Nearly 24 thousand people took part in mass gatherings and processions in conjunction with the Maulidur Rasul or Birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW which were held simultaneously in all four districts yesterday morning. The national level celebration was held at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien in the capital. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, joined citizens and residents in the Brunei Muara District at the Maulud Grand Assembly and Procession.

Upon arrival, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Yang Di-Pertua Adat Istiadat Negara; Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, the Minister of Religious Affairs as Chairman of the Executive Committee for the National Level Major Islamic Events and the National Musabaqah Al-Quran for Adults 1439 Hijrah; and Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, and committee members.

Also present were His Majesty's sons and brothers;

- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office;

- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel;

- His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bolkiah;

- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah;

- And His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

The celebration commenced with the reading of Surah Al Fatihah led by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doctor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

The Minister of Religious Affairs in his welcoming speech among other things touched on His Majesty's wise leadership in religious affairs, where the Monarch and the people are side by side in developing and strengthening Islamic Syiar or eminence as the official religion; and making it a practice that contributes to a harmonious society, and strong governance for all levels of the society.

His Majesty then received the junjung ziarah and from leaders of teams taking part in the event. In the Brunei Muara District, over 12 thousand 700 hundred participants from 125 teams representing Ministries, Departments, education institutions, secondary schools and colleges, uniformed organisations, mukim and kampung consultative councils, mosque takmir committees, the private sector, civil and non-government organisations, took part in the Grand Assembly and Procession in the capital.

Apart from commemorating the birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam, the annual celebration is also a symbol of the Muslim ummah's unity, apart from getting closer to the Prophet's teachings and sacrifices. In Brunei Darussalam, commemorating the prophet's birthday with mass gatherings and processions is a norm as a show of gratitude for the blessings that have been enjoyed by the country. The celebration was further enlivened with a number of activities including talks, programmes, and dikir ceremonies for 12 consecutive nights at all mosques, surau and religious halls throughout the country.

In line with His Majesty' titah in conjunction with this year's Maulidur Rasul celebration, where the Maulidur Rasul is one of the celebrations that should be commemorated in the country, it is wise for the Muslim ummah to observe such a celebration as a show of love to the prophet. Therefore, His Majesty reminded that any effort to dispute or belittle the celebration, they will face legal action not simply advise or religious propagation.

The Dikir Marhaban was presented by the Dikir team from the Prime Minister's Office, followed by a 21-gun salute. The doa selamat was read by the State Mufti. The Salawat was led by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal.

The procession around the capital, which was more than 3 kilometres, was led by His Majesty and members of the Royal Family. This year's celebration theme "Rasulullah Qudwah Pemimpin Adil" or the Messenger of Allah: Example Of A Just Leader" was selected in line with the Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's Accession to the Throne. The theme also invites the ummah to make Rasulullah Shallalahu 'Alaihi Wassallam as the most excellent example of those who practised justice.

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam is the prime example that one should follow. His companions and followers practised all of the Prophet's credibility. The Prophet's credibility has made him the best role model in all aspects of life, and it is the obligation of the ummah to follow the Prophet's examples. Carrying banners and reciting the salawat while marching around the capital will surely ignite the feeling of love towards Rasulallah S.A.W.

Apart from that, teams taking part in the celebration were also assessed in the aspects of participation, procession, attire, salawat and slogans. Four categories were competed namely Secondary Schools and Higher Education Institutions; Ministries and Government Departments; Private Sector and Non-Government Organisations; as well as Kampung and Mosque Takmir.

Commemorating a historical day will further boost the spirit of making the Prophet as an example in all matters towards becoming pious and excellent Muslim ummah. Such a celebration acts as a platform for solidarity among the ummah, apart from renewing their faith as well as their spirit to increase their religious deeds, and continue to empower Islam.

Source: Radio Television Brunei