Wednesday, August 26, 2009


After the joy of iftar, sahur becomes a chore; having to get up at 4.00am in the morning (for In) and to take food at the early hours. However Sahur is a great Sunnah and the Prophet had enjoined sahur as a blessed act and one that differentiate Islamic and other religious practices on fasting;

"Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, "(Make sure to) have your sahur meal, for sahur is blessed." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)"
`Amr ibn Al-`Aas quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, "The difference between our fasting and that of the People of the Book is the sahur meal." (Muslim)

In Kuantan, Imsak starts at 5:38am. Since we were afraid to miss Sahur, 4.00am seemed the right time to get up and prepare food and partake sahur at around 4.45am. Latter we found that it was too early and shift back by half an hour. Since the Nasi Kerabu left over was quite substantial, we resigned ourself to another bout of it, albeit at lesser quantity with some kuehs to help the dwindled appetite.

The sight of us getting up for sahur must be quite comical.. heavy eyes and tired body from lack of sleep, each a pantomine of oneself. Somehow my ankle joint suffers since a week before fasting and carried on to Ramadhan. Coming down the stairs a foot at a time; In said I looked like a mother just giving birth. Izzah was ok, easy to wake up and in fact easier to wake up for sahur than for waking up for school before this.

At this time I remembered my time at kampung. Those days before electricity. Waking up in the dark (dark means exactly that!!!).. groping for matches to light up the `pelita ayam'. Then padding gingerly on the wooden floor to the kitchen lighted only by the dim light from the 'pelita ayam' fueled by kerosene. Then we light up a few more 'pelita ayam' to give some light. In this semi darkness, mek (that's what we call mummy) prepared the sahur meal.

Those days the neighbours help to awaken each other. A loud bang on the wooden wall with a yell of 'Sahur..sahur' was a welcomed intrusion.. well until latter when alarm clocks were in the markets and each household have have it as a must item. At one time we were awaken by a loud bang on the wall. Looking up at the grandpa's clock I (yess..we have a big one at the main pillar of the house and it became my duty to wind the spring of the clock), it was 2.00am and when we shouted "baru pukul 2 pagi", the neighbour profusely apologised... Sometimes we just heard "weh..wehh.. bangun doh ko??" rather than a bang on the wall..

Heyy..come to think of it, I was the one who wound up the clock, light up the kerosene lamp and fill up the water in the big tempayan at the 'jemoran' at the back, even drumming the beduk at the 'balaisah'... What was my brother doing then..??? Hmm.. I wonder... hmm... What is apparent is that I had no grudge at all.. in fact this only cross my mind just now....

I remember a night when Mek woke up late.. about 5.00am and the imsak was at 5.30am. With all 'four hands' she just burned the rice (cook with big flame), fry some fish, and single handedly prepared the sahur in nick of time.. That night the whole of neighbourhood missed sahur except us..

When I was older I stayed with my sister in Kota Bharu. My Brother-in-Law (late BIL) whom we affectionately called abang was a believer in late sahur and we breached imsak most of the time, stopping only whee minutes from the subuh azan. I learned latter that this is more in line to the practices of The Prophet. I liked it there..

Sunday, August 23, 2009



Ramadhan is here.
The Fasting Month has just begun

The day is Saturday, weekend.... alhamdulillah. My son Fadhil came back by bus and arrived at 10.30pm Thursday night. Nana arrived at 4.15am Friday morning. Eti arrived at 6.30am Saturday morning. Except for Kak Long who is reading Mathematics in New Zealand, we are whole, and this is important. Celebrating Ramadhan without the children is very bleak.

Allah is very kind to Malaysian. According to earlier weather forcast, Ramadhan will be a sweltering hot month. However the forecast was wrong. It was a cool downcast day and we fasted without much problem. Nana had fancied a dress at the bazaar in front of the Bus Terminal and we went there for a look around (there's no window to call it window shopping!!!) while looking for some stuffs for the Nasi Kerabu In had in mind for the first `Iftar'.

The Iftar was FULFILLMENT in the full sense. In's Nasi Kerabu with Ayam Panggang diced in kuah percik and ikan goreng is sfit for 4 star Hotel. On top of that we had sphaghetti, bubur jagong and kueh puding gula hangus. Of course the starter is kurmah which is sunnah. After that I had a hot mushroom soup to condition my stomach for the heavy dinner after a full day of fasting. At my age my stomach need more preparation that the youngs who could just wallop everything without much problem.

As usual the breaking of fast is nostalgic. I remembered my late mother and brother-in-law who just LOVED Nasi Kerabu for Iftar. I could see their contented faces; savouring In's Nasi Kerabu. They just loved In's cooking and we used to invite them for lunch together when I came back to Kota Bharu. Kak Nab always seemed very happy on such occasions. I loved her so much. She is my second mother; an elder sister in whose house I grew up for much of the time. We are most happy when my brother Nawi and family joined us. Then the gathering would be a large one and ...noisy too...A MOST WELCOMED NOISE!!!

For the first Tarawih we went to Indera Mahkota 2 Mosque near the Pasar Malam. The tarawih was 20 rakaats here but we only finished 8. As usual the first tarawih was full and the imam said he would be very happy is the turn-outs remained through out the Ramadhan... bit we all know that it wont happened. We would be lucky if 1/3 of that turn-out remained. Here at Indera Mahkota 2 Mosque, the muslimah's front section was not curtained off from the muslimin section as of norm. This actually is more in-line to the practices during the Prophet's time.

When bilal recited `Allaahumma solli 'ala' ... signifying the start of Tarawih, hence Ramadhan, the feeling was indescribable... The feeling of the presence of Ramadhan, of being blessed, of the merging of heaven and earth, of the merger of hearts with a single purpose.. to glorify Allah al Mighty the One and Only God...

How can an ibadah, a prayer and not a 'makan' nor an entertainment creates such an atmosphere, such a `joy'.. I always wonder at this...

The imam was a young hafiz and he recited the Qur'an beautifully; smooth, clear, neither too fast nor too slow. The maamum follows; each in his/her own spiritual devotion to the al Mighty Creator punctuated by the imam's `Allaahuakbar' signifying the change in the phases of the solat..

After each solat the bilal recited..`Allaahumma solli 'ala....' and the rest answered .. ' Sollallaah... Wasallam 'alaih..' in unison. It was wonderful... just wonderful... Then the imam get up for another solat and the maamum follow suit.. and the cycle of devotion.. for some who have achieved that level of spiritual height; a cycle of ecstacy...

I remember when a boy we performed tarawih at a nearby `balaisah' (surau). My father lead the tarawih prayer, being a Quran teacher in the kampung except once a week when Wak Amat, a local 'alim lead the congregation. Those days we, the boys competed in reciting the `sollallaah..' on top of our voices. Then we listened for the similiar sound from the nearby 'balaisah' and try to up them. Latter the practice was chastised as 'bid'ah' and we no longer practice this. And in the process we lose that 'competing' and expecting atmosphere that enticed the boys to such ibadah.. The cream of the cake came at the end when light foods were served with sweet dishes. I still remember the 'pengat pisang' made by Mak Teh Mek, tepung bungkus by Wak Siti, cendol also by Mak Teh Mek and the most waited dish was 'lompat tikam' by Mak Da Jara.

After tarawih, we went for Roti canai and teh tarik ( ..apa daaahh.. bulan puasa gini pun mamak juga yang benefit!!!) at the nearby Mamak shop; in kain sembahyang and all... It was almost full. The mamak is having bigger business in Ramadhan by night.

I remember, in my home town of Kota Bharu shops selling pencolek buah / pencolek lauk / pencolek popia or keropok as the after tarawih food were everywhere. Someow, at this time our taste goes for these types of dishes. Having a pencolek after tarawih is so fulfilling, not heavy but enough to quench our thirst for some sweet-sour food for full range of the taste buds having to fast for a whole day. Here I could not find one yet...

After that we came back rest, read some Qur'an and get ready for bed, and to wake up for sahur... That is next in posting..

Thursday, August 13, 2009



BERITA HARIAN 13hb Ogos 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: Ketika angka korban Influenza A (H1N1) di negara ini mencecah 44 orang berikutan enam lagi kematian dilaporkan semalam, pelbagai pihak terus bercanggah pendapat ... [+]
H1N1 situation in Malaysia

H1n1 death tollsAugust 3rd, 2009
Ministry of Health Hotline (8am - 9pm): 03-88810200 / 0300, 03-88834414 / 4415. Email: Website.
12th August 2009: Malaysia now on 44 deaths. The latest deaths involve a 10-month-old girl, a one-year-old boy, an 18-year-old pregnant woman, a 24-year-old man and two other men in their 60s. The actual dates of death were Aug 7 (four), Aug 9 (one) and Aug 10 (one).
11th August 2009: Malaysia now on 38 deaths, with 6 new fatalities. Total number of cases recorded so far: 2,253; 270 new cases in the last 24 hours.
10th August 2009: Malaysia now on 32 deaths, with 6 more confirmed to have died of the virus, d.
9th August 2009: Malaysia now on 26 deaths, including the first death in Sabah on 5th August.
7th August 2009: starting today, all government hospitals, clinics and 22 selected private hospitals nationwide will have the influenza A (H1N1) anti-viral drug Tamiflu. Private clinics also allowed to get stocks..
6th August 2009: 14th death in Malaysia: a 57-year-old man who was diabetic and had hypertension. ...
5th August 2009: 12th death in Malaysia: 6-year-old boy, at 2.30am, Batu Pahat Hospital, ...13th death in Malaysia: Mohd Hyafiq Afendi, 6, ....
4th August 2009: 16 new cases, total in Malaysia: 1,476.
3rd August 2009: 8th death in Malaysia, and 1st in Sarawak: a 24-year-old native woman, ....
2nd August 2009: 6th death in Malaysia: an 11-year-old boy in Johor Bahru. ...
For the first time, two deaths in the country on the same day: the 7th death in Malaysia: a lady teacher, 51, from a Selangor .....
31st July 2009: 5th death in Malaysia: a 10-year-old girl from Bagan Serai, ....
28th July 2009: 4th death in Malaysia:
27th July 2009: 3rd death in Malaysia and 1st from local transmission: a 42-year-old man. He died of severe pneumonia with multi-organ failure ...
Total reported cases: 1,219, 3 deaths., 53% local infections, 47% imported, 98% have recovered, the rest while receiving anti-viral treatment in hospital and at home.

We have seen certain group of people organising SEMBAHYANG HAJAT because an election whether GE or BE taking place. These were seen as great milestone and need to invoke Heaven's support for their Party. Were they thinking about the general masses? Do they care actually??

This is the test of CARE actually. When happennings like this happen, we invoke sembahyang Hajat. When long draught season brings hardship we Sembahyang Hajat to ask for Divine Help. When calamities fall a society we Sembahyang Hajat to ask for Divine Respite. Now the death figures escalated to epidemic level and nobody thinks of sembahyang Hajat, when a Public Stadium was deemed fit for Sembahyang Hajat prior to Election. WHAT IS THIS???
Is it because this is SWINE FLU?? and hence, UNCLEAN to Sembahyang Hajat????
I remember a well known Head of State, an Islamic figure visiting the sites where JE was ravaging and the pigs needed to be shot to contain the desease... No question of uncleanness was mentioned. He went there to show support those who had their flocks shot FOR PUBLIC SAFETY. It was politically expedient, hence, he felt justified to be there..

This is a GREAT TRIAL FOR UMMAH IN MALAYSIA and Malaysian need to CLOSE RANKS and be together in this. When this virus attacked, it does not choose the color of the victims turban, or songkok for that matter.
Had this be a Humanitarian case I am sure the first person to take initiative would be the respectable Dr Jemilah Mehmood of MERCY for whom I have great respect. She went where others hessitate, and put her life in danger for humantarian case. In the past, when others were still ding-dong-ding-dong thinking of benefits helping out could be and still raising funds, she'd already in midst of action doing, and doing... This is CARE in its pure form.. But this is entirely a different kettle of fish...

We have seen the Health Ministry doing its utmost to curb this. The media played the recommended actions to take in curbing the disease, the hospitals are full to the brims, the doctors have their leaves revoked.. Now it's time for everybody to support the efforts and do something.
The least we could do is SEMBAHYANG HAJAT and I am waiting to see who take the initiative in this case..