There is no better greetings than the words of PEACE BE UPON YOU AND THE BLESSING OF ALLAH ON YOU….the word SALAM in Arabic connotes to everything that brings goodness, peace and bless. The Book has mentioned in Chapter An Nisa 86:
و اذا حييتم بتحية فحيوا بأحسم منها او ردوها إن الله كان على كل شئ حسيبا…
Whenever you are welcomed with some greeting, then answer back with something finer than it, or at least return it. God is a reckoner for everything.
We have tried to return the kind hearted people of different faih not just with better words but with our warm hospitality into our historical 210 yrs Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh in the blessed Holy month of Ramadhan.
In midst of the troubled world and the rise of bigotory and xenophobiatic tension and extrimism locally and internationally, a group of diffferent faith gather today as a show case of unity and strength to defy against the growing radicalism of faith and race. It may be a small gathering but we know very well, this actually represent the hope of our multiracial and multireligious society that has been embeeded in the Malaysian social fabric since she was born.
The very essence of religion has been challenged by radicalization from certain believers in the name of faith. Faith as it is understood in Latin is Fidem and from old French of Fay. It relates to many meaning apart from believing from something unseen. It also relates to utmost trust, confidence in something, in essence of such meaning, faith in peace, faith in respecting humanity and faith in embracing a diverse social realities has been eroded by bigotory and racial hatred.
Iam not calling various faith today to abandon their doctrines and theological principles in the name of pluralism, because if you do that there will be no meaning of creed (credo) that distinguish each beliefs from another. I believe creed or AQIDAH is a space that should be an exclusive and private compound we should respect.
But what I call is a space where we can share on common words of PEACE, JUST and HUMANITY that ultimately are the GREAT OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES of being a religious person. The common words or values are the space we can share and roam free to talk about it, cherish it and work on it to create a diverse but peacefull society.
In my book Islam Bukan Agama Teroris (2016, Ilham Books) “No Terrorism in Islam”, I have quoted in the final chapter essence of values that if practiced a muslim will be catalyst of PEACE not Terrorist. Let me share with you the essence of being a Muslim;
- Being human
- Cherish and embracing diversity with respect
- Spread Peace and respond to it swiftly
- Promote dialogues in a civilized environment
- Protecting Peace by rejecting elements of hatred, prejudices, wars and subjecting fellow humans to authoitarian rulers and warmongers.
I’m sure my fellow brothers and sisters in other faith today will agree with me and I believe your faith has similar objectives to achieve.
Elements that paved way to destroy the diversed realities are the elements that challenged the SIGNS OF GOD. Ultimately if left unchecked, destruction will prevail and hatred will be the norms of the day. Even one soul killed in this hatred is like killing the entire soul of the earth population. Taking the death tolls of those killed in the name of religion, all of us are actually now dead bodies walking (zombies).
One house of worship destoyed is a destruction of all house of worship. For Allah has cultivated in the heart of all believers that they will protect their houses of worship and defend it as a signs of God.
Let me conclude in this auspicious and historical moment that we all should protect every human soul and every place of worship and spread the word of SALAM and let’s consider this our Crusade and Jihad to maintain the diversity and plurality and as we do that we are protecting the signs of GOD.
” On the account of that, we prescribed with the Children of Israel that anyone who kills any person act as if he kills the entire mankind, and those who preserve the life of others, act as if he grant life to the entire mankind” ( Al Maidah 32)
Tq and enjoy the Buka Puasa, The Malaysian Style.
Dato’ Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa
Chairman of Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh ( World Heritage)