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Ashura 2021


Sayyed Nasrallah Advising and Graduating: Patience and Piety Come First

Sayyed Nasrallah Advising and Graduating: Patience and Piety Come First
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When Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah returned to Al-Montathar Islamic Seminary [Hawza]

By Latifa al-Husseini

Beirut - In the midst of all the hustle and bustle around us, there are superior things. There is the forgiving religion. Its believers are fully devoted to it, to its values and to its origins. They are not distracted from God's revelation and knowledge. They are students who took a unique path, choosing to delve deeper into Islamic law and pursue it as a way of life.

After ten years of hard work, eight students from Imam Al-Montathar (PBUH) Islamic Seminary [Hawza] in Baalbek completed their studies in Islamic sciences. It is time to wear the turban of Ahl al-Bayt (PBUH). [the Prophet’s household]. It is the peak of bliss for them, equivalent to dreams, let alone when a Hashemi Muhammadi leader is putting those turbans on their heads, making them preachers of belief and faith.

The coronation took place on December 11, the 14th of Rabi’ al-Thani of the Islamic calendar. Eight graduates from Al-Muntathar Hawza were hosted by the Secretary General of Hezbollah. The religious "edifice" had been informed of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's approval to sponsor the graduation of its students in person and was decided to take place last Wednesday. The hawza and its students were prepared.

The time came. Teachers and students were summoned to one of the halls where the security preparations there allowed Sayyed to attend. The attendees gathered. Both the occasion and the circumstance were exceptional. The sponsor of the ceremony has arrived.

There was confusion as the “Secretary” entered. Moments of amazement quickly turned into excitement. While His Eminence shook hands with the students and teachers and warmly embraced them, the director of the hawza’s administrative affairs Sheikh Bilal Awada was introducing them.

The time allotted for the ceremony was limited, so it soon commenced. Verses from the holy Quran was read by one of the students, Sheikh Mohammad Amhaz. Then, the head of Hezbollah’s Sharia council, Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek, welcomed the attendees and thanked His Eminence for sponsoring the graduation for a third year in a row. Sayyed, then, started his address.

As a former student in this hawza, it is special to Sayyed as it reminds him of his early days of jihad in Baalbek. Sayyed started his speech by recalling one of the most important stages in Hezbollah’s rise religiously and as a resistance, the 80s. 

"The hawza has a special place, and whenever Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek asks me to sponsor such ceremonies, I quickly accept because I cannot refuse it," Sayyed said.

According to Sheikh Mohammad Amhaz, Sayyed’s speech was divided into two parts: the first was recommendations directed at students of Islamic sciences, in which he stressed that “today we need the insight of the religious clerics, especially among students of Islamic sciences, accompanied with piety in particular”.

Sayyed Nasrallah Advising and Graduating: Patience and Piety Come First

Sayyed stressed, “Our goal as religious scholars and students, equally, is to be with all social classes and not one without the other."

Sayyed recalled his experience when he was a student in the of Najaf Al-Ashraf seminary and his memories with Sheikh Ahmed Al-Sheikh, who was a colleague in Islamic studies and a friend of his. He elaborated extensively on the very difficult living circumstances in Iraq during the days of the Baathist regime, when he was about 18 years old. Students of religious sciences were subject to dangerous circumstances. They faced possible liquidation, being killed or even kidnapped. During that period, the Baathists doubled their targeting of hawza students, and he was one of them. Things reached a dead end. Until he became homeless. So, he had to leave the country and head back to Lebanon. However, several obstacles stood in his way. When he entered Iraq, the officer at the passport control did not stamp his passport. The stamp proves he legally entered the country. But a divine miracle prevented the situation from getting worse. The passport control did not notice the missing stamp, and His Eminence as well as his brothers were able to return to their country safely.

Sayyed Nasrallah Advising and Graduating: Patience and Piety Come First

His Eminence told this touching story for a reason, according to Sheikh Mohammad Amhaz. Sayyed wanted to give us an example of the hardship he faced while he sought Islamic studies. He wanted to encourage us as religious scholars to rely on God in adversity before prosperity, to follow the path of guidance until the end and endure hardships, for there is nothing that can stop our scholastic path, be it security or political circumstances.

The second part of Sayyed speech, which spanned for about two continuous hours, tackled the internal Lebanese affairs, especially in light of what it has been witnessing for more than 50 days. Sayyed emphasized that we might go through difficult economic conditions, but this requires patience, farsightedness and endurance.

"We have always been accustomed to being aided by God during difficult circumstances," Sayyed added. "We depend on God and on everyone shouldering their responsibilities. Our dependence is on God."

Sitting with Sayyed is captivating. Nothing could distract us during his presence, Sheikh Amhaz points out. The atmosphere of warmth and love took over the occasion, which was far from military and extreme seriousness. However, Sheikh Amhaz adds, "We tried to make use of our time with His Eminence. The meeting holds a deeper meaning to us. There is no place here for superficial matters."

The time for putting on the turbans neared. The names of the graduates were put on each turban. The scene was preserved and photographed, but Sayyed made sure to organize the filming process himself. He gave instructions and directions on how to take pictures and from which angle. He looked like a real expert, says Sheikh Amhaz.

Sheikh Amhaz pauses well at that moment, describing it as "impressive and beyond all sanctities, but mixed with uneasiness and fear of the responsibilities the newly turbaned clerics will shoulder."

Sayyed gave the graduates a lot of advice. But he gave one special recommendation to Sheikh Muhammad Amhaz since he recites and memorizes the Quran. His Eminence advised him to always keep reading the Quran. And he specifically told him, "Your turban to me is conditional on you continuing to read the Quran, especially since some clerics ignore this aspect after wearing the turban ... We must persevere and work in this direction, so that the focus is not only on Husseini oratory.”

The students of Islamic studies spent three hours of affability with Sayyed Nasrallah. The time spent overflowed with feelings of devotedness and piety. It was also mixed with the values of worship, obedience to the Lord and devotion to the path of his Messenger. According to everyone present, the sponsor of the occasion seemed firm but modest, fortified but ascetic. The verse {Forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.} applies to him. 

Following are the names of the graduating students:

Sheikh Hassan Al-Nimr

Sheikh Hussein Al-Nimr

Sheikh Hassan Al-Baba

Sheikh Khalil Yassin

Sheikh Abbas Chalhoub

Sheikh Abbas Sadiq

Sheikh Mohammad Amhaz

Sheikh M0hammad Al-Ahmad