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'Leave religious issues to scholars'

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GENUINE SPIRITUALITY: Look for solution instead of political benefit, urges Raja Nazrin

SUNGKAI: THE Regent of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, has reminded all quarters to stop sensationalising religious matters for political gain.

He stressed that acts of putting down Islam and other religions for the sake of political mileage would eventually destroy religious harmony in the country.

"Actions to show that one is more Islamic, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu than others, and acts of championing religious issues for political gain are not derived from genuine spirituality.

"On the contrary, such actions will only damage the harmonious relationship shared among adherents of different religious groups," he said at the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebrations.

Raja Nazrin said religious issues should be dealt by scholars and learned members of the respective religions with the aim of finding solutions instead of being sensationalised for political benefit.

He reminded people that respecting others despite their differences would only increase one's virtues.

Raja Nazrin also pointed out that Prophet Muhammad's last sermon at Mount Arafah was addressed to mankind as a whole and contained universal values that transcended religion, race and cultural barriers.

"In this spirit, the Prophet's message can be considered a universal message."

Raja Nazrin also urged Maulidur Rasul organisers to think out of the box and make room for non-Muslim participation in future. He said including non-Muslims in the Prophet's birthday celebrations could help promote greater understanding of Islam and the universal values shared among all people.

"Such programmes can become instruments of unity and a meaningful forum to enhance religious ties."

In Shah Alam, Selangor state secretary Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi urged Muslims to be involved in missionary work.

He said Muslims must remember that the emergence of Islam in its early stages began with dakwah (missionary work).

"Therefore, Muslims must be reminded that dakwah is everyone's responsibility and is not the sole responsibility of religious institutions," he said at the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebrations and launching of dakwah month at Stadium Malawati yesterday.

Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah launched the state-level celebrations and presented prizes to recipients of special awards in conjunction with Maulidur Rasul and winners of the Maulidur Rasul procession.

In Seremban, Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir called on Muslims to uphold the concept of wasatiyyah (moderation) to promote understanding and unity among the people.

More than 20,000 people, consisting of 82 contingents of political organisations, youth associations, government agencies and schools, participated in a 1.5km procession, led by Tuanku Muhriz, from the MPS field to SMK King George V field.

In Kuantan, Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah urged Muslims to be firm on issues which touched on the sensitivity of Islam or the religion. He said the sensitivity concerning the religion should be protected and defended by Muslims to ensure its purity was not manipulated by other parties.

"Even though we practise religious tolerance, it must be remembered that in a society of various ethnicities and faith, there is risk of issues that can lead to conflict.

"In every effort to satisfy the other parties or individuals, we must not end up compromising on the sanctity of Islam that can divide the Muslim community," he said at the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebrations at Sultan Ahmad Shah Silver Jubilee Hall here yesterday.

Following that, he urged for continuing unity among Muslims and advised them to avoid matters that could cause disunity and the breakdown of peace in the country.

In Alor Star, Sultan of Kedah Council of Regency member Tan Sri Tunku Sallehudin Sultan Badlishah called on Muslims to spare no effort in ensuring the glory of Islam.

Tunku Sallehudin said the eminence of Islam could only be achieved if Muslims held true to their religion.

In Jitra, residents in Taman Mahsuri maintained a "tradition" that they started three years ago when some 1,500 people from all races participated in a 20-minute parade in conjunction with the Maulidur Rasul celebrations.

There was also something different during this year's celebration as four of the participants rode horses during the parade.

A. Krishnan, 54, said the residents had celebrated many festive events together.

"We believe celebrating events together will bring us closer. I am excited and proud that I can be part of this event."

In George Town, hundreds of Muslims from the federal and local authorities took part in a parade at the Esplanade in the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebrations.

Some 59 contingents packed the field to walk about 2km within its vicinity in conjunction with the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

In Kota Kinabalu, more than 15,000 people took part in the state-level Maulidur Rasul procession, headed by Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin here yesterday.

Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah presenting the Umar Abdul Aziz award to Datuk Abdul Aziz Andik Achok (left) at the Maulidur Rasul celebrations at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam yesterday. Aziz is a state fatwa committee member.


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