Mosques, suraus closure extended to April 20

Azlan Othman

With the consent 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, the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) has announced that the temporary closure of mosques, suraus and religious halls across the country which ended last night, is extended again for another week starting from Subuh prayer today until the Isyak prayer on April 20.

The decision was made after a special Brunei Islamic Religious Council meeting last Saturday, following advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH), Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman told a press conference yesterday.

MoH said that although the COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei Darussalam is under control, there are still concerns about its harmful transmission.

The extension of the closure is to avoid the harm to congregants in particular, and to the public at large. It is also in accordance with the State Mufti’s Fatwa or decree number 02/2020. Further assessments will be conducted before the temporary closure period is over.

“Let us all pray that Allah the Almighty will bestow His blessings on us all to immediately get out of the danger of COVID-19 outbreak and return to the mosques, suraus and religious halls,” the Minister of Religious Affairs said.

“We must continue our joint efforts to curb the outbreak by taking care of our health.”

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

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin also reiterated the need to follow the guidelines and advice from all parties, especially the MoH.

“We are actually in a position to earn or achieve rewards through our proper attitude and actions ordered by Allah the Almighty, and that we never do an act of throwing ourselves into ruin by doing something harmful or not complying with the instructions,” he said.

The MoRA has welcomed some new trends and charitable initiatives implemented by members of mosque Takmir committees, which can be beneficial and rewarding while mosques are still closed.

Takmir committee members of Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Mosque in Kampong Sungai Akar recently had an Al-Quran reading session through online. This initiative is commendable for people to do in their free time in each house while receiving rewards from Allah the Almighty.”

MoRA also welcomes the initiative made by religious scholars such as members of the Brunei Darussalam Rabitah International Al-Azhar Alumni, who delivered a short religious talk through social media.

Online Al-Quran classes are also welcomed by the ministry. Nadi Quranic Learning Centre and Al-Huffaz Management are offering Al-Quran classes as well as the Iqra and Tarannum classes of Al-Quran by the An-Naghom Group comprising several male Al-Quran readers and religious teachers.

The An-Naghom Group also took the initiative to recite Surah Yaasiin and Doa (supplication) to free the country and its people from calamity. It is aired live every Monday to Thursday at 8.30pm.

MoRA thanked 36 companies under the coordination of the Prime Minister’s Office, MoRA and the Ministry of Development that have come forward to clean mosques nationwide.

“Such contribution is very much appreciated and may Allah the Almighty reward such charity acts in this world and in the days in hereafter,” the minister said.

Similarly, MoRA also extended its appreciation to individuals, organisations and companies that have made contributions to mosques.