Sultan leads Maulidur Rasul procession
Hakim Hayat

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joined thousands of people in a procession in the heart of the capital yesterday to mark the Maulidur Rasul or birthday anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Across all four districts nationwide, more than 30,000 people from all walks of life joined in the annual processions held simultaneously yesterday morning.

Accompanying His Majesty at the Maulidur Rasul celebration for the Brunei-Muara District held at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

Upon arrival, His Majesty and other members of the royal family were greeted by Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, the Minister of Religious Affairs who is the Chairman of the Executive Committee for Islamic Celebrations for the year 1435 Hijrah, as well as other executive committee members of the Maulidur Rasul celebration.

The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad in his welcoming remarks said the annual Maulidur Rasul celebration is a tradition unique to the country. “Gatherings and processions are held simultaneously across all districts … Dikir Marhaban and special sermon are actively organised by institutions and the community … this reflects the Muslim community’s devotion in their efforts of upholding teachings of Islam and demonstrates their affection towards Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).”

In accordance with Maulidur Rasul celebrations in previous years, His Majesty also received a “junjung ziarah” from numerous team leaders who took part in the procession. This year saw the participation of 143 teams, comprising representatives from government ministries and departments, uniformed organisations, education institutions, associations, mukim groups, Village Consultative Councils, Mosque Takmir committees as well as from the private sector.

The event proceeded with a presentation of Dikir Marhaban by a dikir group from the Prime Minister’s Office. Following the “Ya Habibi” recitation, 21 cannon shots were fired to mark the occasion.

Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal later led the ‘selawat’ recitation to mark the start of the procession.

Amid the drizzling rain, His Majesty and other members of the royal family led 17,410 people in the 4.7-kilometre Maulidur Rasul walk, which began and ended at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Rasulullah Pembawa Rahmat Sejagat” (loosely translated as ‘Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the universal carrier of mercy). - Borneo Bulletin (15 January 2014)