The answer to the most pressing issues facing the global world today lies in the pristine example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his life’s teachings. That was one of the main messages at the Mass Mawlid 1437, held at the Athlone stadium on the 16th December, known as Reconciliation Day. Thousands of people gathered in the heart of Cape Town for the grand event , which kicked off with signature march and sounds by the Habibia Brigade, followed by the rendering of nasheed by Aswaatul Madinah nasheed group.
Effervescent MC Shaykh Abdurahman Alexander, the imam at Masjidul Quds, welcomed the audience, before handing the microphone over to Yusuf Atcha for an introduction on the importance of honouring the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
“I will open with a statement from Paris, 1884, which states as follows: the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a philosopher, apostle, legislator, and warrior, the founder of 20 empires, and one spiritual empire which is our Ummah. With regards to all standards of which the human greatness may be measured, we may then ask, “Is there any man greater then Muhammad (PBUH),” he said.
With the City of Cape Town supporting the event, it was fitting for Mayor Patricia De Lille to then address the crowd, with her touching on the importance of love and staying unified by the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH). De Lille referred to when the first Mawlid was held in South Africa back in the 17th century. She also pondered on the idea of Muslims as ambassadors of hope and love.
“As you commemorate the birth and life of Prophet (PBUH) and congregate here, ones thoughts wonders towards the 17th century when the first Mawlid was held in South Africa. This event has endured the many different challenges and changes between that century and the present,” says De Lille.
“It is so significant that the theme for this evening is Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the messenger of love and hope. As the year draws to a close and we reflect on our own actions, we must all ask ourselves whether we have been messengers of hope and love.”
She continued: “The challenge lies before all of us to be a living example of love which is the most powerful human act. The mass mawlid provides a very important opportunity where people can come together and meditate. We all can be living examples of Allah’s love. I wish you all a sacred time together, Rabi-ul-Auwal Mubarak.”
Luminary Syrian scholar Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Husayni An-Ninowy gave a short talk on the unity that the mawlid brings. Shaykh Muhammad is the founding director of Madina Institute and leads the seminaries in the UK, South Africa, Malaysia and the USA. The honourable shaykh has acquired knowledge in many of the Islamic disciplines, such as Tawheed, Hanafi/Shafi’i Fiqh, Usool, and Sufism.
“I feel honoured to be present here today and I can feel how the sound of thikr, and remembrance of Allah reverberates in this field,” says Shaykh Ninowy.
“Coming all the way from Malaysia, I find Muslims, brothers and sister s converge here to call for unity, to call for love, to call for a peaceful world. This is what we want; this is what we are looking for. This is what Allah calls us to create, to be the just and to balance the just.”
Shaykh Ninowy also addressed the ummah about what they should do when faced with political and social crises.
“We need to look at what happening in order to bring us together to our very basic principles and that is looking for Allah and advising the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH).”
Amongst the guests of honour were the Chief Minister of the State of Perak, Malaysia Dato Zambry Abdul Kadir. Organised see his presence as a great opportunity for South Africa to foster better relations between Cape Town, South Africa and Perak, Malaysia.
“Beauty is attached to prayer when you prayer for Allah. When you present something to Allah, you must present it in a beautiful way. If you love Allah for His sake, His love is guaranteed for you,” the minister told the audience.
“When we celebrate his (PBUH) birth, we are not celebrating the birth of a human being, we are not celebrating the birth of a creation…we are celebrating the genesis of unconditional mercy and compassion to the universe that is a creation that is the most beneficial of creations.”
He adds that the mawlid brings all nations of different colours and languages together in love for Allah and His messenger and love for doing good.
Nabeweyah Malick, the trustee of Mawlid SA, believes the mawlid plays a vital role in keeping the Cape Muslim community together.
“There is so much conflict and deaths around the world and a lack of unity amongst the ummah. Social ills are at an all-time high. So the Mawlid showcases and highlights the beautiful essence of our Prophet (PBUH) and therefore we chose the theme love and hope.”
Every year organisers have a special surprise, and this year was no different, with the news that the Legendary Egyptian Qari Shaykh Ahmad Naa’ina and the chief minister of Parak would be present.
“Building bridges with the South African community, with the broader community and global community is one of our objectives,” adds Malick.
She said planning the annual event is an immense task, which started after Ramadan.
“It wasn’t very easy to get permission for the attendees and for the guests to sit on the pitch in front of the stage but we managed to strike a bargain that no shoes were allowed on the pitch. We wanted to have a masjid setting. We understand the regulations and we appreciate the fact that they agreed to the bargain.” VOC