By Azrol Azmi
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called for a more fair distribution of sacrificial meat and to show greater priority for the needy and poor.
Noting Allah's blessings and desire, His Majesty also highlighted that despite the global financial crisis, Muslim communities around the world have answered the call to perform the haj pilgrimage to the holy land.
His Majesty's titah telecast last night across the nation was in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration.
The fact that so many Muslims are performing the haj shows that everything is in the hands of Allah and that no one can stop it if it is Allah's will.
"Don't be afraid if it that is what Allah commands, it's our obligation to perform it," said His Majesty.
His Majesty added that the same also goes with the obligation to pay the Zakat, where one should never deny or hold it back fearing that it would run out.
Earlier, His Majesty explained why Islam is called the blessed religion.
Touching on the principles of Islam, especially in relation to social community and life, His Majesty said that the religion teaches us to care and help each other.
"The old loving the young whilst the young cherishing the old. The stronger would help the weak whilst the weak would return this with prayers," His Majesty added.
His Majesty said that during Hari Raya Aidiladha, Muslims are encouraged to perform the sacrifice ritual.
The number has been increasing annually and this is an encouraging sign.
However, the monarch questioned whether the distribution of the sacrificial meat has been meeting its target and whether it has been prioritised while the needy are not overlooked.
The Islamic teachings allow the distribution of the sacrificial meat to the rich and the less fortunate. In relation to this, His Majesty stressed that priority should be given to those who are less fortunate.
"It is a worry that there could be those who are being overlooked during the distribution because they live very far away, or do not have the facilities to receive their share while the rich and more fortunate people are able to attend the sacrificial ceremony themselves and get their share."
His Majesty stressed this issue because the monarch wants the community to be fair to those who are less fortunate.
"These people if treated fairly would bring more blessings to those who are performing the sacrifice, as well as to the nation," His Majesty added.
It doesn't mean that those rich or fortunate people are stopped from getting their share but it is the poor and needy who are supposed to get fair attention.
His Majesty concluded by wishing the Muslim community, especially those who are performing their haj, a Happy Hari Raya Aidiladha.
"May Allah bless us with happiness in the form of protection, health and prosperity," said His Majesty.
- Borneo Bulletin
(8th Dec 2008)