Maulidur rasul is the day we celebrate the birthday of our Holy Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH). It is supposed to be solemn day when we take lessons and insights from the struggle of Muhammad. It is also a day we give thanks to Allah for choosing Muhammad as his messenger.
Now if someone tells you that if Allah has not chosen Muhammad to be the messenger of Islam, He would have chosen someone else to do it, - that is blasphemous. It’s like saying that Muhammad is not the last or seal of the prophets. We are taught to believe as one of the tenets of Islam, that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets. Yet Mahathir could get away with it and the Malays were hypnotized by this man.
Religion it seems is the last frontier UMNO has chosen to do battle. This is the only area it thinks Malays will rally behind it. So what does UMNO do? It goes to town trying to show it alone defends Islam. Hence it makes noises about Christians using the term Allah. It makes noises but dares not take the hard-line action since it is the government, to ban the usage of the term. What hasn’t UMNO done it explicitly?
Instead it explains its inability to do that, because it says PAS teaches that the term can be used by Christians. It justifies its inability and its own impotence in this area by blaming in on PAS. PAS is not the government. And PAS has explained its stand on the usage of the term Allah. Even if it wants to, PAS will not be able to prevent others who have used the term to discontinue it. If others use the term not in the sense Muslims use it, then the non-Muslims answer to the One Almighty.
UMNO goes in circles in making its own stand on the issue. It uses clandestine organizations to whip up Muslim frenzy which is a powder keg that will blow up into something more serious. UMNO countenances that, because it profits them politically. It’s all politics with UMNO.
It is willing to go to war with Malaysian Christians who account for around 9% of the population. Hence UMNO keeps quiet and silent when its political subcontractor headed by Ibrahim Ali seditiously exhorts Muslims to burn bibles. Who will stop wild eyed political extremists from burning ALL Bibles? Yet the government does not take firm legal action against its subcontractor. Why? Because it thinks by taking the position it now adopts, Malays will be whipped into a universal frenzy and rally behind UMNO forgetting that this is an UMNO ploy in the first place.
UMNO must appear more Malay than anyone else. It knows it no longer has unqualified support from non-Malays. 15-20% is about the level of support from the Chinese community to BN. the Indians maybe 20%. Non Malays want good government and good governance. They want transparency and they demand the rule of law. All things represented by the theme of this year’s Maulidur Rasul. UMNO’s record in these areas is dismal and yet it shamelessly champions the theme. It’s all a political game for UMNO.
It must be clear immediately that our objection is directed not at the actual celebration but at the theme which UMNO uses to set the tone of this year’s celebration. Why choose wasathiyah?
Because, UMNO thinks the theme represents what UMNO is and differentiates UMNO from the other political parties. The crucial element of the terms which UMNO thinks fits it perfectly is moderation. UMNO is a moderate party and because it thinks society prefers moderation, they should support UMNO. Society does indeed prefer moderation but the issue here is, does UMNO as the author of the theme, qualifies to represent the theme? Our contention is and we shall argue it, UMNO fails miserably when judged by the year’s theme.
Let us first be clear what the term means. Then we judge UMNO first against the term. The term wasathiyah shortened from the phrase ummatan wasatho is taken from verse 143 of the surah Al Baqarah.(Quran 2:143) The first part of the long verse says that the Muslim community is a community justly balanced. It eschews extremes in actions and in deeds. It is also taken to mean a community that upholds moderation, is balanced in the sense that it partakes in the affairs of the world without abandoning spiritual matters and also a society that is exemplary so that it can judge others and adjudicate others. Taken as a whole, the elements of being justly balanced, just and moderate make the person, organization or political partys upholding the concept , exemplary and deserves to be emulated.
Ask yourselves in dealing with prudent spending for example has Najib been exemplary and therefore reflects wasathiyah? Has UMNO in its political conduct been exemplary and therefore reflects wasathiyah? When UMNO is not capable in engaging in civilized debates, does its action condoning violence, stone throwing, making threats of physical harm – is this kind of conduct exemplary and therefore reflects wasathiyah? If wasathiyah has been second nature to UMNO, why is UMNO incapable of stopping widespread corruption, pillage and plunder of public money and wealth?
It’s all politics when UMNO does things. Its own devotion to the real maulidur rasul celebration is not superior to the piety others not in UMNO attach to the celebration of our Holy Prophet.