The current and future generations of religious scholars from Al-Azhar University, Egypt (the al-Azhariun) in particular, must ensure that the continuity of Islam remains relevant in the nation and in highly exalted position, supports the ruler and monarchial government leadership that is fair and in fulfilling the aspirations and determination of independence.
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman said this at the International Al-Azhar Alumni Brunei Darussalam online conference in commemoration of World Al-Azhar Day at Rimba Arabic School yesterday.
The minister who is also the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of International Al-Azhar Alumni for Brunei Darussalam, added that the proclamation of independence states the need to forever uphold Brunei Darussalam as a Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) nation that is independent, sovereign and democratic based on Islamic teachings according to Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, and based on justice, trust and freedom; with the guidance and blessings of Allah the Almighty, through the goals of such a nation will always strive to acquire peace and security, welfare and happiness of the people.
In addition, the proclamation of independence also highlighted the need to preserve friendly relations among the international community on the basis of respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of all countries and free from foreign interference.
The minister also said, “The determination of organising the conference virtually proves that the al-Azhariun in particular and our religious circles in general are easy to adapt to in any atmosphere. With that, the torch of Islam, which is the knowledge trust of Al-Azhar, is still able to bring it to the audience of the Ummah in particular and society in general. We are the holders of tradition and knowledge trust and at the same time the bearers of the Islamic torch to our monarchical nation.”
Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin added that the predecessor of al-Azhariun generation in the 60’s and 70’s had prudently portrayed a progressive image of Islam.
“They reconciled Islam with the realities of an evolving society and government. So with the acceptance and good response of the monarchial government in the previous eras, the people and the country now enjoy its progress in all areas of development and religion is not left behind.
“That is how the current and future generations of al-Azhariun should be. They are the next generation that has more potential to better highlight Islam and its relevance in the future pathway of the country and its people that is moving to achieve the balanced progress through the national Vision 2035 and beyond,” he said.
The seventh of Ramadhan is the World al-Azhar al-Syarif Day that is celebrated annually by alumni of International Al-Azhar globally including Brunei Darussalam.
The conference saw the presentation of papers from three regional nations chaired by the Ra’es of alumni of International Al-Azhar Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Yussof and speakers comprising president of alumni from Indonesia Dr K H Tgh Dr Muhammad Zainul Majdi; Professor Dato’ Dr Mohd Fakhruddin Abdul Mukti as well as representative of international alumni from Thailand Karom Lateefee.
The meet aimed at further strengthening unity among Al-Azhar alumni at the regional and international levels, exchanging ideas as well as formulating cooperation in numerous fields – Dakwah (Islamic propagation); society; intellectual; and education.
The meet also provided a platform for discussion among local and foreign scholars who are authoritative on the role of Al-Azhar University in spreading the true teachings of Islam.