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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Islam recognises freedom of religion

I have promised myself that after finishing a series of postings/articles in my blogspots on the activities and places visited on Tuesday 16th June 2009 in Aceh I would make another voluntary translation from the website http://www.shiar-islam.com/. Thank God, the article next on the list to be translated is very short. At least I've kept my promise. So here it is, before I can proceed with the following stories on Aceh... the activities and places visited on Wednesday.



By Ustaz Syed Hasan Alatas

Translation by Radzi Sapiee

Although it is a duty for all Muslims to call mankind to the path of Allah, the true path, they are forbidden from forcing others to embrace Islam. Allah said in the Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion: verily the right way is now distinct from the wrong way.” (The verses of al-Baqarah: 256)

Allah s.w.t. calls out to humankind and its diverse races and religions to get to know each other. For Allah also said in the Quran: “O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous. Allah is Omniscient, Cognizant.” (al-Hujurat : 13).

Monday, August 17, 2009

What is the relationship between Taming Sari and my family?

Another intermission...

I'll bet that all Malay readers or those who knows a bit of Malay history and folklore have heard about the magical kris or Malay wavy blade known as Taming Sari. Tonight, I've just found Wikipedia's take on the matter which includes an information I have no idea has ever existed before. Now, I know that Wikipedia is open to suggestions if not meddlings from anybody who wish to put information, or rather their ideas or own version of 'information' making it susceptible to propagandas by parties with vested interest. But at least for prosperity's sake, let me copy and paste it here lock stock and barrel.

It happens that I am a fifth generation direct descendant of Laksamana Muhammad Amin. Do have a look at the old articles The return of Admiral Muhammad Amin's remains to the royal mausoleum of Perak and In Perak's royal mausoleum to give justice to Laksamana Raja Mahkota Muhammad Amin . Below is the article on Taming Sari in Wikipedia (refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taming_Sari) . Let me highlight the sentences which have astounded me. For the record, this is the 360th article or posting in this blogspot. This reminds me of the 360 degrees in a circle, a full turn or so...


The Keris Taming Sari is a very famous keris in Malay culture. It is the Malay equivalent of King Arthur's "Excalibur" and was supposedly owned by the legendary Malay warrior Hang Tuah. It is said to possess magical powers. The keris was a prize from the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit to Hang Tuah after he won a fight with a warrior named Taming Sari. The keris derives its name from the original owner.

According to legend, Hang Tuah, in the end, gave this Keris to Tun Mamat to be returned to Sultan Mahmud Shah 1488-1511 when he failed to bring back the Princess from Gunung Ledang. The Sultan had sent him there to bring the mythical Princess back to Malacca to be his queen. Hang Tuah then disappeared and was never seen or heard of again. Another version of the legend has it that Hang Tuah had thrown the keris into the river, saying that he would return when the keris re-appeared. This has led some to believe that the real Taming Sari has disappeared, like the legend of the sword Excalibur.

It is unique in that it is made of twenty-one different types of metal- supposedly metal leftover from the forging of the bolts of the holy Ka'aba. It was said that Taming Sari could do Hang Tuah's fighting for him - if Hang Tuah was menaced or in any danger, the keris would leap out of its sheath, fly through the air and attack the assailant. The whole of the sampir and batang are covered in gold leaf. The keris is classified as a keris gabus or keris terapang.

The kris still exists today and is part of the royal regalia of Sultan Azlan Shah, the Sultan of Perak, Malaysia.

Before the Taming Sari became part of the Perak Royalty's regalia, it is believed to have been a hereditary article of the family of the Laksamana (Navy Admiral) who for generations, through succession, ruled as the territorial chief of Hilir Perak.

It is believed that the last territorial chief who had the famed keris in his possession was Laksamana Mohd Amin Alang Duakap.
In 1876, he was arrested alongside many other rich aristocrats of his time for the alleged involvement in the murder of the first British Resident, James W.W. Birch. Together with Datuk Shahbandar Uda Kediti (the territorial chief of Kerian), Sultan Abdullah (the reigning Perak monarch of the time) and Menteri Paduka Ngah Ibrahim (the famous administrator of tin-rich Larut), Laksamana Mohd Amin was banished to the Seychelles.

After that, the British administration in Perak seized the properties of the territorial chiefs involved and these included the Taming Sari. However, the Sultan Yussuf, who succeeded the banished Sultan Abdullah, persuaded the British not to take the keris away to England[citation needed] and managed to gain possession of the keris.

However,historians believe that the real Taming Sari is still missing similar to the legend of Excalibur.

A spontaneous poem from 1995... something on my innermost being I guess..


Last night I slept at a family house in Kajang. While shifting through some of my old books, I found a whole set of poem (if you can call it such) which I have spontaneously scribbled on a Real Analysis (a branch of mathematics) university textbook. Now, I finished study at the University College of London sometime in June 1995 and returned to Malaysia sometime in October. The date scribbled under the poem on the other hand shows it was written in November, so I don't know what holds or what is the relation. Never mind, tonight I feel like sharing it in this blogspot. So here goes...

What is real eh?
Just the idiot’s fantasy
Dreaming of the gleaming spirals of wealth
Glittering testimony to the activities of life
Come the thunder
Rip the fabrics asunder
Lo behold...
Light of truth cleaves
The veils of deception
But what care I the wonderer
I choose to sit between the breast of the Giver
What care I if the moon drops
And sun bloated turns lifeless
For the milk of bounty
Never stops to those
Who rest in His grace

Radzi 7/11/95