Too bad really and this is what we get if an Imam is required to read a prepared khutbah that simply does not interest many people (think RTM's talk show). Yeah, maybe they can't do much about it, but then again the Imams can certainly spice up his sermon a little.. here and there. Just to jolt the jemaah...like what this one Imam, apparently in mid-west USA, who got up after one Friday prayers and announced to the people:
"I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."
But then again, boleh ker our Imams say something like this? Silap haribulan kena buang kerja. Eh, tak payah lar ekk?
I, for some strange reasons, thrive on trivia. Here are some interesting facts about Islam. Enjoy!!
- The Majority of Muslims do not live in the middle East. The most populous muslim country is Indonesia, the 4th largest country in the world with 184 million muslims. There are more muslims in India than the combined population of Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and the whole of the Arabian Peninsula.
- The following English words are borrowed from Arabic: Algebra, Zero, Cotton, Sofa, Rice, Candy, Safron, Balcony. And even 'alchohol' derives from Arabic : al-kuhl meaning powder. These are just a few mentioned here.
- The first treatise on smallpox and measles was written by Abu Bakr alrazi (c.864-925,known to Europe as Rhazes). (Due to this) Inoculation agianst smallpox became a common practise in muslim lands. Despite this , Scientific text book credit the invention of a smallpox vaccine to Edward Jenner.(1749-1823).
- Early Oxbridge students studied books written by muslims on mathematics, medicine, chemistry, optics and astronomy.
- Adelard of Bath (a city in the UK) was a leading scholar of the middle ages. what made him famous was translating the word of muslim scientists from Arabic to Latin!
- The 1860 city records of Cardiff (UK) show a masjid in operation in a converted building at 2 Glynrhondda St. Yemani sea men on their trips between Aden (in Yemen) and Cardiff founded this masjid.
- The first purpose built masjid is claimed to be in Woking (South of England) with money provided by the ruler of Bhopal, in India (the Shah Jehan masjid was built in 1889).
- The Islamic calender is based on the phases of the moon, with it being approximately 11 days shorter than the 365 days of the year in the Julien calender. Hence, the dates of our festivals move through the year.
- The grand doors of our prophets (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) masjid in Medina weigh 2 and half tonnes each! Enormous quantities of "sag wood" was gathered from all over the world and shipped to the united kingdom to be dryed in computerised furnaces (the traditional drying process would have taken many years!). Even then , it took 5 months to dry the wood! the wood was then shipped to Barcelona (Spain), Where the main body of the doors where made. And finally the French even paid their little part, as the brass ornamentation was carried out in the city of Roi (France). Next time you visit the holy masjid, keep this entirely in mind!
- It was only in 1932 the Kiswah (cloth of the Ka'bah) was wholly made by Saudis (citizens of Saudi Arabia).
- The roof top of our Prophet's (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) masjid in Madina is designed to be strong enough to carry addtional floors in the future.
- Some verses in the Koran refer to man being equal to woman. Mathematically, the number of times the word "man" appears in the Koran is 24. The number of times the word "woman" appears in the Koran is also 24.
Then when I was in London a few years later, I managed to catch the then immensely popular “Miss Saigon” with Lea Salonga and Jonathan Pryce at the West End and I was going like “WOW! Wow! Wow! Surely no Malaysian productions can ever match this” (The chopper scene alone blew my mind).
Which brings us to P. Ramlee The Musical. What can I say? I was there at the opening night and brought my family three days later. Dapat tengok dua kali, gua cakap lu! And of course, I enjoyed it. And I am so proud that we have our own musical production that can match the ones from West End or Broadway in every imaginable way. We have arrived! Yes. (clearly I didn't watch PGL.. The Musical, right?)
The ensemble: The big ensemble cast did a great supporting job with good dancing and singing throughout. I especially like the three women-supporting cast who took on several different roles. Bravo to Ida Mariana, Maya Tan Abdullah and Izlyn Ramli.
Chedd Eddie Yusof: He’s everywhere too but as Sukardi, P. Ramlee’s best friend from kampung, he is pleasantly humorous.
Colin Kirton and Douglas Lim: The Shaw Brothers! Emtaq, emtaq!
The songs: The P. Ramlee songs are simply beautiful. The new songs… not bad..but love the opening number in Penang.
The props: Whoa... the locomotive and KTM gerabak alone were amazing.
Atilia: I am already a fan. As Junaidah the first wife, she's exquisite.
Melissa Saila: As Norizan the second dejected wife, she provided the most memorable performance. Her singing may be questionable (but then she’s no singer to begin with) but her acting..simply majestic.
Liza Hanim: I was never a fan but after listening to her singing live, I was bowled over. I seriously think that she sounded much much better than the singing Datuk. As Saloma, she’s simply delightful.
Sean Ghazi: Awesome. Enough said.
Suddenly.... it rains day and night. Since last day of Ramadan. And it's chilly here (wah macam kat London ler pulak). We don't have to turn on the air-condition even. And sometimes not even the ceiling fan. Must be the global warming thing....
Suddenly... Malaysians (actually the BPR) jadik efficient. Watched the news just now. And aren't you glad we are in Malaysia where the gomen people are so very effective and efficient. Must be the Malaysia Boleh spirit....
Suddenly.... people around me are somehow related to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. An aunt told us that the handsome Dr's family house in PJ is just a stone throw away from "our rumah Opah Chu". Okay. And Alia's friend's aunt was once supposed to marry the now lelaki idaman se Malaya. Check. Must be the weather...
Suddenly... oh whatever!
Balik Kampung day. With my mom safely uprooted at my brother’s place in Shah Alam, we decided to push off from home after sahur. Which never happened as I stayed up all night right until sahur because was busy cleaning up the house (and Yan busy baking last minute cookies). And after subuh I went to sleep. Woke up only at 8.30am.
It was already 9am and the sun already up and bright when we left the house. And I was so ever prepared to be spending extra few hours in the traffic congestion. But it was indeed a beautiful Ramadan day as there was hardly any traffic worthy of balik kampung exodus on PLUS highway that morning. It was a breeze all the way right up till Tapah exit. Alhamdulillah. Macam bukan balik Raya lar pulak.... Sampai at my SIL’s place in Kuala Dipang, a couple of KM to the north of Kampar around noon.
And I went straight to resuming my sleep. Ahhh! Heaven. Woke up around 5pm, itupun my wife kata my MIL mintak gi beli mee goreng Mamak utk berbuka. Of all the food....
But malam raya was spent with just Kak’s and our family sahaja as the other brothers and sister and families would only join us the next day.
Woke up bright and early and feeling very much sihat. I’ve learnt the bitter lesson of not to gorge down food on the Raya eve as to jaga the tummy. A few Rayas ago I did just that and I suffered the morning after. Since I’m the only adult male around, I decided to go solat Raya in Kampar, mana ler tahu kot2 boleh terserempak ngan member2 lama. Kak’s young son Farid, dah lama lesap ikut kawan2 dia gi surau nearby untuk sembahyang Raya.
Anyway, Solat raya in Masjid Kampar sort of nostalgic as it was the place where I did my akad nikah many many years ago. And I only met my old classmate Amran Md Zain. Ropa dia macam tu jugak. Hmmm.
After the solat (which only started at 9.30am – rather late don’t you all think so) I rushed back home. Then we went to Yan’s kampung in Ayer Itam Labu – about 20 minutes away. First stop was pusara arwah FIL. Then we made our way to Yan’s aunt place, Wan Eda, not far from there. After the huu haa session with her children which happen to be our cousins yang jarang jumpa, we drove further in to Yan’s Uncle place Pak Usu.
And surprise, surprise, I met my old kawan baik from Form 6 days - Baharuddin. Sekarang dah jadi lecturer kat UPSI and dah ada anak enam. Last time I met Baha was like 17 years ago. Lepas sama-sama start kerja terus lost contact walaupun masing2 tahu rumah emak bapak masing2.
Then both Kak and us berpecah as we made our way to Temoh, my kampung. Ziarah kubur bapak and Azmir and opah and tok. Then pergi tengok rumah Mak jap and jumpa my cousin Lop. We also pergi beraya kat rumah my cousins kat kampung sebelah – rumah Kak Lebo and rumah Abg Udin. Oooh! Banyaknya makan. Beraya lar katakan.
After that I wanted to visit my other best friend masa sekolah in Kampar but the girls dah penat so decided to go home to rumah Kak. By then Yan’s eldest sister Yong and brother Abang Lan and their families sudah sampai. Cuma Nyah and the gang from Cheras saja still on the way.
So after solat jamak qasar, my head found a pillow and I drifted to lalalland in no time. Apparently, quite a number of sedara mara came by while I was drifting...... even Nyah and family pun sampai...
Around 10pm, Kak Encik and family also sampai to sleep over. She’s our cousin but the closest cousin and can be considered another sister even. After all she grew up in the same household as my wife and her siblings. And when she’s around, it was sembang2 session into the wee hours of the morning. The main topic of tete-a-tete that night warrant a separate entry but it was hillarious to the maximum, I tell you.
It concerned Kak Encik’s blow-by-blow account on what transpired while she watched our angkasawan blasted off into the space on TV a few days earlier. Suffice to say that Sheikh Muszaphar, you’ve got one die hard fan in Kak Encik. And she’s still praying that the capsule carrying our angkawasan back to earth will off shoot its target and land safely in Teluk Batik, Lumut instead. Yeah, Kak Encik lives in Sitiawan (not far from Lumut) and she’s seriously hoping that she will be able to welcome our hunky Dr back home personally. I say, whatever......
Baha and me - sekian lama tak jumpa
Ampun Dan Maaf DiPinta
Dari Kami Yang Beratur di Tangga
Kami Dah Siap Nak Balik Raya
Insya Allah! Lepas Raya Baru Berjumpa
Hari Raya Tak Ada Karipap
Tapi Kat Rumah Mak Ada Putu Jawa
Kalau Ada Salah Dan Silap
Harap-harap Lupakanlah Saja
Kita Raya Lebih Sebulan
Agar Silatulrahim Terus Bersemi
Kalau Ada Masa Kelapangan
Jemput Semua Ke Rumah Kami
(Maafkan pantun tu, buat tergesa2, maklumlah bukan pakar)
It doesn't help that I was down with food poisoning these past few days. A really bad case of food poisoning and I simply could not bring myself to even read the blogs. Yeah it's really bad - try fasting while you are having diarrhea. Damn that air tebu kat Pasar Ramadan USJ4. I'm so not going to drink sugar cane juice ever again!
And of course, taking care of Mak who's recovering from her surgery (no complain here) can be stressful at times. But at the same time fulfilling as she's getting better each day. Alhamdulillah!
And let's not talk about the workload at the office. Bagi lah chan kami nak enjoy Raya?
And the girls are having their final year exams right up until the last day of school (why ler cikgu buat bulan puasa... lepas Raya kan banyak masa lagi?). Ooh, penat!!!
No wonder, I don't feel like Raya's coming. How's your Raya preparation coming along, my friends?
Tapi kalau office punya buka puasa, nak tak nak kena ler jugak menunjukkan muka. Lagipun free. And last night, the office organised another buka puasa do for its staff and family. So the girls and I went over to Palm Garden Hotel in Putrajaya. Yan did not join us sebab my mother and her mother ada kat rumah. And I felt guilty like hell.