H. E. Sayyed Nasrallah to Victims΄ Families: Your Grief Is Our Grief, Your Pain is Our Pain
In the name of Allah The Gracious, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and peace and blessings be upon our prophet, the Seal of the Prophets Abu Kassim Mohamed (PBUH) and his family and companions of divine good fellows, and all the prophets and messengers.
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.
God The Almighty said in his glorious book: "Who say, when afflicted with calamity: To God We belong, and to Him is our return, they are those on whom (Descend) blessings from God, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance".
At the beginning, I address the decent and honorable families, the victims of the aerial disaster that occurred yesterday, to talk to them, and first of all to apologize to them as it is my duty to be among them, in their homes and near them. But circumstances prevent me from doing so, and accordingly, even if I'm talking across the screen, I will speak as if I was with them in their homes.
I offer condolences to you and as I express our solidarity, my brothers and sisters and I in Hizbullah, we deeply share your grief and pains, because your grief is our grief, and your pain is our pain.
We can be strongly aware and conversant of the true feelings which now control your hearts, your minds, your souls, your feelings and emotions , because during all the past years, we have tasted the bitterness of anguish and pain of losing the dearly and loved ones.
Dear parents, yesterday you lost relatives and beloved ones, for you they represent so much in the human, emotional, moral, familial, and national dimension, as you felt this hard incident!
We, along with all the people stand with you and console you and ask God to inspire you with patience. We ask Him to help you and give you the fortitude and patience to overcome this incident, and to reward you greatly for your patience and indulgence.
Dear parents and noble families, God taught us how to face calamities. The calamities in this world are normal, besides, life is on the whole based on examinations, tests, infestations, and on the events and calamities that are happening.
How do we face the catastrophe? The catastrophes differ from one to another, but one of the greatest catastrophes is losing a beloved and dear one, whether it was a father, a son, a brother, a daughter, a sister, a husband, a wife, a friend or a relative.
God taught us and told us: "Who say, when afflicted with calamity", as you and we are now, for we are all share this calamity. Yesterday we were all moved with what we witnessed, saw and heard. Those, when afflicted with calamity, how do they face this calamity?
"They say: To God We belong and to Him is our return", they regain their faith, assurance, beliefs, recognition and knowledge of the facts of existence: "To God We belong", we are His property, because He is the one who created us, He is the one who brought us to life, we are His property, His will controls us, His will, life and death are in His hand, and our fate is in his hand. He is the one who decides when to take us back from this world, so first we are His property and thus the dearly loved ones are not our property, they belong to God The Almighty, and He acts with his property with the wisdom He sees.
The other title: "and to Him is our return" and this is another faith too.
We are not immortal in this world, the prophets of God, the messengers of God, the angels of God, the guardians of God and the loved ones of God, they all leave this world, and "All that is on earth will perish: But will abide (for ever) the Face of thy Lord, - full of Majesty, Bounty and Honor".
Therefore we are not one of the immortals in this world, for this world is based on cessation of existence, and ending and we are all going back to Him and to Him we shall return, to meet him at that place and stand in front of him so that he rewards us, and chooses our fate there with His mercy and justice. We believe that our time is in His hand, for death is an active request that can't be missed by a resident, nor failed by a fugitive.
If we hold on to this faith and doctrine, God The Almighty's mercy will fall upon us, and so He will bring tranquility and peace to our hearts, and assist us and help us bear the calamity and overcome it later.
This is His promise in the verse: "They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from God, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance." His mercy and care surround us, He is kind to us, because we don't disbelieve, nor feel despair, nor are we defeated or depressed, ahead of the calamity. But we tell him that we belong to you, your rules and actions. "And to him is our return". We are under your will and command, grant us your Mercy and success to bear this loss, and to overcome this incident.
Dear parents and good people, you all know, that those who we lost yesterday, are mainly loved ones that were working and striving for years to provide a better life and a decent living for their families and their parents, as well as their homeland and their people.
Most of them were expatriates that lived abroad for years, but they had never forgotten their homeland and their parents, especially in the difficult days and the harsh conditions.
As long as they were of these characteristics and understanding, they are with God, and I say that as well to hold the hearts and hands of the victims' families, to tell them that this breed of people has a place with God The Almighty, as the Prophet of God (pbuh) says: "Those who work hard to help their families are similar to the Mujahideen who struggle for the sake of God The Almighty."
These are the ones who help their families, work during the night or day, whether they work in their homeland, or travel abroad, migrate and live in an atmosphere of alienation, and loneliness, while being away from loved ones, in order to provide their families with a decent and dear life.
And so, according to this noble saying, these are like the Mujahideen, who strive for the sake of God, and are resurrected, with the Mujahideen God willing.
Our dear families, yesterday, everyone shared this grief and pain with you, and they all felt with you assuring they are the people of the catastrophe; we saw that in the faces, the eyes, the tears and expressions, we saw it in our people in Lebanon, all Lebanon. We appreciate this noble, honorable and high passion; we consider this to be one of the most important elements of power in our country that we move forth with into the future.
We also highly appreciate the presence of the State with its presidents, ministers, military and security leaders and their various civil units. We also appreciate the serious follow-up to this disaster, its causes and consequences, as well as all types of assistance provided to Lebanon, whether from the UNIFIL or other countries.
We ahead of this calamity would like to call for the following:
First, continuing efforts to retrieve the victims' bodies, even if the rescue operations would take a longer time. We should not back off easily, because retrieving the bodies to the families is a human, moral, emotional, and legitimate demand, for it helps respite the sadness, pain and suffering of these families.
Second, continuing investigations with adequate diligence and required speed to end the hasty analysis and the contradictory interpretations, because knowing the truth is very important to the families. This helps them on the psychological level, as any family does not accept or agree to remain in a state of uncertainty, suspicion and mistrust about the incident and its causes, and how they lost their loved ones. This also helps on the national level, in identifying the flaws and elements of vulnerability -in case there are any points of weakness or gaps - and working on tackling them in order to avoid any similar air disasters in the future, God forbid.
Third, we call upon the Lebanese government, which is holding a meeting tonight to look into the recent incident, to work quickly to ensure a real Lebanese national readiness on the human, logistical and technical levels, to be able to face such disasters, and effectively rescue who can be rescued and to give this matter priority over any other projects and other expenses. It is worth giving because it involves saving lives that may be exposed to the risk of death if we are to be late with help and assistance.
It isn't normal in any country to remain waiting for the help of others; we have the men and the capacity at a national level along with the potential and capabilities that qualify us to have national readiness to ensure the fastest interference to face such natural disasters.
We heard some of these complaints yesterday in the moment of the catastrophe, some considered this occasion as a chance to deliver their voice. We should not wait for such a catastrophe to listen to our citizens living in foreign countries, mainly in Africa and address the problems they face, especially if these are linked to their security, their safety and their lives.
All of these people have great credit on the steadfastness of Lebanon, on the decent life in Lebanon, on the reconstruction of Lebanon, and in facing the economic challenges and the harsh living conditions in Lebanon.
Many of them immigrated to keep their families in this country and therefore, are one of the most important elements of the national and demographic stabilization even if they had to pay be on their personal expense, therefore this is worth this high level of care.
I once again, extend my condolences to the honorable families and express sympathy, sadness and pain, and I ask God the Almighty to help them and give them patience and endurance, and enlarge their rewards because the patient ones are rewarded greatly by God the Almighty.
I ask God the Almighty to encompass the souls of these victims with His Mercy and His Forgiveness and bless them with Paradise, and full Mercy, that He listens and answers immediately.
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.