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Indiscipline nearly disrupted Prophet Mohammed birthday celebration

Date published: Wednesday, 23rd March 2016

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda (with mic), addressing the gathering at the Maulid celebration
 
What could be described as gross indiscipline exhibited by some youth during the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed at Shukura, a suburb of  Accra, last Saturday evening nearly marred the annual event.
 
As a result, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, who was the guest for the occasion, threatened to leave the event for the lack of respect shown him.
 
It all started when some youth who clamoured to see the Chief Imam besieged the event grounds, creating chaos for more than 20 minutes.
 
Some of the youth wanted to exchange pleasantries and catch a glimpse of the spiritual leader, while others took the opportunity to greet other invited dignitaries.
 
That created tension and chaos on the event grounds, forcing the Islamic Foundation for Peace and Development (IFPD), the organisers of the event, to sack all those who had not been assigned to the event premises.
 
That obviously did not go down well with some of the youth, who rained invective on the organisers.
 
Attempts by the organisers to restore calm to the event grounds proved futile.
 
It took the timely intervention of the Head of the Nima Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department, Assistant Superintendent of Police Hajia Sahadatu Mohammed, and her team to restore order.
 
Refusal to attend Maulid
 
But in a rather sharp statement, Sheikh Sharubutu vowed never to attend such a gathering organised by anyone in the Muslim community should such indiscipline be showed towards him.
 
He said although he had forgiven their actions, he could not understand why his arrival could create chaos and disrupt the celebration.
 
“My presence is to unite people and not to destroy them. If I come to witness such chaos, then please forgive me in advance, I will never attend any Maulid celebration apart from the one I organise,” he said.
 
He said it was high time Muslims began to show discipline and respect towards such celebrations by abiding by the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.
 
“This is the time you should be more united as a people, rather than be divided over petty issues that are of no substance,” he added.
Sheikh Sharubutu, however, prayed for peace for all Muslims, the nation in general and the November 7 general election.
 
About Maulid celebration
 
‘Mawilid an-Nabi’, meaning ‘the celebration of the Prophet’ is a special holiday for many Muslim faithful to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.
 
This celebration is usually held on the 12th day of Rabi-al-Awal, the fifth month on the Islamic calender, and Muslims mark the day by enjoying themselves in spiritual ecstasy and singing praises to the Prophet.
 
A special part of the celebration is the remembrance of how the Prophet forgave even his bitterest enemies.
 
As it is with other Islamic holidays, Muslims also give to the poor and the needy in society.
 
In attendance at this year’s event was the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda; the running mate to the NPP’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; a former Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye; a Special Aide to the President in charge of Zongo and Muslim Affairs, Alhaji Baba Lami; the President of the Council of Zongo Chiefs, Chief Abdul Kadhir Tahir; some representatives of the various political parties, Imams and chiefs of Muslim communities.
 
Proud Muslim
 
In his address, Alhaji Dauda said as a Muslim, he was proud to be part of the celebration, adding that although Muslims had never seen the Prophet, “we still gather every year to celebrate  peace, unity, selflessness and tolerance, which are some of the features of the Prophet Mohammed”.
 
He appealed to all Muslims to accommodate one another's views at all times and continue to promote the message of Islam at all times.
 
Alhaji Dr Bawumia said as the country headed for the polls, it was important for all to observe it in peace such that everything should be done devoid of violence.
 
He also called on Muslims to seek knowledge at all times.

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