Said Jesus, the son of Mary, "O God, our Lord, send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven to be for us a festival for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us, and You are the best of providers." The Holy Quran 5:114
To welcome and witness the dawn of a New Year is another Divine gift and another opportunity to reflect on our relationship with our Lord, ourselves, society and with nature!
Submission to God's will and solidarity with our fellow humans were the first articles in our original spiritual covenant with our creator. As the Persian poet Saadi said, "The children of Adam are members of the same body, if one member suffers, the entire body suffer."
Jesus and other heavenly ambassadors on this earth, such as Abraham, Moses and Mohammad (pbut), came to remove the darkness of ignorance, arrogance, injustice, hate, hypocrisy, corruption and dishonesty. They came to turn on the lights of love, sacrifice, sincerity and fulfillment of truth and trust. That legacy of light is still shining and inviting the forces of faith to remember their responsibility and mission on this earth in calling for peace and justice with courage and confidence!
As we bid farewell to 2012 and welcome 2013, we pray the new year brings bright beginnings that promise a new vision filled with wisdom.
The evil forces of arrogance and extremism turned 2012 into a year of death, destruction, brutality and bloodshed in the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa. The heartbreaking massacre of teachers and their young students in Connecticut and the shooting and killing of the firefighters in New York were part of shocking crimes against the innocent.
The challenge of replacing blindness and barbarism with balance, benevolence, humility and respect for human dignity should be our main social resolution for the new year. Big changes are not easy to make while facing the resistance of the ego, selfishness, greed and ignorance. The value of great people is measured with their dedication, discipline and determination.
Security concerns can not be met by selling more guns! The solution is in teaching moral values, introducing the right role models and focusing on faith and family, which is the first school in the learning journey of life.
Recently I started a new series of sermons during our weekly Friday congregational prayer service under the category of educating minds and purifying the hearts, especially the young generation. Taleem and Tarbiya (knowledge and construction of good character) were of the main missions of the prophets and were the best instruments of transferring Divine light to the world.
On behalf of the Islamic House of Wisdom Board of Trustees and myself, we wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year!
We pay tribute to the generous support from members of our faithful community who continued their encouragement and contributions throughout the year for IHW projects and successful services.
The dream of having an open and visionary house of wisdom, house of work and house of worship in an excellent location came true 17 years ago. IHW, a beautiful foundation of faith, is open seven days a week, welcoming all visitors and receivers of services from all colors, cultures, nationality backgrounds, and languages.
The modern facility of IHW is beautified with unique Islamic art, comfortable auditorium seating, masjid prayer area, classrooms for almost 500 students, maqhsal (Islamic washing facility for funeral preparation), reception dining hall, capacity for large memorial services, accommodating facility for wedding ceremonies, spacious and inviting atmosphere for public lectures and conferences, all of which have made IHW a great community center!
What has made IHW an inspiring and rewarding institution is its language and educational programs geared for the youth, commitment in serving the needs of the elderly, quality Friday and Sunday services, strong interfaith outreach, sincere and loving hearts of its founding members, directors, staff and volunteers and the courageous position in defending justice and truth- any time, under any circumstance and with any price!
We encourage you to join us in our upcoming programs and weekly services and hope that you will invite your family and friends to take part in them as well! Again, we wish you a joyful new year full of love, peace and success.