Teaching Islam in Brunei needs to seek the authority’s approval

bru teachAk Khairuddin Pg Harun

STUDENTS should not be discouraged from teaching Islam to others, as they only need to seek approval from the relevant authority to do so, a speaker from the Islamic Da’wah Centre said recently.

Ustazah Dk Norhayati Pg Hj Kasharan acknowledged concerns that teaching Islam without written approval was one of the general offences listed under Section 229 of the Syariah Penal Code Order, the first phase of which will be implemented next month.

Addressing students on day two of the Fourth Islam Aspiration Week 2014, the speaker informed students that they can get written approval if they passed an interview with the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB).

“The reason the Brunei government has this order is to have a monitoring body to regulate the number of foreign Muslim lecturers who come to the country to deliver their teachings,” said Ustazah Dk Norhayati.

“The Syariah Penal Code Order is written to protect our aqidah (beliefs) as Brunei strictly adheres to the Mazhab Syafi’e school of Islamic Fiqh of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah,” she added.

Responding to a question posed by The Brunei Times, Ustazah Dk Norhayati said there were still some aspects of the order she was uncertain of, such as whether or not section 229 applied to those who utilise social media such as YouTube to convey their teachings.

“This issue should be better clarified by the Ministry of Religious Affairs or the Syariah Court.”

However, she assured the students that the written approval would allow them teach Islam to others through any platform.

“Therefore, if you want to teach Islam to the world by uploading your videos onto YouTube or any other form of public engagement, just pass the MUIB interview.”

She pointed out that acquiring written approval was simple and free, and that teaching Islam did not require a higher academic qualification.

Regardless of their background, those who are interested, inspired and motivated to teach Islam are encouraged to apply for the MUIB interview, she said.

“Just pass the interview, that’s all. No written test needed. It’s that simple.”

Another invited speaker, Ustaz Hj Hambali Hj Jaili spoke about how to apply the teachings of Al-Quran to daily life.

The Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPU SB) Usuluddin lecturer said a key aspect of faith was to pray to Allah SWT wholeheartedly.

This was underscored further by Ustaz Hj Mohd Khairul Nazif Hj Damit, a postgraduate student in Islamic Studies from Melbourne University.

The speaker reminded the audience to read Al-Quran slowly and thoughtfully as this would bring them closer to Allah SWT.

“Allah SWT will always be there with us when we read Al-Quran,” he said.

The week-long programme aimed at helping students understand the benefits of following the lifestyle of the Prophet and following the teachings of Al-Quran.

The Brunei Times
Thu, March 27, 2014

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