Her Majesty graces Women’s Council Special Gathering
Izah Azahari & Khal Baharulalam

HER Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday consented to attend the Women’s Council Special Gathering in conjunction with the Maulidur Rasul celebration 1435 Hijrah with the theme ‘Righteous Women are the Shapers of a Pious Generation’ (Mu’Minah Solehah Pembentuk Generasi Bertaqwa) at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

Accompanying Her Majesty were Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.

Upon arrival, Her Majesty and the royal entourage were welcomed by the chairpersons of the Special Women’s Gathering from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education, the Brunei Darussalam Women’s Council as well as other committee members.

The event began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by Dayang Hajah Maidah binti Haji Abdul Rahman, the champion of the 2013 Qariah Al-Quran Reading Competition National Finals Adult Division, while the summary of the meaning was read by Dayang Hajah Noraini binti Haji Hamdan, a Religious Education Officer from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The special occasion was then continued with a welcoming speech delivered by the co-chairperson of the event, Ustazah Dr Hajah Masnon binti Haji Ibrahim, the Ra’es of the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

In her welcoming speech, the Ra’es said the theme this year has been chosen in order to invite all women to work together in playing the role of shaping the generation through the family institution in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

“The features and guidance towards a pious standard must be in line with carrying out orders and avoiding prohibitions that can be found in the teachings of Islam, while women are fundamental in the implementation to get the results,” explained the Ra’es of the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College.

Following the co-chairperson’s welcoming speech was a special lecture presented by Ustazah Hajah Noor binti Haji Mohadi.

The event continued with a poem recitation by Dayang Hajah Shamsiah binti Haji Abdi Manaf, Dayang Hajah Jusnani binti Awang Taha, Dayangku Safa Norsaimah binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad and Dayang Hajah Karmila binti Haji Sapar.

The highlight of the occasion was the announcement of the Women’s Meritorious Service Awards (Anugerah Bakti Hijrah) 1435 Hijrah which was read out by Dayang Hajah Azizah binti Haji Musa, the Acting Director of the Islamic Dakwah Centre at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Her Majesty then consented to present the awards to the recipients, Dayang Hajah Nor binti Haji Ladi and Dayang Hajah Patimah @ Zahrani binti Begawan Mudim Haji Asli @ Wasli, both of whom received $10,000, a certificate of recognition, and a souvenir each.

To further enliven the atmosphere of the event, officers and staff members from the Ministry of Education performed the Dikir Marhaban which was followed by a thanksgiving prayer read by Dayang Hajah Zaliha binti Haji Ibrahim.

The Special Women’s Gathering was held for the 20th time and was organised by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Brunei Darussalam Women’s Council. - Borneo Bulletin (23 January 2014)