Mok Cik Nah hails from Kemaman, Terengganu. A small sized person, with a rather dark complexion, Mok Cik Nah is one amazing lady I've ever met. I remember clearly the first time I saw her. Looking lost, she gave the salam and showed me the room card, similar to the one I had in my hand. She asked if she was in the correct room. I told her yes and she gave me one sweet smile, I would never forget. Such honesty was shown on her face and I knew I could “click” with this mok cik in no time.
That brief intro happened about 3 years ago at the Anwar Movenpick Hotel Madinah Al-Munawarah. Mok Cik Nah, Mom, ABE and I together with about 300 more pilgrims were in the same haj group - KT 10. The long flight from KLIA to Madinah had obviously tire us all. But we were all overwhelmed by the fact that we were just steps away from the holy mosque, Masjid Nabawi, Madinah.
Mok Cik Nah & me at the foot of Jabal Rahmah
As we settled into our room, the suaikenal process started. We later got to know that Mok Cik Nah was a widow, and was on her first Haj. She and her biras had saved enough money to make this trip to the Holy Land. When asked what she was doing in the kampong, she replied this to me, “Alah..mok cik kije cuci kain kak rghumoh orghang. Kadang-kadang bila kapa (kapal) masuk, mok cik gi la cuci-cuci kapa tu.” Mok Cik Nah spoke very thick Kemaman dialect, causing me to have raised eye brows at times, trying to comprehend what she was saying.
Mok Cik Nah and her biras came along with us to the mosque for Zohor prayers that day. She had earlier asked if she could follow us as she didn’t know how to get there. She also told me that she was afraid to use the elevator on her own, fearing that she might get trapped in it. She said that she had seen it on tv once.
Her innocence and sincerity made me realize how determined she was at fulfilling her duties to God Almighty. She was the first one to be up in the morning and she’d be all ready waiting for us to go together to the mosque. She once told me that her children had helped her with the funds to go perform her haj.
“Anok-anok mok cik beri duit, bantu mok cik ni, kalu tidok kè, mok cik tok saapai Mekoh,” said Mok Cik to me one day as we sat eating the kueh she had brought along with her. It must have taken all her life long savings for that journey, I thought to myself.
One time she asked if I could accompany her to the shop to buy jubah for her family members. She said she was afraid that she might “keliru” with the Arab money. Plus, she asked me to help her bargain for things, “Ida, tulong mok cik cakap denga tok arab tuh. Dapak muroh sikit.”
When she got the things she wanted, she was one very happy person. At the hotel room, she’d go saying this jubah for this person, and that sejadah for that person or cousin or relative. Indeed, we became close, even though dialect was a bit of a challenge. There were times I had to listen carefully to her words, more so for Mom, as she was completely no comprendo of the utterances of Mok Cik Nah.
There was a time when she asked for ABE to accompany her to the Tabung Haji office to help her withdraw money. She said, “Mok Cik takut sesat.” And when she came back, she was full of praises of ABE. She said to me, “Baik kè Zul tu..” Chewah…kembang semangkuk mamat tu jap!!
Haj 2005...a spiritual odyssey, indeed it was the Haj of the heart for me
Even after three Haj seasons, Mok Cik Nah still keeps in touch with us. The talian silaturrahim which started in the Holy Land is still strong. Every now and then she’d call and ask about Mom, ABE and the children. I felt bad at times having to cut the phone conversation short when she called when I was in meetings or discussions. My promise to return her call was only achievable once the weekend came, when I was less busy and more relaxed to chit chat.
I was so happy one day when Mok Cik Nah called to say that she had opened a mini market in Cukai, Terengganu. She humbly rendered, “Agok nye, rezeki lepah balik Mekoh ni.” Siapa sangka kan, berkat doa di Tanah Suci, now she no longer needs to go from house to house washing clothes for a living. Alhamdulillah, I was elated by her good fortune and she could now pursue her plans for the family.
Each time Eidul Adha came, I am so much reminded of Mok Cik Nah, a woman with so much courage and bravery in her. What enchants me most is that, although we may not speak the exact same lingo, and come from two varied backgrounds, the spirit of ukhwah which seeded in the Holy Land is still strong.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha, Mok Cik.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha to all.