Sunday, 26 August 2012

Hari Raya in Kampung 2012

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Fajar time in Muzaffar Shah Masjid of Sungai Petani town, Kedah state

Every year we must be heading toward the north for the Hari Raya or 'Aidulfitri celebration. It is like some kind of a must or a tradition. Actually this northern heading trend had began since I was a little boy in the 90's. I was born in Sungai Petani in Central Kedah state of northern Malaysia. I don't really like returning there with family but I used to travel alone by myself without my family know where I went to in few stages of my life, haha. I just feel comfortable traveling alone and I love to walk and not traveling in a car. I don't have to burden others nor do I have to hear brawls along the journey. I can also observe people around me. My second elder sister who is a fan of Ustad Zahazan might judge me as a selfish person as I tend to be more individualistic. I don't know that being individualistic to avoid burdening or annoying others is considered as a selfish trait, hahaha. I am not a talkative person but sometimes if I have to voice up, I would do so.  

As far as I could remember, when our maternal grandparents were still around we would return to their house in Kampung Ulu Pauh in the nearby Perlis state. My grandma would wait for us at the door or maybe when they fell asleep late at night as the journey in 90's is far longer than nowadays, we would knock the door. But after they passed away, we just return to our stations in Penang island or in Sungai Petani which is our last fort in the state. My third elder sister who married in Thailand had also conducted a proper nikah again at our home after I threatened her and her husband! So she also took the opportunity to conduct her wedding reception at the hotel nearby our old house in Sungai Petani town. I don't normally like to meet people around but at that event I took the opportunity to know the old friends of my father and also to get closer with my paternal relatives. Many of my paternal relatives, I don't really know and I feel not close to them as compared to my maternal relatives. We always return to maternal grandparents house without fail when they're alive so those siblings of my mother or her cousins are also known to us though not so close. 

I get to know a paternal nephew more closely. His name is Amir just like my colleague and close friend's name during my undergraduate. He is the son of my cousin sister known as Zaynab and of the same age with my eldest sister. Zaynab's mother is the eldest sister of my father known as Hawa (Eva). She passed away due to stroke and hypertension. This auntie had once lives in Singapore with her husband and children (my cousins) but they went back to Kedah state after few problems there. Hawa's husband and the maternal grandpa of Amir known as Yusuf passed away because of stressful life in the village as he's not familiar with village style of life. Amir looks like a Northern Indian. I recall that I visited him before his father passed away because of drug addiction, he still has hair on his head and quite fair. But when I saw him few years back then after his father passed away, he is already bald, darker and converted into a member of Tabligh Jama'at. He ran a char koey tieow business in Alor Setar despite of his straight A's result in O-Level. I just took his contact number and invited him to be received as a guest and a brother in faith since now he's still checking the prospect of business after his business in the town is not so well-off. For the contact, first of all, he's my nephew. Secondly, he's also a poor guy just like me and thirdly we are single, hahaha. He also know my mother's Tabligh elder brother. Who does not know him. He's a chief there in Beseri and travels a lot with the banner of Tabligh Jama'at though he looks Chinese. Even those Tabligh karkuns in Tekun hostel of USM where I recently stayed there also know him though never personally meet him. What a surprise, lol.

Other than that, I also get to know brother Zabidi, Zahari and Zain who are the sons of my father step brother from the first wife, Hassan. They live in Sik which is a bit rural so I don't get the chance to closely know them nor being close to their children who are my nephews and nieces. The other whose name is Zakaria is quite well-known to me. He was a police man in Sungai Petani town with his late wife, Khadijah. I think I need to polish again the compilation of our lineage and family tree from my father's compilation. Just to make sure that we won't lost contact or losing our identity. Many youngsters had already forgotten who they are. We are dissolved into the majority realm day by day and elders passed away so they could not tell us anything no more. Other than that is the friends of my father like our old neighbor and family. This family is also a peranakan Arab family of the past but because we're poor we are not easily being distinguished with other locals. Before my father was experienced strokes, he had also proposed me to marry the daughter of this family but I refused as I am not stable, having no possession nor having enough knowledge to teach others as a protection for them. I don't want to end up burdening others just because I wanted to follow the "trend" or not being labeled as a "gay" or no personality strength to attract girls. I found that, it is so "gay" to follow the trend for the sake of not being labeled with this and that, hehehe. Other than that, I don't like match-making! I love everything to work according to spontaneous and natural way. Before I repented I had also once thought that I would seek refuge in monastic community (being a monk) as I had already memorized few section of Buddhism monastic codes and just need to underwent initiation in proper Buddhist temple and Allah does not permit me to do so, hahaha. It makes marriage as not a big concern for me. Ow yeah, in Chinese we call the act of being a monk as 出家 chujia which means cutting ties with anything that hold us from seeking liberation or simply get the hell out of the house, hehe.              

There is no normal kueh raya (cookies) tasting at others' house and of course no duet raya for me as I am already an old kid, hehe. We can't really visit others because my father is still bed-ridden. We bring him back to Kedah right away from KL 300+ km something in my elder sister mini-van with few folded purposes where his friends in Kedah could also have the opportunity to see him. We just stayed at our old house in Sungai Petani until yesterday and we return home today just after we finish tidying everything up after my sister's wedding reception. I managed to read few books related to tasawwuf, shi'ism and shariah. I also found an interesting book about Sayyid Muhammad Naquib al-Attas thought related to educational philosophy. All of these are from hundreds of my father's book collection. I didn't get to read all of the book when I was a school kid, but now I have the time to check them all. My father also didn't read all of religious-related books. He is interested in sentimental type of literature related to his surrounding life as he was not properly educated by religious teachers after his father passed away but he respects knowledge. As for me, I was exposed to non-Muslim philosophical thinking and I am sure Imam Bin Hanbal forbids people to be involved in these matters but I can't help it. I was involved in it since I was a young kid and some of them were molded by bitter experience. I'm going to read those piles of book that I bring back.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!   

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