By Muhammad Basir Roslan
This article is in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad's birthday which falls on Thursday, Oct 29.
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – This year no parades will be held to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, but nevertheless various religious activities will be carried out on a moderate scale to mark the important day.
Maulidur Rasul, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, is observed on the 12th day of Rabiulawal, which is the third month in the Islamic calendar. This year it falls on Thursday, Oct 29.
Local Muslim leaders have urged the community to spend the day engaging in prayer recitals and reading about the Prophet to get a deeper understanding of him.
Kuala Lumpur-based preacher Syed Putra Haizam Shahabudin urged Muslims to bring back those who have strayed from the religion to the correct path.
“Family members, especially parents, should organise spiritual activities to draw their families closer to Allah and Islam.
“We live in a time of fitnah (slander) and corruption, hence it is the responsibility of all Muslims to protect themselves and their family members from getting caught up in immoral actions,” he told Bernama.
Syed Putra Haizam said apart from celebrating Maulidur Rasul at home with solawat (prayer) sessions and listening to tazkirah (talks) on Hayatussahabah (friends of the Prophet), Muslims should also listen to religious sermons that are readily available on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
He also urged preachers to make use of social media to deliver their messages to the community and suggested that they post short videos packed with useful knowledge.
“A good example is the Instagram platform which has a one-minute video recording feature. Instagram users are more easily attracted to short videos and it can be our ‘great weapon’ to get closer to our target group (youth),” he said.
His own favourite platform is Facebook as he likes its live video feature that allows videos to be posted for a longer time.
“I also utilise the Zoom and Google Meet applications when having closed talk sessions with my clients," he added.
He likened the use of technology to a knife which, he said, if used for good and beneficial purposes, “then goodness is all that we will get”, and vice versa
NOT AN EXCUSE
Universiti Malaya Academy of Islamic Studies senior lecturer Dr Mohd Shahid Mohd Noh said Muslims must endeavour to continue learning about the Prophet more deeply.
“There’s a saying ‘love has to be shown by deeds, not words’. It is high time we recognised and emulated the Prophet’s noble personality, more so now as we are living in the midst of depravity. Hence, it is our job to step up our game and fix it with our hands,” he said.
Mohd Shahid said these days with information readily available at one’s fingertips, there is no excuse for not knowing the greatness of Prophet Muhammad.
Pointing to popular television series Jejak Rasul, he said it offers various stories of the prophets and messengers including Prophet Muhammad and can be watched by the general public.
He said the older generation used to strengthen their remembrance and love for the Prophet by reciting the Maulid story as written by Abu Jaafar al-Barzanji – among the Malays, it is known as al-Barzanji/Dalail al-Khairat.
“Muslims have always been taught to perform or show their love to the Prophet by celebrating Maulidur Rasul. On this day, they would read about or listen to the history of the Prophet's life.
“In certain countries, books like Dalail al-Khairat and Mawlid al-Daiba'i are recited during ceremonies and the sessions are beautified with nasyeed and sermons by scholars and religious men,” he explained.
GOOD MORAL VALUES
Mohd Shahid also pointed to Shamail al-Muhamadiyyah, which he said is a book that describes the characteristics of the Prophet that has been translated into various languages.
“This book has been discussed in several mediums in order to get Muslims to understand more and get closer to the Rasulullah,” he said, adding that with the availability of online translator applications, language is no longer a barrier to reading and understanding books about Prophet Muhammad.
Mohd Shahid also highlighted a hadith of Prophet Muhammad that revolved around the height of his morals: "Indeed I was sent (by Allah) to perfecting noble morals (of mankind)." (Narrated by Baihaqi and Al-Hakim).
Elaborating on the uniqueness of this hadith, he said although Rasulullah was born in an Arabian society that was known to be involved in all kinds of immoral activities, it, however, did not affect him, thus warranting him the title of Al-Amin (trustworthy).
"His moral compass was not conceived by the wickedness around him and he continued to maintain his noble morals. This is why we can learn a thing or two from Prophet Muhammad,” he added.
Edited by Rema Nambiar
Malaysian National News Agency
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