06 December 2010

Moment to Reflect (Pt 2) - The FOAM - Truth or Vanity

The year 1431 is coming to and end. I ought to post something appropriate for the occasion.

I have just written a philosophical aspect of my coconut watch, the ageing and dying generation and the young ones ready to take over. How about the sea, the old timeless ocean? It has a lot to offer.

Within these couple of weeks what is more prominent is the incessant sound of waves beating the shore day in and day out. This is a normal annual event and as I have already settled down here for nearly two decades, the sound from the sea no longer bothers nor disturbs me and my sleep. Instead it becomes a welcome background to this otherwise quiet environment. It is music to the ear to wake up in the middle of the night hearing the rhythmic sound and imagining the rollers rushing ashore unleashing themselves with force onto the vast expense of the sandy beach, sweeping it smooth and clean.

Accordingly, armed with my small camera I walked over to the beach at the back of my home to watch the wonderful, at times fearsome scene of the marvel of nature, the magic of His creation especially when the Monsoon wind blows hard from the vast South China Sea. I was fully aware that somewhere down town, twenty odd kilometers away, some people were absorbed and excitedly watching the glory of man-created Monsoon Cup battle now being held off the coast of the City of Warisan Persisiran Pantai.

As expected the sea was rough, not as rough as it should be when the time comes, but a far cry from one’s picture of a peaceful scene on the beach. There I stood all alone watching the ocean drama. I was not disappointed. Each time a series of waves unrolled themselves at full speed the end result was a vast sheet of white foam covering the whole stretch of the beach - yes, the FOAM. Think about it, the beautiful clean white foam, the froth, the bueh. What has Quran got to say about his?

From my copies of Quranic tafsir I picked up two, one of Pustaka Imam Asy-syafi’i’s Tafsir Ibnu Kathir, and the other of Abdallah Yousuf Ali. I had the verse I wanted written on a white and photographed it. It is part of ayat 17 from Surah 13 ( Al Ra’d )

Pustaka Imam Asy-stafi’i’s Tafsir Ibnu Kathir :

“…..Demikianlah Allah memisalkan kebenaran dan kebathilan. Dan adapun bueh itu akan hilanglah dengan sia-sia, adapun yang memberi manfa’at kedapa manusia, maka tinggallah dia di bumi. Demikianlah Allah membuat perumpamaan-perumpamaan.”

Abdallah Yousuf Ali’s :
“ ……Thus doth God (by parables) show forth Truth and Vanity. For the scum disappears like froth cast out; While that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth. Thus doth God set firth parables.”

This is what I wish to leave to my readers to see and sleep over. Watch the beauty of Quranic parable of truth and vanity (Yousuf Ali ), kebenaran dan kebatilan (Ibnu Kathir) – the momentary beauty of fresh, white foam (froth or bueh) adorning the beach.

Happy maal Hijrah. May the New Year ,1432 be a rewarding year to my dear visitors and ex-Alamanar pupils, wherever you may be.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


cikzaa said...

SELAMAT MENYAMBUT TAHUN BARU 1432 HIJRAH. Moga tahun yang ditinggalkan telah memberikan kita sesuatu yang terbaik lagi diredhai Allah untuk dijanakan lagi kesyumulannya di tahun mendatang, Insya-Allah.

Salam Maal Hijrah 1432

Hazri Hazmi said...

Selamat Tahun Baru 1432 HIJRAH..May God bless Pakcik and Makcik.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Salam Ma'al Hijrah. May Allah SWT bless you and yours always. purrrr.....meow!

Memorable trails... said...

Salam Maal Hijrah to you and mak chik.May Allah bless both of you always..

Al-Manar said...


Selalulah balik kampong tahun baru. Kampong pun boleh berubah. Nanti sesat jalan. Selamat Tahun Baru

Al-Manar said...


Are you busy with school work even during scool holidays? Hope to see both of you (or three!) some time.
Hope the new year will see a new arrival.

Al-Manar said...


Happy New Maal Hijrah year. Wonder what cat year is like - probably more days per year.

Al-Manar said...


Madam, hope the year will see more of the past successes in your family.Tapi janganlah sampai terlupa Pantai Timur. All our past, painful it might be, contributes to our present success.

Temuk said...

Salam Tahun Baru 1432H

That ayat 17 of surah Al-Ra'd indeed is a very beautiful 'reminder' for us to ponder about the beauty of parables. I love parables, analogies, perbandingan, permithalan. Certainly they help us understand the world and our own life better. Apa lagilah perbandingan-permithalan yg datang dari Maha Pencipta.

Si buih, walau indah putih, tapi hanya datang-pergi. Apalah manfaat & maknanya, selain memberi keindahan sementara. Yg ada & tinggal di bumi, di mana kita hidup, itulah yang memberi kebaikan. Wajiblah kita berusaha mencarinya, sebab ia diadakan oleh-Nya.

Tapi siapalah kita yg kerdil ini untuk memahami sebenar-benarnya rahsia Allah melalui segala perbandingan-permithalan kudus-Nya.

Anonymous said...

AK, I have never wished you and your better-half Tahun Baru Hijrah before, I think it isappropriate for me and my spouse to do so this year, SELAMAT TAHUN BARU HIJRAH 1432. May ALLAH guide you to continue the good deeds that you're doing, may ALLAH BLESS YOU ALWAYS.

As to the THE FOAM -Truth or Vanity it is beautifully written, well that is the result of two decades of residence by the sea and experience of the lashing of waves at your backdoors.

Back to the famous Mosoon Cup, I wish to digress or take us back to our school days when ‘Main Hujan’ dan sukan air adalah satu feastival yang diminati olih penduduk sekitar Kuala Terengganu dimana acara sukan saperti, memanjat dan pukul bantal atas tiang licing, perlumbaan perahu kolek,menangkap itik dalam air dan pelbagai lagi acara2 yang memberi kepuasan kepada perserta2 dan penonton2 dan perbelanjaannya tidak begitu banyak tetepi response daripada raayat sekitar amat mengalakkan.

The bottomline is why can't we the present generation revive what I call SUKAN RAKYAT for the benefit of the rakyat as a whole? well I could continue but I prefer to rest. See you soon. Zul

Al-Manar said...

Sdr Temuk,

Your last line (‘Tapi siapalah kita yg kerdil ini untuk memahami sebenar-benarnya rahsia Allah melalui segala perbandingan-permithalan kudus-Nya.’) says it all.

That is one of the miracles of Quran. Kita mengambil iktibar daripada perbandingan yang dipamirkan. Walaupun cara hidup, kerjaya dan kedudukkan kita berbiza, sasaran yang diperkatakan dalam Quran adalah kepada kita semua. Yang perlunya kita terpaksa berfikir dan mengambil iktibar tanpa rasa keangkuhan dan kebesaran diri – ‘kita yang kerdil’,kata sdr.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
It seems that you have given a deep thought of the Ayatul-Quran and relate it to the elements pervading your life, in such a way that I marvel at your sensitivity and being engrossed with the beauty of the verse in the Al-Quran. You are truly gifted with a sharp eye not just in the physical five senses but more so you see things from the heart.
Speaking of " Bueh " and the parable it carry, indeed I remember another verse which termed the multitude who embrace the True Religion are mostly like the scum that do not add value to the Ummah in general, but they are just 'passengers'. That parable also carries a powerful ethos that what we want in the Islamic World is not just quantity but quality. With the relentless attacks by the hostile forces on the The Religion of Peace, the Islamic World seemed helpless to counter-attack and come out with a vigorous response to correct the misconceptions and the vicious and outright slur.
I recalled a Professor who was a lecturing in INTAN in the series on ' Faces of Islam ' saying that the Islamic Civilisation is dead. We have not regained our past Golden Mean since the Fall of the Othmaniah Empire. What a great pity.

Al-Manar said...


Selamat Maal Hijrah to you and Asmah as well.

You reminsce what I remember it too well about the sea sports of yesteryears. Fighting with Dutch pillows standing on the greased length of floating log was a great attraction. The lomba perahu etc etc were marvellous. As an entertainment for the locals that was a far greater attraction than the Monsoon Cup. I wonder who really cares to go if people like you and me and those we know couldn't care less for that extrvaganza. I agree with you that reviving the old sea sports on a grander scale would very likely attract greater crowd, 'tahap antara bangsa', as the famous phrase goes for everything Malaysian these days.

Al-Manar said...

Sdr Hal,

Segala pujian untuk NYA. I enjoy reading your comments. You normally raise some new points to ponder.

It is indeed very sad to see how people who claim to belong to our ‘religion of peace’ have not lived up to the past glory. We have as a community have failed to understand and practice the concept of ‘khlifat fil ardhi’, the very reason why human was created in the first instance. We have been fragmented. Let us not cry over this. Just do our bit and be happy.

Wan Sharif said...

Yesteryear saw me and my feeble attempt at putting my thought to blogs.. Did manage to have new interesting friends although only manage to visit and see two of them so far..
Memory of Kkalang Maras are still fresh in my mind.. hopefully will be etched there forever..
Salam to you and kakak dari saya sekeluarga..

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
You are at your best when you turned philosophical. And the pics were great.

Anonymous said...

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Al-Manar said...


I think you have done marvellously well with your writing, covering a very wide range of subjects. Hope it will be a better year and certainly look forwards to seeing you and family whenever you happen to be passing Kkalang Marah.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hank,

I do what I can. I still visit you regularly but, but sadly as I commented, you have gone so far that I am out of my depth.

Have another good year, my friend.

Al-Manar said...

Dear 'Anonymous'

I thank you for your visit and your interest.

Kalau boleh silalah tinggal nama (walaupun samaran) untuk panggilan. Kalau untuk Pakcik sahaja gunalah e-mail (almanar@pd.jaring.my )

Nali Ahmad said...

dear pakcik,
the good tn hj nordin musa introduced you to me. i extend to you salam of selamat berkenalan.
this is your first post that i have had the pleasure to read in full. i mean to go through every one of your posts. GOD knows how long that shall take, one whole night if i could have my way...insyaALLAH, it shall get done.
i have always loved the sounds produced by the movements of large body of water... the river, rain and especially the sea. you are so fortunate to be living by the sea, to fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of the sea each day.

Anonymous said...

Salam Maal Hijrah to you and mak cik.
May Allah bless you and your family for every single good deed you have done to the community.I love you Pak Cik and Mak Cik.


Al-Manar said...

Dear Nali,

By all means have a look at he tit bits I have posted. I am glad Hj Nordin did the introduction.
Salaam Maal Hijrah to you and family. Should you have anything to be said outside the blog you may use almanar@pd.jaring.my.

Al-Manar said...


We wonder when you will be home next. Don't forget to drop on us, without 'buat tangan' please. (tapak kaki saja dah cukup.)

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
I've just created an Art Blog. Each posting will comprise a sketch and a poem. Kindly visit:



Anonymous said...

I fool interpret a insufficient of the articles on your website in the present circumstances, and I definitely like your tastefulness of blogging. I added it to my favorites web page file and will be checking stand behind soon. Cheer check in view my orientation as highly and fail me know what you think. Thanks.

Al-Manar said...


An Art Blog, your second blog! Your advance in this field within such a short period is unbelievable. And here I am struggling to figure out the message presented in a simple poem. Kalau setakat 'Kalau ada jarum patah ..... jangan simpan dalam hati' bolehlah.

Al-Manar said...

Dear 'Anonymous'

Your visit and your interest in what I write, leaving a few words on top of it, is very welcome indeed.

Sepertimana saya sebutkan kepada sorang 'Anonymous' diatas, kalau tak ada halangan sila letakkan nama, walaupun nama samaran buat pengenalan sahaja.

Selamat Maal Hijrah

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik

Selamat Tahun Baru Hijriah to you both, may the blessings of Allah be with us all.

What beautiful pictures of the foam and such a big cotnrast during my visit, walking along the beach with Makcik when the sea was then smooth as glass. Perhaps such is life one minute full of sakinah and another minute bergelora like the monsoon season!!!

Salam to you both.


Al-Manar said...

Amimy 01

You see 'contrast'. How perceptive you are, Aminah - the tall dying and the young coconut palms, the glassy and the rough surface of the sea, the hardship you see around my village and the prosperity of the Lion City, me the old volunteer and those little kids cheerfully coming for extra tuition etc etc. Then you begin to think of life and what it must follow for certain. So where is the need to worry over anything and be envious of anyone? That is 'sakinah' that we all should strive to have.

hasma said...

Assalamualaikum wbt Pakcik,
Pakcik apa khabar? Semoga pakcik dan makcik sihat. Di Manchester ini sekarang sudah hampir 2 minggu kami di bawah paras beku, sekarang ketika menulis komen ini suhu -9 celcius

Terima kasih atas cerita buih dan air dalam buah kelapa, saya tak pernah terfikir yang ia suatu prinsip engineering yang hebat

Mengenai buih ini yang dikatakan oleh Rasulullah (saw) dalam amarannya tentang penyakit hati di akhir zaman

Tsauban (ra) berkata, Rasulullah (saw) bersabda

"Hampir tiba suatu zaman di mana bangsa-bangsa dari seluruh dunia akan datang mengerumuni kamu bagaikan orang-orang kelaparan mengerumuni hidangan mereka."

Maka salah seorang sahabat bertanya,

" Apakah karena jumlah kami yang sedikit pada hari itu?"

Nabi saw, menjawab,"Bahkan, pada hari itu jumlah kamu banyak sekali, tetapi kamu umpama buih di lautan, dan Allah akan mencabut 'rasa gentar' terhadap kamu dari hati musuh-musuh kamu, dan Allah akan melemparkan ke dalam hati kamu penyakit al-wahnu."

Seorang sahabat bertanya, 'Apakah itu al-wahnu itu, ya Rasulullah?' Rasulullah saw, menjawab, "Cinta dunia dan takut mati."

(Hr Abu Dawud dan Ahmad)

pakcik, semoga tiada penyakit al wahnu ini dalam hati kita.

take care pakcik!

opps lupa nak beritahu, minggu depan insyaAllah kami akan ke Mesir selama 2 minggu untuk melawat ibu bapa mertua saya :)

ninotaziz said...

Waves break into foam
Blanket of snow
Droplets make rainbows

Water giving life
The cycle exemplifies
God's miracles

Remain true
Year after year
Whatever we do

Salam Ma'al Hijrah

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
Ma'am Ninot is back where she is good at. Ma'am said she may lay off a bit due to work pressure. But I'm glad she gives time still!

Al-Manar said...


-9 degree is quite a temperature. It rains and rains today and the sound from the sea gets more aggressive. In my room right now the thermometer shows 21degrees, only 30 degrees above where you are. It is just right, neither too hot nor tto cold.

Going to Egypt sounds interesting. I wonder what your inlaws are doing there. E-mail Pakcik and tell me how it is like over there. A gentleman I was responsible for recruiting him some 25 years ago has just e-mailed to say that he is being cross-posted to London office for a 3/4 year period. All these remind me of my younger days - cross-posting and growing up children to enjoy together. Make use of today, Hasma.

Happy new years (two) to you and family.

Al-Manar said...


You have on a number of occasions taken the philosophical elements of my postings and flipped them into poems which are simple enough for my simple mind to understand and appreciate. One day I will have a small private collection.

I hope your literary works are nearing completion. Happy new years – two - from Pakcik

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hank,

She is not an ordinary lady!

Aishah said...

I am rather familiar with the ocean but I can't say I realised that the waves are as foamy, white, creamy as the ones in your pictures. Happy Maal Hijrah. Thank you for sharing the meaning of the ayats. And thank you for visiting. I have read Muhammad Asad's story, I knew he lived and died in Spain, but would love to know why he chose the place to make it his home.

Anonymous said...

Terima kasih atas informasi yang besar! Saya tidak akan menemukan ini dinyatakan!

Al-Manar said...


From what I can gather of Asad’s life he was, towards the end, somewhat bitter with what he saw happening in the Islamic world against his view of Quran and Sunnah. This possibly was a reason for him to return to the west, choosing Spain as his final resting place.

Happy Maal Hijrah to you too.

Al-Manar said...

Sdr 'Anonymous',

Terima kasih sudi membuat lawatan kemari.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik

Re life in the lion city : It is not easy when 1 coconut costs apx RM4.00. However most of us live simply and stay in pigeon holes. Even our PM's wife (she is a CEO) dresses simply in blouse and pants/skirts and I sometimes feel quite embarassed when seeing her on TV in the company of other VVIPs' wives with their respendent attire and jewellery.

However we are encouraged to do volunteer or charity work and work hard (no need to TERBONGKOK2 as an ex pm said), do our work well and strive to improve ourselves. Of course the lazy ones become drug adddicts or sampah masyarakat. I do not feel at all marginalized as perceived by some as there is always help for the deserving, we even have a pocket money fund for undeprivilaged students (from private collections now amounting to S$6 mil).

As part of her nursing diploma training my friend's daughter was sent to a remote kampong in Cambodia and she is so affected that she sponsered her mother, father and a brother to visit the god foresaken place and now she and her mother go there regularly (at their own expense) to do volunteer work. After a short break I shall be back volunteering at an orphanage as volunteering is in my blood!!!

Sorrylah Pakcik ini macam promo pulak. Salam to you both.


Ummie said...

I'll be crossing the sea to Batam tomorrow.
GOD knows what's in the island of 'heaven & hell' - our choice.
To give or to take - our heart.
To share or to hoard - our greed.

But since sharing the same little red dot with amimy01, my path is of not much difference with amimy01.

Al-Manar said...


Some friends have been to that 'heaven and hell' island as you call it. It was certainly 'heavenly' as they describedit. But you, a lady, going there mystefies me indeed. Anyway, whether to give or to share, have a good New Year on Batam.

Al-Manar said...

Amimy 01,

There are surprising elements, in your comment - the huge sum collected, the story of that dedicated nurse, for instance. And there must be a lot of volunteers like to make things happen. I wish we have similar concerted efforts around here too. I wonder if Ummie above is going to do some voluntary work as well - to give and to share as she said.

Awang Goneng said...

Dear Abang Ngah & Kak Mah,


May this new year bring you greater rewards. Semoga Allah panjangkan umur dan berbaktilah sentiasa.

Till we meet again, Insha Allah.

Al-Manar said...


To all of you, Mi,Zaharah dan anak anak, we wish all the best for the coming year. Seeing the pictures of this year's snow in Europe we think of those folks at the Fairway. Nak main golf dah tentu tak boleh. Ubi torok pun munkin tak ada. Buat air batu kacang lah kalau dah banyak air batu tak payah paruk.

Abang Ngah dan Kak Mah

norzah said...

Akhi Pakcik Al-Manar,

The glorious comments already made on your wonderful poetic prose don't need any more amplification from me. You're at your best when dealing with nature and its secrets as already embodied in Allah's Ayat, which often remains uninterpretable due to its depth and spiritual nature."Laisa kamislihi syaiin' ( tiada yang serupa denganNya) adalah kata-kata yg mendengung dalam kepala dan hati saya setiapkali memperkatakan halNya.
Mungkin Pakcik telah banyak menulis sajak yang hanya disimpan. Kumpulkanlah kerana itulah antra bekalan yang boleh diwarisi oleh anak-anak dan cucu-cucu kita setelah tempoh kita singgah di dunia ini berakhir. Salamualaikum.

Al-Manar said...

Akhi Norzah,

We write what we can comfortably do. I often marvel at your ability to analyse topical issues. I am sure to large extent it all begins with experience accumulated over the years of your working life. Some of those who are in our position, senior citizens, have the time to sit, think and analyse what interests us. Hopefully we contribute something for others to think about.

Hazri Hazmi said...


I'm not too busy with school work,but i was in Kuala Lumpur since the school holiday start..I hope my wife can spend at least one or two days in Terengganu shortly.I hope to see both of you too.Dah lama tak balik kampung.. ^_^

Al-Manar said...


Certainly we hope to see you both.

Pakcik and Makcik

Anonymous said...

The Holy parables are for us to appreciate Allah The AlMighty; to heed HIM & fear HIS wrath.
May Allah bless us all with the utmost best so that we could be among the believers who end blissfully in Heaven, the Final Home. Ameen.

Al-Manar said...


Parables in Quran are many. I find some vey difficult to understand because they are so subtle. I think that is one of he miracles of that Great Book the real interpretation of which is endless - He alone knows.

Al-Manar said...


The following was e mailed to Pakcik. As the information therein is of general interest I prefer to have it shown here. Here is his message:
"For those who enjoy watching meteors ... it is time for the meteor shower again i.e. every December that is the Geminids.

Best is on the 14th. Bangun awal-awal, cari tempat yang kurang pancaran cahaya lampu.
Bangun untuk tahajjud ... lepas tu pergi tenguk sekejap. Memang banyak ... just keep counting.

And baca doa lihat tahi bintang ...
Baca lagi di sini:

A Karim Omar"

I will watching the sky. Unfortunately our sky during monsoon may not be all that clear.

Please visit his website for more information.

Thank you very much for this very inetesting message. Salaam to you and family and hope all is well.