Sultan performs 1st Friday prayers at new mosque
Azlan Othman

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam performed the first Friday prayer at the new Suri Seri Begawan Raja Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque in Kg Manggis, Madang.

Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

The mosque is located next to a popular commercial site in Kg Manggis, Madang near the Hassanal Bolkiah Highway and is designed to fit around 2,400 worshippers. The concept of the building is based on an old traditional Brunei mosque with a pyramid-shaped roof and modern architecture.

This form is generally found around the archipelago. The interior comprises a main prayer hall with an Islamic-style central structural dome-arched ceilings. ‘Mihrab’ (prayer direction) and the walls are decorated with geometric-shaped tiles and Islamic calligraphy.

The mosque will also have two dominant minarets with Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) concept.

His Majesty and other members of the royal family were greeted upon arrival by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abdul Rahman and other committee members.

The monarch later signed a plaque, following which ‘Allahu Akbar’ Takbir was echoed around three times led by Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad. His Majesty later received a ‘pesambah’ from the Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, as chairperson of the committee members for the Trustee Holders of the Manggis Madang mosque.

In his special Friday sermon at the mosque, Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Yahya bin Hj Ibrahim said efforts to build and receive assistances to fulfill such aspiration dates back to over 20 years ago.

It is indeed a historical event for the villagers as the mosque was launched to mark His Majesty 68th birthday anniversary. “We pray for the longevity and well-being of the caring monarch and the nation.”

The Friday prayer was led by Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Setia Raja Dato Paduka Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Suhaili bin Hj Mohiddin. The construction of the new mosque began on July 12, 2012 and the contractor was Selapon Sdn Bhd. The mosque costs around $4,851,135.20 and is under the National Development Plan (NDP) 2007-2012. Part of the construction expenditure is financed by Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Bhd and the public especially the village residents.

The mosque has facilities such as main prayer halls for men, women prayer halls, meeting room, mosque officer room, prayer leader room, special guest room, multi purpose room, lecture room, library and IT room, PA system room, storeroom, mortuary room, kitchen, toilets as well as separate ablution for male and female congregants. - Borneo Bulletin (19 July 2014)