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Imam Siddiqui Conducted Prayer for Peace on the International Day of Peace 2008

by Jeremy Hustwit Wednesday, Sep. 24, 2008 at 2:35 AM
Hustwit@gmail.com 909-267-8507 2425 E Street/Bonita Ave, La Verne, CA 91750

Imam Ali Siddiqui was the featured speaker at the UN International Day of Peace celebrated on September 21, 2008 at the Brethren Church of La Verne, La Verne, CA. Imam Siddiqui highlighted the sanctity of life and lead the group in prayer for Peace. His prayer was punctuated with the recitation of Quran.

Text of Imam Ali Siddiqui Prayer for Peace:

My brothers and sisters in humanity:

Let me first offer you the universal Greetings of Peace, As Salamu Alaikum. And I also offer you the blessing of Ramadan.

I begin in the name of God, the Merciful, the Lord of Mercy, and the Peace Giver.

Culture of Life:

God warns us in the Holy Quran:

“If any one kills a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief on the earth, it would be as if killing the whole humanity; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if one saved the life of the whole humanity.” (Quran 5:32)

War mongers and the practioners of terror keep spreading violence and destroying livelihood, and killing innocent people. It only proves the African saying: “When the elephants fight, grass suffers!”

President Bush and his cabinet continue to talk about Culture of Life and the sanctity of life. Culture of Life should mean all lives, every one’s life at home and in the world. When an unborn life is sacred, so are the lives of those who are already on the earth are sacred, too! We cannot and shall not kill innocent men, women and children anywhere by any means – even our enemies. Their lives are also sacred including Japanese, Iraqis, Iranies, Afghans, Palestinians, Israelis, Lebanese, Kashmiries, and even Martians.

They too have RED blood! Unfortunately, I am not sure about the Martians!

Once again, this year International Day of Peace fell during the Muslim blessed month of Ramadan - A month of Peace and community. Ramadan is a month long commitment to acquire self control. In these times of violence, perpetuated by wars and terror, and exploitation of other people’s natural resource, power to be does need to develop and exercise self control to get out of the vicious cycle of violence.

Ramadan offers an opportunity to return to God; and focus on the plight of less fortunate in our neighborhood, community and the world by sharing and caring for them. It is the month to open our hearts to the needs of poor and those who are suffering from ongoing wars.

It is the time to develop reliance on God. It is time to seek forgiveness from God and seek God’s mercy:

O Lord, forgive us, overlook our mistakes and shortcomings.

O Peace Giver! Bestow upon us your mercy and Peace on earth.

Say: Amen!

Indeed Ramadan is the month of Peace. There is a special night during this month, which is better than 1,000 months.

On this night, God almighty sends an army of special angels under the leadership of Holy Spirit, Gabriel going to every nook and cranny of the world to spread Peace. (Q 97: 1-4)

Peace! It is the commandment of God, the Lord of Mercy. (Q 36:58)

We shall walk on the path of Peace against all odds:

O Lord! Let there be Peace between our hearts and between our communities. And let it begin with me, my family, and my community!

Say: Amen!

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring an International Day of Peace:

"Declares that the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global duration of the Day...“Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of global ceasefire.”

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, United Nations (2007), reminded us:

“As the guns fall silent, we should use this opportunity to ponder the price we all pay due to conflict. And we should resolve vigorously to pursue ways to make permanent this day’s pause. On this International Day, let us promise to make peace not just a priority, but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are in whatever way we can, to make every day a day of peace. “

We can answer the call of UN by celebrating International Day for Peace. We can pray for Peace, then what?

UN has been weakened by the powerful nations. We need to work to make it viable again. Prayer for Peace should be the starting point and not the end in itself. We should promote peaceful means to resolve conflicts between individuals, communities and nations.

Wars and terrorism is antithesis of Peace and Prayer for Peace. Prophet Muhammad declared: “War is a deception!”

It has become so clear now. Human beings are involved in endless series of wars with such perpetual slogans: "War on terror!" and "war on drugs!"

Wars destroy livelihood, create death and destruction. Sucks our hard earned tax dollars - Trillions of dollars!

depriving our youth of education, sick and elderly of health care, and weakens our infrastructure.

Christian Charities, Islamic Relief, Jewish Fund, and other secular charities cannot feed the world and clean up the mess created by world powers. We have to work towards Peace, a lasting Peace and to end wars. We shall mobilize our communities to create a critical mass to force the power to be to reverse the course of destruction, and create peaceful and conducive conditions for poor, oppressed, and the working poor of the world. Instead of feeding them for a day, let’s teach the world to fish!

Say: Amen!

International Court of Justice is another institution for sustaining Peace in the world. It has the capacity to resolve issues and to bring international criminals like perpetrators of 911 to justice. It needs to be strengthened. And as a nation we need to ratify this valuable treaty.

NUCLEAR FREE: WMD is detrimental to world Peace. Our nation posses more than 10,500 nuclear war heads and our leaders are building newer WMDs. On the top of it, the use of depleted Uranium has become a common place.

Then we lift our fingers on other nations for doing the same.

Solution lies in the World Wide Ban on design, manufacture, test, sale, use and proliferation of WMD

For World Peace, we shall work towards Nuclear Free World and Nuclear Free Middle East. Let us organize to hold our members of the congress and the senate responsible for worldwide senseless stockpiling of WMD.

The ban shall begin at home before it will have an impact on the rest of the world.

I pray to God Almighty:

O Lord! Guide us, our community, and our elected representatives (Q 1:7) to work together for peace, harmony, and the betterment of the humanity!

O Lord! Bless this community of peace makers with the blessing of Ramadan.

Say: Amen!

And the servants of (God) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they respond, "Peace!” (Q 25:63)

"Peace!" – It is the commandment of the Lord, Most Merciful! (Q 36:58)

So, engage in Peace!

Peacemakers are those:

When anyone who believe in God meets them, (they are commanded to) say: "Peace be on you! (Q 6:54)

(This will be) their cry therein: "Glory to You, O God!" and "Peace" will be their greeting therein! And the close of their cry will be: "Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!" (Q10: 10)

Say Amen!

Yes! Peace is possible:

If I rephrase the words of the famous Indian writer, Arundhati Roy:

"Peace is not only possible; it is on its way. On a peaceful day, I can feel it coming! "

My brothers and sisters in humanity, we have lot of work ahead of us. Let me leave you with this word of Our Lord:

Peace! It is the commandment of the Lord, Most Merciful! (Q 36:58)

Imam Siddiqui concluded with the Sufi chant: "O Peace Giver! Ya Salaam; Ya Salaam; Ya Allah".

(“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quite day, I can hear her breathing!” World Social Forum, Port Allegro, Brazil)

Imam Ali Siddiqui is an Expert of One Nation (onenationforall.org); President of California Muslim Institute; Vice Chair of Peace with Justice Center of the Pomona Valley, CA; and the member of the Board of Directors, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Los Angeles.

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