Bandar Seri Begawan - In conjunction with the Maulidur Rasul 1434 Hijrah celebration, four women became recipients of the Women's Bakti Hijrah Award 1434H' for their years of contributions to the Brunei society, awards that were yesterday presented to them by Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha at the Jerudong Park Ampitheatre.
The first recipient was Datin Hajah Maimoonah binti Haji Omar, 69, who - since her retirement - has been actively organising charity work and religious functions such as those relating to major religious events.
Speaking to the Bulletin, Datin Hajah Maimoonah expressed her belief that women, especially those in Brunei, should be given proper education in terms of spiritual and physical knowledge so as to allow them to realise their responsibilities as a mother or wife.
Meanwhile, award recipient Datin Dayang Hajah Maliha @ Milhah binti Haji Sanip, 77, was a trained religious teacher who devoted her services for a quarter of a century to religious activities, the reading of the Al-Quran until Khatam, and providing religious education (such as Hadith and Fiqh) in her own home or when she was invited to teach at private residences, be it for children or adults. She was also a religious teacher to the royal princesses.
According to Datin Dayang Hajah Maliha, women are faced with a much more challenging task of guiding and educating their children, in view of the numerous outside influences that may lure them down the wrong path.
"Guide your children with knowledge on Islam first, only then should they be taught other knowledge," she said.
With regard to working women, mothers especially, have obligations at home, she explained.
"Firstly, responsibility towards the spouse. Next is the responsibility towards children. Do not depend on domestic helpers or others as a child's education starts from birth. The good and bad that children bear all lead back to the mother who raises them.
Meanwhile, Hajah Damit binti Mohd Yussof, 63, was awarded for her 40 years of active contribution in the field of religious activities on a national level as well as in the field of education.
Highly skilled in the reading of the Al-Quran, she has conducted Al-Quran and Dikir classes which she founded with a group of friends, teaching children and adults in her village. She has also been invited on several occasions to become the Imam and Bilal during the Isyak and Terawikh prayers during the month of Ramadhan.
The other recipient of the award was Datin Dayang Hajah Masni binti Haji Awang, 70, who is one of the many women highly involved in associations (particularly PERTIWI Association, Persatuan Guru-Guru Melayu Brunei (PGGMB), and BISTARI) as well as organising religious functions at the association level to national level.
Her persistence in helping the development of society can be clearly seen through the Kampong Manggis Consultative Council, specifically in creating and organising adult Al-Quran reading and Dikir classes for members of the Women's Bureau in the village.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin