Home Archive Lectures The Significance of Self – Accountability in Islam

The Significance of Self – Accountability in Islam

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-Awwal, 13th 1430 H. - May, 8th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

What you plant in this world you will reap in the Hereafter

Allah says in His Glorious Book: "O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah, and let every soul consider what it has sent on for the morrow, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do. And be not like those who forsook Allah, so He made them forsake their own souls: these it is that are the transgressors. Not alike are the inmates of the fire and the dwellers of the garden: the dwellers of the garden are they that are the achievers". (59: 18-20).

Allah wants man to know his work (acts and deeds), which might be good or evil. He wants him to ask himself if the work is good or evil, and if it is permissible or prohibited. Man ought to know himself and learn about his points of strength and points of weakness, so as to reach a balanced view, and not become conceited, because he was successful in a certain domain or a certain stage, or become desperate, if he encounters a certain loss or failure.

Moreover, when man studies himself, he has to learn that this world is the farm in which he plants what he will reap later; that is in the Hereafter "O man! Surely you must strive (to attain) to your Lord a hard striving until you meet Him"(84:6). "So, he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it, and he who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it". (99:7-8). Man has to study his work and think about what he has prepared for the Hereafter: Has he done what pleases his God and prepares him to enter Heaven? Or has he done what would anger God and lets him enter Hellfire! "And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers".(28:77). The Hereafter is eternal and man has to think about every action he does, and determine if it would benefit him in this world only, or would the benefit extend to the Hereafter as well.

Allah watches what man does

Allah, the Most Exalted, says: "O you who believe fear Allah – fear Allah and do not be overwhelmed with yourselves and forget your Lord. Be sure that you are mindful of Allah in all your actions to rise to the level of being near him, for Allah's satisfaction makes man feel an overwhelming happiness in his heart and mind, being the ultimate goal and the supreme ambition. And let every soul consider what it has sent on for the morrow– which is the Hereafter that man will move to when he leaves this life – And fear Allah– after you have learned what you have provided to yourselves, you have to fear Allah regarding the future. If your work has been one of good ask Allah to increase it, and if it were evil, repent and ask Allah for His forgiveness – Allah is informed of what you do – since he knows what man reveals and what he keeps as a secret. And be not like those who forsook Allah– they were absorbed by the pleasures of this life – so he made them forsake their own souls (59: 18-19) – when man forgets his Lord he will forget his responsibility and his fate in the Hereafter, which means he will not be concerned with preparing for this fate on the Day of Judgment, while if he remembers Allah at every turn in his life, he will remember his responsibility before Him on the Day of Judgment.

Allah also said: "He shall say: My Lord! Why hast Thou raised me blind and I was a seeing one indeed? He will say: Even so, Our communications came to you but you neglected them; even thus shall you be forsaken this day'.(20:125-126), "Not alike are the inmates of the fire and the dwellers of the garden – those who remember Allah and hold their reasonability before Him and seek to get nearer to Him will enter Heaven. But those who rebel against Him and disobey Him, their abode will be the Hellfire. That is why the dwellers of the garden are they that are the achievers". (59:20).


We read in the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (p.) about self-accountability the following: The wise person is one who holds himself accountable- he is well-aware if his deeds, thoughts and relations follow the straight or the deviated path. And he knows whether he is from those whom Allah is angry from or from those whom Allah has awarded - and works for what comesafter death. And the weak, impotent person is one whose self follows its vain desires and he (simply) puts his hope in Allah – he wishes to be in Heaven without striving to earn it.

Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "Hold yourself accountable for your deeds – we usually hold others accountable because we always look at others and do not look at ourselves, although man is not responsible for others; he is responsible only for himself, thus he has to hold himself accountable before he turns to others – and demand it to do what is ordained (of acts of worship and other duties) and supply yourself with provisions and be prepared before you are brought back to life".

Getting ready for the test of the Hereafter

Imam Ali (a.s.) says that man ought to have an hour – a certain time – in which nothing preoccupies him and in which he holds himself accountable and examines what he has gained for himself and what he has accumulated against it. In this respect, the gain in deeds is greater than that of money and the loss in deeds is greater than the loss of money.

Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) says that Lukman told his son that he will be asked tomorrow when he stands before God about four things: "Your youth, how did you spend it – Allah has given you the youth, which represents the stage in life when one has the ability to perform the most demanding deeds – your life, how did you consume it– by doing good or evil and by doing what pleases Allah or what angers Him – your money, how did you earn it – did you earn it by legal or illegal means, since some consider what is legal is what they can put their hands on, regardless of the means, especially that nowadays is the season of illegal money, which some countries send to Lebanon to buy votes even to those are not responsible enough. I have read an American report that says that the Lebanese elections are one of the most expensive in the world, since certain Arab counties are spending hundreds of millions of Dollars to make sure that some of the candidates they support would win. There is also the money taken by the oppressors and the arrogant to spy on their country and citizens – and how did you spend it. Thus, be ready– these questions are a test before God, which you have to prepare to as you prepare to your tests in this world – and prepare your answer.

Imam Ali (a.s.) teaches us on how to hold ourselves accountable. He says: This is a day that has passed and will never come back. God will ask you what you did in this day. Have you remembered God? Did you attain the right of a Muslim brother? Relief some of his grief, or help his siblings after his death… If what he has remembered was good, then he will thank God for His Grace, but if what he remembered was sinful, he should ask God, the Most Exalted, for forgiveness and promise himself not to commit such sins again.

Man has to be mindful of every deed he does, so that he would hold himself accountable everyday. He would then come to his Lord making sure that all his deeds aimed at earning God's satisfaction. Allah has told us about what some of the people would say when their book of deeds is brought before them. "And the Book shall be placed, then you will see the guilty fearing from what is in it, and they will say: Ah! Woe to us! What a book is this! It does not omit a small one nor a great one, but numbers them (all); and what they had done they shall find present (there); and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone". (18:49).

The Second Sermon

Trying to create problems between Syria and Iran

The leaders of the Zionist enemy are striving to set a comprehensive agenda for the American President's administration policy towards the region… The Zionist officials, whether at the level of the entity's President or their extremist rightist government, are deploying all their efforts to create a transformation in the region through two lines:

The first is to drive the United States of America to deal with Iran as a lurking strategic threat, urge it to set the necessary plans to confront such a danger, shorten the period of the expected dialogue with Iran, and plot a strategy to the so-called "moderate Arabs" to "play the same tune" … At the same time, we have heard new Arab stands escalating the campaign conducted against the Islamic Republic, in a strange coordination with the terms of the enemy's entity, its goals and movement.

In this context, the public and behind the scenes American movement continues, searching for a loophole through which the Americans and the Zionist enemy and the moderate Arabs can penetrate to create problems between Syria and Iran and devastate the strategic relations between them, or find a certain course that can reduce the two country's momentum to enhance and develop the relations between these two opposition states that managed to make a difference that influenced, in a way or another, the political and security map and served the interest of the resistance forces in the entire region…

In this regard, we are gratified with the positive and important results of the Iranian President's last visit to Syria. We also feel that all the attempts aiming at stirring trouble between the Iranian and Syrian states and peoples are unmasked attempts that will never succeed, whether they were conducted by the American Administration, the enemy's entity, or via a coordination with the Arab parties that are still insisting on turning a blind eye, on one hand, towards the enemy's threat and open up to it on the political and security level, and work, on the other hand, on treating Iran as an enemy. Iran is the state that never represented a problem to the Arab world, nor did it ever threaten its political or military security. On the contrary, it was one of the most significant pillars in confronting the enemy, a base for the Arab and Muslim militants and freedom fighters, and a major supporter of the Palestinian cause, as a cause of the oppressed and Islam, even if that cost the Islamic Republic high prices and led to continuous offensive campaigns against it. This refutes what some Arabs try to market, which is that Iran's adoption of this cause actually aims at putting its hands on the elements of force in the region, because the risks and the threats that the Islamic Republic has to confront due to its adoption of the Palestinian cause are huge and countless.

The Zionist besiege of Al-Aqsa mosque

On the other hand, there is the line that the enemy has adopted to create new on-the-ground facts inside occupied Palestine which can be reflected in the entire region, and is represented by the colonization expansion in the West Bank, namely in Jerusalem so as to change the whole scene around Al-Aqsa Mosque. This change can be carried out by besieging the Mosque with Judaization settlements, in an attempt to prevent the believers who attend the prayers from entering it, and seeking to transform it into a Jewish temple…in addition to transform what is left of the West bank into colonization islands that surround the Palestinian villages and towns, thus, imposing a fait accompli, even with respect to the so-called Arab initiative.      

In the meantime, the Arabs – especially those who confiscated their peoples by emergency laws and successive intelligence campaigns – rush to congratulate the enemy's President, on the so-called 61st independence day of the Jewish state…picturing an image of treason, submission, and collapse that we, as Arab and Muslim peoples, have never witnessed before, neither in these modern times nor back in history. But unfortunately, it is the humiliation that pursues its unsuccessful attempts to disguise itself with forgiveness.

We call on the Arabs, and whoever still enjoys dignity and pride in their official positions, to study thoroughly the Israeli goals seeking to prevent the establishment of any Arab and Islamic force that can encounter the Zionist military supremacy, and moving to put an end to the resistance in all its cultural and Jihadi forms… We call on them to open up to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the strongest force that represents the strategic supporter of their causes, because we believe that there is still a chance to correct this wrong attitude, as Iran will be always willing to embrace them, regardless of the unjust distortion campaigns and propagandas led against it.

The UN-Israeli stands

On another level, we had previously called on the United Nations – through its Secretary General – to step out of the incitation acts conducted by some of its envoys that aim at creating a problem between some of the Arab and Islamic positions. We have also called for a major change that returns to this international organization its integrity, by seeking to try Israel for the hideous crimes it has committed in Gaza. However, it seems that the UN Secretary General has sided further with Israel, and instead of seeking to preserve the Organization, he declared that he will no more allow further questioning of the enemy after presenting the report of the Inquiry Committee of the International Organization to the Security Council, and that it is enough to conduct a dialogue with the enemy's government, and that he will consider paying the recompensations for the families of the victims that were killed inside the UNRWA centers in Gaza from the budget of the United Nations itself. He also said that he will not demand that the enemy should pay the recompensations, thus causing the collapse of his organization in a knockout, and presenting another evidence that the international justice is discretional and enjoys no integrity. Therefore, the peoples ought to search for the means of preserving their rights and dignities through their own forces and indigenous resistances… This is a world of no justice and no respect of rights, which can not be attained except by force. Therefore, we call our peoples to embrace all forms of noble resistance, build all the bases of force, and not to abandon any arms that represent dignity in the face of the enemy and international arrogance, because abandoning them means relinquishing man's right to exist, survive, and protect the entire future.   

Lebanon: Sectarian leaders are not to be criticized

In Lebanon, we notice that the lack of national feelings and awareness is being replaced by confessional and sectarian ones that the people who hold them try to conceal their flaws by suggesting that it is a matter of principle, at a time we see that this mobilizing rhetoric is leading to an aggressive attitude in the "street". The votes placed by this party or that in the ballot boxes are actually a way of expressing the psychological complexes against the others. They are not based on a reformatory agenda, which the citizens would not, in any case, understand, being preoccupied with cheering and applauding.

On another level, although there is a lot of talk about the necessity of holding the officials accountable, it is something that is almost impossible on the ground. The members of all sects consider any criticism to their leaders an aggression or a war waged on the sects themselves. This makes any criticism, even the objective one, a problem that could lead to violence and complicate relations among citizens. The high officials have turned into infallible saints, whose mistakes are sacred issues that are not to be discussed. Such an attitude is more dangerous when it comes to the religious scholars, whether low in rank or high, who declare their absolute loyalty to the leader of their sects to the detriment of the religious or ethical values that ought to govern their positions or actions.

If you ask any official about the source of his wealth you would be committing a major blasphemy… And if you call for reforming the constitutional institutions, you would be crossing the red lines, especially if you talk about the mistakes of judges and officials and the criminals who are responsible for the tragedy the country is plunged in, yet they assumed positions of leadership that are above any kind of accountability. In short, you would be accused of endangering the security of the country if you try to hold any of them accountable…

On another level, the enemy's spying networks that have emerged in this or that region have made some talk about the career of spying in Lebanon, while others have considered them as students in the school established by the major collaborators in the country that is open on all foreign interferences and intelligence agencies that have planted their agents everywhere. These agencies have created a sect of collaborators from all religious sects, thus unifying the agents and fragmenting the Lebanese.