November 1997: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 4

MASJID TUCSON United Submitters International

PO Box 43476 Tucson AZ 85733-3476 USA

Tel/Fax: (520) 323 7636

Masjid Tucson site:

Masjid Tucson e-mail:

Happiness is
Submission to God Alone

ISSN 1089-053X


Masjid Tucson Activities

Soup Kitchen

We participate in an ongoing project to help feed the hungry in our town in cooperation with Casas Adobes congregational church and Congregation Or Chadash. This project has started over four years ago with soup kitchens every other month. However, since May 1997, we are able to do a soup kitchen every month because of the increased interest and contributions from the community by God’s grace. For each soup kitchen service. representatives from the three communities get together during every third weekend of each month.

The volunteers, three from each community (nine total) buy all the necassary food, prepare and cook it on Saturday at a soup kitchen operated by the Salvation Army. Six volunteers, two from each community, serve the food the next day at the Salvation Army location to the homeless and the needy.

At each soup kitchen, hot meals are served to between 180-250 needy people. In general, more people are served during the winter months. The last soup kitchen participation was on October 18-19. The next soup kitchen participation will be on November 15-16, 1997. Soup kitchen activities are coordinated by Senobar Tafazoli.

Interfaith Study Group Convenes

A new interfaith study group has begun at the ICS Mosque with a lively and interesting first session on October 7th. The group, which meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every other month, discussed the root texts of each of the faiths assembled: Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Rabbi Thomas Louchheim from Congregation Or Chadash, a Reform Jewish congregation, began with a discussion of Genesis, the first chapter of the Hebrew Scriptures. Although only a few verses were discussed, the many aspects of interpretation enlivened the discussion. Etymological connections between Hebrew and Arabic were noted in such words as nefesh (Heb: an aspect of soul) and nefs (Arabic: consciousness), and ruach (Heb: spirit, breath; Arabic: knowledge received directly from God).

Dr. Dean Schaff, Director of Education at Casas Adobes Congregational Church, began with a reading from the New Testament of Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount. The discussion began with a comparison of the words bless and love and moved on to the human characteristics of rationality, self-

interest, and utility maximization, and ended with the idea of feelings as a resonance to the universe which give a sense of completeness and connection.

Edip Yuksel, a congregant of the ICS Mosque and author of works of religious commentary, opened the discussion on the Quran, the Final Testament, utilizing the translation by Dr. Rashad Khalifa. From the frontispiece of this book: “...the Quran was released into [the prophet] Muhammad’s memory, with Gabriel’s mediation, over a period of 23 years, 610 AD... The prophet wrote it down with his own hand the chronological sequence of revelation, with detailed instructions....”

These root texts offer unlimited study opportunities for members of all faiths. The study group, inspired by the rapport among the three congregations working together as the Interfaith volunteers for soup kitchen service, was the idea of ICS Mosque congregant Senobar Tafazoli.

The study group’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m. at ICS Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Sandlin,

Member of the Board,

Congregation Or Chadash