Students learn history of ‘dikir’

National 1 minute, 39 seconds


THE Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPU SB) yesterday held a two-day workshop for 60 higher education students to enhance their understanding of dikir marhaban.

President of Brunei History Society or PESEBAR Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Yahya Hj Ibrahim said Muslims in Brunei started to practise dikir between 1800s and the beginning of 1900s.

“We memorised the sentences and we pass on to other people verbally,” he said in his lecture during the Ihya Al-Tarbiyyah Al-Diniyyah or Religious Education Function and Research Workshop.

In the lecture, he focused on the social differences that led to various forms of Islamic readings.

He said prior to the modernisation period, every community in the country had different ways in reading the dikir marhaban, previously known as dikir Brunei.

He said some of the Islamic readings such as dikir are changing from time to time due to Bruneians’ different lifestyles.

“The names of dikir, its content and melody had changed and shaped according to the lifestyle of the people.”

He said the dikir recitals were hymns in Arabic, which are not well understood by most people. “This also led to the changes in every aspect of dikir reading.”

He said the melody of dikir is different from one place to another.

“Some villages emphasise on the melody. It may not be suitable for our present generation,” he added.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Yahya said the recital of dikir was widely practised when the government started building schools.

“Before the existence of formal schools, dikir only developed through listening… people didn’t have an official written copy of dikir. These became our difficulty because people might deliver wrong content,” he said, adding that dikir is well known in places such as Kg Burong Pingai, Kg Saba and Kg Pemancha Lama.

The workshop participants included students from KUPU SB, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Universiti Teknologi Brunei and Politeknik Brunei.

The Brunei Times