Don't neglect religious duties during festivities
By M K Anwar

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night advised the citizens not to neglect their religious duties during the Hari Raya festivities and also keep away from useless and immoral acts, which are against the religion.

His Majesty delivered the titah, which was aired last night to mark the 1st Syawal 1429 Hijrah or Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

His Majesty acknowledged the importance of the holy month of Ramadhan, which the monarch said is not an easy task to perform but one that requires both fortitude and confidence.

"The arrival of Syawal is celebrated with 'takbir' and 'tahmid' as a sign of success," His Majesty said.

This "success" His Majesty mentioned was the fulfilment of the month-long fasting which is one of our religious obligations.

The reason why it is a success as His Majesty explained is the fact that fasting is no easy task but one which is difficult and tough to complete.

"It's beyond normal and runs against human instincts and desires, especially the craving to eat and drink.

"Nobody wants to go hungry without eating or drinking, even more by doing it intentionally."

And it is because of this that fasting is undeniably an intense test for every Muslim.

"It requires fortitude and confidence."

Those with these two attributes are the ones who are successful.

It's true that it's an intense and difficult test, but for those who know its secrets, the intensity is no longer an obstacle, especially if the person knows the rewards in doing it.

Highlighting the importance of the honourable and blessed month of Ramadhan, His Majesty recalled the words of Allah the Almighty who said that "those who ask will be given and those who ask for forgiveness will be forgiven".

It is also during this month (Ramadhan) there is a night called the "Malam Qadar" or Lailatul Qadar during which any religious duties performed is better than doing it in one thousand months.

"Muslims yearn for this night and we in Brunei are no exception," His Majesty said.

The monarch highlighted that Ramadhan nights in Brunei have been enlivened with al-Quran and the terawikh prayers and one of these nights was the "Malam Qadar".

And in relation to Hari Raya, His Majesty quoted a Hadith, which said that Hari Raya must also be filled with religious prayers and not by empty talk or getting engrossed with entertainment.

His Majesty said all other days have their own significance and wisdom in the Muslim calendar such as Hari Raya, Hari Arafah and others.

"We therefore must not neglect these because it brings goodness, whether it's for this world or the afterlife."

Also, during Hari Raya, besides not forgetting our religious duties, His Majesty advised the Ummah not to get down to useless acts that are against the religion such as immoral entertainment and wastage.

Before concluding the titah, the monarch conveyed His Majesty's and the royal family's Happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri wishes to all Muslim citizens and residents.

"May the country and all of us continue to be peaceful, safe and prosper under Allah's protection." - Borneo Bulletin (2nd Oct 2008)