Royal call to cut down on extravagance
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday reminded his subjects not to miss prayers amid the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Brunei Darussalam will celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri today as the new moon of syawal was sighted yesterday evening.

In delivering his titah nationwide last night on the eve of Hari Raya, the monarch stressed that extravagant spending to the extent of wasting and missing or neglecting prayers are not the ways to celebrate Hari Raya, but they are ways to inviting sin.

"We must remind ourselves that we have just completed a major struggle after exactly a month. We have succeeded in fighting our major foe called 'desire'. We have been promised with multiple rewards for our struggle, why should we end up giving away such victory freely to the enemy that we have just defeated?" asked His Majesty.

"Satan has now been released after being held on a tight leash. With pain, the Satan has witnessed us multiplying our rewards, notably through fasting, reciting the Holy Quran and performing the highly recommended Tarawikh prayers at night," the monarch added.

"When the Satan is set free, would it not mean that its traditional task will begin again to deceive Muslims to disobey Allah?" the monarch pointed out.

The benevolent ruler added that disobedience could easily happen, especially when we are too engrossed or carried away by the festive merriment.

His Majesty said that for the Ummah, the seasons and conditions continue to change, but not the faith. "Over a thousand years ago, people celebrated Aidilfitri, it is still being celebrated today. That is religion where its teachings have not experienced changes.

"Over a thousand years ago, people had celebrated the occasion with 'Takbir' or in praising Allah the Almighty, now we also celebrate it with 'Takbir'. In fact the term 'Takbir' has not changed. Over a thousand years ago, it was obligatory to pay tithe, now the law still persists.

"This is what Syara' law is all about. Let us practise them with the spirit of loyalty, which should not fade away. It is only now that we have the opportunity to conduct religious activities when we are still alive. When one passes away, this opportunity will no longer be available," said His Majesty.

"Let us pray in that our religious obligations that we have carried out throughout Ramadhan would be received by Allah the Almighty, as well as our other good deeds. In this short-lived world, we depend on the blessings of the Almighty and with Allah's generosity, we and the nation will be showered with blessings in the form of peace, security and prosperity," remarked the monarch.

"It is also our hope that we would continue to gain strength and guidance to uphold and sustain all the rewards bestowed upon us," the ruler added.

In conclusion, His Majesty and his family members wished the Muslim citizens and residents, a happy Hari Raya, regardless of where they are. - Borneo Bulletin (10th September 2010)