KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims in the country celebrated Prophet Muhammad’s birthday with various activities to remind themselves of the deeds and struggle of the prophet in upholding Islam.
Leaders who addressed several gatherings called on Muslims to forge greater unity in keeping with the theme of the celebration - 1Malaysia, 1Ummah.
The national-level celebration was held in Putrajaya and began with a procession by 10,315 people in 114 contingents over a 2.4km route from Dataran Putra to Qiblat Walk at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom led the procession. Also joining the procession was Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin attended the celebration at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque and addressed the gathering.
Also present at the event were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and their wives, as well as several Cabinet ministers.
Najib also flagged off a “Jelajah Silaturrahim” convoy to Thailand and Myanmar aimed at fostering better relations with Muslims and non-Muslims.
The 40 participants comprise officers and staff of the Islamic Missionary Foundation of Malaysia (Yadim) as well as members of Sahabat Yadim and was led by Yadim president Datuk Aziz Jamaludin Tahir.
The convoy began its 2,500km, six-day journey at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Putrajaya and will travel to Thailand and then to Kawthaung in southern Myanmar on the border with Ranong.
Some 15,000 Malays live in Kawthaung and speak Malay.
In JOHOR BARU, thousands of Muslims congregated at Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar here to celebrate Maulidur Rasul.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and his consort Raja Zarith Sofia Sultan Idris Shah led the celebration.
Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) employee Ahmad Kamarolzaman, 53, said he had been celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s birthday at the mosque since he was young.
“I live near the mosque and every Maulidur Rasul I would come here and eat with my friends.
“Maulidur Rasul used to be a big occasion as people would walk in a large group to the mosque,” he said.
Retiree Ahmad Ismail, 81, said that he came to the mosque at around 7am and was surprised to see so many people already there.
“This is very encouraging as the crowd grows bigger every year.
“Hopefully this trend will continue especially among the youth,” he said.
In KUANTAN, Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah reminded everyone to be thankful for the peace and prosperity in the country.
“This year’s theme of 1Malaysia, 1Ummah is appropriate as Malaysians live blissfully in a multi-racial society.
“We embrace our differences and we act as one in helping each other, regardless of religion, race or skin colour,’’ he said in his speech at the state celebration of Maulidur Rasul here yesterday.
Sultan Ahmad added that Malaysians were already living the concept of 1Malaysia.
“Unity must be upheld and ties strengthened,’’ he said.
He also reminded youths to emulate Prophet Muhammad who showed the right way to lead one’s life.
Sultan Ahmad later presented the Tokoh Maulidur Rasul award to former teacher Ismail Nihat, 60, and state social welfare director Datuk Shamsiah Husin, 56. - theStarOnline