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Heart of tradition and unity

Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque. PHOTO: WONG KIONG

The profound significance of mosques in Islam.

The mosque, a fundamental institution in the Islamic faith, stands as the spiritual heart of Muslim communities worldwide. More than a mere place of worship, it represents a profound tapestry of traditions, a wellspring of solace, and a unifying symbol.

Understanding the mosque’s profound significance is to delve into the very essence of Islam. Here, the faithful convene in reverence, forging connections with the Divine and participating in age-old rituals.

Its importance transcends its role as a spiritual sanctuary; it acts as a nucleus for community cohesion, a cornerstone of Islamic culture and devotion, and a vital source of Islamic knowledge that strengthens bonds within the community.

To sustain these critical functions, support from all sectors of society, particularly the youth, is essential.

The mosque serves as a central hub for communal prayers, fostering connections between mosque committees and worshippers.

Additionally, it functions as an educational institution, offering a diverse array of Islamic studies accessible to individuals of all ages and diverse backgrounds within the Muslim community.

In enhancing leadership within the religious community, the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) has recently launched the Leadership and Glorifying Mosque programme in partnership with the Mosque Affairs Department, as part of their collaborative efforts.

The programme is coordinated by the Core Knowledge Centre, aiming to empower individuals and promote excellence in mosque-related activities.

As articulated by Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan during the programme’s inauguration, he placed great emphasis on the crucial role of morally upright and ethically grounded ‘Rabbani youth’ in the advancement of civilisation.

“It is important to underscore that ‘Rabbani’ signifies guiding individuals towards a life blessed by Allah the Almighty,” said the deputy minister.

In reference to these individuals, Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim said this involves aligning their morals with the teachings of Al-Quran and Al-Hadith, ensuring unwavering adherence to Allah the Almighty’s commandments.

“While contemporary formal education undeniably plays a crucial role in the development of Rabbani youth, it’s equally important not to underestimate the invaluable contribution of mosques in this regard,” he added.

The mosque, extending its role beyond religious functions, serves as a vibrant hub for a wide array of community and national activities. In doing so, it significantly contributes to the development of human capital and the advancement of Islamic civilisation.

In the face of numerous challenges prevalent in today’s world, it becomes increasingly imperative to engage the youth in programmes designed to elevate and exalt the significance of the mosque.

“The energy and potential of our youth can be nurtured and channelled to transform them into exemplary individuals, invaluable assets to our nation and the driving force behind the resurgence of Islamic values, thus fortifying our community,” highlighted the deputy minister.

To accomplish this goal, mosque authorities must prioritise the development of innovative approaches to involve the youth actively in mosque-sponsored initiatives.

Effective engagement can be achieved through partnerships with associations, organisations and targeted groups, all while infusing these activities with meaningful spiritual content to reinforce religious values among the younger generation.

In addition, continuous enhancement of mosque management skills is essential, and this can be achieved through specialised courses conducted by experts, as recommended by the deputy minister.

Fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between mosque institutions and educational establishments holds vital importance.

This collaborative effort entails the creation of youth-centric activities that cater to their contemporary requirements, aiming to inspire their active involvement in congregational prayers.

Moreover, it encourages them to establish connections with fellow congregants and members of the mosque committee, as well as actively engage in various mosque initiatives.

Such an approach empowers students to play an active role in the advancement of the mosque, particularly during significant Islamic and national events.

Students enrolled in higher learning institutions constitute a substantial segment of the youth, and they hold a fundamental role in shaping the fabric of our society.

Within the Islamic framework, their active engagement in mosque activities becomes all the more significant as Islam underscores the preparation and nurturing of the young generation.

Their participation in these activities becomes a continuation of the rich Islamic culture passed down by earlier generations, including the Prophets and their Companions. Guiding these students toward a paradigm shift that aligns with the philosophy of the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) is not just beneficial; it’s indispensable for their personal development.

This alignment not only ensures their worldly happiness but also secures their eternal well-being in the hereafter.

This programme seamlessly aligns with the core mission of KUPU SB, a university-level institution with a strong focus on educational programmes, particularly in the realm of Islamic studies.

It was established with a clear goal in mind – to cultivate and produce competent human resources in Islamic education, further underscoring the importance of moulding a knowledgeable, practicing, and devout society and nation.

In doing so, it closely adheres to the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah of the Mazhab Shafi’e.

Simultaneously, it lends unequivocal support to the official status of Islam as the state religion and the concept of MIB, thus reinforcing the essential tenets that define the identity and values of our society and nation.

By embracing and participating in these programmes, higher learning institution students become torchbearers of this profound legacy, steering our collective journey towards enlightenment, growth, and spiritual fulfilment. – Rokiah Mahmud



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