His Majesty attends 66-time Khatam Al-Quran
Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to attend the 66-time Khatam Al-Quran or completion of the recitation of al-Quran by Mukim and Village Consultative Councils members from across the nation to mark His Majesty's 66th birthday celebrations.

Also present were Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, and HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah.

Also in attendance were HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik, HRH Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam and other members of the royal family.

His Majesty was welcomed upon arrival by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman and spouse, Datin Hjh Maimoonah bte Hj Umar as well as advisers, co-chairmen, executive committee members and their spouses.

The event began with the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah followed by mass Khatam al-Quran by 1,056 participants comprising men and women as well as male and female youths.

It was followed by the recitation of the Takhtim and Tahlil by 66 men and 66 women comprising officers and religious teachers from the Islamic Studies Department. The reading of Doa Khatam was led by Imam Hj Hassan bin Taha, who was the recipient of the Excellent Imam Award at the Israk Mikraj celebration this year.

There was also a Dikir Marhaban performance by 66 mosque officers and imams from the Mosque Affairs Department and 66 female officers and religious teachers from the Islamic Studies Department.

A Doa Selamat concluded the ceremony which was a significant national and religious event held at the Royal Banquet Hall of Istana Nurul Iman. It was a 'Pesambah' in the form of Doa (prayers) from the citizens to the monarch.

The ceremony was also held to encourage the reading, learning and embracing of al-Quran as well as to practise its teachings daily to seek blessings from Allah the Almighty for today and the hereafter.

The event was initially centred at mosques with about 1,056 participants. They were comprised of 66 people from each category in the four districts, namely, men, women, male and female youths which meant each district was represented by 264 participants. Each has completed the recitation of 30 Juzuks of the al-Quran making it a total of 1,056 complete recitations of the holy book.

The launching of the recitation of al-Quran began in every district on February 29, 2012 after the mass Maghrib prayer at selected mosques. The participants completed the reading of 30 Juzuks of the holy book on July 14, 2012.

The event was carried out in this holy month to seek blessings from Allah the Almighty for the good health of His Majesty and for the monarch to continue to rule the nation under the guidance of Allah the Almighty. This approach is in line with the aspiration of His Majesty for the country to become a Zikir Nation and 'Baldatun Tayyibatun Warabbun Ghafour' a nation that is good and full of forgiveness from Allah the Almighty.

A Muslim convert from Belait, Siti Norsiah bte Mohd Salleh who participated in the Khatam al-Quran told the Bulletin she was very thankful for being able to join the religious event as this was the first time that she had taken part in such an event.

The youngest participant of the Khatam Al-Quran, 16-year-old Mohd Hafiz bin Hamzulani, said he was happy to take part in the auspicious event which was one of the initiatives of the government to produce youths who love the nation and love to read the holy book. "It is in appreciation of and a gift from all of us to His Majesty," he said.

A senior citizen, Hj Abu Bakar @ Zainal bin Idris, said he was happy to take part just like last year and he hoped that the gathering would continue in the years to come to glorify the monarch's birthday celebrations. "By the will of Allah the Almighty, I will join again in the years to come." - Borneo Bulletin (5 August 2012)