Luqman’s advice to his son

His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rab II 24, 1444\November18, 2022. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is the edited text of the sermons:

The first Sermon

Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. Allah, The Most Exalted, speaks the truth.

These Ayats quote Luqmam Al-Hakim who was giving several pieces of advice. Luqman who was from Aswan, Egypt was a contemporary of Prophet Dawood and one of his students and companions. He was not, according to the Messenger(p.), a prophet. He was a righteous servant who was given wisdom. He loved Allah and Allah loved him.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said:

“Luqman had not received wisdom for the sake of wealth, beauty, and lineage, but he was a pious, kind, modest and sympathetic man. If two persons quarreled and had hostility with each other he would settle reconciliation between them.

Luqman used to associate with many learned men. He used to struggle against his carnal soul…He was silent about what was not related to him … Thus he was given wisdom and infallibility.

He gave his advice to his son and made sure that it was mixed with emotions, indicating how much he loved him and felt responsible for him. A love and responsibility that led him to advise his son to be aware of his responsibility towards his God, himself and the people around him.

This responsibility should be one of the top priorities of every father. It is not a favor to the children; rather it is their right.

This is what Imam Zein Al-Abidien pointed out in his treatise on rights:

The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world. You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct, pointing him in the direction of his Lord, and helping him to obey Him. So act toward him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing.

Today, we are going to review some of Luqman’s advice that was stated in the Ayats we recited. We leave the rest for future sermons as they play a major role in building people.

The first piece of advice: establish prayer. It is a call to his son to perform prayers taking into consideration its parts and conditions. It is the same call that Allah called His Prophet to perform: And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein.

Prayer reminds man of his God and responsibilities. It is the ascent of the believer to Allah, The Most Exalted. Allah, The Most Exalted, wanted it to be a security valve that protects man from deviation since it enjoins good and forbids evil. Prayer was also made as a Kafarah that impurifies man from his sins, but it should be a conscious and pious prayer that man opens his/her heart to God. Allah says: Certainly, will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive.

The second piece of advice is his call to his son to enjoin good and forbid evil. In addition to doing good and staying away from evil, he should also be concerned with the faith of those around him and that they do good and do not commit any evil whether through their sayings or acts. This responsibility is not a recommended act. It is the duty of every Muslim: The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.

The Hadith also warned of the negative consequences of not performing this duty and its effects on the individual and society. Imam Ali says: Do not abandon bidding good and forbidding evil, lest vicious people may overrule you, and then in such a case, your invocations will not be responded to (by saisAllah). The Messenger (p.) said: Certainly, Allah hates the weak believer who has no religion (is not a believer). He is the one who does not prohibit people from doing evil. (Because he is afraid of people). Nevertheless, this duty will not accomplish the objective it is meant to unless it resorts to the effective methods of wisdom, good preaching and arguing with that which is best which God pointed out in His saying: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them with that which is best.

The third piece of advice Luqman gave to his son was: be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. That is he should be strong and determined when he faces challenges

, and not be weak before them or before the enemies who want to break his willpower, for patience is the only way to reach one’s goals in this life and the other life. Luqman also called for humility and smiling at people and taking their feelings into account.

Dear loved ones; we are in dire need to be guided by this example that Allah, presented to us, by being good to our children, embracing raising and guiding them so that they will not be our children in blood only while they are the children of others who do not want their good in mind. We should also continue to watch over them so that deviation will not sneak into their minds, emotions and behavior so as not to lose them to those who would deceive them and lead them to what is not for their good in this life and the Hereafter.

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself with what The Messenger advised Abu Zar, one of his companions, when he said to him: Oh Abu Zarr! Would you like to enter heaven? I said, "Yes, may my father be sacrificed for you." He said, " Oh Abu Zarr! Surely your Lord (s) boasts to the angels about three people: A man who is in a deserted place (though alone), he calls Azan and Iqamat and he prays. So your Lord says to the angels, "Look at My servant! He’s praying and no one sees him but Me." So s 70,000 angels descend and pray behind him and they seek forgiveness for him until the next day; and a man who stands in the mid of the night and prays alone and does Sajdah (prostrates) and falls asleep while prostrating. So Allah (s) says, "Look to My servant! His soul is with Me and his body is prostrating" and a man who is in a war and all his companions flee, but he stays firm fighting until he is killed.

Dear loved ones: We are in dire need of these pieces of advice to be more responsible and more capable of confronting challenges.

We begin with this country, where the successive parliament sessions did not succeed in electing a president, as the political parties represented in the Parliament cling to their positions and even escalate. All internal and external efforts were not able to reach an agreement on the name of the future president and the country has to continue to endure the consequences of the vacuum which, we are afraid, is going to be long.

Thus, we renew our call to all the relevant political parties to shoulder their duties to end this state of stalemate and work hard to agree on a president to exit the country from the impasse it has fallen in.

It is shameful that that the parliament in which all the components of the diverse Lebanese society are represented is unable to elect the president in these difficult times the country is passing through. And this might justify talking about foreign interference or a regional or international conference.

As we call for the election of a president to evade all the tragic economic social and even security consequences of the regional and international developments, we also warn of the escalating rhetoric and its dangerous repercussions.

Moreover, as the economic and living conditions continue to deteriorate reaching unpreceded levels, which will only get worse when the government starts levying the taxes stipulated in the budget, we call on the caretaking government not to begin to implement these taxes before securing the conditions that will make the citizens able to endure them such as raising the wages and salaries.

We also call on her to activate her role in this period of vacuum and take all steps necessary to prevent slipping into total collapse. Although it is a caretaking government that has limited jurisdiction, the country cannot bear a vacuum in both the legislative and administrational branches of government. We know that the parliament is now an electoral body, but necessities do permit forbidden things.

As for the capital control act, we believe that it came too late. It should have been enacted before the big tycoons Had smuggled their money and before the banks reached the state it has reached now. Yet, there is still a big need to it to secure the money the Lebanese deposited in the banks. Thus, we call for passing the draft into law, but not to acquit those who smuggled their money or protect the banks from the demands of the depositors…

At the regional level, and concerning the explosion, which led to scores of fatalities in Istanbul, we condemn this criminal act and call for standing firmly in the face of those who wish to destabilize Turkey and hurt its security. We also condemn all the attempts to destabilize Iran whether by internal sabotage or external blockade. Furthermore, we are sure that the Iranian people will be able to overcome all these challenges with their belief, strength, willpower and determination.