Ceremony reflects Brunei’s commitment towards Islam
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
WELCOMING the new Hijrah Year by celebrating it on a national level reflects Brunei Darussalam’s utmost commitment towards upholding Islam, the Minister of Home Affairs said.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman made this statement during the ‘Tazkirah Hijrah’, a special lecture delivered in conjunction with the celebration of new Hijrah Year 1436H at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kg Kiarong yesterday evening.
The occasion was held to commemorate the hijrah (migration or journey) of Prophet Muhammad SAW (peace be upon him) and his followers from Mekah to Madinah, upon the command of Allah SWT.
In his lecture, the minister shared his knowledge on this historic Islamic event and also Brunei’s efforts in preserving and promoting Islam.
The hijrah made by Prophet Muhammad SAW was largely due to Islam being rejected by the people of Mekah to the situation where the Prophet and his followers were boycotted, especially in terms of food supply.
“In short, the chiefs of Mekah felt threatened by the teachings of Islam and the emergence of its followers, which shows the (growing) strength that will alter the status quo of (their) leadership and the social landscape of Mekah,” the minister said. Allah SWT — The Most Knowing and Most Wise — informed Prophet Muhammad SAW through Jibril of the plan by the musyrikin (polytheist) leaders to assassinate the Prophet through a 'killer squad' which comprised young Quraisy men.
The command to migrate was meant to outwit the evil plan of the Mekah chiefs and eventually save Islam as the only religion for all mankind that is approved by the Almighty Allah.
The minister went on to say that Brunei is fortunate in the sense that Islam was established in the Abode of Peace as early as 1363, when the first sultan, which is Sultan Muhammad Shah, embraced the religion.
Since then, Islam has flourished from generations to generations with the blessings of Allah SWT, despite threats and attempts to spread other religions.
“Imagine if the enemy back then was able to attack and conquer Brunei in 1678, and succeeded to change Islam with other religion… Imagine if all that happened, then who would we be now?”
Islam has then been made as the first priority by encouraging the people to be knowledgeable in religious fields, as the emphasis on Islam was made by both the late Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien and His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
“Those educated in the religious fields ever since the early 50s, (they) have been planned by the government to become experts in the religion. We are grateful that they have been able to play their roles effectively, whether collectively or personally — jama’ie or fardi — to promote Islam as the official religion by strengthening Islamic institutions,” he said.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Badarud-din also believed that the current religious experts will do even better for the next generation and to continue upholding Islam as the beacon of light and guidance in governing the future Brunei.
‘Tazkirah Hijrah’ is the new for-mat introduced by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to celebrate the new Hijrah Year yesterday even-ing, to replace the Anugerah Tokoh Ugama (Religious Icon Award), Anugerah Jasawan Ugama (Meritorious Religious Figure Award) and Anugerah Bakti Hijrah (Hijrah Contribution Award).
The Brunei Times