In the previous Pahlawan series, we took a look at Saufi Jamahat, whose company helped shaped Brunei by providing websites and applications development services around the Sultanate. Shifting the focus from economy, we at Sutera moved to the topic of religion as we interviewed one of the Islamic lecturers in Brunei. He is Ustaz Muhammad Khairul Nazif Bin Haji Awang Damit, a well-known lecturer for giving inspirational and motivational Islamic talks around the country.
He was still a student of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) back in 2010 when his story first started. There was a religious programme at the mosque where the students gathered overnight for a ‘Qiamulail’, night time prayers performed after the Isya prayer. It was after the Maghrib prayer that one of the lecturers approached Khairul Nazif to give a talk in front of the congregations that night. He felt hesitant at first but upon further encouragement from his lecturer, he received a 15 minutes’ moment in the spotlight and delivered his talk.
“Those 15 minutes I had marked the start of my passion – to learn deeper about lecturing that brought me to where I am today. Which I hope will continue until the future,” said Ustaz Khairul Nazif in an exclusive interview with Sutera about his first experience speaking in front of the public.
After studying in Jordan for a year, Khairul Nazif returned to Brunei to take his Bachelor’s degree. During his time in the University, he consistently joined in activities relating to public speaking which improved his skills tremendously. In 2012, he travelled abroad to Melbourne, Australia and held a weekly gathering with the Bruneian community residing there. The gathering allowed for an exchange of ideas and continuous talks about sharing information to the people about Islam.
“Upon returning to Brunei, I applied a license to be an Islamic speaker in the country, after receiving the license, I started to give talks at Balai Ibadat Mata-Mata – which I still do until now” said Ustaz Khairul Nazif regarding being an Islamic speaker in Brunei.
Nowadays, he would often get calls to give lectures in the ministries, schools, public and private sector companies. All of these are to enlighten people about Islam and move people closer to Allah S.W.T.
“When I sit down and started lecturing, it always motivates me to see that my efforts are being appreciated. It is always exciting to be able to share this knowledge and also learn at the same time – making it beneficial to all the attendees,” highlighted Ustaz on why he wants to give Islamic lecture to the people.
He hopes that there will be more Islamic speakers in Brunei especially from the youths as part of the effort to make Brunei a country with ‘Dhikr’. With more Islamic lecturers, there would hopefully be more people coming to the religious events and learn more about the official religion in Brunei. He would also advise the youths to always refer to the Holy Books and senior lecturers to ensure that what they deliver are true.
“To all the youths out there, I would like to say ‘Ahlan wa Sahlan wa marhaban bikum’. Let us join hands and work together to bring forth this field of Islamic lecturing. If you want to start speaking of Islam, make sure to bring yourself to religious talks, learn from the ‘Ulamas’ and fill ourselves with plenty of ‘Dhikr’. This is a sign of guidance from Allah S.W.T. and will hopefully bring more knowledge to ourselves,” mentioned Ustaz Khairul Nazif as an advice to aspiring Islamic speakers in Brunei.
“Let us cooperate and work together, Insha’Allah, we will raise the status of Islamic lecturing in Brunei Darussalam.” concluded Ustaz Khairul Nazif.