It was a day of celebration for 292 graduates of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) as they received their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master’s Degree, Bachelor Degrees and Diplomas in various fields and disciplines from 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 Chancellor of UNISSA at the 10th Hafl At-Takharruj (convocation ceremony) yesterday.
The ceremony was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas. Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Pro-Chancellor of UNISSA.
Upon arrival, His Majesty and His Royal Highness were welcomed by Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman in his capacity as Chairman of UNISSA’s Council, 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 Deputy Chairman of UNISSA’s Council and Rector of UNISSA Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal.
The ceremony commenced with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned.
Upon entering the Plenary Hall, His Majesty was welcomed with Selawat and Qasidah ‘Ahlan Bikum Sultana’ performances. This year, the mace of the convocation featured UNISSA’s first handwritten Mushaf Al-Quran.
The ceremony continued with the recitation of Surah Al-Isra, Verses 78 to 80 by graduate in Bachelor of Science in Islamic Finance Awangku Muhamad Zul Iskandar bin Pengiran Zulkifli, while the interpretation was read by graduate of Bachelor of Law and Islamic Law Muhamad Hafiz bin Haji Hamzulani.
The Rector of UNISSA delivered his welcoming address and announced the recipients for UNISSA’s Medal and Book Prizes Awards and contributors for the 10th Half At-Takahrruj.
His Majesty then delivered a titah and presented certificates to eight PhD graduates, 44 Master’s Degree graduates, 13 Diploma in Islamic Law and Syar’ie Law graduates, nine Postgraduate Diploma graduates, 187 Bachelor’s Degree graduates and 31 Higher National Diploma in Syariah Criminal Justice System graduates.
Of those who graduated, 26 were international students from various countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Palestine, Singapore, Tajikistan and Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
This year also saw graduates of two new degrees introduced by UNISSA awarded.
Bachelor of Tahfiz and Qiraat was awarded to seven graduates while nine graduates received Bachelor of Science in Islamic Finance (BScIF) and Associate Qualification of Islamic Finance (AQIF) certificates.
One of UNISSA’s missions is to produce pious and excellent leaders who can contribute to the development of the Ummah through academic excellence, research and community services.
It is hoped that the graduates will continue to serve the community with Taqwa (pious), leadership, integrity, and excellence.
UNISSA’s progress will be more prominent after the completion of the its permanent campus in Mukim Labu, Temburong District, while at the same time help boost UNISSA’s reputation and realising the country’s hope to see it as a hub for higher Islamic education in the region.
Meanwhile, a Doa Selamat was read by the State Mufti to bless the ceremony.