His Majesty attends Israk Mikraj celebration
By Fadhil Yunus, Syafiq Affendy and Amie PDH Ishak

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to attend the Israk Mikraj celebration at the Plenary Hall, International Convention Centre in Berakas yesterday.

The ceremony began with the reading of a verse from the Al-Quran by Awg Mohd Hashim bin Hj Abdullah, the runner-up in the first Asean Musabaqah Al-Quran Youth Division, while its meaning was explained by Awg Hj Amynoor bin Hj Mohd Yaakub, Acting Senior Religious Officer at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

This was followed by a speech by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awg Othman, Acting Minister of Religious Affairs. He said the Takmir Masjid Awards encourage the mosque officials, the Takmir committee and the mosque congregation, especially the youth, to make good use of the functions and services the mosques provide, including being a place of worship, place to transfer religious knowledge, a place for discussions and improving the welfare of the people in the name of Allah, His Prophet and "waliul-amri".

His Majesty then consented to read the Titah, highlighting the history of Israk Mikraj and touching on the growing significance of the current food crisis.

The ceremony proceeded with a special lecture by the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Awg Hj Abd Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Mohd Yusof.

The highlight of the ceremony was the announcement of the "Takmir Masjid Awards" winners. The winner of the Imarah Category was Mohamed Bolkiah, Kampong Serusop Mosque. The winner of the Idarah Category was Kg Pelambayan. The winner of the Ri'ayah Category was Kg Belais, Temburong District. The winner of the Mosque Youth Group category was Kg Masin. There was no winner for the Best Overall Category. The awards were presented by His Majesty.

The event concluded with the "Doa Selamat" read by the State Mufti, Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Awg Hj Abdul Aziz bin Juned. The theme for the celebration was "Tunas Bangsa Berakhlak Al-Quran". - Borneo Bulletin (31st July 2008)