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Ahl El-Beit (a.s.): Role models in knowledge and practice

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, 9th 1430 H. - July, 31st 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

The Imams' anniversaries in Shaaban

Allah, the Most Exalted, says in 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" (33:33).

Many occasions have passed in the beginning of this month: the birth of Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) on the 3rd of Shaaban, the birth of Abulfadhl Al-Abbass on the 4th and the birth of Imam Ali Bin Al-Hussein, Zein Al-Abideen, on the 5th.

When we commemorate their memories, we would be actually recalling Islam in all its values and movements, as well as the secrets of sacrifice which those three leaders have offered, for they have enriched the Islamic reality with knowledge, spiritualism and values.

Al-Hussein (a.s.) was raised by the Prophet and the Imams

Al-Hussein, who was the Messenger (p.)'s and Fatima Az-Zahraa (a.s.)'s beloved and who was, along with his brother, the Masters of Youth in Heaven, lived with his grandfather as a child embracing his love and care and learning the most noble values. He also lived with his mother, the purified infallible lady, who dedicated herself to Allah since her early childhood, and who lived a part of her youth with her father, learning from him and acquiring his morals. Thus, the Messenger filled her heart and mind and stamped her personality. She had a very profound relationship with her father; giving him all her love and affection and making him feel as if she were his mother. That is why he said that she was the mother of her father, for she compensated for the motherly love he had lost in his early childhood.

Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.), and his brother Al-Hassan (a.s.), lived with their mother, and then with their father. He acquired all his father's values and spirituality and the love of God. He also felt all his father's pains, especially that Imam Ali (a.s.) used to cling to the right at all times and under all circumstances that it left him with no friends. He was able to embody Islam even in the most difficult circumstances in an effort to stress that Islam would elevate the people and solve their problems. Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) witnessed all this and acquired his father's personality with all its courage, spirituality and zeal to defend Islam.

Thus, the movement of Al-Hussein (a.s.) was an Islamic movement to defend the cause of the right. It was not a personal movement, for he was not seeking power. He was an Imam who felt that the Imamate meant that he had to have a say in all the affairs of the people so as to elevate them to the levels of spirituality and piety. Thus, Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.), the only legitimate ruler in his era, wanted the Islamic ruler to embody Islam in his mind and heart; which should be the good, and to embody justice in his life; which should be dedicated for justice and for living to the people, sharing their pains and solving their problems and making life as a whole one of reform. He said: "I rose to seek reform in my grandfather's nation; I want to enjoin good and forbid evil – he was not a man of violence, but rather a man of lenience – Whoever accepts me by accepting the truth, then Allah is higher than the truth. And whoever rejects me, then I will bear patiently."

Al-Hussein (a.s.) then resorted to dialogue even with his enemies who were only concerned with the worldly matters, which made their hearts with him and their swords against him. He used to address them, every now and then, guiding them to the truth, but his efforts went in vain, because they were completely preoccupied with the pleasures and temptations of this worldly life. Then, when they wanted him to recognize the legitimacy of Yazid, he revolted as a man, whom the right filled his heart and mind, should, and said: "Behold! The illegitimate, son of the illegitimate, has settled between two, between unsheathing and humiliation, and how far is humiliation away from us! Allah refuses that for us, and His Messenger, and the believers, and laps and chastified and purified, and zealous noses (heads that do not bow in humility), and repudiating souls, that we desire obedience to the mean ones, than the killings of the honorable (martyrdom)." Then, he told them with all the courage of the world: "By God, I will never give you my hand like a man who has been humiliated; nor will I flee like a slave", for Allah created man free and did not permit him to humiliate himself.

Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) then fought bravely, being the man who inherited his father's boldness. That is why Ibn Saad cried out to his army and said: "Do you not know whom you are fighting?! You are fighting the son of Ali… the killer of Arabs." Although he was alone against thousands of troops, he was fighting as an entire nation would. So, one of the soldiers of the army who came to fight Al-Hussein (a.s.) said: "By God, never have I seen someone whose children and family members are killed with firmer self-possession, or more courageous fighter than Al-Hussein. Every time the fighters drew close to him, he would charge at them and they would scatter before him like goats attacked by a wolf."

Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) was the model of the responsible Imamate, the challenging message, and the patient courage. Even though he was killed in that stage, he is still living in the conscience of the nation as a revolution of every generation and a struggle in all positions of fighting the arrogant powers.

Al-Abbass: A demonstration of faith and struggle

Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) was supported by his brother, Al-Abbass Bin Ali, who was to the Imam as his father (Ali) was to the Messenger (p.). Those who wrote about Al-Abbass describe him as a courageous and handsome man who held the banner of his brother, Al-Hussein, the day he was killed. Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) describes him as a man of deep insight and as a scholar before being a courageous man. He was also a man of firm faith who struggled with Al-Hussein (a.s.), "and fought bravely before he was martyred." Imam Zein Al-Abideen (a.s.) says: "May Allah have mercy on Al-Abbass; he fought bravely and sacrificed himself for the sake of his brother."

Thus, we have to think about the missionary character of Al-Abbass before we think about his courage and struggle, because they were a result of his belief. Al-Abbass is, thus, a role model for the freedom fighters and for all those who struggle for the cause of the Message and face its enemies.

Imam Zein Al-Abideen: An embodiment of the right

Az-Zuhri has this to say about Imam Ali Bin Al-Hussein (a.s.): "I have never seen a Hashemite who is better than Zein Al-Abideen or more knowledgeable than him…" Moreover, Imam Al-Shafi'i said that he was "the most knowledgeable amongst the people of Al-Medina," who taught all the teachers of the Islamic world at that time. Thus, he was the supreme teacher of his phase who used to receive students and teach them of his own knowledge and ask them to fear Allah like he did, and to be pious as he was.

Sufyan Bin Uyayna was narrated to have said: "I said to Az-Zuhri: ‘Have you met Ali Bin Al-Hussein (a.s.)?’ He answered: ‘Yes, I have, and I have never met anyone better than him, and By Allah, I have never known that he had a friend in secret or any enemy in public.’” He was asked: "How is that?" He answered: "Because I have found out that even those who love him would envy him for his virtues, and those who hate him would avoid him for he used to be sensitive to the feelings of all people."  

Imam Zein Al-Abideen (a.s.) was the patient man who lived all the details of the tragedy of Karbala’. His father used to sit with him from time to time preparing him to be his successor and assume the responsibilities of the Imamate. He (a.s.) lived the sufferings of taking the women of the Members of the House as captives, and he courageously and powerfully stood in the face of Ibn Ziyad and Yazid until they no more had any arguments to use. The Imam (a.s.)'s Imamate witnessed a multi-dimensional movement, for he was not merely a worshipper of Allah night and day, but rather he used to teach the people and guide them, so his supplications were educational and deeply expressed the values of Islam.

Ali Bin Al-Hussein (a.s.) was preoccupied, night and day, with Islam. He was also preoccupied with implanting spirituality in the souls of the Islamic community; the spirituality that connects it to Allah and to His fear and the struggle (Jihad) for His cause. His life was full of struggle as he bore the responsibility of Islam and Muslims in any stand he took, just like the Messenger of Allah (p.), his father, Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.), and his grandfather, Imam Ali (a.s.).

Symbols of guidance

Those are our Imams, leaders and the right path to guidance. They are the ones whom we abide by their teachings and whom we love not only by our hearts, but also by our minds, and follow their guidance in our lives. The issue between us and the Members of the House is not an emotional one, but rather it is drawn from a responsible Islamic Imamate. Actually, they do not want us to hold for them personal love, but rather a missionary one. Moreover, when Imam Zein Al-Abideen (a.s.) used to cry, it was to remind the people of the cause of Al-Hussein (a.s.), so that it would live deep in their souls, and he did that not because he was the son of Al-Hussein (a.s.), but because he saw him as the Imam who succeeded Nuh, Ibrahim, Mousa, Issa, and Muhammad in the call to Allah and in being devoted to Him.

Those are the Members of the House whom Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from, and to purify a thorough purifying. We ask Allah to make them intercede for us and to gather us with them on the Day of Judgment. Peace be upon them, the day they were born, the day they passed away, and the day they will be brought back to life. 

The Second Sermon

The Judaization of Palestine

Amidst the continuous visits of the ministers, officials, and American envoys to the usurping entity, the enemy continues its pre-planned colonization expansion. Moreover, the Jewish immigration from the 1948 occupied lands towards the 1967 occupied lands has started, with the aim of settling there under the pretext of the so-called "ideological immigration", which is already being used to justify the gradual annexation operations of Jerusalem and the West Bank are going forth. Meanwhile, five years after the issuing of the verdict on the isolation wall, the United Nations, which declared that it contradicts with the International Law, remains silent and takes no actions towards the oppression, persecution, and injustice that the Palestinian people are suffering from. At the same time, the enemy continues building the wall, offering another opportunity for the settlers to attack the houses of the Palestinians aiming at driving them out, just like what took place in Jerusalem lately.

As for the American Administration that is hinting to the Arabs that they should accept a peaceful settlement, in the context of a plot whose detailed features were set up with the enemy… this Administration has given up to the fact that the "colonization activities cannot be stopped". Therefore, it has embarked on initiating phase two of its satanic scheme, in which it agrees with the enemy on a temporary freezing of the colonization activities, to which the Arabs would hail and the European Union would applaud. This would be, then, followed by the phase of actual normalization that the enemy's Prime Minister and President take part in by visiting an Arab embassy to cut a cake on the anniversary of a revolution that was meant to be desecrated, or a national day that was meant to be turned into a day in which all forms of injustice, usurpation, and dependency are celebrated.

We warn all Muslims, especially the Palestinians, that the enemy is acting as if this phase is the ideal one to permanently put an end to the cause and deprive the Palestinians of their basic rights concerning the issue of the state and the right of return, just like the issue of Jerusalem where the enemy confiscated everything without encountering any effective and influential Arab and Islamic reaction.

Oh Palestinians, everyone has conspired against you and the closest people to you have backstabbed you, while the religious authorities that are entitled to issue legalizing and forbidding Fatwas almost explicitly declared the concession of the most sacred Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Al-Sharif. Your only option is to restore your unity and return to the line of the true resistance against the enemy. The world has never and will never care for your miseries; how could it do so having covered up the usurpation activities of the land and the sacred places for over half a century, and it is still following the same course?!

The new American Administration adopts the old policy

We notice that the American Administration that is gradually restoring its Bush image is still dealing with the Iranian nuclear file in the context of what serves the interest of the usurping Israeli entity that never abides by international laws and conventions, especially those pertaining to the possession of nuclear weapons. Moreover, we have heard the statements of the US Defense Secretary, in which he set a deadline for Iran, next autumn, to engage in a dialogue, although his President talked a few months ago about ridding the world of all nuclear weapons. Instead, he should have demanded that the Israeli officials should respond to this proposal, if his Administration was serious about handling this difficult international dossier. As a matter of fact, this dossier was meant to be transformed into a limitation that threatens the sovereignty of a state that all the international researches have shown that it has never violated the terms set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in terms of exploiting the nuclear energy in peaceful purposes.

We say to the Americans who are visiting occupied Jerusalem in big numbers to reassure the enemy and urge the Arabs to "take major steps towards normalizing ties with Israel", as expressed by the American envoy to the region…we say to them: you have almost managed, in a short time notice, to fail all the goals that your President tried to achieve in his studied and planned speeches directed to the Arab and Islamic world. Moreover, you have almost succeeded in raising the level of outside hatred towards your administration to the highest levels, just as the popularity of your President has failed internally. Therefore, you ought to search for other methods for entering into dialogue with the countries and peoples of the region, having failed in adopting besiegement, boycotting, and imposing sanctions, as well as the wars that burnt your hands.

Yemen: A crisis of interventions

An another level, we can sense the danger of the developments taking place in Yemen, which we fear that it had entered into a whirlpool of chaos and violence, due to internal incidents and foreign interventions that aim at making the country suffer from instability at both, the security and political levels, paving the way for new dangerous developments that would drive the country into the unknown.

We want the Yemeni people, with all its affiliations, to work on restoring stability and unity in the country, and rejecting all the attempts calling for division and disunity. We also want the state to open up to the demands so as to restore stability and calm to the state and return the happy Yemen that is content with its diverse confessions, sects, and affiliations.

Nigeria: Hateful incidents

On another level, Nigeria sank into rivers of blood spilled by fanatic parties, which have nothing to do with Islam or Christianity. Therefore, all the officials, including the religious scholars, should block the road of these criminals and put an end to their criminal acts which proved that their perpetrators do not respect humans and do not respect the values of the messages and religions.

Lebanon: A call for cooperation and unity

On the Lebanese scene, we stress that the Lebanese who are trying to form a government of national unity should embark on eliminating all the obstacles that the international and regional players have set and are still setting before their actual unity, especially when it comes to their major issues and the coming critical challenges. Moreover, the national unity that will be represented in the coming government should not form a transitional phase towards further setbacks, but rather a reflection of the officials' true will to rise to the level of the expectations of all the Lebanese people, and to move Lebanon from disputes into cooperation, and from fragmentation into unity, in order to block the road before those who are trying to stir the game to further make the country enter into security and political instabilities, as well as sectarian and confessional sedition.

Oh Lebanese, you have tried to sanctify all that is not sacred in your country, and you even made your parties, sects, and confessions idols to worship, so why do not you try, just once, to sanctify the dignity, pride, freedom, and independence of the human being in this country and consecrate the spiritual and moral values of all the meanings of life?!