Father of the bride – finding Iman and TAQWA

October 29, 2011

How do you identify those who are TAQWA? To ask that to a pair of young prospective couple could be a lot to ask for but these are the basic pursuit of life. The whole journey of life is about putting in practice the simple do’s and dont’s

As a simple guide see if he or she does or practice the following. Or in your conversations you can actually pick up and understand one’s value system. it is simple, but first and foremost you yourself have to subscribe to these.

“Take not with Allah another object of worship”

“Be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour”

“Render to the kindred their due rights, as to those in want, and to the wayfarer””

“But squander not your wealth in the manner of a spendthrift””

“Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute”

“Kill not your children for fear of want”

“Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil”

“Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause””

“Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it””

“Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight””

“Pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into””

“Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height”


O sons and daughters ( excerpts from the Chapter on The Wisdom of LUQMAN)

December 1, 2010

Dear children,O sons and daughters,

  • You shall be thankful to God, and whoever is thankful is being thankful for his own good. As for whosoever rejects and refuses , then God is Rich, Praiseworthy and does not need your gratitude
  • do not set up any partners with God; for setting up partners is an immense wrongdoing
  • GOD enjoined the human being regarding relationship with parents. Your  mother bore you with hardship upon hardship, and your weaning takes two calendar years. You shall give thanks to God, and to your parents. To God is the final destiny.
  • Even if the parents  strive to make you set up any partners besides God, then do not obey. But continue to treat them amicably in this world.
  • You shall follow only the path of those who have sought God. Ultimately, you all return to God, then God will inform you of everything you have done.
  • If it be anything even as the weight of a mustard seed, be it deep inside a rock, or be it in the heavens or the Earth, God will bring it. God is Sublime and Expert
  • Hold the contact/direct communication  to God through Solat
  • advocate righteousness and forbid evil,
  • Bear with patience whatever befalls you. These are the most honourable traits
  • Do not turn your cheek arrogantly from people
  • Nor shall you roam the Earth insolently. For God does not like the arrogant show offs
  • Be humble in how you walk and
  • Lower your voice. For the harshest of all voices is the donkey’s voice
  • See that God has committed in your service everything in the heavens and the Earth,
  • See that  He has showered you with His blessings, both apparent and hidden
  • Do not argue about God without knowledge, without guidance, and without an enlightening Scripture.
  • Follow that which God has sent down
  • Do not follow  those that  Say: “No, we will follow what we found our fathers doing.”
  • Do not follow  what  the devil had been leading them to the agony of Hell
  • Whosoever surrenders himself completely to God, while he is righteous, then he has taken hold of the strongest bond. And to God all matters will return.
  • And whosoever rejects, then do not be saddened by his rejection. To God is their ultimate return, then God will inform them of what they had done. God is fully aware of what is inside the chests. God let them enjoy for a while, then God commit them to severe retribution.
  • And if you ask them: “Who created the heavens and the Earth” They will Say: “God.” Say: “Praise be to God.” Yet, most of them do not know.
  • To God belongs everything in the heavens and the Earth. God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy
  • And if all the trees on Earth were made into pens, and the ocean were supplied by seven more oceans, the words of God would not run out. God is Noble, Wise.
  • To God Your creation and your resurrection is all as one breath. God is Hearer, Seer
  • Have you not seen that God merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night, and that He has committed the sun and the moon, each running to a predetermined term; and that God is expert of everything you do
  • God is the truth, and that which they call on besides Him is falsehood,
  • and that God is the High, the Great.
  • Have you not seen the ships sailing the sea, carrying God’s provisions, to show you some of His signs In that are signs for every one who is patient, thankful And when waves surround them like mountains, they call on God, sincerely devoting the system to Him. But when He saves them to the shore, some of them revert. None discard God signs except those who are betrayers, unappreciative
  • Remember !!With God is the knowledge regarding the Hour.
  • God sends down the rain, and
  • He knows what is inside the wombs.
  • No soul knows what it may gain tomorrow, nor does any soul know in which land it will die. God is Knowledgeable, Expert.

Note: the above are excerpts from the Quran Surah LUQMAN


Boundary management in relationship

August 11, 2010

In Malay there is this proverb or simpulan bahasa Jaga tepi kain. You manage the seam of your sarong. Do not bother about the sarong of others. My sarong may be bursting at the seams, or a few stitches may have opened up to show some flesh,  just let me restitch it or cover it up.

In relationship it means minding your own affairs or minding your own business. In a society where extended family is very much alive it could be very challenging. One has to learn to identify when empathy and caring stop and when minding your own business begins.

Among close siblings matters relating to your brothers or sisters marriage life and those relating to nephews and nieces are particularly sensitive issues. You are so used to being told by your parents to share, to care for each other but when we have our own family there are tendencies for brothers and sisters to continue applying those values although generally with noble intentions but not welcomed by the affected party.

Often families fail to realize that siblings need to adapt to new relationship rules  when each has his or her own family. You tend to take your brothers and sisters for granted. You are so used to shouting at each other that when you grow up you find it awkward to exercise diplomacy and tact in your communication. The rule of the game is be respectful and tactful when you feel you need to alert but otherwise it is  better  not to get involved unless assistance or counsels are solicited.

Once you are married you are sailing your own ship. Navy rules apply, NEVER cross the bow of another ship without permission. You may be tempted to pass comment or come to the defence of your sibling or even your parent, in a perceived disadvantaged position But remember these are autonomous ships that have their own captain and crew. If you do you have transgressed the boundary management rule 2.

I guess the Malay Tepi jaga kain is the best practical example of managing relationship. You must NOT offer to stitch someone’s else sarong unless asked. Manage your sarong or in the navy it is your ship that matter!!


My Uncle, My Inspiration – A great teacher is one that inspires

June 19, 2010

I posted the following comment in the facebook album of my cousin nephew Nasir Razak on 9th of June

Tq nasir for capturing the moments. a few pics evoked that special feelings, your tok aki has always been special and inspirational, yr dad was my special cousin @ the malay college, kluang station was the station that launched me to the world, i.e i took the first train to Kuala kangsar, 23 jalan ahmad khan is another one that is special which served as my night stop before traveling back to kk.

The Tok Aki I was referring to was Haji Salim Said, the younger brother of my late father Salam Said. He was my special uncle. You know that you may have a dozen uncles or a dozen brothers or sisters, but there will always be one that is close to your heart. One that is extra special. In the case of Chek Salim, as I addressed him, he was not only extra special, he was inspirational.

At a time when the kampong I was brought up in was in darkness he was the light that attracted me, the kalkatu. I was referring to the state of education and economy of the kampong. At a time my abah and emak was attending sekolah dewasa to learn the A,B,C he was already reading Shakesphere  and other great literatures. He was already a headmaster when I was scrounging the old cabinet in my Nyai’s, my paternal granny, house and these coverless, brownish books were my archeological findings. They were all Greek to me and I said to myself I must be able to understand all these.

During the Holidays, I would be longing to be invited to be with my cousins in Kluang. There were already 6 boys in the household and I would be the additional head that will share the Mak Ning’s ikan belanak, or ikan selar kuning goring that acompany the sawi, kobis or taugeh masak air.

I, the kampong boy, held my first badminton racquet, I saw my  first bullet casing, I saw a house full of books and other boys gadgets while doing my sabbatical in Kluang. Taza my cousin,  although  about the same age as me was a bookworm so I was closer to Ajak his elder brother. We would be exploring the British Military Camp in Kluang where the school was located.  The adventure of looking at soldiers in parade and going to the firing range to look for spent bullet casing were exciting for this kampong boy. I learned my first lesson in metallurgy in Klunag, extracting the tin from the spent casing from Ajak who later became a King Scout.

I guessed I develop my hunger for reading seeing a house full of books rather than useless paraphernalia and glassware, in Kluang.

Prodded by Chek Salim Taza , ajak and I would be talking about the kind of cars we wanted to have. For someone like me, it was unimaginable that I would be driving a car, when abah’s worldly possession then was a rickety bicycle. And we talked. Taza said he would be driving a car that was so quiet that no one would ever notice him coming. Chek Salim was driving the FIAT 600. Imagine a family of 8 cramped into a Fiat 600!!

As expected Taza was the first to go to The Malay College.  It was the Fiat 600 that took them to Kuala Kangsar. My Emak accompanied them. When they got back, emak and chek salim said to me ” Sekolah Anak Raja, cantik, semua ada. Kau mesti pergi Sekolah Kuala Kangsar” . That was the inspiration that got me cracking.

When I became  one of the top 3 students in Batu Pahat, Chek Salim drove to Bagan to give me a present of two ringgit  in an impromptu ceremony witnessed by Li and man and Lina my younger cousins. Hasnah my cousin also received the two ringgit for the excellent LCE result. Two months later i was in The Malay College and Hasnah was in Sekolah Kolam Air, which later became Sekolah Sri Putri. Ajak and Taza were the receiving party in Kuala Kangsar.

During the Sports and Speech Day in 1973,  I was so happy because Chek Salim came to visit us. That was special as I had never had any visitor in my entire life in The Malay College,. I remembered we had durians at the little hotel next to the oldest rubber tree in Malaya. It was me, ajak, taza and cek Salim.

I also learned this lesson from this special man. He never retired. He became a fairly successful Class C contractor. He was a thinking man. His mind was always inquisitive. In the last few years however his memory was only on Random Access. So there were times when he would be calling me to ask about the Nisan for the grave of his late parents  Hj Said and Hajah Marseh. I did the repairs but he kept forgetting.

On one occasion, when I was shopping at the open market the few man at the meat stall unexpectedly asked me ” kau anak cikgu Salim ye?”

These were elderly man in their 70s. They explained that they were his students 60+ years ago. I was moved. I drove to Kluang to pay my respect to this great teacher.

I wrote this while driving to Kluang to pay my respect to this great man. He passed away today at a ripe old age of 92. Alfatihah.


Memahami AlQuran dengan anak-anak

May 20, 2010

Malam tadi sebelum tidur, saya membacakan sedikit terjemahan surah AlImran, Maryam dan Ibrahim kepada anak-anak. Anda akan terkejut betapa mudahnya untuk mereka memahami dan betapa tertariknya mereka mendengar cerita kelahiran Isa, cerita ibrahim dan ayahnya. Sengaja saya gunakan AlQuran kerana  say mahu mereka mula faham bahwa AlQuran itu benar, alQuran itu mudah dan AlQuran itu rujukan utama manusia.

Mereka sekarang tahu siapa itu The Virgin Mary, Isa itu bukan anak Tuhan, Isa bolih berkata-kata semasa didalam buaian, kitab kepada Isa itu sama dengan Alquran, Isa menyampaikan perintah Tuhan bersolat dan berzakat berbaik kepada Ibu Bapa. Mereka juga tahu Cerita Ibrahim manusia mulia yang mengesakan Allah dan  Bahwa menyembah behala dan menduakan Allah itu dilaknati Allah.

Saya tidak bertindak seperti ulama atau ustaz yang mengupas dan menganalisis. Saya hanyalah seorang bapa yang membacakan “bed time story”  terus dari AlQuran.

Mereka telah meminta dibacakaan cerita nabi Adam dan Noh. Saya katakan  banyak lagi cerita dan hadis nabi  Hud, Lot, Noh, Yusuf Musa dan lain lain yang akan kita baca terus dari AlQuran.


Father of the Bride – prologue

April 11, 2010

I am going to be the father of the bride. This a totally new experience for me. I am ” strongly opinionated” as far as weddings are concerned and now is the time for me to walk the talk.

Am I nervous or feeling uncertain? no I am not. I am as cool as a cat, for those words I have penned, are words I really meant. That helps.

The BRIDE is the title the young maiden carries on her wedding day. So I guess that title Father of the Bride is the Title for the day. These jottings are the log of the process in becoming the father of the Bride, and hopefully records of the aftermath.

Weddings are indeed important event and there are despots and kings and sultans who made it a matter of the state.
Wars have been fought between nations, states lost their independence, the sultan lost the throne due to weddings and marriages.

Not known to many, is the story of how Kedah lost its sovereignty after the wedding of one of the princesses. This was well recorded by the Tan Sri Mubin Shepherd the distinguished, renown historians in his biography of Tunku. He was the only historian who dared to touch on this taboo piece of history. Watch my next entry.

For I am Ceasar, and I have decided that Ceasar must have full control of the process.


esham, why are you not teaching your children religion?

December 25, 2009

“Why are you not teaching your children agama?” I could sense how concern she was. It was in her eyes and her face.

“Make me a promise, that you will get an ustaz to teach them. I know you will not be able to teach them”.

“Look at B and look at D, look at their children. How pious they are! Look at adam, look at S, look at A and look at N.”

“Emak, I teach my children religion”.

“mananya?” sarcasm in the most subtle form as only emak can administer

“I teach religion everyday, every minute. I teach them that all promises are to be honored, i teach them to care for parents, I demonstrate to them to be fair in business dealing and in measurement, I showed them the kambings and ayam that practice free sex, I tell them about jenahak and senohong and gelama and ikan duri, “mula-mula cakap bohong lama-lama mencuri”, i teach them to value life, play hard work hard, i demonstrate to them to care for the less fortunate, to protect their kin”

” I admit though that their Solat have been lax. Do you want to communicate directly with God? Why don’t you invoke that super power? Go and speak to God? that’s how I get them excited about solat. Little success so far, but I am sure they will need to have that access to God.”

” I admit though I have not been teaching them much adat or traditions or rituals”

” Look at PM, when he died the children could not even recite the Quran for him” she pounded further

Ouch…

“but emak, I teach them how to find the One God. Go observe and feel the  power and presence of God around you. Go and travel the world to find God”

I agree they need to discover the Quran, the Book, the Revelations. They need to know to read the Compass.

Ustaz? mmmmmm