We’re still in Rabi’ulawwal, and we should still be celebrating the birthday of our beloved prophet, Rasulullah Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. Yesterday (Monday) was the formal celebration for Maulidurrasul at national, state and division levels. It was a public holiday for Malaysia. Muslims in Malaysia take to the streets, not to protest or demonstrate on any issue, but to take part in processions which is usually the main event during Maulidurrasul celebrations – well, that’s how it is in Sarawak, at least. However, some may wonder, do those activities really satisfy the goal of celebrating the birthday of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam? Is celebrating the birthday of the most honoured amongst all of Allah’s creations sufficed by street processions, banner competitions, giving awards and nasyid performances? Clearly not. (Evidently this article won’t be written if it is.) And no, I am not implying that all those activities are useless; no, they have their part in making Maulidurrasul celebrations a grand one. I would however like to share a few ideas – tips, perhaps – for making Maulidurrasul celebrations a more significant one. These are some quick and simple tips (there are just four of it, anyway) for inspiring our love towards Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and making our love towards him become stronger and stronger.
Make lots of prayer and du’a to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam was a person who prays and make lots of du’a. Pray to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala so that He nurtures within our hearts the most compassionate and strongest love towards Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. Pray to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala so that He gives us strength to manifest our love towards the Prophet. Never forget that our hearts are Allah’s to control; He may change our hearts towards love or hatred, towards belief or ignorance. That’s why we have to make lots of prayers and du’a so that Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala nurtures our hearts with love and iman, not the opposite.
Learn to know Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. We cannot have the feeling of love towards something or someone that we do not know. Therefore, to inspire love towards the Prophet, learn about Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. There are lots of good sirah books out there. However, it is more efficient and it is better even to learn about the Prophet from scholars (‘ulama’) directly. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam is the one and only figure in the history of mankind whose life is most completely and comprehensively documented; therefore, there are lots to learn about our beloved Prophet.
Say lots of ‘salawat’ to Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. Saying the ‘salawat’ upon the Prophet is one of the most honourable thing to do. Why? Because it is what even Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala and the angels do! Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala and the angles say lots of ‘salawat’ to the Prophet. Therefore, as a believer, we have to say lots of ‘salawat’ towards our Prophet. The ‘salawat’ is an honoured prayer towards the Prophet; even our solat (prayer) becomes invalid if we do not recite the ‘salawat’ in it.
Last, but definitely not the least, we must try to emulate the Prophet. Even if it is bit by bit. As I’ve mentioned above, Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam is a person whose life is most completely documented. Refer to local Islamic scholars and learn about the Prophet, and try to emulate just a little bit of what Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam did. If we do the things we do everyday, with the intention of emulating the Prophet, then that act will become an ‘ibadah.