Open houses good for strengthening ‘ukhwah’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Brunei Hari Raya Aidil Fitri open house tradition was yesterday lauded by imams nationwide as it strengthens the ‘ukhwah’ or relations of the community, instilling the culture of forgiveness and giving, as well as other benefits which are in line with Islamic teachings.
In the Friday sermon, imams emphasised the benefits and advantages of attending open houses during the month of Syawal where it is the time of the year to visit family, neighbours and friends to strengthen ties.
This tradition bonds families and nurtures unity among Muslims.
Imams recited Surah Al-Hujarat, verse 10, which translates: “The Muslims are brothers to each other, therefore make peace between your two brothers and fear Allah SWT, so that you may gain mercy.”
Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is the time of joy and there will be a lot of open house invitations during this festive occasion. Hence, the sermon stressed that Muslims must observe proper etiquette when visiting relatives and friends, in line with the teachings of Islam.
One of them includes visiting at suitable and appropriate times as not to disturb the host. Visitors should give ‘salam’ (greetings), ask permission before entering the house and avoid vandalising property of the homeowners visited.
“Visitors are also encouraged to shake hands with the owners of the house. However, shaking hands must be done according to Islamic teachings. This practice must not be equated to western culture where non-Muslims shake hands without boundaries between males and females who are not ‘mahram’ (persons not permissable for marriage),” Imams told congregants yesterday.
Likewise, the sermon went on to say that homeowners and open house hosts must also observe hosting manners such as not be extravagant and having the intention to brag or be proud with the meals served. Hosts are reminded to serve their guests the best they can and according to what they can afford.
Imams highlighted that Aidil Fitri this year coincide with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 68th birthday celebration. All citizens and residents in the Sultanate are reminded to hoist the national flags at their respective homes and office buildings as a mean to show utmost love and undivided loyalty to His Majesty.
The Brunei Times