Belait hosts Majlis Ilmu symposium

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds


A SERIES of symposiums have been carried out as part of the recently held Knowledge Convention’s programme in all districts to promote better understanding of the Syariah Penal Code which is slated to be implemented in phases in the next six months.

The Kuala Belait installation of the symposium took place at the Kuala Belait Conference Hall yesterday, and focused on the penal code and its corresponding workflow.

Aside from elaborating the penal code’s implementation, Dato Seri Setia Hj Tassim Hj Akim, Director of the Islamic Jurisprudence Unit, added not all of the punishments are applicable to non-Muslims, and that certain factors need to be taken into consideration.

Citing relevant stories of Saiyidina Umar Al-Khattab, Dato Seri Setia Hj Tassim urged enforcement officers to be considerate towards non-Muslims in the Sultanate.

“There were a lot of cases involving alcoholic drinks during the times of Saiyidina Umar, in one of those cases, while Saiyidina Umar was walking around the city at night with a companion, he came across a house where the residents were noisy and having private alcoholic festivities,” said Dato Seri Setia Hj Tassim.

“Saiyidina Umar was about to go inside the house, but was stopped by his companion who told him the house is their rightful private space and it is their right to drink in it, after which Saiyidina Umar and his companion left without doing anything,” he added.

There was also another case where Saiyidina Umar managed to go into a house which was holding a private party involving alcohol and women, but he left after being told by its tenants that he did not enter the house properly; he was told that he rudely intruded into the house and went in without even giving _salam _to the tenants.

“So non-Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol only in public spaces; if it is their own private and closed space, they are allowed to.”

He pointed out that “In Brunei, matters relating to alcohol have long been practised. The selling of alcohol has been prohibited since the 90s.”

“But for non-Muslims, they can bring in alcoholic drinks into Brunei, though the quantity will be limited as it is regulated by national regulations,” he added.

Non-Muslims are also eligible for Syariah punishments if they participate in sexual intercourse out of wedlock (zina) with a Muslim. “If a non-Muslim were to commit zina with a Muslim, then they will be punished under Syariah law following certain factors, but if a non-Muslim commits _zina _with another non-Muslim, then it will be out of Islamic jurisdiction.”

Crimes covering Muslims and non-Muslims in Brunei as a whole include violation of property rights where factors such as the security and the ownership of said property is considered; and murder, which considers to what degree the murder is committed.

Attending the symposium as the guest of honour was the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abd Rahman who also officially launched the exhibition that followed the lecture.

The Brunei Times