Mawlid SA 1436 kicked off with an electrifying atmosphere on Sunday, as the recitation of the well-known Barzanji echoed through the Athlone Stadium. The event saw community members young and old and from all walks of life come together in celebration of the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW). The Barzanji is considered one of the most important and universally accepted panegyrics of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Arabic vernacular.
Mawlid SA organiser, Nabeweyah Malik said the unity amongst the local Muslim community is a perfect response to the recent cartoon by french satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in which it depicted the Prophet Muhammed (SAW).
“Here you see that Muslims are too busy celebrating love to retaliate to the recent lampooning of the Prophet,” Malik said.
Just over 10 000 people gathered at the start of the evening’s proceedings, performing the Asr Salaah collectively. Meanwhile luminaries from around the globe, all contributed to the thikr, Salawat and various talks throughout the mother city in the entire week leading up to the pinnacle of the Mawlid celebrations.
Nasheed group, Anwarul Medina evoked emotion and enthusiasm from the crowd as they melodiously recited parts of the Barzanji. A number of both local and international renowned Islamic scholars were seen sharing a stage with Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille. De Lille opened the evening’s proceedings with a word of support and thanks on behalf of the city. She also
underlined the importance of recognising, cherishing and acknowledging all faiths that make up the rainbow nation.
“In supporting events such as this, it enables us to build an inclusive city. We, the City of Cape Town give thanks to the local Muslim community for their plight in addressing the many challenges in the poorest of poor communities in the mother city, De Lille added.
De Lille also quoted a verse from the Holy Quran, stating that Allah is the ultimate divine light and ever present… Her opening speech received a warm applause from those attending. at the same time, resident Imam at Masjidul Quds, Sheikh Abduraghmaan Alexander urged Muslims to stand up against the recent cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammed (SAW).
“We stand here with love and dignity in solidarity with 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. We support freedom of speech but we do not support blasphemy. As they say ‘I am Charlie’, today, I urge you to stand up and point your tagiyaat finger and say “I am Muhammed”, and we want peace. Blasphemy and vulgarity must stop,” Alexander said.
The evenings events centered around the teachings of love and respect, which are highly regarded characteristics of the Prophet himself.
At the stadium, stalls offering food and drinks were available to all those attending. The third annual Mawlid celebration has attracted the attention of Muslim communities all across the nation as well as the international community, placing Cape Town as one of the few cities in the world where Muslims can freely and openly celebrate Islam. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)