Private religious teachers need permission before teaching
Rokiah Mahmud

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam expressed concern over private religious teachers who taught or gave lectures in Brunei and questioned whether these private religious teachers have obtained accreditation and were acknowledged by the relevant authorities before they practised it.

“There is a tendency nowadays to learn religious teachings and Al-Quran not only at schools but also at homes,” the monarch said in a titah at the Israk Mikraj of 1434 Hijrah celebration yesterday at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

“Private teachers are taken or selected by house owners. The question is whether the relevant agencies have acknowledged and have processed these private teachers in accordance to the country’s regulations.

“As far as I understand, these religious teachers must seek permission and accreditation from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) before they could teach or give lectures in this country. Has this beeen carried out ? His Majesty asked.

“This rule is very important in line with the government’s aspiration in ensuring that the country is free from any misleading teachings and unwanted beliefs,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty also emphasised the importance of performing prayers and religious education in the country and underscored the magnificent journey of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) during the Israk Mikraj, where, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is said to have received directly, the obligation of performing prayers five times a day from Allah the Almighty.

“We can imagine, if prayers are not being prescribed, how ‘Munkar’ or disobedience (wrongdoings) can be prevented? Whereas, the Holy Quran has mentioned that only prayers can deter ‘Munkar’.

“The Ministry of Religious Affairs since years has taken several steps to ensure the obligation of performing prayers is not neglected. This includes enacting the Compulsory Religious Education Order 2012 and even in the National Education System (SPN21), religion has been made one of the core and compulsory subjects,” His Majesty continued.

His Majesty also reminded that our survival is not solely dependent upon political and economic powers, but decisively needs assistance from Allah the Almighty. “In fact it is the most fundamental,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty said we shall not be swayed away from Allah the Almighty. Those who are not performing prayers are those who want to distance themselves further from Allah the Almighty. At the same time, His Majesty also questioned, how one must seek the Almighty’s assistance if one is not obligating His command that is, prayers.

Touching on the importance of religious education in the country, His Majesty urged that it needs to run smoothly and consistently. On this matter, His Majesty urged that all parties must take full responsibility in observing its quality and curriculum of religious education teachings.

“The matter is important because nowadays there is a tendency to learn religious teachings and lear al-Quran not only at school but also at home.”

In concluding the titah, His Majesty stressed on the importance of obeying the rules and laws that have been enacted for the benefit of our society and nation.

“Whatever rules or laws that associate with the Islamic law must be complied with and must not be ignored as it enables us to respect the laws of the nation,” His Majesty said. - Borneo Bulletin (7 June 2013)