Royal Call during Friday Prayers
The Borneo Bulletin headline succintly says it all. For the full news of His Majesty's titah, here is The Brunei Times news about it:
Friday, October 26, 2012 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called for shops to close during the Friday prayers, in order to uphold the country's Islamic image and to prevent errant young muslims from skipping the obligatory weekly prayer.
In a titah delivered on the eve of the Hari Raya Aidil Adha celebrations, the monarch said that shops should close temporarily, from a "suitable" time of the day up until the Friday prayer has concluded.
Apart from being a portrayal of the country's image, the proposed closure would also discourage a "proportion" of muslim youths from loitering in and around shopping centres, at a time when other muslims were either at the mosques or making their way there.
"If this is allowed to continue, will it not tarnish the image of the country and even the image of Islam itself?" His Majesty said rhetorically.
"I ask and hope that the relevant parties, through an appropriate method, will address this issue without much delay."
The monarch pointed out that the closure of shops would be in line with Syara' or Islamic law, which requires muslims to leave their worldly affairs, and only return to them after they have completed their prayers. "From this command of Allah (SWT), no one will lose out but instead, the country will get a good name and image, as well as the blessings that we can anticipate from Allah (SWT)."
His Majesty spoke at length on the need to appreciate such blessings, which was also a form of praise to Allah (SWT).
"Glorifying Allah (SWT) is not like glorifying anything else. Glorifying Allah (SWT) means we appreciate His blessings, (and) appreciating those blessings is wajib (compulsory)," His Majesty said.
"If we appreciate Allah's blessings, He promises to increase it further. Otherwise, if we do not appreciate those blessings, then it justifies Allah (SWT) to inflict His wrath."
His Majesty said it was not enough to express one's appreciation verbally, but it should be "proven" through an individual's charitable deeds. "We have been awarded with wealth, while our tongues utter 'Alhamdulillah'. Allah (SWT) is also watching us; where is the wealth that we have used?"
The monarch said that if the wealth was rightly used, then Allah (SWT) will accept the appreciation, but if used wrongly, then not only will the appreciation be rejected, but Allah will also inflict His wrath.
Allah's blessings are evident every second of every day, His Majesty continued, through the air that we breathe, the ground that we live on and the water that we drink.
In this context, His Majesty said that Bandar Seri Begawan itself was a blessing, and should be maintained for future generations to appreciate it. "(We) are required to constantly preserve the purity of the country or our capital, from all forms of evil."
His Majesty added that it was a "duty" to uphold the Islamic image, especially since it was in line with the national philosophy of MIB (Malay Islamic Monarchy) and the aspirations for Brunei to become a Zikir nation. In concluding his titah, the monarch conveyed the royal family's Hari Raya Aidil Adha greetings to the people, and also prayed for the successful and safe return of Brunei's haj pilgrims.
- Courtesy of The Brunei Times -