BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Amid the coronavirus outbreak, celebrations for Nuzul-Al Quran were more subdued this year, with the government forced to cancel annual celebrations which usually draw more than 3,000 people to the International Convention Centre.
The Islamic holiday, which falls on the seventeenth day of Ramadan, marks the date Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
As a substitute for public celebrations, the Ministry of Religious Affairs broadcast a special programme on tv, radio and the internet to mark the occasion, featuring a Quran recital and a special address by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
Speaking to the nation, the monarch urged Bruneians to pray for people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially patients still being treated at the National Isolation Centre.
As of May 11, Brunei has recorded 141 COVID-19 infections, out of which 134 have recovered and been discharged.
His Majesty said the government’s swift action has managed to contain the outbreak, adding that prayer and reading the Quran was a “weapon” that could be used to resist evil, including the coronavirus.
He reminded Muslims to offer their prayers and read the Quran so that Brunei would “continue to be blessed with peace, prosperity and security”.
Mosques remain closed during the holy month of Ramadan as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. Although borders, schools, dine-in services and recreational spaces remain closed, the government said it will begin easing some restrictions at the end of the month, beginning with opening mosques for Friday prayers on May 29.
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