By Azrol Azmi
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night called on the Muslims to get closer to Allah for the nation's continued prosperity and to keep us away from disaster and be placed in an exalted position.
In a titah to mark Hari Raya Aidiladha, the monarch said the feast of sacrifice is a day full of blessings and lessons to be learnt. The 'Takbir' to praise and glorify Allah echoes regardless of where Muslims live.
The glorification is carried out at Allah's home, which are mosques, that takes Muslims closer to the Almighty.
"This is what should happen to the Ummah. We should be closer to Allah and Islam. But the world nowadays does not give much room for mankind to get closer to Allah and Islam but otherwise," said His Majesty.
The monarch said social ills continue to keep many people a good distance away from remembering Allah, which is why calamities strike the world often nowadays.
"Why disaster strikes? Many see them merely on the surface without thinking of the truth behind it. When tragedy or disaster occurs, people just regard it as a normal phenomenon.
"Is this correct?" asked His Majesty. "Certainly not. Everything that happens is determined by Allah and nothing happens on its own.
"Al-Quran states that disasters happen due to sins committed by the mankind. Hence, if an individual gets closer to Allah, he/she would certainly understand this situation. This is the significance of getting closer to Allah. If one gets closer to Allah, his position, faith and repentance become high and his values noble.
"If many people practise this, then the nation will be peaceful and the world prosperous. Allah trains us to get closer to Him, which include carrying out sacrificial rites as it means a step forward to get closer to Allah," said His Majesty.
"The animal that we slaughter is for Allah, always for Allah, in compliance with Allah's command to seek blessings from Allah. This is what sacrifice is all about.
"Those who distance themselves from Allah would certainly not be committed to such an obligation as it involves a struggle or sacrifice and every struggle is hard as it involves time, energy and wealth.
"But once our hearts are closer to Allah and Islam, all burdens would become lighter. Let us strive to get closer to Allah and Islam and pray that our nation gains blessings, protection and everlasting prosperity," said the ruler.
"In conclusion, my family members and I would like to say happy 'Feast of Sacrifice' to all Muslims, regardless of where they are, here or those currently in the holy city of Mecca. May Allah reward the pilgrims with 'Mabrur' (perfect) Haj and help them return safely to the country."
- Borneo Bulletin
(17th November 2010)