Minister urges Muslims to pay Zakat early

Azlan Othman

Muslims have been urged to perform the Zakat (tithe) payment earlier to avoid congestion at the last minute during the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Malam Pukol in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman told the media yesterday that for the benefit of the public, the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) has issued guidelines for Zakat Fitrah and Zakat Harta during Ramadhan through e-posters and news.

Mosques, suraus and religious halls are open for Zakat Fitrah and Zakat Harta payments from 8.30am to 11am and 1pm to 3pm daily. In accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines on physical and social distancing, payments will be accepted only in the mosque lobby or veranda area. If the mosque does not have such a space, then another room near the mosque will be used.

To facilitate the payment of Zakat Fitrah and Zakat Harta, efforts are also being made to enable payments to be made at other ministries’ main buildings at scheduled times. Amil or tithe collectors appointed by MUIB will carry out the collection.

Meanwhile, regarding the Sunnat Tarawikh prayers, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said he was pleased to note that Muslims in the country are performing the prayers at home with family members and are adhering to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines on the number and appropriateness of home spaces.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs said it is now permissible for families to acquire qualified religious teachers and Imams.

On the recitation of Doa Qunut Nazilah as mentioned in 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’s special titah in conjunction with Ramadhan recently, he said, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has prepared a short and concise Doa Qunut Nazilah for distribution to the public through social media.

“The Doa Qunut Nazilah text is the normal supplication that is read during the obligatory Subuh prayer with additional verses related to the outbreak. We extend our gratitude to His Majesty and let us recite this supplication where it was read to avoid accidents, disasters or catastrophes such as fear, drought and disease outbreaks. This was done by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) according to the hadith narrated by Imam Abu Daud,” said the minister.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman during the press conference. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS