Imam Magid Reflects on Mercy at National Cathedral Interfaith 9/11 Vigil
Early this morning, millions of people across America arose from bed to start their day. Ten years ago, on this very same day, thousands of Americans arose from bed, just like any other day, and got ready for work, for travel, for school. But unlike any other day, this day was their last. It was sudden, it was unexpected, and it ripped at the heart of every American. Today, on the anniversary of that tragic day, Americans across the country will join at churches, mosques, synagogues, at breakfast tables and in the streets, to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and the many thousand more who have lost their lives in acts of terror in all forms since that day.
ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid joined interfaith leaders in Washington D.C. this morning for an interfaith prayer vigil organized by the National Cathedral as “A Call to Compassion.” Joining him were representatives from the Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian faiths, including: Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III; Bishop of Washington John Bryson Chane; Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche of Tibet, and Hindu Priest Dr. D.C. Rao. The faith leaders and interfaith congregation reflected on change and the values we all share as people of faith: compassion, love, justice, and mercy. Imam Magid reflected on mercy, particularly the mercy of God and of humans to each other.
“With love, anything is possible…” – Her Eminence Rinpoche
“Without action, compassion has no meaning at all. Compassion must be seen as a statement of action.” – Bishop Chane
“To be merciful is to understand that humanity is one body; if any part of it aches, the rest responds to that pain. To be merciful is to respect and rejoice in the diversity of humanity,” – Imam Magid
Below you will find the full message shared by Imam Magid on mercy at the vigil this morning. We ask that no matter where you are in the nation or the world, that you take this day to reflect upon how we can all unite together and strengthen our nation by living as a compassionate, loving, just, and merciful people.
Imam Mohamed Magid
National Cathedral Interfaith Prayer Vigil
“A Call to Compassion”
September 11, 2011
Imam Magid observes a moment of silence with the congregation
as the bell tolls the moment the second plane hit the twin towers
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “O people! Verily your Lord is one and your father is one. All of you belong to one ancestry of Adam, and Adam was created out of clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab; nor for white over black nor for the black over the white except in piety. O verily the noblest among you is he who is the most pious.”
‘The Merciful’ is the most mentioned name of God in the Holy Qur’an. Prior to reciting every chapter in the Qur’an, a Muslim invokes this most beautiful name. God Almighty, out of his infinite mercy, created this entire Universe. Also, out of that mercy, He sent prophets and messengers to humanity to guide all humanity, so that we can act with that mercy.
Faith is mercy. Mercy is the love for humanity. Love for humanity is to believe that human life, ALL HUMAN LIFE, is sacred, and every human is entitled to a life of dignity, love and respect. To demonstrate mercy is to love our neighbors and to help those who are in need. To cry when we see people in pain. To share what God Almighty has bestowed upon us of His favors and bounties. To be merciful is to understand that humanity is one body; if any part of it aches, the rest responds to that pain. To be merciful is to respect and rejoice in the diversity of humanity, and to stand against racism, bigotry and anything that threatens that diversity. To be merciful is to protect the environment and the earth that we live in, the environment and the earth the Merciful created for all of us.
In conclusion, to be merciful is to create a world that is free of violence and hate, and conversely to create a world full of mercy and love, where we respect another, even if he or she doesn’t look like us.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained the relation between the creation and the Creator by saying: “Those who are merciful upon others, God will shower His mercy upon them”