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How can we be not with Ali (a.s.)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque Zul Hijja 21th,1429Hij - December 19th ,2008, Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. 

The First Sermon

 Wilayat Ali(a.s.)

Allah, the Most Exalted, says:

O Messenger! Proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guides not those who reject Faith.

This Ayah was revealed when the Prophet(p.) was coming back from the farewell pilgrimage, which he wanted to be the end of his life. He stood before Muslims in Mina and said: what is this month? and they answered: the sacred month .And then he asked what country is this ?and they replied: the sacred country. And when he asked them about the day they said: The sacred day. He then said: People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust.

Thus, the Messenger stressed on peace among Muslims, making it clear that a Muslim is not allowed to kill another Muslim, except in the cases that Allah has ordained. The Messenger (P.)  felt that he was going  to meet his Lord soon. He stopped in a place called Ghadir Khum in the middle of an extremely hot day, making the Muslims wonder about the reasons of such an urgency. Then the Messenger(P.) stood on the Minbar, and took Ali's hand and raised it and said.

Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?

People cried and answered: Yes, O' Messenger of God

He then held up the hand of 'Ali(a.s.) and said: For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), 'Ali is his leader (mawla). "O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him, and turn the right with him wherever he turn.

The meaning of this declaration that both the Shiites and Sunnis agree that it is authentic ,ensures that Ali(a.s.) is the leader after Muhammad (p.) .And to make this even clearer. He erected a tent in which Ali (a.s.) stood to accept the Muslims' congratulations including one of those who later on denied him right and who said to him : "you have become my leader (mawla) and the leader of all Muslims; men and women".

The Embodiment of the Right

The Messenger (P.)  had already prepared the Muslims to accept this appointment, by making declarations about his high regard to Ali(a.s.) , and we know that the Messenger(P.) does not follow his desires or whims but follows what has been revealed to him by Allah, the most exalted . He said for example "I am city of knowledge and Ali is its gate". Since Ali(a.s) was the first to hear and understand the Quranic Ayats that were revealed, since he was the student of the Messenger(P.), that is why he said: "The Messenger taught me one thousand branches of knowledge" but such knowledge was a productive one since Ali(a.s.) says: of each one thousand branches are opened.

Imam Ali(a.s.)  not only memorized what he was told, but he used to think it over and deduce new concepts and knowledge. He was an intellectual genius in everything that has to do with the people's issues. The Messenger(p.)  also used to say: Ali is  with the right and the right is with Ali. It turns with him wherever he turns.  Thus, there is no difference between Ali(a.s.) and the right.

If you meet any of his saying or deeds, you will see the right embodied in them. That is why those who are committed to falsehood and claim to be Ali's followers are not with Ali(a.s.) .

Moreover, the Messenger(P.) told him: Oh Ali, You are to me, as Haroun was to Musa, except that there is not Prophet after me". Haroun was Musa's Wazir (secretary) and partner. Ali(a.s.) too was the Messenger's wazir whom Muhammad(P.) consulted and who lived with him and shared his responsibilities to the extent that one of the Prophet's wives said that me used to be jealous from Ali(a.s.), when he was with the Prophet(p.)  because he used to preoccupy him. Ali(a.s.) was the supporter and defender of the Prophet(p.)  even as a child. He used to walk with the Prophet(p.)  preventing the unbeliever's children from hurting the Messenger(P.).

Then at Badr he was the toughest fighter who used to go back to the Prophet every now and than to make sure that he was safe . He also was the hero of Uhud, Ahzub, Khaibar and Hunein.

In the Khaibar war the Messenger(p.)  described Ali (a.s.), saying: "I will give the banner tomorrow to someone who loves Allah and His Messenger, and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger. Someone who attacks and never withdraws, until Allah opens(conquests) by his hands".

Denying  Ali(a.s.)'s right

 Days passed, and the cards were reshuffled and the Imam was denied his right, but he did not feel any malice or hatred for he was not concerned about any personal goals; his only goal was Islam whom he wanted to preserve and prevent the enemies from exploiting any difference, that is why he said: Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.

  Ali's only cause was Islam, that is why he gave those who preceded him all help and support, answering the questions they were unable to ensure and giving them continues advise, to the extent that caliph Omar bin Alkhatab said: had if not been for Ali Omar, would have been doomed.

When Ali(a.s.) became a caliph, which was his right since the Prophet(P.) died. He faced many planted mines and obstacles which hindered his ability to run the Muslim's affairs as he wished. In this respect, we would like to listen to him describing the society he lived with:

O' (People of) differing minds and divided hearts, whose bodies are present but wits are absent. I am leading you (amicably) towards truthfulness, but you run away from it like goats and sheep running away from the howling of a lion. How hard it is for me to uncover for you the secrets of justice, or to straighten the curve of truthfulness"… Then he talks to Allah to ease off the feelings of pain and sorrow he used to feel. For he had big ambitions to lead the people towards the course of justice and right, and they were hardly responsive. They even exhibited ingratiated and a willingness to dissent, although they knew that the man who was talking to them wanted nothing for himself and has always been in the forefront in the entire struggle for Islam, as well as among the first to believe and pray:

"O, my Allah you know that what we did not to seek power nor to acquire anything form the vanities of the world. We rather wanted to restore the signs of they religion and to usher prosperity into Thy cities so that the oppressed among Thy creatures might be safe and They forsaken commands might be established. O' My Allah! I am the first who leaned (towards Thee) and Who heard and responded  (to the call of Islam). No one preceded me in prayer except the Prophet (p.).

He then would guide the people to the meaning of being an Imam:

You certainly know that he who is in charge of honor, life, booty, (enforcement of) legal commandment and the leadership of the Muslims should not be a miser as he greed would aim at their wealth, nor be ignorant as he would then mislead then with his ignorance, nor be of rude behaviour who would strange them with his rudeness, nor should he deal unjustly with wealth thus preferring one group over another, nor should be accept a bribe while taking decisions, as he would forfeit (others) rights and hold them up without finality, nor should he ignore sunnah as he would ruin the people.

He also used to hold his governors accountable. He told one of them called Ibn Abbass:

Fear Allah and return to these people their money, If you do not return their money, and if I get hold of you I will deal with you the way Allah has made me duty bound. I will strike you with my sword and whosoever ever has been attacked by me has gone straight to hell.

He also said:

Remember that every follower has a leader whom he follows and from the effulgence of whose knowledge he takes light. Realize that your Imam had contended himself with two shabby pieces of cloth out of the (comforts of the) world and two loaves for his meal. Certainly, you cannot do so but at least support me in piety, exertion, chastity and uprightness, because, by Allah, I have not treasured any gold out of your world nor amassed plentiful wealth nor collected any clothes other than the two shabby sheets.

Of course,  all that we had in our possession under this sky was Fadak (The Zahra(a.s.)'s inheritance from her father whom the people denied her because they claimed that the Prophet(p.) said that Prophets do not inherit) but a group of people felt greedy for it and the other party withheld themselves from it. Allah is, after all, the best arbiter. What shall I do: Fadak, or not Fadak, while tomorrow this body is to go into the grave in whose darkness its traces will be destroyed and (even) news of it will disappear. It a pity that, even if its width is widened or the hands of the digger make it broad and open, the stones and clods of clay will narrow it and the falling earth will close its aperture. I try to keep myself engaged in piety so that one the day of great feat it will be peaceful and steady in slippery places.

If I wished I could have taken the way leading towards (worldly pleasures like) pure honey, fine wheat and silk clothes but it cannot be that my passions lead me and greed take me to choosing good meals while in the Hijaz of in Yamamah there may be people who have no hope of getting bread or who do not have a full meal. Shall I lie with a satiated belly while around me there may be hungry bellies any thirsty livers? O shall I be as the poet has said?

It is enough for you to have a disease that you lie with your belly ful while around you people may be badly yearning for dried leather.

Shall I be content with being called 'Amir al-mu'minin' (The Commander of the Believers), although I do not share with the people the hardships the world?

Then he talks with this world crying in the middle of the night:

You life, lure other than me. To me, you dispose yourself? Or to me, you expose your temptations? Not a chance, for I have divorced you three times cutting Off my return to you. Your existence is short and your virtues are few. I am ailing for not having more good deeds and for my long distance from Paradise and for the loneliness of the journey to it".

This man who is humble before God, but when it comes to fighting he would say that if all the Arabs joined in fighting him he will not run away… this man how could we not love him and dissolve in him as he dissolved in Islam? Could we not become of his followers and make him our model in his devotion for Islam and Muslims? We have to know Ali and learn his thought, and devote our lives to him? Why did the Messenger (p.)appoint Ali(a.s.) as his caliph? It is because he did not find in all his companions anyone that matched Ali(a.s.) in his Jihad, knowledge and spirituality. He(a.s.) was the only one capable of running the affairs of Muslims. He was the embodiment of Islam and the brother of the Messenger.

He(a.s.) was the Imam and the role model. The one who loved Allah, the most exalted and His Messenger(p.) and was loved by them. Would we be as such?

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The aims of the Gaza siege

In occupied Palestine, continuous Israeli attempts to weaken and subjugate the Palestinian people are still unfolding whether by the starving blockade on Gaza or  the assassinations and detentions in the West Banks, in addition to the Judaization operations and the expansion in settlement  activities that are going on at a record pace.

All this is being practiced in order to pave the way for a pure Jewish state that George Bush is talking about, as well as the Zionist officials who unveiled that they already have plans to dislocate the 1948 Palestinians.

At the same time, the UN Security Council had passed a resolution that supports the negotiations that took place in Annapolis and aimed at reaching a peace agreement, as was stated in the resolution sponsored by the US administration… as if the plan involves more pressure on the Palestinians internally and more Arab and international complicity externally to force the Palestinians  to surrender and forego their rights under  the guise of peace, whose dossier is being passed from an old American Administration to a new one who would also deal with it in a way that serves the enemy and end the Palestinian cause.

The blockade on Gaza in meant to change  from a siege that prevents   the reach of   medicine  food and other supplies  to a  political one that paves the way for dislocating the Palestinians and force them to accept the Israeli conditions of negotiations. That is why it is escalating under the very eyes of the West and the Arab regimes to reach a level where all human rights, the Westerners claim that they respect, are violated. the enemy  has even dared to prevent the special secretary for the council on human rights from entering the Occupied Lands and detained  him for some 30 hours. Such an act was met only by the concern, and sorrow of the Secretary General.

In addition, the Zionist security establishment presented a recommendation to the Enemy's Cabinet in which it  talked about contingency plans to attack Iran that is considered the major threat. The recommendation also warns that Israel may find itself alone in the face of a nuclear Iran.

It is also interesting to note that the recommendation talks also about the need to establish closer relations with the Sunni Arab moderate regimes that are based on common interests in the face of the Shiite Iranian extremist regime.

The regional unfavourable environment

At the time in which we believe that the Arab and Islamic peoples are united in the conclusive stand that Israel is an enemy to the entire  nation with all its Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shiites, and that these peoples won't be a prey of the spiteful Zionist plan aiming at driving a wedge between the Sunnis and Shiites under the title of taking sides with a group against another, we assure that the nation and its live opposing forces should pursue working to produce more of the security, military and scientific strength elements capable of bringing down any Israeli aggressive plan targeting this Arab country or that Islamic country or seeking to inflict strife within our countries.

The Sunnis and Shiite religious scholars should warn the nation against the continuing Israeli military and security preparations instead of arguing here and there over the Resistance arms in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and occupied or threatened Arabic region. Also, they should clarify to the nation the aims  of the continuing Zionist movement always seeking to inflict sectarian disturbances in the Islamic regions, especially that  the enemy now is feeling  that things are going against its will.

 To face these plans, we call the Arab states to adopt a new approach to the issue of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We also call Iran to take continuous steps to thwart the Zionist plans that aim at creating discord between the Islamic Republic and the Arab states.

We believe that the Arab Iranian relations could reach its best level away from the Zionist intimidations concerning Iranian ambitions, since Iran seeks to establish strong relations with its Islamic environment, and has no enemies except the occupying and usurping state of Israel.

Political debates with sectarian undertones

Lebanon has received many American Democratic and Republican officials including members of the Congress, who repeated their traditional statements of not changing their position towards Lebanon and not making any deal at  the expense of Lebanon. But the question that imposes itself is about their involvement, along with Israel, in the aggression on Lebanon, destroying its infrastructure and killing thousands of civilians, as well as providing Israel with cluster bombs, that are still killing additional farmers everyday. They also have not adopted the ceasefire clause in Resolution 1701 to keep Israel's hands free in waging in new aggressions as well as considering Lebanon as the best state to launch the American  big Middle East Project and that Lebanon is a part of the American national security, which gives room for American attempts to destabilize Lebanon by taking sides. Thus, it is not enough that America should not cut a deal at the expense of Lebanon. It should also lay its hands off Lebanon to enable its citizens to exercise the freedom of self-determination.

On another level, the Lebanese political parties, blocs and personalities are still engaged in complicated debates that are full of accusations to this or that party, reaching the level of high treason. There is also the talk about local or regional money that is paid to the poor and needy in return for their vote.

Such a state of affairs has made the observers feel that the country is living in a political war in which all sectarian weapons are used, and that  there is no real belief in national unity and that coexistence has turned into a political lie with all this hatred and enmity. This leads to the conclusion that the next parliament will be an extension to the elements of strife, and that   it will not,  therefore, represent the independent people's opinion.

In the meantime, the economic conditions continue to collapse, with some of the state officials declaring bankruptcy, so as not to pay for the needs of the teachers and civil servants. The debt continues to rise and the services are frozen, and the hungry and the deprived cry… The light diminishes and the darkness overwhelms!