His Majesty attends special religious talk
Faza Suraj

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to attend a special religious talk in conjunction with Israk Mikraj celebrations at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

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 Haji Sufri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

The theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Praying is the Ummah’s Core Strength,’ as highlighted by Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Acting Rector Pengiran Anak Dr Haji Amiruddin Alam Shah bin Pengiran Anak Haji Ismail, underlines the importance and benefits of praying, importance of congregational prayer (berjema’ah) and in generating strength of Ummah through performing prayers.

“Praying is one of the pillars of Islam and will be the first ‘ibadat’ that will be judged by Allah the Almighty on judgement day,” he said, reminding Muslims that praying is one of the ways to deter an Ummah from being corrupt and from engaging in sinful acts.

He pointed out that, “A research by Dr Fidelma O’leary, a former Catholic turned Muslim who is a professor at the University of St Edward specialising in Neurology, has proven that there are certain nerves located in the human brain that cannot be filled with blood pumped by the heart. This is because the heart cannot deliver enough blood to reach them.

He continued, “Professor Fidelma found that the only way for the brain to receive sufficient supply of blood and oxygen is by performing the act of ‘Sujud’,” before going on to list some of the health benefits – prevention of stress, migraine and stroke, while refreshing the brain and sharpening the mind. It also improves the position of the foetus in the womb of a pregnant woman.

In summary, he said, they have found that performing prayer involves movements of the body that match stretching exercises. This strengthens the muscular system and the rest of the body.

“In 2006, a group of University of Malaya researchers – Associate Professor Dr Fatimah Ibrahim with Professor Dr Wan Abu Bakar Wan Abas and Ng Siew Cheok – performed scientific research on the relationship between praying and mental/physical health.

Performing prayer is the instance of physical therapy and, if done continuously and properly, will induce positive effects on the human body. Additionally, they have found that the state of mind after performing a prayer matches the condition of the brain after waking up from deep sleep. This is because during prayers, a phenomenon occurs (caused by I’tidal – which is standing still before Sujud), which research has proven to be the most peaceful moment, followed by Tuma’ninah – which is the short pause in some of the positions in prayers.

The Acting Rector also stressed that Section 194 of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, which came into effect on May 1, 2014, states that, “Any man who is ‘Mukallaf’, who fails to perform Friday prayers without Uzur Syar’ie (reasonable excuse) is guilty of an offence punishable by fine not exceeding $200 for a first offence, a fine not exceeding $300 for a second offence, and a fine not exceeding $1,000 for a third or subsequent offence.

Additionally, the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 Section 194 will educate the Ummah to be disciplined in performing prayers, respecting the time for prayers, and in prioritising their religious responsibilities.

He added, congregational prayer can also provide the Ummah strength. By doing so, it shows coordination among Muslim Ummah in carrying out Allah the Almighty’s order, which will eventually foster brotherhood, unity and equality among the Muslim Ummah.

“While performing prayer, a human body is like a battery. The electric charge from the human body will flow through the shoulders, touching each other during a congregational prayer like an electric circuit, and finally neutralises the charges – which leads to a more energetic and peaceful lifestyle.”

He pointed out that performing congregational prayer will strengthen mutual bonds amongst the Ummah. It is our responsibility as Muslims to remind each other to perform Friday prayers. - Borneo Bulletin (28 May 2014)