First time Muslim from LI – Prayer Invocation In Congress

MV: Aselamulaikum!

As you guys might remember from this post, the Selden Masjid community was where I grow up in. Like in all Masajids, you have a group of lets say, ‘drama uncles’ and then you have the cool and swagged up ‘kind uncles’. One such of those kind uncles is Br. Nayyar Imam! As his name suggests, I remember when I was little I would always hear about Nayyar Imam and the first thing that would come in my mind was, “Wow, what a cool Imam!” It turned out latter on that just because of his last name, ‘Imam’ it didn’t actually make him a Imam. But nevertheless the point I’m trying to make is, even if your not actually the Imam of the Masjid or a scholar of the town, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference if your community. Br. Nayyar Imam, even though he actually isn’t a scholar or actual ‘Imam’ I remember that ever since I was little he’s been helping out our community (Selden) and on a larger scale making a great name for Muslims, mash’Allah! Even being in Dallas I found this awesome news from his son, who like I’ve said before also made a big impact in forming my identity! Like father like son anyone?

Seriously I’m proud of him, though, big props for serving the community mash’Allah! May Allah (SWT) reward him for his service to the community, Ameen. 

Check out what Newsday had to say about him:

LI Muslim leader giving Congress invocation

Originally published: July 30, 2012 6:43 PM
Updated: July 30, 2012 9:50 PM

Nayyar Imam, the chaplain of the Suffolk County

Photo credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas | Nayyar Imam, the chaplain of the Suffolk County Police Department will give the prayer invocation in the U.S. House of representatives on Thursday. (July 30, 2012)

For the first time, a Muslim from Long Island will give the prayer invocation in Congress, officials said Monday.

Nayyar Imam, 57, who also is the first-ever Muslim chaplain for the Suffolk County PoliceDepartment, said he is doing the invocation on Thursday in the House partly to break another barrier.

“I’m excited. I’m proud of it,” said Imam, a Mount Sinai resident. “It’s an honor for the community.”

Imam, who is active in a mosque in Selden and a new one going up in Mount Sinai, arranged for his appearance through Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton). Bishop‘s office said Imam is the first Muslim from Nassau or Suffolk to deliver the invocation.

“I am pleased to welcome Nayyar Imam to Washington as a distinguished representative of easternLong Island‘s vibrant Muslim-American community,” Bishop said.

Religious figures from various faiths deliver an opening prayer before Congress every day it is in session, said Oliver Longwell, a spokesman for Bishop.

Imam, who a decade ago became the first Muslim to serve on the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, said he has long wanted to say the prayer before Congress, and accelerated his efforts this year. In May, he had something of a practice run when he delivered the invocation at Suffolk County Community College’s graduation.

He already has his short prayer written out, and it makes only one direct reference to Islam, when he quotes the Prophet Muhammad, who said, “The leaders of a people are representation of their deeds.”

Imam plans to pray, “God Almighty, we ask that You bestow upon all of our elected officials, guidance and patience, required to carry out the solemn task of legislation before them.”

The prayer must be approved ahead of time by the congressional chaplain’s office. Imam said the office made only one request of the first draft he submitted — that he make it shorter to fit the maximum allowed word count.

Imam said he expected a few people to criticize his appearance before Congress, but that in general his invocation underscores the greatness of the United States. “This is the beauty of this country — real religious freedom,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s