Imam Ali: A role model in morals, wisdom and righteousness

In The Name of Allah,   the Compassionate, The Merciful.

The first sermon

His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rajab 12, 1444/February 2, 2023. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries, and hundreds of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is an edited text of the sermons.

Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: And of the people is he who sells himself, seeking means to the approval of Allah. And Allah is kind to [His] servants. The 13th of Rajab is the anniversary of the blessed birth of the Commander of Believers, Ali bin Abi Talib. Allah, The Most Exalted, wished his birth to be in the holiest place on earth; His Beit Al-Haram (The Sacred House) a unique birth that did not occur to anyone before him and that will not occur to anybody after him. He was also raised by the Messenger of Allah(p.) to relieve the Imam’s father from some of his burdens. Thus, The Imam acquired the Prophet’s knowledge and sublime morals, which was referred to by Ali when he said:

And I followed him step by step, just as a baby camel follows its mother. Daily, he used to place before me a fresh standard of efficiency and used to order me to follow it. Every year, he used to stay in a grotto of the Hira Mountain for some time, and nobody used to be with him but I. None could then see or hear him but I – for the Prophet (p.) used to take Imam Ali (a.s.) along with him. He also slept in his bed to facilitate his immigration to Medina although he knew that this could cost him his life which he was ready to sacrifice if it would save the Messenger.

Ali was also at the forefront of the battles that Muhammad(p.) fought against the idolaters and the Jews, especially in the battle of  Badr in which he killed one-third of the total number of the idolaters killed in this battle and then he took part in the remaining two-thirds in the battle of Ahzab. In Uhud, he defended the Messenger after the latter’s companions dispersed to the extent that Jibril descended saying: there is no sword except Zulfiqar, and there is no hero except Ali! In Al-Khandaq, the Messenger described Ali’s strike which killed Amr ibn Wudd on the Day of Khandaq (i.e. the Battle of the Trench) is equal to all the good deeds of my Ummah until the Day of Resurrection. In Khaibar, the Messenger said:  I will give the banner tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and whom Allah and His Messenger love. The next day he gave it to Ali…

The Imam’s role was not limited to Jihad only. He was also the gate of the Messenger’s city of knowledge which if one wants to enter, he should, as Muhammad said, enter from its gate. His status was so great that the Prophet told him that he was his brother in this world as well as the Hereafter…

Then, before the Messenger left this life, Jibril came to him and told him to entrust Ali with the trust of Islam, for there is no one except the Imam who could assume leadership. Thus, the Prophet gathered the Muslims in a place called Ghadir  Khum and delivered a speech in which he said   “Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali is his leader (Mawla). O God love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him…

The events that followed proved how good a leader he was, as he extinguished the strife that was meant to end Islam. Then when he became caliph he was a role model of the just ruler who does not side with anybody at the expense of justice, even if he were the closest to him.

Today, on the occasion of his birth, we are going to recall  some of his stances we  are greatly in need of

The first was in the battle of Siffin when his companions felt that he has delayed his order for them to fight, he said to them: as for your idea whether this (delay) is due to my unwillingness for death, then by Allah I do not care whether I proceed towards death or death advances towards me. As for your impression that it may be due to my misgivings about the people of Syria (ash-Sham), well by Allah, I did not put off war even for a day except in the hope that some group may join me, find guidance through me and see my light with their weak eyes. This is dearer to me than to kill them in the state of their misguidance although they would be bearing their own sins...

The Imam wanted to say that he, the proven courageous fighter, did not consider fighting to be his goal, it was an exception, and only when necessity demanded it.  The fundamental aim he sought to achieve was to guide to the straight path by means of conveyance and dialogue…

The second stance. Imam Ali (a.s.)saw once a man begging in the streets of Kufa. Asked about whom he was he was told that he was a Christian. The Imam who used to think that there were no poor men in Kufa ordered that he would be given money from the treasury. In the view of the Imam, there is no difference concerning rights between people based on their religion.

The third stance: The imam said: I  would really hate that it may occur to your mind that I love high praises or to hear eulogies. By the grace of Allah, I am not like this. Even If I had loved to be mentioned like this, I would have given it up in submissiveness before Allah, the Glorified, rather than accept the greatness and sublimity to which He is more entitled.


Generally, people feel pleased with praise after good performances; but do not mention for me handsome praise for the obligations I have discharged towards Allah and you, because of (my) fear about those obligations which I have not discharged and for issuing injunctions which could not be avoided, and do not address me in the manner despots are addressed.


Do not evade me as the people of passion are (to be) evaded, do not meet me with flattery, and do not think that I shall take it ill if a true thing is said to me because the person who feels disgusted when the truth is said to him or a just matter is placed before him would find it more difficult to act upon them. Therefore, do not abstain from saying the truth or pointing out a matter of justice because I do not regard myself above erring. 

Thus, the Imam, acting as a role model for what leaders should adopt in their rule, asked his followers not to praise him. Instead, it is their duty to criticize him if he did any wrong, for no one is above criticism.

Dear loved ones: This is Imam Ali and these are his principles and motives. He was in all his actions and sayings a humanitarian and missionary person, which made him reach the minds and the hearts of all people regardless of their sects and religions.

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself, to follow the advice of the Commander of the Faithful, when he said: Certainly, fear of Allah is the key to guidance, provision for the next world, freedom from every slavery and deliverance from all ruin. With its help, the seeker succeeds and he who makes for safety escapes and achieves his aims…

Dear loved ones: this is the advice of Imam Ali to us. It is to strive hard in this life to shoulder our responsibility, and not to be deceived by this world and its pleasures for none will enjoy it forever, regardless of how big his wealth or power is. And this will increase our awareness and ability to face challenges…

We begin with the living conditions in Lebanon that are getting worse every day, as a result of the increase in the price of the dollar and all its consequences. Any dealing with this situation is restricted to prosecuting the small speculators while the big ones are politically and legally covered…

In the meantime, the government continues to practice the policy of putting its hands in the empty pockets of the Lebanese raising the official value of the dollar from 1500 to 15000 Lebanese pounds which will increase the taxes, fees, and fines.

If this situation is not resolved, we are afraid that its effects will not be limited to the strikes in the public and private sectors, including schools and universities. It will extend to the street and might lead to the security chaos some are planning for.

It is regretful and saddening that all this is taking place while those in power are overwhelmed by their feuds and exchanging charges, neglecting the people’s sufferings and the country’s collapse,  thus freezing any solution indefinitely.

We have the right to wonder about what they are waiting for before they make every effort to rescue the country from the state of collapse it has reached. Is not what had happened enough for them to agree on a formula to elect a new president who can unite all Lebanese and lead the country in one of the toughest times ever?

But until this happens, we ask all those in charge to deal with the urgent issues that cannot be delayed, even if they require a cabinet meeting.

We would also like to express our appreciation for the role of security agencies in preserving the security of the Lebanese, despite all the circumstances they suffer from.

On the regional level, we would like to point to the aggression against the city of Esfahan in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which security reports indicate that the Zionists are the ones who committed it. As we condemn this aggression, we warn of the repercussions it might lead to that might extend to the entire region.