17 June 2015

1 Ramadhan 1436H


To all readers, especially blogger friends and former/present students of AlManar.

We wish to inform that our dear Hj Hassan, or fondly known as Pokcik, is unwell.  He has been in Kuala Lumpur since May, in good company amongst family and loved ones, in the special care of medical experts.  Our humble request is for your prayers to guide him through this trying times. 
 
We would also like to wish Ramadhan Mubarak to all.
 
Thank you.
 
 
Makcik and Pokcik's children.
 
 

28 February 2015

A person to admire ( Part 1 ) - Dedication


Personal note ( to my visitors):
My last posting was dated 25th January which is one whole month ago. It is not for short of subjects to write. The increasing number of fellow bloggers disappearing from the scene prompts me to think whether I should call it a day as well. Some have stopped writing altogether and some have moved to the more fashionable fb, wtup etc, No, this one month, however, prompts Pakcik to stay on. There are still a few readers who care to call over and leave comments, for whom I am grateful. Above all I had my reasons for starting this blog  almost ten years ago. And those reasons are still equally valid today.

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Approach road to Kampong Cerong Cina 

I will do a story about a simple family living in a small village community of about thirty houses situated on the wooded slope of a range of hills about 50 km from me.  The locality is known as Kampong Cerong Cina. Central to this family is Mak Yah, a lady of mid forty with four children.  Her father, regarded with high respect as a learned person in religion, is the oldest person around. He is a healthy 101- year old person.  The old man is not just a religious teacher and the Imam of their village surau but is actively involved  in other activities including slaughtering of cattle (during Hari Raya Haji). To many he is also a medicine man for physical and spiritual health. Mak Yah’s husband, Nan, is a man of about fifty, a general construction worker. He is skilled in handling poisonous pest control chemicals, a skill he acquired during his earlier employment with a pest control company. Nan himself has learnt a lot from his father-in-law. In the absence of the old man he takes over a number of religious duties.     
Raised in a religious family Mak Yah acquired the skill and interest in teaching Quran. After attending a religious college she accepted a job as a primary school religious teacher. It was on annual contract which she has been renewing for the last over twenty years. Her love is seeing little children enjoy learning Quran as she and her children used to as children. On contract basis she spends only a few hours a week at school, allowing her more hours with the village children numbering a about forty. In the recent years her eldest boy assisted her in teaching Quran after completing his study at a religious college. Like his mother he has signed to be a religious teacher as well.

To remain close to the ageing parents of Mak Yah, Nan had a wooden house built next to the old couple’s home. That was almost twenty years ago when Nan and Kak Yah had small children. It was not too burdensome to allow one part of their house dedicated for the Quran class. Over the years as the four children grew bigger the need to use the space for Quran class for their own need was more pressing. Nan and Mak Yah  began to dream of a separate hut for the Quran class, allowing the family to expand their living quarters. But the family had very little money to spare for that purpose. What could do was to begin collecting surplus material like cement, bricks, roofing sheets etc which might be found useful when needed later.

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Those are the simple facts about Nan, his wife and family.  For nearly twenty years I knew Nan as a contract worker and had relied on his services, but, I realise today, I had never given him room to talk about his family life. I only came to know what I wrote above by chance during the course a casual conversation I had with a very close of his. Suddenly my perception of that small family changed overnight.

Having broken the barrier Nan and Pakcik began to discuss what could be done to assist his family to continue contributing to the village children in studying Quran. Seeing the help he could get by way of new materials for a small building, Nan set for himself a tough target to have the small hut ready by the birthday anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAWSLM) barely two months away. Quietly spent all his free time on the building. Yes he did it all by himself. It was a simple hut with roof, tiled floor and low concrete walls on three sides. On the fourth side he built a toilet and a small kitchen.


The new hut for Quran study - named 'Pondok Almanar'

"Pondok Almanar" nearing completion
 

The proud lady "Mak Yah" and her ;childrren'
 

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It was a very proud moment for Mak Yah and Nan on the long-waited morning of the Maulud (birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAWSL). She organised her pupils to parade on the road leading to the new hut. On a signal from her the group started chanting, marching slowly to the new building. How surprised I was to see a welcome message displayed on the wall – Welcome to “Pondok Almanar” ( Almanar hut), a tribute to Pakcik’s Almanar.

Nan, Mak Yah's husband leading children reciting praises to Prophet (SAW)
 

After a short speech by Mak Yah and prayers by Nan everyone started to enjoy the foods, mainly contributed by the villagers.
Mak Yah's young Quran readers

 

It was a memorable day indeed for the villagers and the children who now have a proper place to study Quran. 


Welcome to Pondok Almanar


 They owe it all to the dedication of Mak Yah and family. Behind the scene Pakcik shares the pride of a gutsy lady who shares out motto:

                 

Berkhidmat

Kerana Tuhan

Untuk Kemanusiaan

 

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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.
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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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Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

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.

 
 

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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
 
 

  
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