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The conveying Role of Imam Al-Hassan Al-Askari (a.s.)

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-Awwal, 9th 1430 H. - March, 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: Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (33:33)

One of the members of this purified House and one of their Imams is Imam Al-Hassan bin Ali Al-Askari (a.s.) who, although a young man, had effectively played his role in conveying Islam and in educating people on it.

In this respect, several religious scholars have quoted what he used to tell them of the sciences of Ahl el-Beit who represent the pure spring that flows from the big river, the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.

This Imam whose death anniversary was yesterday the 8th of Rabi' I, was of sublime Islamic morals that made the entire society respect him, even those opposed to Ahl el-Beit or those who supported the caliphate of the Abbasids.

We read in one of the statements of these enemies, Ahmad bin Ubaidallah bin Khakan, whose father was a minister, what shows how much they glorified Imam Al-Askari:

I have not seen or known in Samarra a man from the Alawites anyone like Al-Hassan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali Al-Rida, who was nicknamed Al-Askari because he lived in a neighborhood called Askar, and Banu Hashim who have given him precedence over those older than him and those of high positions. The leaders of the army and the civil servants and the ministers and the jurists and the judges and the common people also used to admire him, nor did I find a friend or enemy of him that does not praise him".

His enemies too used to glorify him, due to his high position and embodiment of spiritual, moral, social, and cultural values.

The Respect of enemies:

His father, Ubaidallah bin Khakan, said when his son asked him: "How come you treat this man with such respect? "My son, if the Imamate was to be taken from Banu Abbas, none of the Banu Hashim would be more entitled to it than him because of his great merits, self-restraint, modesty, asceticism, devotion (to God), high morality and righteousness.

  Such a testimony from an Abbasid minister shows the great merits the Imam had, especially that it comes from an enemy.

 The Abbasid caliphs used to fear that the Members of the House would overthrow them, since they saw how much the people admired them and were attracted to them. That is why the Abbasid caliph imprisoned the Imam. But what was the jailer view of the Imam?

Al- Kulaini reports in Al-Kafi quoting Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin Musa bin Jaafar that the Abbasids asked the Jail Warden to persecute the Imam. The Jail Warden had this to say: "I have asked two of the most evil persons on earth to handle him, but after they came in contact with him they started to spend their time in praying. The warden then brought the two men and asked them: What is the matter with you, and they said: what can you say abut a man who fasts his day and prays throughout the night and is only concerned with worshipping? If he looks at us, we would tremble and lose any control over ourselves. Thus, the Imam failed all their plots, for he had a spiritual power that when others looked at him, they would be filled with spirituality and feel humble before him.

Correcting deviations of thought

The Imam used to care about all what happens in the Islamic world. When he heard that one of his contemporary philosophers wrote a book criticizing the contradiction in the Quran, he told his students to go and discuss the issue with him. When they said that they do not have the ability to refute his Quranic arguments he told them: "I'll tell you what to say.Go and tell him: You wrote a book criticizing the Quran based on your own understanding, is not it possible that He Who created the Quran has intended a different meaning than the one you understood. When the man thought about what they had to say and acknowledged that they were right, he asked them: "But who gave you this idea?" and they said it was Al-Hassan Al-Askari.

He was not surprised because he knew that Ahl el-Beit were known for their scholarship, and he tore his book.

And as we have commemorated yesterday the death anniversary of Imam Al-Askari, we receive today the anniversary of the Imamate of Imam Al-Mahdi who became Imam after his father died, thus becoming like Prophet Yahia, whom Allah has given him wisdom as a child. We ask Allah to enable us to enjoy his appearance and see his unique personality, and make us of his supporters when he fills the earth with justice.

His teachings

On the death anniversary of Imam Al-Askari we want to listen to some of his advice to his followers, including us. He says(a.s.): "I command you to fear Allah, show piety to your religion, work hard for Allah's sake, tell truths only, return the trust (including that of position and responsibility) to their owners. Whether they are pious or sinful, prostrate yourselves before Allah for a long time(because it is an indication of submission), and treat your neighbors courteously.These are the matters(morals) that Mohammad (p.) brought; offer prayers among their folks (people of different sects) -we, along with other jurists, have issued fatwas that deems it permissible to pray with them, attend their funeral ceremonies, visit their ill ones, and fulfill their rights. I am pleased if people point to you and say "this is a Shi'ite", when you behave piously, tell truths only, return the deposits to their owners, and conduct courteously with people. Fear Allah, be good(examples) and do not be evil. Attract people's fondness of us and save us from every awful character, for we are surely the people of every good thing that is said about us, but we are definitely not the owners of any evil thing that is imputed to us. We enjoy a (distinctive) right in the Book of Allah, a relation(of kinship) to the Messenger of Allah (p.), and a purification whose source is Allah. Only can the liars claim of enjoying our distinctive features. Refer to Allah much, recite the Quran, and bless the Prophet (p.). A single blessing of the Prophet (p.) is ten advantages. Retain the matter of which I have commanded you. Allah keeps you under His supervision. Peace be upon you.

This is Imam Askari's will to his followers. It is narrated that Ishaq bin Yakoub wrote to the Imam to ask him: How could the servant worship his lord if he does not see him, and the Imam answered Abu Youssef: My Master who has bestowed His grace on me and on my fathers is far above that. I asked him: did the Messenger(p.) see him and he said: Allah, the Blessed and the Most Exalted, made him see in his heart what Muhammad liked of the light of Allah's greatness." Allah is not seen by the eye but by the heart.

The heart was not untrue in (making him see) while he saw (33:11).

He also said: there is nothing above these two traits, believing in Allah and benefiting friends."One of his followers asked him to teach him a supplication and he wrote back to him saying: say this supplication: O most hearer and Most seer and most watchful, and the quickest to account, the Most merciful and the Most Wise of rulers, May peace and blessing be upon Muhammad and his progeny, increase my provisions, and extend my life, and bestow on me Your mercy and make me from those You seek their support of Your religion, and do not exchange me for others.

This is Imam Al-Hassan Al-Askari(a.s.) who we have to emulate in everything he has done or talked about.

Peace be upon him the day he was born, the day he left this world, and the day he will be brought back to life.

The Second Sermon


Gaza: reconstruction under humiliating conditions

The war on the Palestinians in Gaza continues to unfold. The last chapter of it was reconstruction which is meant to turn into a new restraint that tightens the economic and financial blockade on a people still in the open, following the Israeli savage wars that made Gaza one of the most prominent refugee and mass detention camps in the world.

A few days ago, an international conference was convened in Sharm Al-Sheikh to discuss, apparently, the issue of reconstruction of Gaza, while in reality it aimed at serving deadly political goals, not least of which is focusing on the Palestinian cause as one of refugees, as well as avoiding any mentioning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, making the whole issue seem as a purely humanitarian relief for a people who was struck by a natural disaster.

Once again, the Arabs have yielded, as usual, to the American conditions concerning reconstruction, which are actually totally Israeli. The conferees have adopted these conditions that prevent the money from reaching Hamas, and that associate reconstruction with the progress in the political settlement which Israel had previously drawn its ceiling by challenging the Arabs and those who convened in Sharm Al-Sheikh, when it announced that it was to embark on the broadest settlement plan in the West Bank and Gaza that will build about 73000 housing units, and when the enemy's newspapers conveyed Netanyahu's conditions regarding the so-called Palestinian state. He said he supported establishing it on 50% of the West Bank territory, provided that it would not be sovereignty and would not enjoy any of the jurisdictions of any state like sovereign over the air space and the electromagnetic waves, the right to build an army and sign military pacts, having control over the cross-points… etc.

No change in the American policy in the region

In the midst of this, the American Secretary of State, Clinton, visited the Zionist Entity, just as the former US secretaries of state, including Albright, Powel and Rice had done, and declared what seemed to be the only constant fact in the American foreign policy: Israel's security, and talked like its predecessors about the Palestinian state which has no taste, color, or smell and no existence.

This state was practically consumed by the settling activities, since the Palestinians decided to accept "Oslo" and choose the path of the political settlement which Clinton considers a fundamental condition for establishing the state. Yet, a Palestinian state is no longer realistically possible, and all that is left of it is the political illusions spread by the American officials who may continue to repeat them until the third millennium, if the Palestinian reality continues to adopt compromises away from the path of liberation adopted by the resistance and the Intifada.

The Arab rulers may rest assured that the American Secretary of State will continue to speak to them about the Palestinian state with words they like to hear, but she will not be committed except to what she said in Israel: "God bless Israel and its future". Thus, she is blessing the enemy's policy and fooling the Arabs who were led to imagine that there is a new American policy in the region.

As we feel the dangerousness of what is being internationally planned regarding the Palestinian issue, we know that there is no way to confront them other than with unity which should initiate from within the Palestinians and out of the sufferings they have lived and are still living, in addition to the Arab unity, which we hope to be embodied by the detente in the Syrian–Egyptian–Saudi relations, since we look forward to a unity movement that starts in Palestine and expands to the Arab and Muslim region, so as to address the challenges we face in our major issues and the Palestinian question in particular.

Iran will not submit to the intimidations and threats

On another level, we meet with the Iranian peaceful nuclear file that is meant to have the highest priority, since the enemy have summoned the Western administrations and media and told them that they have to haunt Iran round the clock, since Iran represents an existential threat to Israel. Thus, as it sends its General Chief of Staff to say that Iran will be able to make the bomb by the end of 2009, it speaks of many threatening options and continues to call on the Americans to set a timeframe for their dialogue with Iran.

We say to the world, especially the arrogant world, that made the enemy's entity a nuclear entity, to listen to what Iran has to say and not to what the enemy is saying. In this respect, Iran has declared through one of its top officials that its nuclear project is a peaceful one and that it is ready to provide the world with convincing evidence to that effect, since it neither has a need nor a plan to produce a nuclear bomb. Thus, if this world continues to yield to the enemy's conditions and to reach compromises with international axes, as Obama has done in the issue of the rocket shield and in his successive messages to Russia, then he has to know that Iran cannot be affected by these intimidations which are meant to be a prelude to any coming dialogue… The alternative is confidence building measures based on mutual respect. Without such a basis, there is no need for a dialogue of the deaf or for such intimidations and threats.

Lebanon: The double standards of the international judicial system

Lebanon continues to mark time in these national dialogue meetings, as well as orbiting in the regional and international orbits in a movement that we are not sure whether it is for the better or for the worse. The leaders of the national dialogue have come out with a plan of calming, while postponing the discussion about the defense strategy, maybe because some feel embarrassed to talk about a real defense strategy for Lebanon, in the face of the American continued talk about the security and supremacy of Israel, and as the fleets continue to carry all kinds of weapons from the United States to the enemy. Those people are afraid to enter the country into the strategic calculations and they want it to stay a hostage of emotional reactions that insist on making the Lebanese engaged in trivial petty politics, although it denies Lebanon any role or influence on the regional level.

On another level, all parties talk about the coming elections, but they delay the establishment of the Constitutional Council that constitutes the balance that can weigh the government's actions, as well as the elections. It is interesting, in this respect, that the leaderships demand to speed up the establishment of the Constitutional Council while they are in power. It is as if the people are the ones who are hindering the establishment of the Council and not the struggle over the shares… They are afraid of being held accountable for the mistakes or problems they make.

That is why the new phase is similar to the previous one in the sense that they are trying to hinder any accountability through the Council or the judiciary.

As for the international judicial system, we have to examine it carefully, regardless of its numerous institutions, especially with regard to our previous experiments with it as a nation and as peoples, and specifically nowadays where we notice that it is implementing double standards, whereby Israel is not held accountable for its heinous unprecedented crimes, while Sudan and its President are being persecuted under false pretenses and for obvious political and arrogant reasons.

As we fear that the various cases will be politicized, we have to monitor the International Tribunal for Lebanon, hoping it will reach decisive and just results by discovering the criminals and trying them. Moreover, we feel sorry for the state of weakness the judicial system in Lebanon is suffering from. It has grown incompetent or it lacks sufficient will to persecute the criminals and release the innocent, which led several parties to seek justice in the international realm that is overwhelmed with secrets and controlled by the evil people.

Beer El-A'bd massacre is an embodiment of the American terrorism

Finally, the anniversary of Beer El-A'bd massacre approaches; that horrible massacre that was planned for by the CIA, headed by its former Director, William Casey, and executed by its internal and external agents… In spite of the fact that it represents conclusive evidence on the American terrorism­—as admitted by the American media itself—none of the Lebanese officials bothered himself to face the Americans with these facts nor he did accuse them with what they are accusing us. Moreover, the Lebanese judiciary and the various departments of the state did not take the trouble to prosecute the international criminal who goes around the world, preaching people on freedom and democracy and always facing words with savage explosives and bombs that did not spare women, children, and the innocent.

We reassure our people and everyone who prevailed over massacres, whether perpetrated by Israelis or Americans, that we are with you and we will stay by your side, supporting your causes and leading the life of the vivid Islam that adopts the path of the prophets and the Imams to verify the manifest Quranic fact: [If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly] (47:07) and to confirm that brutality, savagery and tyranny are not capable of lasting before those who seek change and own, within themselves and in their reality, the elements of strength, firm will, and determination.