‘Don’t miss out on benefits of Syawal’

National 2 minutes, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MUSLIMS were yesterday urged not to miss the opportunity to reap the benefits of the month of Syawal through prayers, fasting and charity.

Imams across the sultanate said that during this Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, aside from celebrating the festivities, Muslims should fast any six days of Syawal, whether consecutively, on odd-numbered days or anytime during the month.

They said that by fasting during Syawal, Muslims could reap benefits as if they had fasted for the whole year after having fasted during Ramadhan.

Fasting six days of Syawal is sunnat for those who have fasted the whole month of Ramadhan as well as those who didn’t complete the full month of fasting due to poor health, they said.

However, those who deliberately missed fasting the whole month of Ramadhan aren’t allowed to fast the six days of Syawal unless they’ve paid back for the days they’ve missed.

The sermon further touched on charity, namely the act of giving money in green envelopes as part of the norm in celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

“This type of practice is good as Islam encourages us to donate or contribute, and in turn, it becomes a culture and norm,” said the imams.

Through this practice of giving, they said it could assist in shaping the person with strong characteristics with honourable traits such as generosity, kindheartedness and compassion towards those who are in need.

“Being charitable is the path towards unburdening the lives of those who are poor as their hardships are now getting attention and care,” said the imams.

By donating, it could also foster a strong community among Muslims as it would remove jealousy and bridge the gap between levels of society.

They said the act of giving out green envelopes not only increases _pahala _or rewards from Allah SWT but also gives those giving them the satisfaction, enjoyment and happiness of seeing the look on a child’s face when they receive them.

The imams said that by giving these envelopes, it could also help ease the expenses of poor families.

However, giving green envelopes is not a prerequisite, especially when it brings shame to a person who is unable to give out these packets, they said.

“Parents or guardians have a role to educate children and make them understand that when visiting the homes of relatives, they shouldn’t always expect to receive green envelopes.”

The imams said if these envelopes aren’t given, the relatives shouldn’t be looked down on.

“In our excitement in celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, let us not forget our obligations as Allah SWT’s subjects such as praying five times a day, as answering the call to prayers should take priority by visiting the mosques and religious halls to fulfil this obligation while going on those trips to see family members during this festive season,” they said.

They said that this year, Brunei will be celebrating two special occasions in Syawal, namely Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and His Majesty’s 70th birthday next week.

In conjunction with the birthday celebrations, congregants were urged to visit mosques, suraus and religious halls nationwide and recite Surah Yasin, tahlil and thanksgiving prayers on July 14 to wish our beloved King a long life, good health and to continue to rule Brunei under Allah SWT’s protection.

The Brunei Times