Mawlid 2017: The Grand Event of Peace and Moderation
Confronting Insecurities and Extremisms
“Together in Loving Muhammad” – the slogan of this year’s Multicultural Mawlid Concert drew more than 5000 Muslims from Australia and other parts of the world to the Sydney Olympic Park Stadium on Sunday the 3rd of December to join in the largest Mawlid celebration ever in Australia held in commemoration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The 8th Annual Multicultural Mawlid Concert organized by the Islamic Charity Projects Association (ICPA) under the patronage of Darulfatwa-the Islamic High Council of Australia, will also go down in Australia’s history as the event that launched the inauguration of the Annual International Islamic Peace Conference – the alliance of moderate thinkers and contributors voicing the moderation and mercy of Islam in times of rampant insecurities and abhorrent extremism.
Accepting the invitation of Darulfatwa Australia, 0ver 80 academics, religious ministers, university deans, imams, scholars and Islamic figures from South East Asia and parts of Australasian, landed in Sydney International Airport in time to attend the Mawlid Concert and add their voices to those of thousands of moderate Australian Muslims who sounded the slogan of the event, “Together in Loving Muhammad” in one voice and shook the venue.
In the prelude to the Mawlid Concert and the curtain draw, over 100 national and international elite figures attended the VIP function which encapsulated the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Mawlid Concert and the Official Inauguration of the International Islamic Peace Conference, which is organized collaboratively by Darulfatwa Australia and the Majlis Ulama Indonesia, Jakarta branch.
Darulftwa Chairman, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan and Dean of Majlis Al-Ulama Jakarta branch, Sheikh Ahmad Sharif Ad-Din ^Abdul Ghani announced their pleasure in working together for the Conference titled ‘Muhammad, peace be upon him, the Prophet of Mercy and Messenger of Peace’, and their anticipation of the benefits that will result from the submission and conference sessions scheduled for Monday December 4, at the Garden View Hotel, Bankstown.
ICPA President, Haj Mohammad Mehio welcomed the guests who responded graciously to the invitation of Darulfatwa and the ICPA in attending the Mawlid and in his message said:
Today we stand together, Australians and South east Asians, our solidarity and cooperation, are important elements, for constructing a sound, moderate and advanced Islamic society.
Today, in the Muslim and non-Muslim world, we continue to witness horrendous acts of terror, on the hands of extremists, endorsing malicious terrorist organizations, under the banner of Islam.
The terror attacks committed in Australia, the Middle-East, the united states, the Bali bombings, and other places such as Paris, Madrid and Manchester, and most recently in Egypt, all are an attack on regional stability, and society at large, including Muslims, even our Beloved Al-Madinah, was not safe, from their bombing, just meters away from the grave of our master Muhammad ﷺ.
Here in Australia, moderation has been established through, a model Association, that has been working hard for years, for all Australians, bridging gaps, between Muslims and the wider community, the Islamic Charity Projects Association-ICPA, is at the forefront of reflecting the moderate teachings of Islam, since 1989 in Australia, promoting harmony and inclusiveness, being in a position of responsibility, and influence, helped ICPA protect youth, from being naively vacuumed, into the dangerous paths, of extremist ideologies and enriched them with the values of moderation, through ongoing community involvement, in a wide range of projects, and events.
The Governor of NSW, His Excellency the Hon. David Hurley and the Leader of the NSW Opposition, Mr. Luke Fowley in their address congratulated Darulfatwa for its collaborative efforts with the moderate thinkers of the Muslim world in organizing the International Peace Conference and expressed their support to it and to the ICPA for its effortless commitment to serve social harmony and cohesion, illustrated by the upholding of such a prestigious and well targeted event as the Multicultural Mawlid.
Proceeding the Opening Ceremonies of the Mawlid Concert and the International Peace Conference, Darulfatwa chaperons escorted the dignitaries to their VIP seats in the Mawlid venue.
The dignitaries from across Australian states including community leaders, Sheikhs, Principals, businesspeople, media personnel, local government councillors and mayors, scouts officials, ambassadors, consulates, and Australian politicians, had among them:
Darulfatwa Australia Chairman, His Eminence, Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan; President of the Islamic Charity Projects Association, Haj Mohammad Mehio, Governor of NSW, His Excellency General, the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d); Mr. Phillip Ruddock, Mayor and the grandfather of Australian politics; NSW Opposition Leader Hon Luke Foley; Dr. Jihad Dib, MP for Lakemba;Mr Paul Lynch MP for Liverpool, Ambassador of Palestine
Dr Ezzat Abdulhadi, Ambassador of Morocc Mr Karim Medrek, High Commissioner of Brunei Mr Zakaria Ahmad, Ambassador of Lebanon Mr Milaad Raad ¸ Consul General of Egypt Mr Youssef Hassan SHAWKI ,
Al-Amanah College Principle Mohammad Al-Dana; 2MFM President Haj Rafic Hussein;.
In festive tradition, and to trumpet the Muslim nation’s love and admiration for Prophet Muhammad, as well as our praise and gratitude to Allah for sending us the best of creation to guide us from hell to Paradise and from darkness to light; the curtain was drawn to reveal a magnificent orchestration of stage attractions that began with the blessed recitation of the Holy Qur’an.
It was an evening of solidarity and poise as Muslims of diverse colours, ages, cultures, languages and nationalities sat side by side with visions glued at the stage as multicultural groups-one after the other, mesmerized the audience with their alluring voices and powerful message.
In an innovative approach, the stage performances surprised the thousands of viewers as they realised that every performance was a seamless chapter of the unfolding and memorable theatrical drama of nearly 90minutes.
Despite seeming fictitious, the metaphors and characters exhibited, directly reflected the reality of the situation of Muslims nowadays, depicting when moderates confront immoderates and the learned Muslims collide with the non-learned.
The strong moral of the play supported the overarching message of the International Peace Conference as it served to illustrate the importance of acquiring the obligatory portion of religious knowledge from reputable, credible teachers, in order to be safe guarded from the temptations of radicalism.
His eminence Darulfatwa President, Dr. Sh. Salim Alwan said in his address to the crowd of thousands of Muslims celebrating the Mawlid:
“Verse 157 of Surat al-A^raf means: Those who believed in him and supported him and followed the guidance that he came with; those are the successful ones”.
“A warm welcome to each and every one of this magnificent big crowd, who came from different states around Australia, and who came from Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Fiji and New Zealand to say: We love you O Messenger of Allah, ‘together in loving Muhammad’, peace be upon him.
“How can we not love him when Allah the Exalted sent all of the Prophets, peace be upon them, with one Religion, which is Islam and gave them virtues beyond all creations.
“Also that Allah made Muhammad the last and best of all of the Prophets, and the one with the most followers and most blessings, peace be upon him”.
Dr. Sh. Salim went on to elucidate the permissibility and validity of celebrating the Mawlid in refutation to the abhorrent extremists who deem such a celebration as misguided. He said:
“The scholars said, the traditional celebration of the Mawlid, which involves the gathering of people, the recitation of verses of the Qur’an, mentioning the extraordinary signs that occurred at the time of his birth and recalling his life stories, as well as offering a feast for people to enjoy, and then leave without acting beyond acceptable tradition; is a praiseworthy act.
“Such a celebration is an innovation of guidance that one is rewarded for doing, because it is a means of honouring the status of our master Muhammad, peace be upon him, and displaying the happiness about his blessed birth”.
Thanked the ICPA Australian Chanting Band for their cooperation in such a short time, and the event organizers for the opportunity to be part of this grand event.
Excitement and the festive aura grew as the evening’s program unfolded with one spectacular performance after another.
But by far, the feature that set this grand event apart is the presentation of the artefacts of the great man whose birth still brings people together in harmony.
The drums beat in synch as the entourage of over one hundred multicultural noblemen and imams entered from the back doors of the stadium, led by his eminence, Dr. Sh. Salim Alwan holding the glass dome that contained a long noble hair of Prophet Muhammad, for Muslims to seek its blessings.
The crowd stood in awe and in anticipation of coming close to it, as the entourage took to the stage and stood in a line of pride and glory while Dr. Sheikh Salim placed the dome on its decorated podium in centre stage.
The ICPA’s organizing committee spokesman thanked the 450 volunteers who dedicated much of their time during and in the weeks leading to the event, to contribute to the success of the evening.
The spokesman also thanked the dozens of community groups for their active engagement and cooperation with the organizers.
The grand event was broadcast live and exclusive on the Muslim Community Radio 2MFM 92.1 and was viewed live on the 2MFM Facebook page and on YouTube globally.