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.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Incursion to Tanjung Dawai

OK... Let me continue the story of a previous travel right from where we left off in The surau of Kampung Setul, Yan... Here goes...

21st January 2007. I woke up at the surau of Kampung Setul in Yan with Alor Setar, the Kedah capital in mind. That very morning, a local which I came to know 2 days before took me on his bike to visit a few places in Yan but that is another story. After lunch, it's time to leave the small town with its Aceh connections and head further up north.

At Yan's bus station, I came across an elder man who was also headed for Alor Setar. As the bus was still not in sight, we decided to save time by sharing a taxi to another town located on the main route to the the Kedah capital, if I remember correctly the name of that town is Guar Chempedak. From there it's easier to get a bus to Alor Setar.

So there we were merrily leaving the town and district of Yan. As we were about the approach our destination, in sight came an obstacle... Oo oo!!!

As it turns out, there was a police road-block! Not that we have anything to fear as I'm sure none of us onboard the taxi are criminals in any way. The problem is (and a funny and rather ironic one too), the taxi driver forgot to bring his driving license! What? A taxi driver forgot to bring his driving license to work! Who would have thought!

Anyway, the driver decided to make a u-turn just before the road-block... That means we, the passengers had to walk to the town centre which is alright as it was only a kilometre away or so.

Feeling rather guilty for forcing us to walk because he forgot bring his driving license, the driver offered to waive our fares. We said no... Just take the money... It was not so much anyway... Can't remember how much but the total is definitely under RM10...

"It is your rezeki (your allocated lot by God)", we said as we got out of the taxi. The funny thing is, both me and the other passenger seemed to develop a certain spiritual tie by then...

As we walked towards the town (again I must say, I'm not so sure if the name is Guar Chempedak as I'm writing this off-hand), we started talking about God's decrees and how it lead to men's fate... Starting with why this funny incident (the taxi driver forgetting to bring along his driving licence) happened... We both came to the conclusion, it happened to force us to walk together so that we can exchange stories which could be vital to our spiritual journey! Yes! By then, both of us could definitely feel a certain link and electrical current in the air.

As we talked and talked, there came out the name Sultan Malikus Salih, the ruler and founder of the ancient twin kingdoms of Samudera and Pasai (in present-day Aceh) more than 700 years ago. I can't remember how this name came about but it is sure something dear to me... As far as I know, I've met all sorts of fashion of spiritual travellers, adventurers and such and names of signicant characters said to be of high spiritual leaning like the Wali Songo (the Nine Saints) of Java are always mentioned in such circles but rarely the name of Sultan Malikus Salih, as very few know the real spiritual status of this wise ruler.

That's when I decided to find out where this guy is coming from... He pointed me to a place called Tanjung Dawai... Hence the pictures here you've seen so far!

As it is, Tanjung Dawai is actually located some 20 to 30 km south of Yan which in turn is about another 20km or so away from the town we were at. The conversation which ensued after we both found our common interest in Sultan Malikus Salih made us charter a taxi all the way to Tanjung Dawai passing Yan again on the way. It turns out, there's a family there who claimed to be descendants of the ancient wise ruler who legends say was given the title Malikus Salih (Arabic for "king of the pious ones") by none other than Prophet Muhammad himself! In a dream that is because the Prophet passed away 1,400 years ago, 700 years earlier than the advent of the kingdoms of Samudera and Pasai!

Suffice to say, I spent the night in Tanjung Dawai exchanging stories and spiritual experience. The family was kind enough to let me borrow a bike. That's when I made rounds around Tanjung Dawai which is situated at the Merbok estuary river and took the pictures displayed in this article... Remember the place called Merbok? The river starts from the famous Gunung Jerai... Have a look again at The ancient valley of Bujang in Merbok .

I took this opportunity to visit the old mosque of Pengkalan Kakap, some 10km away or so from Tanjung Dawai. If I remember correctly, this 200 year-old or so mosque is the oldest exisiting mosque in Kedah and is gazetted as a national treasure...

Next to the old mosque is another newer mosque for regular use. The old mosque is reserved for visitors...

A plaque with a brief history of the old mosque of Pengkalan Kakap inscribed. Sorry, I can't make it clearer for you readers. As it is, I need to blurt the story out before I can continue with other stories... Can't help it... That is my style. At least I'm done for the day. Cheers! :]

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