By Amin Hosni
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, 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 attended a ceremony to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque.
The ceremony was held yesterday, September 26 2008 at the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan.
His Majesty was accompanied by HRH Prince Sufri Bolkiah and HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik.
Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Haji Awang Mohd Zain bin Haji Serudin, Minister of Religious Affairs and the events' High Committee Members. His Majesty was also greeted by 50 selected people, who took part in the Ramadhan Khatam Al-Quran as part of the grand mosque celebration.
The Monarch, accompanied by the Minister of Religious Affairs, then proceeded with the inauguration of a signing of the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque Golden Jubilee Commemorative Plaque which was followed by a mass Takbir of 'Allahu Akhbar' three times led by Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abd Hamid bin Bakal.
The ceremony continued with the recital of Surah Yassin and Tahlil for the late Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien ibni Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam, Al-Marhumah Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit binti Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Anak Abd Rahman and also mosque officers involved with the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque who have passed away, especially those who have been in service with the mosque.
The reading of Surah Yassin and Tahlil was led by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.
A thanksgiving prayer was read by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Haji Awang Abd Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.
Prior to the Jumaat azan, a sunat 'hajat' prayer led by Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar was held.
The Khutbah Jumaat or Friday sermon was made by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Yahya bin Haji Ibrahim while imam for Jumaat prayer was Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abd Hamid.
Half a century ago on Friday, September 26, 1958, Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Brunei Darussalam's 28th Monarch, also known as the 'Architect of Modern Brunei', officially launched one of the country's first large scale mosque and landmark in the heart of the capital, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.
The unique architectural design of the mosque, unseen to many around the region at the time, costing an estimated $7.7 million is situated on a five-acre site near the Sungai Brunei.
The mosque can accommodate up to 3,000 people.
- Borneo Bulletin
(27th Sept 2008)