“Indeed, God commands justice, doing good to others, as well as courtesy to close relatives. He forbids indecency, wickedness, and aggression. He instructs you so perhaps you will be mindful.” (16:90 )            “For every day on which the sun rises, there is a (reward from God) for the one who establishes justice among people.” (al-Bukhari)            “And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that [with your lives] you may bear witness to the truth before all humankind. . .” (2:143)            “Dispensers of justice will be seated on pulpits of light beside God.” (Muslim)            “Do not spread corruption in the land after it has been set in order. And call upon Him with hope and fear. Indeed, Allah’s mercy is always close to the good-doers.” (7:56)           “Even an ant in its hole and fish (in the depth of water) invoke blessings on someone who teaches people goodness.” (al-Tirmidhi)            “O believers! Remain conscious of God, and be with those who are truthful in word and deed.” (9:119)           “God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds.” (Muslim)            “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.” (2:261)           “Charity does not diminish wealth.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “Let there be a group among you who call ˹others˺ to goodness, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil-it is they who will be successful.” (3:104)           “Avoid cruelty and injustice...and guard yourselves against miserliness, for this has ruined nations who lived before you.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “Do not forget to show kindness to each other. Surely God observes your actions.” (2:237)           “(Allah) has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “It is We who sent down this Reminder (al-Quran) and it is We who shall preserve it.” (15:9)           “The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it (to others).” (al-Bukhari)            “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (2:152)           “There are two blessings that many people lose -- health and free time for doing good.” (al-Bukhari)            “Say: 'O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls, do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'“(39:53)           “Happy is the man who avoids dissension, but how fine is the man who is afflicted and shows endurance.” (Abu Dawud)            “And you love wealth with immense love.” (89:20)           “Being rich does not mean having a great amount of property, but (it) is being content (with what one has).” (al-Bukhari)            “Every soul is held in pledge for its deeds.” (74:38)           “Make things easy and convenient and don't make them harsh and difficult. Give cheer and glad tidings and do not create hatred.” (al-Bukhari & Muslim)           

IONA, Part Of Abrahamic Faith Lecture

With nearly 50 percent of Michigan residents vaccinated for COVID-19 and pandemic restrictions lifting, communities are returning to traditional forms of holiday celebrations. But for the second year in a row, an important Islamic tradition has been curtailed worldwide by the pandemic.

On Tuesday night, March 12, St. Fabian Catholic Church in Farmington Hills hosted an interfaith event to discuss and compare the three major Abrahamic faith traditions. Imam Mustapha Elturk from the Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, spoke on Islam. The parish priest Father Jeffrey Day represented Christianity and reform Rabbi Michael Moskowitz from Temple Shir Shalom was there for Judaism.

The evening started at just before 7 pm with Celia St. Charles from St. Fabian coordinating the speakers and setting up the power point for the lectures.

Each speaker spoke from his faith tradition covering seven categories. The first category was Scripture. Rabbi Moskowitz, representing Judaism, the oldest of the Abrahamic tradition, went first. He explained the nature of the writing of the Torah and the Talmud. Fr. Day then spoke on when and how the New Testament was recorded and the differences Christian sects had regarding the bible. He also spoke about the history of changes in the Bible and how the Church changed its stance on Jews and Muslims in the 20th century. Imam Elturk gave a thorough talk on the final divine revelation (the Qur’an) the prophet Muhammad (SAW) received and how it was maintained orally. Modes of worship followed with Rabbi Moskowitz leading. This pattern continued with the categories of afterlife and Mary. Imam Elturk quoted the Quran to explain Mary (AS) who is mentioned often and with an entire chapter named after her. Fr. Day and Imam Elturk presented the views of Christianity and Islam on Jesus and the Trinity. Fr. Day articulated what makes Catholic doctrine different from other sects. According to the Catholics, Jesus is perceived to be divine and is one part of the trinity that makes God. Imam Elturk, again using the Qur’an, explained the Muslims’ beliefs regarding Jesus (AS) and the trinity. He quoted the verses that explain the position of Jesus as a messenger of God and that God is one and alone. He neither begets, nor is He begotten. There was a very friendly atmosphere in the room. The three speakers have known each other from interfaith circles. The audience was entertained by their humor and humbled by their humility. The last category was forgiveness. Rabbi Moskowitz led the discussion giving the Judaic tradition of asking for forgiveness through many of their holiday celebrations particularly Yom Kippur. Fr. Day and Imam Elturk shared their faith perspectives on the subject. The event was concluded with questions and answers.

More than 300 people attended the event. A group from the Muslim community attended to learn and interact with others. Qur’ans in English and IONA literature were made available for free to the audience. They disappeared within the first 20 minutes of the event. St. Fabian had also graciously laid out a nice table spread which made the evening even more welcoming.

IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: center@iononline.org


IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.