In Bandaraya Melaka, Muslims carrying banners while reciting the salawat (praises on Prophet Muhammad s.a.w) walked from Stadium Hang Tuah through the historical city, to Masjid al Azim the state mosque.
There is nothing spectacular about the parade – in fact a humble congregation of the faithfuls from all walks of life – wearing the traditional Malay garbs, men in their baju Melayu and samping and women in their baju kurung.
Walking through the city where most shops are occupied and owned by non-Muslims, the parade is definitely benign, friendly and exudes much goodwill – the very essence of what the procession represents.
More than that, like their Muslim brethrens elsewhere who are celebrating the Maulidur Rasul, the participants are obviously united in wanting to express their love for the Prophet apart from hoping to emulate the qualities he possessed that led to the glory of the ummah.
But key to the success is unity as reflected by this year’s Maulidur Rasul theme – Persefahaman Asas Perpaduan Ummah (Mutual Understanding is the Basis of the Unity of the ummah).
It is not a unity in which to be united against someone as interpreted by writers filled with hate and bent on sowing suspicions and ill-will among Malaysians.
It is a unity of the majority, very benign and all embracing that will take the lead to eventually embrace all and sundry in Malaysia.
It is this unity that has ensured the success of the nation since independence. It is also this unity that promotes tolerance and goodwill.
Consistent with the teachings of Islam as prescribed in the Quran and following the Sunnah (the prophetic tradition), Muslims have no choice but to pursue the unity of the ummah.
Celebrating the Maulidur Rasul should remind them of the obligations. If they have forgotten, 12 Rabiulawal 1433 is as good as any other day to be reminded of it.
To all Malaysians, Salam Maulidur Rasul.