Be compassionate, love your parents: Friday sermon

IMAMS yesterday warned congregants not to mistreat their parents or to take advantage of them as parents should be shown respect and affection by their children.

“What’s saddening is that there are some people who solicit money or use their parents’ old-age pension for their own family’s expenses, although that pension (provided by the government) is their parents’ only hope (to be used) for spending if the parents have no other source of income,” said imams in the sermon yesterday.

There are also parents, despite their advancing age, who are ordered to look after the grandchildren, imams said.

Imams added that majority of parents keep hide their feelings to prevent conflicts and being neglected by their own children.

“Parents need care and attention but because of the love for their children, they are willing to take the entire burden and bottle up their feelings.”

The sermon urged Muslims nationwide to fulfil their responsibilities toward their parents by showering them with love and affection and keeping their parents happy.

The sermon added that there are various ways to honour our parents which include speaking and addressing them politely and respectfully, fulfilling their wishes (as long as it does not go against Islam) and most importantly, praying for their wellbeing.

Imams also said that it is the duty of every children to take care of the elders’ needs and welfare and giving their parents financial support as many may no longer be able to sustain themselves in their advancing age.

“In a situation like this, as children we need to be patient in dealing with our parents’ behaviours. Do not lose your temper and patience easily as this will only devastate or hurt them,” imams said in the sermon yesterday.

“This is clearly narrated by Ibnu Umar who said, ‘causing parents to shed tears is among the disloyal (derhaka) and most sinful of acts’.”

Imams advised Muslims to refrain from abandoning their parents due to worldly affairs that keep them busy and causing them to neglect in caring for their own parents.

“Keep in mind that abandoning our parents is prohibited that should be avoided,” warned imams.

The Brunei Times

Saturday, 15 October 2016




‘Religious differences should not harm unity’: Indonesian Muslim Scholar


INTERFAITH cooperation is the way forward in maintaining unity among ASEAN member states and protecting their people from being drawn into radicalisation and violent extremism, a visiting Indonesian religious leader said.

Kyai Hj Hasyim Muzadi (pictured), a member of Indonesia’s Presidential Advisory Board, said ASEAN member states need to understand that they have people practising different religions in their countries.

“Differences in religious beliefs should not harm the unity and humanity,” he told reporters on the sidelines of his visit here yesterday.

KH Hasyim Muzadi

KH Hasyim Muzadi

The religious leader had earlier this week met His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

He said ASEAN should set a good example of promoting common understanding among people with different religious backgrounds.

To combat terrorism, he said ASEAN countries should promote “moderate thoughts of Islam, and put the religion in its place”.

“ASEAN should combat terrorism through moderation, not fundamentalism, not liberalism because moderation is the balance between faith and tolerance,” he said.

“If we have faith without tolerance, we will head towards fundamentalism and radicalism. If we radicalise religion, we will probably lose our faith and integrity in Islam or in other religions,” he added.

Kyai also spoke on the importance of building unity in diversity and putting into practice the rule of law.

“Each country in ASEAN must safeguard their people (against radicalisation and violent extremism) by putting into practice the rules and unity in the respective nation, such unity will subsequently be implemented together in the region as a whole,” he said.

Kyai said the real threat in connection to extremism includes an influx of thoughts that did not originate from Southeast Asia, but from other regions such as the Middle East or Europe.

“When such thoughts spread in the ASEAN region, what they bring in is not their religious faith or rituals but their political system and political situation from their country of origin,” he added.

The cleric also spoke on the importance of building unity in diversity and putting into practice the rule of law.

Earlier this month, the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism was held in Kuala Lumpur, in view of the security threats terrorist groups pose.

The Brunei Times

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Treat parents with respect and kindness: imams

Abdul Aziz Ismail

THE importance of caring for parents with respect and kindness was highlighted in the sermon yesterday.

Imams advised the public to remember the struggles and sacrifices made by parents in raising them.

“A mother has to undergo tremendous pain and hardship right from the time the child is cared for in her womb till the moment of childbirth,” the imams said.

It is the responsibility of parents to provide their children with the basic needs including education. These sacrifices must be repaid by carrying out the commands of Allah SWT as stated in the Quran, to serve parents and to obey orders that are not against the teachings of Islam.

Children should strive in their parents’ service while demonstrating humility and tenderness. When they are older, they should start providing parents their general needs, ensure their good health, and also pray for their forgiveness. Causing grief towards their parents, that would lead them to shed tears of sadness is a major sin.

“The status of parents in Islam is secondary only to that of obedience to Allah SWT and His Messenger” the imams said, therefore Allah SWT’s view of the children corresponds with the parent’s view. Following the death of a parent, children are advised to provide proper final rites in accordance with the Islamic law, and constantly pray for them.

The Brunei Times
Saturday, November 29, 2014


Let’s make the most of Ramadhan, prepare for the victory

gaza children

INSYAALLAH, within a few more days (depending on the moonsighting), we will bid farewell to the blessed month of Ramadhan, its beautiful days and fragrant nights.

The noble month, in which there’s one night that is better than a thousand months, will leave us. And, no one knows whether one will meet again with the month full of maghfirah (Allah’s forgiveness) and (blessing) next year. We are about to say goodbye to the month of the Quran, taqwa, patience, jihad, mercy, forgiveness and freedom from hellfire.

How we fulfilled the requirement of taqwa (god-fearing) and graduated from the Ramadhan training camp with the certificate of taqwa? Have we fought our souls and desires and defeated them, or have we been overtaken by our habits or customs and blind imitations? Have we performed our actions in a way that fulfil the condition for receiving mercy and release from the Fire?

Many questions and numerous thoughts come to the hearts of the true Muslims, who ask and answer with truthfulness.

Ramadhan is a school of iman and a stop to recharge one’s spiritual batteries – to acquire one’s provision for the rest of the year.

The noble month is a true school of transformation in which we change our actions, habits and manners that are in variance with the law of Allah azza wa jalla. “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:11)

We have been through numerous Ramadhans in our lives but we might make only a small improvement in the quality of our faith, piety and acts of worship.

If we still live with our old bad habits, let’s take the best advantage of the remaining few days of this Ramadhan to reap all the benefits the Almighty Allah has promised for those who are serious with the aim of the mankind’s creation: to worship the Creator the Sustainer.

If we don’t want to be losers in this life, we must be able to make this Ramadhan the best platform or avenue to change for the better, to live the true Islamc life.

Indeed, the luckiest among us are those who are today better than they were yesterday; loosing those who are today are just the same as they were yesterday, but, doom to those who are today worse than they were yesterday.

As Ramadhan leaves us, we will welcome Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, one of two main festivals of Islam and is celebrated by all Muslims throughout the world. Aidil Fitri is the day of boons and blessings for all fasting Muslims, as they are promised a great reward by Almighty Allah for their righteous observance of the fast.

At the end of Ramadhan, Muslims express their gratitude to Allah, who enabled them to observe the fast and, at the same time, granted them abundant provision during this blessed month. Therefore, Aidil Fitri is a day of joy, acts of worship, thanksgiving to Allah, cooperation, solidarity, brotherhood, unity, and spiritual provision.

During Ramadhan, Allah puts us through a test. And, at the end of the month there is a great sense of achievement, of coming closer to the Almighty. It is the joy of spiritual fulfillment. So, it is a time for celebration, not a time to indulge in insulting or abusing others or detracting from the achievements of the month; it must be a day of real happiness and joy.

However, Aidil Fitri is not simply a matter of celebration and joy. It is also a chance to share the feelings of those around us. That is why the sacrifice is offered and shared with friends, even with non-Muslims. There is no law that stops us from sharing gifts with those of our neighbours who are non-Muslim. Charity is very important and meritorious on the two Hari Raya (Aidil Fitri and Aidil Adha). It is an affirmation of our responsibility to the community in which we are living.

Let’s also use this moment to ponder and share the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, especially in Gaza, who are now living under the barbaric and inhumane persecution by the Zionist Israel.

Only people without heart and conscience who won’t be crying to see their suffferings? We can celebrate the victory day of Aidil Fitri with joy and happiness, while there in the heavily blockaded Gaza, the largest prison camp on Earth, our brothers and sisters are living a very life.

They are facing a very hard and difficult situation under the brutal millitary actions by the modern world’s coloniser and sophisticated apartheid of the Zionists. Living with very limited resources, our brothers and sisters are losing their loved ones and properties.

May Allah hasten His help for the Palestinians and punish the Zionist Israel with the heaviest punishment. Aamiin.

The Brunei Times/Editorial
Friday, July 25, 2014

Israel’s shameful injustice in Gaza

Gaza-children-mourn-dead-baby-1114121Seumas Milne

For the third time in five years, the world’s fourth largest military power has launched a full-scale armed onslaught on one of its most deprived and overcrowded territories. Since Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip began, just over a week ago, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed. Nearly 80% of the dead are civilians, over 20% of them children.

Around 1,400 have been wounded and 1,255 Palestinian homes destroyed. So far, Palestinian fire has killed one Israeli on the other side of the barrier that makes blockaded Gaza the world’s largest open-air prison.

But instead of demanding a halt to Israel’s campaign of collective punishment against what is still illegally occupied territory, the western powers have blamed the victims for fighting back. If it weren’t for Hamas’s rockets fired out of Gaza’s giant holding pen, they insist, all of this bloodletting would end.

gaza girl cry“No country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Barack Obama declared, echoed by a mostly pliant media. Perhaps it’s scarcely surprising that states which have themselves invaded and occupied a string of Arab and Muslim countries in the past decade should take the side of another occupier they fund and arm to the hilt.

But the idea that Israel is responding to a hail of rockets out of a clear blue sky takes “narrative framing” beyond the realm of fantasy. In fact, after the deal that ended Israel’s last assault on Gaza in 2012, rocketing from Gaza fell to its lowest level for 12 years.

The latest violence is supposed to have been triggered by the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank in June, for which Hamas denied responsibility. But its origin clearly lies in the collapse of US-sponsored negotiations for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the spring.

That was followed by the formation of a “national reconciliation” government by the Fatah and Hamas movements, whose division has been a mainstay of Israeli and US policy. Israeli incursions and killings were then stepped up, including attacks on Palestinian civilians by armed West Bank settlers. In May, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by the Israeli army with barely a flicker of interest outside the country.

It’s now clear the Israeli government knew from the start that its own kidnapped teenagers had been killed within hours. But the news was suppressed while a #BringBackOurBoys campaign was drummed up and a sweeping crackdown launched against Hamas throughout the West Bank.

Over 500 activists were arrested and more than half a dozen killed – along with a Palestinian teenager burned to death by settlers. Binyamin Netanyahu’s aim was evidently to signal that whatever deal Hamas had signed with Mahmoud Abbas would never be accepted by Israel.

Gaza had nothing to do with the kidnapping, but Israeli attacks were also launched on the strip and Hamas activists killed. It was those killings and the West Bank campaign that led to Hamas resuming its rocket attacks – and in turn to Israel’s devastating bombardment.

Hamas is now blamed for refusing to accept a ceasefire plan cooked up by Netanyahu and his ally, the Egyptian President Sisi, who overthrew Hamas’s sister organisation the Muslim Brotherhood last year and has since tightened the eight-year siege of Gaza.

But having already suffered so much, many Gazans believe no further truce should be agreed without the lifting of the illegal blockade which has reduced the strip to hunger and beggary and effectively imprisoned its population.

As the independent Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti puts it, the Egyptian proposal was a “game” Israel will now use to escalate the war. Some sense of what can now be expected was given by the Israeli reserve major general Oren Shachor, who explained: “If we kill their families, that will frighten them.”

The idea that Israel is defending itself against unprovoked attacks from outside its borders is an absurdity. Despite Israel’s withdrawal of settlements and bases in 2005, Gaza remains occupied both in reality and international law, its border, coastal waters, resources, airspace and power supply controlled by Israel.

So the Palestinians of Gaza are an occupied people, like those in the West Bank, who have the right to resist, by force if they choose – though not deliberately to target civilians. But Israel does not have a right of self-defence over territories it illegally occupies – it has an obligation to withdraw. That occupation, underpinned by the US and its allies, is now entering its 48th year. Most of the 1.8 million Palestinians enduring continuous bombardment in Gaza are themselves refugees or their descendants, who were driven out or fled from cities such as Jaffa 66 years ago when Israel was established.

gaza-childIt can’t seriously be argued that Israel’s refusal to withdraw from the rump of the territory on which the United Nations voted to establish a Palestinian state in 1947 is because of rocket fire. It was after all during the period of quiescence over the past year that the Israeli government rejected the US plan for even a figleaf of a two-state solution – and stepped up illegal colonisation. As Netanyahu made clear this week, there cannot be “any agreement in which we relinquish security control” of the West Bank.

So we’re left with a one-state solution, operated on ethnically segregated apartheid-style lines, in which a large section of the population has no say in who rules over them, indefinitely. But it’s folly to imagine that this shameful injustice will continue without an escalating cost for those who enforce it.

Palestinian resistance is often criticised as futile given the grotesque power imbalance between the two sides. But Hamas, which attracts support more for its defiance than its Islamism, has been strengthened by the events of the past week, as it has shown it can hit back across Israel – while Abbas, dependent on an imploded “peace process”, has been weakened still further.

The conflict’s eruptions are certainly coming thicker and faster. Despite heroic Israeli efforts to fix the narrative, global opinion has never been more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. But the brutal reality is that there will be no end to Israel’s occupation until Palestinians and their supporters are able to raise its price to the occupier, in one way or another – and change the balance of power on the ground.

The Guardian
Wed, 16 July 2014

gaza dont kill

Where’s rights champion when Israel kills Gaza children?


IT IS heartening to see Bruneian Muslims flocking to mosques and prayer halls throughout the country on Mon-day, July 14, 2014, to pray for the safety and protection of the Palestinians, especially those in the blockaded and bombarded Gaza. People from all walks of life, from children to elderly, thronged the mosques for the special mass prayers for the plight of the Palestinians in response to the call from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

Muslims in the other parts of the world also performed prayers for the Palestinians and took to the streets to protest and condemn the brutal aggression of Zionist Israel. Protests were also staged by people of other religions in non-Muslim countries: a proof that people who truly have hearts and conscience are against the inhumane and barbaric acts of the Zionist Israel. If you don’t cry seeing the drama showing the innocent face of children, women and elderly people killed and homes razed to the ground by the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, there must be something wrong with your heart. At least 224 people, two-third of them civilians and most were children and women, and more than 1,500 injured until yesterday.

With utmost honesty and sincerity, we must salute the Palestinians, especially the Gazans, for their steadfastness and determination in resisting and fighting persecution by the Zionist Israel and their full confidence towards Allah the Almighty’s love and protection. Gazans have shown the world they are the toughest and bravest human beings on Earth.

They have been living under extreme hardship under the inhumane blockade by the Zionist government of Israel. In the middle of this fasting month of Ramadhan, the Zionists with their state of the art weapons, fighter jets and war machines launched strikes after strikes against people armed only with stones, mediocre arms and ineffective rockets. Gaza has no planes, no tanks, no latest technologies, no guided missiles, but, for sure, they have Allah’s protection.

Israel’s military has intentionally targeted civilians, especially children, in a war they claimed to defend themselves from the people they have been colonising for decades. Houses, schools and public facilities were destroyed in strikes they said to demilitarise Hamas. Hospitals are short of medicines and other supplies due to the blockade, which has got even worse with Egypt closing the Rafah border crossing, the only gate to the outside world.

We strongly condemned the Zionist Israel’s persecution, practice of apartheid system and attacks on the Palestinians. We are also deeply concerned with the deaths the Zionist military has caused on Gazans. Israel might think that the massacre would crush the fighting spirit of the Palestinians. No! It was a big mistake. They would only awaken the people they tried to crush. They would only invite a more massive resistance that sends the ghost of fear to the Israelis. By using more sophisticated wea-pons, the Zionist Israel, actually, only display their fear of the Palestinian fighters.

The more they attack Gazans, the bigger their spirit becomes. Death is something feared by the Israelis, but for Muslims in general and the Gazans in particular, dying in jihad, war against the enemy of Islam, will only make them syahid (martyr), the best death which true Muslims dream of.

Allah says in Al-Quran: “And say not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah, ‘They are dead.’ Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not.” (Al-Baqarah 154), and “Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve.” (Ali Imran 169-170)

We need to clarify that Islam does not sanction waging war against the People of the Book as long as they do not stage aggression against Muslims or occupy their lands. But whenever any Muslim land is occupied by an enemy, just as the case with Palestine occupied by the Zionists who spread torture and violence on earth against the original inhabitants of the land, Muslims and Christians, rampaging through houses, raping women and killing innocent children, Jihad in this case becomes individually obligatory (Fardu `Ain) for all Muslims living in the occupied land, as well as for Muslims very close to them, to regain the land from the enemy.

Because the Israelis will not allow us to arm the Palestinians, we Muslims, as individuals and communities, are bound to do our best in this respect. The Quran says: “Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.” (At-Talaq 65:7). We can offer many things to support our Palestinian brothers, including supplicating to Allah to help them because ‘supplication is the shield of a believer’. We can support them financially, as every one of us is asked to offer whatever amount of money we can in this cause as a sign of solidarity with these oppressed people. Also, we are to propagate their cause and make it known to everyone, especially as it is not the Palestinians’ own cause: it is the cause of Islam. May Allah hasten the victory of our beloved Palestinian brothers and sisters over the oppressors. Aamiin

We need to learn from our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Amid the hardship, living with very limited resources, under the cruel occupation and persecution, they have never given up. All the problems and difficulties only make them stronger and closer to their Lord the Creator. What makes the Gazans and Palestinian fighters so tough, headstrong and persistent? It’s because their strong love of the Almighty Allah, His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), His Book and their motherland, and their persistence in performing their religious duties. Israel’s bullets and missiles can never kill this spirit and eternal love.

Now, amid the biased reports by wes-tern media on the plight of the Palesti-nians, where has the so-called human rights champion (especially the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) gone? Where are you? You’re quick to condemn when one wants to implement the law of divine origin, Syariah, and no one was killed. When Gaza is being bombarded and children massacred under a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign by the Zionist Israel, what can you do? Don’t the UNHCR acknowledge the human rights of the Palestinians to live as free human beings?

Palestinians do not need your lip service. Ignoring the genocide in Gaza you only make UNHCR a joke to mankind.

UNHCR seems to have lost the high moral ground to lecture about human rights to anyone in the future.

The Brunei Times/Editorial
Fri, 18 July 2014


Protect our children, MUI tells government

jisC57/Mutia Ramadhani

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID – Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) asked government to increase the effort on child protection from violence acts and sexual harassment. MUI also asked the House of Representatives (DPR) and Regional Representatives Council (DPD) to draft a bill or revise the existing law.

“Law enforcement and and harsh sanction for perpetrators of violence against children,” acting Chairman of MUI Education Center, Anwar Abbas said in Jakarta on Tuesday (20/5/14).

Abbas pointed that the immoral behaviors against children were related to free access to pornography in this country. MUI asked government to ban all pornography actions, both in print and electronic media.

Child sexual abuse cases increased in Indonesia from time to time. In recent months, several cases have made headlines on the media, following the disclosure of Emon’s cases and the alleged rape of a 6 year old boy committed by janitors at the Jakarta International School (JIS).

Wed, 21 May 2014