Blessed a nation of Zikir
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam underlined his vision to make the country a nation of 'Zikir' where the monarch said the determination is not mere rhetoric but sourced from the deepest confidence that the nation of Zikir would be blessed and helped by Allah.

His Majesty stated this in his titah at the yesterday's Knowledge Convention at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

"God Willing, with the concept of Zikir, the country and the life of the people would be developed in a way that it is good and approved by Allah and also the people.

"The country will work towards excellence with such a concept, meaning that everybody such as children excel in their studies, so too the technicians, doctors, entrepreneurs, administrators, policy-makers and workers. In short, the nation would be blessed due to the blessings of Zikir and remembering Allah.

The most important thing is everyone should understand the characteristics of the Zikir nation and its fundamental so that it is accepted as the most essential mould and platform needed by the country," His Majesty said.

His Majesty also said that he would be happy if the Knowledge Convention is seen as an important event marking his birthday and serves as a platform to disseminate information and knowledge.

He added that knowledge belongs to Allah and Allah uplifts the level of the person who possesses knowledge which is the sole factor that frees mankind from darkness and towards enlightenment. Hence, Islam emphasises the importance of knowledge.

The principle of acquiring knowledge has made Islam the light of life. The Arabs became a respected race when Islam came to them. Europe sat up when Islam came to Spain and the continent was transformed from the dark ages into an era of science and technology.

Putting knowledge to the fore, Islam gave birth to wisdom in Medina, Damascus, Cordoba, Baghdad, Cairo and Istanbul. His Majesty believes that the Knowledge Convention is beneficial and needs to be maintained.

Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and HRH Prince Abdul Malik.

Earlier, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Dato Seri Paduka Haji Eusoff Agaki, who is also the co- chairman of the steering committee of the Knowledge Convention, said the theme for this year is "Menghayati Negara Zikir" which is in line with His Majesty's titah during the Feast of Sacrifice, 1428 Hijrah to turn the country into a nation of 'Zikir'.

The objectives of the Knowledge Convention are a follow-up to the knowledge activities in conjunction with the 62nd birthday of His Majesty, to uphold the good deeds and leadership of His Majesty in building a knowledge society blessed by Allah.

This year's Knowledge Convention covers four main activities, namely a special talk on the Knowledge Convention. The special talks will be held today (July 27) where Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pg Anak Hjh Saleha and Her Royal Highness Pg Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar will be present. The activity will be followed by nine motivational talks of the nation of 'Zikir' by foreign experts.

The second activity will be held tomorrow (July 28) where a premier paper will be delivered by the State Mufti in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office. Another 10 papers will be presented by local and foreign speakers.

The third activity is the exhibition of Knowledge Convention which started yesterday till August 6. The four-part exhibition includes an exhibition on the Monarch and Zikir of the commemorative gallery of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien.

The fourth activity is "Cerpen", story-telling for children, Jawi calligraphy writing, quiz and stage activities. - Borneo Bulletin (27th July 2008)