Religious unis told to glorify al-Quran
By Amin Hosni

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam posed a question in his titah during the golden jubilee celebration of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults last night as to why the two new religious universities have not made enough efforts to glorify al-Quran as the more established Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has done.

"We have in addition two centres for higher education, University Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and Seri Begawan Religious Teacher's College (KUPUSB). Why have plans not been made similar to those taken by UBD?" His Majesty asked.

The monarch went on to point out, "As UNISSA and KUPUSB will undoubtedly soon have their own dedicated convocation, why should we only see UBD glorifying the holy book and not UNISSA or KUPUSB?"

His Majesty said, "It is steps like these that we make, which emerge from our sincere intentions to raise the Quran to the highest standard possible, whilst at the same time intellectually and physiologically, it can further generate fervour and motivation for followers to continue learning and practising it."

The monarch earlier praised the event for making its "mark in history as it was organised for the 50th year. If its age were to be counted, it would be 50 years old," the ruler said.

His Majesty reminded the nation saying, "During these 50 years, numerous things have happened, including for those people that have been involved either as organisers or participants in the past competitions, where no doubt, some have passed away," before the monarch wished that "their souls be blessed with the light of the Quran".

His Majesty called on the importance for this history to carry on. "It must not be obstructed. Let it go on, in line with the long history of our nation," His Majesty said.

"We will make it a 'cultural tradition' that bonds us closer in our lives."

The monarch, as the spiritual leader of Islam in Brunei Darussalam, called on the faithful to bequeath it for all the future generations to come.

"Instil in them the motivation to be interested in it, and awaken those souls that have been weakened, if there are any, so that we can create this history together until there is no more, even a little bit, from amongst the youth of our nation who perceive it as old-fashioned."

His Majesty called on the audience to "make Brunei and all of us part of the Quran's history, in that we cannot afford to be separated from it forever, Insya Allah".

The monarch then posed rhetorically "why must we be close to Al-Quran?

"It is because we know that it is a tool that brings us closer to Allah, a tool that we use to communicate with Him. By reading the Quran, won't it mean that we are communicating with Allah, because the Quran is His words.

"It is undeniable that the Quran is a basic necessity for us and also the foundation for Brunei Darussalam as a Zikir nation," the monarch pointed out.

"We have taken many steps to realise the motivation and knowledge of the Quran so that it can be owned by the faithful in Brunei.

"As for its place in education, we have been implementing it for a long time," His Majesty went on to say, adding that this has been capitalised upon by the writings and interpretation of the 'Mushaf Brunei', the writings of the 'Mushaf UBD' replacing its mace and others.

His Majesty concluded his titah by congratulating all the participants in all levels, especially the finalists and hoped that the participants would continue to actively participate in the reading (of the Quran) while enhancing their reading quality in competitions to come. - Borneo Bulletin (28th May 2010)