Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast,Washington, D.C.

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Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast,Washington, D.C.

December 21, 2015

Dr. Ahmad Iravani, director of the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East (CSIME) was invited to deliver a message about Muslim and Iranian perspective on Jesus at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year. Some 3,500 guests including international invitees from over 100 countries attend the National Prayer Breakfast.  The event is designed as a forum for the political, social, and business elite to assemble and build relationships.

Dr. Ahmad Fatfat, a Lebanese politician and a Sunni Muslim, joined Dr. Iravani, a Shiite Muslim on stage. One of the major aspects and ideals of the National Prayer Breakfast is the idea that people who would normally be defined as mortal enemies can come together despite their differences because of Jesus.

In his remarks at the gathering, Dr. Iravani told those in attendance that Jesus has a very unique position within Islam that no one has or will ever have. Dr. Iravani talked about the birth of Jesus and stated that according to the Quran, Jesus was born to Mary or Mariam as a result of vaginal conception. Dr. Iravani also spoke about the departure of Jesus from the earth. Dr. Iravani told the audience that Muslims don’t believe that Jesus was crucified but rather was raised by God to heaven and will return. Dr. Iravani told the audience that in Islam, Jesus is a prophet and thus submits to the will of God like all prophets. Dr. Iravani said that Jesus was the only prophet in Islam that had the capacity level of performing miracles such as healing the blind and raising the dead.

Dr. Iravani listed other two attributes to Jesus. The first was that Jesus was worthy of respect in this world and after. Dr. Iravani told the audience that the second attribute to Jesus was Mubarak, which translates to blessed. Dr. Iravani said that Mubarak also means a source of benefit for others. Dr. Iravani urged the audience that we should all follow Jesus in that manner as a source of benefit for others especially in today’s world where people are seeking and crying out for help.

While speaking on the need to follow Jesus’ example as a source of benefit for others, Dr. Iravani paused to pay tribute and sympathy to the nation of Jordan after the Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kassasbeh, was brutally burned to death by the terrorist group ISIS. Dr. Iravani also paid tribute to the people of France after what they had gone through during the Charlie Hebdo attacks by extremists. He also offered his profound sympathy to the people of Iraq and Syria for what they are enduring at the moment.

In his conclusion, Dr. Iravani told the audience that Jesus had two other exceptional talents that belonged to him alone. The first was that Jesus was the word of God and the second being that Jesus was the spread of God. In the end, Dr. Iravani told those in attendance that Iranian literature and hundreds of poems are filled with description of Jesus’ personality. Those personalities of Jesus include his detachment from material love, his sacrifice for others, and his care for the poor. Dr. Iravani concluded by stating that we are all blessed and proud to be followers of Jesus. Dr. Iravani told the audience that we are praying and asking God to bring together the nations of Iran and America and for God to give the leaders of these two nations wisdom in order to bring peace between the two great nations. Dr. Iravani finished his remarks by telling that the audience their prayers are needed.

The underlining message that Dr. Iravani gave the audience was the idea that we all should follow Jesus’ example in all aspects of our lives. The world is hurting and people are looking for help. We can all answer that call by being a source of benefit for the less fortunate among us.

This was the 13th times that Iravani was attending. During the gathering he had many meetings with religious, business and political leaders both national and international.


December 21, 2015
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