Piety and the fear from Allah

السيد علي محمد حسين فضل الله

The first sermon

Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book : And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us . Allah, The Most Exalted, speaks the truth.

On the seventh of the month of Safar,  we celebrated the birth anniversary of the seventh Imam , Musa Bin Jaafar, Al-Kazim (a.s.). This Imam lived with his father for twenty years, in which he raised him and taught him his sciences as well as the virtues of Islam, including openness to others and the readiness to conduct dialogue with them. Thus, he became the most learned and the most generous, pious, modest and courageous of his age.

Throughout the thirty five years of his Imamate, Imam Al-Kazim suffered from the tyranny and oppression of Al –Abbasid and spent a long period in their prisons. They used to see his presence among people as a threat to them and to their rule. But this did not prevent him from playing his missionary role regarding the duty of facing their oppression at every chance he had.

On the anniversary of his birth, we are going to reflect today on one of his several educational stances in which he taught the people how to become pious Muslims:

One day the Imam was passing through the alleys of Baghdad and sounds of howl, tar and tambourine could be heard from a house. They were playing and dancing and one could hear the sounds from far away in the street

Incidentally, one of the servants of the house came out to empty the trash. The Imam told her, “Does this house belong to a freeman or a slave?” This was a strange question. The servant said, “Can you not realize for yourself from the luxurious state of the house? This is Bishr’s house, one of the authorities, one of the aristocrats; of course, he is free.” The Imam replied, “Yes, it must belong to a freeman. If he was enslaved, all these noises would not be coming out of his house.”

When Bishr realized that the servant who went to empty the rubbish outside had taken longer than he needed to,  he came after him and said, “What took you so long?” The servant replied, “A man was talking to me. He asked a very strange question.” Bishr said, “What did he ask?”  “He asked me whether the owner of this house was free or enslaved?” I replied, “Of course, he is free.” He then said, “Yes, he is free, if he was a slave, such noises would not have come out.” Bishr was bare-footed and did not take the time to put his shoes on in fear that he may not find the Imam. He ran out barefooted. He ran and threw himself on the Imam’s lap and asked, “What did you say?” The Imam replied, “This is what I said.” He said, “Sir! From this very hour, I want to be Allah’s slave;” and he meant it. From that moment onwards, he became one of   Allah’s most pious servants

Dear loved ones: One of the most significant factors that lead man to deviate is the absence of fear from Allah, The Most Exalted.

That is why He called on the believers to fear Him : fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers. He also pointed out to His punishment when He said: O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible thing.

 The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of Allah. And among mankind is he who disputes concerning Allah, without knowledge, and follows every rebellious (disobedient to Allah) Shaitan (devil) (devoid of each and every kind of good).

   Allah, The Most Exalted, does not want the believers to be terrified of Him, for He described Himself as being Merciful .He only wanted the fear from Him to deter man from sin and deviation. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps they will avoid [sin].

 This same meaning was repeated in the Hadith: Fear from Allah, The Most Exalted, deters the souls from committing sins…”

Man, in his very nature, is inclined to deviate if he does not discipline himself; if he rules he would be a tyrant. And if he is wealthy he would be a miser .And if he becomes poor, he would disbelieve … Man needs internal deterrents so that he would not exceed his limits and this deterrent is the fear from Allah, The Most Exalted. This fear( in addition to their infallibility ) has driven even infallible prophets including Prophet Yusuf and  others not to even contemplate sinning. 

Dear loved ones, we are in a dire need to fear from Allah, The Most Exalted, to help us against ourselves and control our desires and emotions and fanaticisms and behavior so that we will not lie or cheat or betray or backbite or mock others or support a tyrant or stay silent before a wronging or a corruption.

We have to fear Allah, as the Hadith says, as if we see Him and keep in mind that if we do not see Him then He surely sees us. Our fear from Him should be greater than any other fear from anyone else no matter how tyrannical and oppressive he is, for this fear is what deters us from committing sins and makes Heaven our abode.

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted: I advise you and myself, with what Imam Ar-Rida advised Abdulazim Al-Hassani:  

Give any regards to my followers and tell them not to let Satan find a way to their souls …Order them to be truthful in what they say, and to return the trusts. And tell them to keep silent and not to interfere in what is none of their business and tell them to visit one another… This is how they become close to me”.. He went on to explain that they should not be occupied in “ripping apart” one another. He also explained that he considered those who do such acts as not to be among his followers…

 If we follow this advice in our behavior and actions, we will enhance the strength of our community and become more capable of confronting challenges.

We begin by Lebanon, where the solutions that the Lebanese had waited for are no longer attainable with the retreat of the French Initiative that all political parties have agreed that it constituted the last chance for rescuing the country, which makes it a hostage of vacuum with all its social, economic, health, and security consequences. We do not want to discuss in detail the reasons for the failure of this initiative, but we call on those who favor its return and those who do not to learn its lessons including the fact that this country cannot be ruled by hegemony and domination. The only way to reach a solution is by dialogue and mutual trust between its sects and political parties. The Lebanese should agree on a formula that takes Lebanon out of the misery of sectarianism and tribalism and adopt the state of citizenship.

We call on all political parties to shoulder their responsibility towards those who elected them in their posts and their sufferings that is increasing daily. They should not be occupied by scoring points or laying the blame on other parties. Each one of them should provide his plan on how to solve this crisis and how to end the humiliation of the citizens and their starvation, and how they could retrieve their savings and how to deal with the eminent end of subsiding the crucial commodities of wheat, fuel, and medicine. The Lebanese are fed up from exchanging accusations and making empty promises. They want to see actions and initiatives that will end their tragedies. We are afraid that the political parties are going to do nothing during the new extension of time that the French president has given to his initiative as if the country can afford the luxury of time.

We do not bet on any foreign initiative unless there is a firm and sincere will to welcome and benefit from it. We would also like to appreciate the parliament’s passing to bill of unlawful enrichment, which we want to be all inclusive so that nobody will ever dare to steal public money.

 We had also hoped that the humanitarian dimension would have been taken into consideration when the parliament discussed the amnesty law, which should not have been vulnerable to sectarian and political considerations, especially that the prisons are overloaded with infected inmates and the hospitals  are no longer  able to receive additional patients.

As for the new accusations that the enemy’s prime minister has made in his UN speech about storing rockets in civilian population areas, we believe that this aims to increase the political pressure on Lebanon and  aggravate its internal divisions. This calls on the Lebanese to be more vigilant and not to fall into the enemy’s traps that would trigger new explosions, which it will accuse the resistance of.

As for the marking the borders with occupied Palestine, we would like to emphasize the importance of reaching a solution, which will retrieve Lebanon’s oil wealth to solve its economic crisis.

In this respect, we call all Lebanese to be aware and to unite in facing this new battle, which will not be an easy one with such a cunning enemy.

Lastly, on the anniversary of the passage of the 40 days of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, who sacrificed his life to show the people the path of freedom and dignity and possess the will power that will allow no one to enslave or disgrace them. We call the visitors of the Imam to be careful and to observe the corona protection measures, which we consider as a religious and national duty.   1