His Majesty praises people’s efforts to control COVID-19

Azlan Othman

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 expressed pleasure that Bruneians are complying with the rules and regulations amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In delivering his titah on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, His Majesty said, “Muslims everywhere are celebrating Hari Raya, and we in Brunei Darussalam are no exception.

“Normally, the celebrations begin with Sunnat Aidilfitri prayers at mosques, religious halls or suraus. This year marks the very first time that the tradition will not be observed, as we are still living with the threat of the coronavirus.

“Similarly, the open house tradition will not take place, in keeping with the safety guidelines. Still, this does not completely diminish the spirit and meaning of Hari Raya.

“The occasion can still be embraced by reciting the Takbir Hari Raya (praising Allah the Almighty) and performing the Sunnat Hari Raya prayer. The prayer cannot be held at places of worship in the usual manner, but it can still be performed within the confines of our homes with our families.

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 delivers the titah. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

“We can still continue to perform acts of piety by reciting Al-Quran and performing six days of fasting in the month of Syawal, which brings multiple rewards.”

“We may not be able to shake hands in greeting one another, but there are other means of communication. Is this not an opportunity for us to foster ties and connect with family members and friends in conveying Hari Raya greetings and asking for forgiveness?

“Not only can we hear their voices, but we can also communicate through video conferencing and video chats in lieu of physical meetings.

“In accordance with the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, the Hari Raya festivities can still be held with close family members, such as our children, siblings and parents. Large families will need to adhere to the set guidelines for gatherings, which is 20-30 people at a given time.

“In extended families, their visits can be arranged into schedules and by taking turns to avoid the prohibited number of people within a gathering.

“There is no question that we are all affected by the current situation. The Istana will not be open to the public as usual, but my family and I will keep the citizens and residents of this country in our hearts.

“My family and I also extend our heartfelt wishes for a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to everyone. May you all be blessed with good health and prosperity under the protection of Allah the Almighty.

“In the current situation, nothing is more meaningful than cultivating patience, for ‘Patience is the palace of faith’. Those who are patient are loved by Allah the Almighty. As stated in Verse 146 of Surah Ali Imran: ‘Allah loves the patient ones.’

“Among the signs of patience is our readiness to comply with the regulations, unlike some places where they treated the rules with contempt.”

In concluding the titah, His Majesty said, “It pleases me to see my subjects abiding by the laws and regulations. Only by this, Insya Allah, the people and the nation can continue to enjoy lasting peace and prosperity.”