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The Real Criteria of Religious commitment

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, Jumada El-Thani, 12th 1430 H. - June, 5th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

In Islam, there are many ways or levels to adhere to the humanitarian and spiritual values, since people are of different positions and different abilities of giving. There are those who wait for people, as the Quran tells us about those who used to quench the thirst of pilgrims or those who took care of the House of Allah (Al-Beit Al Haram).

And there are those whose life is dedicated for the mission of changing the minds of the people, so that they would adhere to the right and keep away from falsehood, and so that their hearts would be filled with love with no place for hatred, and their lives dedicated for the good and not evil; they would be totally devoted to the Islamic call and the struggle for the cause of Allah (Jihad) as well as sacrificing for the cause of Islam and supporting the downtrodden.

Not equal are those who fight and those who do not

There are several Quranic verses that elaborate this point: historical books, especially those of the Prophet's biography, tell us that once Al-Abbas bin Abdul Mutalib, the Prophet's uncle, met with Talha bin Shiba and Imam Ali bin Abi Talib in Mecca. The first two began to boast. The Imam(a.s.) did not join them, but rather preferred to wait until they finished before he explained to them where they were wrong. At first Talha said: "I am the caretaker of the House. And I hold its key. And I could sleep in it if I want to". Then Al-Abbass boasted that he is in charge of supplying water to the pilgrims. The Imam told them that he did "not know what they were talking about", for what they were doing was good but it does not make man reach the supreme level in his values and his humanitarianism. He went on to remind them that "he has been praying towards the Ka'aba six months before anyone else (besides the Prophet) ever bowed in prayer and has never ceased struggling in the way of Allah" defending the Prophet, even as a kid in Mecca and driving away the children whom the idolaters used to send to hurt the Messenger (p.). "Then I fought with the Messenger all his wars against the idolaters who wanted to defeat his religion".

Allah has eternalized this conversation, when he explained to those people, and to all people through them, that it is wrong to equate between supplying water and taking care of the Sacred Mosque and the struggle for the cause of Allah on the other. "What! Do you make (one who undertakes) the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the guarding of the Sacred Mosque like him who believes in Allah and the latter day and strives hard in Allah's way? They are not equal with Allah; and Allah does not guide the unjust people.Those who believed and fled (their homes), and strove hard in Allah's way with their property and their souls, are much higher in rank with Allah; and those are they who are the achievers (of their objects)." (09:19-20). Supplying water to the pilgrims and attending to the sacred Mosque is no way equal to believing in God and fighting for His cause such as Imam Ali(a.s.) who laid the foundations of Islam and made it strong enough to defeat the idolaters.

Then, there is also this verse which might have been revealed on a special occasion, but it gives us the criteria to evaluate people when it comes to their nearness to Allah and the extent they possess sublime values. "Allah has made the strivers with their property and their persons to excel the holders back a (high) degree." (04:95). People who are benevolent and charitable are virtuous, but Allah has considered those who struggle for His cause to be superior in rank and indicated that their reward will be greater, because they are the ones who preserve the religion of Allah and their nation, ensuring that the word of Allah has the upper hand.

The believers and the corrupt are not equal

We should think thoroughly about whom to take as a leader, for Allah says: "Shall We treat those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the same as those who do mischief on earth? – How could we equate between those who inflict corruption on earth by fomenting sedition and collaborating with the arrogant people, or those who follow the path of the deviated people, because they give us more money or provide us with jobs, or because they are from our country, or sect or confession, and those who spread righteousness on earth and make it prosper and protect their nation, so that it stands firm and strong – Shall We treat those who guard against evil, the same as those who turn aside from the right?"  (38:28). He who actually does that and equates between the two, is in no way related to religion, even if he performs his religious duties, such as praying and fasting. Actually, religion should conform to what Allah loves and is pleased with, and it is in no way an act that does not abide by what Allah ordains us to do and abstain from.

Man's fate is determined by his work

Allah tells us about man's destiny, in a dialogue between the dwellers of Hell and the dwellers of Heaven. He says: "Every soul is held in pledge for what it earns– man's destiny is determined by his deeds, so if he does not reform himself and repent to Allah and return to Him, then his destiny will remain determined by his previous deeds. In accordance to these deeds, some people's abode will be in Heaven, while others' might be in Hell – except the people of the right hand, in gardens, they shall ask about the guilty – it seems that Heaven overlooks Hell, for the pious believers look down at the criminals who are in Hell, some of which might be relatives, friends, and partisans – What has brought you into hell? They shall say: We were not of those who prayed – we used not to pray and worship Allah as He has ordered us to. Many of our children and friends do not pray too, yet as some people might say that they are of good manners – and we used not to feed the poor – we did not pay Allah's rights represented in almsgiving and Khums, and other things that Allah wanted us to do to help the poor and the orphans – And we used to enter into vain discourse with those who entered into vain discourses – that is, to do with the others what they are doing without being sure if it is right or even knowing what it is – And we used to call the day of judgment a lie – lying in this case is of two kinds: some people might deny the Day of Judgment, while others do not; however, they do not strive to ensure that their abode will be in Heaven – till death overtook us. So the intercession of intercessors shall not avail them – intercession is of no benefit, unless by Allah's consent and will. The prophets and the imams intercede by Allah's will, and He accepts intercession, as Imam Zein El-Abideen expressed in the Supplication for Thursday: "Bless Muhammad and his Household, and make my seeking his mediation as an intercessor give profit on the Day of Resurrection! Surely Thou art the Most Merciful of the merciful." – What is then the matter with them that they turn away from the admonition As if they were asses taking fright that had fled from a lion?" (74: 38-51).

Do not support whom Allah is not pleased with

If you belong to a certain group in this world, then you should take into consideration the following: when you support and love these people, is Allah pleased with that or not? Because if He was not pleased with this support, then they shall renounce you, for Allah says: "When those who were followed shall renounce those who followed (them), and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder. And those who followed shall say: Had there been for us a return, then we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they shall not come forth from the fire." (02:166-167).

Therefore, when you wish to take someone as a leader, then consider how your position will be on the Day of Resurrection, for Allah says: "The day on which no soul shall control anything for (another) soul; and the command on that day shall be entirely Allah's." (82:19), and, "This day every soul shall be rewarded for what it has earned; no injustice (shall be done) this day; surely Allah is quick in reckoning." (40:17).

The second Sermon

Lebanon under the Israeli umbrella

Lebanon, once again, is considered a significant factor in the Zionists' calculations – although it has always been, more or less, a part of them – especially since it has become a central turning point in the conflict with the enemy… However, these days, Lebanon overlooks a new phase in which the Israeli maneuvers, on the one hand, and the international pressures, on the other hand, are trying to suggest to the opposition axis and resistance forces that it is still early to celebrate that Lebanon and the region have overcome the project of hegemony and occupation.

We realize that the Zionist maneuvers do not only target Lebanon, but rather the entire region. The enemy aims also at delivering a message to the entire world, which says that it will remain an entity of war that continues to build its strength to threaten the others in the outside and declares, directly or indirectly, its refusal to the initiatives that suggest freezing the colonization operations. In addition, we are aware that Lebanon, which has vanquished the enemy in several occasions and battles, remains at the top of the enemy's target list, since its Minister of War declares, right from the platform of the United nations, that he will determine his stand towards Lebanon after the results of the parliamentary elections.

Israeli crimes perpetrated by Palestinian hands

It must be noted that the enemy that is threatening and intimidating the Lebanese, especially at the time that its espionage networks are being revealed one after the other, is actually providing every support to the Zionist settlers to assault the Palestinians by killing some of them, burning their gardens, cutting down their olive trees, and opening fire on whoever confronts their assaults… In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority forces are carrying out the mission of the enemy itself by persecuting and assassinating the freedom fighters, all under the title of preserving the law. What makes this formula even more deplorable is that the Palestinian President, who refused the option of resistance and using the arms against the enemy, does not even blink upon using it against the freedom fighters and his own people and brothers. Perhaps what makes things worse is that he talks about "striking with an iron hand", as if this hand can only be used to confront the resistance and protect the Israeli security?!

Palestinian unity

We want the Palestinians to re-produce their unity that was subjected to many cracks. We also want the Palestinian Authority to stop playing the role, through which it thinks it will earn the affection of the American and western administrations, by confronting the ambitions and choices of its people and citizens, for no authority, even if it won the support of the entire world, would survive if it lost its people… Moreover, this authority has been trying to appease the enemy and the United States of America since the Oslo agreement up till now; however, it only reaped more disappointments and defeats and killing of time to push further the colonization, Judaization, and killing operations, and even the continuous annihilation wars.

Obama and the Muslim world

As for the American President who has recently paid a visit to the Arab and Islamic world and chose dialogue instead of tanks and warplanes that his predecessor resorted to to enter the region, we have noticed that he brought along with him a new language. However, new words alone cannot lead to a real change in policy. We have listened well to "Obama", since he assumed power, and we have noticed that every compliment to the Arabs and Muslims was accompanied by an unshakable commitment to the Zionist entity.

We say to the American President that he has to listen to the pulse of the Arab and Muslim street, and not to merely take notes upon meeting the Arab and Muslim officials. We also call on him to show more boldness and demand that the enemy's entity should recognize the Palestinian people and stop its terrorism and violence against this people whose suffering, which Obama is aware of, has started with the Israeli occupation. Moreover, the Arabs and Muslims could never understand the insistence on not mentioning such an occupation that represents tragedy and crime for the Palestinians and disaster for the region, and continuous threat to the international security, especially that it is a colonial occupation of chemical and nuclear teeth and that it upholds an exclusion doctrine towards the others.

The continuous strife between the Shiites and Sunnis        

We are also witnessing constant attempts to create strife among the Muslims, by seeking to foment sedition between the Sunnis and Shiites. The last of these attempts was carried out in the Zahdan region in Iran, where a savage explosion hit the area targeting those who were praying. The aim behind the explosion was to create a counter reaction to ignite the spark of sectarian strife in the region, particularly in Iran; the country that opened up to the issues of the Islamic world. Moreover, Imam Khumeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, whom we are presently commemorating his death anniversary, has worked on embracing the line of Islamic unity, revived the project of proximity between the nation's two parties [the Sunnis and Shiites], launched the week of Islamic unity which was meant to embrace the nation's entire issues, and called on the Muslims, Arabs, and the downtrodden people of the world to take an honorable stand towards the Palestinian cause, starting from the Jerusalem Day, which he aimed at making a day for unity towards Palestine and the nation's vital issues.

At the time we can sense the danger of what took place in Zahdan, especially in a phase where the Islamic Republic is being subjected to a series of major international pressures and continuous Zionist threats, we feel that the Islamic leadership in Iran has dealt wisely with this dangerous event, and blocked any opportunity before those who are seeking to foment sedition and serve the forces of international and Zionist arrogance, whether directly or indirectly.

Adhering to the line of Islamic unity

Moreover, at the time we confirm the necessity of persecuting and punishing all those who even think of assaulting the nation's security, whether in Iran or any other Arab or Islamic country, we call for taking Islamic unifying steps on the ground. We highly praise the call of the leader of the Islamic revolution, His Eminence, Imam Khaminai', who considered any offense carried out by a Shiite against a Sunni to be in the interest of Zionism and Israel. In addition, we call for emphasizing this position, by taking practical steps that would be reflected in the mass media and the popular movement, and we call on the Muslim Sunni and Shiite religious authorities to adopt the path that pleases Allah and His Messenger and defeats the enemy's attempts to create strife between the Muslims.

The Lebanese elections

As for Lebanon that is on the eve of the parliamentary elections, amidst the flow of visitors and foreign interventions in the Lebanese affairs, either via camouflaged political advice or via direct threats, we say to the Lebanese: beware from falling in the trap of intimidation set by certain political figures or religious, or non-religious personalities, for the country's immunity emerges from the inside and the internal unity represents a kind of barrier that blocks any attempt of those who seek to penetrate the internal arena and create turmoil at the political and security levels, especially the Israeli enemy. 

The Lebanese people, who were incited by the electoral political and media rhetoric on the sectarian and partisan levels, should approach the electoral issue from more than one angle. On the one hand, they should look into the American project, which is only taking the Israeli interests into consideration, so that they deter this project and the plans in-store for Lebanon… and they should confront it with their field, political and electoral actions. On the other hand, they should know that the deputy's role is not to pave a road or improve the status of the countryside, because these issues, among others, should be tended to by the municipalities. Actually, the deputy's role is to engage in the legislative process, help in electing a president and grant legitimacy to this or that government, and act at the level of the choices, which could be beneficial to the country and the nation or of negative repercussions when ratifying pacts and agreements.

Therefore, I am addressing the people, and summoning their consciences, along with their national, religious and human sense, and I call on them to: vote for those who carried the burden of the great causes and those who were the true callers for reform, support those who rejected to link the country's fate to the American scheme and all the other plans, which are hostile to the country and the nation, follow the path that will protect the country from aggression and occupation, and uphold the choice of the Resistance.

The vicious campaign against the resistance

The truthful and honorable resistance, which offered hundreds of martyrs, liberated the land, and has and still is trying to confront the plans and ambitions of the enemy, is presently the object of a coordinated international attack, aiming at undermining its stature and reputation and tagging it with terrorism. In the meantime, the world is idly watching what Israel has planned for through its espionage networks, which have assassinated several freedom fighters in Lebanon and Syria, without hearing a single international voice accusing Israel of terrorism and of attempting to sabotage the security of Lebanon and the region.

We call on the Lebanese, Muslims, Arabs, and the free men of the world to support this Resistance, which is the source of inspiration to the nation and that educates them on respecting and preserving the dignity of man. They should also take into consideration that trying to weaken the Resistance is similar to trying to weaken the Lebanese army, since they both defend the country and constitute Lebanon's elements of strength in the face of the enemy.