This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Enough of Pulau Besar. Time to head back to the mainland and a stop at the Kampung Hulu mosque... To ponder the mystery of Sheikh Abdullah there!

At the end of the previous article Continuing the whirlwind tour of Pulau Besar in 2 hours or so... , I've mentioned how circumstances at the end of the whirlwind tour resembled one from a previous trip a year ago with the story told in the article Pulau Besar 3: Time to move on... Yep, there's a lot of resemblance except a few. In the old trip, I took the ferry and then buses to move on. In the latest trip, I took a chartered boat and then returned in a small convoy of two cars...

So here is a picture from the chartered boat showing the main jetty of Pulau Besar. If I took the ferry, I would have to embark or get off from the jetty. Then I would have to enter mainland Melaka from the jetty at Anjung Batu.

Instead, the chartered boat which plies a slightly different route from Umbai in the mainland some 3 km north of Anjung Batu would embark or get off in front of the tombs of Tok Janggut and Tok Putih (see Pulau Besar 1: Enter the 'big' island! ) at low tide and in front of the tomb of Sultanul Ariffin Sheikh Ismail at high tide. In this case, we get off at 5.30pm, during high tide...

By the time we arrived at Umbai around 6pm or so, it was starting to rain. Then it rained heavily while we took a light meal and waited a while.

Soon, it's time to go back home... To Kuala Lumpur that is, Zaidi and I in one car, my cousin Nizam and his friend Asri in another. We decided to stop by in central Melaka city and visit the old mosque of Kampung Hulu, built sometime in the 18th Century for our obligatory night prayers.

A look at the mosque at night. For a look during the day, read the old article Perigi (well of) Hang Tuah, Masjid (mosque of) Duyung serta (and) Kampung Hulu posted in the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) about a year ago!

Hmm... Now that I have had another look at the article Perigi (well of) Hang Tuah, Masjid (mosque of) Duyung serta (and) Kampung Hulu do I realise there's a comment made early this year saying there's tomb at the mosque of Kampung Hulu of someone related to the one at Pulau Besar. Yes, I've heard about this since the first time I went to Pulau Besar I think sometime at the end of 2001 or early 2002. Then, I was looking for a place I saw in my dreams which seemed to bridge the gap between Peninsular Malaysia and the adjacent Indonesian island of Sumatera.

Anyway, it is only early this year or so that I bothered to ask someone at the Kampung Hulu mosque about the matter, Thus, he said that in front of the mosque there exist the tomb of someone known as Sheikh Abdullah... And this Sheikh Abdullah is supposed to be the same Sheikh Abdullah who came to Kedah in the 12th Century to convert a king of Kedah to Islam! Have a look at the article Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the first king of Kedah?

Now the Sheikh Abdullah in Kedah is also supposed to be the person said to have built a mosque on top of the famous mount Jerai. For some pictures of the mountain and related stories, have a look at the following old articles:-

Yan again... The call of Gunung Jerai...

Gunung Jerai calling out loud...

On to the summit of Gunung Jerai to close a chapter...

Views on top of Gunung Jerai... Enter Padang Tok Sheikh. Is it?

But that was the first time I heard Sheikh Abdullah also came to Melaka, what more having died and then buried in front of the Kampung Hulu mosque! Is this true? If this is true then he must have come before the advent of the Melaka Sultanate as known in history which is in the 15th Century!

I looked at the information board at the mosque. There is no mention of anyone by the name of Sheikh Abdullah but there's mention of a certain Syed Abdullah which if I remember correctly came from the Al-Haddad family. If that's the case then this Syed Abdullah must have come much later, perhaps at the earliest after the 15th Century as I'm certain he is from the Ba' Alawi family, that is the side of the progenies of Prophet Muhammad SAW who flourished in Hadramaut, Yaman at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsular. Whereelse the Sheikh Abdullah of Kedah came more than 300 years earlier to this part of the world and was never officially mentioned as an offspring of the prophet althought some knew him to be one.

Anyway, the Sheikh Abdullah of Kedah is also known by some to be the same Sheikh Abdullah who came to Aceh in the year 1166 bringing with him and an occult sort of religious book on Godly secrets called the Bahr Lahut (could be translated as the ocean of the universe of God!). The Sheikh Abdullah who came to Aceh is said to have come with his teacher, the venerable and very well-known Sultanul Awliya (king of saints) Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani who conquered the intelectual and spiritual atmosphere of 12th Century Baghdad, then the main centre for the whole Islamic world. In fact some said, Sheikh Abdullah is a son of Sheikh Abdul Qadir!

Now, Sultanul Ariffin (king of the gnostics) Sheikh Ismail whose tomb is the main one in Pulau Besar is a great-grandchild of Sheikh Abdul Qadir. Perhaps that is how the main tomb of Pulau Besar is connected to the one in Kampung Hulu? That is, assuming that the story told by someone there about the Sheikh Abdullah in Kedah being the same one buried in front of the mosque here is true!

Anyway, I'm not sure where is the tomb of this Sheikh Abdullah in Kampung Hulu. There's quite a number of tombs in front of the mosque and 3-4 are prominently built. But I could say this for sure, at least as far as I could see. There's only one tomb located within the main building of the mosque at that is the one in th picture above. Is this the tomb of the said Sheikh Abdullah? That's it. Good night! :]

p/s: Correction. Now I remember. I was told about the tomb of Sheikh Abdullah in Kampung Hulu by an elderly man at the mosque sometime in the middle of 2007. You see, at the time I haven't published my third book "Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?" (could be literally translated as "The trip to Aceh: The prodigal son returns") which was printed November 2007. And I do remember handing some copies of my second book "Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal" (the sub-title could be translated as "Advocating the true faith") published May 2007 for public reading at the mosque. Cheers! :]

Continuing the whirlwind tour of Pulau Besar in 2 hours or so...

Yep... Continuing from the article A whirlwind tour of Pulau Besar in 2 hours or so...

At the of the article A whirlwind tour of Pulau Besar in 2 hours or so... , I've shown a picture of my friend Zaidi @ PerpatihTulus standing on top of a certain split stone which sits on the highest peak in Pulau Besar. Oh, now that we have arrived at this juncture of story-telling, might as well tell you that the split stone is called Batu Belah in Malay which literally means the "split stone"! For a short story on it, please read the article Batu Belah (split stone) of Pulau Besar, Melaka posted here last year.

By the way, above is my cousin Nizam's friend Asri posing on top of the split stone. At first he was apprehensive about making such a pose. After all it's a 20-foot sheer drop down to a stony pavement if you lose your balance! Then again it's his first time here. It's not often one would get a chance to stand of top of the stone which is very legendary here. Besides, if Zaidi and me can do it without problem, why can't he?

Once that's done, it's time to check out the stone from the usual place where most people wpuld rather sit or stand here... Believe me, not many people dare to go to Pulau Besar after hearing all the supernatural stories about it... No sir, they wouldn't dare unless there's a guide along who they believe knows the area well and could tame the supernatural elements.

Among those who dares to go to Pulau Besar, only a small portion dares to climb up to the split stone. First because it is out of the way of the main settled areas along the southern shore-line. Then it is inside the jungles and on top the island's highest peak to boot, the supernatural aura of the place related to magical ancient forms of martial arts not withstanding...

Then among those who have climbed up to this point, not many dares to climb up the stone itself, what more to stand on top with the split in-between your legs! I mean just look at the crevice all the way to the bottom... Thus it is quite a privilege to be able to record your pose this way!

If you are slim enough, you could fit inside the crevice. Do have a look at the video clips in Malay which I will post in the blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU shortly.

Once we're done trying to fit inside, it's time to close the gap so that no one else could try it again, hehe! :]

Soon, it's time to head back down to shore. Here is a gigantic tree we saw on the way...

There, we're back on shore... Close to civilisation...

We stopped by the surau, the local small praying hall for rest and did our prayers. By the time then, it was already about 4pm where-else we started our whirlwind tour of Pulau Besar at around 2. So we took about 2 hours to cover some 5km or so up and down hills and some rugged terrain to cover a few reknowned and legendary places in Pulau Besar...

Since we were already at the surau, might as well also have a quick look at the main tomb besides it... For some stories on the place, do have a look at these old articles made a year ago :-

Pulau Besar 1: Enter the 'big' island!

Pulau Besar 2: Why so many long tombs?

We also stopped at a certain tomb just outside the complex housing the main one. Soon enough, it's time to head back to the hut where we stayed at... to freshen up and prepare our things as we intend to get out of Pulau Besar and get back to the mainland by 5.30pm.

Coincidently, the continuation to the old articles on Pulau Besar made last year fits the description of events. Do have a look at the article Pulau Besar 3: Time to move on...