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Imam Al-Kazim The Gateway of needs

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, 25th of July 2008 A.D., 22 Rajab 1429 H., several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

 The First Sermon

 Allah says: 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. One of the members of this House and one of their Imams is Imam Musa bin Jaa'far Al-Kazim whose death anniversary is on the 25th of this month, the month of Rajab.

This Imam filled his age with all kinds of knowledge. He was a reference that the most prominent scholars referred to. Narrators and thinkers used to listen to his lectures and quote his sayings and stories. He was called "the gateway of needs" for he was never asked for help by anybody who was in need whom he did not respond favourably to. He was also the gateway of needs to God, because people used to seek his intercession for the needs they ask Allah of. He used to treat everybody with the morals of the Messenger of Allah and those of his grandfathers, especially in taking care of the downtrodden respecting them and never hurting their feelings.

According to the writers of his biography who described his modesty, the Imam once came across an ugly looking black man from the suburbs. He appeared so ugly that few people would associate with him. In his first encounter, the Imam greeted the man, sat beside him and talked with him for an hour. Then the Imam said to him: Tell me what are your wishes. I am prepared to help you realize them. When some people who noticed the Imam sitting with such a miserable man, said to him: “O son of the Messenger of God, do you sit with someone who is shunned by all?"The Imam replied: "You should know that he is, after all, a creature of God and is your brother in faith as per the command of the Holy Quran. The best of fathers, that is Adam, and the best of religions, that is Islam, have established the best links. May be one day he will be of need to us. He would remember how modest we were.

Opening up on the enemies

One of the traits that exemplified his tolerance and piety was that he used to open up on his enemies, those who cursed him and cursed his father, in accordance with Allah’s, The Most Exalted saying: And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend. There was a man in Medina who was a descendent of Omar bin al-Khatab. He used to curse the Imam and his fathers, and distort his image, to the extent that the companions of the Imam asked for permission to kill him, but the Imam used to forbid them from hurting him. Then one day the Imam (a.s) rode to the man’s garden. When the man saw him, he said: Do not step on my plants, for he was so hateful that he did not even have the courtesy of welcoming him. The Imam continued to move towards him. And when he reached the man the Imam asked him: How much did you pay for your plants, and how much do you expect to gain? Adding the two sums together the Imam gave him the money and said: Take this money and you still can sell your corps, and he started talking to him in a very pleasant and kind manner. The man felt guilty and changed his attitude towards the Imam. The next day the man went to the mosque. When he saw the Imam (a.s) coming he said: “God knows where he puts His Message". Asked what made him change his mind, he said that it was the way the Imam dealt with him. The Imam then asked his companions: which is better the way you wanted to deal with this man using violence or my way?

  He said to one of his friends Younis bin Abdilrahman who complained from the accusations of some of those he argued with about certain theological issues, because they accused him of being heretic. He told him to be lenient towards them, even if they accuse him of such accusations. He added: If you have a pearl in your hand and people keep saying it is a nut it will not harm you; just as it will not do you any good if you have a nut in your hand and people say it is a pearl. He also used to ask his companions to hold themselves accountable for everything they said or did: "He is not one of us that who does not hold himself accountable everyday. If he finds that he has done good he would ask Allah for more and thanks God for guiding him to do so and it that he did was evil, he would ask Allah to forgive him and repent.

The important thing is to be sure of what you got, regardless of what people say. This is the Islamic methodology the Imams called their companions and followers to adopt. We have to study ourselves and make sure that we are on the right path. Then, if people accuse us of being misguided or heretic we would be sure that all of these accusations are baseless, as long as we follow the straight path of Allah.

Imam Al-Kazim was one of the wronged Imams whom towards the end of his life was a contemporary of Haroun Ar-Rashid who used to challenge him.

Once Ar-Rashid went to visit the Prophet's shrine in Al-Madina. He boosted by saying: My Salam to you cousin, the Imam who was present said: My Salam to you father. Ar-Rashid was disconcerted and very angry. Then he asked the Imam: Why did you say that you are closer to the Prophet than us?" The Imam recited the Ayah that considers Christ a descendent of Noah and Ibrahim although he is related to them on his mother's side. And asked him: if the Messenger was brought back to life would you give him your daughter in Marriage. Ar-Rashid said that he would be honoured, but the Imam told him that he would not because he is his father, and thus closer to him.

Confronting Haroun Ar-Rashid

What basically made Caliph Haroun al-Rashid think of killing Imam Al-Kazim is probably that one of his relatives, his nephew Ismail, or his brother Muhamad bin Jaafar whom Ar-Rashid used to bribe, came to him and said: There are two caliphs whom taxes are levied to, Musa bin Jaafar in Al-Medina and you in Iraq, Ar-Rashid became afraid of the Imam because he knew how much the people loved and trusted Ahl el-Beit. This love was so great that when Al-Ma'moun was asked how did he learn Shiism, he said from my father, astonished the people said: How could that be knowing that he was known for his enmity to them. He said that when he asked his father about what made him show all this respect to imam Musa who came to visit him he said: If people know who this man is and what his virtues were they would not let us retain our position. Al-Mamoun asked his father: why then do not we give it to them? Al Rashid answered: Power is blind. If you were to contest me over it I would cut your head off”.

They used to be afraid of the influence the Imams have on the people and their love and trust to them. That is why when Ar-Rashid came to Medina he addressed the Messenger saying:

“I want to apologize to you on something I want to do. I want to imprison Musa bin Jaa'far, for he is inciting strife". He sent the Imam to the prison of a relative of him called Issa bin Jaafar. He wanted Isaa to kill him. But after a year Isa wrote to Harroun saying he could no longer imprison the Imam as he could only find piety and righteousness in him. He added:

I have told a spy to keep an eye on him and I did not hear him call Allah to hurt either you or me. I used to hear him saying: O God I have asked you to dedicate me to worshipping you. I am thankful to you for granting me (my wish). He then moved him to the prison of Al-Fadl bin Rabi', but when he saw that Al-Fadl was treating him with respect and taking care of him he moved him to prison of sindak bin Sahkih who gave him some poisoned food that killed him. He was the martyred Imam who suffered a lot in these dark jails, to the extent he did not know if it were day and night and could not tell the time of prayers.

Embodiment of Islam

The greatness of our Imams lies in that they used to embody Islam in the best possible way. Each one of them was a living Islam whom we have to follow his advice and teachings in all our affairs. If they are away in their bodies they are still living with us through their heritage in which they explained Islam to the nation.

The Imam (a.s.) says in his will to his sons that they ought to divide their time into four parts, the first part is for worshiping, the second should be for earning a living, the third is for socializing with friends - they should be trustworthy, for they will know all your weaknesses. And the fourth and last is for lawful pleasures; because it will help you in benefiting form the other periods. One cannot be expected to seek knowledge and earn a living if he feels tense and depressed.

He also said in the context of explaining the importance of knowledge that the knowledge that one should first seek is the knowledge that one's work could not be right if one does not apply it.

While the knowledge that one should attain is the knowledge that one must abide by…

And the most beneficial knowledge in terms of its consequences is the knowledge that increases your work in the short term and would benefit you on the long term

He concludes that one should not seek to know which it does not harm him to be ignorant of. And he should be ignorant of the knowledge that not knowing will increase his ignorance.

Some of his teachings:

He said to his companions

"Do not regard good deeds as too many, nor regard sins as too few, for few sins will accumulate to become many" this is what the Messenger (p) said when he told his companions to find him some firewood,  and they begun to collect small branches for him. But when they put them together, they become a big bundle. The Prophet told them. "This is how small sins gather to become big". The Imam went on to say: "Fear Allah in your privacy so that you will be just, and hasten to obey Allah, and be truthful in what you say, Return the trusts…”

He also said to some of his companions call on them be neutral and stay on the sidelines without adopting a stand or an opinion. Convey what is good and say what is good and do not be an Umaa, which is to say I am with the people and I am like any of them. He added: the Messenger said that there are two spheres that of Good and that of evil. Don't make the realm of evil be more to your likening than that of the good.

He also says: Fear Allah and say that the truth, for although it might destroy you in this world, it will save you in the Hereafter.

And fear Allah and leave falsehood even if it saves you in this world, it will destroy you in the Hereafter.

This is some of the Imam's biography and teachings. May Allah pray on him, his fathers and sons. And may He grant us their intercession.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Additional Western support to Israel

The enemy's entity received in the last few days additional Western sympathy, although there is no real need for such a sympathy since it actually controls many Western Administrations and direct their foreign policies.

Nevertheless, this renewed sympathy suggests that some Western states have noticed a sense of defeat among the Jews in Occupied Palestine that accompanied the fall of the red lines whom many have talked about especially after the last prisoner exchange. This indicated the supremacy of the logic of the Resistance and the collapse of the Enemy's logic and conditions.

It was striking that the British Prime minister should outbid the former Prime Minister (Blair) and declare that he has been a friend of Israel throughout his life. Following the French President’s example, ensuring that Britain will stand with Israel when it feels that its existence and stability are threatened. He also lunched a campaign against Iran and threatened it with more isolation and collective sanctions, perhaps because the British officials’ conscience is as irresponsive as it was at the time of the Belford declaration. As for Brown's talk about freezing the settlement activities, it is only meant to be consumed in the Arab political circles.

The repeated western talk about their commitment to Israel's security and declaring that they refuse to subject the Jews to another Holocaust, as the Republican hopeful declared a few days ago, not only wishes to assure the Zionists to continue to kill the Palestinians in cold blood, claiming that it is an act of self-defense as well as defending Israel as a civilization in an environment of savages, according to what the Israeli president Shimon Perez said once.

On the other hand, the Palestinians, including the Authority officials, ought to know that the west is selling them some empty words, and that when it talks about "real peace opportunities" as Brown mentioned, it means that Israel should use the available opportunities to destroy the Palestinians or anything that might allow a viable Palestinian state to exist. This should make the Palestinian factions, especially Fatah and Hamas – feel the need for unity and confrontation and resort to national dialogue making it a first priority that is not affected by any political calculations or bets.

At the same time, we notice, America hastens to conclude a security agreement with Iraq that would guarantee the continuity of occupation in a disguised indirect or a new manner. We also notice that the NATO forces are resorting to increase violence and killings of civilians in Afghanistan, where the NATO forces killed about 60 civilians, whose majority are woman and children, in their latest air raids. This raises several questions epically regarding the role the NATO is intended to play in our region.

The NATO: a plan for confronting the Muslim world

NATO was originally established to fight the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc, but we notice that it has turned into a military alliance that fights the Muslim peoples in a spirit of aggression and hatred, and does not respect its independence and security. There is a new creed that has been drawn to the NATO that says that Islam that enjoys freedom is the threat that should be faced. The former commander of the NATO forces said in his farewell speech in Belgium: We have won the cold war. And we have returned after 70 years of deviated struggles to the struggle that has been going for 1300 years. It is the great confrontation with Islam.

These alarming words, which represent an overt invitation to fight the Muslim world and confront Islam as a religion, a culture and a project, has become a movement that haunts our countries and peoples to take revenge from them in a barbaric way instead of engaging in a dialogue with them.

This is what the Muslims World should know to reorganize the Muslim states in a way that prevents the enemy from breaking through our Islamic fabric and exploiting our weak points.

This calls on us, Sunnis and Shiites, to unite to confront the threat that targets all of Islam and not one sect only.

The legitimacy of the Resistance arms

In Lebanon, we believe that the debate that springs up every now and then about the legitimacy of the Resistance arms does not change anything regarding  this resistance  that was endorsed by all the celebrations marking the victory of the Resistance that was culminated by the celebrations of the return of the prisoners last week. Moreover, the legitimacy of these arms was consolidated by its permanent presence in the heart of the Nation's project against the American and Israeli project.

Thus, the dialogue should focus on how would everybody take part in defending Lebanon, and not to drop a big strategic card that has always been there to serve the homeland and the nation.

I would like to ask: Since everybody confirms that Israel is an enemy and that this agreed upon on both the officials and popular level, why should we then continue to raise questions about the Resistance arms instead of all parties taking part in drawing a practical economic plan to safeguard the community of the Resistance and to confront the Israeli threat, without ruling out coordination with the state and the Army, while preserving the commitments and programs of each party, thus making the position in Lebanon one without any division.

In the light of this, the caesarian operation Lebanon needed for the birth of the presidency and the cabinet might impose itself on drafting the policy platform especially that international and regional parties continue to pressurize this or that party, especially that the parliamentary elections are imminent and they need the funds these foreign forces give to this on that party to ensure that Lebanon remains a front for their own regional projects.

At a time we stress the need that the Lebanese people should not be overwhelmed by rosy dreams, we also call on them to be aware of their vital interests without yielding to a factional leader or a sectarian fanaticism. It is the responsibility of the people to hold everybody of those who run their affairs accountable, away from any exaggeration regarding the positions of individuals and parties. They ought to have learnt by now that they should not trust those leaders having been stung by them several times.