Masjid-E-Ali Celebrates Birthday Of Muhammad’s Successor

Surrounded by mosque officials, Kevin McGuinness of the Franklin Food Bank, center, accepts a donation from the Masjid-e-Ali on Cedar Grove Lane.

March 31 was the 1,419th birthday of the man Shia Muslims consider to be the divinely appointed successor to their prophet Muhammad.

To mark the occasion, members of the Masjid-e-Ali mosque on Cedar Grove Lane held a celebration, punctuated by a lecture, prayers and, as is usual with an Islamic celebration, dinner.

The person at the center of attention was Ali ibn Abi Talib, known as Imam Ali.  He was born in 601 in Mecca, and was assassinated in 661 while praying in an Iraqi mosque.

Ali was also the son-in-law of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

“He’s a very important person for not only Muslims, but non-Muslims as well,” said Alex Kharazi, vice-president of the mosque. “He was an excellent leader. Even at the United Nations, they recognized his letter to one of the governors in Egypt. He gave him what he needs to do to be a good leader.”

“He’s very much admired for his high sympathy for the poor and orphaned,” Kharazi said. “He was a revolutionary in many fronts, like the equality of women, making sure the needy and poor had equal rights and enough to live and survive.”

“One of the things he used to do, even though he was the ruler at that time, at night he used to go out and carry food and give to the needy people,” he said. “So we learned  lot of lessons from the way he dealt with the other people.”

Following Ali’s message, the mosque made a $1,000 donation to the Franklin Food Bank.

“Even though we might not be brothers in faith, we are brothers in humanity,” said Dr. Parviz Hamedani, the mosque’s president. “So for all of our fellow Americans who cannot have a meal tonight, when we are having a meal, I thought it would be fitting to follow the message of both the prophet Mohammad and also his divine successor and give this humble token of $1,000 which will feed the hungry people, fellow Americans, in Franklin Township.”

The check was presented to Kevin McGuinness, a member of the food bank’s Board of Trustees, after a lecture about Imam Ali by the mosque’s Imam, Rizwan Rizvi.

“It’s just wonderful to be here,” McGuinness said. “We have welcomed you into our community, and now you are welcoming me into your community.”

“By your generous actions, you are not just members of our community, you have become brothers and sisters,” he said. “We each have a command, according to our faith, to feed the hungry, feed the unfortunate. To this we can join hands and continue to do so.”


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