Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman said that research should further demonstrate how Islamic teachings in the aspects of Aqidah (true faith) and Syariah (religious laws) can have a positive influence on Brunei Darussalam’s social and governmental systems, as well as that of other Muslim countries.
“Unfortunately, there has not been much research in relation to our country, which should be carried out by our scholars while doing their PhD research studies abroad,” he said yesterday, during the launching of the second seminar on Aqidah Understanding and Current Thoughts (SEKAPES) 2019. It was jointly organised by the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah Centre of Research and Understanding, with the Faculty of Usuluddin and the Faculty of Syariah at the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB).
The minister added, “Through the seminar and with the presence of centres such as the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah Centre of Research and Understanding at KUPU SB and the Mazhab Shafi’e Research Centre at UNISSA, it is hoped there will be research on Aqidah and Syariah, with a strong understanding of Islam within the country and its socio-governmental principles of democracy, that are aligned with Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah and Mazhab Shafi’e.”
Under the theme Pendidikan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah Asas Kemurnian Amalan Ummah, the two-day seminar features four keynote speeches and 56 working papers presented by academics and post-graduate students from Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.
After the official launching of the seminar, the first keynote speech on Epistimologi Keilmuan Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah: Belajar Kepada Impersonal Teachers was delivered by the Rector of Universitas PTIQ Jakarta Professor Dr Nasaruddin Umar.
The seminar continued in the afternoon with keynote speeches by the Rector of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal, and the Ra’es of KUPU SB Dr Haji Adanan bin Haji Basar.
The nine sub-themes being discussed during the two-day seminar include ‘Fiqh Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah: Concepts and Practices’, ‘Tasawwuf Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah: Concepts and Practices’, and ‘Daily Practices of Ahli Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah in Brunei Darussalam and the Malay Archipelago’.
The seminar aims to strengthen the current understanding of Aqidah and Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah among Muslims, while also hoping to identify issues and challenges in Aqidah education, in addition to achieving short and long-term solutions to current understanding and ideas that are contrary to the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.
Also present at the official launching of SEKAPES 2019 was Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Religious) at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang, as well as senior officials from MoRA, school principals under MoRA; and key officials, lecturers and students from KUPU SB.