With the blessings and protection from Allah the Almighty, Brunei Darussalam is now living in the Endemic Phase and most activities have resumed under the new normal.
Parallel to current developments, Brunei Darussalam has firmly upheld the philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) and the aspiration to become a Zikir Nation.
At the same time, the Sultanate has placed itself in a state of remembering Allah the Almighty, which is to fulfil the purpose of Zikir so that Allah the Almighty will bless, protect and guide the country accordingly.
The Sultanate continuously carries out religious events, especially the recitation of Surah Yaasiin and Selawat Tafrijiyyah, to further shield the nation from the devastation caused by the virus.
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 also reminds his subjects to constantly recite the Doa or supplication and to be on track in terms of pious practices.
On April 20, the monarch joined hundreds of congregants in the inaugural nationwide Selawat Tafrijiyyah recitation ceremony.
The inaugural ceremony was an effort to obtain a “divine vaccine” against disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic by gaining blessings from Allah the Almighty.
In a titah chairing the meeting of COVID-19 Steering Committee at Istana Nurul Iman in March this year, His Majesty noted that there are two SOPs – normal and religious, both of which should be are of importance.
Towards the effort to further provide an understandingsof divine vaccine and religious standard operating procedures (SOPs) in dealing with pandemics from modern and Syariah medical perspective, the Divine Vaccine Education Seminar and Religious SOP was held in June in conjunction with Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (Brunei MYCE 2022).
The seminar aimed to motivate people to always practise it and believe in the effectiveness of divine vaccine as well as by practising religious SOP. During the seminar, it was shared that society ought to recite Doa or supplication, Zikir and communicate with Allah the Almighty, and that by doing these religious practices will eventually provide transcendental strength to bring about peace of mind to direct us away from the fears and anxieties.
The divine vaccine is a series of rituals that can lead to calmness of the heart and mind, such as the recitation of Doa Qunut Nazilah and Surah Yaasiin as well as the reading of Al-Quran.
At the same time, the understanding of religious SOPs need to be broadened especially in ensuring good health in accordance with Maqasid Syariah.
For this reason, the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) holds a weekly religious ceremony every Saturday, dubbed as the Munajat night by inviting members of the public to get closer to Allah the Almighty, repent and seek forgiveness to spare the people of Brunei Darussalam and nation from the worst of COVID-19.
The Munajat night which is held virtually, also gathers people to recite Sayyidul Istighfar, recitation of Surah Yaasiin, Zikir, Selawat, Asmaa Ul-Husna and Doa to prevent from COVID-19 infections.
At the same time, the people are urged to be vigilant in the fight against COVID-19, pray for remedy and seek guidance that the Sultanate is protected and under the blessings of Allah the Almighty.
Meanwhile, during the recent ‘Divine Vaccine Education Seminar and Religious SOP’, Deputy State Mufti Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Japar bin Haji Mat Dain @ Maidin said that initiatives need to be made in together inviting the community to incorporate Islamic teachings into their daily lives. This will ensure peace and tranquillity will also be enjoyed by generations to come.
The deputy state mufti explained that divine vaccine is a religious practice – Doa or supplication, recitation of Zikir, Selawat, Istighfar, reading of Al-Quran – all of which have been conducted during the high and low times of COVID-19 and consequently have their own strength in repelling disasters or calamities.
“Divine vaccine is vital in facing the COVID-19 challenges; in fact, it is helping us realise our goal of becoming a Zikir Nation. For this, the Sultanate requires its people to stand strong by Allah the Almighty, so that He would continue to bless and watch over us,” said the deputy state mufti.
“As subjects of the country, it is required for us to remain obedient and refrain from engaging in all that is prohibited by Allah the Almighty. Eventually, this will bring us a blessed, peaceful and harmonious life full of rahmat (blessings) from Allah the Almighty,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Japar added.
Progress was shown as the country moved from the Early Endemic Phase to the Endemic Phase.
The COVID-19 Steering Committee announced that the Early Endemic Phase under the National COVID-19 Recovery Framework ended on May 31.
During the announcement, it was stated that there would be no age restrictions for all congregations at mosques to perform Friday prayers as well as five-time daily prayers.
As such, children below the age of 12 are now allowed to attend, while the requirement of bringing personal prayer mats has been maintained.
In addition, the Mosque Affairs Department at the MoRA in June announced the re-opening of Al-Quran and Muqaddam classes every Friday at mosques, suraus and religious halls nationwide after a halt due to the second COVID-19 wave.