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Good Deeds: the Believer's Provisions for the Hereafter

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, Shaaban, 23rd 1430 H. – August, 14th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

The beginning of the month of Ramadan

In the beginning, I would like to talk about the beginning of the month of Ramadan. We believe that the crescent is associated with the universal order and not the sighting, which is, according to our teacher, Sayyed Al-Khouie, only a means of knowledge. Since it would not be possible to see the crescent on the eve of next Friday, those who rely on sighting will consider Saturday to be the first of the month of Ramadan. On our part, we have looked all over the world, according to the view of our teacher, Sayyed Al-Khouie, concerning the unity of the horizon, and we saw that it is possible to see the crescent on the eve of Friday in Brazil, Chile, Argentine, Bolivia, as well as in other states in South America. Thus, if it is possible to see it in a country with which we share a part of the night, then we too should consider that the beginning of the month of Ramadan is on Friday. Therefore, our jurisprudent view is based on astronomical calculations that are far more accurate than sighting, despite the fact that many Shiite and Sunni scholars might not share this view with us. Thus, the month of Ramadan starts on Friday August, 21.

This is what I wanted to explain to you. And I would like to stress that this is our juristic judgment, and that we believe that astronomical calculations are more accurate than sighting and that astronomers have more knowledge and experience than religious scholars when it comes to this issue. We also believe that this is what unifies the Eids and the months of the Muslims. If we do not resort to astronomical calculations, the differences will persist, whether between Sunnis and Shiites, or among the Shiites or Sunnis themselves.

What I would like to say to all my brothers and sisters is that this is nothing more than a difference in judgment, which is similar to any other difference in issues of jurisprudence. It should not be dealt with as an issue that results in disputes and divisions. Each one of you should act according to what he believes in, without differing with others or being fanatic, since we all seek to obey Allah and observe our duties in worshiping Him.

Enjoining good

Allah says in His Glorious Book: "Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity." (03:104). This verse is talking about three elements:

The first is inviting to the good in man's movement in life: being good towards himself and his family by not inflicting evil on them, and being good to the society by not violating its general order, and by upholding its unity even if there were differences in opinion. We should avoid fanaticism, because it is a manifestation of evil and we ought to adopt dialogue as a means to resort to in order to solve our differences, whether within the family, or at a wider political, economic, or social scope. We have to meet at what we agree on and discuss what we differ about. Allah has commanded us to conduct dialogue with the People of the Book, as well as with all human beings, for dialogue is the civilized and cultural way that might drive people to draw closer to one another and reach common understandings on the things they differ about.

The second point is enjoining good, which is all what Allah loves and is pleased with.

The third point is forbidding evil, which is all what angers Allah and drives the society into disruption and chaos. Those who invite to the good and forbid the evil are those who attain felicity in this World and in the Hereafter. 

Allah says: "Surely they who from fear of their Lord are cautious – they fear Allah's rage, anger, and punishment – And those who believe in the communications of their Lord – they believe in Allah and unify Him in obedience, worship, and doctrine – And those who do not associate (aught) with their Lord, and those who give what they give (in alms) while their hearts are full of fear that to their Lord they must return – because they would not know their fate when they stand for judgment before Allah. Would He embrace them with His mercy and forgiveness, for they had obeyed Him and had taken the straight path, or would He expel them, for they had disobeyed Him and had gone astray –  these hasten to good things and they are foremost in (attaining) them." (23:57-61).

Traditions about good-doings

Talking about the good, Prophet Muhammad (p.) says: "Seek the good throughout your life – let all your life be a call for good so that you would abide by it and spread it – and deploy every effort to avoid Hellfire – let your deeds be according to what Allah had forbidden and had allowed and try to avoid committing wrongdoings and sins, for they would only lead you to Hellfire and Allah's rage – and he who seeks heaven shall not sleep at night – you do not sleep if you have a chance for a financial or social gain, until you reach your goal; the same should be applied if you are seeking Heaven. You should be awake to carry out any deed that makes Heaven your abode – and he who seeks to avoid Hellfire shall not sleep – for if you ignore Hellfire and do not strive to avoid it, it shall be your abode.

The Prophet also says: "He who is given four traits in the world had been given the good of this World and the Hereafter, and had had his share of them: abstinence which protects him from disobedience of God – to abstain from disobeying Allah – morals with which he interacts with people – to be of good morals when dealing with close or distant people – clemency with which he repels the ignorance of the ignorant and a good wife that supports him in this World and the Hereafter – when you look for a wife, do not look for money and beauty only; you should look for a good wife that cooperates with you to fill your life with good and righteousness, in order to succeed and obtain good results in the world and the hereafter.

Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "The good is not that you have lots of money and children – for fortunes and the multitude of children add nothing to your fate, future, and personality, since money does not represent you – but to have a lots of knowledge – your culture and education should be of a high level that makes you well-versed and educated to think thoroughly and make people benefit from your knowledge – and a sense of tolerance and prudence. It is to boast by your worshipping of Allah – your act of worshipping Allah should rise to the highest levels – If you do well, you would thank Allah. And if you do wrong, you would ask for His forgiveness.

Commenting on certain people who assume a certain political or social position, and believe that this position is the entire good, Imam Ali (a.s.) said: "The good whose abode is Hellfire could not be completely good – If Hellfire is your abode, then how would this position or the other benefit you – and the evil whose abode is Heaven could not be completely evil – even if you were facing hardships in this World. 

Allah's Prophet (p.) says: "He who a door of good opens to him – any kind of good, such as taking care of the poor and the orphans, and struggling for the sake of the nation, and seeking to enjoin good and forbid evil – shall hasten to seize the opportunity, for he does not know when it would close." He (p.) also says: "Allah loves the good that is not delayed." Imam Al-Baqir (a.s.) says that if someone wants to do good, then he should go ahead and do it right away, for any delay would give Satan a chance to meddle in," for Satan tries to whisper into the hearts of people, to make them deviate away from enjoining good.

Allah is the good as a whole, and He wants our lives and societies to be filled with good, so that the latter would be our provision for the Hereafter, and so that Radwan, the Angel in charge of Paradise, would welcome us, saying: "Enter ye here in peace and security." (15:46).

We ask Allah to direct us towards the entire good, and drive us away from the entire evil.

The Second Sermon

Palestine: The continuous colonization policy

  In occupied Palestine, the savage colonial attack on the West Bank and Jerusalem continues. The enemy's Prime Minister has declared that he will not evacuate any new settlements and that he will not commit the same mistake of withdrawing from the settlements, as the Zionists did in Gaza. In all this, he is empowered by the opinion polls which showed that his settlement policy, especially in Jerusalem where new Palestinian families are being thrown out from their homes, is approved by 60% of the Israelis. This proves that the enemy is executing its local agenda that does not take into consideration the "peace" process, as it also continues its raids on the edges of Gaza while receiving additional Arab support, whether in public or behind closed doors.

The Resistance: an action; not a slogan

We say to the Palestinians, who are dragged into being distracted overwhelmingly by internal conferences away from the project of the resistance, that the road to regaining their right cannot begin by announcing their yielding to the enemy's conditions, or by accepting and following the Arab and international advice and instructions, since everybody wants to be relieved of the burden of this cause that will not be kept alive except by actually adopting the course of resistance and not merely threatening by it. Outright confrontation should be adopted, and not the course of the official regimes who are addicted to defeat and who have resorted to begging. Furthermore, national and Islamic unity should be strengthened to fortify the internal front and enable it to withstand the coming challenges.

Iraq: The "freedom" nightmare

In Iraq, no sooner its people had lived the dream of freedom and independence when the occupier started to withdraw from their cities and capital, than they lived a bloody nightmare in the brutal explosions that killed and wounded hundreds of innocent victims; the most of which were workers and poor families in Baghdad, Mawsil, and other cities.

These barbaric operations have, once again, unmasked the real face of these murderers who cannot be considered among the resistance factions, nor do they seek liberation. Rather, they are motivated by hatred and ignorance that have nothing to do with Islam.

We would like the Muslim scholars, Shiites and Sunnis alike, to voice their opposition to those people, which is the least they can do against this evident evil, since their silence would suggest to those hateful Takfiris that there is a jurisprudent cover to all their acts of blood spilling and aggression against innocent civilians.

Lebanon: Beware the Israeli threats

In Lebanon, as the enemy issues new threats against Lebanon, it suggests that there is a new deterring element that was established by the balance of forces in the aftermath of the July war. This element is the targeting of civilians and civilian institutions, including hospitals and mosques, as they did in Gaza.

We know that the enemy is living in a state of fear that it is trying to export through a wave of threats that all Israeli officials took part in. Yet, we would like all Lebanese, especially the Army and the Resistance, to be prepared to confront any foolish adventure the enemy might feel that it could enable it to restore its "prestige" that was significantly shaken in the last war against Lebanon. We also call on all Lebanese political parties to emphasize their unity in facing the enemy, regardless of their differences over the local issues, and to create a barrier that would prevent the enemy from meddling in the Lebanese internal affairs that it used to exploit to wage its aggressions against Lebanon and further fragment the Lebanese.

Lagging behind in solving the living crisis

On another level, we ask the officials in this state: who is responsible for the power shortage in this blazing summer, and who is responsible for the increase in the number of the poor in Lebanon whom, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), have exceeded 28%...?! Who is responsible for the rise in prices especially on the eve of the blessed month of Ramadan, and who is responsible for the high prices of petrol, despite the fall in the price of oil in the world markets?!

We ask them all: could the problems of the poor and hungry people be solved by giving them dozes of optimism or pessimism regarding the formation of the government?!

We listen to the talk about renovating this house or this political or sectarian party and we do not hear any word about the need to renovate the entire Lebanese house and equip it with all that is required to confront the traders in politics and the national thieves who have become addicted to the game of killing and waging psychological and economic and social wars that have devastated the country and further impoverished the poor and the deprived.