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Inquiring into the News

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' Jumada Al-Thani, 5th 1430 H. - May, 29th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

Allah says in His Glorious Book: "O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done." (49:06).

Islam considers that what man hears determines the things one should believe in or act according to, or determines the means of conducting relations with others. Therefore, when what man hears is true, his behavior towards it would be in line with righteousness, while if it is false, man would be adhering to falsehood. You might also hear a negative word that might complicate your feelings towards the other people who are either close to you or far from you.

Dangers of rumors

Speech might turn into a means of destroying the houses on the heads of their inhabitants, or at least expose them to danger. In addition, it might ignite wars between two parties or reshuffle the cards. Such repercussions are the result of rumors created by people who desire to destabilize the society, incite chaos and foment sedition in it. Rumors might drive people to feel scared at times of security and feel safe at times of danger. They might also create problems in man's life, in his house and workplace, and even in his relations.

Therefore, Allah warned us and ordained us to inquire into the informer's credibility and examine the news and rumors he carries carefully. So, study his credibility: is he a person who fears Allah within himself and in his relations with people and holds the responsibility of people's security, stability, and order, or is he a person who does not fear Allah, so he plans to foment sedition and tries to create problems in the social life, thus, destroying people's peace and security?

If you hear a word from an evil-doer, then beware from what he says, for an evil-doer is someone who trespasses Allah's limits, so he disobeys Allah in what He has ordered him to do and abstain from, thus, he deviates away from the straight path. Evil-doers are of several kinds: They might be of those who bring up negative rumors that might create turmoil and disturb the society. An evil-doer might also be a party, and we know that the political parties might be inclined by their partisan fanaticism to create rumors about this party or the other, or fabricate lies in the march of this or that gathering. The third kind might be a newspaper that people read, and we can see that most of the Arab newspapers are financed by regional or international intelligence apparatuses, or by some personalities that own lots of money and act to mess up the economic, security, or political reality.

Hired Media

Evil doers could also be satellite channels that are tools in the hands of states carrying out their policy by creating problems against another state or another party, or against organizations that strive to free the country and save it from the dominance of the occupiers. This is what we are noticing in this phase, since we can see that the various means of mass media are declaring war on every liberation resistance organizations, whether in Palestine or Lebanon, for they consider that the resistance harms their interests and destroys what they have built. We have also witnessed this in what creates problems, and irritate feelings and thoughts in these days, in which several foreign and Arab journals try to fabricate false rumors against those seeking to liberate their countries.

Inquiring into the informer's credibility

Therefore, Allah tells us: "O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report – whatever the news was – look carefully into it – do not depend on what you hear from the evil-doer, for he relishes lying, and try to dig out the truth with your own means. If you rely on the news of an evil-doer and this news is a lie and aims at fomenting sedition, then you might act against those who the news is about, but later, when the truth is revealed and it turns out to be a lie, then you would regret for acting without inspection or investigation –lest you harm – meaning not to harm – a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done."

This Holy verse is linked to an event that happened at the time of the Prophet. The Prophet's biography books state that the evil-doer this Ayah points out to is Al-Walid Bin Aqabah. Ibn Aqaba was sent to collect the taxes from the Bani Al-Mustalik tribe. When the members of the tribe heard that the Prophet's envoy was coming to see them, they, being pious Muslims, rejoiced and gathered to receive him. But Al-Walid, who had a bitter enmity with them at the time of ignorance before Islam, thought that they wanted to kill him. So, he went back to the Prophet (p.) without any further investigation and told him that they had refused to pay the taxes. His plan worked, and the Prophet (p.) was very angry, since refusing to pay the taxes is a rebellion against the legitimate authority, and he decided to fight them. Thus, the Ayah was revealed.

Some historians add that the Prophet (p.), having doubted the story, decided to send some people to check. They came back to him and told him that the tribe is still committed to Islam and that they heard them praying, so he knew that Al-Walid was lying and the Ayah was revealed. Had the Prophet not checked, a war would have erupted between the Muslims and a pious tribe.

The evil-doer: A tool of strife

Allah talks about the evil-doers who are many in number. There are even those who testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, but do not act accordingly. He says: "The hypocritical men and women are all alike; they enjoin evil and forbid good - do not some of the people urge others to sell wine because it is more profitable, or work as spies, or even tell their daughters not to wear Hijab - and withhold their hands; they have forsaken Allah, so He has forsaken them; surely the hypocrites are the transgressors"(09:69).

Allah also tells us about the evil-doers who obey the arrogant rulers. He says: "And Firon proclaimed amongst his people: O my people! Is not the kingdom of Egypt mine? And these rivers flow beneath me; do you not then see? Nay! I am better than this fellow – pointing out to Prophet Moses (a.s.) – who is contemptible, and who can hardly speak distinctly: But why have not bracelets of gold been put upon him, or why have there not come with him angels as companions? So he incited his people to levity and they obeyed him: surely they were a transgressing people." (43: 51-54).

The Messenger (p.) tells us that the signs of the evil-doer are four and that they include not being serious in assuming one's responsibilities, talking useless talk, committing aggression, and telling lies, even when testifying. Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "Beware! Beware of obeying your leaders and elders who felt proud of their achievements and boasted about their lineage. They hurled the (liability for) things on God and quarreled with God in what He did with them, contesting His decree and disputing His favors. Certainly, they are the main foundation of obstinacy, the chief of mischief (and strife) and the swords of pre-Islamic boasting over fore-fathers".

Our world is full of intelligence and espionage agencies whose very mission is to destroy everything. Furthermore, we are facing neighboring and overseas agencies; that of the United States and of Israel to which the Arab regimes are allied. That is why if you read a newspaper or hear news via a radio or a T.V. station, you have to study what you had heard to be able to distinguish right from falsehood lest you will be lost, for the stage we are passing through is one of the most difficult stages that Islam and Muslims are experiencing.

The Second Sermon

The Palestinian cause

On the Palestinian scene, a new proposal has been made: normalizing between the enemy and the Arab and Islamic countries in return for ceasing the colonization operations. Since colonization can not be stopped, because it represents the core of the occupation, then the Israelis will start a new maneuver in which colonization continues and the Arabs would have to accept its repercussions, for the enemy has named it "natural reproduction"; that is, the circle of colonization would expand without actually building new settlements, and cover the entire West Bank, amidst the Arabs' silence and submission.

On another level, the Israeli fanaticism appeared in its most hideous images when the Zionist Knesset endorsed a bill that sentences anyone who denies the Jewish identity of the state to imprisonment. This law follows a previous one that prevented the Palestinians from celebrating the Catastrophe Day. This is the despiteful entity that cannot bear to see any acts of mourning by a people that were expelled from their land and displaced all over the world, for this entity is aware that the identity of the land only comes from the land itself, thus, the enemy fears all these Palestinian generations it had failed to judaize or rip them off their true identity… However, the enemy has benefited from the Arab felicitation letters that congratulated it on the so-called "Independence Day", thus receiving a new push to go further in judaizing the land and confiscating its indigenous people. Although the enemy has gone so far in effacing the Palestinian Arab identity and preparing to expel the 1948 Palestinians and ignoring the American two-state proposal, it meets with the "moderate" Arabs midway; those Arabs who await any formal deal sponsored by America to hand over Palestine to the Zionist usurper, which represents the Arab recognition of Israel that, in its turn, paves the way for a bigger recognition by the Islamic countries.

The Arab officials' complex towards their peoples

Some might think that the Arab officials were the victims of naivety and spontaneity that made them, throughout these decades, concede all what they had to America and Israel. However, these officials suffer from a prevalent complex towards their peoples and their peoples' interests; a complex that went forth in inflicting harm on the entire Arab and Islamic reality for the benefit of the prime enemy of the Arabs and Muslims, the usurping Israeli entity.

We warn all these who have left their popular bases to side further with Israel and to issue daily statements about the necessity of going forth in the dialogue with Israel that the talks about the so-called peace is no more than a useless and devious movement to pass time and that it will only lead to the fall of the resolutions of the Madrid Conference, the Oslo Agreement, the road map, Annapolis and so on.

Creating delusional enemies

We also warn from the game of creating an enemy to the nation from within it, and at the same time being ready to accept its historical enemy as a friend and partner, for what is set by the regimes is not adopted by the peoples and the plans of demonizing Iran has become exposed and known. Moreover, the enemy that is scared from Iran's potentials and abilities and its influence on various arenas in the region is revising and calculating every step before it even considers to launch an attack against Iran. We deduce that the most naïve people in politics are those who seek enhancing their political positions by placing their stakes on their enemy's adventures, instead of going down the path of dialogue and unity in their nation and between their peoples and brothers.

The threat against the free world

In the meantime, we are hearing continuous threats launched by the so-called free world against North Korea for conducting few nuclear experiments, despite that it is not the first nuclear country that has done that starting by America, Europe, China, and ending by India, Pakistan, and the Zionist entity, and despite the fact that the United States is the only country that has used the nuclear weapon against humanity. However, they are bringing up the matter to send messages of threat to Iran and letters of pacification to the enemy that threatens the entire region and that is striving to ensure that no country shall represent a threat to it even at the level of the free and independent stand or the mere scientific ambition.

We say to the American President: the disturbance and chaos you are witnessing in the world are only the results of what your previous administration has planted. If you are truly honest about what you already called for about ridding the entire world of the nuclear weapons, then you ought to start the change from your own country, especially that you talk of America as the leader of the world, so why can not this experience be a lesson to teach to the entire world, as a poet has once said:

If the master of the family is a drummer      then the members of the house will all dance to his beat.

Islamic Conference Organization: Contradiction between discourse and action

On another level, we have followed the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Islamic Conference Organization, in which 57 ministers or their representatives participated. The conference passed a communiqué that was called the "Damascus Declaration" which calls for not rewarding Israel for its crimes, and for linking any development of the relations with Israel with its execution of the Security Council resolutions. Nevertheless, there are some of the attending countries that have established relations with Israel, but did not at least withdraw its ambassadors or exert any political or informational pressure on it. Although the conference took place at a time the most hideous crimes against the Palestinians were committed, these countries even practiced a kind of political and security coordination with the enemy against the Palestinians and the freedom fighters. Yet, this did not impel the Organization of the Islamic Conference to ask them to stop gambling with the peoples and their rights and dignity.

We are afraid that the role of the Organization would be limited to soothing the atmosphere in preparation of certain arrangements with the Americans and the enemy. We are also afraid that this declaration is implicitly carrying an Islamic official readiness to recognize Israel. Therefore, the Muslim peoples should identify the scope of dealing with this Organization and with the Arab League, as the two have turned into what is more like a gathering that issues save-face communiqués in times of crisis, although these communiqués may well be formulated outside the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Lebanon and the dangers of the Israeli threats

As for Lebanon, the country in which as soon as one rumor dies another one takes its place, we wonder why the state has not conducted a special investigation concerning the names and the parties promoting strife, be they political or informational, especially that the leaks published by several foreign journals about the murder of Premier Hariri meet with the goals and aims of the Israeli espionage networks. The state should be concerned with haunting those leakers, just as it is concerned with arresting spies and traitors.

We warn that the aim is not only to distort the image of the honorable resistance, but also to corner it and force it to defend itself in the internal front, so as to be preoccupied with the domestic problems giving the enemy room for maneuvers and movement; at a time the situation is getting more dangerous and the threats are escalating, especially on the eve of the Israeli maneuvers in which the enemy is simulating a surprise attack against Lebanon.

As we welcome the state's concern through the High Defense Council and its follow-up of the threats and the dangers of the coming Israeli maneuvers, we call on all the officials to perform their duties regarding the civil peace in Lebanon. They should strive to send those who are creating rumors to justice, since the official denial is not enough to thwart the dangerous attempts to create a full blown strife and a dangerous state of chaos that is meant to destroy the temple over the heads of all parties.