His Majesty graces national New Hijrah Year celebration
Fadhil Yunus

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to grace the national celebration of the New Year 1435 Hijrah at the Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kg Kiarong.

Accompanying His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abdul Rahman in his capacity as Chairman of the Executive Committee for Major Events of the Islamic Calendar, as well as other members of the Executive Committee.

The religious function commenced with the recitation of the End of Year 1434H prayers led by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Yahya bin Hj Ibrahim.

The mass Maghrib and Sunnat Hajat prayers were then led by Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Suhaili bin Hj Mohiddin.

The presentation of the Exemplary Religious Figure Award (Anugerah Tokoh Ugama) and Meritorious Service Awards (Anugerah Bakti Hijrah) began with a reading of Al-Quran verses by Awg Muhammad Hazri bin Hj Mohd Hamzani, second runner-up of the 21st Government of Hasyimiah Memorisation, Interpretation and Recitation of the Al-Quran for Male International Competition in Amman, Jordan, in the 10 Juzuk Al-Quran category.

Its summary was read by Pg Hj Amiruddin bin Pg Hj Damit, an instructor from the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran.

Shortly after the opening remarks delivered by the Minister of Religious Affairs, the recipient of the Exemplary Religious Award – an honorary achievement award in recognition for services and contributions to the nation in the field of religion – was announced by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Mohd Yusof, while the recipients of the Meritorious Service Awards were announced by Awg Hj Marzuki bin Hj Abdul Rahman, Acting Assistant Director of the Islamic Dakwah Centre.

In his remarks, the minister said that “Hijrah” is defined as a shift or change. It essentially means that Hijrah steers us to constantly embrace change for good purpose from one course of action to the other.

“This is the fact of Hijrah no matter how small it is, as change would be more meaningful if it is carried out with knowledge, awareness and commitment… This is because good actions will not only have effective positive impacts on oneself but also to the community and nation as a whole,” added Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad.

The theme for the new Hijrah year celebration is “Appreciating the Vision of Hijrah”.

His Majesty then presented the Exemplary Religious Figure Award for the year 1435H to Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Suhaili bin Hj Mohiddin and the Meritorious Service Awards to Pg Hj Merali bin Pg Ismail and Awg Hj Mohd Salleh bin Hj Timbang.

To bless the occasion, a Doa Selamat was read by the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz bin Juned.

Meanwhile, mass Isyak prayers were led by Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Salim bin Hj Besar.

The mass prayers and the thanksgiving prayer to welcome the New Year 1435H were also held simultaneously at all mosques, suraus and prayer halls throughout the country. - Borneo Bulletin (5 November 2013)