An open letter to the muslims or non muslims around the world.

You may not know me, but I am a muslim. Through the years, we have seen Bosnia severely tortured by the Serbs, we have seen muslims in southern Thailand bombed again and again, the Rohingya murdered mercilessly, we have seen Palestine slowly pushed to the edge until there is little land left for them, I have even met some Iraq who managed to escape to my country, Malaysia in the name of continuing their studies here. They do not want to go back if possible, Iraq was once the centre of education such was the Andalusian enjoyed in Spain, both Christians, Muslim and even Jews lived in peace and work together in translating the books from Greeks and Romans, and made a lot of discoveries in Science,Technology and all kinds of field before the Renaissance or Industrial Revolution.

I have also read about how my own country, the Sultanates of Malaysia reach the peak of their empire and expands the Malacca Sultanate not just along the Malacca Straits but also East Sumatera and Riau islands, the prince who founded Malacca originated from the Malay Archipelagos, it does not matter the origin except the fact he later became a muslim, who lead his country in Islamic values, and applied it through out all aspect of his rule, be it the Malacca Law or the Maritime Law, he built madrasah, he brought teacher’s from the Ottoman caliphate, to teach first his own Royal family and then the people, he built mosques, and ruled justly and wisely. The Royal family expands to other Sultanate generation after generations be it Johor, Perak , Negeri Sembilan, Pahang , all the remaining 9 Sultanate state reigns till now despite the globalisation.

While other Kings & Queen in other countries, assassinated, overthrown, and  humiliated by their own  bourgeois and the bankers with vested interest not by the people. There are no people power, but only a few people power that is actually controlling the world. Not just the muslims, but also to non muslims. Many people are in debt since they were born, loans were forced to be taken out even if you have enough cash to pay a lumpsum of money for a car that you desire, the law was written to benefit and support these banking system. While we continue to find our way and means to get more money, when we are actually paid by a piece of paper

Why do I say it is a piece of paper? Money is actually anything of value, while the paper money that you are using now is actually a legal tender where  initially the Banks promise to pay back the amount you are saving in their Banks in gold. But the gold are no longer pegged since 1971 when the Bretton Woods have been abolished. Ever since the unpegging of Bretton Wood, a lot of War have broke out either purposely or not, allows many countries to borrow their money from these Banks to fund their weapon, medical supply, and all sort of things. These wars allow them to destroy any country they want and rebuild it by having their proxy or themselves de-construct and reconstruct the war affected zone.

A lot of innocent life died and still dying until now, it is painful enough to see it merely on tv, what more if you were to see your own brother ,sister or parents die in front of your eyes but you are helpless to do anything? The news was constructed in a way to make you feel that this is happening to other countries but not to your own country, notice how the news starts with foreign news before moving back to the local news by showing positive news that everything is peaceful and okay in our country?

That is how they make you not feel anything towards disaster, and pain of others, you will only sympathise them for that one moment when you watch the news, and then you will forget by the next American Idol or whatever drama’s on the tv.

The money itself you are living and relying every day, will only cost less than 10cent to print it but the value will rise so high that even Forbes predicted that it will devalue 33% in the next 20 years since 2012. That means “What will be called the “dollar” in 2032 will be worth one-third less (100/150) than what we call a dollar today.”

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How could a piece of paper that only cost you less than 10 cent valued so much but could not buy you the same thing as last year or next year? Think of how many things you can buy with $50 today and think of how many you can buy next year? Do you taste the food you bought last year taste any better than last year? No, it taste the same, produced the same way it was made , but cost higher every year that you need more paper money than last year.

This should not happen any more, it should be stopped, the people if there is still power to the people, must know that as long as we continue supporting these paper money system , we are allowing these banks to issue more worthless piece of paper. As the result, we are in debt to a paper worth nothing but less than 10 cent!

What must be done is to go back to our community and create our own community money, be it in the form of service,barter trade, or even an alternative money. Gold and silver coin are also one of a more tangible way , it can protect our wealth. it may not solve the problem, but it is one way to save our wealth by keeping some gold and silver reserves in our hand, real gold and silver not gold bank accounts with no gold inside. That is the very same thing that happen to our paper money.

Avoid making debts more than you can pay, avoid getting the latest gadget in store just because it is better, more does not mean better, it can also make our finance worst. Credit cards should only be use in matters of urgency, not as excessively , gradually detach from it , live within our own means.So that we can earn with real valuereal money for the hard work we have been working for in life. Define your own money, do not let other people define your currency, economy and your own country’s freedom.

Think again, we work so hard but we were paid with a piece of paper money value with nothing but less than 10 cents. We are asked to pay the interest of others, while they are the one’s who owes us with the gold reserves. Most country even my own country have only 1.5% gold reserve to print money. United States have 8,133.5 tonnes of gold with 76% forex reserve, how is that possible?

The whole world, either you are a muslim or not a muslim are in debts, relying on paper money to get by, and yet, we do not realize that it is only a piece of paper. The real wealth is taken from every country, oil, resources, trees, gold and even diamonds are paid with papers. The real wealth who gains from all these wealth in the world, are these bankers who prints money and easily manipulates the market to crash and rise at their own self interest. No financial crisis were merely a coincidence. Think again my friends, open your eye and mind.

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Al fatihah Tan Sri Aishah Ghani

Al fatihah buat Allahyarham Tan Sri (Dr.) Aishah Ghani , antara wanita melayu terawal yang menyambung pelajarannya dalam bidang kewartawanan , seorang diri di luar negara ketika anak-anaknya masih kecil menaiki kapal ke Regent’s Street Polytechnic., London.

Melalui laluan laut, beliau telah menulis mengenai pengalaman beliau dengan memerhatikan keadaan politik, budaya ,isu sosial dan sebagainya apabila kapal yang dinaiki berlabuh di Colombo, Bombay & Eden.

Di saat stigma masyarakat yang memandang serong terhadap wanita untuk menyambung pelajaran. Suami beliau sangat memahami akan cita-cita beliau dengan menjaga anak-anaknya sementara beliau menyambung pelajaran selama 3 tahun.

Sekembalinya ke tanah air, beliau bertugas sebagai wartawan Berita Harian, penyuntin di NST, sebelum meletakkan jawatan dan menjadi Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO & Naib Ketua sebelum menjadi Ketua Wanita UMNO. Selain itu, beliau pernah menyandang jawatan sebagai Menteri Kebajikan Wanita & Masyarakat yang bertanggungjawab menubuhkan Yayasan Kebajikan Negara.

Penglibatan beliau di dalam bidang politik bermula semenjak Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM) ditubuhkan pada tahun 1945 dengan menjadi wartawan Pelita Malaya, di bawah PKMM selain mengetuai Angkatan Wanita Sedar (AWAS) ketika itu.

Beliau juga merupakan wanita yang pertama di Malaysia menjadi senator serta wakil wanita Malaysia yang pertama ke Perhimpunan Agung Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB).

Saya secara peribadi sangat mengesyorkan buku catatan peribadi beliau yang dibukukan “Ibu Melayu mengelilingi Dunia: Dari Rumah Ke London”. Bacalah dengan melangkaui perbezaan politik dan memahami bagaimana keadaan yang terpaksa dilalui sepanjang pengalaman beliau di sana.

Kembalilah ‘ibu’ kepangkuan Ilahi yang lebih menyayangi. Semoga ditempatkan di kalangan orang yang soleh dan dikasihiNya. Takziah buat ahli keluarga Allahyarham Tan Sri (Dr.) Aishah Ghani.

 

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Memetik kata-kata Zaharah Othman dalam tulisan beliau iaitu: The Life & Loves of Aishah Ghani, New Straits Times

“Kisah TAN Sri Aishah Ghani merupakan kisah cintanya dalam pelbagai peringkat. Kasih beliau kepada suaminya, anak-anak dan negara. Tetapi ‘cinta pertamanya’ telah membawanya pergi dari mereka. Dalam usaha mencari cinta pertamanya, beliau menaiki kapal The Canton, di Tanjung Pagar, Singapura pada 10 April 1955 meninggalkan suami dan anak-anak sekecil 8,dan 6 tahun, yang bongsu hanya berumur 20 bulan.

Sepanjang perjalanan beliau mengelilingi separuh dunia, Aishah menulis buku Ibu Melayu Mengelilingi Dunia: Dari Rumah Ke London dengan nama pena Aishah Aziz. Beliau menulis tentang persinggahan beliau di  Colombo, Bombay and Eden semasa kapal yang dinaikinya berlabuh dengan menggambarkan pemerhatian beliau terhadap politik tempatan, isu sosial, budaya dan tradisi masyarakat setempat.

Setelah tiba di destinasinya iaitu  Tilbury Docks, London pada 9 Mei pada tahun yang sama, beliau memulakan perjalanan beliau yang sering beliau gambarkan sebagai kisah cintanya terhadap cinta pertamanya – Ilmu pengetahuan

Abi,this is for you

My father challenged me into writing about him and so this is me accepting his challenge.

My father, was the eldest from three siblings. However he does have other siblings from a shared father or mother side siblings from their previous marriage. My grandfather, was a soldier, he went through Japanese occupation days, all the way through independence. I didn’t get to ask much about the war time except the fact he was still scared of the sound of aeroplane when the war was over. I was told that he then became an ambulance driver, but some argued that its not actually an ambulance, but a hospital driver,either way he work for the hospital for quite some time before opening his own small restaurant at the corner of a road in Perlis while my grandmother cooks, she makes the most delicious nasi goreng kampong, the one where you use small green chillies, enough to make you cry!

From what i gather, my grandfather are quite a creative businessmen, he would go to places as far as Penang or Perak but never came back empty handed without making some business over whatever he found in the place he went to bring back and sell it back to make up the cost of going there.

Still, he was a naughty kid, or to be exact an adventurous kampung boy who likes to explore with his friends. He would go swimming in the river, playing wooden guns with the rubber seed as the ‘bullet’ and all sorts. So even though my grandmother is a quiet lady, she was quite strict when it comes to parenting. That sure taught him a lesson.

One of the things i find it amazing about him is this story he told me when he was growing up, he used to have a mat saleh teacher, who would not teach the class anything (the malays). So what they did was to teach each other instead. He says, we can always learn from bad teacher’s, but always respect them no matter what, they are our teacher’s. After all, it did lead them to teach each other instead of waiting for the teacher’s.

Another is when he told me about the reason why he wants to study abroad was because he got ‘jealous’ when he saw a picture of a relative playing in the snow, back in the 70’s, studying abroad aren’t easy. So some of his school fee was help out by his uncle who was a teacher until he got his scholarship and made his way.

But nothing can be compared to him giving up the one thing he once love, smoking. He was an avid smoker, but I was told that he quits smoking by the time he got married. When I ask him why he quits, he told me that he was starting a family. This is something that most smoker find it hard to do, but i would like to thank him for what he have done.

There was one time when our fruits at the orchard was stolen, quite a lot of fruits was taken, witness told us that they even brought a lorry of it but they didn’t know that the person was stealing. I’m not sure if we even had the chance to taste any of it. But he wasn’t easily mad about it, ironically the following year, the fruits was too many that we wonder why didn’t the thief came and ‘help’ us out. So that’s one thing about him, he don’t get mad easily but still, when he does, just cook for him a good food haha…that only work for me, once 😛

It took me some time to realize that he rarely eats with his friends or colleagues, most of the time,he will only go out and eat with my mom or me if i happen to be around, which means mostly with families. And he likes to go to mamak in between for tea or even after having our dinner, he will ask me or my mom out again for a teh tarik. It is during those times, we will have a long chat about our updates, also on our way back home or going to work. Most of our conversations took place more in the car because when we got home, we are already tired by the drive(okay not me driving) and weekends.

Irony is, both of my parents, when i ask them how come they never introduce us to their best friend, they both told me that they don’t have any. I think that is not true, because i realize that means, my father and my mom ARE their own best friends. No wonder I don’t get to see their best friends, because they are actually in front of my eyes already. Through them, I learn a lot about what marriage is all about, how to see the world differently and to always never be afraid to be who we are.

I suppose there are many other things that he have done, but being a father, a very good friend,  biggest critic, an avid reader of my blog (despite the fact i hardly update), he would still browse back my old post.

So to Abi, I would like to thank you for all the things you have done to us, sacrifices (known or unknown to us) , and for all the encouragement, advice and ‘lectures’ through out these years.

p/s: I know its not your birthday yet, but who says we have to wait till birthday to thank our parents and tell them you love them right? 😉

‘melayu’

I get annoyed when i found out that some people regard being malay and a muslim is two separate thing when its not.  the malay’s ever since their Sultan became a muslim, be it from Kedah, Malacca or even in other Nusantara (archipelagos) island of Indonesia, even Brunei and a little bit of Philippines of the recent famous Sulu Sultanate have gone far and wide, as malay and as muslim at the same time.

The truth is, we have integrate Islam in every aspect of our life that it is  unlikely to separate Islam and Malay as one. The first thing that the King’s back then did when they became a muslim was using the title ‘Sultan’ to replace the ‘Dewa’ ‘Maha Dewa’ and other godly title so that they are not called as something above God.

Secondly, they brought in a lot of Ulema’s and teacher’s to teach first the family of the Sultan in their ‘Istana’ . This mean, they made sure that their prince & princes were taught in islamic value in order to make a good King to one day rule their country according to Islam

Thirdly, they change most of their Law into Islamic Law, this can be seen through Undang Undang Melaka, and Undang-Undang Laut Melaka (Malay Law & Maritime Law) which was also a blue print to other Sultanates nearby like the Undang-Undang Pahang, Undang Undang Johor, Undang-Undang 99 Perak and also Adat Perpatih Negeri Sembilan per say.

I have personally read the translated version of Undang-undang Melaka by Liaw Yock Fang who took almost 20 years to get it translated all the way from Lieden University and other museums in Europe. There’s a strong influence of Islam in every inch other law written inside it.

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And then, they built mosque and madrasah for the people to use and learn from teacher’s that was brought in. While some may be imported from the Ottoman Caliphate at that time, there were still many local teacher’s who have studied far and wide and came back to open their own pondok school.

In modern time, pondok school seem like nothing, but in fact it was one of the main teaching place at that time that help to flourish islamization process in our country.

Not only that, we came up with Jawi writing and translated a lot of islamic book to enable us to understand islamic teaching. That means, a whole new writing other than arabic writing. A lot of old people like our grandparents can read jawi, even my grandmother reads jawi and her own notes in jawi whenever she studies her islamic lesson. Can the younger generation nowadays read Jawi ? Sadly most of us can’t, even myself struggles to read like ive just learn the alphabets ,spelling word by word and never able to read fluently.

We also have our own historians, like Tun Sri Lanang who wrote the Malay Annals @ Sulatus Salatin. And most of us think it as a myth whereas the malays have extraordinary unique way of writing something in such a discreet way that you don’t realize you are being advised. If you read the works of Syed Muhammad Naquib Al Attas  – Historical Fact and fiction, he have managed to prove that there is more than just a fiction of the history written by these historians.

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An interesting opinion from my father is that could the Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat story means not the fight between good and bad, but it is actually the existence of the good and bad in us , and which side do we take more in us? If the Malay history was nothing to us, why is it the western imperialist decided to take it back to their country and preserve it there? Certainly it is more valuable to them than it is to us malays.

Now we go to the way we dress, it is not justsome kain batik, if it doesn’t have any purpose. The kain batik itself were made of a fabric that warms us at night especially, and when you get sick, it is good to cover yourself with kain batik for it helps you to get your sweats out of your body and heal better.

The food, consist a lot of onion,garlic,ginger based food which contains a lot of health benefit and onion for example is a natural antibiotic. We never waste food, any leftovers will be made as fried rice the next day, and even if there is still some, we will give it to the chicken. We rear our own chicken,mostly, some have cows and goats. But one thing about the malays, is tha tduring the kenduri or wedding events, my grandmother told me that, every one will bring some of their rice, chicken ,and all kind of food to help out at the wedding when there is no catering available.

Every one in the kampung will come and bring their own supply to help the family to make the wedding, some lends their plates and cups, for the wedding. And even then, it is a custom to give a house almost full of the basic need like a cupboard, plates for the newly wed. And then, they have a feast together, with joget lambak, or some marhaban, kompang etc.

True some customs may origin from the Hindhu, but the interesting part about becoming a muslim for the malays is that they leave only the things that is against islam while the rest remains as a culture.

Per say, when you build a house, they only have floral carvings as their decorations leaving the animal design that used to be a practice. The house itself was built so beautifully that you have a lot of airways and ventilation around the house. So that in the day you don’t get too hot with the sun because it was already absorbed by atap rumbia, or woven leafs , also design in a way where it was divided into a long going to the back design so that the kitchen is at the back and the guest don’t just come and barge in.

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picture credits to: traditional malay house

Compare that to the modern house, you can even see the kitchen as you open the door. And compare to now, you’d have to install and pay high bill over air conditioning, and other electricity bill because most house were made of concrete and  zinc roof, so called modern but its actually boils you from your own house.

And if you are a malay , you probably have heard of the ‘istana’ perak that have no metal nails at all and made use of the wooden pillars and design in such a way that it can stand strong without nails. We even built big ships that can go through the winds and deep sea without any trouble that was then copied by other merchants from other countries. Some don’t have nails, and interestingly even on the ships while you sail, there’s a law of the ships as written in Undang-undang Laut Melaka. And as the sultanate empire reduce, so does the ships, so that it is easy to get away from being attacked by the big ships from the imperialist side.

You can read more about these ships here (x) and read the book written by Dr Jelani Ahmad –  Perdagangan  and Perkapalan Melayu di Selat Melaka.

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And all this and other discoveries was made by ‘melayu’ who is also a muslim, even most of the arabs who migrated here wants to be known as malay, why aren’t you?

Travel ‘discrimination’

One of the most  ridiculous  comment i have ever came across is when someone wrote that travelling in the western country is as if not as good as the muslims country and therefore we should not travel to the western countries and only go for muslim countries.

They forgot one ayat:

Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there.

Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing.

Al Baqarah 2:115

And what they also forget is the fact that there are 1.62 Billion muslims around the world, whereby it makes up to 23% population of the world, including those who reverts to Islam. Which by 2030, it is expected that muslims will grow to 25% (again including new muslims regardless their race and ethnicity)

While it is good to visit historical places relating to muslims history, but it is also not as bad as visiting other parts of the world which wherever you go is also the creation of Allah swt.

Because through a little small talk I had with several european muslims in the past, Scandivanian countries also had a very small trace of Islam.

China for example, also have a growing number of chinese muslims which did not just grew in the modern day but goes way back since 616-18 AD  through the sahabah, Saad Bin Abi Waqas. Around 1 – 10% of the populations in China are muslims.

In Europe, countries like Hungary, Balkans, Russia, Ukraine  also had trace of Islam. During early 10th century, in what is now part of European Russia, the King of Volga Bulgaria, Almış,accepted Islam and established it as the state religion,. He adopted the name Ja’far ibn ‘Abdullah ( Cäğfär bine Ğabdulla, ) after embracing Islam. Ibn Fadlan was dispatched by the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir in 922/3 to establish relations and bring qadis and teachers of sharia to Volga Bulgaria, as well as to help build a fort and a mosque. On his way to Volga Bulgaria, Ibn Fadlan brought detailed reports of the Rus ( Vikings who made their way towards the Black Sea through Central Russia) claiming that some had converted to Islam. More than half of the European portion of Russia and Ukraine, were under suzerainty of Muslim Tatars and Turks from the 13th to the 15th century.

Between 1354 (when the Ottomans crossed into Europe at Gallipolli) and 1526, the Empire had conquered the territory of present day Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hungary.

And from then afterwards the Ottomans battled the Habsburg Emperors until 1699, when the Treaty of Karlowitz forced them to surrender Hungary, Croatia, and portions of present day Slovenia and Serbia. From 1699 to 1913, wars and insurrections pushed the Ottoman Empire further back until it reached the current European border of present-day Turkey.

Germany, was also a very good friend of the muslims, for example Kaiser Wilhelm II  visit to Tangier, Morocco’s sparked the Moroccon crisis in 1905 and made a speech in favor of Moroccon independence in opposition to France.

Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1463, and a large portion of the population converted to Islam in the first 200 years of Ottoman domination.

. However, Islam was not spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan according to Sir Thomas Walker Arnold, a historian  of Islamic art. Rather Arnold explains Islam’s spread by quoting a 17th century author who stated:

“Meanwhile he (the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity”

Sicily, Italy was gradually conquered by the Arabs and Berbers from 827 onward, and the Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. The local population conquered by the Muslims were Romanized Catholic Sicilians in Western Sicily and partially Greek speaking Christians, mainly in the eastern half of the island, but there were also a significant number of Jews.

These conquered people were afforded a limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmi, but were subject to some restrictions. The dhimmi were also required to pay the jizya, or poll tax, and the kharaj or land tax, but were exempt from the tax that Muslims had to pay (Zakaat).

Under Muslim rule there were different categories of Jizya payers, but their common denominator was the payment of the Jizya as a mark of subjection to Muslim rule in exchange for protection against foreign and internal aggression. The conquered population could avoid this subservient status simply by converting to Islam. Whether by honest religious conviction or societal compulsion large numbers of native Sicilians converted to Islam.

However, even after 100 years of Islamic rule, numerous Greek speaking Christian communities prospered, especially in north-eastern Sicily, as dhimmi. This was largely a result of the Jizya system which allowed co-existence

All this were only the tip of the iceberg, there are many more countries around the globe that have not been explored and made known to the world. As a muslims, we should not disregard the non-muslim and discriminate them as if they will go to hell or whatsoever. Even our own state , we don’t know if we can make it to heaven. Who knows one of your non-muslims friends could become a muslim one day. Either way, that is not the purpose of being friends with those who is not a muslim, instead, being the best muslim as possible by treating other people either they are muslims or not should be applied in our daily lives.

Just because such and such country is not a muslim country doesn’t mean there aren’t any muslims living there. Plus, if we dig out the history, we might be surprised that there were muslims arriving many many decades ago before us.

Sometimes, there are even some cultural and art influence over the building of a certain place, and some even have integrated some of the Arab words in their local language with different spelling and pronunciation. It is only us that did not notice it as an Arabic word.

This is one of the reasons why history is not just a very big and thick book, but a book full of the historical chronology and records containing evidence of the existences and traces of each and every ethnic, race, and religion. It is actually a story, narrated by historians before us, who was kind enough to record their knowledge on a particular event, so that  the next generation could benefit and remember their history and roots.

(some of the info’s are excerpts from information found on the internet, pictures are not mine.)