09/11/12: Imam Elahi's Interfaith Prayer on Anniversary of 9/11/2001!
قُلْ يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـابِ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى كَلِمَة سَوَآءِ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلاَّ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضاً أَرْبَاباً
مِّن دُونِ اللهِ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُولُواْ اشْهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ﴾3-64
We came here this evening as a diverse community, representing different religious, cultural, social and political backgrounds. We are here to honor the about 3,000 innocent people, who lost their lives in the tragic terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001. We also want to honor the millions of other innocent lives, who were killed or wounded in the last 9 years in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places.
As one nation, one human family and under one Creator, we ask the Lord to bless us with the wisdom, vision, courage, commitment and tolerance to build better communities. This can be done by working together, visiting one another, listening and learning from each other and opening our hearts to share our mutual love, compassion, respect and responsibility.
O Lord: Your prophets focused on 5 principles: Protecting human life, intellect, integrity, religious traditions and property. O Lord: Guide us to represent Your beauty, Your benevolence and Your perfection on earth. It is with Your help and our genuine faith, we can heal humanity against the diseases of injustice, oppression, poverty, war, violence, and racism.
O Lord: We trust every messenger You sent to lead us. O Lord: You sent the Quran as a a book of interfaith. While You mentioned the Prophet Muhammad only 5 times in the Quran, You honored Abraham 70 times, Jesus and Mary 70 times and Moses 136 times in the Holy Book.
So please help the ignorant to understand that:
Islam is not an enemy, it's a friend,
Islam is not a problem, it's a solution.
Islam is not a threat, it's hope and mercy.
O Lord: Bless those who had the wisdom to speak up against the burning of the Quran, and we pray for those who called for this evil act to heal them from ignorance, hatred and prejudice.
O Lord: We thank you for converting this terrible incident into a moment of unity against all extremists in all religions.
May God bless the souls of all victims of terrorism from America to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine, the birth place of Jesus, the prince of peace.
May God bless us and bless this land of liberty and freedom!
A Call for an International Day of Reverence and Respect for all Faiths and their Holy Books
September 10, 2010 - Imani Temple on Capitol Hill - Washington, D.C.
We, the American Clergy Leadership Conference, a movement of Clergy who are Christian pastors and leaders of all Faiths, call on the Christian community to join in celebrating an International Day of Reverence and Respect on Sunday, September 12th, in which we open our arms to embrace our Islamic brothers and sisters and welcome them into our churches, asking them to share with us their faith as we share ours with them.
We stand here today on the eve of 9/11 with sincere prayer and remembrance of those who lost their lives and the loved ones they left behind. The tragedy that occurred at Ground Zero was born out of hate and extremism, a new era will only be born out of love and cooperation.
We as representatives of the faith communities are all people of the Book. That is, we are people of God's Word. We stand as One to say to our American Islamic brothers and sisters, as well to our Islamic brothers and sisters in every nation of the world, we reverence and respect the faith of Islam. We are confident that God (Allah), the creator of us all is One.
Jesus said in the Gospel of John 10:16: "I have many sheep who are not of this fold. I must bring them also and they will heed my voice, so there shall be one flock, one shepherd."
The desecration of a synagogue, a church, a mosque, or the Qur'an or any holy book is a detestable and despicable offense to people of all faiths. Therefore, we sincerely ask in prayer that Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida end his commitment to denigrate the faith of Islamic believers by burning their holy book, the Qur'an, and join with us in dialogue and understanding. We say to him: "If you read the book that you are about to burn, you will be burning words that are sacred not only to Islam, but words that are consistent with the tenets of many faith expressions."
In the fifth Surah of the Qur'an, it says, "And nearest to them in love to the believers (Muslims) you will find those who say, 'We are Christians,' because among them are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Apostle, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth. They pray, 'Our Lord, we believe. Write us down among the witnesses." Qur'an 5:82-85.
This is the testimony of the Qur'an in respect of all Christians and people of the Book. Therefore, we call upon all Christians who are true to the principle of the love taught by Jesus to stand with us now in prayer, and ask that we engage in a new level of reverence and respect for all faiths, especially Islam and its Holy Book, the Qur'an.
We stand on common ground because there is only one God that created all of us.We stand on common ground with our Muslim brothers and sisters because we believe in fidelity and faithfulness in marriage and family. Therefore, we as Christians are proclaiming to the Muslim world that the true believers of the Book, true believers of the Gospel love, reverence and respect our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith. We are calling upon all believers to come together and to end the bloodshed and violence in the world by lifting up respect and love.
America was founded on the spirit of the love of Jesus. In the Declaration of Independence it says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Our Constitutional principles are founded on the spirit of this declaration which acknowledges God our creator. America will be preserved if it honors God and to do so we must honor the faith traditions and believers he has created.
On these principles America is a nation where people of all faith expression can find a safe haven of reverence and respect. However our history tells us that these principles only come to life when they are practiced by people of courage and faith. Only through the struggle of overcoming the barriers of race, ethnicity and religion can we realize the ideals of the scriptures and the founding principles of this nation. Faith leaders are called to lead the way.
We pray now that we can move beyond this era of religious intolerance and conflict into an era of religious cooperation and mutual understanding, that we can grow together in love, and that we can realize the fulfillment of all the Scriptures that call on all of us to truly be faithful to God and to love and respect all people.
A Call for an International Day of Reverence and Respect for all Faiths, Believers and their Holy Books
The American Clergy Leadership Conference, standing as Christian pastors together with leaders of all faiths, call on our Christian communities nationally and internationally to join us in celebrating an International Day of Reverence and Respect for all Faiths, Believers and their Holy Books on Sunday, September 12th , by
· Urging All Pastors and Ministers of the Gospel to reverence God and all believers who he created by respecting the Qur'an/Koran and and proclaiming it as a Holy Book that is as sacred to Muslims as the Bible is to Christian believers
· Using the International Day of Reverence as a 'Teachable Moment' to promote Religious Tolerance and Understanding of Faith Expressions different from our own.
· Selecting a Reading from the Qur'an/Koran to be publicly proclaimed during the Sunday Worship Service as a way of clearly demonstrating that it shares meaningful beliefs and truths in common with other world religions
· Inviting an Iman or Representative of the Islamic Faith to participate in the main worship service on the International Day of Reverence
· Distributing a leaflet or brochure on the main teachings and beliefs of Islam to members of non-Islamic congregations as a way of encouraging further study and understanding of the tenets of the Islamic Faith
The American Clergy Leadership Conference was founded by the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon in 2000 has grown to an association of thousands of clergy throughout all 50 states. Presiding Prelate Rev. In Jin Moon, Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Chairman, Rev. Michael Jenkins, Co Presidents - Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings Jr. and Bishop Jesse Edwards. Rev. Levy Daugherty, Executive Board member and Senior Advisor, Rev. Tanya Edwards, Minister Reiko Jenkins - National Coordinators - Women in Ministry ACLC.
Verses of the Qur'an that Respect Jesus, Christianity and "People of the Book"
Of the people of the
Book there is staunch community who recites the revelations
of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate
(before Him). They believe in
Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin right, conduct and
forbid indecency, and vie one
with another in good works.
They are of the righteous. And
whatever good they do, they will not be denied
the need thereof. Allah is aware of those who
ward off (evil)". Surah
"And lo! Of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto you and that which was revealed unto them, humbling themselves before Allah. They purchase not a trifling gain at the price of the revelation of Allah.. Verily their reward is with their Lord, and lo! Allah is swift to take account. Surah 3:199
"And nearest to them in love to the believers (Muslims) you will find those who say, 'We are Christians,' because among them are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Apostle, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth. They pray, 'Our Lord, we believe. Write us down among the witnesses." Surah 5:82-85
"ALLAH is HE besides Whom there is none worthy of worship, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. HE has sent down to thee the Book containing the truth and fulfilling that which precedes it; and HE has sent down the Torah (Law of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guidance to the people; and HE has sent down the judgement between right and wrong)." -Surah 3:3-4
"Thereupon she pointed to him. They said, 'How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?' Jesus said, 'I am a servant of ALLAH. HE has given me the Book, and has made me a Prophet; 'And HE has made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me Prayer and almsgiving so long as I live; 'And HE has made me dutiful towards my mother, and has not made me arrogant and graceless; 'And peace was on me the day I was born, and peace will be on me the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up to life again.' That was Jesus, son of Mary. This is a statement of the truth concerning which they entertain doubt."- Surah 19:30-35
When the angels said, 'O Mary, ALLAH gives thee glad tidings of a son through a word from HIM; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God;
'And he shall speak to the people in the cradle, and when of middle age, and he shall be of the righteous. She said, 'My Lord, how shall I have a son, when no man has touched me? He said, 'Such is the way of ALLAH. HE creates what HE pleases. When HE decrees a thing HE says to it 'Be,' and it is;"- Surah 3:38-48
"When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: 'Now I have come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which you dispute. Therefore, fear God and obey me. God, He is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him -- this is a Straight Way.' But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement. So woe to the wrongdoers, from the penalty of a Grievous Day!" Surah 43:63-65