The inter-faith memorial service held at the Newtown for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which was attended by the US President, Barack Obama, witnessed a Quranic recitation which might be the very first phenomenon of its kind ever.
A young Muslim child called Jason Graves took part in the memorial service and recited some Ayahs from the Holy Quran, in the presence of the victims’ families and the US President, Obama.
The Imam of the Islamic Guidance Center in Newtown delivered a moving speech, in which he expressed the sympathy of the Muslim community in the city with the families of the victims, citing the two Quranic Ayahs: “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief; verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (94: 05-06).
Such a step is highly important, for having the Muslims participate in such occasions and express their sympathy with the bereaved enhances the opportunities of meeting and engaging in dialogues. It reflects that the Muslims are civilized and they share with the others their grief and alleviate their pains. It is worth mentioning that listening to the recitation of the Quran brings about relief and tranquility in people’s souls, for Allah says: “For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord.” (08: 02).
In this context, His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra), says: “We have always encouraged the Muslim communities in the west to integrate in the western communities in a civilized manner by which the citizens of a certain European country the Muslims dwell in feel that the latter are their co-citizens who live the same concerns and the same expectations of decent living and honorable life at the economic, social and scientific levels… etc.
[Bayynat website, “Our stand this week” by his Eminence (ra), 11/10/2005 A.D.]
On the values of patience and steadfastness in the face of challenges that afflict man, His Eminence said, interpreting the following Ayah: “Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger,” meaning that Allah will test man’s willpower and steadfastness in the face of the most dreadful fears and fearsome ordeals to lead a difficult experience in which only the strong in their determination, willpower and faith survive and in which the weak who do not enjoy the elements that enable them to be aware of the reality, balanced in their actions, and having the willpower to make decisions, fail.
“Some loss in goods” representing various forms of losses “or lives,” losing your men, women and children due to wars, diseases, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and every trial man might be afflicted with, “or the fruits (of your toil),” which signifies the reality of trials and ordeals in man’s life.
“But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,” (02: 155), meaning to those who take strong stands, and have a great ability to endure and tolerate any trials, and remain steady in the most shaky situations, so that their humanity would be embodied in the steadfastness of their determination and they would pursue their mission in life without any retreating, collapse or deviations.
[(Interpretations) inspired from the Quran, vol. 3, p: 117]