Close to Zuhur time, the visiting Mufti of Syria Dr Ahmad Bader Eddin Hassoun was making his way to the front of the Sultan mosque. Perhaps due to the lack of publicity, the esteemed Mufti was not swarmed by the congregation, compared to the farewell he received when leaving the mosque later on. It seemed like most people were not aware that the knowledgeable scholar will be the khatib and prayer leader.
Then the loudspeaker announced that the PM of Malaysia, Najib Razak, is going to perform his Friday prayers at the same mosque. And during Zuhur azan, he made his way in, causing some commotion with members of the congregation jostling to shake his hand, and irritation among those prefer the moment of reflection while the call of prayer is hailed.
One, a knowledgeable scholar. Another, a head of state of immense power and influence. When the azan was over, and the offering of sunnah prayers was completed, the head of state sat on the carpeted floor, along with thousands more, listening to the weekly reminder by the scholar of Islam.
How true is the Quran. Aren’t we all the same, and the best among us is the one with most piety? And the highest among them are the scholars with knowledge which is passed down from generations; tediously recounting sanads, carefully comparing narrations, laboriously ensuring that it is the one taught by our leader Muhammad ﷺ, and passing them selflessly on to the next generations?
Then the visiting Mufti started his sermon with the hamdalah, completing the required conditions of the Friday sermon phrase by phrase. While promoting the visit’s sponsor oft-cited ideals of a the “Singapore Muslim Identity”, he eloquently and emotionally argued the need for Muslims to think ahead of their time, to be a global representative of humanity, to brave the currents of secularism and globalisation, yet be one who remains steadfast in his aqidah and creed.
More interestingly, his Arabic sermon noted one extremely vital point which is usually neglected in such rhetorics; to be a Muslim who doesn’t have a reason to fear anyone in this world, except for Allah ﷻ.
Something we should all remember.