Her Majesty attends special talk on 'zikir'
By Narissa Noor & Amie PDH Ishak

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar attended the second day of the Knowledge Convention or 'Majlis Ilmu' 2008 at the International Convention Centre yesterday morning.

Thousands gathered at the event to attend a special lecture by Professor Madya Dr Sharifah Hayaati binti Syed Ismail, who spoke on the important role that families play in building a nation of zikir.

Also in attendance were Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.

In her welcoming speech the Chairman of the event, Dr Dayang Hjh Masnon bte Hj Ibrahim, Deputy Rector at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali, said, "This 'Majlis Ceramah Khas Negara Zikir, Majlis Ilmu 2008' lecture is part of a series of lectures held in conjunction with His Majesty's 62nd birthday celebrations."

These series of lectures will continue until August 2. This morning's lecture is especially dedicated to women. All lectures are open to all.

"It is hoped that the benefits and knowledge that are gained from this lecture will be extensive and useful," she said.

Roughly 3,500 women from all levels of the community attended the talk yesterday.

"This shows that the women of the country are not only interested in gaining more knowledge but are eager to contribute to the peace and harmony of the nation through the channels that have been approved," she added.

"Attending functions such as this is one of the ways to reach that goal. Hopefully this lecture can motivate our thoughts and practices towards realising a zikir family and nation," she stated.

An active member of academia, Professor Madya Dr Hayaati has written several books in her field and has contributed much through lectures and talks conducted both in Malaysia and internationally.

In her talk, she raised the issue of how a family can find real happiness through the good graces of Allah, especially the relationships between husband and wife and parent and child.

"It is through the teachings of Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that a family can truly be loving and peaceful," Hayaati declared.

She described a zikir family as one that always remembers Allah and his teachings and affirmed that the true value of the theme does not lie in the mere act of zikir but how it is integrated into our lives and instilled in us from birth.

According to Hayaati, a zikir family is only a manifestation of our love for Allah and our family.

"There are no misgivings to those who perform the zikir and remember the teachings of Allah as, unlike the uncertain relationship between a parent and child, Allah will reciprocate unconditionally," she asserted.

"Zikir can come in many forms," she added. "The simple act of a parent worrying about the safety and well-being of their child is also considered zikir. When a parent worries about whether their child is driving safely or going to their classes in school or whether they are praying five times a day, it is all considered zikir."

Later, Her Majesty, Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri and other members of the royal family toured the exhibition, which showcases Islamic artefacts, calligraphic works of art and photos of artefacts belonging to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in appreciation of the Islamic civilisation and its culture.

They also toured the Raja and Zikir Gallery, which displays photos and personal belongings related to His Majesty's work as an Islamic leader.

During the tour, members of the royal family were also greeted by the Malaysian astronaut, Dato Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al-Masrie, who is in Brunei to attend the Knowledge Convention and promote his journey to outer space. - Borneo Bulletin (28th July 2008)