Royalty joins thousands of worshippers for Aidilfitri prayers
Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on Monday joined thousands of worshippers in performing the Aidilfitri prayers at Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital.

Also in attendance were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj 'Abdul 'Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

The prayers were led by Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Hamid bin Bakal. The sermon, which was delivered by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Yahya bin Hj Ibrahim, highlighted that Muslims should not get scared with the introduction of the Syariah Criminal Law.

The sermon mentioned that at the recent birthday titah by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the monarch gave consent for Syariah Criminal Law to be implemented.

It is not new for Muslims who understand the Islamic way of doing things.

Prior to this, His Majesty said that Brunei is an Islamic monarchical state and that it is time for its laws to be appropriate with Islam.

Though Syariah law may not be clear to all Muslims, it is commendable and must be welcomed by all in the country, as this would mean that the nation is able to revive Islamic laws as practised before other laws are applied.

Prior to the colonisation era, the country had its own penal code, which was used for over 300 years under the reign of Sultan Hassan until the era of the late Sultan Hashim. When the British took over the Sultanate's admi-nistration, Brunei has since used civil powers until today.

His Majesty's titah marked the point when citizens went back to using the original law with its Islamic essence. There is nothing to fear, as it is something that happens naturally for the pious, is deemed fair and does not bring any loss to anyone.

The introduction of such a law indicates the deve-lopment of Islam in Brunei.

Earlier, the sermon also pointed out that in celebrating Hari Raya, we should not deflect from wrongdoings, remember limits determined and not be influenced by negative elements.

In this time of celebration, we should also not forget important obligations, such as the daily prayers. - Borneo Bulletin (22 August 2012)