The verandah of surau (small praying hall of) Kampung Setul in Yan. This place might be only one of many places visited in Yan 18-20 January 2007 but I believe it deserves it's own story.
Hmm... I did mention in the article In Yan to find the Aceh connection... there's something curious about the pink colour of the halls of main mosque of Yan. As it is, the surau at Kampung Setul is also predominantly pink too... Is there a connection here? (Apart from the same colour of course...)
The pictures you see here were taken after spending the night at the surau. I arrived the day before almost at dusk. The lucky thing was the locals were celebrating a kenduri (a feast) that night... So I actually had a nice free dinner with plenty of nice friendly company to boot!
Now, these people said they are related to each other and originated from grandparents who left Setul for some reasons... Maybe because of the Thai takeover? Maybe this could be a very obvious answer. The Thais are predominantly Buddhist and some especially the military were not so in favour of Setul's originally major Muslim population. So some said, what practically followed next was genocide... Either embrace their faith or suffer persecution, at least that's what some told me...
I did ask about the history of this particular surau... Is there any weird happenings? Or any good spiritual presence worth taking note of (I said this almost whispering to their elders)... Well, they were surprised that I planned to spend the night there. It's just, they said, do it at my own peril... For there is definitely some sort of presence around at it could scare those not that pure at heart.
Suffice to say, I survived the night intact. I did feel a strong unseen presence but then again I've had plenty experience of similar effect.
Nevertheless I'm there not to challenge any forces but just to follow my travelling urge while finding answers to some questions plaguing my life. It seems, the forces that guard the place acknowledge this. They (or he?) not only accepts my presence but guarded me from any possible disturbance from elsewhere... After all, I am just a lone traveller which is susceptible to attacks from those with bad intention. So there...
Oh... Back to the issue of the colour pink as seen at the surau of Kampung Setul, also at the main mosque of Yan... While writing this, I remember the locals at Yan saying that right in front of the main mosque, there used to lie the tomb of a saintly person... If memory serves me right, his name is Sheikh Uthman Al-Qadri. What is sure, he is a Sheikh ( a religious teacher) and carries the family name Al-Qadri which are said to be among the descendants of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
A day before going to Kampung Setul, a local took me by bike and brought me to to the saint's present grave, I can't remember in which village... Hmm... Come to think of it, perhaps that is the connection? Although the Al-Qadri family is said to flourish in Borneo, I have reason to believe it also has connections with Aceh through some families there which I positively believe are descended from the Sultanul Awliya (king of saints) Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani who lived in 12th century Baghdad!
Enough... I've told what can be told to release what's inside me... Now I must get on an complete a story for the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) before I can get into Selangor. Take care! :]
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