Today, Muslims observe Youman Nabi. The day is very significant to our Muslim brothers and sisters as it marks both the birth and death anniversaries of Islam’s Holy Prophet Muhammad. More importantly, its significance offers much pertinent lessons in humility, contentment, respect and love among mankind.
Prophet Muhammad was born in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 12th of Rabi-Al-Awwal (3rd month on the Islamic Calendar), 571 AD and died at the age of 62 in Medina.
The Prophet is seen as the perfect role model and the lessons taught by him can be beneficial to all mankind – caring for the less fortunate, duty to one’s parents, respect for all, mercy and forgiveness, care for the sick, charity, prayers and fasting to name a few. These principles have formed the basis of Islam and are also the foundation of becoming better individuals, thereby shaping better societies which we can all be proud of.
Prophet Muhammad has indeed left an excellent example of how a leader of a country should act and behave. Modesty, frugality, fairness, mercifulness, and practising what is demanded of others were some of his watchwords. In reflecting on the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet, there are universal lessons of forgiveness and tolerance of which Guyanese could seek to emulate in building a prosperous, modern and united country.
Youman Nabi celebration is therefore an opportunity for the persons not only to understand the message of the Prophet Muhammad, but to put into practice in our everyday life and dealings with our fellow citizens.
The moral teachings of the Prophet Muhammad are not mere theories but practical manifestations of moral principles which are universally relevant and applicable for all times. For example, the Prophet’s message of peace is particularly relevant today as you cannot change someone’s heart by use of force, but through humility and kindness.
Just recently President Irfaan Ali underscored the importance for our leaders to take up the responsibility and lead the charge towards achieving national unity. He was quoted in the media as saying that this task rests entirely on the shoulders of leaders.
On this basis, he called on all Guyanese to break down those invisible walls and bring our people together, saying; “we owe this to the legacy of those who worked tirelessly, and selflessly, we owe this to our future generation, and we have to fix it now and fix it in this generation, and to not leave this burden upon those who will come after us”.
He said that the time has come for citizens to reflect with honourable intentions and a passion and commitment to achieve what those who struggled selflessly, wanted to achieve – the unification of our people. “It is the most pressing issue for us as a people. We talk a lot these days about economic bonanza that will come about, the great wealth that will come, about lifting our people from poverty. But today I say to you, the greatest of tasks and challenge for all of us, is unification of our people.”
The Prophet’s message of peace, understanding, respect, care and compassion for all mankind is more relevant today than it ever was.
We had said before that Guyana is now once again on a democratic path. We have yet another glorious opportunity to fashion a society that is modern, inclusive, progressive, and one in which all citizens can be proud. This of course can only be achieved if all Guyanese work together in the national interest.
On this auspicious occasion of Youman Nabi, we extend best wishes to all Guyanese, particularly the Muslim communities here in Guyana and across the Diaspora.