Royal call for charity in Ramadhan
By P Marilyn

His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik yesterday called on Muslims to make more donations and be more involved in charity work during the upcoming fasting month of Ramadhan.

HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik said this in his sabda when he initiated the distribution of dates yesterday to Penghulu Mukim and Heads of Village from the four districts as well as to commanders and commandants of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Formation Directors and Commanding Officers of the Royal Brunei Police Force.

His Royal Highness said that all Muslims should make more of an effort to obtain blessings by giving donations or engaging in welfare activities apart from reciting the al-Quran, breaking of fast with 'tamar' or dates and doing the 'qiyamul lail' during the fasting month.

"Making more donations and doing more charitable deeds can increase our 'rezeki' or wealth, long life and avoid any bad omens.

"Islam also encourages its followers to provide help to those who need it, be it in terms of possessions, monetary, provisions or others," added His Royal Highness.

His Royal Highness said that by helping others, we shun selfishness and in turn, can enhance the close relationship in Islam.

Help, His Royal Highness added, does not only mean possessions or money but also comes in the form of efforts and thoughts as long as the help is not against the teachings of the al-Quran and Sunnah.

"Islam urges its followers to increase welfare deeds in the religious context and enliven the spirit of cooperation in order to achieve what is aspired by the Malay proverb, 'Berat Sama Dipikul Dan Ringan Sama Dijinjing'."

In conjunction with the upcoming fasting month of Ramadhan, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam this year has consented to give away 300 grammes of dates to each Muslim throughout the country as a personal gift, reflecting the monarch's love and concern for his people.

HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik said the dates were a donation from His Majesty to all Muslims in the country, regardless of their citizenship, race or age.

The dates are eaten during the breaking of fast in Ramadhan.

This year, a total of 123.5 metric tonnes of 'Mabroom' dates, were specially shipped by the Al Madinah Al Munawarah Dates Company in Saudi Arabia to be distributed to all Muslims in the country.

The distribution of dates was held at the Chancellor Hall of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Also attending the event were members of Jemaah Tadbir, Yayasan Board of Directors, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force, District Officers, Penghulu, Village Heads, Longhouse Chiefs and senior government officers, who are involved in the distribution of the dates. - Borneo Bulletin (24th August 2007)