Brunei ready for Syariah law

brusharRasidah HAB

BRUNEI is ready to implement the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.

Any criticisms and challenges that come with it are normal, said Deputy Dean of Faculty of Syariah and Law, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) yesterday.

“Criticisms are normal. There will never be a 100 per cent acceptance (with regards to religion by others). We see this as a challenge to prove that what we hold is the truth,” he said.

Dr Abdurrahman Raden Aji Haqqi said this in an interview at the sideline of the closing ceremony for the two-day seminar on Understanding Syariah Criminal Law for Youth at Plenary Hall, International Convention Centre.

Brunei faced many criticisms for its decision to implement Syariah Law, however Dr Abdurrahman Raden said “We already have the determination, so trust in Allah SWT.”

Dr Abdurrahman Raden Aji Haqqi. Photo: BT/Rasidah HAB

Dr Abdurrahman Raden Aji Haqqi. Photo: BT/Rasidah HAB

Dr Abdurrahman Raden cited Surah Al-Imran, verse 139: “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.”

He added Brunei is wise in its move to implement the law in phases, as it gave sufficient time to disseminate information on the law.

Brunei will implement Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 in phases. The first phase of the Order will be enforced on April 22. The second phase will come into force 12 months after the Syariah Courts Criminal Procedure Code is gazetted. The third phase will come 24 months after that.

A total of 1,000 youths from various educational institutions, governmental agencies and associations attended the workshop that was held as a sideline activity of the seminar. Dr Abdurrahman Raden was one of facilitator for the workshop. He also presented a working paper on the beauty of Syariah Criminal Law on the seminar’s first day. Targeted at youths, the seminar and workshop aimed at strengthening the confidence of youths in Syariah Criminal Law.

“The seminar and workshop is takzir (reminder) for the youths, to deepen their knowledge on Islamic law. This will strengthen their confidence. Previously, they only know about jenayah (criminal law) from what they learn in religious schools,” he said.

“Previously, they may have not realised the comprehensiveness of the law. Now, they are equipped with the knowledge to become the young ambassadors for the law. These youths will be the one who will give the understanding to others on what syariah law is about,” he added.

The Brunei Times
Fri, 18 April 2014


‘Anai-anai’ (Termite) of the Brunei Sultanate (3)

Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Raja Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abdul Karim

bru syariPOVERTY may induce a Muslim to apostasy” (Hadith). We must create thousands of woman-business-economic power similar to that of Khadijah Binti Khuwailid Radi’al Allahu Anha for Brunei Darussalam, to be honoured, to be respected.

Recently a writer (“Concern Citizen”) wrote in a local newspaper. He/she suggested the following steps to help clear this fear, as follows:

i. Create a hotline for any inquiry about the Laws (Syariah Law) or (Islamic) religious issues;

ii. Create a Facebook page for inquiries particularly from abroad, on the Law;

iii. Air a television programme on the Law on regular basis;

iv. Set up a booth for inquiries on the Law at the Brunei International Airport for visitors and tourists. (“Tips to help understand Syariah Law” Borneo Bulletin 5-3-2014)

Clearly, the progressive nature of Islam is virtually impossible to separate from Islamic virtues of equity and justice, and respect for women.

But thousands of years of deeply ingrained cultural values promote and sustain deep “cultural misogynic practices” that have clearly been banished in (most parts of the) Muslim world where women occupy a variety of high positions in politics, business, management, in factories, banking, from science, engineering to pilots, doctors, professors, and so on.

“The Quran’s teachings about women are enormously progressive. Women’s legal and financial rights saw dramatic advances over pre-Islamic social norms and practice.” (Prof John Renard)

The very word “Syariah” conjures images of social control through severe criminal punishment and the regulation of sexual morality, especially that of women.

But what is less often noticed is the basic fact that the idea of a commitment to a vision of legal order.

The legal order that demands justice as driven by the language of the Quran.

In the mind of westerners and even some secularised Muslims, Syariah often stands for the covering of women and the administering of corporal punishment for thieves and adulterers.

But the true meaning of Syariah is Law itself and not any law, but the Divine Law that governed the Islamic state through the centuries of its success.

What is not generally known to western audiences is that these punishments may not be administered except after conviction by a court under a standard of proof so high that it can only very rarely be met ….. Extreme and visible punishments serve as salient reminders to the public to follow the law (deterrent/preventive!) ….. much like the English common law that “punished every felony with death”. (Re: “The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State” by Noah Feldman.)

The demand for a high standard of proof in Syariah is due to the serious, heavy onus on the judges to be extremely cautious and fair in obtaining and weighing the proof of guilt as they are both “answerable” to Allah Subhanu Wa Ta’ala and to the accused.

(NB: There are numerous cases in the West where the innocent had been hung! But in the secular West, those judges, jurists and prosecutors are “not answerable to God!”)

Thus, according to Marshall Hogson in his book “Venture of Islam, Vol I: “From a pre-modern view, the Shariah was actually ‘mild’.

In an age where torture was the standard procedure from dealing with suspects, Islamic Law even seemed ‘soft’ on criminals.”

Our religious authorities should use the essence of “Language of Mercy In Islamic Discourse” as published in The Brunei Times (28-2- 2014) as an excellent foundation to enlighten those who hide behind their respective pseudonyms to launch attacks on Islam and our Monarch.

The country’s religious officers must obviously possess deep and wide knowledge of Syariah: must not simply, perfunctorily read from prepared papers.

This is because Bruneians nowadays are having agile minds and are being day and night exposed to their fingertips, cyber information and disinformation about Islam and Islamic authorities.

Enemies of Islam and Muslims are lurking out there, even within the minds and hearts of those who hide behind their respective pseudonyms in launching their attacks.

Correct knowledge decreases fear. People fear what they do not know or understand. “Tak kenal, maka tak cinta”. In this case, ignorance is not bliss — it is a curse.

To conclude, this very common children riddle may be an apt reminder:

X and Y were arguing.

X to Y: “Which comes first, the egg or hen?”

Y: “Of course, the hen!”

X: “No! Without the egg, the hen would not have been born”.

So both kept on arguing, staunchly defending their points.

By and by, a pious one in authority, overheard this debate. He clearly reminded the boys that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala created both the hen and the egg.

“Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner. Surely thy Lord knows best him who strays from His path, and He knows best those who go aright.”

(Al-Quran: Surah Al-Nahl [The Bee] 16: Verse 125)

From Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala we come, to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala we will return. Allahu Akbar.

‘Anai-anai’ (Termite) of the Brunei Sultanate (2)

Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Raja Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abdul Karim

bru syariHOWEVER, in spite of these Western hatred and attacks on Islam and Muslims, hundreds of non-Muslims globally have embraced Islam annually. To quote some of them:

i. “The essence of Islam is acceptance of the Will of Allah and its cornerstone is prayer. It preaches universal fraternity, love, justice and benevolence, action, speech and cleanliness. It is the simplest and most elevating form of religion known to man.” (Muhammad Alexander Russel Webb.)

ii. “I chose Islam rather than the illusory freedom of secular life. If Islam oppresses women, why are so many educated young women all over the world abandoning liberty and independence and embracing Islam?” (Nakata Khaula)

iii. “I tried to find evidence to prove that Islam was not the truth but it was impossible; all books that said negative things about Islam, I already knew they were lying. I have come to realise that Islam is perfect, Muslims are not. I am not perfect. I am really working on it.” (Sophie Jenkins)

iv. Anyone who reads the Quran with a mind that is not closed to the Truth will become a Muslim.” (Saifuddin Dirk Walter Mosig.)

The above four samples of personal stories are just some evidence I quoted from dozens of books on this subject of “irresistible attractions to Islam” independently expressed by those previous non-Muslims.

Admittedly, I have not had the opportunity to study most of those concerns of, and assaults launched by those “brave” pseudonymous authors, local or foreign, on Islam and our Monarch.

Their insidious bravery hiding behind the shield of pseudonyms is an indication of the undercurrent of lack of respect (let alone love) for Islam and the Ulil Amri, and the erosion of “jiwa jati Barunai”.

“There are two qualities which can never combine in a hypocrite: good conduct and understanding of religion (Islam)”. (Hadith related by Al-Tirmizi)

The symptom, the genesis of this “assault” by certain pockets of the rakyat could historically be crystalised thus:

When we were school children, the deep, genuine respect for authority of even those assistant school prefects was enough for us to have our bones shaking.

Nowadays, it is the teachers who wet their pants when they deal with naughty students. These are the “anai-anai” which could weaken the socio-political-economy of the country and could be easily used by a fifth column.

We clearly observed certain members of the rakyat who were merely casually, perfunctorily shaking hands with His Majesty during “bercemar duli” occasions with his rakyat. Is this a case of familiarity eroding affection? Or lack of “melentur buluh sewaktu rebongnya”?

I vividly remember when I was in Thailand in 1979 attending an economic-related meeting, I had at a particular occasion, suddenly noticed a group of school children, in unison, bowing whilst facing across the road. I was in great amazement when I saw a middle-aged gentleman who was obviously reciprocating the students’ homage. Could he be their teacher? The lasting impression is: This is a genuine respect and loyalty cultivated at home and school: “melentur buluh dari rebongnya”.

This is just about the common level of students’ homage to that gentleman. What then about the whole Thais’ love for their Monarch? When they see the official portrait of their Monarch, the Thais take time to bow facing it. Their pure affection, adoration shown to their Monarch really strikes ones’ heartstrings.

Of course, Thailand and Thais have their peculiar special socio-religious-cultural practices. “Lain lubuk, lain ikannya”.

But we Brunei Malay Muslims have our own “Melayu Islam Beraja” (MIB) practices. We do not “worship” our Monarch. We protectively adore him as our Ulil Amri. We should have been since children instilled with genuine respect and adoration for our Ulil Amri. Then, what about our “KeBrunaian” deep cultural respect and empathy moulded by our Malay Islamic upbringing which has lost its eminence amongst certain younger generation of our bureaucrats, our nation’s “civil servants” who use or abuse their “temporary” authority to openly get adversarial against certain members of the public. “The best one among you is the best one towards people”. (Hadith, narrated by Al-Bayhaqi)

Al-Quran clearly reminds us of this : “And the servants of the Most Gracious are they who walk gently on the earth in humility and wherever the foolish, the ignorant address them, they reply with (words of) peace.”

(Al-Quran : Surah Al-Furqan [The Criterion] 25: Verse 63)

It is so easy and so fast to destroy. We Bruneians must not have such minds to execute this destruction. But rather possess minds to build, to nurture, to create jobs by SMEs. Entrepreneurs build their businesses with blood, tears and sweat; they have courage to take risks, use their entrepreneurial minds and exert efforts, day and night in a 24/7 life. The head is in the oven, the body is in the freezer experience.

i. “He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you, so go about in the spacious sides thereof, and eat of His sustenance, and to Him will be the Resuurrection”.

(Al-Quran : Surah Al-Mulk [The Kingdom] 67: Verse 15)

ii. “….. Surely Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change their own condition”.

(Al-Quran : Surah Al-Ra’d [The Thunder] 13: Verse 11. Also Surah An-Anfal [The Spoils of War] 8:Verse 53)

This arrogance and lack of empathy naturally could easily spill-over into being misconstrued by a disenchanted public as the “ill quality” of His Majesty’s Government Service. Then, consequently, what is the obvious “reactions and actions” of those insulted, those “broken” rakyat towards the Government of His Majesty? The end result is clear: hatred and vengeance; fast resort to attacks on the pervasive, instantaneous cyber power!

In a wider religious connotation, no doubt through this invasion of pervasive, mass instantaneous cyber power, some Muslims got deeply influenced by what they watch every minute of the hour on their hand-held screens; about how certain Muslims countries are harshly treating their women in the name of Shariah. The green, gullible minds and hearts on pure, true Islam naturally (mistakenly) think that this misogynistic practice is “an Islamic practice”. Yet, they may simply ignore the Islamic need to understand why those sophisticated, educated Western women were willingly attracted to and embracing Islam. (Re: “The Rise of Islam” by Harun Yahya. And The Daily Telegraph, 30 April 2001). Another clue to this love for Islam by those reverts is this statement by John Renard in his book “Responses to 101 questions on Islam”:

“….. the Islamic code of life lays down not only moral, but socio-economic, political, cultural and educational norms and rules based on the principle of equality, brotherhood and justice … the Islamic code is designed to create a just and free society in which every individual enjoys rights and equal opportunities regardless of rank, birth, race, colour, or creed.” (Remember that Farewell Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad Salla-Allahu Alayhiwa Salam?)

A very educational book is “The Muslim Conduct of State” by Muhammad Hamidullah.

Vitally, world wide, women are now forming a considerable percentage of a country’s productive-economic labour force. Hence, it could easily cripple the economic engine and structure of a country if this “women economic power and its related mobility” were to be shackled by imposition of that misogynistic culture. In hindsight, the publicity of the official visit by the Minister of Religious Affairs and his team to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on this subject may have triggered this unjustified and misplaced misogynic fear of socio-economic shackles to the vital socio-economic participation of our women. Islam encourages and facilitates the halal economic activities of the Muslims so that they have the socio-economic power for this Dunia and the Akhirat; not beggars in their own country, but rather the masters of their own country, the masters of the country’s economic power, not to be bullied and downtrodden.

‘Anai-anai’ (Termite) of the Brunei Sultanate (1)

Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Raja Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abdul Karim

bru syariRESPECTFULLY, I would assert that your editorial, “Enforcing Syariah Law Is Sovereign Right” (The Brunei Times, 25 February 2014) conveys a palpable ominous and insidious development within the society. If it has been fomented by foreign elements (a ‘fifth column’), I would say it is not a big surprise and should not be as dangerous as when the “assaults” against our Islam and our Monarch have been launched by certain rakyat of His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. They could be those termites, the “anai-anai” within our country.

Any attack from outside, InshaaAllah, we together can fight for our Monarch, Country and Islam. But from within? Wallahu a’lam! Na’uzu billah!

The “assaults” have been facilitated and spread by the abuse and misuse of hand-held cyber-electronic equipment.

Before I go further, it is essential at this juncture to adduce here below these Divine Reminders and hadith, and books of reference as quick pointers to the essence of what I expand below:

i. “O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day”.

(Al-Quran: Surah Al-Nisa [The Women]) 4: Verse 59

(N.B: “Refer it to Allah and the Messenger” means refer to the Noble Quran and the Sunnah)

i(a). “(This is) a Book (the Noble Quran) that We have revealed to thee, [O Muhammad], so that men may ponder over its messages (verses) and those who are endowed with insight may take them to heart”.

(Al-Quran : Surah Sad [38]: Verse 29)

i(b): “When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed the the devil (shaitan), save a few of you”.

(Al-Quran: Surah Al-Nisa [The Women] 4: Verse 83

i(c): “And We made from among them leaders to guide by Our Command when they were patient. And they were certain of Our messages”.

(Al-Quran: Surah Al-Sajdah [The Prostration] 32: Verse24)

i(d): “Do they apportion the Mercy of thy Lord? We portion out among them their livelihood in the life of this world, and We exalt some of them above others in rank, that some of them may take others in service.

And the Mercy of thy Lord is better than that which they amass”.

(Al-Quran: Surah Zukhruf [Gold] 43: Verse 32)

ii. The Prophet Muhammad Sala-Allahu Alayh Wa Sallam, shortly before his wafat (demise) in 632 made his final pilgrimage to Mekah, where he delivered his Farewell Sermon, which has had historical significance for all Muslims since then (N.B: this Farewell Sermon is shortened herein):

“O people, listen to me; I will deliver a message to you. For I do not know whether I shall ever have an opportunity to meet you after this year in this place ……

O people, verily your blood (lives), your properties and your honour are sacred and inviolable to you till you appear before you Lord …..

Beware; no one committing a crime is responsible for it but himself …….”

The Prophet went on to condemn usury, blood vengeance, and murder.

“Verily you owe your women their rights, and they owe you yours”. The Prophet reminded the men about ethnic, and racial divisions.

The Prophet reminded them that: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve”. The Prophet highlighted that: “An Arab has no superiority over non-Arab ….. Also a white person has no superiority over a black person, nor a black person over a white person, except through piety and good deeds”. (Re: “Islam Without Extremes” by Mustafa Akyol)

iii. And please ponder on this part of the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR), 2005 which asserts that: “Religion has no connection with any of the mistaken practices that are carried against women ……”, which is adduced from this book : “Women, Man, and God in Modern Islam” by Theodore Friend.

Theodore Friend then offers his conjecture: “It is certainly plausible to say that Arabic societies give rise to their own traditions. And that they then, he quotes: “….. give precedence to custom over true worship and provide foundations for assumptions that have no grounding either in the Holy Quran or in the authenticated practices and sayings of the Prophet (The Hadith)” (AHDR pg.vii).

iv. “And if anyone of the polytheists (idolaters) seeks thy protection, protect him till he hears the Word of Allah (the Quran), then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not.”

(Al-Quran: Surah Al-Bara’at [The Immunity] 9: Verse 6)

v. “O you who believe, be maintainer of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or near relatives, whether he be rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not (your) low desires, lest you deviate.And if you distort or turn away from (truth), surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do.”

(Al-Quran Surah Al-Nisa [The Women] 4: Verse 135)

vi. (In Islamic perspective), in the sufferings of this world, Muslims and non-Muslims are equal and alike. (“The Muslims Conduct of State” by Muhammad Hamidullah.)

Now, regarding those “anai anai” (the termites) and the fifth column, no doubt Islam, Ulil Amri and peaceful Muslims have been under assaults almost worldwide. “Islam and Muslims are the world’s favourite punching bag; but you could be imprisoned for doubting the Holocaust. If this isn’t a case of double standards, what is it? (“Time West Ended Invective”, The Brunei Times, 18 March 2008)

The Dutch parliamentarian Greet Wilders: “ ….. argues that most Dutch Muslims should leave Holland and tear up at least half the Quran if they wish to stay. He promises that his film will definitively show ‘the violent and fascist elements of the Muslim’. (“More Useless Provocation”, The Brunei Times, 27 March 2008)

There is this “discipline” called “Orientalism” which identified itself as “scientific” and “objective” in studying and explaining Islam. It was/is often supported by colonial powers to aid in the achievement of political goals. But these orientalists published numerous critical “Islamic” tracts. The religious and theological thrust of most these works was, Islamically speaking, very negative and destructive. And parallel with these works of orientalism, based usually on a secularist worldview, there arose anti-Islamic tracts written by Christian missionaries: such works still appear today, in new guise. German sociologist Max Weber really maximised his affront on Islam by conjuring this image of the Muslim qadi sitting under the palm tree, dispensing justice as he saw fit. (Fortunately was also ignorant of the existence of coconut, oil and pinang palm trees!). But Noah Feldman countered the attack of Max Weber by asserting that, “Nothing could have (been) further from the truth. The qadi was to judge according to law. When he was in doubt, he would refer the case to (a) qualified jurist who would answer in the form of a fatwa, a legal responsum”. However, despite these anti-Islamic tracts, there have appeared in the Western academic world a number of notable scholars who have been deeply sympathetic to Islam and have made important contributions to its study. Several of them, such as Vincent Monteil and Eric Geoffroy, are among a number of Western Islamists who have themselves embraced Islam. (Re: “Islam In The Modern World-Challenged by The West, Threatened By Fundamentalism, Keeping Faith With Tradition” by Seyyed Hossein Nasr).

Brunei plans to educate tourists on dos and don’ts of Syariah

syariah_muftiHarny Abu Khair

INFORMATION leaflets on the Syariah Penal Code may be placed at the Brunei International Airport as a way of informing and educating tourists visiting the Sultanate, said a Syariah law briefing speaker yesterday,

Siti Zaliha Hj Abu Salim said the leaflets would raise awareness on the dos and don’ts when tourists visit Brunei.

Responding to a question on the dress code for tourists, she said the Prime Minister’s Office will also brief all travel agencies on the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.

Efforts to provide clear information on the offences will continue once the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 is implemented, especially to foreign visitors, said the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali senior lecturer during a briefing for about 250 people from non-government organisations.

Deputy Syarie Prosecutor at the Islamic Judicial Unit Hj Afif Daraina Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Hj Badaruddin said there was also a suggestion to provide in-flight announcements, similar to drug trafficking warning announcements on flights.

“Briefings have been conducted at foreign embassies in Brunei and we hope they will channel the information regarding the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 to their respective countries,” he added.

During the briefing, the speakers said they are setting up a website where the public can get information on the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013. The website is

Another member of the audience asked whether witnessing zina bil-jabar (rape) on live CCTV feed by four male witnesses (security guards) is enough for the accused to be tried underthe Syariah law.

Hj Afif Daraina explained that witnessing a crime via CCTV by four males does not fully meet the conditions needed for the crime to be tried before the Syariah court.

“Witnessing through CCTV is circumstantial evidence and in the context of civil law, identifying the DNA or semen of the rapist is considered direct evidence, but it does not follow the conditions needed for the case to be tried under hadd where it needs four male witnesses to see the actual rape (penetration),” he said.

Yesterday’s briefing at the Islamic Da’wah Centre was organised by the Women Graduates Association of Brunei Darussalam with the cooperation of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The participants were from Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah’s volunteers, Public Welfare Society, Green Brunei, Pusat Ehsan, the Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Association, Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER), and women groups from villages and mosques, as well as students from higher learning institutions.

The Brunei Times
Saturday, March 8, 2014


Syariah Penal Code not new to Brunei

IMG-20131027-01378Abdul Azim Kassim

ENFORCEMENT of the Syariah Penal Code has been in place since the 1600s despite being disconnected by the arrival of an official British Resident in 1906, said an Usuluddin lecturer at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) yesterday.

Ustaz Hj Ahmad Abdussalam Hj Abd Rahman said the present gazette of the Syariah Penal Code was merely a continuation of a law which was abruptly halted.

Ustaz Hj Ahmad Abdussalam presented his research paper titled “Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 in Brunei Darussalam: A Preliminary Review” at an open lecture on Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) yesterday.

Ustaz Hj Ahmad Abdussalam Hj Abd RahmannsformedThe presentation included a historical overview of the implementation of the code before and after Brunei gained independence up until the re-introduction of the law on October 22 last year.

He said the development of the code began even before the 1600s.

“The (earliest) documented writing in history of the Syariah Penal Code was during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Hasan (1582-1598), the ninth Sultan of Brunei,” he said.

“The code however was only fully enforced and exercised during the reign of Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akhbar (1598-1658).”

Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akhbar had written in his will for his son, Sultan Abdul Jalilul Jabbar (1659-1660), to keep the Syariah Penal Code alive.

Ustaz Hj Ahmad Abdussalam also provided a few foreign accounts of the code being implemented between 1658 and 1900s.

For instance, in 1856, Spencer St John, an English consul, witnessed with his own eyes, two thieves getting their hands severed for stealing.

He also cited a testament from William Hood Treacher (1891), acting General British Consul who had come to Brunei in 1871.

Treacher had reported that some goods were stolen from his ship, to Sultan Abdul Momin (1852-1885).

A few days later, he received the stolen items accompanied by a letter from the Sultan saying the three thieves responsible for the theft had been sentenced and punished.

Treacher also noted the code did not discriminate a person’s background.

He recorded the hanging of a man named Maidin who had robbed and killed traders traveling between Labuan and Brunei.

He was a son of an important person who was also favoured by the Sultan. Yet, his connection did not save him from execution after being found guilty for his crimes.

However, the arrival of the British colonial empire in 1906 brought a shift to the legislation of Brunei.

Ustaz Hj Ahmad Abdussalam said the Syariah Penal Code was abolished with the appointment of a British Resident in Brunei.

“With this (the position), the British representatives had a bigger hand in the governance and management of Brunei including the legislation and judiciary matters,” the invited lecturer told the audience at the university.

A petition to retain the Syariah Penal Code was rejected on the basis that the British sought to improve the local customs and laws to prevent further loss of Brunei’s territories.

The introduction of the civil courts in 1908 further eroded the code’s use in the Sultanate.

“With the (courts’) establishment, the English laws became even stronger and more influential, and it began to replace Islamic laws in Brunei as even the usage (of the Syariah Penal Code) was restricted.”

The talk was organised by the Centre for Promotion of Knowledge and Language of UNISSA at the academic institution.

The Brunei Times
Sunday, January 12, 2014

19 Islamic words not allowed to be used in other religions in Brunei

shariacountriesQuratul-Ain Bandial

WORDS such as “Allah“, “mu’min” (believer) and “masjid” (mosque) cannot be used with regards to another religion besides Islam, said a senior syariah officer yesterday.

Under the Syariah Penal Code Order, there are 19 words which cannot be used with respect to other religions.

They are azan; baitullah; Al Quran; Allah; fatwa; Firman Allah; hadith; Haji; hukum syara’; ilahi; Ka’bah; kalimah al syahadah; kiblat; masjid; imam; mufti; mu’min; solat; and wali.

Hj Hardifadhillah Hj Mohd Salleh, a senior syariah legal officer of the Islamic Legal Unit, yesterday briefed staff of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) on key parts of the Order, which will take effect this April.

Speaking to more than 200 people, the legal officer gave some examples of offences that can apply to non-Muslims such as zina (adultery) with a Muslim partner, drinking alcohol in a public place, and khalwat (close proximity) with a Muslim partner.

Khalwat is defined in the Order as a non-married couple who are “living together; cohabiting; in confinement; or isolating oneself in close proximity that can lead to suspicion that they are committing an immoral act.”

If convicted, the penalty is a fine of up to $4,000 and/or one year in prison.

For adultery between a married Muslim and a married non-Muslim, both parties can be punished by stoning to death if the offence is proved by confession, or the testimony of four eyewitnesses.

Hj Hardifadhillah added that any person who instigates any Muslim man or woman to divorce, or neglect their duties towards their partner, can be fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed for a year.

Additionally, any Muslim parent who surrenders his child into the care of a non-Muslim can be fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.

Brunei will enforce the Syariah Penal Code Order in three phases.

Present at the briefing was MIPR Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar and other senior officials from the ministry.

The briefing was conducted by officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Attorney General’s Chambers, and Islamic Da’wah Centre yesterday.

The Brunei Times
Sunday, February 23, 2014

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam introduces the Islamic Penal Code on 22 October 2013.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam introduces the Islamic Penal Code on 22 October 2013.