By Rohana Mustaffa - Thursday, February 25
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- In the narration of a hadith, the Prophet had once said, which means :"Bless those who saw me and believed in me (he said this once) and bless who did not see but believed in me (he said this seven times)".
To the ulama, welcoming the Prophet's birthday or Maulidur Rasul means remembering and having faith in the Prophet that also brings the realisation of Allah's greatness. In the Surah Al-Hajj, Allah has spelt out, the words that carries the meaning:" Anybody who glorifies greatness, it depicts the person's taqwa”. (Taqwá is the Islamic concept of God-consciousness. Taqwa is defined as the state of being conscious of Allah. Avoiding actions that lead to Allah`s anger and disapproval while consciously undertaking steps and actions that will please Allah).
Hence Maulidur Rasul is celebrated with the sense of taqwa be it at any functions including ceramah or forum to bring Muslims closer to appreciating the Prophet's noble values, avoiding what he had disapproved and doing what he pleased as well as inviting others to join his dakwah, among others.
Among the Prophet's teachings is for man to always to do good. Muslims were told to be equally fair to both friends and foes, practise the spirit of brotherhood apart from living peacefully in a community and rendering assistance for the performance of good deeds. The Prophet himself had lived among the infidel Quraish community in Mecca but he, along with those who had embraced Islam, introduced the spirit and sense of brotherhood to the non-Muslim community.
When the Prophet's companions, who were originally infidels who had converted to Islam, the Prophet had never barred them from doing good to their family members who had yet to be Muslims. “Unfortunately, many among us choose to be against each other. As if resolving differences via conflicts is a better way of finding the solution as compared to settling the dispute in an amicable manner," according to the Malaysian Institute of Islamic Understanding (Ikim) Fellow Azrina Sobian. In her article about the disputes that occurred in the Malaysian society recently, she reminded that history had proven that conflicts that were not handled well can give rise to catastrophes.
She said many among us had placed greed and self-interest apart from having failed or declined to accept the detrimental effects of the differences where such conflicts could have been averted.
Azrina, who is Ikim's Science and Environmental Studies Fellow, wrote that preferring splits over unity is well against the principle of Islam. Islam advocates unity and brotherhood (mentioned in Surah an-Nisaa’ 4:1, Surah al-Hujuraat 49:10) and admonishes disunity (Surah ali-Imran 3:103). Islam calls on us to know and understand each other (Surah al-Hujuraat 49:13) to achieve prosperity in life. “Witness the beauty of what Islam sees in the spirit of brotherhood. Unfortunately at present, the negligence, misunderstanding and refusal to embrace this demand has led us to be involved in disputes rather than being good to one another," she wrote. According to Azrina, if studied closely the reasons behind this, then man would return to the main trait of being greedy. Greed to become rich, to be leaders, greed to get all projects, to become the most popular and all forms of greed to the extent of jeopardising the peace and unity.
CORRECTING THE SITUATION
The key measure to correct the situation is by being aware of the respective facts and responsibility, wrote Azrina. "As members of the community, we have the responsibility to exercise wisdom to specifically weed out the evil elements that can lead us to splits. We need not believe all that reached our ears as what being passed around may not be the truth". Whatever it is, the main objective is to remain united and avoid splits, she wrote. "Have it ever crossed our mind that if we think that our opinion is correct, so are that from the others?" she asked. According to Azrina, this is the principle held by Imam Shafie on the different thinking of other ulama in his time. Imam Shafie had one said:“In God's name, I do not care if the truth is from my own tongue or that of my enemy”. This means that Imam Shafie had wanted to avoid splits and differences that could arise from conflicts of opinion and his main ojective is to preserve unity. This is what is known as 'unity amidst differences'. If each of us uphold this objective and unite, then many issues can be amicably resolved, wrote Azrina. Therefore, seek unity and not splits, as in the words of Al-Subki, the author of biographies on figures in the Shafie Sect.
-- BERNAMA RON ZUL RON