Wednesday, December 2

Experts laud Brunei for introducing Syariah law

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Malaysian experts yesterday praised Brunei’s move to introduce Syariah Law with political will coming from the highest authority in the Sultanate as this would give more blessings. They hoped that other Muslim countries would follow suit, Borneo Bulletin reported.

“Muslims should accept Syariah Law which if rejected could lead to apostasy,” said an invited speaker from Johor, Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Sheikh Hj Nooh bin Gadot, Islamic Religious Council Advisor of the state of Johor, at a premier forum on Syariah Law.

“His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his titah said it is obligatory to adhere to in order to gain more blessings. Other countries should follow suit,” he said.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office attended the forum held to mark the Knowledge Convention 2013 in honour of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 67th birthday celebrations. Also present were HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik and HRH Princess Hajah Masna.

The chair of the panel discussion, Dr Awg Hj Japar bin Hj Mat Dain @Maidin from the State Mufti’s Office said the titah delivered last Tuesday (at the opening of the Knowledge Convention) was a shift in the country’s legal system and became a milestone for the nation. The Syariah Criminal Law was gazetted last Tuesday and will be enforced in April next year.

Meanwhile, Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Metussin bin Hj Baki, Syariah High Court Judge, said the nation should be thankful for the titah from a pious monarch. There are two issues that need to be looked into, namely the development of Islamic religion and Islamic law in the Sultanate.

The principles are Ad-din (way of life covering Tauhid). Islam teaches its Ummah for betterment in present life and in the days of the hereafter. What has been said by His Majesty should be upheld.

“The order from Allah the Almighty has its wisdom and such wisdom may not appear now, but will appear in the future,” Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Metussin said.

Dr Awg Hj Japar admitted that there are certain sections of society that are against the Syariah Law. ‘`They are not convinced. Some are prejudiced and think that the Syariah Law is harsh as their minds are solely focused on the forms of punishment such as stoning, flogging, chopping off limbs and so on. There is a teaching behind the law”

Dato’ Seri Sheikh Hj Nooh said Syariah Law or Hudud comes from Allah the Almighty and it is not man-made. “Allah the Almighty is perfect and there are no weaknesses or flaws. Hence it is obligatory for us to accept and abide.

“We should be thankful as there is huge blessing in it. It is not only Muslims that would gain but non-Muslims too in the present life,” Dato’ Seri Sheikh Hj Nooh added.

“I laud Brunei Darussalam and hopes that Allah the Almighty showers the nation with blessings,” he said.

Meanwhile Prof Emeritus Dato’ Paduka Dr Mahmood Zuhdi bin Hj Abd Majid from Malaysia also lauded Brunei Darussalam for introducing the Syariah Law.

“Introducing such a law is a victory to Muslim countries, be it Muslim countries that are brave to introduce such a law or Muslim countries who are not brave enough to introduce. Brunei has set an example to other countries to implement such a law”

He said the confusion on Syariah Law is due to the liberalism in education found in the Western countries who want all to be ruled in a liberal manner.

Brunei Darussalam is very fortunate in that the political will comes from the top. In other countries, they struggle from the bottom in implementing ‘Hudud’ or to implement the Islamic Law wholly and there is no political will from the top.

There is a secret behind such a law as it nurtures discipline in society. In the Western world, there is no discipline. For instance in the financial crisis in the West, the community did not want to spend moderately but rather lavishly.

Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Metussin added the law acts as a lesson to the offender and those who have seen the punishments and not solely to punish the offender. Dato Seri Sheikh Hj Nooh added that the implementation of Syariah Law reduces the crime rate as seen in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which practises Syariah Law.

Earlier, Their Royal Highnesses were greeted upon arrival at the International Convention Centre by joint chairpersons, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office and Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abd Rahman, Minister of Religious Affairs and other senior officials.