Royalty at Maulud procession
By Edwin Eng

Close to 20,000 participants including army personnel gathered in the capital yesterday morning to celebrate Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) birthday.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to attend the event at the Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien.

Greeting His Majesty upon his arrival was Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Haji Awang Mohd Zain bin Haji Serudin as the chairperson of the organising committee.

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office was also present along with His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness 'Abdul 'Azim, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness 'Abdul Mateen.

The ceremony began shortly after the arrival of His Majesty with the recitation of surah al-fatihah which was read by the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned. It was followed by a welcoming speech by the Minister of Religious Affairs.

A 21-cannon blast was then fired as soon as the Dikir reached the 'Ya Habibi' verse, and a doa selamat was read by the State Mufti to bless the ceremony followed by three 'Salawat', praising Prophet Muhammad before the 4.3km procession began. - Borneo Bulletin (10th Mar 2009)