Sultan of Brunei questions delay in Syariah law enforcement

 

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday ordered authorities to explain the two-year delay in the phased enforcement of Syariah Penal Code Order.

The monarch said the Syariah law has remained “stagnant” without any progress after being actively pursued for a brief period following the launch of the Order in 2014.

Delivering his titah during a meeting with the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) at the Legislative Council (LegCo) building, His Majesty questioned how many of the Syariah law provisions have been enforced.

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“How long has passed since it was launched and gazetted until now? It has already been two years but it is still at the stage where only general offences are dealt with.

“What about the other phases? When will they be implemented? I expect the ministry concerned might respond by saying that the Syariah Penal Code could not be fully enforced at this stage because the CPC (Syariah Courts Criminal Procedure Code) has not been finalised,” the Sultan added.

The CPC outlines the rules for conducting criminal proceedings, from the investigation to prosecution.

His Majesty said authorities might respond by saying they are still waiting for the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to finalise the vetting of the draft documents.

“My next question is when will the draft law be sent to the AGC? Their response might be that it was already sent in 2014,” His Majesty said.

The Sultan went on to say that if this was the case, it is most regrettable because two years have passed and yet the CPC has not been completed.

“How thick is the draft? The AGC might tell us there are many other legal documents that need to be urgently dealt with too. The vetting of the CPC will only be able to be finalised in June 2016, after it has stalled for two years,” the monarch said.

His Majesty said this is an “unacceptable excuse”.

“It is as if people will be under the impression that the Syariah Penal Code is worthless as a law mechanism. Where is the Minister of Religious Affairs? And where is the Attorney General? Why have they not come forward to remedy this unsatisfactory situation?” the Sultan questioned.

The first phase of the Syariah Penal Code was enforced on May 1, 2014. His Majesty added that before the second phase can be implemented, the country has to wait for another 12 months after the CPC can be gazetted.

“Now two years have gone by, but the CPC is not gazetted yet and the vetting process has not even started. This means that after it is gazetted in 2016, we have to wait another year, until 2017 before the second phase can be implemented.”

He said it will be 2018 by the time the third phase of the Syariah law can be enforced.

“So when will the penal code be ready to be fully implemented? Is it true to say that the officers responsible in vetting the draft legislation could not do so as a matter of urgency? Is it just a matter of vetting or did they intentionally refuse to vet?” His Majesty questioned.

The monarch asked why had the religious affairs minister and attorney general failed to keep tabs on how the work was being done by their officers.

“May I remind all that we did not formulate the law out of whims and fancies but we do it solely for the sake of Allah, not in pursuit of glamour. Working for Allah must be done earnestly,” His Majesty said.

Religious education

His Majesty also raised concerns on the direction and future of Arabic education in the country.

Arabic schools are established to bring forth those who are competent in religious knowledge, with the objective of eventually getting Islamic scholars or ulama. With this in mind, Arabic schools must prioritise religious subjects such as Arabic language, fiqh, tauhid, Quran, hadith and tafsir, he said.

He added that this must be done without ignoring the importance of subjects such as Malay language, English language and Mathematics.

Everything went well since the inception, but Arabic schools introduced the science stream from the 1980s, making it compulsory to take Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Additional Mathematics – subjects that are available in mainstream schools under the Ministry of Education, he said.

This meant that students who took the science subjects are required to reduce the number of religious subjects so that it will not be too burdensome, and thus science subjects came to gain more prominence than religious subjects, he continued.

Science stream classes at Arabic Schools currently only offer classes up to O-levels. After completing their O-levels, the students would have to transfer to mainstream schools if they wish to pursue the sciences.

“At that point, they are no longer considered students of Arabic schools and they completely stop studying religious subjects after their O-levels,” he said.

The monarch said there is a need to review the impact of introducing the sciences in Arabic schools when it was implemented in the 1980s.

“Unfortunately, no such research has been done, we do not know the implications whether good and bad of introducing Science stream classes back in the 1980s,” he said.

The Arabic religious education system is experiencing major changes with the implementation of the National Education System for the 21st Century (SPN21).

Under the education system, Arabic school students will be able to master both religious and Science stream subjects. Year 11 students at Arabic secondary schools will have to sit for two major examinations, including the O-levels for their mainstream subjects and the Brunei Islamic Studies Certificate (SPUB) for their religious curriculum.

In Year Nine, the students will be divided into three streams based on their results: 1) fast track Science stream for students who obtained excellent results; 2) normal track Science stream for students who obtained ‘very good’ results; and 3) Arabic stream for students who obtained ‘good’ results and below.

The Sultan said the grading of the three streams reflects that the Arabic stream is of third class level, not on par with the other two categories.

They are also required to study all subjects for their SPUB and O-level examinations simultaneously, possibly doubling the number of subjects that need to be taken in mainstream schools, he added.

“Wouldn’t such a system make it burdensome for Arabic school students and difficult for teachers to teach and complete the syllabus with that many subjects?”

He added that this can cause students to choose the Science stream over the Arabic stream.

The monarch said it is generally known that religious education subjects are more difficult and taxing compared to the other subjects, a factor that can push students away from Arabic classes in favour of the sciences.

“All these need to be deliberated on as thoroughly as possible to save and popularise religious subjects so that they will be seen as a good choice, more attractive and more appealing than non-religious subjects, not a means to open an opportunity for them to get away or escape from.

“This is a matter of much concern to me – the future direction of Arabic schools. Are their roles fading into irrelevancy or diverting towards another direction. All these call for a thorough reassessment to turn back to its original course. Let it not be changed,” he added.

Islamic propagation

The monarch said da’wah (dissemination of Islamic teachings) in the country is still weak and needs to be strengthened amid uncertain times and social ills affecting the country.

Among the issues raised were the number of propagators at the Islamic Da’wah Centre and whether they were properly trained.

“In addition to having many propagators, we want the da’wah delivered to be effective. Effective da’wah is successful da’wah,” he said.

His Majesty pointed out that one important medium of the da’wah is through the mimbar. The mimbar is a pulpit where the imam delivers the sermon in mosques.

“It is vital to deliver effective messages in the sermons. That is why all aspects must be taken into account, starting from preparation, content, writing, policy guidelines and lastly, the individual who will deliver the sermon,” he said.

His Majesty said it is important to practise discretion in deciding the content of the sermon, adding that the content must be appropriate.

He gave an example of an incident where SEA Games become the topic of a sermon. “The khatib (sermon readers) called upon congregants and Muslims to flock to the stadium to witness the events that would take place. We might say that sports is not something Islamically impermissible, but for a khatib to persuade and herd people to the stadium, in my opinion, is something that needs to be given thorough deliberation.

“Have we exhausted all topics and there is no other more important issue other than the SEA Games? This is what discretion is in the choice of topic along with the need to adhere to policy guidelines on sermons,” he added.

The Sultan said khatibs need guidelines on the correct way of delivering the sermon.

“Some readers are too tense and some were repetitive in their presentation. Is this what is expected of them by the Mosque Affairs Department? Where are the mosque affairs officers? Have they not come across incidents like these,” he asked.

Official visits and functions

His Majesty went on to say that it is not necessary for both the Minister of Religious Affairs and his deputy to make visits together as one should stay at the ministry and attend to pressing matters, such as the need to formulate policies for schools and the Islamic Da’wah Centre.

“The minister and his deputy minister should not simply enjoy making visits upon visits, for instance to schools, mosques and elsewhere. In doing so, both of them pay a visit to the same place and enjoy media coverage,” His Majesty said.

The monarch also said there is no need for all senior government officials to attend official functions that were held either in the day or at night.

“It is alright to make a visit and hold a function, but if the events are becoming too many and frequent, what about office work and worse, if too many attend them – the minister, his deputy minister and a horde of other officers! Is it not more reasonable for one of them to make the visit while the other stays behind?

“Is it not true that there are a lot of more pressing matters that need to be dealt with and given serious thought in the office?

He said other pressing matters include formulating policies for schools, Islamic Da’wah Centre, mosques, zakat (tithes), following up on the development of new converts, maintenance and upkeep of Muslim cemeteries and burial grounds, as well as halal certification.

Following the meeting, His Majesty visited the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which houses several units under the Islamic Religious Council before making a stop at the Islamic Da’wah Centre.

The Brunei Times

Sunday, February 28, 2016

bru penal codes

Sultan of Brunei bans Christmas celebration in public places, Muslims to attend its celebration

bru chris

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SULTAN  of Brunei Darussalam, Hassanal Bolkiah, has declared that anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas could face a five year jail sentence. The conservative Muslim country on the island of Borneo stated the punishment would apply to anyone found sending festive greetings – or wearing Santa hats.

The Telegraph reported, at least 65 per cent of 420,000-strong population of the oil-rich state are Muslims. Non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate Christmas – but they must do so only within their communities and first alert authorities.

“These enforcement measures are intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

In a warning to Muslims earlier this month, a group of Imams warned that any celebration -not in any way related to Islam- could lead to “‘tasyabbuh’ (imitation) and unknowingly damage the ‘aqidah’ (faith) of Muslims.

“During Christmas celebrations, Muslims following that religion’s acts – such as using their religious symbols like cross, lighting candles, making Christmas trees and singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings, using signs praising the religion, putting up decorations or creating sounds and doing anything that amounts to respecting their religion – are against Islamic faith,” the Imams stated, according to the Borneo Bulletin.

They added, some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue. But as Muslims and as a Zikir Nation, Brunei must keep it (following other religions’ celebrations) away as it could affect Islamic faith.

Some Brunei residents rejected the ban, by posting Christmas pictures on social media using the #MyTreedom hashtag.

Brunei, a former British protectorate, is run as an absolutist Muslim monarchy by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 67.

Political discontent is limited thanks to a high standard of living and free education and health care, although members of the royal family have been criticized for their extravagant lifestyles.

Last year, the sultan caused controversy by introducing Sharia criminal law, which allows for punishments including stoning, whipping and amputation

Republika

Tue, 22 December 2015

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Cath bru

 

http://www.republika.co.id/berita/en/international/15/12/22/nzqzl2317-sultan-of-brunei-bans-christmas-celebration

 

Indonesian expats urged to study Syariah law

bru pekerjaQuratul-Ain Bandial
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Indonesian ambassador yesterday urged Indonesian expatriates to familiarise themselves with Brunei’s new Syariah Penal Code to avoid any misunderstanding with law enforcement.

Her Excellency Nurul Qomar told a gathering of more than 100 Indonesian nationals that it was “important for them to know the provisions contained in the Syariah Penal Code.”

The Indonesian embassy held a second briefing on the new legislation for its nationals yesterday at the Youth Centre in the capital. The first briefing, which was attended by more than 200 people, was held back in November 2013.

“We are the biggest foreign community here, some of our nationals may not do the right thing sometimes, so we just want them to behave according to Bruneian law,” she told The Brunei Times.

Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei  Darussalam Nurul Qomar. Photo: BT

Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Nurul Qomar. Photo: BT

Four Indonesian nationals were detained for khalwat (close proximity) earlier this week, prompting speculation they would be the first people to be charged under the Syariah Penal Code, which came into force on May 1, 2014.

The ambassador said the Immigration Department had contacted the embassy to inform them of the arrest but declined to indicate whether the authorities would proceed with criminal charges.

Khalwat is defined under law as an unmarried man and woman isolating themselves in close proximity that “can lead to suspicion they are committing an immoral act”.

Offenders can be fined up to $4,000 or jailed for up to one year.

The Brunei Times
Monday, June 23, 2014

http://www.bt.com.bn/frontpage-news-national/2014/06/23/indonesian-expats-urged-study-syariah-law

Myanmar expats seek advice on avoiding ‘khalwat’

Quratul-Ain Bandialbru Syariah_Mya
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MYANMAR expatriates in Brunei yesterday raised concerns of being accused of khalwat (close proximity) under the Syariah Penal Code, if they are found working too closely with colleagues of the opposite sex.

Under the recently-introduced legislation — which ushers Islamic laws into Brunei’s legal existing system — non-Muslims can be fined up to $4,000 or jailed for up to one year for committing khalwat with a Muslim.

Khalwat is defined by law as an unmarried man and woman isolating themselves in close proximity that “can lead to suspicion they are committing an immoral act”.

Myanmar ambassador, Yin Yin Myint, said several citizens asked about how to avoid being charged with close proximity.

“In the case of doctors, when he is with a patient in the room without a chaperone. In the case of university students, when they go for field work… How close is close? And whether working together very closely will be punishable under the Syariah law.”

Government officials conducting the briefing said as long as no suspicion has been aroused, men and women can work side by side.

“If they have to work very closely, we were told don’t create a suspicious situation like going behind a tree or far away from the crowd,” the envoy told The Brunei Times.

There are approximately 500 Burmese citizens working in Brunei, with some 200 employed as doctors and engineers. Teachers, labourers and domestic workers make up the rest.

The ambassador said the embassy was particularly concerned about ensuring semi-skilled labourers, such as construction workers, understand the new law.

“For those categories like construction workers, we are more concerned. Any misunderstanding or misinterpretation may amount to a breach (of the law). We want them to be very clear on the provisions,” she said.

To help citizens understand the Syariah Penal Code, Yin Yin said the embassy would translate the briefing into Burmese and distribute the notes to its citizens.

“Even for us it’s very complicated to understand, but gradually this kind of briefing will help them.”

The phased introduction of the Syariah Penal Code began on May 1, 2014.

The Brunei Times
Sunday, June 15, 2014

bru sy2

http://www.bt.com.bn/news-national/2014/06/15/myanmar-expats-seek-advice-avoiding-%E2%80%98khalwat%E2%80%99

Kuwait supports Brunei’s Syariah law implementation

The head of the delegation from Kuwait National Assembly, Deputy Speaker Mubarak Bunaya Al-Khurainij, during an interview with The Brunei Times. Photo: BT/Waqiuddin Rajak

The head of the delegation from Kuwait National Assembly, Deputy Speaker Mubarak Bunaya Al-Khurainij, during an interview with The Brunei Times. Photo: BT/Waqiuddin Rajak

Waqiuddin Rajak
BRUNEI-MUARA

BRUNEI’s move to carry out the Islamic law could potentially lead to another strengthening of the bilateral ties with Kuwait, said the Deputy Speaker of the Kuwait National Assembly yesterday.

“In Kuwait, we have a high committee (in charge of the law) and we wish for Brunei Darussalam to have a committee too,” Mubarak Bunaya Al-Khurainij said in an interview with The Brunei Times.

He said that this would allow both countries to work together towards more mutual understanding on the issue, since both Brunei and Kuwait shared Islamic values.

The move to implement the Islamic law, said the deputy speaker, was an internal decision made by Brunei and this should be respected by other countries.

“Therefore, international communities should see the reasons behind Brunei’s decision to apply the law and they should respect it,” he said, urging them to respond in a convenient way..

“And we also wish for Brunei Darussalam to handle the issue carefully and wisely,” he added.

The ties between Brunei and Kuwait were historical ties that were built upon mutual respect, he said, adding compliments to Brunei’s positive stances to issues related to the Arab world.

“The last visit made by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince to Kuwait initiated a new face of bilateral relationship between both countries,

Especially in finding ways to enhance more bilateral cooperation,” he said, adding that their visit to the Sultanate was also an outcome of His Royal Highness’ visit earlier this year.

“InsyaAllah, maybe in the future, more agreements will be signed between both countries,” said the deputy speaker.

During the interview, he said that the delegation will also hold a meeting with the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA).

“It will be an opportunity for both sides to further discuss and find ways to enhance the opportunities for joint investments and financial cooperation,” he said.

“We hope that more officials from our side will visit the (Sultanate), InsyaAllah, perhaps our financial and business sectors will have the chance to meet their counterparts in Brunei towards fostering a more concrete cooperation.”

This is the first official visit by Kuwait to Brunei since bilateral relations between the countries was established in 1990, he said.

The Brunei Times
Saturday, June 7, 2014

http://www.bt.com.bn/frontpage-news-national/2014/06/07/kuwait-supports-brunei%E2%80%99s-syariah-law-implementation

In search of tough, spiritually powerful generation

jabatBANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

IT’S encouraging to see our youth standing up to defend the decision by our ruler His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussa-lam to implement the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, a law prescribed based on the commandments of Allah the Almighty, the All-Knowing, All-wise and All-Just.

After seeing for quite some times our country — which has the sovereign right to uphold a law that we believe most appropriate and the best for our people — came under the constant criticisms from foreign sources/quarters — we finally witness our youth — the pillar and future leaders of the nation — expressing their support to and strong determination to defend the Syariah Law.

Over a hundred of youths grouped under JABaT (Jalinan Akrab Belia Terunggul – Association of Excellent Youth), a group who cares for the nation, love the divine law and has a strong spirit and nationalism to do something to defend and contribute to the country, signed yesterday what is called Youth Declaration of undivided support of the country and the divine law and handed it over to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Launching a program they call “Brotherhood that Supports Syariah” due to concern on wild allegations, biased criticisms and un-Islamic view points towards the Syariah, JABaT designs and organises programs to help youth learn and understand more about the Syariah implementation.

Addressing the youth gathering on Tues-day, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah lauded the young professionals for standing up to defend His Majesty’s noble decision to enforce Syariah Law by voicing out their support and unwavering stance against all the criticisms, ridicules and scorns coming from outside the country. “I feel proud and appreciative towards JABaT program initiative – with the concept of ‘Youth to Youth’ – in demonstrating the unity and cohesion among youth of the country by sharing the knowledge on the Syariah Penal Code.”

He said that the event makes the country proud seeing the rise of the young professionals and their unity in defending His Majesty’s government’s decision to implement the Syariah Penal Code.

InsyaAllah, this is only the beginning of a much bigger movement with the youth as the main mover. We are eager to see the rise of a generation of youths, who care so much for their nation and Islam; who strive with every effort to emulate and achieve the level of faith and religious knowledge of the “salafus shalih” — the first generation of Islamic community after our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) — ; who have a higher sense of shame and fear of Allah the All-Knowing, All-Hearing and All-Powerful; who are aware/conscious that the Exalted Lord is always watching whatever they do, and who are diligent in performing solat (prayers).

We want to see youths who are spiritually powerful in facing the multi-dimensional challenges of the modern world. The real powerful man is not the one who is able to beat his or her enemy, but the one who could control himself. As the Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra’: “The strong (man) is not the one who overcomes the people by his (physical) strength, but the powerful is the one who controls himself while in anger.” (Bukhari: Book 8: Volume 73: Hadith 135) The Prophet is telling us something which is the first dimension of empowerment – the spiritual empowerment.

Being a Muslim in today’s world takes courage, insight and perseverance. Sometimes we may be tempted to give in a little and compromise but the Muslim who is close to Almighty Allah will immediately recognise that this thinking takes him far from Allah the Almighty and hence, losing the light of faith and insight.

A true Muslim will never abandon the obligatory five-times-a-day prayers (Solat). And, whatever is the situation, there’s no compromise whatsoever in fulfilling this essential obligation. A true Muslim loves doing prayers – obligatory or recommen-ded (Sunnah) – because he/she knows and is aware that it is through Solat he/she is able to communicate directly with his/her Lord the Almighty.

Some things should never be compromised. A Muslim should not lie, steal or harm others. We should never manipulate others, be corrupt or come near to adultery and we should steer clear of drugs and alcohol and all dangerous substances. If we do things that Allah the Almighty has prohibited us to do, we only damage our-sel-ves, for the Creator in His mercy has outlined what is good for us and what is not. We are the losers if we bypass His wise and loving legislation.

Hopefully, by having these qualities as Muslims it will be easier for us to achieve the aspiration of becoming a Zikir Nation, where the people have their hearts and minds always in the remembrance of Allah the Almighty. Only by gaining this status will we have a tough generation who won’t simply be budged by Allah’s tests here in this world because we are aware that our ultimate goal or aspiration is the eternal happiness in the hereafter. InsyaAllah.

The Brunei Times/Editorial
Fri, 6 June 2014

http://www.bt.com.bn/opinion/2014/06/06/search-tough-spiritually-powerful-generation

Defending the Syariah Law (3)

brunei-soas
Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Raja Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Awang Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abdul Karim
KUALA LUMPUR

ORANG kata: 2+2=5, 2×2=7, kitani terus percaya! Hence, this observation: “JATUH MENJATUH BUDAYA MELAYU” (Ref: Utusan Malaysia, 5 March, 2002). The ISLAMIC brotherhood highlighted in the Quran is irrelevant to us!

And ponder on this: Mr Crawford, the Governor of the Straits Settlements in 1823, wrote a dispatch to the Government of India. He stated that in his observation, the ECONOMIC WORTH of the following races is thus: One Chinese is equal to two Indians or four Malays. (Ref: “The Manners and Customs of The Chinese Of The Straits Settlements” by J D Vaughan.)

Why, because basically we don’t exert ourselves. Our “bumi dipijak, disitu kita mati” has always been full of fruits, tropical shoots and rivers swarmed with fishes. “Cukup sahari, esok ada lagi. Akhirnya pergi arah citi! Orang maju, kitani dengki/benci. Sasama sendiri, berbelah bagi.”

Now, to cut it short, we are being challenged by those self-righteous human rights crusaders on the implementation of our Divine Shariah Law. These are “powerful” anti-Islam pressure group elements backed by anti-Islam Western Media. How to unite, fortify ourselves so as not to “berbelah bagi”?

To quote the Malaysian Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak: “Humanrightism, a liberal way of thinking that places human rights and (man-made) secular law above (ISLAMIC) religion……is dangerous to Islam”.

“We will never accept and give in to their demands for the right to reject ISLAM or deny the implementation of ISLAMIC teachings, which have been done through Syariah Law” (“Nation Must Combat Liberalism”, New Straits Times,14 May 2014).

By the way, in this New Straits Times, May 20, 2014, page 15, there is an excellent robust defence for Brunei Darussalam against those Western-Secularists’ attacks on the implementation of our Syariah Law. (Ref: “Seeing The Stars, Not The Light” by Syed Nadzri, an award-winning columnist. NST, May 20,2014)

Humanly, we don’t expect to be able to win over those anti-ISLAM/MUSLIMS crusaders, but only Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala Decides and Determines What, When and How changes and events happen to mankind and the entire world. So, we must fortify ourselves with KNOWLEDGE and EXPERTISE in strongly advocating ISLAMIC SYARIAH LAW to the world. Hence these verses:

“With clear arguments and Scriptures and Reminder that thou may make clear to men that which has been revealed to them, and that gladly they may reflect.”Verse 44: Surah Al Nahl (The Bee) (16)

“Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and argue with them in the best manner”. Verse 25: Surah Al-Nahl (The Bee) (16)

Clearly, the Divine Advice “call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom” and “argue with them in the best manner” should have made us ensure from the beginning that we possess the deep and wide knowledge of ISLAM/SYARIAH LAW. But that alone is insufficient, we need to be rich in the eloquence of fortifying our explanations, answers and statements; we cannot be amateurish. No second rate quality is acceptable, the attitude of “kalau tak ada rotan, akar pun jadilah” is self-defeating! We must not just have “rotan”, we must have “steel wires”!

Not surprisingly, our “half-baked knowledge is self-destructive.” Sadly, it is not shocking that these weaknesses have been exploited by the enemies of ISLAM, they’ve even become a tongue-in-cheek pun amongst critical locals on the knowledge /expertise weakness; their quality lacunae.

Man-made laws are complex, but Divine Laws are more challenging, intriguing and sublimely strict in application: no margin or room for errors, no favour and fear, because the implementers (the Syariah Authority) are directly answerable to Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala.

Thus, the pun which went round was on words such as “Masjid”, “Haji” & “Azan” which due to half-baked explanations have become the items of “cynical debate” amongst those “interested”. How could the words “Masjid”, “Haji” and “Azan” be “haram” for our non-Muslim friends to utter them, when these words have been part of the integral socio-cultural-administrative lingua franca for years amongst the Muslims and non-Muslims. Let’s take “Masjid” for example, I believe dozens of Brunei’s mosques have been built by non-Muslim contractors and workers. As for “Azan”, what is the accurate word to substitute it with: “Azan = orang panggil sembah Tuhan“?!

Furthermore, what about those would be reverts to ISLAM? They have to learn and be guided on practicing the Shahadah.

They have to practice it consistently and memorise it, before the actual time for their voluntary utterance of solemnly accepting ISLAM.

The Brunei Times
Thu, 5 June 2014

bru sy2
http://www.bt.com.bn/letters-editor/2014/06/05/defending-thesyariah-law-3