‘Master Arabic language for better understanding of religious texts’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MASTERING the Arabic language to understand religious doctrine, alongside learning other academic subjects, produces an all-rounder student for both dunya and akhirah, said educators of Sungai Akar Arabic School yesterday.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Ustazah Pg Hjh Radiah Pg Hj Md Tahir, the Sungai Akar Arabic School principal, stressed the importance of learning Arabic to achieve a more in-depth understanding of religious texts.
“Mastering the language will allow students to comprehend the Qur’an and Hadith better,” she said.
“Aside from that, students will also have a wider choice of books on religious matters to refer to, since these books were mostly written in Arabic by various Ulamas,” she added.
Interest in Arabic schools is growing in the Sultanate. This year, a total of 667 students have been enrolled in five Arabic Preparatory Schools nationwide.
Sungai Akar Arabic School received 225 new registrations, an increase from last year’s enrollment figure of 168 students. Bandar Seri Begawan Arabic Preparatory School holds the highest registration number, with 335 students, while 52 registered at Belait Arabic School, 35 at Ma’had Islam Tutong and 20 in Temburong Arabic School.
The principal explained that the new students, who are entering Year Five, will be taught the basics of the Arabic language, such as recognising sentences and understanding grammar.
The school also includes in its syllabus, subjects exclusive to Arabic schools, such as At-Tarbiyyah Ad-Dinniyah, which, the Ustazah explained, draws focus on religious obligations, beliefs and the history of Islam.
“As students in Years Five and Six are still young, they will only be exposed to simple religious rulings,” she explained.
However, as they go along, they will learn more on religious obligations. In addition, as their grasp of the Arabic language becomes more sophisticated, the students are better equipped to take on heavier subjects such as fiqh, for example, which relates to Islamic jurisprudence.
Raihan Hj Nokman, a science teacher at the school, said that despite the students having to endure longer timetables in comparison to other schools, their learning process is essential to produce a well-rounded scholar.
The principal said that one of the school’s main objectives is to produce scholars who can continue the legacy of Islamic knowledge, in order to “safeguard the (sanctity of) religion and prevent religious obligations from being overlooked”.
The Brunei Times