ABUBAKAR N. KASIM, Toronto
IT is the time of the year again when a fuss is created over the celebration of the birthday of Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him.
It is sad to see the status of the ummah. We have abandoned the teachings of our Prophet and have entered into meaningless debates and quarrels that don't bring us together but keep us apart.
The debate and name calling over trivial issues is not healthy. Instead it fuels hatred and division. It is better to focus on the bigger picture and avoid minor issues.
Do you know that Muslims are the number one refugees in the entire world? Illiteracy in the Muslim world is the highest. Our countries are in disarray and our people have lost a sense of direction.
To celebrate or not to celebrate? This shouldn't be the question we should be fighting on.
We have to agree to disagree on minor issues. There are gray areas where prominent scholars have differed in opinions. We
have to be mature enough to respect each other's differences and move on.
Having difference of opinions is a blessing in disguise. Diversity is part of life. While Muslims are united on major issues, we differ on small matters. We should learn to respect one another.
Celebrating the Prophet's birthday is not the sixth pillar of Islam. It is not the end of the world if you don't agree with it. You should not, however, demean, disrespect and bully those who participate in the celebration.
If there are ten scholars who support your opinion, there are hundred others and more with different prospective over this issue.
Respecting those who don't agree with you is crucial in order to live in harmony.
Those who celebrate don't commit acts of violations of Islamic principles. Their gatherings are occasions for remembering Allah and raising awareness of the life of the Prophet peace be upon him.
I, for instance, have participated in these spiritual gatherings throughout my life. As a matter of fact I came to learn the seera, the life of the Prophet by reading the mawlid. We don't drink, dance or gamble but simply use the occasion to remember Allah and His Messenger.
Remarkable scholars of our time have been involved in these gatherings for spiritual nourishment.
As imam Suhaib Webb indicated, the majority of Muslim scholars have taken part in these occasions and have recommended participating in them in order to increase the love of the noble prophet.
Thousand of people have entered Islam as a result these gatherings where they came to learn Islam and the prophet of Islam, peace be upon him.
Sadly. We live in an era of extremism. It is my way or the highway. You have to agree with me and my group in order to enter Paradise.
The illness of extremism is creating fanatic groups like Al-Shabbab, ISIS, Boko Haram and others. It is not a healthy approach in life. We should learn to tolerate and respect a different of opinion.
We should remember all our schools of thoughts is as a result of the efforts of our scholars in their attempt to understand Quran and Sunnah. They didn't get the chance to receive the teachings directly from the teacher, the prophet.
Every opinion you hold on to dearly, there are others who see it differently. It would be boring if we all agree on what you think.
Jannah is vast enough to accommodate all of us inshallah.
May Allah remove the disease of hatred, arrogance from our hearts. Enable us to respect those who don't agree with us and guide us to deal with people with mercy as Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, had dealt with all those around him.
Can you imagine if the Prophet was harsh and arrogant like some of us today? Would people around him embraced the message with open heart as they did?
Can you imagine if early Muslims were rude and fanatics like some of our brothers of our time, do you think Islam would have reached all corners of the globe including where our forefathers lived?
Do you think me and you would have been believers had our previous generations came in-contact with arrogant Muslims?
Perhaps we should thank Allah that our forefathers had accepted Islam by coming in contact with Muslims who were humble, friendly, respectful and with mercy.
Please watch this video by Imam Suhaib Webb. The Al-Alzhar graduate discusses the topic of mawlid. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wwmEk_pfnaA