“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)           

Voices of Compassion: IONA Joined “Interfaith Voices for Gaza” Event to Advocate for Ceasefire and Freedom

[WARREN, MI] – In an exceptional display of unity and empathy, a diverse assembly of individuals from different faiths and background came together in an event titled “Interfaith Voices for Gaza: An Evening of Learning, Lamentation and Liberation”. Hosted by the Steering Committee of Friends of Sabeel – Southeast Michigan and held at the Christ Espicopal Church in Dearborn (1/24/2024), this event aimed to address the ongoing conflict in Gaza and foster understanding, compassion, and unity.

The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) played a vital role in sponsoring the event, underscoring its commitment to promoting peace and justice in the region. Imam Mustapha Elturk, the President (Ameer) of IONA, also took the stage as one of the esteemed speakers, sharing his insights and heartfelt message with the attendees.

The event featured a distinguished lineup of speakers, including Jonathan Kuttab (Director of Friends of Sabeel North America); Rabbi Alana Alpert of Congregation T’chiya; Huwaida Arraf (Palestinian Christian Activist and co-Founder of the International Solidarity Movement); Dr. Soraya (Layla) Saatchi (Philosopher, Middle East Historian, and Assistant Professor of Teaching with the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University); Rosina Hassoun (Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology at Saginaw Valley State University); and Joshua Feinstein of Jewish Voice for Peace – Detroit.

Throughout the evening, the speakers explored the historical context of the Palestine-Israel conflicts, emphasizing a time when diverse communities coexisted harmoniously in the region. They also shared deeply personal experiences related to the ongoing conflict, providing insight into the profound impact it has had on individuals and society as a whole.

A resounding message from the event was a call to governments worldwide to take proactive steps in initiating a ceasefire and securing freedom of Palestinians. Imam Mustapha Elturk emphasized that “the current conflict in Gaza is a test of humanity, a moral challenge that calls upon the conscience of the global community.” He presented heart-wrenching statistics, such as the devastating loss of at least 23,000 Palestinian lives, many of whom were innocent children; the relentless bombardment, restrictions, and abuse endured by the people of Gaza, as well as the widespread destruction of homes, schools, farms, and hospitals. Most strikingly, it was revealed that 93% of Gaza residents are grappling with hunger.

Imam Mustapha Elturk and the other speakers fervently urged the international community to intensify their efforts toward achieving a ceasefire and liberating the Palestinian people from the persistent oppression they endure.

This event served as a powerful reminder that unity, understanding, and empathy can pave the path towards peace and justice in times of conflict. IONA’s significant role in sponsoring and speaking at the event exemplifies its dedication to building bridges and fostering positive change.


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.