Sultan performs Korban
By Azaraimy HH

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joined thousands of subjects from all walks of life for the Sunat Aidiladha mass prayers at Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque early yesterday morning.

The Sunat Aidiladha mass prayers were simultaneously held across all mosques in the country.

The focal point of this annual religious event was Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah, where His Majesty graced the ceremony with his presence and was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

The beloved ruler and other members of the royal family were greeted upon arrival by the Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Awg Hj Mohd Zain Serudin.

Mass prayers were led by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Yahya Ibrahim. A sermon was delivered by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Othman.

In the first part of the sermon, the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs said that we may have been successful or may have failed in this life. However, Allah has created humans as perfect beings with limbs and minds.

It is up to us, he said, to explore the bounties of life, which have been made available for us. We should cherish the 'Nikmat' or the pleasures that have been granted and provided for by Allah SAW.

But Allah SAW knows how little we mortals are making efforts to get them, as characterised in a Firman (commandment) of Allah SAW: 'How little you have thanked me'.

The Deputy Minister said that our efforts to make the most of these 'Nikmat' provided by Allah the Almighty, may decide our success or failure.

If we are endowed or skillful in making an effort to use these 'Nikmat' cleverly, then by Allah's will we can be successful. It can be done with knowledge, which is also known as 'Al-Hikmah'.

Mastering knowledge is open to all humans. It is not reserved only for Muslims and the faithful, which is why the progress of knowledge and the success to one's wealth depend on the people, society and those nations that are assiduous in their efforts to find success, those who know how to make use of each substance or material and not waste chances when opportunities come knocking.

In short, cherishing these 'Nikmat' will bestow upon us multiple gains whereas abandoning them will bring distress, the deputy minister said.

In his second part of Sunat AidilAdha sermon, he urged Muslims to hold on to the true meaning of Ibadah Korban as a reminder to all of us about the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim as a show of his unparalleled devotion to Allah the Almighty.

He said the Korban ceremony is not just a mere ritual in the celebration of Aidiladha and a day where goats and cattle are sacrificed.

It is a time when Muslims should reflect on the deeper meaning of the event leading to the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim.

He said we must fully understand with 'Niat' (intentions) that any 'ibadat' (acts of devotion or fulfillment of religious duty) must be directed towards Allah the Almighty. The 'ibadat' Korban is not about the meat of goats and cattle, or the distribution of Korban meat, but we are hoping for Allah's blessings and avoid his wrath by not doing what is not asked.

Noting a verse form al-Quran, the Deputy Minitser said that if one wants to take the spirit of Korban made by Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail in sacrificing wealth, life, or energy, then one must ensure three aspects: first, the 'Niat' or intention must be truthful; second, the aim must be pure; and third, the method must be legal or syar'ie. Without any of these three elements, the sacrifice is useless because it would not be accepted.

After the sermon, His Majesty and the royal entourage were greeted before proceeding to the Korban ceremony at a special dais near the mosque's parking area.

The monarch consented to personally slaughter one of the seven goats and 46 cows that were His Majesty's contribution for the ceremony. - Borneo Bulletin (9th Dec 2008)