Grand celebration on Prophet Muhammad (saw) birthday known as Maulidur Rasul is considered as one of the most special annual events in Malaysia. The celebration is held at both national and state level, as well as in various kampong (village) to commemorate the deeds and struggles of the Prophet in upholding Islam. It involved Muslims from all walks of life from the king/sultan, political leaders, community/religious leaders to students and children.
The national-level 1433H celebration was held in Putrajaya on 5 February 2012, with the theme: “Understanding the Foundation for Unity of the Ummah”. The event was officiated by the King of Malaysia, Yang di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah who was accompanied by the Queen, Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Hajah Haminah. Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyyiddin Yassin and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom. The event began with a 2.4 km procession by 12,000 participants from 121 contingents comprising government agencies, statutory bodies, private sectors and NGOs. The parade started from the Palace of Justice to Putra Mosque.
In his speech, the King called on Muslims to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (saw) in order to create an exceptional Muslim society and be a good example to the world. He reminded that the Prophet (saw) had struggled for 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Madinah in order to spread Islamic teachings and was successful in eradicating the era of ignorance. The king also urged Muslims to be united and love each other as prescribed by Islam. To mark the event, Maulidur Rasul is declared a public holiday in Malaysia.
The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of Maulidur Rasul Award. This year award was presented to Datuk Seri Hassan Ahmad, Mufti of Penang, who is also a member of National Fatwa Committee. Others recipients were Deputy President of Chinese Muslim Association, Dr Muhammad Fuad Yeoh and Ustaz Shah Kirit Kakulal Govindji, dawah ambassador of SABA Islamic Media Sdn Bhd.
In fact, Muslims in Malaysia celebrated the Maulidur Rasul with various religious activities to remind themselves of the deeds and struggles of the Prophet in upholding Islam. For instance, Muslims will have a special feast at home, family members and friends were invited to attend the ceremony. It normally begins with reading Qur’an, doa, salawat and also reading a book known as Berzanji by imam. Berzanji is a famous book compiling of do’a and biography of the Prophet (saw), it was wriiten by Sheikh Ja’far al Berzanji bin Husain bin Abdul Karim, born in Madinah in 1690. The celebration was also held at mosques in villages where villagers, religious teachers and children were get together to celebrate the event. Maulidur Rasul celebration is a traditional religious event held annually in Malaysia.
In Sarawak, the celebration was held at Miri Stadium with almost 10,000 Muslims joined the acting head of state, Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who is also President of RISEAP.
The celebration is also a big event in southern Thailand, Patani, Yala, Narathiwat, satun and partly in Songkla where Muslims are in majority. The event is known as the Month of Maulidur Rasul in the area as it takes a month long to celebrate this special occasion.