Friday, August 31, 2012

Salam Kemerdekaan

Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku 
 Rakyat Hidup Bersatu Dan Maju 
Rahmat Bahagia Tuhan Kurniakan 
Raja Kita Selamat Bertakhta 

Malaysia - a place we call home.
May we have peace, strength and unity. Now and the many years to come.

Making that mark. 55 years of independence.
Happy Merdeka!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Samsung Territory

To my right in our hotel room in downtown Seoul is a Samsung fridge. Next to it is a Samsung phone. The 54" flat screen is also a Samsung. The air condition is of the same make too. Yes, I am in Samsung territory. Saw an advert on tv of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1; "How to be CREATIVE" is its tagline. I am now so tempted to go check it out.

Everything is so high tech here. It's either push button or touch screen. There is no more doubting in Korean technology. This has been my evaluation of Seoul for the first half of the day today.

We arrived early this morning. Our flight came in via Incheon Airport. From the airport we took the commuter train into the city - the easiest and cheapest way to move around. To my surprise many of the locals are able to speak English; making asking for directions pretty much a relief. Better than in Japan, in fact!

Unfortunately, it's been raining since the time we arrived. Had to scale down our tour plans. There hasn't been much sight seeing yet. But if there's any consolation to that, we have discovered 3 underground shopping areas located near our hotel! Hu hu hu....that is so not good kann *wink*wink*

Am praying for better weather tomorrow. Rain, rain please go away for I really wanna keep away from the shops....heh heh :)

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oppa Gangnam Style!!

Web check in done.
Bags all packed.
Taxi booked.

Work done; well...almost then again when will work ever be all done kann?

Will be away for a couple of days. Where to this time???

Hint, hint - Winter Sonata, Girls Generation, Running Man and the list is endless.

Yezza...we'll be off to Seoul :)

So till next week,


Oppa Gangnam Style!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coffee Fix

 No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils ~ Henry Ward Beecher

No coffee for me yet these past few mornings. Am doing the 6 days fasting in Syawal. InshaAllah another two days to go.

Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Shawwal it is as if they fasted the entire year.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah; Ahmad transmitted it from Jabir, Muntaqa]

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mooning the Eid

It's the fifth day of Syawal today and I'm already back at work. Pretty quiet here in the office as the majority of the workforce is still enjoying their Eid break. Just checked my emails – nothing super urgent. Only a couple of routine announcements and general info on office matters. I find this is the best time to do some research work as there is minimal disturbance compared to the normal working days.

Pondering upon the last month - the Ramadhan hectic and busy schedules puts this stern knock in me about how fast time zooms by these days. August is almost coming to the end and September is ready to make its appearance. Ramadhan came and went in a glimpse. Soon Syawal will leave us too. Next is to look forward to who's leaving for Hajj and the celebration of Eidul Adha.

In keeping with the fast paced routines, there's hardly enough moments to moon on the past. It's all about moving forward, going faster and faster each day. At times I wonder how will the old body take this constant pace of leaping forward. How well would them cracking knees respond those knee jerk reaction – both on the professional and personal fronts.

Unlike the previous Eid, this year my heart is with extra woes. Can't help thinking will there still be Eids together with our loved ones in the years to come. The children will soon leave their nest – graduate from college, get a job and later be on their own. One can never know if the family's Eid celebration is going to be the same as now or will it differ. Their priorities and commitments will be different, or will they not?

The same thought goes about the older folks. Will they be around till our next Eid reunion? Or will it be us who will bid goodbye before them? Only God knows........

Ohhh...don't I just hate this cheerless feelings :(

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Salam di 1 Syawal1433

Anak kecil sudah teruja
Ketupat lemang juadah tersedia
Sebulan berpuasa lapar dahaga
Kini Aidilfitri kembali bersua

Bakar mercun di tepi tangga
Jiran terkejut tak dapat berkata
Di hari raya kita bergembira
Erat silaturahim taulan keluarga

Salam Syawal buat semua pembaca.
Pohon ampun & maaf andai terkasar bahasa, tersilap bersuara, terkeras pandangan sepanjang berSembang.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ramadhan Bakal Pergi

Rasa baru lagi ianya datang. Seolah-olah kelmarin, mendengar pengumuman penetapan tarikh berpuasa di tv. Tapi sekarang ia bakal meninggalkan kita. 

Terasa masih belum cukup melakukan amalan di bulan yang mulia ini. Masih banyak yang mahu dilakukan. Masih belum penuh kantong yang mahu diisi dengan segala amalan yang bakal menjadi bekalan di sana kelak. 

Sedih dan sayu rasanya dengan perginya Ramadhan. 

Namun, semuanya yang bermula pasti berakhir.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mosque Hunt - Guilin Ancient Mosque

During our travel to Guilin last year, we came about an old mosque situated not far from the hotel where we stayed. Built in the early years of the Yuan Dynasty, the Guilin Ancient Mosque was located along the Taohuajiang River.

The mosque covers an area of 5669 square meters. Its building is rather inwards making it not visibly spotted from the main street. Like many of the typical mosques in China, the Ancient Mosque was built with emphasis on symmetry that connotes a sense of grandeur.

The mosque was badly damaged during wars but it was rebuilt in the middle years of Ming Dynasty. It then suffered another unfortunate fate when during the Japanese occupation in Guilin. 

In 1944, the mosque was burnt after the Japanese occupied Guilin. After 1945 Muslims in Guilin began to raise funds for the reconstruction of the ancient mosque. Finally in 1947, the prayer hall and some auxiliary houses were built in combined efforts, and Guangxi Arabic Language School was established too.

Again in 1967, it was seriously ruined, resulting in the total disappearance of the grand occasions in the old days. After 1979, under the advocating of the Islam Association of the city, a start-up group responsible for the reconstruction of the mosque was founded. Not long after that, they began to raise funds in the rebuilding of the Guilin Ancient Mosque .

Fresh slaughtered meat sold at the entrance of the mosque

At present, there are about 4500 Muslims living in the community of Guilin Ancient Mousque, all of whom are Hui Nationality.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peace of Mind and Heart

When the heart feels valuable, and tears are welling....

Has bi yal laa hu wa ni'mal wa-keel. 
Yaa man yakfee min kulli shay' Walaa yakfee munhu shay' 
Ikfinee maa ahammanee mimaa anaa feeh. 

O He who is sufficient from all things 
But nothing is sufficient from Him 
Be sufficient for me in what worries me in the state I am.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mosque Hunt - Dewatagaha Mosque, Colombo

We stumble upon the Dewatagaha Mosque after a long walk from the Town Hall and the Colombo National Museum. Located in Lipton's Circus this mosque is just across the famous Odel Outlet.

The Dewatagaha Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Sri Lanka. History of Dewatagaha mosque goes back to the 19th century, nearly 200 years ago. Around 1820, a Sinhalese woman who used to sell oil was going on her daily rounds, traveling from Bambalapitiya to Maradana.

Those days Colombo 7 was nothing but cinnamon fields. She accidentally tripped over the root of a cadju tree and fell, smashing her clay pot to pieces. This caused her to lose her only source of income. She broke down in agony and desperation and finally fell asleep. A person dressed in a green garb and a long beard suddenly appeared in front of the poor lady. He then asked her to fetch a pot. All trembling with fear the lady ran to Maradana to buy a pot from the house of a regular customer, a Muslim by the name of Mamina Lebbe.

When she returned with the pot, she saw the old man standing still at the very place where he had appeared, leaning against a ‘dawata’ or ‘devata’ tree. The saint had pressed his toe on the floor and to the lady’s amazement; oil started gushing out of the earth. The saint had then requested the lady to go and sell the oil and inform all her Muslim buyers about the incident. She had related the story to a physician called Mamina Lebbe Mesthiriyar. He then visited the place and prayed. Later, the Muslims in the area built a mosque and placed an oil lamp at the very place where the miracle happened. The identity of the saint is known as Shaykh Usman Valiyulaah; also known as Qutub of Seylan/Sri Lanka.

The mosque is also a sacred place for anyone who is into Sunnah of Jamaah. Frequently visted by many Naqshabandhi & Qadiri Order Shaykhs and Mureedeens (Desiples). 

Reflection of the old on a new

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mosque Hunt - Meeran Jumma Masjid, Galle

Another major city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka is Galle. Pronounced as “Gaul” it is located about 119 km from Colombo. It lies in Galle District and has a great variance of scenarios - from beaches to marsh lands to dry planes to hills.

The plan was to actually take a train down to Galle. Unfortunately, the train did not depart till later in the day. That didn't leave us with much choice but to travel to Galle on a local public bus. Took us ages to reach there as the bus stopped at practically all stops along the way (and it was a non air cond bus!!). I can't really recall when was the last time I rode on a bus back home, let alone the “bas lompat-lompat”.

But the ticket was dirt cheap – RM3.00 for that hundred over km ride. 

Ada on board entertainment and if you get hungry, no worries as you could grab a bit of kacang goreng from sellers who came on board at one station and left at the next one.

In the 16th century, the Portugese were the first Europeans to arrive in Galle. It was the main port on the island then. However, it wasn't till the Dutch came that Galle reached the height of its development.

The sea came into view along the journey from Colombo to Galle

Galle town - statue in the back was built to mark height of the tsunami waters when Gale was hit in 2004. The town was entirely wiped out.

One of the main attractions in Galle is the Galle Fort. Overlooking the Bay of Galle, this historical monument was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese. It was then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is now an archaeological and architectural heritage monument.

Galle Fort and the calm sea at that time of our visit. According to our guide however, this was where the tsunami waters came from the sea and went right inland.

The Dutch brought labourers from Indonesia and Mozambique to build this massive fort. Upon its completion there was already a mixed community that lived within the fort. The significant population of Muslim neighborhoods gave rise to building of the magnificent Meeran Jumma Masjid.

Meeran Jumma Masjid is an important landmark to the large Muslim community who live within the Fort.

To the beholder, the mosque can in fact pass off for a church. Yet, it holds distinctive features to the Muslim culture, which is shown palpably through the intricate designs of the crescent and the star shapes.
The entrance of this architecturally beautiful building, which rises majestically with its unrivaled white splendor, amidst the background of the fort.

Prayer hall

Ablution area

The area is also called the Old Arab Quarters. 

The Meeran Jumma Masjid is over three hundred years old.

There was also a lighthouse close to the mosque. The old lighthouse is at a height of 92 feet above low-water. It was built in 1848, however was burnt down in 1936.

A new lighthouse now stood in place.

View of the mosque from the lighthouse. A local man approached Abe with some old antique Dutch coins. Being a coin collector himself, Abe managed to get some really peculiar looking coins.  

View of the sea - all so calm......

but one just couldn't help imagine how it was that day when the tsunami hit......