Muslims in Brunei will begin the Ramadhan dawn-to dusk fast on April 25, the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) announced.
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman in his capacity as President of MUIB announced the date for the beginning of the fast 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 announcement was aired over Radio Television Brunei (RTB) last night.
The bid to spot this year’s new moon of Ramadhan was carried out by judges from the Syariah Court with officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), State Mufti’s Office and Survey Department. The hilal (crescent) of the new moon was not sighted as confirmed by officials who were present at the DST Tower and Bukit Agok, Jerudong and Tanjung Batu, Pekan Muara in the Brunei-Muara District; Bukit Ambog in the Tutong District; and Bukit Lumut in the Belait District.
Among those present during the moonsighting event at the DST Tower was Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ar Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin.
In a separate event at the MoRA, Minister of Religious Affairs was joined by members of MUIB, Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar.
Fasting during Ramadhan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, the five daily prayers, the charity or alms giving (Zakat) and performing Haj pilgrimage.
Under Chapter 195 of the Syariah Penal Code Order, 2013, eateries caught serving diners during daytime will be prosecuted for disrespecting the holy month of Ramadhan.
Consuming food, drinking and smoking in public places during daylight hours are offences under the law, under which offenders can be prosecuted for disrespecting the fasting month of Ramadhan.