Background reading material for Year 1 Semester 2 PPSD Session on Wednesday 31st January 2007 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


The essentials of life are food, water, shelter, security, and clothing. The functions of food are providing body, body growth, and body maintenance in the best condition. Meals together strengthen social relations are a form of entertainment The Law forbids foods specific foods and drinks that are injurious to good health leaving the rest of foods as permitted. It is prudent to avoid foods whose status is doubtful. The malnutrition of the rich is over consumption that leads to disease. Malnutrition of the poor is inadequate intake.


God provides sustenance (riziki) for all living things. There is enough food in the world but its distribution is poor; some have too much while others starve. Food shortage is also caused by war, political instability, social injustice, or economic inefficiency. Humans throughout history have struggled, worked, and even went to war to ensure food security.


Water is necessary for all chemical reactions in body metabolism. It is used for cleaning and temperature regulation.


The functions of the house are protection from the weather and aggression, privacy, child-rearing, social interaction, rest and entertainment.


Humans need physical security, psychological security, and emotional security.


The functions of clothes are protection from the weather, modesty and covering nakedness, beauty, identification for social intercourse, occupational purposes, and worship. The Law enjoins covering nakedness (‘awrat) but gives a wide latitude on how that can be done. Different dress fashions enable humans derive pleasure from clothes. Dressing for arrogance of for fame is frowned upon.



Humans unlike animals must cover their nakedness for human dignity and preventing sexual stimulation. In dealing with Muslim patients in Brunei we need to understand the concept of nakedness (awrat) and its regulations. Failure to understand this could lead to many complications and mistrust in a medical encounter.


The man's nakedness (awrat) is between the navel and the knee. The woman's m nakedness (awrat) is her entire body except the face and the hands. Awrat should be covered al the time. Exposure of awrat to others is generally forbidden except for exceptions based on age, gender, social status, fear of temptation, family relations, medical or occupational needs.


Covering of awrat is relaxed for elderly women, for young children unaware of sexuality, for servants working inside the house, and for women in front of other women. The spouse can see the whole awrat. Close relatives (male and female), children, and servants in the house are allowed to see the awrat of a woman except between the navel and the knee.


Covering more than the minimum is required of temptation is feared. A handsome man should cover the legs and the upper part of the body.


Innocent non-repeated or non-purposive looks at non-awrat parts of the body are permitted. What should not be seen should also not be touched.


Covering, hijab, has great social significance. It forces society to look at a woman as an intelligent and competent member and not a beautiful body to be admired.



The Law forbids immoral and obscene poetry, singing, dancing, and art. Dramatic expositions that are moral and do not violate any provisions of the Law are permitted. Any entertainment that involves immoral mixing of men and women is forbidden. Participative sports for purposes of building body strength are encouraged. Spectator sports are discouraged. A sport is discouraged if it is associated with addiction, commercialization, gambling, and violence. All forms of gambling are forbidden.



Failure may be physical, psychological, or social but all are interrelated. Failure manifests as neglect of duties, social incompetence, lack of seriousness, misguidance, transgression, temptation, miserliness, distress and sorrow, helplessness, laziness, cowardice, indebtedness, begging from others, poverty, being overcome by others, vain talk, extravagance, and being hasty. The ultimate form of failure is loss of self-control and ending up being under the control of passions and becoming an addict to a habit or a sin. The causes of failure are: forgetting God and neglecting His commands, diseases of the heart, and peer pressure. Social failure is a result of wrong choices of what life-style to follow.

ŠProfessor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. January 2007