Iman, taqwa hold key to progress: Mufti

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SCIENCE and technology are not enough for the survival and advancement of Islam and Muslims.

We also need iman (faith) and taqwa (obedience to Islamic laws and fear of Allah SWT), said the State Mufti yesterday.

YB Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz Juned said this in a special lecture before His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and other Royal family members at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Knowledge Convention at the International Convention Centre yesterday. With iman and taqwa, he said it will complete science and technology as catalyst of development and enhancing the ummah’s quality of life.

Iman and taqwa must play a role alongside science and technology in development, because the development that we want to achieve is one which will generate berkat (divine blessings).

“We do want to have buildings, but not merely buildings; we want berkat-oriented buildings. We want to make projects, but not merely projects; we want berkat-oriented projects. We want to manufacture products, but not any products; we want products which heavily laden with berkat. Where can berkat be acquired? Just science and technology will not be enough to create berkat, they both will not be capable to seek and attain berkat. What have the capacity to attracting berkat are faith and taqwa only,” he said.

This is not a theory, he said.

Allah SWT in _Surah Al-‘Araf _verse 96 said: ‘And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah , We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied (the messengers).’

“If faith and taqwa become a basis for development, such development is blessed development, and a blessed development will certainly bring more progress and growth, the country will flourish, peace and security will prevail; the economy will grow and the land will prosper,” he said.

Allah SWT never gets in the way of anyone for development, and men had known development, science and technology since the olden times. The State Mufti gave an example of inventions of Fir‘aun such as pyramids and structures, before and after the time of Prophet Musa ‘Alaihissalam that were built with the science and technology of that time. “But as Muslim, we rejected the science and technology of Fir’aun because Fir’aun used the science and technology to deny and go against Allah SWT. As Muslims, it is wajib (obligatory) for us to make use of science and technology as ways to obey and worship Allah SWT, he said.

Closer to home, the State Mufti said an example of development that utilised science and technology was that Brunei once was in the process of constructing a 15-storey building named the Darul Takaful. When the building was about to be completed or considered complete, it was suddenly realised that it was taller or had surpassed the height of the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

“The 15-storey building, the Darul Takaful, was found to be taller than the mosque. This meant that in order to reinstate the mosque as being taller than other buildings in Bandar Seri Begawan area, they had to be demolished. It was possible for this to be done, but would entail risks. Firstly, it would consume much time and secondly it would cause a huge loss of millions of dollars,” he said. Undoubtedly, the situation presented a dilemma: one involving religious rules and another waste of time and building materials. Which option was to be chosen? To observe religious ruling or to avoid sustaining a big loss? the State Mufti asked.

“Members of the board were at a dead end but eventually decided to bring the matter to the higher authority. What happened afterwards? It turned out that the response was to agree to demolish the floors so that the building would never surpass Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in height. That was the response of one with faith and taqwa, the response of a faithful and pious leader, he would never hesitate to observe the Syariah,” he said. The State Mufti said this was one historical fact that needed to be known and remembered. This showed how Brunei under the leadership of its Sultan cared about religious law and did not development to come into conflict with the Islamic law.

The combining of iman and taqwa with science and technology must be introduced to the present generation, including through teaching and learning in schools up to the higher educational tertiary level, he said. Only then it can achieve the aspiration of ‘berkat’ development as mentioned in Al-Quran: “and if the people of a country’s faith and belief, we would be open for them (the gates of) blessings from heaven and earth).”

The Brunei Times