30 July 2013

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 9 ) : He fashions – Al Musawwir

This afternoon I received from my No1 the following e-mail with two pictures attached.  

I think what she wrote, one of the picture and my reply to her, could, to my mind, be shared with my blog readers. It is appropriate that this being the holy month of Ramadhan.

 Dear Babah,

Just to share a tomato with kalimah. We were preparing for berbuka yesterday and discovered this while cutting the tomatoes.  Nothing earth shattering but interesting enough

                                                                 Sliced tomato
Pakcik’s reply,

Dear Enon,

It is us, humans who don’t care to or are simply unable to detect the signs of His presence.  Let us look it this way; we put our signatures on our documents as much as artists signing their master-pieces. I even put my signatures on books I buy simply to claim ownership of the books which I have no part in writing.

Naturally HIS signs are on all things, because he is the Absolute Architect, the Designer, the Al Khalik , AlMusawwir. But HE does not need to claim ownership because HE owns it all.

You have been feeding your children with salads, and tomatoes are almost a must, believing in the goodness of these vegetables. I am sure you have been cutting and slicing them the same way. But yesterday something clicked. ALLAH. The word has been there all the while but this was the first time it struck you. Yes, perhaps, He wants you to know that we all should think of the Architect and Designer, not just the food values of HIS work.

You may take it as a reward, a special gift ( in line with Lailatul Kadr that WE ALL PRAY FOR ) or as a gentle reminder that we all should be more conscious of His presence as a matter of routine, not just as and when.

May He bless us all in the family.

Babah & Mami

Perhaps if I MAY add here what I understand from the last sentence of Surah Alhasyr ( 59 ) – Ayat ( 24):


Muhammad Zafrullah Khan gives the following understanding of the beginning of this ayat:

He is Allah, the Crreator, the Maker, the Fashioner; His are the most beautiful names. All that is in heavens and the earth glorifies Him. He is the Mighty, the Wise. “

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26 July 2013

To NINOTAZIZ – With thanks

This is my 301st entry. This time I do not have to shake my old grey matter for idea. I am thankful to Puan Azlina – NINOTAZIZ - our talented poet/folklore specialist chose to leave her comments against my 300th entry. Obviously, picking the concluding sentence I left in that 300th entry, she appears to have read what I had in mind. Resourcefully and subtly she thought of leaving six lines which touches me greatly.

Here is the concluding sentence of my 300th entry, devoid of any poetic aroma:  

“ But at this age, being a septuagenarian, how much time do I have to enjoy the sight of the autumn leaves?”

And here is what NINOTAZIZ saw as a more appropriate end to the autumn leaves, bringing in fresh wind from the sea and all:

“The autumn leaf
Has a way of falling gently
A beautiful descent

Each moment
Depicting a lifetime
Of love, wisdom

A beautiful descent
Swaying in the coastal wind
And lands on bumi pertiwi”


With NINOTAZIZ’s  permission I am copying below what she wrote in her email to Pakcik and Makcik following her above contribution for my 301st blog entry.

“Sometime in August for three weeks in a row, NST would feature three articles, or rather Hikayat by me in its pullout, School Times. Perhaps you can use it for your students. It is simplified and short as that was NST's requirement. I was flabbergasted when they wanted me to tell Awang Sulong Merah Muda in less than 400 words…but with Mum's help, I think we managed to pull it off!

And from 1st August onwards, I will be on Bernama Radio 24 at night Monday to Friday for about 5 to 10 minutes, telling Malay  folklores and legends, in English though. If your students want to listen in, it would be great. I will let you know the time slot when they have decided. It's about 10.10pm  Ithink.

Other than that, take care and Selamat Berpuasa. Our love to the whole family.

Best regards
 Zalina Abdul Aziz @ ninotaziz
ninotaziz on Hikayat Melayu”


I feel certain many of us would want to read NINOTAZIZ’s  3  articles to be featured in NST in August; and hear her on Bernama Radio 24. I, for one, am very proud to have among us, apart from Awang Goneng, talented persons like her. I know of at least one other talented personality who will make the public appearance shortly.

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19 July 2013

Pakcik Reminisces ( Pt 32 )  -  Almanar’s 21st  & 300th Posting

This is Pakcik’s 300th posting for Almanar website, the first being on 20.7.2006, six years ago to day to be exact. This year also marks the 21st year since the private Alamanar trust was established in 1992. I sit reminiscing and decide to share with my dear visitors.

It all began with the end of my 30 years of working life. For several reasons I was very pleased that all had gone well with my family and our life in general. The burning question was whether, without a pension, we would survive on whatever saving (EPF and shares) and gratuity money I received. The answer was positive on condition we would slow down on our social activities which we had been enjoying over the years. Instead of being active members to three premier golf clubs it was time to call it a day and hang my clubs for good. For the good life we had had expressed our gratitude by establishing a small family trust fund for charity activities.

In particular I was delighted that my other half gave her consent that we moved our home away from Kuala Lumpur to another location where we would manage a simpler life, and in so doing we would leave our children in KL to fend for themselves without our interference with their family life. They had to learn to do what we had to thirty years earlier, raising them to be what they were. We have to show them that life goes beyond being of service to own family but to the community around us.

A year before we finally decided to leave KL I started looking for a piece of land in Kuala Terengganu. As chance would have it, I met an old school mate who was now a known personality in the village and who belonged to a landed family. When questioned for my purpose to settle in this quiet locality I casually mentioned that I would want to help local children. His spontaneous action surprised me. Without much further thought he showed me six plots of land from which I was free to choose. I decided on two pieces of land, each measuring one acre. One has a sea frontage.

Further surprise was waiting for me when he insisted that I named my price, putting me in a very difficult position. But I did and he accepted with a smile.

Sadly, that dear friend passed away several years ago. Today, it is a normal practice at Almanar that the children would recite Alfatihah for this dear man and for other individuals who had a hand in the growth of this humble one-man tuition centre.

When I started writing the Introduction to this blog on 20.7.2006, I only had a vague idea that this was going to be some kind of notes of events related to Almanar tuition centre which was beginning to show some progress. Blogging was Greek to me, but my three children relentlessly persuaded this old horse to post in blog instead of merrily using pen and pencil, the habit I acquired during my school days.

Gift from my children - Old fashioned brfitting the intended user!

I am glad I started. Six years today I have managed to post an average of 50 entries per year, making this the 300th posting. A very pleasant surprise, something I never bargained for, is the emergence of visitors who care to leave comments at a modest average of 10 per month. It is so unlike my school boy diaries. But of course the latter is full of ‘secrets’ which I would not wish my grandchildren to read! So I need to be wary of the fact I cannot put down in blog entries what can the privacy of my secret diaries.

 Part of my treasured possession – Not for public viewing!

Be that as it may, responses from readers give me cheers and encouragement when my Almanar tuition is not going as expectation. On a number of occasions I became so disheartened that I wished to call it a day. But messages from my visitors seemed to tell this old horse to buck up and keep pushing forward.

But at this age, being a septuagenarian, how much time do I have to enjoy the sight of the autumn leaves?

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

10 July 2013

A Thought - A Wish

It comes every year, a chance to show that we are human, durable and willing to be subjected to rules and regulations, and believing in rewards and punishments.

I ask myself whether I am starting to do what I am doing today because I am a Muslim, full stop. But I wonder what goes behind this yearly ritual. It cannot simply be the need to understand hunger and to appreciate poverty.

I wonder.

When I was a child I was told that if you are lucky you will bump into the elusive Lailatul Qadr somewhere in the dark of the night towards the end of the holy month. There is a subtle message somewhere.

I   wonder.

This is just a thought and I wish my Muslim readers a fruitful month of Ramadhan, and wish that this may not be our last.

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