By Azlan Othman
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night expressed fears that in this challenging world, various plans were made to weaken Islam, the most dangerous of which is in the form of slandering Muslims themselves.
The benevolent ruler made this observation in his 'Aidiladha' or feast of sacrifice Titah broadcast nationwide.
"We are only capable of asking them to stop. But by merely hoping for people to stop making slanderous remarks is not effective.
"Based on the age of the Islamic religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which has reached over 1,400 years until today, such slander continues to flourish in many forms," the Ruler said.
His Majesty added, "Today, Muslims worldwide celebrate Aidiladha with happiness. At mosques and lands worldwide, we witness joy and happiness. Muslims gather and perform Aidiladha prayers. What is more happier than this?" the Monarch asked.
"Hearts full of faith will feel it more, as faith is the source of enlightenment. Those whose hearts are enlightened with faith can see the beauty of Islam.
"Islam is a religion of warmth, hospitality and accord. Islam did not teach its Ummah to be selfish, but called upon them to be committed to the community. This is the teaching of Islam.
"It is portrayed in its system. An example of this is the prayer obligation where performing it in congregation is highly recommended where multiple rewards await, compared to performing one's prayers alone".
The monarch added, once a week, Muslims are obligated to perform the Friday prayers, as well as 'Aidilfitri' and 'Aidiladha' prayers, which are performed twice a year. The climax is the congregation at Makkah Al-Mukarramah during the Haj season.
"This indicates a clear sign that Islam encourages meetings among Muslims, not just a meaningless meeting or gathering, but to meet and perform pious activities for Allah.
"Looking at the beauty of Islam makes us love Islam more, while looking at its perfect teachings leads us to become more enthusiastic and passionate to see it develop and continue to advance. No section of the Muslim community is exempted from developing Islam. All of us are jointly obligated to do so.
In concluding his 'Titah', His Majesty said, in this joyful occasion, let us pray, for Allah will continue to uphold Islam and the Ummah for us to be safe and prosperous and averted from such slander at present and in the days hereafter."
Brunei observes the feast of sacrifice today with prayers and the handing-over of sacrificial meat. Special focus will be at the Jame Asr' Hassanil Bolkiah mosque where meat donated by His Majesty and the Royal family members will be distributed to the poor and needy.
- Borneo Bulletin
(28th November 2009)