Shaykh Muhammad Fuad bin Kamaludin Al-Maliki, the founder of Yayasan Sofa was the instrumental figure behind the GrandMawlid Ar-Rasul celebration held on 8 April 2012, at Masjid Tuanku Mizan, in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The event marked the launching of Universiti As-Sofa which had taken place the day before. The university is privately funded by the Sofa Foundation and will function on the Sunni teachings of Islam. HRH Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir, the ruler of Negeri Sembilan has been appointed as the university’s Chancellor.
Shaykh Fuad Al-Maliki, 38, is an Al-Azhar graduate who has studied with many prominent traditional Islamic scholars. One of his most notable murshid (guides) whose family name he carries, was the late scholar of Makkah, Prof. Dr. Sayyid Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki.
At the closing of the Grand Mawlid Ar-Rasul event, Shaykh Fuad said: “Praise be to Allah for having chosen us as ummahof Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. We should ponder on the meaning of mahhabah [love] for Allah and His Prophet as an obligation for all. Loving Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w is part ofiman. As narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari, loving the Prophet is a sign of one’s faith (iman) towards Allah. But how can we love someone we do not know? Prophet Muhammad was not our grandfather. We do not have nasab (biological link) with him. So how? It is, by way of makrifah and ‘ilm (gnosis and knowledge) of the Prophet’s reality. My guru Al-Maliki used to say: “The lovers of mawlid, regardless of any mawlid, shall wait for it eagerly, for it could soothe the hearts.” However, it is not sufficient that we read mawlid Ad-Daiba’ie, Habashi or Barzanji. If our love for the Prophet is not supported with knowledge and gnosis, we will tend to misunderstand the true reality of Muhammad. It is not just something which we enjoy listening to, but we must endeavor to comprehend the meanings contained in the mawlid books. Love is not merely in the form of voice but in their meanings. I call upon the lovers of mawlid to advance one step ahead by discussing the meanings of mawlid. Do this, so that people will not ridicule us if we conduct mawlid based on knowledge and gnosis. We need to plead to Allah so that He opens our hearts in knowing Rasulullah s.a.w. Many people have been misled by the physical aspect of Rasulullah. Imam As-Sakandari said, “Glory be to Allah Who sealed the secrets of his unique (khususiyah) qualities. He who was garbed with human qualities. Allah said to him: “You see them looking at you O Muhammad, their physical eyes are set upon you but their inner eyes do not see you.” Basirah (inner eyes) were able to see the lights of Muhammad on the eyebrows of Adam, hence they did not hesitate to prostrate towards Prophet Adam when commanded by Allah. In fact, the lights of Prophet Muhammad is the source of all other lights. None would be able to appreciate the Prophet’s light unless he receives aid from Allah. O people, do read the history of Rasulullah, not with your emotions, but with knowledge andmakrifah.”