BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
IT WAS really heartening to see a Bruneian youth performing a prayer humbly and serenely at the Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque recently. What was even more special about this young man was that he was promoting Solat and calling on others to perform prayers as his shirt had the words “Jom Solat!” printed on the back.
It’s not every day that we can find someone, especially a youth, who is proud to be an obedient and practising slave of Allah — proud of Islam and proud to be Muslim. More importantly, it reminds others not to forget and to immediately establish prayers.
It was also encouraging to read a story a few days ago about youths being enthusiastic about taking part in an extra-curricular activity held by a mosque youth association. To the organiser’s surprise, there were 300 youths applying for the three-day programme, while they were only able to accommodate 81 participants.
“It was a bit of a surprise to us, especially being the school holidays; I actually expected people to travel overseas, but the participation was beyond our expectations. All we did was stick posters at the mosque and use social media to advertise the camp,” said one of the coordinators.
Indeed, it’s not easy to get people, especially youths, to have their hearts and minds attached to the House of Allah. We are pleased to see our youths always try their best to stay close to the mosque, which Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) made not only as a place for prayers but also a place for socialization, a place for da’wah, a place for celebration, a place for meetings and deliberation, a place for medical care, and a place for education.
InsyaAllah, by the grace of Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala, by having their hearts and minds attached to the mosque, our youth will also love performing prayers in congregation, doing i’tikaf, reading and learning the Quran, etc.
The youths, aged between 16 and 21, took part in hands-on activities designed and conducted to ensure that all participants truly understood aspects of the Quran and Islam such as their iman (faith) along with mass prayers, qiyamullail (tahajjud or night prayers), Quran recitals and motivational talks by invited guest speakers.
True to its name “Ash-Shaliheen Camp”, the activity was aimed at helping the youths become “righteous people”. The association said it wants to conduct the camp on an annual basis in the hope of helping achieve the objective of shaping the future generation to become righteous leaders and active in promoting and working to achieve the vision of a “Negara Zikir”.
Themed “Ini Pilihanku” (“This is my choice”), the objective of the camp was to instill an ardent love and pleasure in doing religious activities and fulfilling religious responsibilities and a higher sense of obedience towards Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.
All of this hopefully will help transform them into a better Muslim generation who will never abandon their solat. Solat is the most important pillar of Islam. It was in fact the first religious duty prescribed on every single prophet from Adam to Muhammad, second only to testifying to the Oneness of Allah. Allah says: “Solat, indeed, is a duty enjoined upon the faithful at the appointed times.” (An-Nisa’: 103). The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sllam) further narrates in a hadith Qudsi: “Allah said: ‘The covenant between Us and them is Solat; so whoever establishes it, establishes religion; whoever undermines it, undermines religion’.”
Prayer is an act of worship. As with all acts of worship, it is an act of obedience, an act of reverence, an act of surrender and an act of submission. In fact, the dignity of a believer is in their absolute submission to their Creator and no one else.
God does not need our worship; it is we who need Him. Prayer is – or should be – of benefit to us.
Prayer helps people avoid profanity and sins and helps uproot evil from their souls. Prayers must be performed with complete khushu’ (concentration) and recited with sincerity to Almighty Allah. However, if someone does not have khushu’ during their prayers, their prayers will not be invalidated, although their reward will be reduced. Hence, Muslims should try their best to avoid any distractions as much as they can during their prayers and focus their concentration.
Performing the prayer is a command of Allah. Prayer is not an option; it is obligatory. It is not once or a few times a week but must be performed five times a day. All the Prophets of Almighty Allah merely told their people to pray; Islam, however, made it a very essential part of religion.
In prayer, Muslims stand together without any distinction between race, colour, financial status or political position. Those who perform prayers in congregation regularly do learn the concepts of equality, solidarity and brotherhood. Prayer in congregation is performed behind an imam whom everyone has to follow. This teaches them discipline, order and organisation. Moreover, if the imam makes any mistake, any person can correct him. Indeed, this is a clear sign of democracy.
Let us pray regularly and in the best way so that the benefits and beauty of prayer may reflect in our lives. May Allah shower us all with His mercy and help us to remain steadfast in His religion. Aamiin
The Brunei Times/Editorial
Friday, December 12, 2014
Bruneian youths attending a masjid camp programme. Photo: BT