A sermon delivered by the late Religious Authority, His Eminence, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra), on Safar, 25th 1430 H. –February, 20th 2009 A.D., on the occasion of the death of the Messenger of Allah (p.), highlighting the Battle of Uhud and stressing the fact that the Message of mercy does not depart when the Messenger of Mercy (p.) departs.
Following is an excerpt of the sermon:
Islam: The Message of life
Allah says in His Glorious Book: "And we have sent you but as a Mercy to the worlds." (21:107).
Allah has bestowed this mercy upon the entire world to take people from the darkness into the light, and to enable the world to live in a [state of] peace based on universal justice, since this is what Allah, the Most Exalted, has made the goal of all religions.
Since the day the Prophet (p.) was sent with the Message, he sought to emphasize the doctrine of the oneness of Allah, and end any act of ascribing partners to Him, which is an expression of a backward mentality, especially through worshiping idols made up of stones they themselves turned into statues.
After a lot of suffering, the Prophet (p.) was able to establish the foundations of the Message which the idolaters tried to hinder its expansion in the world. But Allah wanted this Message to extend to every time and place, since it is the Message of Islam; the seal of all Messages and whose Messenger is the seal of all Messengers. It is a Message for all life.
The Messenger (p.) suffered a lot in the course of conveying his message, and he had to leave Mecca, as he was a victim of a conspiracy that the Holy Quran tells us about.
The books that detailed the life of the Prophet (p.) tells us that when the idolaters were unable to defeat the Prophet or counter his message and argument, they wished that he would die, so that the struggle would end and they would go back to their idol worship. But the Quran told the Prophet (p.) that his death will not do them any good, since they might die before him or with him since everybody is destined to die: "Surely you will die and they too shall surely die." (39:30). This is the inevitable law that Allah has imposed on people with no differentiation between prophets and others.
They will all die even if they were prophets: "Then surely on the Day of Judgment, you will contend with each other before your Lord." (39:31).
The Prophet (p.) went through a difficult ordeal in the battle of Uhud. After the Muslims were victorious in the beginning of the battle, their fortunes changed and they were about to be defeated after the withdrawal of the archers whom the Prophet had ordered to stay in their position, yet they left to take part in the plundering.
A man cried that Muhammad (p.) was killed and the Muslims retreated. But the Messenger (p.) started to call on them to come to him, and 30 men did and managed to protect him and drive the idolaters away. But he (p.) had already been wounded, hit by a stone and his nose was broken. His companions had left him except for a few, among which Imam Ali (a.s.) was at the forefront.
The Message is a commitment to the cause.
The news that the Messenger (p.) was killed spread among the people, and one of the Muslims said: "I wish that we would send a messenger to Abdullah bin Ubai, the head of the hypocrites, to seek his assistance to fetch a security pledge from Abu Sufian. Some of them sat and stopped fighting. And some of the hypocrites said: If Muhammad has been killed; let us return to our first religion.
When the army of Islam came under pressure and the news of the death of the Prophet was afloat, most of the Muslims thought of their own lives and every person took refuge in one corner or the other. Anas Bin Nazr, the uncle of Anas Bin Malik, saw a group of Al-Muhajirin (immigrants) and Al-Ansar (supporters) tribes, sitting in a corner scared for themselves. He said to them with a tone of protest: "Why are you sitting here?" They replied: "The Prophet (p.) has been killed; therefore, there is no use of fighting". He said to them: "If the Prophet (p.) has been killed, then there is no use of living. Get up and meet martyrdom in the same path in which he has been killed".
He added: "My Lord, I apologize to you from what these people say (the Muslims) and I am innocent from what those (hypocrites) have come up with." Then, he went to fight until he was martyred.
The Messenger (p.) then climbed on top of a rock calling the people.
Ka'b bin Malik, who was the first one to recognize the Prophet (p.), shouted as loudly as he could: "O folks of Muslims, be cherished; The Messenger of Allah (p.) is here." But the Messenger signed him to stop upon hearing the shout, and some Muslims immediately raced towards the source of the shout.
The Messenger (p.) then blamed them for fleeing and they said that they were afraid having heard that he was killed. Allah, then, revealed this Ayah: "And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the Messengers have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful." (3:144).
Allah wanted to tell all the people that the Message lives with the Messenger as long as he is alive. Then, when he dies, it will stay and continue to exist. If the Messenger dies or is killed, the nation should continue his march and not draw back or back turn, because if it does, it would only be hurting itself.
The march is not associated with the person, even if he were a prophet. That is why we have seen that the Prophets and the Imams were either dead or killed, but the Message remained and the Islamic authentic line persisted. This is what the nation should be aware of to make leaders and reformers in the place of those who leave.