Be respectful and tolerant of other religions: minister

National 2 minutes, 54 seconds


THE Minister of Religious Affairs yesterday reminded Muslims to be respectful and tolerant of other religions, as the acts are amongst what is commanded by Allah SWT through the Quran.

Referring to Surah Al-Hujuraat verse 13 in the Quran, Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman explained that the differences, be they in terms of race or religion, were made so as to allow interaction among the people in getting to know each other better.

Speaking during the opening of the International Usuluddin Education Seminar 2016 at the Seri Begawan Religious Teacher’s University College (KUPU SB) the minister said that the act of accepting the difference and treating others well is considered amongst the highest form of Taqwa (obedience to Islam) in the religion.

“In such context, “Taqwa” could be understood as to refrain from making enemies, regardless of whether or not they came from the same (group),” he said.

“This, as explained in the Quran, is because Allah SWT created everyone differently, including their way of life; and the reason, as stated (in the Quran), is to test the communities whether or not they are the ones that will hasten towards performing good and righteous deeds,” he added.

He noted that the differences may cause disputes, but Allah SWT has reminded mankind that having such conflicts are useless because in the end, it is He who will decide which one would be right or wrong.

“These are the understandings that need to be emphasised to Muslims, especially through education to avoid any doubts and misunderstanding,” he said, adding that the understanding is in line with Brunei’s policy.

“Like our neighbouring countries, we know we also live together in a multi-racial community, but our policies are different from them as we have put Islam as our official religion,” he added.

The minister said that he was grateful the non-Muslim community were quite understanding and respectful towards the country’s policy, and continue to live peacefully among the Muslim community despite limitations imposed due to the policies.

While Islam teaches its believers to be tolerant and respectful of other religions, the religious affairs minister also reminded Muslims of the restriction imposed in the religion, forbidding one to imitate or copy their practices and beliefs.

He explained that the restriction on imitating or Tasyabbuh means that one would subscribe to beliefs and practices from other religion that he or she may be classified as one of them by others.

Despite still holding on to the Islamic teachings and beliefs, he said such act is wrong, as based on Surah Al-Imran verse 102, where Muslims were told to remain as Muslims even when he or she died.

He stressed that while being aware of the restriction, a Muslim should also not be restrained from being friendly and to know and understand other people from different religion.

As he launched the International Usuluddin Education Seminar 2016 yesterday, he hoped that the discussions and presentations made would be able to touch on related issues in-depth, and to be able to prove that Muslims are a rational community with Islam the religion, as a blessing to mankind.

Carrying the theme “Usuluddin is the heart of prosperity for the community”, the seminar which was held to commemorate KUPU SB’s fifth convocation ends today.

A total of 28 working papers were included in the seminar, with 11 of them using Arabic as the medium of interaction.

The Brunei Times