His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam yesterday graced the 73 times Khatam Al-Quran ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman, an event which saw the involvement of mukim and village consultative councils, primary and secondary school students, and students from higher educational institutions throughout the country.
The 73 times Khatam Al-Quran was held in conjunction with His Majesty’s 73rd birthday celebration.
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel; Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah binti Dato Haji Nasir; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.
Also in attendance were Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.
The arrival of Their Majesties and members of the royal family was greeted by Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar; Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong; Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman; Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman; State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned; Private and Confidential Secretary to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Mohd Nawawi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Awang Mohd Taha; and Grand Chamberlain Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, as Co-Advisors of the Executive Committee, along with their spouses.
The ceremony commenced with the mass recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by the State Mufti, which was followed by the mass recitation of Al-Quran verses from Surah Adh-Dhuhaa to Surah Al-Masad by the participants led by Zainal Mustafa bin Jalauddin, a student from the Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
The event continued with a reading of the Takhtim by female officers from the Islamic Studies Department, and Tahlil recited by officers from the Mosque Affairs Department.
To bless the ceremony, a Doa Selamat was read by the State Mufti.
Before departing the ceremony, His Majesty received Junjung Ziarah from the male participants, while Her Majesty received Junjung Ziarah from the female participants.
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah also received Junjung Ziarah from the Khatam Al-Quran participants.
The 73 times Khatam Al-Quran recitation was read simultaneously from Juzuk One to Juzuk 30 since last May, by mukim and village consultative councils, primary and secondary school students, and students from higher educational institutions nationwide.
The ceremony gathered 1,708 participants from the Brunei-Muara, Tutong, Belait and Temburong districts, comprising 123 women, 123 men, 140 female youth and 140 male youth.
The ceremony also involved 582 boys and girls aged 12 and below representing Arabic and religious schools, Al-Falaah School, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah School, the under-10 Khatam Al-Quran Scheme and the Youth Tilawah Al-Quran Scheme (STAR).
The selected participants began their recitations simultaneously since the launch of the 73rd Khatam Al-Quran ceremony on May 2.
Apart from observing His Majesty’s birthday celebration, the annual Khatam Al-Quran is also intended to uphold the monarch’s aspirations of seeing Brunei Darussalam develop into a Zikir Nation with a high rate of Al-Quran literacy.