UMYO hosts Forum on Youth as Initiator of Peace in Cotabato City

COTABATO CITY - 70 young individuals gathered at Muassasah Bldg., Bubong Road, Brgy. Datu Balabaran, Cotabato City who enthusiastically participated during the Peace Advocacy Forum organized by Union of Muslim Youth Organizations (UMYO) with the theme: "How to make the Youth as the Source and Initiator of Peace for the Society?" on July 8, 2017. 

The participants are officers and members of different organizations and agencies based in Cotabato City and nearby areas such as: AAI, Daiyah Phils., DYMAMin, JTO, KDSAI, MPDA, MWAH, MYB, MYRO, Nuroshabab Organization Al-Islamie, TRO, UNYPAD Cotabato City Chapter, UNYPhil – Cotabato, UVPN, YIPA, and YPPA.

UMYO is a federation of different organizations in the city and nearby municipalities composed of active young Movers of Peace in the community. 

The Forum was graced by different personalities who are famous icons in the promotion of peace especially in the Bangsamoro which include Hon. Von Al Haq, the Spokesperson of BIAF-MILF, Sheikh Muslim Guiamadin of Muassasah Khalifah-Asma Lilhidayah Wal-Islah, as well as Ulama from Jumeyyatul Huffaz bil Filibeen including Sheikh Abdulkahar Musa and their President, Sheikh Mas-od Lantong.

The inspirational message was delivered by Sir Von Al Haq where he reminded the youth that they have a major role in building the society. He also highlighted the importance of education to transform the youth as effective agents of peace, both in terms of secular and Islamic aspects of knowledge.

Acquiring proper education is crucial as it can lead individuals to become an asset of society or otherwise, a burden thereto. In conclusion, he advised the youth to learn from the experiences of the elders, leaders, and Ulama and always make consultations with them to have proper guidance in every step that they take.

The second input was delivered by Sheikh Abdulkahar Musa who delved on the importance and process of acquiring Hikmah (wisdom). In his discussion, he stressed that wisdom is one of the most important things that should be acquired not only by elders, but by each and every one. The one who has given ‘Hikmah’ is someone whom Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'ala) loves and indeed it is a gift of bounty of goodness. 

He also pointed out the process of how to attain this Hikmah. It includes acquiring sound knowledge from Ulama and elders, being in company of good people, strengthening of one's Taqwa (consciousness of Allah), and abstaining from one's wordly desires. Sheikh Abdulkahar reminded the youth that Hikmah is very important and that they must strive to attain and possess it within themselves.

Sheikh Muslim Guiamadin, the third lecturer, discussed about the main point of the program's theme which is about making the youth as the source and initiator of peace for the society. He focused his discussion on one of the beautiful verses of the Qur'an in Surah Al-An'am: 82 which says: "Those who have believed and have not mixed their faith with injustice are the ones who deserve peace, and it is they who are on the right path.” 

In his lecture, he emphasized that the attainment of peace is closely tied with strengthening of Aqeedah (Firm Creed). Differences in Aqeedah are one of the major factors that cause the sprouting of different groups with different ideologies who are all claiming as Islamic group, including the violent extremists.

Sheikh Muslim highlighted that the true movers of peace are those having the righteous Aqeedah who practice the authentic teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).

In his closing message, Sheikh Mas-od Lantong narrated the story of As-habul Kahf (People of the Cave)  in the Noble Qur'an, Chapter, Al-Kahf (The Cave). 

With this, he related to the participants the story of this young people who have taken great sacrifices to preserve their Faith where Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) aided them with a great favor.

Lastly, he advised the youth to be good followers of our leaders and elders, heed their advices, and act accordingly. 

The forum ended with much inspiration, motivation, and new learnings gained by the young participants towards becoming agents of peace in their communities. 

The organizers were grateful to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for the success of the program, and for the invaluable efforts rendered by the special guests who shared much of their experiences and knowledge. 

Moreover, to all the participants who actively participated in the activity.