INSHAA Allah, today, by the Grace of Allah, we will start a momentous episode in the long history of Negara Brunei Darussalam, marking its full sovereignty over its legal affairs — the right to enforce the laws prescribed by the Almighty within the jurisdiction defined in the already gazetted Syariah Penal Code that is based on the commandments of the All-Knowing, All-Wise and All-Just.
Today marks the first phase of enforcement of the Code — gazetted in October last year — that covers all offences under Part IV Chapter IV that are punishable only by Fine or Imprisonment, or both. The second phase, which will be enforced one year after the Syariah Courts Criminal Procedure Code is gazetted, will cover all offences under Part IV Chapter I, II, and III that are punishable by Hadd, Qisas, Diyat, Badal-Al-Sulh or Arsy except offences punishable by Death. The third phase, which is the full enforcement of the Code including offences punishable by Death, will begin two years after it is gazetted.
It is under His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s wise and determined leadership that the country took the giant step to reinstate the ever relevant Islamic penal code that historically had been enforced in this country and had been its bedrock for centuries as a Malay-Muslim Sultanate.
We have to thank Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for allowing us, the nation, to come even closer to Islam as a complete way of living by giving us a chance, honour and responsibility to uphold the best and most perfect judicial system Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has bestowed upon mankind. It is, therefore, unacceptable and illogical for anyone from any quarters to demand or pressure the country to cancel or delay the enforcement of the code, or perhaps to re-surrender legal sovereignty by offering extra-territoriality beyond the limitations of international rule, and preposterously expect us to continue with a historically foreign imposed set of laws that are non-divine in origin for some or for all within the country’s jurisdiction or borders, or for us to disregard the commandments of the Almighty. Such a capitulation, again, would be calamitous here, and may be a cause of absolute compunction in the hereafter.
It is an impossibility now for Negara Brunei Darussalam to succumb again to any pressure or move to undermine any facet of its sovereignty by whatever means, especially so in this particular matter for it is directly linked to the Right of the Almighty as the Law Giver, a fact that Muslims submit to, as exemplified by His Majesty wholeheartedly. No person, group or organisation should expect or demand us to abandon the Almighty’s commandments by submitting ourselves to so-called rights and values that are not based on constants but on relativism, or rather whims, fancies and expediencies that change with time, although it is a given that the base nature or disposition of human beings does not change but remain the same over time throughout the different stages of their material development.
As such, whatever happens, it is impossible for us to change course, especially now, after we have found the true path, the path that would lead us to a better life here in this world and to an eternal life full of happiness later in the hereafter, as promised by Allah the All-Knowing and All-Hearing.
We all know that some parties, both from within and outside the country, have tried to negate the country’s decision to uphold Islamic laws and voiced criticisms fused by their lack of knowledge and correct understanding of Islam and the Syariah.
Some go as far as comparing Negara Brunei Darussalam to other Muslim countries in their effort to pressure us to delay the planned enforcement, to review the laws and comply totally with deficient or inadequate international human-set standards. Who are we to compete with Allah’s laws? Who are we to think that we can be more merciful than Allah? Who are we to claim to be better protectors of human rights than Allah, who is the best Protector, the Creator and Owner of this universe? Can we be more concerned about such rights than the Almighty? These are fundamental questions that detractors need to honestly and logically answer before they could even begin to think that they have the right to question our duty to uphold and implement the laws mandated upon us by our Creator.
As His Majesty has reminded us, Muslims should not just pay lip service to protecting human rights. The laws of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is neither obsolete nor cruel. Those who look at it in negative ways are those who are ignorant or ill-informed and have never understood Islam at all. If they know and understand the religion objectively, they would not view Islam in such a manner.
“Upholding the laws of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is not the work of evil people but the opposite, because Allah’s laws, in its entirety, is for all of His creations. If people are looking for justice they will find it in the laws of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), and if they are looking for mercy or humanity in the laws, there they will find what they are looking for,” said His Majesty.
Ask the international mainstream media and NGOs that have criticised our Syariah laws: What can you do to arrest the gradual disintegration of, or solve the problem of a worldwide decline in, moral standards?
To those so-called international champions of human rights, we ask: Have the standards that you peddled and which were sourced through a concoction that gave precedence to human impulses that were historically thrust through might that is still being misconstrued as right, brought judicious security to human lives, in all aspects and at every level and dimensions, thus far?
Notwithstanding the above, and with the country’s strong determination in implementing Islam as a complete way of life to answer the above question, we pray that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) strengthens us all until the very end. We ask Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) to make us persistent (istiqomah) in the struggle that we may have to endure whilst on this path. But by treading that path through the adoption of Islamic laws, we are invoking Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for greater blessings upon the country and us all, and that is the best course of action for those genuinely concerned about the Rights of the Creator, and the rights of humans and other creations.
We seek the refuge of Allah the Exalted from the accursed devils, and in the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, we welcome the enforcement of the Syariah Penal Code, which by the Grace and Will of Allah, will give us all security and sanctify our existence and the purpose of our lives.
O Allah! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people. Aamiin.
The Brunei Times/Editorial
Wednesday, April 30, 2014