HM wants a ‘pure Islamic university’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MORE emphasis on the teachings of Al-Quran and Islam is essential for Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (Unissa) to establish its identity as a "pure Islamic university", said His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. His Majesty explained that Unissa, which is the pride of the entire nation, has to fulfil its mission and special responsibility of becoming a pure Islamic university.
"Pure Islam is the Islam preached by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Pure Islam does not have to be further interpreted. If it is less than that or is different, then it is not pure," said the monarch in his 30-minute titah yesterday.
"For Brunei, there is no glory without religion. Islam is the flesh and blood of Brunei. Islam is the clothing of Brunei. Without Islam, Brunei would have no flesh, blood and clothing," said the monarch who explained that Islam must therefore, remain strong and continue to live in the Sultanate's body, further cementing the importance of Al-Quran studies in the Sultanate.
With this in mind, the ruler spoke of his observations on a number of faculties in the university which lacked emphasis on the teachings of Al-Quran, adding that one should not undermine Islamic education by placing emphasis on other subjects or units.
"There are faculties where Al-Quran is taught only in the first year. This means that if the undergraduate programmes in this faculty has eight semesters, then (the students) will only study Al-Quran for two semesters and not for the remaining six," said His Majesty.
"Why is this so? There may be opinions that this might make things easier for the students or that other subjects are more important but is this sort of stance really right?" asked the monarch.
His Majesty said that some might answer that the faculties which lack the teachings of Al-Quran are the Islamic Finance and Law faculties, but this was still unacceptable.
"As long as it is in Unissa, regardless of what faculty, it still bears the name Unissa. We cannot accept that graduates from Unissa are not well verse in Al-Quran. We cannot accept that graduates from Arabic Secondary Schools are better in Al-Quran compared to Unissa graduates," said the monarch who added that producing graduates who not only can fluently read the Quran but also memorise the holy book will be a factor in improving the image of Unissa.
His Majesty was on a working visit to the university yesterday where he received a briefing on the latest developments of Unissa by its rector, Dr Hj Mohd Yusop Hj Damit.
Following the briefing, the monarch proceeded to deliver his titah before being invited to lunch with Unissa's council members.
The Brunei Times