BITOON A RANAO
Commemorating the birth annivetsary of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) is one best act of a Muslim according to veteran journalist Masiding Noor Yahya.
Yahya, founder and editor-in-chief of The Ranao Star and Philippine Muslim Today, two leading Muslim newspapers in the Philippines, has the following message as read in the video by his daughter, Sitti Rohanisa Noor Yahya.
“In behalf of my family, I am extending our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of Maulid AnNabi, birthday of Prophet Muhammad (saw), on or around the 12th of Rabi’ul Awwal corresponding to 29th October this year.
“Many new religious scholars in our lands called Maulid AnNabi ‘Shirk al Akbar,’ meaning the greatest idolatry or polytheism, allegedly because it is an imitation of Christmas, a product of Christmas or an offspring of Christmas.
“These new scholars consider Christmas as greatest idolatry and since, according to them, Maulid AnNabe is imitated from Christmas, it follows that Maulidin Nabi is also a greatest idolatry.
“We do not refute these allegations. It’s their opinion, their own right and liberty to say so, especially so that they belong to the scholars of our time. But expressing our congratulations does not mean we follow the concept of Christmas.
“Our greetings is simply a clear manifestation of our highest respect on our Prophet Muhammad (saw) who was born as a Mercy Upon all creations. As such, Muslims have to extend salawat unto him and his progeny. Thus Muslims say, “Allaahumma sallee ‘alaa Muhammad wa ‘ala ‘aale Muhammad.”
“To honor his birthday is a best reminder to our Ummah of his works in establishing Islam — considered most noble — so that they will keep Islam in their heart and live by it. To us, this is not a ‘Shirk Al Akbar.’ Rather, it is a religious reminder.
“And we believe, commemorating Maulid AnNabi, not through forbidden ways like festivals of intoxications and idol worship, is one thing good to do. What is bad is being disunited due to our enemies ‘Divide and Rule’ strategy by corrupting with little power and riches those who succumb to their evil desire which includes inculcating discord among Muslims on whatever is their activity, no matter how minute it could be, that will promote the unity of the Ummah.
“Again, salaamo’ aleikom jami’an.“