BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – His Majesty the Sultan called on Muslims to be united in the face of division within the ummah, expressing his grave concern over war and conflicts that are taking place in the Muslim world.

Speaking in a televised address on Tuesday in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha, the monarch said Islam places great importance on the concept of oneness and unity.

“Is strength not built on unity while weakness is caused by disunity? This is also the meaning behind the proverb ‘united we stand, divided we fall’,” he said in titah broadcast on Radio Televisyen Brunei.

“It is clear that Allah SWT forbids division among us… it can lead to grave consequences.”

Saying that division is “ruining the Muslim ummah”, he expressed his hope that Muslims would put an end to destructiveness and come to a realisation that restores solidarity within the ummah.

Quoting a verse from the Quran, the sultan urged Muslims to “hold firmly to the rope of Allah and do not become divided”.

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Worshippers perform prayers to mark Hari Raya Aidiladha on Aug 22, 2018, at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Kiarong. Photo: Infofoto

‘Uphold the concept of sacrifice’

Touching on the message behind Hari Raya Aidiladha (‘Feast of the Sacrifice’), His Majesty said the concept of sacrifice was central to Islamic practices, symbolised by the rite of korban. 

He urged Muslims to uphold the practice of korban, which is performed by slaughtering cattle, sheep goats or camels during the three days of Aidiladha as an act of worship. The meat from the animals is then distributed to the poor, as well as to friends and family, as an act of charity.

“Is that animal not an asset when we give its meat as alms? We sacrifice our assets for the the well-being of the ummah,” he said.

HM the Sultan performs the ritual sacrifice of a goat to mark the Islamic holiday of Hari Raya Aidiladha on Aug 22, 2018. Photo: Infofoto

The monarch added that a country is built on the sacrifices of its people.

“Developing a country also requires sacrifice. The government must allocate budget and human resources in the name of success for development. Isn’t this a sacrifice in the form of wealth and manpower?”

“We sacrifice our wealth, time and energy for the country, while our sacrifice for the hereafter takes the form of obedience in to Allah SWT,” he said.

Nationwide prayers for Aidiladha

Prayers for the religious holiday took place at mosques and prayer halls across the country on Wednesday morning. His Majesty and members of the royal family joined the congregation at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Kiarong, before taking part in the annual korban, where a number of goats were slaughtered and its meat given out to the needy.