yazid, but he refused and told the Wali (ruler) of Medina: we are the family of prophethood, whom the Quran was revealed to, while Yazid is a dissolute man who drinks wine and kills innocent people despite Allah's prohibition. And ended by saying: A man like me does not pledge loyalty to man like him, and added that they will wait and see who is more worthy of being a caliph.
Then the Imam began his revolution against Yazid, being the Imam who ought to be obeyed, according to what the Prophet decreed: Al Hassan and Al-Hussein are Imams (caliphs) whether they chose to stand (rebel and fight) or sit (incline to peace). He began planning to convey his message to the nation.
The conveying state in Makkah
He stayed in Makkah for a few months, receiving people and talking to them about the straight path and the need to be with it and to become the force he will rely on in toppling this tyrant and his deviating regime.
Imam Hussein (a.s.) benefited form the Hajj (pilgrimage) season to guide the people to the right path of Islam and the need to enjoin good and fight tyranny. Then he left Makkah in similar circumstances to that of the Prophet (p.) when he left Medina, having been commanded by Allah (swt) to leave ,thus escaping from a plot Quriash had envisaged to kill him, and to leave Ali(a.s.) in his bed.
Hussein (a.s.) too was informed that Yazid had ordered a bunch of bandits to kill him even if he were in the Kaabah. He left to Iraq having received hundreds of letters telling him to come and be their leader. Things developed later on when the Imam sent his cousin Muslim bin Akil who was martyred, and Al-Hussein (a.s.) headed to Karbala.
Thus, the Hijras of Muhammad and of Hussein (a.s.), were both for the sake of the cause of Islam.
Hussein's first speech proves this point, as it was concerned with conveying the Prophet's line and telling the people that he was not looking for power, but that he sought to change the corrupt reality that was heading towards disbelief and destruction of the true Islam. He says:
The Messenger of God said: Whoever saw an irreligious and unjust ruler who breaks the promise and reverses the teachings of the Messenger of God, a ruler who does harm to the believers unjustly and aggressively, and he never attempts to deter him by saying or by doing. God will consider him, as bad as the ruler.
Al-Hussein (a.s.) wanted all Muslims to shoulder the responsibility of toppling the corrupt and tyrannical non-Islamic regimes, since all the bad traits that the Messenger (p.) talked about, applied to Yazid and his followers, and they provide for the legitimacy of revolting against him, and not ,as some jurists say, that we have only to advise the unjust ruler. That is why he said that Allah will consider them as bad as the ruler explaining to them why they should rebel by saying: Don't you see that those people have quitted obeying God and taken to the obedience of Satan, shown corruption and violated the limits of God…. while I deserve it more than them?
A movement of Reform:
Thus, the revolution aimed at changing the ideological corruption, as well the political reality that plagued the society.
As for the debate among some religious scholars who object to the fact that Al-Hussein (a.s.) was seeking power, we say that this is his responsibility, but there is a difference between one who seeks power for himself and the one who seeks power to eradicate falsehood and uphold Islamic Shariah. This is the line of the Imams which was emphasized by Imam Ali(a.s.) as the following story shows:
Ibn Abbas narrates : "Once when I visited Imam Ali, he was mending his shoes. The Holy Imam asked me, 'what do you think will be the price of this shoe? I said. 'It has no value at all'. The Holy Imam then said, 'By Allah! To my mind this torn shoe is more valuable then my ruling over the people if I do not enforce the right and eradicate falsehood".
It is true that the Imams did not want anything in this world, but this does not mean that they had abandoned their right to rule.
Imam Hussein (a.s.) sent many letters to several states to convey this message . The one to Bassra says:
Now then! Verily Allah has chosen Prophet Mohammad (p.) above all His creatures and granted him (the prestige of) Prophethood and chose him for the Apostleship. Then the Almighty took him towards His mercy (death) after the Prophet having guided all people towards the truth, and after having propagated the message for which he was sent. Thus we are his Household (Ahlulbayt), vicegerents and his successors and are more worthy or succeeding him than anyone else. Then our people tried to precede us in this matter and we helplessly withdrew to avoid dissentions. To preserve Muslim unity ,especially that the nation was facing sever threats.
Thus he emphasized that he has rebelled to uphold the right and reform his grandfather's nation. To reestablish the basis of Islam that was set by his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (p.). Thus we do not accept what some say that he was about to perform a suicidal or martyr operation, relying on a saying Imam Hussein (a.s.) is alleged to have said :It is good for me the death that I am going to meet. Listen to this story that describes the Imam in the battlefield:
"Deity by Allah! Never have I seen a man, standing alone amidst a crowd of people attacking him, conquering him; killing his sons, his family and his companions, who maintained a more balanced composure and self-possession. Truly, if men were to harass him hard, he would respond by tormenting them even harder making them to dispel just like goats are dispelled by the attack of a wolf. He fought them in such a way that forced them to be dispersed everywhere as if they were the widespread locusts, then he would draw back and say: 'upon Allah and only Allah we count in expectation of strength and power'.
People used to see in the fighting of Imam Hussein (a.s.), and his son Ali Al-Akbar, the fighting of Imam Ali (a.s.). That is why when Ibn Saad saw many of his soldiers being killed one after the other, he said: Do not you know whom you are fighting, you are fighting the son of Ali… the killer of Arabs'…..
We notice in many of the Ashoura Majalis (that commemorate the Martyrdom the Imam Hussein (a.s.)) that they portray the Imam as a weak man, especially when they claim that he said: "I swore by my grandfather that I am thirsty". All this is not true. Imam Hussein (a.s.) was a symbol of strength. And he instructed his sister, Zainab (a.s.), to endure and be brave and strong. And that is what she did when she stood before Ibn Ziad and Yazid. And what some say that she hit her forehead with the Mahmal (The wooden saddle of the camel) is a lie .
Ashoura inspires strength and freedom
What we aim at from commemorating Ashoura is to attain the same strength Al-Hussein (a.s.), and Zainab (a.s.)possessed, since we are surrounded by huge challenges just as they were.
When he was given the choice of accepting Yazid's rule or be killed Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) prepared for the battle. That is why he said:
Bt Allah, I shall not give my oath to you like a humiliated one, and nor shall I flee like the captive.
Yazid, the natural son of an illegitimate has placed me in a dilemma, drawing my sword and fighting or being humiliated by allegiance to him. But it is impossible for us to be humiliated, God, His messenger, the believers, my respectable family would not prefer obedience to mean people, to dying with glory.
This is the Imam, who stood alone, but he was an entire nation in one man. That is why, when we face the arrogant challenges of the Americans and the Europeans and the Israelis, we have to be Husseinis in our pride , strength and missionary soul. As for crying and feeling sad, it is a matter of human emotions which the Imam is worthy of, because of the tragedy itself. But this does not mean that Hussein (a.s.) and his household members were weak.
This is the role of Ashoura, to give us the strength, the determination and the will to endure all harm, so that we will repeat what Ali al-Akbar said to his father: as long as we are with the right, we swear by Allah that we do not care if we fall on death or if death befalls on us.
The Second Sermon
The Israeli, Nazist eradication campaign
The Israeli Nazist eradication campaign of the Palestinians, continues to unfold. The number of martyrs have reached hundreds including tens of children, while the number of the wounded has exceeded 2000. Nevertheless such a number of victims did not make the international and Arab blocs feel that there is humanitarian catastrophe; they only thought about stopping the violence.
As for the United States, its only concern is to hold Hamas responsible. The German Chancellor also talks about stopping the violence, in a way that is reminiscent of the Nazi holocaust, the only difference is that this time it is against the Palestinians. Meanwhile, America talks about the need for being precise in counting the number of causalities that have fallen by the raids by the American planes that are to be used in big scale warfare. All those who call for stopping the violence and equate between the murderer and the victim, know that what the resistance factions did was a mere reaction to the Israeli aggression of destroying houses and mosques on the heads of their occupants, in addition to the starvation blockade. The truth of the matter is that the American Administration is a partner in all the Israeli crimes and expansionist polices. In this respect, there are several statements saying that the goal is to change the political reality and finish off Hamas, which proves that what is going on is a part of the international – Arab campaign against this militant movement, in such a way that the shelling of the entire Palestinian people aims at setting them against Hamas under the pretence that it is the cause of this tragic situation.
But we believe that this war has boosted the position of this movement whether among the Palestinians or in the Arab and Muslim world. This fact has been demonstrated by the massive demonstrations that held the Arabs rulers responsible, which was confirmed by Israeli statements that revealed that this aggression was coordinated with the Arab states or at least it gained their approval. And this is what we have noticed in the statements of some Arab officials who held Hamas responsible for all the catastrophic results, as if they are finding excuses for the enemy, claiming like the Americans, that Israel is defending itself. That is why they decided to delay the Arab foreign ministers conference, giving Israel a chance to end Hamas, so that they world realize the so-called peace-process that is based on offering additional concessions to the enemy who did not even accept the Arab initiative considering it as a basis for negotiations that are to be supervised by pro-Israeli parties. In this respect, even the talk about a intra-Palestinian reconciliation aims at making Hamas accept the concessions that were made by the Palestinian Authority that had recognized Israel, although the latter has not even defined its borders and continues to refuse to make any concessions, whether concerning the right of return or the expansionist policies or the judaization of Jerusalem… etc.
Therefore, Egypt's and Jordan's recognition of Israel is not a legal or diplomatic recognition, because the state of Israel lacks an official border. Instead, it will impose the borders, its strategy demands, at a later stage without the objection of any side. The Arab and Islamic peoples hoped that the reactions of Egypt and Jordan would not be restricted to issuing statements of condemnation and holding conferences that will fail to impose solutions to the aggression and blockade. They should have rather manifested a clear-cut and strong stance against Israel, such as calling the Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors from Israel back home at the very least. Unfortunately, such measures were not taken.
For their part, the foreign ministers of the European Union, which pays respect to its people and vital causes and political positions, assembled to discuss the Gaza issue, calling for an immediate ceasefire, at the same time when the Arab leaders failed to take such an initiative amidst this disastrous war which annihilates the Palestinians in Gaza, with blind hatred and racism. This racism is consecrated in the Jewish culture against the Arabs. We have all listened to the statement made by the Arab foreign ministers, which represents an indirect message for Israel to take its time and continue this war of Gaza. Besides, it is also a message to the United States, with it overshadowing the Arab League and the Security Council that the Arabs abide by its instructions, not to the cries of their people.
This is not a war on Hamas, it is a war against whoever adheres to the Palestinian national constants and the liberation of Palestine. Over the past 60 years, the Jewish state failed to abolish the Palestinians right to liberate their land. Thus, it resorted to blockade, aggression, and humiliated the people on the crossings, and confiscated their lands gradually.
Some western and Arab stances reveal that these countries are partners to this conspiracy, in contradiction with the human rights. For them, the Palestinian people's right is not recognized, while they pay all respect for the Jewish people. The Israeli occupation doesn’t respect the Palestinian people who were described by some rabbis as insects and snakes that must be annihilated.
A steadfastness that will achieve victory
We believe that this wonderful steadfastness manifested by the Gazans and the Mujahidin through their challenging missiles, will make this war unsuccessful and a failure at all levels. The Gazan patient people will triumph despite all the sacrifices they are making, just as the resistance in Lebanon triumphed (in the July war). In addition, we welcome the medical aid and food provided by many countries and which were allowed into Gaza through the Rafah Crossing, to reduce the agony of the people.
But we raise the following question: Why wasn't this aid provided before the war by the Arab states in particular? Why wasn't the Rafah crossing opened to end the blockade and allow medical aid into Gaza?
Was the crossing opened only to defuse the public outrage, as the Arab people are calling on the Arab leaders to support the besieged Palestinian people, whose children and patients are dying of medical shortage?
And we say to them: Both international law and the Israeli – Egyptian agreement did not hinder the opening of the crossing, why do the Egyptian officials insist not to open it even for the wounded and the sick or for vital and basic needs? Should we understand that the reason has to do with their position from Hamas that extends to the people to Gaza, whom they want to pressurize, so that they would turn against the resigned government to the benefit of the Palestinian Authority?
We base our question on the popular Arab and Muslim feeling that began to lose its confidence in the commitment of Arab officials to their vital causes, especially the Palestinian cause, or the joint defence treaty which made the Arab League, a league of presidents and not of peoples.
We warn the Arab and Muslim world that the West has put Israel in the centre of the region to separate its countries as well as dominating over the Arab reality and assure its yielding to the Western policy. To realize this goal, they provided Israel with the most advanced weapons, including the nuclear weapon, to ensure its supremacy and to enable it to perform mass killing operations without any international objection.
This is what the Arab world has lived in the past years, when the Zionists waged successive wars against Syria, Egypt Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Therefore, no just peace can be established as long as this state, a frontal Western base to destabilize the region, exists.
Therefore, all Arab and Muslim peoples should never accept its existence in the region.
If some Arab states like Egypt think that peace with Israel will give them security and stability, they should know that Israeli ambitions to dominate the region will ultimately turn to weaken them to ensure that Israel is the only strong power in the region.
The Lebanese popular unity
The Lebanese popular stand was remarkable in its support of the Palestinian resistance. The common experience of the two peoples is the line that joins between the two resistances and emphasizes their unified political view that stresses the need to confront the Zionist entity and put an end to occupation .The Lebanese people who always stand with the cause of freedom, and whom we ask to review the Zionist's positions whom the Lebanese have suffered immensely from their shelling occupation and destroying their infrastructure, as well as massacres of Kana I and Kana II that were all supported by the Americans… They have also to keep in mind the Israeli constant threats and violation of the Lebanese air space and lands, so that they will all unite on the basis of preserving the security of all Lebanese and ending the traditional political game that some politicians exploit to benefit from the suffering of the weakened, poor and deprived, to ensure that they will cast their votes in their favour, leading to an additional undermining of the Lebanese respect of the citizen and the freedom of his decision.
Beware of America and Israel
This current stage is one of political and security turmoil, especially that America – along with Israel, continues its war on the downtrodden, confiscating their wealth inciting strife and assassinating the Mujahiddeen, despite what the Americans said in certain meetings that Lebanon is no longer the centre of political and security concern. We have to understand fully well that America and Israel represent one state when it comes to persecuting the peoples and assassinating peace.
We ought to be cautious and vigilant, uphold our national unity, and meet on the basis of citizenry, that lets the Lebanese open up on the other and not become a sectarian monster who lives in his vicious sectarian cell and feeds his psychological complexes against all others. To be human is to acknowledge the humanity of the other and cooperate with him on all that is good and not on evil and aggression.