Tuesday, March 2
A DIFFERENT KIND OF CELEBRATION
They stood near the main gate. The stalks of roses, the chocolates and books were ready to be distributed. They waited.
The group of undergraduates were Muslims. The sisters were in hijab. They were ready for the challenge.
"Hello, how are you? I've some gifts for you, please accept them," one of them approached a young Indian lady who was on her way out of the campus. It was a public holiday.
"For me? But why?" the Indian lady asked with a smile.
"Today's Maulidur Rasul, our prophet Nabi Muhammad's birthday and we would like to celebrate it with you by giving you these," explained the Muslim sister, as she handed over a stalk of red rose, some chocolates and a book about prophet Muhammad [pbuh] to the Indian lady.
"Oh, thank you! How nice. I've always wanted to know more about Nabi Muhammad," replied the Indian lady as she accepted the gifts.
Soon the boxes were empty. All the items had been received by the surprised non Muslim undergraduates. Everyone had smiles on their faces. Happy were they who gave and happy were those who received.
The event took place on the 26th of February. Alhamdulillah, I was told by the organiser that everything went smoothly as planned.
It was a first for him and the members of his team.
The project would not have succeeded without the help and financial support of members of the public.
While some people were still arguing about whether Muslims should hold processions and talking about the so-called 'banned' Maulidur Rasul celebration at Penang, alhamdulillah there're others who decided to celebrate it in a different way:
By sharing the celebration with their non Muslim friends.
By spreading the spirit of love and care for other people, which was practised by prophet Muhammad [pbuh] during his lifetime, through gifts and friendship.
By inviting non Muslims to know the prophet by reading about his greatness and why he was called the most influential person in history, in a book not written by a Muslim scholar but by a researcher who's a Christian, Michael H. Hart.
I don't know about you, but I'm impressed when I saw the photographs taken during the event.
For you do know that...
On Maulidur Rasul, we Malaysian Muslims have always congregated in mosques and suraus to listen to talks, to pray and to even to have a kenduri. That's what we often do.
How many of us have actually taken the initiative of that free-from-having-to-go-to-work-day to introduce prophet Muhammad [pbuh] to our non Muslim friends? To invite them for talks about the most influential person in history, and to explain to them why we love and honour him so much?
Or do we as usual, continue to avoid them, and to continue to call them kafirs ?
Do we continue to tell them that they're not welcomed in our mosques, not welcomed to join us in our ceramah, and that they're destined for hell for being an unbeliever?
Have we developed that 'I'm holier than thou' mentality?
Do we really believe that Maulidur Rasul should be only for Muslims?
Well, it's about time we reflect on our actions and belief system.
Congratulations to brother Kamaruddin Abdullah and his team, especially the young Muslim missionaries for their great work. They have thought out of the box and did something not many of us would ever dream of doing.
May Allah swt bless them for their efforts and open more doors for this project to be bigger and better in the coming years, insyaAllah.