The 2008 Iowa Legislature has convened and the opening prayer in the Iowa House of Representatives was delivered by a Muslim. Imam Muhammad Khan of the Islamic Center of Des Moines spoke first in Arabic.
"I seek refuge in God against the accursed Satan in the name of God, most gracious, most merciful," Khan said in English at the beginning of his prayer. Khan made no specific mention of the war in Iraq or foreign affairs, but he called God the "master of the day of judgment" and asked for "victory over those who disbelieve."
"As we begin this new year…in a world with trials and tribulations, we ask you to open the hearts of our legislators and policymakers to make the right decisions for the people of Iowa," Khan said. "…We ask that you guide our legislators and give them the wisdom and knowledge to tackle the difficult problems that face us today in order to eliminate the senseless crimes on humanity. Help them, Lord, to solve the complicated problems in the State of Iowa so that we can be a model to the world."
Khan’s prayer lasted about four minutes and he closed with a few words for legislators. "On behalf of the Muslim community of Des Moines and Iowa, I wish you all the success in this year for making the right decisions for us," Khan said. Khan was the guest of State Representative Ako Abdul Samad of Des Moines, who is also a local Muslim leader.
The Iowa Senate began its day with a prayer delivered by a Catholic priest from northwest Iowa.