During Ramadhan, other than fasting, Muslims are encouraged to do more good deeds as the rewards are plenty. As such there are a lot of charitable activities being held during the month of Ramadhan in Brunei such as donation drive and Islamic talks. One such event was Iftar Muhabbah, organised by As-Syahadah group that consisted of muslim reverts in Brunei.
The event is a chance for non-muslims to visit the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque and learn the basics in Islam such as ablution and prayers, while also giving a chance for them to experience the calming atmosphere of breaking their fast in a mosque.
According to Muhammad Samira Razin, Chairman of As-Syahadah Muallaf Youth, this is the second time they’ve held this event during Ramadhan, with the first one being last year. They highlighted that the focus is to make the mosque accessible, even to non-muslims, and gain more knowledge about Islam.
About 50 people showed interest and joined the event, including foreigners from Australia and local non-muslim communities in Brunei, such as Tiong Hua and Hokkien.
Another objective of the event is to foster a closer bond between muslims and non-muslims, and allowing As-Syahadah muallaf youths to give information about Islam to the participants.
“For this year, during the guided tour, we brought the participants around the mosque and explained the structures, the proper etiquette when in a mosque, and the things that are connected to the Muslim faith. The participants were also allowed to try and follow the actions for prayers and ablution,” mentioned Samira.
One of the participants, Adrian Smith from Australia said that it was his first time in Brunei expressed his fascination when experiencing Islam through the programme.
“I think it is fascinating to learn about Islam in this way as it is not something that we learn about in school or in our lives at all. I always like to learn about people and their cultures or religion in a country,” said Adrian.
He added that he gained a wonderful insight into people living in the country and being able to understand each other more even with the different background from one another.
All these are to make sure to eliminate any misconception about Islamic actions and faith and for the participants, they are able to gain experience of breaking fast together at the mosque.
“We hoped that with the availability of guided tours of our mosques, participants familiarise more with Islam in Brunei and foster a healthy and mutual relationship between muslims and non-muslim,” said Samira.
The youth group hopes that this event will be one of their main projects going forward, and hopefully they will be able to hold more open mosque events like this in the future at different locations in the country.