Ramadan, bring forth your Forgiveness

Published on:July 10, 2013
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Tuesday’s blast in south Beirut brought back dark memories to the collective memory of the Lebanese. Memories we thought were long forgotten.

While the younger generation may recall explosions from only recent years, our parents’ generation recalls gloomier, more ominous days; those of civil war Beirut and the assassination attempt of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.

In 1985 Bir el-Abed, an explosion similar to that of yesterday’s reaped the lives of 80 civilians. Its target? Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah; a revered Shiite Muslim and prominent Lebanese Twelver Shiite marja, or authority.

Although no deaths occurred as a result of yesterday’s attack, its occurrence on the first day of Ramadan as per Fadlallah’s calendar holds significant bearings.

I will not get into the political message but more into the spiritual aspect of the attack. I’ll leave the political analyses to the experts, those who are creating the perfect atmosphere for inciting hatred and mutual abhorrence on both sides of the spectrum thus paving the way to such outbreaks of violence.

In my humble opinion, Fadlallah’s assassination attempt was not only reenacted yesterday, his line of moderate Islam and all schools of thought similar to his have been under constant attacks by those close as those afar. Here is an excerpt of one of his sermons delivered in 2010.

The fact that the rhetoric has violated the Islamic morals and priorities and resorted to terms that connote Takfir, lechery, slandering, and insults, does not only offend those who use them, but rather the general Islamic community that models after the religious scholars, but eventually, it would be shocked by their bitter reality; which might drive the people either to lose rationality, or to continue to follow them, or lose trust in the entire reality.

Going through the classical books to dig out Sunni issues that condemn the Shiites, or Shiite issues that condemn the Sunnis is one of the biggest slips, for the mistakes included in these books ought not to be turned into a sword that hangs over the heads of the coming generations, or an obstacle that impedes Islamic unity. Moreover, whoever seeks to dig out the mistakes of history and use them to incite fanaticisms in the present or future of the Islamic generations, is actually betraying the nation and disobeying the commandments of the noble Messenger (p.) who had addressed the nation with a decisive speech, in which he (p.) said: “Do not turn after me misguided, some of you striking the necks of the others.” [link]

And so I do hope that this short and humble message of mine will remind all Lebanese and Arabs, be they Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian or Atheists alike, of the futility of a Shiite-Sunni strife. We must rise above this seemingly nurtured hatred and look at those in the background pulling the strings to the puppets.

A great journalist, Octavia Nasr, was once sacked from her position at CNN for having said that Lebanon had lost a great man when the revered Muslim scholar passed away, I salute her today and her stances.

It is men of reason like him that are needed in today’s Lebanon; men who preach moderation instead of sectarianism, humanity in place of cruelty and science in place of illogical religious doctrine.

I do pray that those who had shot celebratory gunsfire yesterday would use the occasion to put down their weapons and reconsider what it is really to be a good Muslim, but most importantly a good human being. I hope the same to those who expressed nothing but anger in the wake of the explosion. Forgiveness is one of the fundamental requirements as per the religious duties throughout Ramadan.

A sermon given by the Prophet Muhammad, on the last Friday of Shaban, on the reception of the Holy Month of Ramadan. [link]

O People! Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of God. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month, in which with God, is the best of months.

Its days, the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its hours, the best of hours. It is the month which invites you to be the guests of God and invites you to be one of those near to Him. Each breath you take g lorifies him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and your supplications are answered. So, ask God, your Lord; to give you a sound body and an enlightened heart so you may be able to fast and recite his book, for only he is unhappy who is devoid of God’s forgiveness during this great month.

Blessings to all.

 

Nadine Mazloum, editor/blogger for LBCI Online English News and LBCBlogs. She received her Honors in Communication Arts (Media Production) from The University of Western Sydney in 2008.

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