Call to abstain from sinful activities such as adultery, drug abuse
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
IMAMS nationwide yesterday called on Muslims to abstain from sinful activities that contribute to the spread of AIDS.
In the state-issued Friday sermon, imams stressed that chronic indifference or social apathy plays a major role in contributing to the increase of sinful activities such as adultery, sodomy and drug abuse that are associated with the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
“Adultery and sodomy are social ills that bring about the eventual downfall and destruction of humankind,” they said.
Mosque congregants were told that the act of adultery “brings grievous repercussions to the perpetrator, family, society and country” with consequences that could “ruin the family lineage, destroy one’s health and cause sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS”.
“AIDS is a highly dangerous disease, therefore we need to always explore ways to keep our country safe from the HIV virus epidemic,” said the imams.
Listing unlawful sexual relations and fornication as the common causal factor in contracting diseases such as HIV, the imams recommended those at risk to urgently take a HIV screening test available at health centres and hospitals.
“And if the tests prove to be HIV positive, take note however that their identities would be kept confidential and cannot be divulged to anyone without their prior consent,” they said.
Muslims were reminded that Allah SWT has sternly prohibited them from drawing close to and committing the act of adultery, which is demonstrated in Verse 32 of Surah Al-Israa’ in the Quran: “Do not approach adultery of unlawful sexual intercourse, for it is an immorality and its way is evil”.
Behaviours identified as leading to adultery include acts of close proximity between non-mahram (unmarriageable) men and women, sexual permissiveness between the sexes and indulgence in obscene or vulgar talk.
“Such despicable behaviours should be avoided, contained and eradicated for good, quickly and without favour, for it is feared that when Allah SWT sends down His catastrophe, all of humanity will have to pay the price too, not just the perpetrators of the crimes,” said the imams.
They warned that Allah SWT’s retribution is near “when moral decadence and sexual perversity reigns supreme over the land”.
“And this is exactly what happened to the people of Prophet Luth AS who, due to their sodomy or homosexual practices, were struck down by Allah SWT’s wrath with a dreadful calamity,” they said, urging Muslims to protect themselves, their families and the ummah.
The imams said they must persevere in their efforts to “flush out acts of immortality, such as adultery and homosexuality, from becoming widespread” by obeying the commands and laws of Allah SWT.
Muslims were also reminded of their responsibility to advise or reprimand their children, relatives or companions who are involved in activities that are against Islamic laws. They were told not to turn a blind eye to morally objectionable behaviour for fear of reprisal, shame or hesitation.
“We must also be guided by the precept of _Amar Makruf Nahi Munka_r, that is to enjoin good and avoid mischief,” said the imams.
The sermon listed the next crucial step as fortifying the family institution as the foundation of society, the nation and ummah lies in the cohesiveness of the family unit. Family members were advised to build family ties together in a healthy environment that adheres to the teachings of Islam.
Relevant authorities and society in general were also told to collectively disseminate reminders about the dangers of AIDS through platforms such as campaigns, forums and advertisements.
The imams explained that Islamic religious knowledge and exposure to the ideas of self-esteem, ethics and morals should be instilled and inculcated from a young age, which they viewed as the deciding factor in regulating self-control and avoiding immoral activities.
However, they also acknowledged “extremely challenging environments” such as the media, lure of fast money and peer influence “that could easily poison one’s minds and thinking” especially the youth.
Parents were reminded to exercise greater control when monitoring the social activities of their children “particularly in today’s borderless era where children are vulnerable to these negative influences”. The imams said strong internal control would help children achieve maturity of thought and self-control.
“We have to remind ourselves that children are a form of amanah (trust) placed upon us that we have to care for and nurture in the best way possible,” they said.
In concluding the sermon, the imams called on Muslims to protect themselves, their families and society by wholly adhering to the teachings of Islam as the only path to salvation as well as averting disaster resulting from Allah SWT’s wrath.
The Brunei Times