KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims celebrated Ma’al Hijrah 1424 with mass gatherings nationwide and calls by rulers and leaders for all Malaysians to uphold and appreciate peace, progress and solidarity prevailing in the country.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid launched the national celebration at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil before more than 10,000 people, including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
At the ceremony, former Kedah Mufti Datuk Paduka Syeikh Abdul Majid Md Noor was awarded the national-level Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah for his contribution to the development of Islam in the country.
In his address, the King said Maal Hijrah is a timely event for all Malaysians to unite and “migrate from any enmity that we may have towards each other.”
“Only those who dare to “migrate” and move to better things would succeed,” the King said, relating events which led Prophet Muhammad to Medina where he fostered relationships among Muslims and encouraged co-operation with the non-Muslims.
“This shows that unity is the basis for the advancement and prosperity of the ummah. Strong inter-racial ties will ensure socio-economic progress and peace within the country, while solidarity among Muslims will consolidate the ummah and strengthen the religion,” he added.
At a press conference later, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Brig-Gen (R) Datuk Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin reminded Muslims to incorporate Islamic values in their daily lives.
Abdul Hamid said an ulamak once commented that non-Muslims succeed because they practise Islamic values while Muslims fail because they forget Islamic teachings.”
“This is a bitter pill to swallow for Muslims but it happens to be true. It is not surprising that in the West everyone greets each other with a “Hi” but over here, we may not even greet our immediate neighbours or give them a smile,” he said.
He added that in actuality the current slant against Islam was not because of the religion, the Quran or what the Prophet Muhammad did.
Rather, it was the unsavoury and negative characters among the Muslims that put a dent on the image of Islam.
In PENANG, the Tokoh Maal Hijrah award was given to former Permatang Pasir assemblyman Datuk Adnan Md Isa, 58, who is currently the Penang Area Farmers Organisation chairman and Bank Persatuan chairman. He received his award from Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas at the state-level celebration at the Balik Pulau Sports Complex.
Penang also gave away two other awards; the Bapa Mithali (exemplary father) award to Abdul Rahim Yaakob, 72, and the Ibu Mithali (exemplary mother) award to Embun Md Chakali, 55.
About 5,000 people attended the function, including Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Hilmi Yahaya and Muslim state executive councillors.
In JITRA, hundreds of Muslims gathered at the Dewan Wawasan for the Kedah state-level celebrations which was launched by the state’s ruler, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
The sultan presented Tokoh Maal Hijrah awards to Abdul Razak Ibrahim, 84, (male category) and Adilah Abdul Halim, 57 (female category).
In JOHOR BARU, the state level celebrations was launched by Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman at the Johor Islamic Complex.
He urged Muslims to improve their knowledge to avoid being used by those who wish to create disunity among the community for personal gain.
In KUANTAN, the Sultan of Pahang Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah dealt with the threats of war which he said should not be justified as a final form to end problems.
He said many Islamic countries, including Malaysia, had expressed their views against war and called on Muslims to band together peacefully to prevent conflicts, especially among themselves.