Minister stresses on need for excellent mosque management
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
OFFICERS in charge of managing mosques are responsible in ensuring that they are kept alive with knowledge and da’wah, said the Minister of Religious Affairs yesterday.
It should also be an effective platform to disseminate the latest news and messages related to Islam or the country.
Yang Berhormat Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman was delivering his keynote address, ‘Syahsiah Imam sebagai Pemimpin Ugama’ (the personality of Imam as a religious leader), during the launch of the two-day ‘Seminar on Mosque Affairs Officials Excellence’.
The seminar aimed to increase the credibility of mosque officials in mosque management.
Some of the responsibilities outlined by the minister applied to administrators, imams, bilal, and members of the Mosque Affairs committee of respective mosques.
In Brunei, imam is a title of a profession in the civil service. An imam is also known as mosque affairs officer.
“An imam, who plays a role of a religious leader, must possess noble akhlak (moral and behaviour),” the minister said.
“Those who possess noble akhlak will be able to strengthen interpersonal relationship between human beings in ways that are blessed by Allah (SWT).”
However, such responsibilities comes huge challenges, the minister added.
Among these challenges are to bring to light the image of mosques, through its design, management and cleanliness, as the centre for religious education and da’wah dissemination.
This is important to prevent the communities around the vicinity of the mosques from falling to teachings that deviate from the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, he said.
He added that an imam does not only lead the five daily prayers in mosques, but must also manage all matters related to the mosque. The success or failure of the mosque is in their hands.
Mosque affairs officials were also reminded to be punctual with regards to performing their respective duties.
“You must be present at the mosques according to your schedule, especially during the daily prayers. Do not be absent, which cause a member of congregation to end up being the one to lead the prayers instead. If this happens, this means that the imams are not doing their duty. In this modern era, such news can easily spread and tarnish the image of the imam, the mosque, our ministry and our country,” said YB Pg Dato Dr Hj Mohammad.
Accepting the positions as mosque officials, imams and bilals, means that they need to be ready in executing their responsibilities, without excuses, said the minister.
This is because they are the main driving force in the mosque institutions.
He also called them to practise teamwork, principle of ukhuwah (brotherhood) and compromise with each other in order to create a strong team.
The minister also mentioned the recent mosque break-in incidents, stating that they were a sign of living in challenging times.
Fifteen mosques in Brunei-Muara district have been broken into since the end of November last year, and the culprits committed multiple thefts of the donation boxes from various mosques as well as cause damage to the boxes.
“We feel relieved and happy when the culprits were caught. I do not want to point fingers and place blame on anyone. Everyone must be alert. All aspects of weakness from the area of administration, technical and safety must be improved as soon as possible,” the minister added.
The seminar concludes today at The Centrepoint Hotel.
The Brunei Times