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, August 05, 2007

The legend of Mahsuri in Langkawi

I spend the night of 23rd January 2007 at the new mosque of Ulu Melaka, right in the middle of the 50,000-hectare or so Langkawi island. The mosque replaced an old mosque which is reputed to be hundreds of years old, at least that's what they say.
I had a slight mystical experience at the mosque. Suffice to say, I was given a stream of knowledge straight to the heart which relates the famous Mahsuri, the legendary pretty woman of 18th Langkawi, said to be white-blooded to Aceh royalty including the famous 17th century Acehnese ruler, Sultan Iskandar Muda Mahkota Alam!

The well of Mahsuri said to be a place where Mahsuri regularly took water. I'm too tired to write longer on Mahsuri so let my just copy this lock stock and barrel from another site ya...

A Short History

An interesting aside about Langkawi's development comes from the well known legend of Mahsuri, a beautiful young maiden who was wrongly accused of committing adultery and sentenced to death.

The story begins sometime in the late 18th century during the reign of Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah 1762-1800. A merchant by the name of Pandak Maya arrived on Langkawi looking for new opportunities and while he was there his wife gave birth to a baby girl who grew up to become the extraordinarily beautiful Mahsuri. Sometime around 1815 Mahsuri came to marry the son of a local chieftain. The husband, a certain Mat Deris, was quite jealous of his wife's beauty and falsely accused her of adultery.

Pregnant at the time, Mahsuri was convicted and condemned to death. She would be stabbed in the heart with a Keris (a dagger with a wavy blade common to Malaysia and Indonesia). Legend has it that after she was stabbed and lie dying she cursed the island, that it not prosper for seven generations. Furthermore, witnesses claim that her blood ran white and that proved her innocence.

Whether one believes the legend or not, a few years after her death the Thais invaded Langkawi and laid waste to the island and seven generations or so did pass before the government began its program to develop tourism and build an airport and it is only now that the inhabitants of Langkawi are beginning to prosper.

How the name 'Langkawi' came about depends on who you ask. Basically there are two versions of the story. The first claims that the island used to be inhabited by eagles and rich with marble. Combining the Malay word for eagle "helang" with Sanskrit word for marble is "kawi", you get "helangkawi".....

The second version, from Tun Mohamad Zahir in his book, "The Legends of Langkawi" the names originates completely from Sanskrit; combining the words "Langka" meaning beautiful and "Wi" meaning many. Thus many beautiful islands....

OK... Now that you know the story, it is easier to go on... The well is situated in a tourist complex dedicated to the legend of Mahsuri, within the padi fields not far from the mosque of Ulu Melaka where I spent the night...

Actually I did take plenty of pictures of Ulu Melaka including that of the mosque and an ancient tomb nearby simply known as Makam Purba (ancient tomb). I did spent some moment in the dark alone lying with the tombstone as my head-rest hoping that I will get some sort of mystical revelation for the night.

Well, I did get a revelation as told earlier in this story. The problem is, I arrived at the Mahsuri tourist complex after a rather long walk the next day only to discover something went wrong with my digital camera and all the pictures taken were wiped out!

Luckily, I've uploaded earlier pictures into my laptop as can be seen in Lots of walking in Langkawi . Then I have to make do with the pictures taken later and that is among the pictures shown here...

The tomb of Mahsuri, at least that's what the authorities say... There are locals who claim, the original tomb was located somewhere else while the one above is built for the sake of tourism!

Afterwards, I continue walking heading for the principal town of Kuah where the main jetty to the mainland is located...

Saw this nice view of a padi field and Gunung (mount of) Matchincang further up in the background...

There, the town of Kuah with a giant statue of an eagle. Why built it? Well, you have to study the legend of Garuda, a giant bird to understand the reason along with its relation to Langkawi's early history... Go google... Don't expect me to spoon-feed everything...

The tallest mountain (or hill) in Langkawi, the 700 metre of so tall Gunung Raya which marks the central part of the island...

And so come the time to leave Langkawi... Next story! :]

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