Royalty at ITQSHHB convocation
Siti Hajar

DESPITE its two-decade history as it strives to provide the country with the required human resource to fulfil the Sultanate’s spiritual needs, the Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (ITQSHHB) has come a long way in its journey to educate religious leaders of tomorrow and more is still being accomplished to better itself as an institution for knowledge.

As part of the institute’s second convocation ceremony for 13 of its diploma students yesterday, the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, explained that this year has witnessed a number of institutional milestones among which include international recognition with the Ma’had Tahfiz Al-Quran Al-Karim Mithali Award in July this year during the His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud 7th International Award Ceremony that was held in Saudi Arabia.

Another notable achievement, it was shared, is the awarding of the Sultan’s Scholar to one of the institution’s students who was provided with the opportunity to continue his education at the Ma’had Qiraat Al-Azhar Shoubra in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

“These achievements will become the stimulant in the development of the Tahfiz Al-Quran Institute and the nation in general as part of efforts to produce even more al-Hafiz Al-Quran individuals and will serve as an inspiration to other students to further their education, be it in Islamic Studies or in Science and Technology,” whilst at the same time receive blessings for the present and hereafter through the teachings of the Al-Quran.

Graced by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, who was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, the ceremony witnessed a total of nine young men and four young women who successfully completed a three-year National Diploma course in ‘Aliyah Qiraat that included efforts in memorising the Al-Quran alongside studies in mainstream subjects.

The course, explained Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, is aimed to produce “model individuals” for the country that are knowledgeable of Al-Quran with this year witnessing a total of nine ‘Excellent’ achievements.

Attended by senior government officials as well as ambassadors and high commissioners, the event commenced with a recitation from the Al-Quran that was followed with a special lecture delivered by a Religious Officer from the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College under the Ministry of Religious Affairs as well as a Doa Selamat.

Introduced in 2010, the programme is the sole national course that offers secondary and diploma qualifications aimed at providing another avenue for individuals, especially the youth, to contribute to the development of a Zikir Nation. - Borneo Bulletin (14 November 2014)