MIB: Loyalty to His Majesty (MIB Series)

His Majesty during his coronation in 1968

MIB: Loyalty to His Majesty
on: January 30, 2017

| Dr Muhammad Hadi bin Muhammad Melayong,
Senior Special Duties Officer, Secretariat Office, MIB Supreme Council |

MANY historians in the Muslim world believe that the foundations of the world’s civilisation stemmed from their Islamic roots, and the stories of courageous leaders still motivate current generations to continue their forefathers’ legacy.

Among the illustrious Muslim leaders was Sultan Nur al-Din Al-Zanki of Syria, who conquered the principality of Antioch (today is part of Turkey and Syria), which was populated by Armenians and Greek Orthodox Christians under the rule of Joscelin II of Edessa (present day Turkey).

Nur Al-Din was also a political figure, who formed an alliance with Iraq to strengthen and fortify his nation. (Islam is still the primary religion of Syria with Muslims making up 90 per cent of the population)

Similarly, Sultan Salahuddin Al-Ayubi of Egypt and his success in defeating the Christian crusaders made him a legendary figure throughout the Muslim world. After defeating the Zengids in battle, Salahuddin was proclaimed as the sultan of Egypt and Syria, but his most notable success was the Battle of Hatting when he conquered Palestine and claimed Jerusalem from the Christian crusaders.

Unlike other sultans, he bequeathed most of his wealth to his subjects. His generosity and courage made him a prominent figure for both Arab and Turkish Muslims.

Brunei is a small country, by comparison, and its history not as well-known to the rest of the Muslim world. But the Malay Archipelago has also had its fair share of prominent Muslim leaders. In the book, ‘Sultan Saleh Di Nusantara’, Hasanuddin Yusof recorded the histories of 24 Brunei sultans, of whom several contributed towards the spread and growth of Islam, while the rest devoted their energy to resisting the aggressive intervention of Western powers attempting to spread Christianity.

Sultan Sharif Ali was renowned for his devotion to Islam, as was Sultan Hassan who ordered the compilation of Brunei’s ‘Hukum Kanun’ (Islamic laws).

Their work was continued by Sultan Bolkiah, Sultan Abdul Kahar and Sultan Saiful Rijal, who were among those whose propagated Islam across Brunei and prevented it from dissipation during the Spanish invasion of 1578.

Their efforts and contributions gave strength to the Muslim community on the island of Borneo, particularly in Brunei Darussalam, which is preserved to this day.

These rulers’ legacy will be rewarded, as promised by Allah the Almighty in Surah An-Nahl, verse 97: “Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do”

Alhamdulillah, records of modern Brunei history show that Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, were dedicated to Islam as a way of life, and responsible for its propagation. Given Their Majesties’ religious education, it is hardly surprising that they always sought the views and advice of Muslim clerics in all matters relating to the management and administration of state affairs.

Their devotion to Islam was a sign of their respect and reverence for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

According to the Constitution of Brunei Darussalam 2004 Section 3 (2) the Sovereign is the Head Official Religion of Brunei Darussalam. Established authority holds rule over Brunei Darussalam according to Chapter 4 Cerian (1) and (2).

Laws and regulations on the preservation and protection of Islam were outlined during the reign of Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, which continue to this day. Among the policies carried out during Al-Marhum’s reign was the building of mosques, including the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in 1958, one the most beautiful places of worship in Asia; establishing the Religious Affairs Department; creating the post of Mufti; establishing Arab and religious schools; and strengthening the position of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah in Brunei Darussalam.

Their Majesties’ contributions toward religion, culture and country were based on the understanding that authority is a challenging responsibility. The higher the rank, the more respon-sibilities that go along with it.

Allah the Almighty urges Muslims to obey authority, in view of the great responsibility to ensure the security of the state’s welfare and society. Based on the teachings of Islam and Brunei customs, we should obey our rulers and appreciate their commitments. As Allah the Almighty says in Surah An-Nisa’, verse 59: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and to those entrusted with authority (those in power) from among you. And if you dispute (dispute) in a case, then you must return to the (Book of) Allah (the Quran) and (Sunnah) Messenger – if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better (for you), and more seemly in the end.”

As adherents of Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, we must be loyal to the Sultan, as long as it does not contradict the teachings of Islam. As citizens and residents, we should be grateful to Allah the Almighty for our sovereign, who is also known as the ‘Caring Monarch’.

His Majesty has carried out the mandate and responsibilities as an ‘Ulil-Amri’ (those with authority), and continues government policies as outlined by Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, while emphasising the importance of religion in societal and state matters for nearly 50 years.

Throughout His Majesty’s reign, the welfare and wellbeing of the people have always been an overriding concern.

His Majesty never tires of encouraging his subjects to live in peace, and not to disregard religion, society and state.

While improving the levels of society and economy, as well as preserving the peace and security of the country, His Majesty has also raised the people’s awareness of Islam.

This includes setting up higher Islamic education institution, launching the Mushaf Brunei, establishing the Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, providing Islamic education for Muslim citizens and constructing more mosques and religious schools, while providing assistance and the provision of infrastructure to increase the people’s devotion to Allah the Almighty.

The monarch’s role as contemporary leader is a highly challenging one, and this was most apparent when His Majesty stated that the implementation of the Syariah Penal Code “would liberate us all, including those in authority, from being questioned by Allah the Almighty on the Day of Judgment.”

The close ties between the monarch and the people, that have existed for thousands of years, should be preserved and maintained from dissent and defamation, so that Islam continues to grow at a fast rate and that the dignity of Muslims are protected within a secure state.

As the citizens and residents of this country, we should obey Allah the Almighty and His Messenger, aside from obeying the sovereign. In addition, we should be grateful to Allah the Almighty so that His grace and favours on us will be multiplied. Amin.

It is the will of Allah the Almighty that Islam, as a source of happiness and well-being in this world and the hereafter, will be the religion of future generations to come while preserving the sovereignty of Brunei Darussalam in an increasingly technological era, as a Malay Islamic Monarchy based on the principles of Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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