| 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 yesterday consented to attend the first Friday prayer at Pehin Khatib Abdullah Mosque, the new mosque in Kg Kulapis, which is a Waqaf or personal endowment from anonymous family members.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel were also present.
His Majesty and other members of the royal family were greeted upon arrival by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman; senior government officials and villagers.
Upon arrival, His Majesty signed a plaque, followed by three times of ‘Takbir’ glorifying Allah the Almighty led by the Minister of Religious Affairs himself.
In the Friday sermon delivered by the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, he said one should not look at the size or the capacity of the mosque when donating for the place of worship as Allah the Almighty will build a house in heaven for those who help build.
The State Mufti also said that as of December 2016, close to $4 million was collected for the fund for mosque construction since its launch in June 2015.
“The amount excludes contributions from all public servants totalling to 60,000 officers and staff. The committee estimated that some 15 per cent of public servants or less have contributed to the mosque fund. Imagine if 80 to 90 per cent of public servants contribute, one would imagine the big amount that could have been collected,” said the State Mufti.
The establishment of the fund was mooted by His Majesty to bring Muslims in the country to invest in the days of the hereafter. Donation is on voluntary basis and not mandatory, the State Mufti added.
“We are optimistic that the fund is now more widely known and that contribution is strengthened through public servant wage cuts. Let us contribute to the mosque fund, regardless of whether the amount is small or big,” said the State Mufti. “But we must be sincere when making donations albeit in small amount. If the contribution is not sincere, then it is considered showing off what you’ve contributed to the public and meaningless.”
The mosque was built on a five-acre state land and its construction started on September 14, 2015. It was completed on May 1, 2017 and the handing over ceremony was on May 15, 2017. The mosque can accommodate around 700 worshippers. Facilities include separate prayer rooms for male and female congregants, Imam and Bilal (Imam assistance) room, kitchen, reading room, conference room, multipurpose room, parking space, toilet, separate ablution areas for male and female congregants as well as a mortuary.
It is hoped that the mosque would provide comfort to village residents to perform the obligatory prayers, Friday prayer and to conduct religious activities to spread Islamic teachings in the village and the nation as a whole.