MAULUD NABIYYI MESSAGE:
MURIC CELEBRATES WITH MIXED FEELINGS
Millions of Nigerian Muslims joined their counterparts across the world in celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) this weekend. The prophet was born in the city of Makkah on 12th Rabiul-Awwal, 570 C. E. Though born as an orphan and initially despised as a prophet of Allah, he won the admiration of his enemies not by wanton killing of open enemies but by forgiving his foes and tolerating those who held opposing views.
Muhammad taught his followers to love their fellowmen, to give in charity, to protect the weak, to live a humble life, to respect women and elders, to shun violence and to embrace peace. He further advocated the virtues of diligence, transparent honesty and self-sacrifice. He warned against arrogance, pride and belligerence.
The Glorious Qur'an testifies to the impeccability of Muhammad's character by describing him as possessing very high moral (Qur'an 64:8). The Qur'an further instructs Muslims to emulate Muhammad in all their undertakings (Qur'an 33:21).
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) marks this occasion of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad with mixed feelings. While we thank Almighty Allah for enabling many Nigerians to witness the occasion, we are filled with sadness at the thought of avoidable loss of lives through indiscriminate bombing and shooting of innocent Nigerians. We are in despair over the senseless killing of Nigerians by fellow Nigerians and the sacriledgious invasion of churches. We cannot be celebrating while fellow Nigerians are weeping over their dead. We therefore mourn with our mourning brothers and sisters wherever the bereaved may be. We pray that Allah will give all the affected families the strength to bear their losses.
This year's Mauludul-Nabiyyi calls for sober reflections. It calls for prayers for our dear country. Nigeria today is at the crossroads. The foundation of this country is shaking. We are now exactly where we were in 1967. We need prayers more than anything else to escape a bloody interregnum as witnessed between 1967 and 1971. Nigeria is living between two wars. We therefore urge all religious groups to pray for peace and tranquility.
On this august occasion, we charge the Boko Haram group to emulate the peace-loving mien of Prophet Muhammad by surrendering their weapons, taking a vow to shun violence and embracing dialogue. MURIC notes with deep concern that the victims of the violence so far are the undertrodden, the poor and the wretched. No governor, minister or any other high-ranking government official has been killed. Perhaps this informed the nonchalance in official circles. We appeal to Nigerian authorities to stop playing politics with the lives of ordinary Nigerians. The time to engage Boko Haram in sincere dialogue is now.
Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/muslimrights
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace