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.


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.


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'



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:



Kerana Tuhan

Untuk Kemanusiaan




ngasobahseliman said...

Alhamdulilah. I wish I could be part of that "proud" moment. I would like to meet people like Mak Yah.I wonder if we could nominate her for "CNN Heroes". We need to do a fine write up, with video etc. But may be CNN would not appreciate it because it is about Islam.It is just a thought.
Her effort with Nan and the whole family is a giant step to something greater. Allah does not look at physical size. It is the "HEART" that counts....and much more.

Please do not stop writing. Write for the Ummah. Salam.

1bloghopper said...

Assalamualaikum Pakcik. I am happy that I have another opportunity to read a new entry posted in your blog. I have been following your blog for some time, be it the stories on Terengganu at the beginning of this blog, and the history of Al Manar, it has been almost nine years now since I first read your blog. I can honestly say that I was inspired to be a teacher after reading how you strived to help the underprivileged kids in your neighbourhood. I hope Allah will grant you health and strengths to keep Al Manar going. Until next entry. May Allah bless you.

Al-Manar said...


SmarTop is an organisation about which I wish to know more. Enlighten me on this one day.

Thank you for your kind words. I wish you no less, although we may not have exactly the same objectives. Write for Ummah, as you said.

Al-Manar said...

Waalaikum Salaam, Bloghopper,

This is the first from a 'bloghopper'. Thank you.I have been one myself.

I have a burning desire to learn something from you. If only you would be gracious enough to send an email to almanar@pd.jaring.my
I will be greatly obliged. Nothing that you say will ever be disclosed. I have my very personal need. Your appearance here is very meaningful to me and I am very grateful.

Wan F said...

Pak Hassan,
Please do continue blogging. It sounds selfish of me but I've been enjoying every piece tht you have written. More so when there is life lesson in every piece you have came up with. There is a lot to learn from your life long experience.

Ismail aka Pak Mail said...

Assalamualaikom Pakcik,

In syaa Allah, I will be in Kuala Trengganu this coming 3rd of March for a couple of days. I hope that I can meet up with you. You can pass your phone number at my email address,

Eagerly looking forward to meet you and visit your learning center.

kaykuala said...

Alhamdulillah Pakcik,
How most satisfying you must have felt. This is a gift that will transcend time and space ie dunia dan akhirat - very much an extension of your desire to do good to the unfortunates. A most noble cause certainly. A grand salute to you Sir!


Al-Manar said...

WalkmSlm Pak Mail

Do give me a call when you are free. Let me know where you will be staying and your programme. Hope we will see you then.

Al-Manar said...


Do not make a hill of a mole! In a sleepy town where things move slowly everything appears significant. You make things sound historical events!

Al-Manar said...


I have not been able to send you eamail using your address. I have sent another with your old address which seems right.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Wan,

A compliment and an encouragement indeed you have expressed. I thank you and wish you would drop again. Then I know there is at least one 'peminat'!

Uncle said...

Pakcik, keep on writing....

ninotaziz said...

A long time ago (yes, it is one of those comments...) someone dropped by my blog(s).I had been writing for years for my own pleasure, it seems. Even back then, it seemed as if I had been writing forever. In my mind, perhaps I should call it quits.

But we write for reasons only known to us. For me, whether I write for myself, or to leave something behind for my daughters - or to push my limits : how far will the story take me m- writing apparently brought me great satisfaction.

I hope you never stop Pakcik, for there is always nuggets of inspiration I find here, some subtle soothing motivation - keep going... keep going...

Al-Manar said...

Dear Ninot,

How sweet of you to express such good words. Thank you.

You told me you would be calling on us.The break came to pass without the sight of you and we had kept some floor space for you. Never mind; there is always next time for you.

Al-Manar said...


Yes Pakcik will keep on writing insyaAllah. But you will have to keep us company.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,

My deepest apologies. You did not receive my message. three out of five Is were sick and so we could not move anywhere. And handling two households between the five of them, (Mum is away in New Zealand, was quite a challenge.

I REALLY need to get away, and Trengganu is top on my mind.

madame blossom said...

masyaa Allaah! For someone like me, to hear of someone actually buidling something themselves.. is simply amazing. I was dreaming of building a garden fence myself.. let's see if that will ever happen.

Insyaa Allaah pakcik, I will not stop blogging. I may be slow to update, but insyaa Allaah it will not stop. Blogging is more personal, more thoughtful than others (FB and what nots..)

Please do keep on blogging also.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Ninot,
Just as well it happened that way. Wiyth the number which has grown in physical size we have to make belief that squeezing is comfortable.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Madame Blossom,

Here we do not build garden fence. We simply let the wild bushes grow around and chop off what grows inside.

It is heart warming to know that I will continue to have the benefit of reading your good mix of subjects. Truly it is sad to think of losing the continuity of reading those written by old fellow bloggers. Of course we need the new-comers to highlight fresh subjects.

All the best to you.

Omong Mak Long..... said...

Assalamualaikum Pakcik,

I am so happy to find that you are back blogging. I enjoy reading each of your entries. Tinggal di rantauan memang sentiasa dahagakan berita dan kabar dari tanah air.

Al-Manar said...

Omong Mal Ong.aalakum Salaam,

Thank you for continued interest in my "diary'. I will try to carry on for a while longer while the grey matter is active and is able to squeeze whatever is left.
You have travelled far and long to have accumulated enough. Thank
uou for the continued support.

ANIM said...

pakcik....lambat atau vepat, saya akan singgah baca entry pakcik. tak boleh rush sebab entry pakcik kena baca frm the beginning until last word/ tak mahu skip mana2 part...

masha Allah...cerita mereka berdua menjadi inspirasi buat saya. moga2 ada sesuatu yg dapat saya persembahkan kepada Yang Maha Esa sebagai amal jariah saya kelak...amiin

Al-Manar said...

Al-Manar said...
Dear Anim,

Bukan selalu Nampak comment Anim. Pakcik ucapkan banyak banyak terimakasih atas titikberat Anim. Entry Anim dalam bahasa yang senang difaham , kelemahan Pakcik. Anim dapat mengambil cerita harian sebagai bahan cerita, satu satu kelemahan Pakcik. Sabarlah ya, atas kelemahan ini.

Sayang Pakcik tak nampak alamat email dalam blog Anim. Kalau ada sudah Pakcik tulis email jarang jarang sekali

KotaStar said...

Sdr Al Manar,

Yes I am still here though absence has been the bye word no doubt.I am glad you are still at yr table and putting out the messages and historical feed backs. No we must continue to write, leaving our stories behind at least for our children whom hopefully will continue. We were away recently for a short visit to Dubai and still continue with our practice. Syukur

Nazrah Leopolis said...

I remember a comment on my blog many moons ago, at a brief period of sadness in my life, written by someone that goes by the name Al Manar. I am not sure if it was you.

Thank you for your uplifting advice.

If it wasn't you, I apologize. I have always loved stories from Tganu. Thank you for opening up a window for me.

Ahsan Allahu alaik wa barak Allahu feek

May Allah accept and reward your good deeds, and keep you within His Mercy. Ameen.

Al-Manar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al-Manar said...

I am glad to see your return. Those who had association with the two UK teachers' colleges bring back old memories very special to me although I do not know them as close friends. I believe there will be a gathering soon. Please let me know if you are attending. Regards to you.
Kota Star,

Al-Manar said...

Kota Star,
It is heartening to see your arrival. Once I wished I would come across bloggers who graduated from Kirkby. Sadly I have seen very few. I realise many teachers who returned from there and Wolverhampton who get together from time. There will be one

Al-Manar said...

Kota Star,
It is heartening to see your arrival. Once I wished I would come across bloggers who graduated from Kirkby. Sadly I have seen very few. I realise many teachers who returned from there and Wolverhampton who get together from time. There will be one

Wan Sharif said...

Sometimes kind words or deeds goes a long way.. We will never know how those on the receiving end may react but to build a place for teaching The Book attributing to you.. Alhamdulillah a few billion times

Amos said...

Salam Pakcik, I'm sending positive vibes to you - please continue writing, there is so much to learn. Take care

ZABS said...

Assalam Pakcik. Lama tak jengok ke sini. Betul seperti kata Pakcik tu. FB distracted us all from to the blogosphere. Will visit more in the future. Very interesting reading Pakcik. TQVM.

minyakgaz.blogspot.com said...

I wish I know what is wrong.. somehow my comments has not been registered.. or is it not approved..
Please contact me at wansharifali@gmail.com

Omong Mak Long..... said...

Assalamualaikum PakCik,

It has been quite a while since your last entry. I hope and pray that you and Makcik are doing well.

Sarasofya said...

Assalamualaikum pakcik...i have been reading your blog for quite some time..but this is the first time i dropped comment...enjoy reading your writing..and you have such a good heart pakcik.may allah bless you and your family and how i wish i can send my two S to you to so that you can teach them maths and english..hehehe..sorry for my bad enlish pakcik :-)

Sri Mersing said...


Singgah sekejap melalui talipon. Laptop rosak.

Muga bahagia mwnjelang ramadhan

madame blossom said...

Salam Pakcik,

Have you been well? It's been a while since your last post.

Hope you are in the best of iman and health.


Rahmah said...

Assallam Pakcik,
Please don't stop blogging. I'm still doing it too despite twitter etc. Blogging is not the same. I've been doing it for 8 years and although I too don't blog so often now, it still makes sense to share to share with teachers our there. Ramadhan Kareem pakcik!