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Worshipping Allah fortifies the soul against Evil and Tyrants

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

His Eminence, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rabi' El-Thani, 7th 1430 H. - April, 3rd 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

Allah says in his Glorious Book: "Eat of the good things Wehave provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest My Wrath should justlydescend on you: and those on whom descends My Wrath do perish indeed!" (20: 81) And He says: "Surely hell lies in wait, a place of resort for the inordinate, living therein for ages." (78: 21-23), and "This (shall be so); and most surely there is an evil resort for the inordinate ones" (38:55), and "Then as for him who is inordinate, and prefers the life of this world, then surely the hell, that is the abode. And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of his Lord and forbids the soul from low desires, then surely the garden-- that is the abode." (79: 37- 40).

The concept of righteousness

The Islamic authentic line that Allah wanted people to embrace, abide by, and submit all their situations to is the line of righteousness and moderation. This means that man, throughout his life, ought to abide by what Allah has legitimized and he should not surpass or deviate away from the path Allah has wanted him to walk through, which is described in the Quran as the straight path, i.e. the path whose beginnings meet its ends and face them.  

The consequences of tyranny

Then, there is the opposite line that is the line of tyranny; which is to overstep the path that Allah wanted man to pursue in a way that makes him deviate from His obedience and overstep His limits. In Arabic, tyranny might also refer to the overflowing of water, as what Allah mentioned in the story of Noah's son who deviated, influenced by his mother who had also deviated, and he was among those who were drowned, for Allah says: "We, when the water (of Noah's Flood) overflowed beyond its limits, carried you (mankind), in the floating (Ark)." (69:11)—when the water rose up till the mountain tips.

Allah has emphasized that man should remain on the path of righteousness and moderation. He should not take any action, unless he knows that it pleases Allah and does not contradict with His commands. This applies even to food, since man should eat what Allah has deemed lawful and avoid what He has deemed unlawful, as revealed in the following verse: "Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein"—do not exceed the limits that Allah has set for you concerning what you eat or drink— lest My Wrath should justly descend on you", because if man committed excess in what he eats or drinks, including consuming what is unlawful, then Allah's Wrath shall descend on him and he shall meet a disastrous fate.    

Allah has also confirmed that the end of tyrants is the worst; therefore, Allah wanted man to make a balance concerning how he sees the world when facing any issue in it, so he should not consider the world to be the aim, but rather the path he ought to take to reach that aim, for Allah says: "But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world—Allah has granted you this portion and you can have it; however, you should realize that this World is just an earthly step towards the Hereafter, so you should benefit from your presence in it, in order to provide yourself with what prepares you for your hereafter, by  being charitable and kind to whoever needs your help—but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee." (28: 77)

Allah wanted Prophet Musa and his brother Haroun (a.s.) to head for Pharaoh and remind him of his responsibility, for Allah says: "Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; but speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah). They (Moses and Aaron) said: "Our Lord! We fear lest he hasten with insolence against us, or lest he transgress all bounds." (20: 43-45) Even though Allah talks in this verse about Pharaoh's tyranny; however, this verse includes all the political, security, and economic tyrants, and all the tyrants, including kings, princes, and leaders, who act arrogantly towards people and oppress the downtrodden. Even those who serve these tyrants and empower them are, likewise, tyrannizing, for tyrants enjoy their power through people's support. Therefore, every man who backs an oppressor or a tyrant is sharing him his tyranny.

Worshipping Allah and avoiding Evil (Taghout)

Allah has summarized the Message of the prophets in the following verse in which He says: "For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, (with the Command), "Serve Allah, and eschew Evil (taghout)." (16:36) The prophets' call was that people should worship Allah, associate no partner to Him, and avoid idols. Allah talks about those who worship Him and avoid Evil and idols, meaning that they do not support, sustain, and strengthen them, as clarified in the following verse: "And (as for) those who keep off from the worship of the idols and turn to Allah, they shall have good news, therefore give good news to My servants." (39:17)

The word "Taghout" means, in these verses, anyone who is worshipped besides Allah. It is derived from the verb "Tagha", to tyrannize, i.e. to rule in a way that does not conform with Allah's rule. Explaining the above mentioned verse, Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said to Abu Basir: "You who have avoided worshipping the tyrant—those who are on the path of Ahl Al-Beit (a.s.) and the Messenger of Allah (p.)—and he who has obeyed a tyrant has actually worshipped him." Obeying the tyrants who steal people, and lead them astray and who deviate from the path of the Right and collaborate with the arrogant people is an act of worshipping of these tyrants, because worshipping is not an act of prayer only, it is any kind of submission as well. So when someone submits his will and stands to these tyrants, he is actually worshipping them to the detriment of worshipping Allah and His commands.

Allah has told us about the influence of tyrants on the fate of the people in this World and the Hereafter in the following verse: "Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the evil ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (for ever)." (2:257)    

Seeking judgment of the evil one

Then, Allah tells us about seeking judgment and says that there are two judges: That of Allah and that of the evil tyrants. There are many who claim that they believe, but when they differ with others, they seek the judgment of the evil one, especially when they know that they will lose if they seek the religious ruling, and that they will win if they seek the ruling of the empirical law, with the help of some lawyers who benefit from some of the gaps in the law itself. Allah says:

"Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? Their (real) wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan's wish is to lead them astray far away (from the right). When it is said to them: "Come to what Allah hath revealed, and to the Messenger": Thou seest the Hypocrites avert their faces from thee in disgust." (4:60-64)—since those people claim to believe, but they actually have gone astray. These are whom Allah calls the hypocrites.

Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) says that Issa Bin Maryam (a.s.) passed by a village whose people were dead—and Allah had given him the power of bringing the dead back to life—and he asked them about their deeds that caused their perishment, and they said: "Worshipping Taghout and loving this world. We have forgotten about the Hereafter"—as we were deeply indulged in the pleasures of this life—Then Issa (a.s.) asked: "How did you worship Taghout?" And they said: "We obeyed those who were sinful."

Imam Zein El-Abideen (a.s.) says:

"May Allah not give power over us stubborn tyrant, any rebellious shaytan, any envious man. O, believers, do not be deceived by the Taghouts—leaders who are unjust and arrogant and who commit mischief on earth—and their followers who are slaves of their desires in this World."

Nowadays, we see several tyrants and arrogant people, whether of the Muslims who have followed their desires and Satan, or non-Muslims. Thus, every believer should avoid Taghout, not practise arrogance or tyranny, and remain on the straight path, for Allah says: "(As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised." (41:30).

We ask Allah to grant us success in obeying Him and following His straight path. He is the most Merciful.


The Second Sermon


Arab summits: rhetorical decisions and absent strategies

The Arab leaders seem to have remembered "the noble Arab traditions and values", and they wanted the last summit to emphasize, yet again, their "commitment to Arab solidarity" and to elevate Arab relations up to a broader horizon… But what happened was that these relations entered a new stage, whereby the leaders became closer to one other on the personal level, while the strategies which deploy the Arab great potentials and capabilities were absent, which means that they would not be able to defend their existence and future that are being threatened by the arrogant and Zionist seizure of their land, security and even political decisions.

And at nearly the same time, the hateful birth of a new Zionist government took place. The new Prime Minister hastened to mimic some of the Arab officials who talked – in the summit – about their refusal of foreign interference in the Arab internal affairs. Netanyaho talked about Iran representing a threat to his entity and that there is "a common interest between Israel and the Arab states in confronting Iran, the fanatic dragon that threatens all of us". It was striking that some Arab writers have talked about how to "choose between the Israeli and Iranian enemies", instead of talking of how to benefit from Iran and its opening up on what serves the major Arab causes, and specifically the Palestinian cause.

We would have expected that the Doha Summit would set an Arab strategy that meets with the Islamic strategy, whose features have somehow unfolded in the Iranian and Turkish positions towards the aggression on Gaza, thus putting an end to this Arab fall in an era of international changes and transformations. However, the Arab accomplishments remained restricted to the personal and superficial reconciliations that are born just as they die, all of a sudden, and without discussing what caused their differences and on what they have agreed. The Arabs have grown used to this, because they live in the states of families and individuals and not in the states of institutions.

Despite the Israeli threats to expand colonization and Netanyahu's declaration that he is not afraid of the pressures of the new American Administration to change his policy that rejects the Palestinians' rights and to accept the principle of the "two states" that Washington calls to, as a basis for the solution to the conflict, and his talk about an "economic peace" that puts an end to the concept of a "Palestinian state"… despite all that, the Arabs continue to run after what they call a "peace" with their historical enemy. This was evident in what seemed more like a friendly reproach, warning that the peace initiative will not stay on the table for long, in spite of all this contempt with which the Israelis treat their concessions.

Pervious experiments have asserted that the Arab Summit would not do anything that would initiate a real change in the region and pressurize the interests of America that promotes the Jewish interests to the detriment of those of the Arabs. All they do is issuing rhetorical decisions whose worth is only that of the ink they were written with or the papers they were written on. This is what we read in the "Doha Declaration" that "demanded", "called for", and "emphasized"… etc. these rhetorical words that are addressed to the others or to the Arab peoples do not possess the force that pressurizes the enemy, or the American Administration and the International Community, nor do they reject normalization or produce the resistance.

The American Administration: backing the interests of the strong

Since America and the European Union only respect the strong, while the vital rights of the weak are totally ignored, Israel has become the super power that raids Arab states under the pretense that it is destroying arms that are to be sent to the Mujahideen in Gaza, and to prevent any country from producing the elements of an affective self-force. Nevertheless, such actions are not denounced by the super powers that may even take part in them and support the Israeli unrealistic accusations. The Israeli former Prime Minister has stated that Israel has a long hand that is capable of hitting any place Israel might feel that it endangers its interests. However, no Arab country can challenge these acts, since it would be facing the United States that opposes whoever tries to confront Israel even in self-defense. It is the problem of the chronic Arab incompetence that the officials do not try to get out of or build their strength showing that they respect their nation and peoples.

On another level, the Doha Summit that was labeled as "the summit of Arab reconciliations" has shown, through the complicated relations between the Arab heads of states, that the bilateral relations between an Arab state and another is more important than the vital issues that have to do with the security of the nation as a whole. A point in case would be when the difference between two Arab leaders, drives one leader  not to attend the conference that is held in the state he differs with its leaders, although it would have a negative impact on the strategic decisions to be taken.

That is why the reconciliations tend to be formal. In the first place, they were not comprehensive, but rather bilateral or trilateral, while the differences continued between other countries. This suggests that the Arab League has become a league of Arab contradictions and not Arab unity, which makes it a league of heads of states and not of the people who do not enjoy the democracy of free choice, but rather live under the iron fist of the intelligence agencies and emergency laws, in which the votes of the peoples turn into a silly political joke.

NATO failure in Afghanistan

In Asia, the American-led NATO war against Afghanistan that extended to Pakistan has turned into a heavy burden on the international forces, as a result of the war of attrition against them. Thus, the American Administration have called for an international meeting that will be attended by Iran to discuss the Afghani impasse that could not be overcome by war, which means that the US should find a peaceful way through negotiations with those it calls "moderates".

We believe that the Muslim states, especially Iran, should strive, driven by their Islamic responsibility, to direct these conferences into what serves the security of the Afghani people and the Muslim region, and into what drives the occupation and NATO forces out of the region to enable its peoples to determine their own fate, away from the pressures of the international hegemony powers that have used the pretense of fighting terrorism to seize the Arab and Muslim region.

As for the summit of the Group of Twenty (G:20) that was held in London, we noticed the big demonstrations of tens of thousands against these states which represented the ugliest forms of savage globalization that not only usurped the resources of the Third World, but also threatened the world environment… These demonstrations have proved that these states do not represent a problem for our peoples and those of the Third World only, but also to their peoples and all the downtrodden on earth, which means that there should be a coordination on the highest levels between all those who are hurt by the hegemony states and affected by the savage globalization to protect their peoples, wealth and heritage.

Lebanese elections: internal and external settlements

In Lebanon, we notice that at the time the row over the parliamentary elections heightens, the elections themselves are becoming part of the regional compromises and the Arab reconciliations. Their prospects and some of their happy or unhappy results have already been drawn, although not all the Lebanese have learned about them, and although their approval or disapproval of them was not taken into consideration. These developments prove that it is not feasible to claim that things are going to explode in Lebanon, for if the settlements are not reached internally, they will be imposed from the outside, and all the issues that many politicians have rallied on will collapse.

We want the Lebanese to conceive the game that is taking place around them, so that they would not be fuel to the scattered fires. They should also reproduce their unity, benefiting form their readings of the adequate or inadequate regional circumstances. The electoral high-pitched rhetoric should not incite their spirit of sectarianism, fanaticism, tribalism, and partisanship. We have been stung several times by the same snake. Therefore, now, it is high time to wake up and return to our senses.