Islam in Brunei

The Great Mosque in Brunei

Islam is Brunei's official religion, 67 percent of the population is Muslim,[1][2][3] mostly Sunnis of Malay origin who follow the Shafi school of Islamic law. Most of the other Muslim groups are Malay Brunei, Malay Kedayans (converts from indigenous tribal groups) and Chinese converts.[4]


Islam was adopted in the 15th century when a Malay Muslim was installed as sultan. The sultan traditionally was responsible for upholding Islamic traditions, although the responsibility was usually delegated to appointed officials.

Since the 1930s sultans have used rising oil revenues to provide an extensive social welfare system and promote Islam, including subsidizing the Hajj, building mosques, and expanding the Department of Religious Affairs.

With the constitution in 1959, Islam became the official religion of the country.[5]

On 30 April 2014, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced the implementation and enforcement of the first phase of Sharia law in Brunei starting 1 May 2014.[6]

See also


  1. CIA The World Factbook - Brunei
  2. Religious Intelligence - Brunei Archived March 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Religious Freedom - Brunei
  4. Islamic banking in Southeast Asia, Islam in Brunei pushes other religions out of the way . E.g. The ban on alcohol, The ban on the teachings of other religions etc. This is often widely criticised, The Government always attempts to hide this. By Mohamed Ariff, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pg. 24
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