Muslims all over the country joined in the nationwide prayers at their local mosques to usher in the new Islamic year 1436 yesterday with the main focus on the Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kg Kiarong.
Attending the main ceremony was His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam along with HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Wakeel.
Upon the royal family's arrival, they were greeted by the Minister of Religious Affairs (MoRA) Yang Berhormat Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman, who also gave welcoming remarks during the ceremony.
This year's celebration is themed "Bersatu Mendukung Undang-Undang Allah" (United in Upholding the Laws of Allah (SWT)).
According to the Minister in his remarks, "the theme encourages us to bear the responsibility of our country that wants to adopt and implement the laws of Allah (SWT), either in our everyday life or in our administration."
"We have to look back at the biography of Rasulullah (pbuh), where the prophet had built a successful Islamic Country in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah after migrating there. The prophet (pbuh) had applied the laws of Islam to ensure a better quality of life for the Muslims and Jews at that time," added the minister.
The format of the annual celebration was slightly changed, with the Anugerah Tokoh Ugama (Religious Icon Award), the Anugerah Jasawan Ugama (Meritorious Religious Figure Award) and the Anugerah Bakti Hijrah (Hijrah Contribution Award) being replaced by the Tazkirah Hijrah (Religious Lecture).
The Tazkirah Hijrah, is a religious lecture given by one of the recipients of the Tokoh Ugama award in 1434 Hijrah, the Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badarud-din Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman.
To start the ceremony, Chief Syar'ie Judge Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Yahya Hj Ibrahim led the end of Hijrah year doa recital before the 21 cannon fire could be heard, signifying the arrival of the new Islamic year.
After the mass Maghrib prayer call, the Deputy State Mufti Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Hj Suhaili Hj Mohiddin led the mass Maghrib prayers, the recital of the Hijrah New Year doa and the special prayers in hopes of gaining prosperity and well-being for the Sultanate in the upcoming year while also asking for protection against any tragedies.
The Noble Quran was also recited by the winner of the 16th International Tilawah Quran competition in Moscow, Russia, Muhammad Ali, while its translation was read out by Hj Shamsol Hj Omar.
The State Mufti Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Abd Aziz Juned recited a thanksgiving prayer to bless the ceremony before mass 'Isyak prayer, which was led by the Syariah Court of Appeal Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Hj Salim Hj Besar.