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How to live the Sacredness of time in Ramadan

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, 29th  of August 2008 A.D., 27 Sha'aban 1429 H., several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer  

The First Sermon

The Time in Ramadan

The methodology adopted by our Messenger (p), the Prophet of Mercy, in his dealings with the Muslims is founded on educating them on all fields of life and duties. One of these educational occasions is the speech that he (p.) received with the month of Ramadan on the last Friday of Shaaban. Allah, The Most Exalted, bestowed on time in Ramadan a kind of sacredness and value. He also embraced His love mercy and kindness all those who live in that time. Time in itself does not vary between one period and another, but Allah might give time a certain value to a certain time and this is what He has done with respect to the month of Ramadan.

The Messenger (p.) wanted to clarify to the people the value that Allah has attached to this month and the spiritual and practical responsibilities of the believers in this month. This is what we are going to touch on in  our sermon today to learn how to be spiritual in its days and nights, and how to assume our responsibilities in performing the rituals and good deeds of this month.

The Messenger says:

"Oh, people, the month of Allah has arrived". This is the month that Allah calls His month. We know that all months are the months of Allah, since He is the one who created time, but what this month is privileged with lies in the elements that Allah wanted man to seek to enrich himself and elevate his humanity and assume his responsibility in a way that is different than every month since it is the month of "blessing" in which Allah blesses your life.

It is the month of Mercy and forgiveness, It is Allah who forgives your sins if you repent and be faithful in worshipping him. 

Honouring mankind:

It is "the best of months". Each month has its blessings but this month is one of the most that are filled with blessings, which you have to live in your mind, spirit, heart and feeling of life.

“Its days are the best of day, its nights are the best of nights and its hours are the best of hours”. It is a month that you "are invited in to be the guests of Allah". He has prepared for us a table not of food and drink, but of Allah's love Mercy and forgiveness. It is a month in which you are honoured by what Allah bestows on you. “Your breaths in it are as glorifying (of Allah) “this breath you take in and out will be rewarded for as if you are glorifying Allah with your tongues . “Your sleeping is to worship” – if sleeping is to reacquire the strength to worship Allah, then it is as if your are praying and supplicating.” Your deeds are accepted and your supplications are answered”. Therefore, “ask Allah with true intentions” – that are faithful in worshipping Allah and obeying Him, and “pure hearts” – that do not hide any hatred or enmity to Allah's servants, so “that Allah may help you to fast it”, since Allah has ordained you to fast as He ordained those before you – “and recite His Book” to live with the Glorious Quran to increase your knowledge in faith and Islamic law.

“Because a wretched one is he who is deprived of the forgiveness of Allah in this great month” – just like he who loses in the trade season while others gain, and the month of Ramadan is the month of Mercy and forgiveness –“remember by your hunger and thirst the hunger and thirst of the Day of Judgment” when you are waiting in thirst and hunger to be held accountable.

Therefore, remember your responsibilities in this world, to ensure that Allah will forgive you in the Hereafter.

Organizing social relations

“Pay charity to your poor and needy ones”– when you remember during your fast that there are those cannot afford to buy food or water.

Help them with your charity as Allah, The Most Exalted, who  has bestowed His graces on you wants you to give some of your wealth to the needy: Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs (57:7).

“Revere you old ones,” because they have preceded you in faith and experience, “and be merciful to pray only ones,” because they have no experience or knowledge.” And maintain kinship with your relatives, and withhold your tongues – because Allah does not want you to offend anyone – “keep your sights away from what is not permissible for you to look at, and your hearings from what is not permissible for you to listen to. Be kind to the orphans of people and your orphans shall be shown kindness” – There are children who have lost their parents whom you should act as parents to, since you might leave orphans when you die. If you were good to the orphans of others Allah will send those who will take care of your children and be kind to them. “Repent to Allah of your sins” – since it is the month of Repentance: He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do. (42:25).

“Raise your hands towards Him in supplication at the times of your prayers, because they are the best hours in which Allah looks with mercy at His servants. He answers them if they invoke Him, complies if they call on Him and responds if they ask Him”, thus we should not ignore our supplication to Allah when we pay.

Good Morals and the way to Heaven:

“Oh people. Whoever has good manners in this month. He will pass the sirat when others slip” – if your manners are bad you should have a strong will to change. “Anybody who makes his servants (male or female) take light work, in this month, Allah will make easy his accounting on the Day of Judgment”.

“Anybody who does not offend others in this month, Allah will keep him safe from His wrath on The Day of Judgment. Anybody who respects and treats an orphan with kindness in this month, Allah shall honour him on The Day of Judgment. Anybody who treats well his kinsmen, in this month, Allah will bestow His mercy on him on The Day of Judgment, while anybody who maltreats his kinsmen in this month, Allah will keep him away from His mercy, on The Day of Judgment. Anybody who offers recommended prayers, will be rewarded with the reward of seventy obligatory prayers in the other months. Whoever increases his prayers on me, Allah will increase his rewards. And who recites one verse of the Quran in this month he will earn the reward of reading all of it in other months

O People! The Gates of Paradise remain opened in this month. Do invoke that the Gates may not be closed on you, while the Gates of Hell be closed. Do invoke that these Gates may never be opened."

 Dear loved ones. This is the spiritual sacred and spiritual atmosphere – the Messenger wants us to live in this month. We should not spend the month in having fun and playing. We ought to feel that we are living with Allah in all ours sayings and actions in our days and nights.

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Palestine: The Zionist settlement expansions

If the Palestinian people have known how to deal with the enemy and how to overcome its power by their jihad and holding fast, the differences between the brothers will not be eased by the dialogue in Egypt. Dialogue needs certain introductory measures. And we want Egypt to rebel against the Israeli and American pressures to help in realizing these steps, by opening the crossing to Gaza in defiance to the occupation.

We look at the entire nation through the Palestinian window, since Palestine was and will remain the foundation on which the Arab and Muslim building will either rise or fall down and collapse.

This is why we do not see in the Zionist excavations in the vicinity of al-Aqsa mosque as only as a threat to the Mosque, but also to the entire Arab and Muslim world that ought to shoulder their responsibility in confronting this imminent threat, since the Aqsa Mosque is not a Palestinian site; it is an Islamic one, and it is not a geographical location, it resides in the hearts and souls. This means that a political and media campaign is urgently needed to deter the usurping Jews.

At the same time we ask the Arab states that have established secret or public relations with the enemy: Is Palestine completely out of your calculations? And has the Aqsa Mosque been removed from your agenda for good, so that you will not take any acrobatic political move that could imply a threat of boycott.

The problem is that the Arab and Muslim political class in general does not respect its sacred symbols, while Israel sanctifies its myths. This class ignores the fact that the Palestinian generations are dying in prisons as a result of torture or outside it as a result of the starvation besiege, because humiliation no longer has an effect on them and because the Arab League has become the league of problems and contradictions. Moreover, the Organization of the Islamic Conference has withdrawn from its Islamic responsibilities: all it does is issuing communiqués that sometimes need official decrees, while Israel that is left to confiscate the water and the lands continues its settlement expansions and detaining thousands of Palestinians. Then when it releases tens of them, it will be applauded by the deceiving world and hailed by the submissive Arab officials.

In the midst of this catastrophic scene, the leader of the Arab moderation axis, Secretary Rice, has come back to the region and to Palestine in particular to declare that she is concerned with the arming of Syria just a few days after the Americans announced that Israel has joined the American rocket system. She also talks  about encouraging negotiations in the region, and solving the Palestinian Israeli struggle although everyone knows that the negotiations are not but a way to waste time while the US continues to terminate the Palestinians.

 We have always said to the Palestinians that there is no way to confront the conspiring international reality and this brutal Zionist occupation except by reinforcing your internal unity. Thus we welcome all dialogue meetings, but we warn against linking these meetings with the negotiations with the enemy or the Arab regimes, since they are the regimes that America calls moderate, that is defeat and surrender, at a time the Palestinians are trying to establish their unity, to continue their struggle for liberation and remove the burden of the economic and social crisis that the patient, steadfast and giving Palestinian people is suffering from.

Afghanistan: Security chaos and moving massacres

In addition to the difficult Palestinian situation, we have not to forget the catastrophe of the wounded and wronged Afghani people whom the American occupation and NATO forces have plunged into a series of moving massacre of Herat  where more than 90 civilians were killed most of them are women children and elderly. This constitutes yet another evidence on the American and Western despise of the life of the Afghani civilians and the downtrodden, that might have been even similar to the view of one of the enemy’s rabies who described the Arabs and Muslims as insects and snakes that should be exterminated.

We say to the Afghanis what we say to the Iraqis whom the American occupation still stalling in setting a timetable for its withdrawal.

Your catastrophe will not end unless all your efforts are made to oust the occupier, and then start the dialogue process to build the country away from the course of killing that the occupation resorts to in Afghanistan and away from the Takfiri positions which makes the downtrodden serve the occupier whether they intended to or not.

We believe that the escalating crimes of occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq are bad omens that represent the beginning of its end. But we warn that the American occupation leaves chaos wherever he goes. Moreover, the American Administration is concerned with fragmenting the Arab and Muslim reality. We also have not to rule out what is happening in Pakistan as being part of the American schemes.

Lebanon: The government and sectarianism

In Lebanon, we notice that there are new attempts to create new security problems to be benefited of in the coming elections, since they reinforce sectarian fanaticism. It is as if the elections in Lebanon no longer depend on the power of money only but have also to pass through the tunnels of fanaticism and sectarianism.

We listen to statements about the denying the rights of this or that sect and about the protection of these sects. We wonder if this constitutes a declaration that the new government the so-called "national unity government" have failed, and if the various parties decided to seek the protection of the sectarian and religions authorities instead of the unifying national cover.

We refuse the talk about a sectarian strife that does not exist except in the minds of some of politicians and even religious authorities. We ask those people to fear Allah regarding their talk that represents the most tangible effort to stir strife. We are really astonished by how fast the rhetoric of love and reconciliation has been replaced by the rhetoric of strife, either to create strife or to make the Lebanese state a hostage to make of it.

We call on the wise and rational politicians not to describe the Lebanese reality in sectarian terms, and we call upon the Lebanese political class to stop demanding confessional or sectarian rights, since we have been listening to demands for Christian rights in civil servant posts and positions, although they compete internally on the issue of leadership, and we hear those who demand Muslims rights although they are trying to  incite sectarian strife that creates hatred and undermines the spirit of unity and understanding on the fundamental principle of Islam.

Dear Lebanese, Muslims and Christians, you have been there before, and were engaged in internal strife for political or sectarian reasons. Then you reconciled and forgot all massacres from Nabaa to Sabra and shatila and some of you have even forgotten or wish to forget the Israeli massacres; why do you then insist on inventing a strife that does not exist?

And why do you insist on making the coalition government a place where all political contradictions meet? Why do you keep on bringing up these irresponsible accusations and quarrels that would bring back the previous experiments?

A Lebanon that is made by these quarrels, fanaticism and disputes is a Lebanon of the past leadership and fatal fanaticism. Come to unity and Mercy. And relief Lebanon from your personal and sectarian ambitions before the people who are no longer able to tolerate your childish play will oust you.

The crime of kidnapping Sayyed Mussa As-Sadar and his two companions

Lastly: We remember these days the biggest crime of kidnapping His Eminence Musa As-Sadar and his two companions whose details were meant to be kept in the dark.

On this occasion, we would like to emphasize that the responsibility to continue to haunt the criminals who wished to kidnap such a prominent and religious figure lies on everyone of us.

We also believe that it is not enough to raise the issue in the media, we ought to move on the Arab and Muslim level, to reveal the truth and the criminals.