By Aziz Idris
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday led a procession of close to 20,000 participants including Army personnel in the capital to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Greeting His Majesty upon his arrival at the Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien was Minister of Religious Affairs, Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abd Rahman.
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 Roya1 Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik.
The ceremony began shortly after the arrival of His Majesty with the recitation of surah al-fatihah, which was read by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned.
It was followed by a speech by the Minister of Religious Affairs.
The minister emphasised on this year's theme 'Membina Syakhsiah Dengan Ajaran Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam' which aims to build and enlighten the Muslim community, especially the youth, on the importance of following the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad.
His Majesty in a titah Monday evening on the eve of Maulud had reiterated the importance of using Prophet Muhammad's formula as a guide for Muslims to succeed and urged the Ummah to embrace the actions and practices of the Prophet to eradicate social illnesses.
The participating groups yesterday included uniformed agencies, government ministries and departments, mukim and village consultative councils, institutions of higher learning, schools, associations and private companies.
A 21-cannon blast was heard 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
(16th February 2011)