Local professor receives Muslim organization’s interfaith service award

By Kevin Kilbane, kkilbane@news-sentinel.com

Thursday, April 28, 2016 12:01 AM
John Andrew Morrow, a professor of foreign languages at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast in Fort Wayne and a Muslim scholar and cleric, recently was presented with the Interfaith Service Award by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for his efforts to encourage interfaith dialogue and cooperation.The award was presented April 15 during the Sunni-Shiite Summit held in Washington, D.C. Sunni and Shia are the major subgroups within the Islamic faith. ISNA is the largest Muslim organization in North America.In selecting Morrow for the award, ISNA cited his writing of the 2013 book “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World,” which discusses six covenants that Islam’s great prophet, Muhammad, signed with Christian groups before his death in A.D. 632. Muhammad also signed similar agreements with Jewish and other groups, Morrow has said.The covenants reportedly promise the groups protection of personal rights until the end of the world if the groups agree to live under the civil government of a Muslim confederation. Morrow believes the covenants serve as a model for how Muslims and non-Muslims can live together peacefully.

Morrow, who lives in Auburn, also helped found the Covenants Initiative, which works to create awareness about Muhammad’s covenants among Muslims and non-Muslims today.In addition, Morrow also served as editor of the related 2015 book “Six Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his Time: The Primary Documents.”In November 2015, Morrow also issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, condemning the Islamic State terrorist group as a “curse” and a band of mercenaries whose actions have no basis in the Islamic faith.

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Dr. John Andrew Morrow is a senior scholar specializing in Islamic, Indigenous, and Hispanic Studies.