HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday received greetings from some 400 intending Haj pilgrims who will be leaving for Madinah, Saudi Arabia next week to join millions of other Muslims from all over the world in performing the fifth pillar of Islam.
Accompanying His Majesty to receive male pilgrims at the Istana Nurul Iman yesterday was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik. In an adjacent room, Her Majesty was joined by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah in receiving female pilgrims.
According to the Haj Management Department, 205 male and 195 female Haj pilgrims from the country, either on personally funded or government fares, will perform the Haj this year, registered under Haj Packages offered by Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd and Straits Central Agencies Sdn Bhd.
The pilgrims will also be accompanied by Haj Administrative and Medical Officers throughout their travel.
After greeting Their Majesties and members of the royal family, the pilgrims received Haj attires in the form of “Kain Ihram” (Ihram cloth) and “Telekung” (prayer robes for women) from His Majesty.
The first group of pilgrims are scheduled to depart the country on September 10, while the second group will fly off the following day.
Like previous years, the Haj quota for Bruneian pilgrims remains at 400.
The Saudi Arabian Government has imposed a quota of 1,000 pilgrims per million inhabitants for each of the countries to ensure pilgrims’ safety and comfort while performing Haj, as they are in the midst of implementing a number of upgrading projects at some focal points of the pilgrimage in Masjidil Haram in Mecca and Al-Nabawi Mosque in Medina.
Brunei Darussalam has a population of around 400,000.
Hj Asahwi bin Hj Sarbini, 57, who will be performing Haj for the third time, said he was grateful to Allah the Almighty for the opportunity to re-visit the Holy Land and perform Haj.
Hj Asahwi, who will be accompanied by his wife, said it has been his intention to set foot on the Holy Land again and that he had been praying for the opportunity.
“Alhamdulillah, we were told that we were selected to be part of it at the very last minute. I am praying for a blessed and whole pilgrimage this time with good health and no obstacles with Allah the Almighty’s will,” he added.
Hjh Jainah Hj Majid, 52, who hails from Kuala Belait, said she would be performing Haj for the second time.
Hjh Jainah, whose first was in in 1994, will be accompanied by her husband and grandson, who will be performing Haj for the first time.
Hjh Jainah, who is on a Government fare, expressed her appreciation to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the generosity.
“I hope we will have a blessed and whole Haj, and thank you to His Majesty and may Allah the Almighty bless him for the opportunity.”
- Borneo Bulletin
(2 September 2014)