| Ishan Ibrahim |
FAITH (Iman) and piety (Taqwa) have great prominence and significance that they should be embodied by science and technology, said the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned.
He was presenting a special lecture at the Knowledge Convention 2014 at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
The convention, themed “Science and Technology: Catalyst of Development and Enhancing the Ummah’s Quality of Life”, was held in commemoration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 68th Birthday.
According to the State Mufti, faith and piety must be given the same role as science and technology so the development that is achieved will gain blessings.
He said the buildings, plans and products that we desire must have blessings as well, and science and technology are not sufficient to generate blessings.
He reiterated that only faith and piety can generate blessings, and if these two concepts become the basis for development, then this progress will be infused with blessings that will yield sufficient benefits and growth.
“Then the country would will develop … there will be peace and tranquility, the economy can advance, soil will be fertile, and the quality of life will be further improved,” he added.
“It does not matter whether they are Muslim or not, Allah has never stopped them from advancement.
“Since the earliest times, human beings had begun developing and they know about science and technology.
The great ark built by Prophet Nuh (pbuh), the grand palaces constructed by the people of Prophet Hud (pbuh) and Prophet Saleh (pbuh) and the pyramids built by the Pharaohs were done with the aid of science and technology.”
He said the Pharaoh had used science and technology to rebel against Allah, whereas Muslims must use science and technology in obedience to Allah.
The State Mufti cited an example that uses science and technology to this effect.
“The Darul Takaful building in Brunei Darussalam was to be constructed 15 storeys-high. Then it was realised that the building would be nine storeys higher than the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque upon full completion.
“To ensure that the mosque remained taller than the buildings in Bandar Seri Begawan, part of the Darul Takaful building had to be demolished.
“That proved to be a dilemma, between the rules associated with Islam and the risks that involved finances, time and material,” said the State Mufti. “Finally, a decision was made to demolish the remaining nine storeys.
“This is an excellent example where faith and piety prevailed, and the relevant authorities adhered to the laws of Islam.”
He added that under the rule of our monarch that takes the laws of Islam very seriously, Brunei Darussalam was developing without going against the laws of Islam.
The Darul Takaful building is now helping the people from the burdens of interests with its construction and structure that adhere to “syara”, and this will only gain blessings, said the State Mufti.
The concept of Takaful is based on “Tabarru” or donation.
Every person involved in takaful is a donor, as they contribute and support each other, explained the State Mufti.
Their contributions will also be benefitted by insurers to support or add to further insurance payments, he said.
This concept differs from the conventional system, where the amount you paid will be gone after a year is completed, and the same amount is again to be paid to renew the insurance, reasoned the State Mufti.
He said that in the effort to generate the economy, we should not place our focus on figures only, but put emphasis on blessings.
“With blessings, the economy can develop and prevail,” he stressed.
The State Mufti also emphasised the importance of giving alms, as it plays a role in developing the economy.
He quoted the Firman of Allah in Surah Al-Anam (verse 160) that those who donate will be rewarded greatly.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had always advocated giving alms, although this system was never mentioned by renowned economists in the past, he added.
He quoted the Hadith that said wealth will not be lessened by giving alms.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said giving alms was “syai’un ajab” which means a tremendous act that plays a role in generating the economy and acts as a shield against disasters.
The Hadith also said that giving alms averts disasters, he added.
The State Mufti added that giving alms is not restricted to individuals only, saying this act can come from organisations and companies to the public, and from the government to its citizens.
“The Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has always practised this act of giving alms and donations, with gifts given to the citizens, free education, free health system, subsidised food, pension for the elderly, monetary gifts for single mothers, the poor and destitute as well as government workers who enjoy special allowances according to their categories,” said the State Mufti.
In conclusion, he said advancement in the name of science and technology should go hand in hand with faith and piety.
He said this system should be introduced to the current generation through education at all levels.