25 January 2015

A Wild Thought


Something to puzzle

Note I have posted nothing here since 1.1.15 (not 1014 as kindly pointed out by UNKNOWN in the 'comments' below), twenty five days ago. Is blogging old-fashioned and one should move on? That thought is tempting. But today we have honoured guests, something for my thought to run wild.
_____________________________________
 

Honeymooners, be aware!
 Here is a home for the aged, home for the ones with just one dream.
 
 There is sky up above, hard ground beneath and air to breath.
There is the deep blue sea and the spray and the seagull and its prey.
The sand, holding the roots of the palm trees,
 The red dish rising over the horizon  to give warmth,
The silvery moon taking over to give light.
 
I see them all.
 
 I admire them.
 There lie my dreams.
Welcoming others to share.
 
Endlessly.
 
The puzzle and wonder.
 
Of the Ultimate Creator
 

_____________________

 
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01 January 2015

Pakcik Reminisces ( Pt 38 ) - My 1962 New Year Resolution


 

My Resolution 52 years ago
 

In the final hours of 2014 ecided to look back to those years when making new year resolutions was a must to me. Generally it was made with a serious thought. Each year my diary would, without fail, start with resolutions for the year. Now it is all a history.  A quick glance brought me to my diary of 1961  I was then in my final year. In the middle of that year, armed with a degree, I started my working career, in Singapore for a start. ( I regret I am not right now able o put a picture of that book and the relevant page.)


 
 



Let us see how the first page of my ( Monday, January 1961) diary began. I wonder in what mood I was  when I was writing it down.  Was I being as serious as I was on other occasions ?  Here is what I wish my readers to see:

 “ a -No vice of any sort.

  b - By the time the last page of this diary is written there should be at least ‘three’ if not full house‘4’ ?”

 The first part (a) sounds as if I had lived a dirty and wild life those years I was a student away from home. Who knows -  that is a matter for anyone to judge. No one is perfect.

 Now we look at the second part (b). My first question when I read this, what was that 'three' and 'full house 4' mean? Since I now have three children I immediately thought of children.  No, it was not meant to be children. The 'last page' of that diary would  mean a period of less period than a whole twelve months, needing me to be married and to force a triplet  (or even a quad within a year!. That would not be human.
Then the  'full house 4' would only make me think of my right as a Muslim man! In short,Pakcik must be in a humorous mood on the first day of 1961, the year I would be liberated from text books and all, come snow and sunshine. How could that young Pakcik ever seriously think of 'full house '4' . Today,53 years down the line  the ‘house’only has one 'guest', and I have been more than contented. Alhamdulillah.

Those comments enable me today to comment and criticise how foolishly na├»ve I was those heroic years, at least so I thought.

 
 

____________________________ 

 

 

Just as well I am finishing this entry at almost within the last minutes of 2014. So, I have the opportunity to wish every one of my readers a successful and rewarding 2015.  I will have this posted within the first hours of 2015, but I must also have my  new year resolution as well - that is :    

 
Berkhidmat kerana
Tuhan
Untukkemanusiaan
 
 

  
                        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  

27 December 2014

The SECOND wave - Rain and Snow


A quiet X'mas  Day

 
A X'mas Day to remember 



To my Christian visitors I wish a sadly belated Merry X’mas, with snow and all to add atmosphere to the joyous occasion. To us in Malaysia it has been sad news especially in the East Coast where I am.  

One headline reads “Terengganu virtually cut off..”
Another says that this is 'the worst in history'



With incessant  rain over the last five days we bgan to  expect the worst.  Excessive water would naturally break river banks to flood the surrounding low areas which generally are in bad need of suitably planned monsoon drains.

It was late afternoon of X'mas Day when, from my house, I could see the sea through the gaps in the row of tall casuarina trees ( my Terengganu’s X’mas trees’ look-alike), which I had them planted to help breaking the force of sea breeze carrying salt sprays to our home during Monsoon weather. What I was looking at from my house did  not look at all good, ominous as a matter of fact.

 

 


On  a sudden impulse I reached my camera and walked down to the beach to see any real life drama on the beach, perhaps a rare experience to many but not to us here  
 
 





      Not a very inviting look


It was a weird feeling to see the stormy sea and grey sky stretching all the way to the Western horizon. On the Eastern side runs a a  row of casuarina trees, in a way hiding the predence of our home. ; and stretching north and south runs the seemingly endless stretch of sandy beach to as far as the eyes can see.

 The minous cloud threatening from the western horizon

 

That was X’mas eve for me, yesterday. The atmosphere could be romantic with a slight breeze, accompanied by the  soft sound of waves spreading their foams on the frothy shore;  and there a couple standing hand-in-hand watching the far horizon, or sitting on the soft sand watching baby vrabs running around! 

 A fascinating  sight of foamy waves
spreading froth over the expanse of the sabdy beach

 That was prt of my quiet X'ms Day, standing mersmerised by the the Almighty's works of wonder and admiration. Then I traced back my footsteps in the sandm, happy that I decided to do the least romantic act of the Day but spiritually satisfying. Alhamdulillah.
 
 
     _____________________________


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Kerana Tuhan
Untuk Kemanusiaan



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

09 December 2014

Selamat Tinggal


NOQTAH hitam o 9.12.2014

At lunch time today the wife of my very old friend of sixty years passed away at a hospital in Subang Jaya. This is indeed a dark spot in our life. She, named Hasmah Sulaiman, and  Salmah Sulaiman, my good wife (watch their names) were  like  twins.  
 
Suddenly gone are the days and evenings we had meals out, and occasions we shared meals at home accompanied with gay time and laughter.

Waktu sembahyang dan tanah perkuburan sebelum waktu zohor esok akan menandakan detik perceraian kami di bumi ini.Yang ada pada kami cuma titisan air mata disertai doa semoga rohnya berada diantara yang dikasihiNYA. Lfatihah.

Prayers and AlFatihah will always be our way of remembering this very dear  old lady, a dear sister more than a friend.

________________________ 
 
 
Berkhidmat
Kerana Tuhan
Untuk
Kemanusiaan
 
=========================================
 
 
 

09 November 2014

Hatinya baik (Good heart) - ( Part 5 ) - The novelist


 
My dear Cikgu Ali

Here was one person I consider myself very fortunate to have come to know for twenty years with high degree of respect. He was a gentleman , very sincere and one who spoke his mind. Above all he was a very loving and caring father.   Sadly, he passed away on 3rd November leaving behind his wife and 15 well-raised children. He was Cikgu Ali Jusoh, a retired headmaster and an extraordinary novelist. (AlFatihah for him)


 
Mother and 14 children
(15th not in the picture)   

 Arwah Cikgu Ali wrote more than twenty Malay novels. Of all the many awards he received for his works, Alor Miang topped the list, for which he was honoured  with the coveted Sako 3, a prestigious national literary award named after Ishak Haji Muhammad, or better known by his pen name Pak Sako.
 

 
Hadiah Sako

However, personally, I know how he felt about his latest over-540-page Orang Orang Perang, published just weeks before his demise. The pleasure of having completed the book was tremendous.


 
Orang Orang Perang (last piublished)
 
It was a couple of weeks ago Pakcik, on his request, drove him on a sentimental journey along the upstream section of Terengganu River, where a number of historical events took place. Among others we visited Cheng Ho Memorial, an old building constructed in honour of the legendry Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho, a Muslim. The theme of his last book was based on the life of this historical figure.

And it seems like yesterday when, while driving in town, his voice came through the phone with excitement.  A few copies of his latest book had reached him. I was to drop by for my copy before being high-jacked by others
_______________ 
 
To avoid making this a long posting I may, one of these days, post a note on why I believe he judged his last book, Orang Orang Perang, to be his best achievement; and I will write why Alor Miang is not just an award winning novel for him but one book very personal to me.
________________

Arwah Ali Jusoh often expressed his enthusiasm in training young novelists, several of whom owe him success. To my mind he was a born writer, not needing tertiary education to be what he was. I cannot help believing that characters in his novels were of real people and so were the events and environments. He often told me how he made trips up a hill, into a jungle or down a river to study the environments. He was adamant that one should not imagine the feeling of being in jungle at night without experiencing it, camping overnight if necessary. One should feel the serenity, the rustle of leaves, the buzzing of mosquitoes, the sight of the moon, or the lack of it, among the leaves.   

It hurt me deeply, during the last year of his illness, to see a novelist of his calibre sitting idle with plenty of time on hand, sadly unable to use his fingers. What he could compose in his mind could not be translated without the use of his fingers holding a pen or striking the type-writer keys. Recitation was never an option for him.

___________________________________

 
How did I get to know this wonderful person?

Way back in 1994, a good 20 years ago, it was my ‘hijrah’ with Makcik from KL to KT to start a new phase of life. A couple of months after settling down Pakcik decided to start my voluntary tuition for the needy children. My small tuition Almanar building was about to be built but I could not wait to start. My first thought was to begin with a small number of Standard 5 children. For that purpose I drove to the nearest primary school, about 3 km away. At the school office I requested to see the headmaster, whoever that might be. It turned out to be Arwah Ali Jusoh whom I had never mat or heard of.

Without being asked for the reason of my visit I was ushered into the HM’s office. With a smile he gestured me to a chair and he sat himself in one.  I told him briefly the reason for seeing him; to request for a small group of Std 5 children, stressing my preference for those from needy families. That person must have studied me and understood what I wished.

That was the beginning of my 20-year friendship with that headmaster. When I subsequently knew of his writing skill I began to have dreams of being a writer as well. Finally, I completed a two-sheet type-written essay (that was my pre-laptop era!) and proudly handed it to him one day. Soon after that he dropped by the house. Pakcik knew He had read my master piece and was about to give me his comments, nothing short of high praise, I anticipated.

Then came the bomb-shell. “Haji, tulislah saja dalam Bahasa Inggeris. ( addressing me – Haji you are better off writing in English.) he began. Then, while placing on the table my two-sheet work, which was now full of lines , scribbles and circles in RED ink, he went on (in Malay), “ This is not the Malay way of writing. It is English. Even your Malay spellings are all wrong, Zaaba’s era!” The man was no-nonsense. We understood each other well enough. What a blow to my ego that was!

He had plainly told me the truth. Thence, I ceased to dream of becoming a novelist.
 
 
With his Alor Miang


 


Trying hard to scribble his initials on
  my copy of Orang Orang Perang


That was Ali Jusoh. My prayers go with him.


_____________________
  

 

Berkhidmat

Kerana Tuhan

Untuk

Kemanusiaan

25 October 2014

Miracles of Al-Quran ( Pt 3 ) – Maurice Bucaille.


( 1 Muharram 1436 ) 

Quran and Science

It is befitting to start another year of Hijriah with another posting on the Miracles of Al-Quran.

About 30 years ago I purchased in London a book by Maurice Bucaille, a French medical doctor and a member of French Society of Egyptology.  I was amazed by its astounding contents. Sadly, I can no longer find this prized copy on my bookshelf.  Somehow, a new copy, purchased later, does not satisfy my love for the first copy which had flicked through on so many occasions.


 Maurice Bucaille

Bucaille ( born in 1920 and passed away in 1998 ), a medical specialist, practiced medicine from 1945–82. He had great interest in identifying words from the bible and Quran and interpreting them against his medical practice. He, then, found it necessary to learn Arabic in order to understand what Al Quran had to say. Many aspects in the Quran relate to deep understanding of science and he could not rely on pure translation.  In order to be able to read Quran in its original text, he devoted himself to the learning of Arabic language at the ripe age of fifty.    

His deep involvement in the preservation of Egyptian mummies brought him closer to the Arab world. In 1973, Bucaille was appointed family physician to king Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Another of his patients at the time included members of the family of then President of Egypt, was Anwar Sadat.

Thereafter, he made a serious beginning by trying to reconcile proven scientific truths with religious axioms. Finally he was convinced that of all the sacred books, Al Quran was the only one which had remained sacrosanct and free from all additions, alterations and interpolations, and, consequently it still retained the purity to guide mankind in all ages, places and in every conceivable crisis.   

He was convinced of the exact specific scientific details mentioned in AlQuran and such details were absent in in other scriptures. He realised that those details, could never have been understood during Prophet Muhammad’s era. The various stages in the process of pregnancy have all along been described in great details in Al Quran but the absence of scientific knowledge did not make it possible for proper interpretation and understanding. Being a specialist in that field he found Al Quran very specific in its description on processes involved in pregnancy. What is described with so much detail could never be understood 1400 years ago. This fact alone is enough proof of the authenticity of Quran against any other sacred books.

On the basis of the great wonders he discovered in Al Quran, Maurice Bucaille adopted Islam.

As a result of these studies, he wrote his famous book "QURAN, BIBLE AND SCIENCE" in 1976, which caused a furore in high academic circles - particularly in the Christian world.


What is the origin of man 
&  The bible the Quran and science
 
After a deeper study of Islam and the Quran, he has authored another book titled, "THE ORIGIN OF MAN". He was invited to give Extension Lectures in academic institutions. By virtue of his unprejudiced and realistic approach to Quranic thought, and by virtue of his unprejudiced and realistic discussion and his research work, Dr. Bucaille has converted a number of high ranking scholars to agree with him and to subscribe to his view that the Quran is a Divine Book, not authored by any human being, and was truly revealed by the Almighty God to His Last Prophet, Mohammad, Peace Be Upon Him.

______________________________

It is never my preference to make an unnecessarily long posting. Insya Allah, I will have another posting on Professor Maurice Bucaille’s amazing finding on the death of Pharoah and his mummy as specified in Al Quran, but absent in other religious books.

 

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Untuk kemanusiaan

14 October 2014

Mission Impossible


 Could  Rome be built in one day?
 
To-date, the largest orphanage centre in the state, Perkaya., which have its own school, have started sending pupils to Almanar on a weekly basis ,a very unsatisfactory frequency. Two groups are ferried in in their own bus every Saturday morning . I am hoping the new programme for next year will increase the frequency. I have, thus far, concentrated on teaching English, leaving other subjects to begin in January.

 I was greatly surprised last week when their representative requested Pakcik’s assistance to spend one Saturday morning with their Form 3 children who would begin their PT3 ( to replace the PMR) examination , which began yesterday with half a million candidates. The children were in need of help in mathematics. Preparing children of unknown level of knowledge in half a day for an important examination was a tall order; a mission impossible. But I knew better than to decline. I would, at least, have an opportunity to assess the children’s competency in that subject before they turn up to be tutored as Form 4 pupils early next year.

           
Bus from PERKAYA
 
 
As planned a busload of children arrived at Almanar before nine last Saturday. Buses from Perkaya have always been very punctual despite their one-hour journey to to Almanar. So, by nine last Saturday morning,  27 children ( 6 girls and 21 boys) were seated quietly in four rows in my class. I was conscious that all the 27 pairs of eyes watching me belonged to children without fathers. It was a sobering thought and I felt grateful to be in that unusual and enviable position.

After the initial few words of welcome, making sure that they would only address me as a simple Pakcik or Pakcik Hassan, we began with Al Fatihah for their fathers and the rest.

The ensuing three hours was tiring, selecting appropriate parts ans examples.  At least I know now the level of their competency; which is low in my estimation. They would not make an A grade today, but, Isha Allah, a few would in two years’ time. Rome was not built in one day.

 

Berkhidmat

kerana Tuhan

untuk kemanusiaan