Relay beauty of Islam through literature: minister

National 2 minutes, 58 seconds


THE Minister of Religious Affairs yesterday urged writers to relay the beauty of Islam through literatures and writings as these channels were considered to be effective for da’wah (Islamic propagation).

A writer’s role, especially Muslim writers, is not merely to “record life or to express feelings and imaginaries within the cocoon of narrow stories to satisfy readers’ demands, YB Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman said in a speech delivered during a prize presentation ceremony for a short stories and general articles.

“The writings, be it creative or non-creative, should relay the messages of da’wah, making the literature arena as the container of an effective da’wah calling on to human beings to amar ma’ruf nahi munkar (do good deeds and avoid the bad ones),” he said underlining the importance of including Islamic elements in writing.

The minister expressed hopes that the competition, organised by the Language Literature Bureau (DBP), would be a catalyst and eye-opener to literature fans.

“To new writers, competitions like this can serve as a platform to polish their talents in the literature arena.”

“At the same time, to writers who had established their name in the ring, this contest can be a test to see how far their sharpness and capability is in upholding self-credibility without feeling pressured in the competition with the new writers.”

The minister also encouraged writers to invest in books or general resources that includes among others religious values relevant to their respective interest.

However, the minister advised writers to be cautious with regards to popular reading materials that could contain “ideas that are in conflict with the teachings of Islam based on the Quran and Sunnah.

“These understandings could lead to friction amongst us and disrupt the harmony in the society and of the country in the future,” the minister said.

“Thus, to be strong and united, we should be together in the same league of ideas and beliefs; with the understanding of Qur’an and Sunnah.”

Held at Balai Sarmayuda, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Old Airport, the prize presentation ceremony for the Peraduan Menulis Cerpen dan Rencana Umum 2013 aimed at publicising the role of DBP as the government agency that channels various kinds of knowledge through its publications to the people.

Aside from fostering awareness towards reading as a culture, the contest was also designed to add more local literature as well as promote the use of Malay language as the official language of Brunei.

In her welcoming speech, Acting Director of DBP Hjh Nortijah Hj Mohd Hassan urged local writers to promote reading as a culture through participations of various kinds of competitions and awards.

“Up until now, DBP, with careful preparations had implemented a number of activities and projects towards elevating and upholding the status of Malay literature both nationally and internationally,” she said.

“Therefore, writers need to seize these opportunities, especially the local writers to participate in these awards and gain recognition of their writings.”

Siti Munawwarah Hj Awg Lamat was named the first prize winner for the short story category. Khairiyah Al-Hasnaa Hj Awg Hassan and Nazrul Hj Besar came in second and third respectively.

The winners for the short story category received cash prizes of $1,200, $1,000 and $800 respectively.

Meanwhile, in the general articles category, Rosma Kamar came in first place, followed by Rosmahwati Hj Buntar and Ruhana Radin.

They received cash prizes of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.

All winners also received a plaque, certificate and a set of books which were handed over by the minister.

The Brunei Times