Syazwani Hj Rosli
As Brunei ushered in the holy month of Ramadhan yesterday, Muslims across the nation were adapting to new changes in observing the holy month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Typically, Muslims would gather with their families and friends during iftar (breaking the fast) and perform the Sunnat Tarawikh prayers at mosques afterwards. However, as several restrictions were implemented by the Government of 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 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Muslims changed their Ramadhan routines.
Hajah Salbiah binti Haji Duraman, in an interview told the Sunday Bulletin that this year’s Ramadhan is different because of the restriction in mass gathering, the temporary closures of mosques, suraus and religious halls and the suspension of Ramadhan bazaars, among others. She shared that it has been a routine for her family to go to the mosque to perform the Sunnat Tarawikh prayers together.
“My children always look forward to go to the mosque during Ramadhan, but not this year. It is heavy to our hearts but looking back, I believe and am sure that this is the time to seek mercy and forgiveness from Allah the Almighty.
“This year, Sunnat Tarawikh prayers are encouraged to be performed at home because of the shutdown. It does feel different because we are used to go to the mosque during Ramadhan.
“For the past two nights, my family performed our Sunnat Tarawikh prayers at home, led by my husband. Alhamdulillah, it went smoothly and this was all thanks to a programme on RTB (Radio Television Brunei) – the Tarawikh Prayer Guide: Tarawikh at Home Made Easy – that provides detailed guidance on performing Sunnat Tarawikh prayers at home with families. Alhamdulillah, my husband finds it very useful and very beneficial. It helped us a lot,” she said.
Haji Abdul Muiz bin Haji Bakar, in another interview, was grateful that he received the handbook for the Sunnat Tarawikh prayers from the Government Printing Department a few days ago that provides guidelines on performing Sunnat Tarawikh prayers at home.
“In this holy month, I hope that Allah the Almighty will keep our Sultan, my fellow Bruneians and our nation safe from the virus and may Allah the Almighty returns our life back to normal as soon as possible Insya Allah,” he said.