The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Imam Yahya Hendi

Georgetown University
Washington, DC

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. John LaFalce, (D-NY)
Date of Prayer: 11/15/2001

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. LaFALCE. Mr. Speaker, as we begin Ramadan, we are especially pleased to have a Muslim Imam give our opening prayer to the House of Representatives. I am honored to welcome Imam Yahya Hendi as our guest chaplain this morning, and I thank him very much for those inspiring words and reading from the Koran.

Imam Hendi currently serves as the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, which is where I first heard him. He also serves as spokesman and member of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America and directs the "PEACE" office of the Muslim American Society. Now an American citizen, Imam Hendi was born in Nablus in the Palestinian Territories and educated at the University of Jordan in Amman and the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. He was one of the Muslim leaders who met with President Bush in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy.

I asked Chaplain Dan Coughlin to invite Imam Hendi to deliver our opening prayer today to mark the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal. Observance of Ramadan begins tomorrow evening at dusk, and fasting will commence at sunrise on Saturday.

There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, including almost 7 million in the United States alone. During these troubled times, I believe it is important to show all Muslims and the world our good will toward the Muslim community and our respect for the Islamic faith.

Again, our thanks and appreciation to Imam Yahya Hendi for offering our opening prayer this morning.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

A reading from the Holy Koran:

"And remember the favor of God unto you, and His covenant, which He ratified with you, when you said: "we hear and we obey". Fear God, for God knows well the secrets of your hearts. O you of faith! Stand up firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealings. Let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is next to righteousness. Fear God for God is well–acquainted with all that you do." (Q 5:8–9)

And so we pray:

Loving God!
Source of Justice, Goodness and Generosity!
We ask You

To guide the men and women of this congresswith Your Divine Light,
To empower them with Your Wisdom,
To enable them to be agents of Peace in this nation and the world.

Help them lead us to act as brothers and sisters.
Empower them to help us work out our differences.
Help them help us confront hatred wherever it exists that we all may live as one nation, united, under God.

Receive our thanks and hear our prayers.

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