His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, 3 Jmada I,1445 / November 17, 2023. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries, and hundreds of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is a summary:
The first sermon
Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book “: ‘Say, ‘I do not ask you for it [the message] any payment except love for the near relatives. And whoever earns good, We increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative
The commemoration of the birth of Lady Zainab :
On the fifth day of the month of Jamada I, in the sixth year after Hijra, was the blessed birth of one of those whom Allah has commanded us to show affection towards—Lady Zainab, the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.).
On this occasion, we seek to revisit the distinctive traits of this personality who was nurtured in the cradle of Islam and drew from its pure source, represented by her grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (p.), her mother Fatimah(a.s.), and her father Ali (a.s.). She grew up in the household of prophethood and imamate. Hence, her character was molded by their personalities, being a living expression of them, which is evident in the titles attributed to her.
She was titled “The Devotee (to worshipping) of the Family of Muhammad,” reflecting her abundant worship and lengthy prayers at night. Her commitment to worship is exemplified by her devotion on the night of the tenth of Muharram, despite the immense pain she experienced that night and following the tragic events of Karbala of that day.
Imam Zain al-Abidin (a.s.) attested to her unwavering dedication to worship, despite the hardships and trials she faced, affirming that Zainab did not forsake her nighttime prayers.
Another title that signifies Lady Zainab’s character is “The Knowledgeable.” Imam Zain al-Abidin described her as knowledgeable without any formal education, indicating her profound understanding and wisdom.
Yet another title that encompasses Lady Zainab’s personality is “The Noblewoman of Bani Hashim,” signifying her esteemed position among her people. This title indicates the respect and admiration she earned due to her knowledge, piety, noble character, humility, and care for the impoverished and needy. This deepened the love people had for her, and even today, her shrine remains a place of pilgrimage for visitors from all corners.
Partner of Hussein
Karbala revealed further facets of Lady Zainab’s personality when she stood alongside her brother Imam Hussein in his uprising against the tyranny of Yazid, fully aware that this stance would entail immense sacrifices and sufferings.
Her action was not solely driven by emotional attachment or fraternal ties; rather, she believed in the goals for which Imam Hussein (a.s.) initiated his revolution. She saw it as her responsibility not to remain silent in the face of deviation, corruption, and oppression.
Therefore, she did not hesitate to join him from Medina to Karbala when he invited her to participate in this movement. She became his support, at every stage of his uprising, earning her the title of Hussein’s partner and setting an example of patience and endurance despite the magnitude of the tragedy that unfolded.
After the Battle of Karbala, Lady Zainab remained resilient and firm in her stance despite the pain and sorrow she endured.
The tragedy of affliction and humiliation of captivity.
This is what Lady Zainab expressed to Umar ibn Sa’ad after the battle of Karbala, standing in front of the bodies of the martyrs. He had expected from her humiliation, submission, and subjugation. However, according to historical accounts, she walked through the ranks of his army proudly, with dignity and strength. When she reached the body of her brother, she placed her hands under his noble body and said, ‘O God, accept this sacrifice from us.’
This is also what she said to Ibn Ziyad when she was brought to his court among the captives. When he asked her mockingly, ‘How do you see what God has done to your family?’ She responded with absolute surrender to God, contentment with His decree, and confidence that these bloodlines would not be wasted. Instead, they will yield and flourish, providing sustenance at all times by God’s permission…. She said, ‘I have seen nothing but beauty. These are people whom God has decreed to be killed, and they presented themselves willingly for their fate. God will gather you with them, and you will argue your case before Him.’
Standing proudly before Yazid, she uttered words that were sharper than a sword strike to his head and the heads of those present: ‘I disdain your worth, and I belittle your boasting… Your plan will fail, your efforts will falter, and your gathering will scatter. By God, you will not erase our memory, extinguish our message, nor reach our stature…
The voice of Lady Zainab echoed loudly to preserve the objectives for which Imam Hussein’s revolution stood. This was evident throughout the journey of captivity—from Medina, then to Sham (Syria)—her voice reached every corner. Despite her short life after the tragic events of the Taff incident, she managed to sow the seeds of resilience and revolution, unleashing a flow of genuine emotions towards Hussein, his family, and his companions. She nurtured in souls the love for martyrdom in the path of God and resistance against tyrants, urging jihad for this cause.
The Exemplar of Sacrifice:
Dear loved ones, Lady Zainab could have stayed in Medina and lived comfortably with her husband Abdullah bin Ja’far, one of the wealthy of Medina, and her children. However, she never considered such a thought, as she witnessed those who were sanctioning what was forbidden by God… oppressing and humiliating people, and usurping their wealth and rights.
For this cause, she bore all pains and sacrifices, setting an example for men and women in the roles they should undertake in life, a clear representation of the Quranic verse: ‘The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong establish prayer give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those—Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Emulating Zainab (a.s.):
Dear loved ones, in these times, we direly need to reflect upon the meanings embodied in Lady Zainab’s character: the love for God and people, the bravery, readiness to sacrifice the precious, courage in stance—all demanded of us to fulfill the responsibilities placed upon us amidst the challenges we face from every direction. We ought to be steadfast worshipers, patient and strong, just as she was.
Peace be upon you, O Zainab, on the day you were born, the day you ascended to your Lord’s realm, and the day you shall be brought back to life.
The Second Sermon
Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself of what Imam Ali, one of his companions, said: ‘Do not be among those who hope for the Hereafter without doing good, hope for [declaring]repentance while delaying it excessively, speak in this world like ascetics but act like those desiring it. If given from it, they are not satisfied, and if deprived, they are not content. Do not be among those who are not satisfied if they get more in life and are not content if their lot in life’s pleasures is less… who never thank Allah for what they get and keep on constantly demanding an increase in what is left with them; who advise others to such good deeds that they themselves refrain from; who appreciate good people but do not follow their ways of life; who hate bad and vicious people but follow their ways of life; who, on account of their excessive sins hate death but do not give up the sinful ways of life.
Dear loved ones, these are some of the advices from Imam Ali. Embracing them signifies our loyalty and prepare us to better confront the challenges.
Gaza confronts the Enemy’s atrocity
We begin with the Gaza Strip, where the Zionist enemy continues its policy of systematic killing and destruction, targeting residential buildings, refugee shelters, public and private institutions, and infrastructure. Their attacks have reached the extent of targeting hospitals, cutting off all access, besieging them, and even storming them, all under baseless pretexts, disregarding international norms preventing attacks on hospitals under any circumstances.
The enemy has set no limits, making the entire Strip vulnerable to its assaults, and rendering nowhere safe, as stated by their military and political leaders.
It is becoming evident that they aim to instill despair in the Palestinian people, paving the way for their displacement or maintaining them under direct or indirect occupation. They continue to benefit from international coverage, shielding them despite their relentless crimes, and preventing any resolution to stop the bloodshed and destruction.
While we witness shifts in several stances, accompanied by popular movements in these countries, urging to halt the bloodshed and protect the Palestinian people from the massacres they endure, these actions have not yet pressured this entity to reconsider its practices against the Palestinian people.
Summit of Arab failure
Regrettably, the Arab and Islamic Summit, which was bet on to make decisions that relief the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, and respond to the imminent dangers they face, concluded without taking any diplomatic, political, economic, or security measures to halt this aggression. It settled for verbal positions, leaving “the Arab street” feeling that there is a complicit against Gaza. Instead of Gaza becoming a symbol of strength for Arabs and Muslims, uplifting them, it seems to become a burden for many governments, better off being rid of it. This has allowed the enemy to escalate its aggression post-summit as if nothing happened, granting it more space to pursue its goals.
Amidst all this, we call upon Arab and Islamic peoples to voice their stance and pressurize their countries to fulfill the expected role towards an Arab and Muslim population being killed and displaced, yet again, on their own land. Especially since they won’t be immune to the repercussions of the war on Gaza if the Zionist enemy is allowed to do what it wants.
The Enemy’s failure to achieve a victory
At this moment, the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, through their resistance, stand firm, steadfast, and powerful against the Zionist military machine, offering examples of sacrifice for their land. They do not allow the enemy to advance despite the disparity in capabilities and resources, making the Zionist entity, until now, incapable of achieving any of its goals or presenting any victory to its public opinion, an indication to take pride in their patience, valor, and bravery, instilling confidence that the future belongs to this people, regardless of the enemy’s capabilities or international alliances.
Here, we salute everyone supporting and standing by the Palestinians, whether through words, stances, media coverage, demonstrations, or support in the field of confrontation, calling for the continuity of these positions, so that the Palestinian people would not feel isolated in this confrontation.
Lebanon supports Gaza
Turning to Lebanon, which still pays the price for standing with the Palestinian people, with its people, army and resistance within the objective circumstances it .
While we commend this responsible, strong, and wise stance, we call upon all Lebanese, regardless of their political affiliations, sects, or diverse political opinions, to unite in facing the threats posed by this enemy, which spares no effort to harm this country, exploiting any internal vulnerabilities or any weakness that might appear in its strong points.
It is regrettable to find that there are those who continue to underestimate the danger this enemy poses to the country. Since UN Resolution 1701, it has violated its land, sea, and air, preparing and maneuvering in a manner that simulates attacks on its towns and cities, revealing its aggressive intentions towards Lebanon.
While renewing the call for all political parties to act seriously and not leave the country vulnerable in this critical phase, whether regarding the presidential vacuum or that in the military establishment, preparing for any developments that Lebanon might face due to the events in Gaza, amid Zionist threats, or addressing the ongoing crises, including the Syrian refugee crisis, the depositors’ crisis, and the state’s inability to secure its resources.
Finally, attention must be paid by the state, associations, institutions, and individuals to those who were forced to leave their lands, homes, and workplaces, standing by them during these difficult times, as one united Lebanese people. Here, we appreciate all efforts and initiatives in this regard and call for more of them.