The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Imam Bassam A. Estwani

Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
Herndon, VA

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Tom Davis, (R-VA)
Date of Prayer: 02/07/2001

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. THOMAS M. DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Mr. Imam Bassam A . Estwani for joining us today as the guest chaplain and offering this morning's prayer. He is the chairman of the board of the Dar Al–Hijrah Islamic Center, which is one of the Nation's most active and influential mosques, located in the 11th Congressional District, which I represent. He has participated in many international conferences that focus on Islam and religious values in America. He has been instrumental in bringing members of different faith communities together to promote social justice.

Mr. Estwani is a native of Syria. He has a law degree from the University of Damascus. He studied Islamic law in Damascus and at the University of Cairo. In Kuwait, Mr. Estwani participated in the publication of the Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence. In Lebanon, he established an Islamic publishing house that produced more than 200 titles in a number of different languages. He also participated in and sponsored relief and literacy programs for orphans and the homeless in this country and overseas.

The American Muslim community is growing, both in Northern Virginia and around this country, numbering over 6 million Americans today. I am very proud to represent one of the largest concentrations of American Muslims, who have chosen Northern Virginia as their home; and we are just very, very proud to have you offer the prayer today.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

All praise is for God, the Lord of the worlds.

The compassionate, the merciful.

Master of the day of judgment.

O God, You alone we worship and You alone we call on for help.

O God, guide us to the straight way.

The way of those whom You have blessed; not of those who have earned Your anger, or of those who have lost the way.

We pray that You guide this noble body of men and women to seek justice and equality for all. For as You said:

O mankind. We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other. Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous. Amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory