In the Media

01/15/15: CNN: Imam Elahi speaking with Carol Costello on CNN's Newsroom show

01-15-15: Imam Elahi speaking with Carol Costello on the morning CNN Newsroom show.
IHW is receiving encouraging comments from all over the country for the inspiring and energizing words of imam Elahi with CNN this morning.
Imam Elahi mentioned how Islam and Muslims are a target of both physical and psychological terrorism. Also that our world is in need of leaders like Martin Luther King, that is why the interfaith of our community are coming to the Islamic House of Wisdom this Sunday to honor his non-violence movement.
He added that people like Ayatollah Sistani and former Iraninan President, Khatami are the Martin Luther King examples of our time. Reminding that President Rouhani brought an anti-violence and anti-terrorism push to the UN.
Imam Elahi stated that if the US and other Western governments are serious about fighting against ISIS and other terrorists, why are they so close with Saudi Arabia, the source of terrorism yet not even talking with Syria that has been fighting terrorism for 4 years and only in 2014 has lost more than 70000 of it citizens in this war.
There was a lot to share but how much can u say in 4 minutes? Please send us your thoughts!

01/09/15: Channel 7- Detroit: Local Imam addresses terror attacks in Paris, condemns them as senseless

Watch HERE:

DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WXYZ) - A local Islamic leader is speaking out about this week's terror attacks in Paris.

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights said such acts of violence hurt the image and message of Islam.

"They are not jihadists, they're a bunch of jerks," the Imam said of the two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the deadly attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper in Paris.

"We feel sad because then our faith is under fire our faith is under attack," Imam Elahi said after his sermon. "These guys have nothing to do with Islam. That was a stupid act by stupid individuals who were brainwashed," he added.

Unfortunately, Imam Elahi said, the misunderstanding of Islam - or "Islamaphobia" - is a reality many face even in Dearborn, home to the biggest population of Arab Muslims in North America. He said it will take informed dialogue to break the barriers of that misunderstanding and that the responsibility not only rests with Muslims but also the greater community.

The Islamic House of Wisdom is located at 22575 Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights.


01/09/15: Channel 2- Detroit: Metro Detroit Islamic leaders condemn Paris killings

01/09/15: Channel 2- Detroit: Metro Detroit Islamic leaders condemn Paris killings

Watch HERE-

Local Islamic leaders are speaking out and condemning the killings in Paris

They are also honoring the victims and showing solidarity with the people of France.

The Friday sermon at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights by Imam Mohammed Elahi was emotional. 

01/09/15: Macomb Daily, Michigan- Local Muslims condemn terrorist attacks in France

Read HERE:

Leaders of the southeast Michigan Muslim community condemned the attacks in Paris this week that claimed the lives of 12 persons at the offices of a satirical magazine.

After tense standoffs Friday that involved hostages in two locations, French authorities cornered and killed two brothers they believe were responsible for the slayings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine. A third person who held a hostage in a separate location also was killed.

Prior to that outcome, representatives of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council denounced the attacks.

“Neither God, nor Muhammad, whom they thought they are defending, nor the overwhelming majority of Muslims, would sanction such a heinous crime,” Imam Mohammed Elahi and Imam Mustapha Elturk said in a joint statement.

“The perpetrators must be brought to justice and face the consequences of their crime against humanity.”

The imams are the religious leaders in the Muslim community in southeast Michigan, including those who reside in Macomb and Oakland counties. Southeast Michigan is home to tens of thousands of Muslims.

Charlie Hebdo magazine, its journalists and cartoonists routinely satirize politics and religion, including the Islamic faith.

The magazine’s depiction, in particular, of the prophet Muhammad as a “terrorist,” angers members of the faith who find the depictions offensive, the imams acknowledged.

But responding with violence is not justified nor sanctioned by Islam, they said.

Quoting the teachings of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, Imams Elahi and Elturk said: “Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil with what is better, and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend.”

The religious leaders also implored non-Muslims to resist the temptation to blame all Muslims for the violent acts perpetrated in France.

“We ask all people of conscience not to paint the entire Muslim people with the same brush,” the imams said. “We ask all citizens to refrain from violence and promote peace.

“Neither war nor revenge work for peace. Dialogue is the only way to peace.”

Among its goals is to promote unity and cooperation among the diverse Muslim communities; promote the best Islamic and American values; pursue social justice, improve human relations and uphold human rights in America.

08/26/14: ISIS is a bunch of gangsters, says imam at Dearborn rally (SLIDESHOW, VIDEO)

View HERE:

By Aysha Jamali
Press & Guide Newspapers
Twitter: @AyshaJamaliNews

Imam Mohammad Elahi, of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, says ISIS does not represent Islam. Photo by Aysha Jamali (See more photos via the link in the article.)

Muslim imams from across metro Detroit gathered on the steps of Dearborn City Hall Aug. 25 in a united voice to speak out against ISIS, the Islamic State militant group wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

The Islamic House of Wisdom, a Dearborn Heights mosque, organized the unity prayer and candlelight vigil where imams from the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council spoke.

Imam Mohammad Elahi, of the Islamic House of Wisdom, said ISIS does not represent Islam and called the group “a bunch of gangsters.”

Click here to SEE PHOTOS from the rally.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the imams have always condemned terrorists, whether they be al-Qaeda, ISIS, or Boko Haram.

“We’re here primarily to defend the true message of Islam,” he said.

Imam Aly Lela, of Troy, said ISIS is killing in the name of religion but they are not that religion. They are evil, he said.

“This is not the Islam that we know. This is not the Islam that we practice,” he said.

The imams were also supported by those in the crowd who agree with their message.

“We just believe in supporting the Muslims against the terrorists,” said Judy Satterthwaite, 75, of Rochester.

She heard about the rally and came out with three friends, all in their 70s and 80s, from Rochester Hills.

Speakers also talked about American journalist James Foley, who was abducted by ISIS in Syria and is shown in a recently released video being beheaded by the group. All observed a moment of silence and lit candles in his memory.

“I am a journalist. He is a journalist,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News in Dearborn. “I stand with him and the rest of his family.”

Imam Mustapha Elturk, of the Islamic Organization of North America in Warren, sent his condolences to Foley’s family and other victims’ families.

“The barbaric behavior of ISIS is abhorred and cannot be justified,” he said.

Contact Staff Writer Aysha Jamali at

08/25/14: Metro Detroit Muslim leaders denounce ISIS as 'crazy criminals'

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Muslim leaders gathered Monday on the steps of Dearborn City Hall to strongly condemn ISIS, saying the militant group in Iraq and Syria doesn’t represent Islam or Muslims.

ISIS members are “crazy criminals who are abusing our religion,” said Imam Mohammed Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights. “You’re a bunch of gangsters ... you’re not Islamic.”

Organized by imams with the Michigan Muslim Community Council, the speakers included both Shia and Sunni leaders of different ethnicities and races, all united in saying ISIS doesn’t speak for them.

“The beheading of James Foley ... is a clear violation of the holy Quran and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed,” said Imam Mustapha Elturk, who cochairs along with Elahi the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council. “ISIS neither represents Islam nor Muslims.”

Monday’s event was the third anti-ISIS rally in Dearborn this summer that was organized by local Muslims. Two rallies organized by Shia leaders were held in Dearborn in June that condemned ISIS. Hundreds attended both rallies.

About 50 attended Monday’s rally, which included remarks by local imams, Osama Siblani, publisher of Arab American News in Dearborn, Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Steve Spreitzer, president and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

“They are the enemies of humanity,” Siblani said of ISIS.

Siblani and Elahi asked the U.S. to stop supporting Syrian opposition groups such as ISIS. The U.S. has said it supports moderates in Syria’s opposition, not extremist groups like ISIS. Elahi also criticized Israel’s actions in Gaza.

“ISIS is a terrorist group,” said Imam Ali Ali, religious leader of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs, a Canton mosque. “They don’t speak in the name of Islam, in the name of Muslims, in the name of humanity.”

One cleric in Dearborn, Ahmad Jebril, has become the most popular religious leader online for ISIS fighters from the West, according to a British think-tank. But leaders at Monday’s rally were squarely united against ISIS.

“They have an evil agenda not witnessed since Nazi Germany,” Ahmad Nasser of Livonia said of ISIS. “They are repulsive.”

Imam Aly Lela of Troy said of ISIS: “This is not the Islam we practice.”

Contact Niraj Warikoo: 313-223-4792 or Follow him on Twitter

08/06/14: Condemning Bloodshed in Gaza, Praying for Peace & Justice

Seen on this week's Channel 4 News, Detroit, Michigan-Condemning Bloodshed in Gaza, Praying for Peace & Justice 

Watch here-

The InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit is asking the community to fast on Tuesday to solidarity for peace in the Middle East.

Inspired by the parents of the slain Israeli and Palestinian youths coming together, the council said it's calling on all faiths to recognize the day, which is a Muslim fast day during Ramadan and the Jewish fast day known as 17 Tammuz.

"Conflicts over power often hijack religious identity in order to masquerade as having a religious purpose. This does a disservice to the sacred. In metropolitan Detroit we are determined to model for the world as best we possibly can how to work on local issue as friends with a common desire to build a thriving community in which we can all share as equals. As the world continues to watch religious extremism and violence shatter lives and communities in the Middle East, local religious and interfaith leaders are working together to create solidarity and understanding here at home," the council said in a statement.

To read the full statement, click here.

Imams on Flashpoint

Imam Steve Elturk and Imam Elahi, Sunni and Shia co-Chairs of the MMCC Imams' Council appeared on Local 4’s Flashpoint on June 26 to talk about Ramadan.

Watch the video here:Flashpoint 6/29/14

07/28/14: Injustice the enemy in Gaza

July 28, 2014

Injustice the enemy in Gaza

From The Detroit News:

Article by Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi

In addition to the many international crises, the Middle East, the center of the Abraham family, is on fire while two of the Abrahamic faith traditions are being hijacked.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the name of the Jewish state and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in the name of the Islamic state.

But Netanyahu does not represent the true teachings of Judaism, nor does Al-Baghdadi represent the true teachings of Islam.

Let’s focus on the Gaza situation.

Nearly 2 million men, women and children have been surrounded from the air, sea and land to live in a virtual concentration camp with no easy exit.

Living under occupation and oppression, deprived of any real security, services, sovereignty or life opportunities such as education and jobs, the citizens of Gaza are left with no hope for the future.

Israel does not show any interest in dialogue with Gaza leaders and has no interest in relations with the Palestinian Authority.

When Hamas called for a unity government with the Palestinian Authority last month, Netanyahu attacked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying, “He can have peace with Israel or a pact with Hamas — he can’t have both.”

He said Israel would take “a number of additional measures” in response to the Palestinians’ “unilateral moves.”

More than 5,000 men, women and children of Gaza have been either killed or wounded in the first two weeks of Israel’s bombardment of residential areas.

More than 7,000 houses have been totally or partially destroyed. The area’s schools, hospitals, mosques, orphanages, stadiums, U.N. refugee camps and ambulances have been targeted.

Many people died under the rubble of their houses with no access to an ambulance or help.

The U.N. Human Rights Council considers Israeli’s actions to be violations of international law and to be war crimes, but it is quite clear that Israel will never cooperate with any U.N. investigations.

Israel has a mighty military, hundreds of nuclear missiles, laser-guided bombs and tremendous scientific knowledge. It has the unconditional support of the White House and Congress.

Having such a unique security position, why does the Israeli government react with fear, insecurity and frustration?

The real fear is not from Israel’s enemies, but from Israeli injustice.

What Israel is doing is not self-defense but self-destruction. NBC News reported that 58,000 Gaza children have suffered death, injury or homelessness in the first 10 days of the Israeli military operation.

To justify the Gaza genocide under the excuse of Hamas rocket attacks or tunnels is not acceptable, because Israel did not accept any chance for a political solution. International laws give the occupied people the right to resist by all available means.

To continue this brutal blockade and keep saying Gaza is not under occupation is an enormous joke.

For Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador, to say the Israeli army should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for unimaginable restraint in Gaza, is an insult to human dignity and intelligence. Dermer must apologize for such an attack on human integrity.

Even if Israel could win this war militarily, the price would be losing hearts and minds, starting with our State Department, which has already called the Gaza situation heartbreaking.

Mohammad Ali Elahi is imam of the Islamic House of Faith in Dearborn.

07/28/14: Area Muslims say Eid is a bittersweet holiday this year

Area Muslims say Eid is a bittersweet holiday this year

Eid marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, when Muslims believe that Islam's holy book, the Quran, was revealed by God to Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.

By Niraj Warikoo   Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

Read HERE:

Muslims across metro Detroit marked Eid on Monday, celebrating the holy day while also grieving for casualties in Middle East conflicts.

“Eid is bittersweet,” said Zeinab Chami, of Dearborn. “It’s a beautiful day of gratitude to God, spirituality and family, but it’s also the end of something wonderful. Eid is when we bid good-bye to Ramadan, which is like losing a friend.”

“This year, it’s especially bittersweet because of all the strife in the Muslim world, especially in Gaza and Iraq,” Chami added. “This Eid will be particularly difficult to celebrate with our whole hearts.”

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, head of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, echoed her views, saying: “We are grateful celebrating the occasion here, but we are extremely sad because of the situation in Gaza, in Syria, in Iraq, and some other Muslim nations that have no Eid today and can’t celebrate it because of war and violence.”

In his sermon Monday after Eid prayers, Elahi criticized both Israel and the Islamic State, formerly ISIS, a militant group in Iraq and Syria.

“They have nothing to do with Islam,” Elahi said of the group.

Eid marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, when Muslims believe that Islam’s holy book, the Quran, was revealed by God to Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.

In his sermon Monday after Eid prayers, Elahi said that Eid is like a “thanksgiving day for us, a spiritual birthday as we celebrate our submission to our Lord, and solidarity with his people.”

Elahi urged the congregation to continue six lessons from Ramadan: prayer, patience, charity, humility, respect, and responsibilities.

After Eid prayers, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano spoke at Elahi’s mosque, presenting a certificate from the county recognizing Eid.

Contact Niraj Warikoo: or 313-223-4792. Follow him on Twitter

07/07/14: Imam Elahi Participates in Craig Fahle Show to discuss tensions in Middle East

July 7, 2014: Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi & Imam Mustapha Elturk participated in the Craig Fahle Show which aired today in Detroit on WDET 101.9 fm. Listen: HERE Both answering questions on Ramadan and Muslim life in America and so called sectarian tensions in the Middle East.

Local leaders from different denominations of the Islamic faith are working to find common ground and unity during the holy month of Ramadan. Imam Mohammad Elahi is a Shiite leader and head of the Islamic House of Wisdom, and Imam Mustapha Elturk is a Sunni leader and head of Islamic Organization of North America. Both imams co-chair the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council. They recently reaffirmed a "Muslim Code of Honor" to jointly reject violence in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria.
Imams Elturk and Elahi say the Sunni and Shiite denominations receive a lot of media attention for their differences overseas, but they share more in common than many people realize.
"We share so many similarities," says Imam Elahi "We are all Muslim. We believe in one God."
Elahi says violent divisions between Muslims are a disease or poison in the Islamic faith. Elahi and Elturk stress peace and progressive collaboration among all Muslims.
"Another factor that's very important is the spirit of democracy we practice here in America," says Imam Elturk. He says he understands there are ethnic divisions in Muslim communities in the U.S. but he says there is no place for division in Islam. "We should be identifying ourselves as Muslims first."
Imam Elahi agrees.
"The definition of a Muslim is a person of peace," he says.

06/29/14: Imam Elahi on Channel 4's Flash Point- Response to the Violence in the Middle East

June 29, 2014

Imam Elahi and Imam Elturk of MMCC, in Channel 4's Flash Point, expressing the Muslim community's response to the war, violence and terrorism in Iraq, Syria and other parts of Middle East!   View the video here:

11/29/13: Muslims condemn Beirut double suicide bombing

Muslims condemn Beirut double suicide bombing

By Natasha Dado

Friday, 11.29.2013, 02:59pm

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — American Muslims gathered at the Islamic House of Wisdom here Nov. 24 for a commemoration ceremony held in remembrance of those who lost their lives Nov. 19 in double suicide bombings that killed 25 people at the Iranian embassy in south Beirut. 

The suicide bombings were carried out by a Lebanon based Al-Qaeda linked group who threatened future attacks unless Iran withdrew its troops from Syria. 

During the ceremony members of the Muslim community including religious leaders condemned the attacks, and said the terrorist group that committed them in Islam’s name doesn’t reflect the faith’s peaceful teachings.  

Those who attended prayed for the fast recovery of people who were wounded in the attack, and others who lost their loved ones. 

Younes Makki, a 14-year-old Lebanese American recites a prayer from the Quran in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Beirut bombings

"The actions of a few do not resemble Islam. Of course we condemn this type of terrorism. People who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam, may claim to be Muslim, but they’re not. In Islam even animals are protected and respected," said Iranian American Ali Sharief, a Dearborn resident. 

"Definitely we condemn the attacks on the Iranian Embassy…This is a crime against humanity in our eyes, and criminal activity. And we hope the government takes these criminals and puts them in the place where they belong." Younes Makki, a 14-year-old Dearborn resident who’s Lebanese recited a prayer from the Quran for the victims who lost their lives in the attacks.  A lot of young Muslim Americans attended the ceremony to pay tribute to the victims and express solidarity with their families.  

"I feel like it is really sad. I was born here, but I still care about the violence plaguing the country I trace my roots to," Makki said. 

Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom asked the crowd to also remember victims of similar attacks  in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries that have become vulnerable to terrorism in recent years. 

"We know what Islam is. It is peaceful, humble, kind and loving. The people who commit acts of terrorism against Islam add fuel to the fires of Islamophobia," Elahi said.  

11/27/13: Iranian Americans, scholars react to historic Iran nuclear deal

Iranian Americans, scholars react to historic Iran nuclear deal

By Samer Hijazi and Natasha Dado

Wednesday, 11.27.2013, 08:09pm

Iranian and Arab Americans in communities across the country are expressing enthusiasm about the historic agreement between Iran and six world powers that was finalized on Sunday, Nov. 24.

The deal between Iran and the six major nations, which include the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, places constraints on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for relieving some economic sanctions on the Islamic republic. The agreement also calls for more intrusive international monitoring of Iran’s much disputed nuclear program.

“I think it is not an exaggeration to say this is a historic deal, and I consider it a great victory for peace, diplomacy and dialogue,” said Iranian American Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights. 

Elahi also congratulated Iranian president Dr. Hassan Rouhani, whom he met with in September along with a group of Muslim American leaders, following Rouhani’s address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

While he says the deal was good news for the entire international community, it was a painful defeat for the forces behind “Iranophobia.” 

He said much of the negative press on Iran in the Western media over the last few years has actually drawn attention away from other critical issues, such as Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlement activity, and Saudi Arabia’s support for terrorism.  

“What no one thinks about is that the Saudis are the biggest supporters of terrorism in the Middle East.  All they want to talk about is Iran, but no one talks about the real problem in the Middle East, which is the occupation on the Israeli side and terrorism on the Saudi side,” Elahi added. 

For decades, the diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Iran has been sour. “Finally, wisdom won this diplomatic war. After having no diplomatic relations for decades and to sit down and have dialogue by itself is a big development regardless of the details of the agreement,” Elhai said. 

Elahi says Iran didn’t lose anything in the deal.  He noted that limitations on its nuclear program to prevent it from building a weapon were pointless, as the country never had any intention of doing that in the first place. 

Meanwhile, the recent developments with Iran seem to have thrown a wrench in U.S. relations with Israeli leaders. Hours after the historic agreement was signed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the media to voice his discontent, calling the development a "historical mistake."

University of Michigan-Dearborn Political Science Professor and Author Ron Stockton tells The Arab American News that despite Netanyahu's disapproval, the agreement will not have much of an impact on the American relationship with Israel in the long run.

"This is not going to make matters worse with Israel. Netanyahu has been openly hostile to Obama for a while now, campaigning against him during the last election. The relationship is tense, and not so positive, but it will not change the country's relationship with Israel in any final way," Stockton says.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by ABC this week found that the majority of Americans are backing the agreement. The poll found that 64 percent of Americans support the nuclear deal with Iran, while 30 percent oppose it. Stockton believes the divide in opinion most likely comes down to partisan affiliations.

"Certain Republicans have come out and opposed this deal, and I think the public who follow those individuals are going to be negative about it. But most of the public will embrace the fact that we can do something without a war, which is certainly a plus," Stockton added.

Khalil Jahshan, a Palestinian-American Lecturer in International Studies, says the agreement made with Iran is proof that the U.S. can settle conflicts in the region without having to resort to war. 

"I would say that the U.S.-Israeli relationship is going through a crisis of serious magnitude that we haven't seen in a long time," Jahshan said. "For once, the U.S. decided to do what was best for this country and put behind what is the best interest for Israel."

Jahshan believes that the agreement is going to be a win-win for both the U.S. and Iran, as both countries could see significant benefits in coming months.

"This is an issue that has been nagging U.S. interests in the Middle East for several years now. But this can potentially save the Iranian region from economic instability and save us from an unnecessary war. It will open the door for the prospect of a good follow up, which could settle the issue in a permanent way, hopefully in six to twelve months down the road."

In Iran, residents have given mixed reactions to the news. While some continue to oppose the idea of progress with the six world powers, many young Iranians have spoken out in favor of the developments, hoping the elimination of previous sanctions will result in a turn-around for the country's unemployment rate.

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) this week released a statement applauding the recent developments between the two countries. NIAC urged both the U.S. and Iran to ignore radicals who will continue to make attempts to derail the potential outcome of the deal.

"Many obstacles and potential spoilers remain. Hardliners in both countries will work harder than ever to sabotage this pivot towards a diplomatic path. Those whose only currency is confrontation will search for any opportunities they can find to undermine and sabotage this interim deal," the NIAC said in a press release. "This is the beginning, not the end of the process.  The U.S. and Iran must continue vigorously pursuing a long-term agreement that can put the two countries on a sustainable path forward to peaceful relations.”  


10/15/13: Muslims across metro Detroit celebrate Eid al-Adha with prayers, sacrifice

Muslims across metro Detroit celebrate Eid al-Adha with prayers, sacrifice

Click Here to Read Online & See Photo Highlights

Detroit Free Press- by: Niraj Warikoo

October 15, 2013 |  Hundreds of Muslims gathered today in mosques across metro Detroit to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the holiday that remembers the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son to show his obedience to God.

At the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi told congregants during Eid prayers about the importance of sacrifice. He also talked about ending terrorism and war.

“I prayed for the end of war and misery in the Muslim and Christian worlds,” Elahi said. “I prayed for the youth of the community, from staying away from drugs, alcohol, and family challenges. And I also prayed for our country.”

Elahi’s mosque, like some others, will have a second day of Eid prayers Wednesday because of differences among religious leaders as to the date of Eid.

After Eid prayers today, some Muslims slaughtered sheeps, cows, and other animals to symbolize Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice. Other local Muslims are in Mecca for the pilgrimage known as hajj; Eid is marked at the end of hajj.


07/25/13: Islamic House of Wisdom holds Ramadan iftar dinner

Islamic House of Wisdom holds Ramadan iftar dinner

Thursday, 07.25.2013, 09:18pm- Arab American News

The Islamic House of Wisdom (IHW) hosted their annual Ramadan iftar dinner on Wednesday, July 24, in Dearborn Heights. 

Attendees included 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey, Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad, Third Circuit Cour Judge Chris Dingell and Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly. Imam Elahi, spiritual leader of the IHW, was honored by members of the interfaith community and the Girl Scouts of Michigan for his contributions to interfaith relations.

07/24/2013: DEARBORN: Imam says Ramadan works to build obedience to God, 'a better life'

DEARBORN: Imam says Ramadan works to build obedience to God, 'a better life'

After a month of fasting from sunrise to sundown every day, there should be a noticeable difference in people, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi says.

"There is a before and after," Elahi says of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is about half complete this week.

Elahi, leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom on Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights, says Ramadan provides an annual opportunity for Muslims to become more obedient to God.

From sunrise to sunset, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking or engaging in sexual relations. Many attend nightly prayer services at area mosques and then break the fast with a large meal.

Many Muslims attend the meal, called Iftar, at a mosque. Others attend large buffets at area restaurants. Still others prefer to take their meals at home with their families, Elahi says.

Ramadan is a celebration of the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran is the Muslim holy book. Ramadan culminates in a festival called Eid Al-Fitr.

"Ramadan makes us more loving, more peaceful, more humble, " Elahi says. "We're building a better life for ourselves and our society."

Elahi encourages Muslims to think about what it means to go without food and beverages — even water.

"We don't want to engage in fasting as a ritual," he says. "All that's doing is making people hungry and thirsty. We fast to dominate over our desires."

Another benefit of fasting is that it allows Muslims to sympathize with those who don't have enough to eat, Elahi says, adding that he hopes it motivates them to increase their charitable acts.

Children, pregnant women and those who are ill or traveling are exempt from fasting.

The Islamic House of Wisdom is offering an interfaith prayer service at 8 p.m. today. Elahi says he expects members of many area churches to attend.

Anne Runkle is a freelance writer for Heritage Media.

07/18/2013: Elahi meets with Congressman Dingell, discusses U.S.-Iran relations

Elahi meets with Congressman Dingell, discusses U.S.-Iran relations

Thursday, 07.18.2013, 09:02pm

Arab American News 

DEARBORN HEIGHTS - Last week, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi and Congressman John Dingell met to discuss U.S.- Iranian relations. 

The discussion centered on the election of the new moderate Iranian president and the opening of a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries.

Imam Elahi (right) pictured with Congressman Dingell.Elahi asked the Congressman to refer to his wisdom and experience to help improve U.S. relations with Iran.  He pointed out President Obama’s friendly messages to the Iranian people, over the last few years, and asked that the U.S. turn those words into actions and begin renewed diplomatic dialogue between "these two great nations."

He described Rouhani's election as a great opportunity and a test for the Obama Administration to establish a direct dialogue with Iran, based on mutual interest and respect. 

Congressman Dingell promised to do all that he can to help and assured Elahi that he would assign a member of his office to continue this conversation.  


07/11/13: Fasting? Health comes first, say medicine and religion

Fasting? Health comes first, say medicine and religion

By Ali Harb

Thursday, 07.11.2013, 08:48pm-- Arab American News

The Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan this year coincides with some of the hottest and longest days of summer. However, fasting in such conditions, could create health risks for people with certain medical conditions.

Although the Qur'an says, "God does not require a person more than his abilities," some Muslims, who should not fast for medical reasons, still choose to observe Ramadan.

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, the spiritual leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom, explains that if a Muslim personally fears for his health, or if a doctor tells him that fasting is harmful, he/she is not required to fast in Ramadan.

If unable to fast during the Holy Month, Muslims are mandated by their religion to make up those days by fasting during a different time of the year. However, if a Muslim has a chronic medical problem and cannot fast at all, he should feed a poor person for every day of Ramadan that he does not fast, which is the equivalent of paying $5 to $10 to charity, according to Elahi. Muslims who are poor themselves are relieved of that fee.

"Ramadan is supposed to make us healthier," says Elahi. "If fasting harms your health, then you have no obligation to fast."

Dr. Samuel Fawaz, an internal medicine MD, says that some of his patients fast against his recommendations. 

Fawaz works at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and does not see many Muslim patients, but he says that during his 9-year medical career he has seen many cases where patients, who are not supposed to fast, suffer dehydration and end up in the hospital because of their decision to observe Ramadan, regardless.

Fawaz cautions some of his patients, respectfully, against fasting, but explains that sometimes they choose to follow the advice of clergy in the community, who suggest that they should observe the Holy Month.

"As a rule of thumb, people with serious health conditions, like heart disease, or any sort of cancer, or kidney problems should not fast," he says. "Elderly people, who are already prone to dehydration, should not fast either."

Fawaz says that the age when a person should stop fasting varies from one individual to another, depending on the person's health. But generally he would recommend that people over the age of 75 not fast.

Elahi agrees that the elderly are not required to fast, but explains that no set age is mandated in Islam for older Muslims to stop fasting. It depends on the individual and his health situation.

Fawaz points out that his medical opinions are his own, and that other doctors may disagree with him, as health issues are open to debate and interpretation.

A Dearborn doctor, who wished for his name not to be published, agreed that all the health conditions mentioned by Fawaz constitute situations where people should not fast.

The Dearborn doctor, whose patients are mostly Muslim, added diabetes to the list of medical conditions that should deter people from fasting.

"Diabetics urinate more than the average person, so they run a higher risk of dehydration," he said.

Elahi explains that people who fast and ignore their health are doing something “haram” (religiously prohibited), because Islam bans self-harm.

"They might be doing it out of faith and with the best of intentions," he says. "But it is a kind of extremism. You are not supposed to harm yourself. We say that all the time."

Fawaz adds that it may also not be healthy for children, under the age of 14, to fast, because their smaller physical builds do not contain a lot of water, and their physiology has not matured enough, so their systems have a higher risk of collapse under stress.

"There is also the mental aspect," he added. "It is hard to tell children not to play outside in the sun when they are fasting. Kids are not mature enough to stay home and save their bodies' water and energy."

Elahi said that boys in Islam are required to fast from the age of 15, or from the time they reach puberty. But the age of fasting for a girl is "controversial." Some scholars say that girls must start fasting at 9, while others say at 13 or 14. But, no matter which scholar people choose to follow, if a young girl finds it too difficult to fast, she should not be fasting, Elahi adds.

Elahi explains that hardship is a component of fasting. People in Ramadan should go through the internal struggle of fasting to gain discipline and determination and to also understand the pain of poverty and hunger, so as to feel solidarity with the poor.

However, he added, if people are at risk of losing their jobs, or compromising their health, as a result of fasting, exceptions can be made, because Islam is a religion of reason and rationality.