MUSLIMS should not serve food or allow non-Muslims to eat or drink in Muslim-owned homes or premises during the fasting hours of Ramadhan, the monarch said yesterday.
Such acts are considered an insult to Islam and to Muslims themselves, His Majesty and Yang Di-Pertuanof Brunei Darussalam said in his annual titah on the eve of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.
The Sultan said the holy month of Ramadhan should be dedicated to glorifying Islam by offering acts of worship such as abstaining from food and drink during the day, reading the Quran and performing terawihprayers.
He expressed his regret that some Muslims continued to commit sinful acts during the holy month, such as gambling and eating in public, which "insult and make a mockery of the religion".
"We require abstention, especially from eating or drinking, so when a Muslim is found eating or drinking in public, then that person shall be deemed guilty of an offence which may be prosecuted in court.
"According to Islamic law, a similar offence is for Muslims to serve food or permit non-Muslims to eat or drink in their house or in food premises belonging to Muslims, as it is also considered insulting to Islam and Muslims themselves."
These laws are meant to serve as a reminder to the public to preserve the dignity of Islam, he said.
"However there is no question of prohibiting non-Muslims from eating and drinking on their own premises, except if there are reasons in accordance with the law."
His Majesty said because Brunei has made Islam a way of life, the country has developed and been able to maintain peace and prosperity.
"What is more important is that this kind of peace has been very hard to achieve in other places because of conflicting ideologies," he said.
His Majesty added that Muslims' greatest victory is being able to defeat sinful desires which go against Allah's (SWT) commands.
"This victory can only be achieved by those who complete a full month of fasting. It is not easy to obtain this victory, except for those who are truly devoted.
"Muslims must resolve to always defeat Allah's (SWT) enemy. When we are victorious, it means we have qualified to become decorated heroes in the eyes of Allah (SWT)."
The monarch said it was not wrong to seek exalted status in the eyes of God.
"If people can pursue fame and glory in this life, why should we not pursue this advantage in the hereafter?
"To reap such rewards in the hereafter requires hard work and sacrifice," he said. "The rewards promised by Allah (SWT) are reserved only for those who perform good deeds."
His Majesty said if good deeds are carried out, then the benefits will be reaped not just by the individual, but by society and the nation as well.
"A country centred on good deeds will be free from people drinking alcohol, people stealing, corrupt people, people using drugs, people who gamble and so on," he said.
"A country free from these ills, would surely be a prosperous one.
Concluding his annual Aidil Fitri titah, His Majesty wished "Selamat Hari Raya" to all people in the country.The Brunei Times
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