Take a journey across space and time through the multi-dimensional door that is the soul of my being... For the Salik (Arabic for traveller, also a Sufi term for a searcher) merges in him the raw qualities of an earthly being nicely blended with the divine qualities that belong to Him, the Alpha and Omega of everything.
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.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Pangkor Treaty of 1874
For information, the treaty paved the way for direct intrusion into local rule by the colonialist. Soon enough it caused an uproar and the killing of the first British resident to Perak and this give the British the right excuse to flex their muscles and practically rule the country.
In time, the whole Malay Peninsula felt under their control and the rest is history.
Eh... Just read what Wikipedia have to say...
The Pangkor Treaty of 1874 was a treaty signed between the British and the Sultan of Perak. Signed on January 20, 1874 on the island of Pangkor off Perak, the treaty is significant in history of the Malay states as it signalled official British involvement in the policies of the Malays.
Perak was a major tin producer throughout the nineteenth century, leading the UK, which had already obtained Penang, Malacca and Singapore, to consider Perak of significant importance. However, local strife collectively known as the Larut War between the local Malay elites and frequent clashes between secret Chinese societies disrupted the flow of tin from the mines of Perak.
In 1871, Sultan Ali, the ruler of Perak died. Due to Perak's complex succession system, Raja Abdullah should have been appointed as the next Sultan of Perak but Raja Ismail was elected instead. At around the same time, two secret Chinese societies known as Ghee Hin led by Chin Ah Yam and Hai San led by Chung Keng Quee constantly waged battle against each other for control of the tin mines.
Raja Abdullah later asked for the British help to solve these two problems. The British immediately saw this as a great opportunity to expand its influence in Southeast Asia and strengthened its monopoly on tin. As a result, the Pangkor Treaty of 1874 was signed.
The agreement dictated:
Raja Abdullah was acknowledged as the legitimate Sultan to replace Sultan Ismail who would be given a title and a pension of 1000 Mexican pesos a month.
The Sultan would receive a British Resident whose advice had to be sought and adhered to in all matters except those pertaining to the religion and customs of the Malays.
All collections and control of taxes as well as the administration of the state had to be done under the name of the Sultan but arranged according to the Resident's advice.
The Minister of Larut would continue to be in control, but would no longer be recognized as a liberated leader. Instead, a British Officer, who would have a vast authority in administrating the district, would be appointed in Larut.
The Sultan and not the British government would pay the Resident's salary
Perak handed the area of Dinding to the British.
Raja Ismail did not attend the meeting arranged between Sir Andrew Clarke and Raja Abdullah. Raja Ismail obviously did not recognize the agreement but he had no choice against the alliance between Raja Abdullah and the British. As a result, Raja Abdullah was made Sultan and Sir J.W.W. Birch was appointed as Perak's first British Resident after the treaty came to force.
Following this agreement, the British actively became involved in three other Malay states; Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Pahang. These states along with Perak later became the Federated Malay States
Protocols of the Elders of Zion - Protocol 3
Nevertheless have a look... This is from Protocol 3, the third out of a total of 24.
Hmm... Let me just list the protocols:-
Protocol I The Basic Doctrine
Protocol II Economic Wars
Protocol III Methods of Conquest
Protocol IV Materialism Replaces Religion
Protocol V Despotism and Modern Progress
Protocol VI Take-Over Technique
Protocol VII World-Wide Wars
Protocol VIII Provisional Government
Protocol IX Re-education
Protocol X Preparing for Power
Protocol XI The Totalitarian State
Protocol XII Control of the Press
Protocol XIII Distractions
Protocol XIV Assault on Religion
Protocol XV Ruthless Suppression
Protocol XVI Brainwashing
Protocol XVII Abuse of Authority
Protocol XVIII Arrest of Opponents
Protocol XIX Rulers and People
Protocol XX Financial Programme
Protocol XXI Loans and Credit
Protocol XXII Power of Gold
Protocol XXIII Instilling Obedience
Protocol XXIV Qualities of the Ruler
And here's Protocol III... Read and tremble!
PROTOCOL No. 3
1. To-day I may tell you that our goal is now only a few steps off. There remains a small space to cross and the whole long path we have trodden is ready now to close its cycle of the Symbolic Snake, by which we symbolize our people. When this ring closes, all the States of Europe will be locked in its coil as in a powerful vice.
2. The constitution scales of these days will shortly break down, for we have established them with a certain lack of accurate balance in order that they may oscillate incessantly until they wear through the pivot on which they turn. The GOYIM are under the impression that they have welded them sufficiently strong and they have all along kept on expecting that the scales would come into equilibrium. But the pivots - the kings on their thrones - are hemmed in by their representatives, who play the fool, distraught with their own uncontrolled and irresponsible power. This power they owe to the terror which has been breathed into the palaces. As they have no means of getting at their people, into their very midst, the kings on their thrones are no longer able to come to terms with them and so strengthen themselves against seekers after power. We have made a gulf between the far-seeing Sovereign Power and the blind force of the people so that both have lost all meaning, for like the blind man and his stick, both are powerless apart.
3. In order to incite seekers after power to a misuse of power we have set all forces in opposition one to another, breaking up their liberal tendencies towards independence. To this end we have stirred up every form of enterprise, we have armed all parties, we have set up authority as a target for every ambition. Of States we have made gladiatorial arenas where a lot of confused issues contend ... A little more, and disorders and bankruptcy will be universal ...
4. Babblers, inexhaustible, have turned into oratorical contests the sittings of Parliament and Administrative Boards. Bold journalists and unscrupulous pamphleteers daily fall upon executive officials. Abuses of power will put the final touch in preparing all institutions for their overthrow and everything will fly skyward under the blows of the maddened mob.
POVERTY OUR WEAPON
5. All people are chained down to heavy toil by poverty more firmly than ever. They were chained by slavery and serfdom; from these, one way and another, they might free themselves. These could be settled with, but from want they will never get away. We have included in the constitution such rights as to the masses appear fictitious and not actual rights. All these so-called "Peoples Rights" can exist only in idea, an idea which can never be realized in practical life. What is it to the proletariat laborer, bowed double over his heavy toil, crushed by his lot in life, if talkers get the right to babble, if journalists get the right to scribble any nonsense side by side with good stuff, once the proletariat has no other profit out of the constitution save only those pitiful crumbs which we fling them from our table in return for their voting in favor of what we dictate, in favor of the men we place in power, the servants of our AGENTUR ... Republican rights for a poor man are no more than a bitter piece of irony, for the necessity he is under of toiling almost all day gives him no present use of them, but the other hand robs him of all guarantee of regular and certain earnings by making him dependent on strikes by his comrades or lockouts by his masters.
WE SUPPORT COMMUNISM
6. The people, under our guidance, have annihilated the aristocracy, who were their one and only defense and foster-mother for the sake of their own advantage which is inseparably bound up with the well-being of the people. Nowadays, with the destruction of the aristocracy, the people have fallen into the grips of merciless money-grinding scoundrels who have laid a pitiless and cruel yoke upon the necks of the workers.
7. We appear on the scene as alleged saviours of the worker from this oppression when we propose to him to enter the ranks of our fighting forces - Socialists, Anarchists, Communists - to whom we always give support in accordance with an alleged brotherly rule (of the solidarity of all humanity) of our SOCIAL MASONRY. The aristocracy, which enjoyed by law the labor of the workers, was interested in seeing that the workers were well fed, healthy, and strong. We are interested in just the opposite - in the diminution, the KILLING OUT OF THE GOYIM. Our power is in the chronic shortness of food and physical weakness of the worker because by all that this implies he is made the slave of our will, and he will not find in his own authorities either strength or energy to set against our will. Hunger creates the right of capital to rule the worker more surely than it was given to the aristocracy by the legal authority of kings.
8. By want and the envy and hatred which it engenders we shall move the mobs and with their hands we shall wipe out all those who hinder us on our way.
9. WHEN THE HOUR STRIKES FOR OUR SOVEREIGN LORD OF ALL THE WORLD TO BE CROWNED IT IS THESE SAME HANDS WHICH WILL SWEEP AWAY EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT BE A HINDRANCE THERETO. (The Biblical "Anti-Christ?")
10. The GOYIM have lost the habit of thinking unless prompted by the suggestions of our specialists. Therefore they do not see the urgent necessity of what we, when our kingdom comes, shall adopt at once, namely this, that IT IS ESSENTIAL TO TEACH IN NATIONAL SCHOOLS ONE SIMPLE, TRUE PIECE OF KNOWLEDGE, THE BASIS OF ALL KNOWLEDGE - THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN LIFE, OF SOCIAL EXISTENCE, WHICH REQUIRES DIVISION OF LABOR, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE DIVISION OF MEN INTO CLASSES AND CONDITIONS. It is essential for all to know that OWING TO DIFFERENCE IN THE OBJECTS OF HUMAN ACTIVITY THERE CANNOT BE ANY EQUALITY, that he, who by any act of his compromises a whole class, cannot be equally responsible before the law with him who affects no one but only his own honor. The true knowledge of the structure of society, into the secrets of which we do not admit the GOYIM, would demonstrate to all men that the positions and work must be kept within a certain circle, that they may not become a source of human suffering, arising from an education which does not correspond with the work which individuals are called upon to do. After a thorough study of this knowledge, the peoples will voluntarily submit to authority and accept such position as is appointed them in the State. In the present state of knowledge and the direction we have given to its development of the people, blindly believing things in print - cherishes - thanks to promptings intended to mislead and to its own ignorance - a blind hatred towards all conditions which it considers above itself, for it has no understanding of the meaning of class and condition.
JEWS WILL BE SAFE
11. THIS HATRED WILL BE STILL FURTHER MAGNIFIED BY THE EFFECTS of an ECONOMIC CRISES, which will stop dealing on the exchanges and bring industry to a standstill. We shall create by all the secret subterranean methods open to us and with the aid of gold, which is all in our hands, A UNIVERSAL ECONOMIC CRISES WHEREBY WE SHALL THROW UPON THE STREETS WHOLE MOBS OF WORKERS SIMULTANEOUSLY IN ALL THE COUNTRIES OF EUROPE. These mobs will rush delightedly to shed the blood of those whom, in the simplicity of their ignorance, they have envied from their cradles, and whose property they will then be able to loot.
12. "OURS" THEY WILL NOT TOUCH, BECAUSE THE MOMENT OF ATTACK WILL BE KNOWN TO US AND WE SHALL TAKE MEASURES TO PROTECT OUR OWN.
13. We have demonstrated that progress will bring all the GOYIM to the sovereignty of reason. Our despotism will be precisely that; for it will know how, by wise severities, to pacificate all unrest, to cauterize liberalism out of all institutions.
14. When the populace has seen that all sorts of concessions and indulgences are yielded it, in the same name of freedom it has imagined itself to be sovereign lord and has stormed its way to power, but, naturally like every other blind man, it has come upon a host of stumbling blocks. IT HAS RUSHED TO FIND A GUIDE, IT HAS NEVER HAD THE SENSE TO RETURN TO THE FORMER STATE and it has laid down its plenipotentiary powers at OUR feet. Remember the French Revolution, to which it was we who gave the name of "Great": the secrets of its preparations are well known to us for it was wholly the work of our hands.
15. Ever since that time we have been leading the peoples from one disenchantment to another, so that in the end they should turn also from us in favor of that KING-DESPOT OF THE BLOOD OF ZION, WHOM WE ARE PREPARING FOR THE WORLD.
16. At the present day we are, as an international force, invincible, because if attacked by some we are supported by other States. It is the bottomless rascality of the GOYIM peoples, who crawl on their bellies to force, but are merciless towards weakness, unsparing to faults and indulgent to crimes, unwilling to bear the contradictions of a free social system but patient unto martyrdom under the violence of a bold despotism - it is those qualities which are aiding us to independence. From the premier-dictators of the present day, the GOYIM peoples suffer patiently and bear such abuses as for the least of them they would have beheaded twenty kings.
17. What is the explanation of this phenomenon, this curious inconsequence of the masses of the peoples in their attitude towards what would appear to be events of the same order?
18. It is explained by the fact that these dictators whisper to the peoples through their agents that through these abuses they are inflicting injury on the States with the highest purpose - to secure the welfare of the peoples, the international brotherhood of them all, their solidarity and equality of rights. Naturally they do not tell the peoples that this unification must be accomplished only under our sovereign rule.
19. And thus the people condemn the upright and acquit the guilty, persuaded ever more and more that it can do whatsoever it wishes. Thanks to this state of things, the people are destroying every kind of stability and creating disorders at every step.
20. The word "freedom" brings out the communities of men to fight against every kind of force, against every kind of authority even against God and the laws of nature. For this reason we, when we come into our kingdom, shall have to erase this word from the lexicon of life as implying a principle of brute force which turns mobs into bloodthirsty beasts.
21. These beasts, it is true, fall asleep again every time when they have drunk their fill of blood, and at such time can easily be riveted into their chains. But if they be not given blood they will not sleep and continue to struggle.
A history of Aceh
Aceh is a region on the northern tip of Sumatra. Aceh first rose to importance as a center of resistance to the Portuguese. Aceh went into decline when the Dutch established a presence in Malacca.
It was used as a counter to the Dutch by the British, and an Anglo-Dutch treaty guaranteed Aceh's independence in 1824. In 1871, the Treaty of Sumatra gave the Dutch a free hand in Aceh in return for recognition of British rights in the Horn of Africa. The Dutch invaded Aceh in 1873. While the Dutch gained control of the cities, they could not project their power into the countryside. Major war lead by strong Acehnese resistance leaders ended in 1912. Outside main cities, guerrilla war continued until 1942.
Chinese chronicles from as early as the sixth century speak of a Buddhist kingdom called Po-Li on the northern tip of what is now Sumatra. Arabic writings and Indian inscriptions from around the 9th century also mention this area and its obvious importance.
Of all the regions in Indonesia, Aceh, at the northwestern end of Sumatra, is the first to have contact and be influenced by the outside world. Ironically, it is still one of the least known regions of Indonesia, even among Indonesians themselves.
Aceh has a fascinating history which over the centuries has shaped and transformed the region into what it is today. In 1292, Marco Polo, on his epic voyage from China visited Sumatra on his way to Persia and reported that in the northern part of the island there were as many as six busy trading ports including Perlak, Samudera and Lamri. Islamic writings and Indian inscriptions from around the ninth century also name the area and its importance, primarily as a busy and highly strategic trading posts.
The first Islamic kingdom of Perlak was established in the year 804 about 100 years after Islam is first believed to have reached the archipelago. In 1511, the Portuguese seized the important strategic port of Malacca, pushing many Asian and Arabic traders to call instead on the developing port of Aceh, bringing with them wealth and prosperity. Aceh's dominance in trade and politics in northern parts of Sumatra and in the entire region had begun and would last until it reached its zenith between 1610 and 1640.
Aceh's decline began with the death of Sultan Iskandar Thani in 1641, and as a result the British and Dutch both began vying for domination of the area. Eventually the signing of the London Treaty in 1824 saw the Dutch gain control of all British possessions in Sumatra in return for their surrender of enterprises in India and withdrawal of all claims on Singapore.
The Dutch found gaining control of Aceh to be more difficult than they had anticipated. It was a long drawn out struggle for the Dutch in their attempts to subdue the recalcitrant Acehnese. The Aceh War, which lasted intermittently from 1873 to 1942, was the longest ever fought by Holland.
From Po-Li to Aceh Darussalam
"The city of Achin, if you could call it a city, is incredibly spread out, and is built in the forest itself in such a way that no even one home is visible until we find ourselves directly in front of it. And everywhere we went there were houses and people, so that I felt that the city covered the whole land," John Davis, a British observer on a Dutch ship which visited Aceh in 1600 AD wrote. The kingdom of Aceh he spoke of was ruled by Alaidin Riayat Syah.
The history of the Liang Dynasty of China (506-556) spoke of a kingdom called Po-Li to be found on the northern tip of Sumatra. This same kingdom was again mentioned in the history of Sui Dynasty (581-671). "The people in this land are masters at throwing a disk, about the size of a small mirror, whose edges are cerated and sharp, and in whose center a hole is cut. If they throw this weapon they never miss. The other weapons they use are much the same as those existing in China."
In the history of the T'ang Dynasty (618-906) the existence of this kingdom is listed in Book 222. "There is also found a bird called s'ari, which can understand the speech of man. It is black, with a read head, and claws like those of an eagle." The bird referred to was the minah (Gracula religoisa).
Several Arabic writings of the early 9th century also mention an area called Rami or Ramni, and sometimes Lambri. "On that island - I am referring to Lambri - there are many elephants. There is also sapang wood, bamboo and a tribe of cannibals," the Arab notes report. And most experts agree that the positioning of the area indicated is that of what is now known as Northern Sumatra.
In an inscription found in Tanjore, India which was carved in around 1030-31, the name Ilamuridesam is used to refer to a place near Manakkavaram (Greater Nickobar island). Texts from 13th century China also refer to a country called Lan-Wuli or Lan-Li. All these names are very similar to Lamuri, which was mentioned in earlier reports.
At the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo, the adventurer from Venice reported that in the northern part of Sumatra there were to be found as many as 6 trading ports. These were Ferlec, Basman, Smudra, Dagroian, Fansur and Lambri. The name Lamuri was also refered to by Arab explorers like Ibn Sa'id (end of the 13th century), Rasyid ad-Din (1310), and Abulfide (1273-1331). And in 1323 the Christian Father Odoric de Pordenone angrily wrote of the habits of the people of Lamuri, whom he described as savages because they practiced poligamy and cannibalism.
Cheng-Ho, and admiral serving the emperor of China of the Ming Dynasty, in the first part of Sumatra: A-lu (Aru), Su-men-ta-la, or Hsiu-wen-ta-la (Samudra) and Lanwul-li, or Lan-po-li (Lamuri). Concerning Samudra he reported that the region exported precious stones, other kinds of stone, indigo, rhinoceros, pumice stone, gaharu, kalambak, and pucuk wood, cloves, incense, daggers, arches, tin, pepper, sapan wood, belereng and other things. According to the same notes, after a struggle for the throne the name of the region referred to was change to A-tsi (Aceh).
The influence of Hinduism and Buddhism was also felt in this region, but it is not clear when this first occurred. The are is close to India so it is assumed that this influence existed there long before it did in other parts of Sumatra or Java. In the 54th book of the Ling Dynasty history there are several indications that the religion embraced by the king of Po-Li was Buddhism. Several other histories report the presence of Hinduism in Aceh. However it is all but impossible to find any physical sign of this presence, so it is difficult to reconstruct what type of influence India actually had in Aceh. This is probably because of the influence of the Islamic religion in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D.
"All aspects of the culture which were in direct opposition to Islamic law and teachings were wiped out completely" according to A. Hasjmy. Almost all structures and objects related to Indian influence were destroyed and almost no trace at all is left.
According to A. Hajmy the mosque in Indrapuri (Aceh Besar) was built on the foundation of a huge temple. "Its form was similar to that of the Borobudur temple."
The first Islamic kingdoms in Aceh were Perlak, Lamuri and Pasai. The kingdom of Pasai was the first to embrace Islam in Southeast Asia. Two other Islamic kingdoms of Aceh, Samudra Pasai (14th and 15ths centuries) and Aceh Darussalam (16th and 17th centuries), had major impact on the development and expansion of Islam in Indonesia. The religious, philosophic and literary works of the ulemas of Aceh opened up new horizons all over Indonesia.
The name Aceh itself began to be used more definitely around 1520 when Tome Pires of Portugal wrote, "Aceh is the first nation along the coast of Sumatra and is bordered by Lamri, which extends into the interior." Concerning the king of the region Tome Pires refers to him as being a Moslem king with power great enough to bring all of his enemies under control.
Denys Lombard, and expert on the history of Aceh, in his book, "The Kingdoms of Aceh" (1986) speculates that the king referred to was probably Ali Mughayat Syah, who is believed to have been the establisher of Islamic power. This king won the first sea war against the Portuguese in May 1521. Under his rule, and those of his successors, Aceh continued to expand its borders into the whole of Sumatra island and into Semenanjung, Malaysia.
The golden age of Aceh came during the period of kingdom of Aceh Darussalam (Land of Peace) under the rule of Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607-1636). According to Ausgustin de Beaulieu, a French admiral, the Aceh kingdom was the strongest of all the neighboring nations in terms of its sea power. In its three main harbors as many as 100 war ships were on the alert and ready to sail at a moment's notice. "A third of them were larger than any war ship ever seen in Christiandom," Beaulieu wrote. He also recorded the information that each ship carried three cannons and 40 tons of shells, and were manned by between 600 and 800 men.
Peter Mundy, a Briton, in 1673 reported that Aceh had an armada of 200 large ships, besides numerous large and small boats with sails made of woven matting or rattan. The Portuguese, the foe of Aceh, called these large Acehnese ships Espanto del Mundo or the "bogey men of the world". These ships were about 100 meters long, with three sails and equipped with 100 guns. "Even though our eyes were accustomed to seeing things of great beauty, we all amazed to see this (the ships)," Faria y Sousa, a Spaniard, who worked for the Portuguese, reported.
On land Aceh's army featured the use of elephants, which were greatly feared. Beaulieu reported that the elephants forces numbered as many as 900. These forces were supported by a cavalry mounted on 200 horses. The Aceh kingdom also had a force of at least 40,000 foot soldiers. With this type of military strength Aceh expanded its territory and successfully fought off the Portuguese in areas as far away as Malacca and Semanjung, Malaysia. Because these forces inspired such confidence the people of Aceh did not bother to build high, thick walls to protect Aceh city. Explorers from Europe who are used to seeing such fortresses in Europe and India were amazed that Aceh had none.
As time passed the Dutch became the threat instead of the Portuguese and Aceh was the only part of Indonesia that had yet to fall under the influence of the colonial forces at the first of 20th century.
The Aceh war (1873-1942) was the most major war ever fought by the Dutch and it claimed over 100,000 lives, including that of the Dutch Major General J.H.R. Kohler.
On Aceh's side many heros and heroines surfaced, many of them dying, during this prolonged struggle, among them being: Teungku Chik di Tiro, Teuku Umar, Cut Nyak Dien, Panglima Polem, Cut Meutia, and many, many more. Aceh was the last region in Indonesia to fall to the Dutch colonial forces, and the first to break away.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The Tale of Keramat Kuala Bidor 3 – And so the story goes…
Continued from the article “The Tale of Keramat Kuala Bidor 2 – Touching a bit on the world shadow government”. This story is translated/adapted from the Malay novel “Berpetualang ke Aceh”.
Once upon a time, a long time ago in Sumatera, there were two brothers fighting for the throne of a kingdom. The elder one who deserved the throne more became disappointed and broken-hearted that his own brother would go to any lengths just to become the ruler, and so he left the whole fray and left the kingdom with his beloved wife and only the clothes they are wearing.
They rowed on a small boat across the Straits of Malacca. Arrived at the Perak river and landed in Teluk Intan. That’s where they stayed and lived… By planting vegetables and fishing for a living.
Nenek said, during that time the Kingdom of Perak have not existed yet… Don’t know how long ago this happened… The name Teluk Intan was not yet to be, so were the name Perak and the Perak river. But there was already a small fishing settlement there and so there were some populace. Not sure though where they came from, which kingdom there belong to or which king hold sway over them. According to official history, the Perak Kingdom was started in 1528 AD… So this story must have happened at least 500 years ago.
What is strange, Nenek said Keramat Kuala Bidor used to travel to and fro his orchard in Bidor. He went after Zuhur (the prayer after noon) and returned before Maghrib (time for the sunset twilight prayers). Come to think of it, it would take an hour by car to go from Teluk Intan to Bidor in this modern times, so how could anyone do it during that period travelling through thick jungle and vegetation to and fro with time to work an orchard all within a space of five hours? Did he rode a horse? As far as Rasyid knows, the legendary man was too poor to afford any mode of transportation… What can you say, after all he is a very poor man who owned only a set of clothers, can’t afford to have an ox what more a horse. Or… Perhaps he rode a tiger? Because there are tales saying he did befriended a tiger with one lame foot known in legends as “Harimau Tepok”…
Keramat Kuala Bidor also liked to fish in the wee hours of the morning and give the catch to the villagers without them knowing. Right after he made his catch, he would put a fish at the door of each house before Subuh (time for morning prayers)… The minute one opens the door, there is a fish in front but nobody knew where it came from. The man just took one or two for his own consumption with the wife.
Such was the simple life led by this legendary figure and his woman… They only owned a piece of good clean cloth. That is the cloth used in turn for their prayers but nevertheless they lead a blissful and happy life.
Nenek said the guy could have had a very easy life if he wanted to, anytime if he needs it as he was blessed with many natural-born talents. But Keramat Kuala Bidor is not the type of person to relish wealth and treasure, or any form of worldly luxury and goods.
Rasyid was moved to hear this story. At the core of his being came the thought how happy he would be if he got a wife like that of Keramat Kuala Bidor, the kind of thoughtful pious woman who is willing to accept anything the husband has to give, even though he has nothing at all.
To him this is the example of a woman who truly follows the injunctions laid out in the holy book Al-Quran regarding the rights of woman to receive from her husband which sounds something like this: “Whenever the husband eats, and so the wife. Whenever the husband is clothed, and so the wife too”. This means, the woman is pleased and accepts whatever the husband could afford, not to make demands asking him to buy what-nots as is the case nowadays just to follow the trend or the times and thus forcing the husband to look for extra money just to keep up with the Joneses… Whenever the neighbours have new furnitures, and so the wife demands from the husband… That notwithstanding other things… In the end the husband suffers from migraine just to keep the wife happy.
According to the real injunctions of the Quran, if the husband has nothing to eat, then the wife should not mind to be patient in hunger too. So this would not be a burden on the husband especially in this modern times where one is often forced to go against one’s principles just to make ends meet, where clean and “not-so-clean” money are mixed and it is hard to recognise which is which, where usury holds sway until it becomes the ingredient of every human being.
Believe this ooo dear womankind, in an environment full of love and acceptance such as described above, there exist no man who would consciously allow his wife to suffer in hunger or not have proper clothing. There would not arise the man’s anger in having to compromise his principles just to chase the luxurios life demanded by some wives. If the wife is really pleased with whatever the husband has got to give, then he would have the peace of mind to really pray and lead his life according to the will of Allah. Meanwhile those men who are given certain principles to live and fight for especially those involving the purity and sovereignity of the religion, people and the country would be able to carry out their task whole-heartedly.
Eh… This Rasyid has gone overboard with these thoughts… Perhaps what Nenek told him about how Keramat Kuala Bidor lead his life with the wife made him remember his very own dear sweet-heart…