Door-to-door visits for converts
THE Islamic Da’wah Centre (PDI) deployed a group of officers to conduct door-to-door visits to the residences of new converts living in remote areas to guide them.
Acting Director of Islamic Da’wah Centre, Hjh Siti Azizah Hj Musa told The Brunei Times that the centre would bring the courses to converts who lacked transportation to attend religious activities.
“We do not only offer the 10-day Introductory course of understanding Islam. Our role is to ensure that new converts would be guided to understand fully what it means to be a Muslim,” she said.
Hjh Siti Azizah was responding to concerns raised by Hj Tajuddin Abdullah Parang, one of the recipients of the Exemplary Convert Award during the handing over ceremony at the Islamic Da’wah Centre on November 30.
Hj Tajuddin, a Murut who converted to Islam in 1992, had claimed that some of the new converts from a certain ethnic group were abandoned and neglected after converting to Islam.
“I’m not trying to say that the PDI has not done anything to tackle this problem. I just want to say that the centre sometimes cannot handle the number of new converts each year, especially those who live in remote areas,” he said.
Hj Tajuddin noted that some of the new converts among his ethnic background would deviate from the Islamic teaching taught during the 10-day programme. He claimed that some of them would return to their former selves such as drinking alcohol and gambling.
Hjh Siti Azizah responded that the PDI offers a programme whereby PDI officers would visit the houses of the new converts should they lack the transportation to visit the centre.
She said the centre has offered a number of guidance courses on Islam to new converts such as follow-up courses to the introductory programme and the Muallaf guidance course.
“In Temburong, we offer the “mobile course” during visits to residences of new converts every week. The visits would be conducted according to schedules set by PDI officers,” added Hjh Siti Azizah.
As for those who strayed, she said the centre would provide counselling.
“We would try to advise them through our counseling unit to ensure that they do not deviate from Islam,” she said.
Acting Assistant Director of Islamic Da’wah Centre Ustaz Abdul Aziz Hj Abdul Kahar said the objective of the centre is to welcome 500 new converts each year.
“But we are looking at quality. We want to make sure that new converts would learn the basics of Islamic religion and apply them to their daily routines,” he said.
Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz said the centre would ensure that new converts would practise reading a few lines of Quran verses daily.
“By reading the Quran little by little, Insyaallah, they would understand that to become a true Muslim requires discipline and it would take one step at a time,” he said.
In a short interview, the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman advised those Bruneians who have no religion to consider adopting Islam because of the available facilities, motivation, allowance and support from the government.
“There are seven ethnic groups in Brunei. All of them are Bruneians but some of them have no religion. We would welcome them to enter Islam after they understand what Islam really is,” said the minister.
The Brunei Times