Kabul, 17 Jumadil Awwal 1436/8 March 2015 (MINA) – The Afghan Capital Kabul on Friday witnessed the first of its kind huge “Star for Seerat-e-Nabi”, a competition designed to test the knowledge of participants about the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“I have competed in relatively smaller competitions in Parwan and Kabul before but this one is the largest one,” Subhanuddin, who is a student in a private school, expressing excitement about the competition.
In his views, such competitions were necessary to keep the nation spiritually and morally a live, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Sunhanuddin and other competitors were gathered at Eid Gah Mosque, a vast praying premise for special occasions and training for the Haj pilgrims in the heart of the city, for this mega event. Despite the cold weather, the presence of so many youngsters, men and women articulated their love for the Prophet.
For Jameela, a young female participant, this was a first of its kind experience. Underlining the value of Islamic principles, she called upon all Afghan youth to learn and practice the way Prophet Muhammad has taught and practiced, so that they can live a nice life now and hereafter.
Prophet Muhammad Seerah (tradition) functions as a comprehensive code of social behavior that is characterized by honesty, frugality, generosity, virtuousness, piousness, fairness, truthfulness, tolerance and respect for others.
Friday’s quiz was organized by Nehad Jawanan-e-Musalman (Muslim Youth Organization), a non-profit organization dedicated to promote Islamic teachings in Afghanistan. Dr. Rehmatullah Zahid, NJM director, said this unique event was part of a series of projects with one objective.
“Our main goal is to enlighten the public, especially the youth about the teachings of Holy Prophet and how he spent his life,” Zahid said.
Afghanistan is known to be a devotee Muslim society but decades-long lingering war and related incidents of violence have uprooted the traditional structure of seeking knowledge. The relative peace for the past few years however, has made it possible for knowledge seekers to opt for religious centers of knowledge as well as modern institutions of social, scientific and other technical studies.
Islam is the official state religion of Afghanistan, with approximately 99.8% of the Afghan population being Muslim.
The youth organization’s effort was endorsed by Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs MoHRA and other local NGOs.
“This gathering and show of love and respect is also a peaceful and civilized protest against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that depicted the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad,” Zahid, the NJM director, told OnIslam.net.
Like some other Islamic countries, Afghanistan strongly protested the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine earlier in the year. An armed assault on the French magazine’s office in Paris on January 07, triggered by the caricatures, saw 17 people dead, including four Charlie Hebdo satirists.
NJM Director told OnIslam they were planning similar “Seerat-e-Nabi” events for the rest of the country after the successful launch in Kabul. “Over a thousand youngsters, including boys and girls, have already enrolled for “Seerat-e-Nabi” competition in the eastern Logar province for the next month,” he said.
He added that NJM was also planning to launch competitions in Mathematics, General Science and Social Sciences for the Afghan youth. For Afghans, Islam represents a potentially unifying symbolic system which offsets the divisiveness that frequently rises from tribal loyalties and multiethnic societies such as Afghanistan.
On the part of the government, the Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs has announced to ensure arrangements of pilgrimage for Hajj and `Umrah for the winners of “Seerat-e-Nabi” competitions.
In a war-torn poor country like Afghanistan, making it to the holy Makkah for Hajj is nothing less than a dream come true for the devotee Muslim men and women. Under the leadership of new President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan government has vowed to protect and promote the value of mosques in the country.
Religious leaders are trained and encouraged to promote peace and knowledge among the masses in cities as well as the far away mountainous areas of the country. Faiz Muhammad Usmani, the MoHRA said on the occasion that such initiatives were the need of the hour.
He assured the organizers that Kabul government would continuously back their endeavors in the field of spreading Islamic knowledge and hence contributing towards a more peaceful, sensible and developed society. (T/P011/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)