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 13, 2010

A token from Brunei...

Looks like I have to make an excursion from making supporting stories for my third trip to Aceh end of January 2010.

This is 2 pages of today's Brunei Times under the features section.

Open this picture in another window to read what's it all about.

The same story but in the paper's website.

Today the 3rd of the holy fasting month of Ramadhan equivalent to 13th August a friend in Brunei has alerted me to an article which came in today's Brunei Times, one of the country's two major English papers. It is about an interview made with me a week ago and it has finally made it in the paper. For the record I went to Brunei 1-8th August following an invitation to 'feel' Brunei's rich royal history. Naturally I am pleased to find my views made known in its local paper. And this happened on a date which looks auspicious to me especially since today my little boy Muhammad Al-Rasyid turned 10 months old (and has started to walk more than 10 steps per walk!).

You can see the article at Brunei Times' website here. But in case it got lost over time, I have taken screen-shots and that is the third picture above which you can open in another window for better view. The Brunei friend later gave me the link to the e-paper section and that's how I got the first 2 pictures. Nevertheless let me copy and paste the contents below. I'd like to note this is the 555th article in this blogspot...


Brunei monarchy and 'Ahlul Bait'

Sobrina Rosli
Friday, August 13, 2010

MOST people in Brunei, especially the young, lack in-depth knowledge concerning the importance of Brunei's position as a monarchy, although the very word monarchy is part of the nation's philosophy of Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB), a concept widely known among Bruneians.

The recent Malay Knowledge Convention 2010 has played a role in exerting efforts to spread the awareness of the meaning behind the Malay Muslim mind and culture. Though most locals are aware that Brunei is the only ruling monarchy in Southeast Asia, but how much do the people of Brunei know about our monarchy?

Malaysian author, Radzi Sapiee, who has worked alongside Hj Muzaffar Dato Hj Mohamad and Tun Suzana Tun Hj Othman to come up with the book, 'Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasullulah SAW & Malay Sultanates' , told The Brunei Times that the monarchy in Brunei being one of the oldest monarchies in the world can trace its noble lineage to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

This lineage is termed as the "Ahlul Bait" which means "People of the House" and in this case it refers to "the descendants of the Prophet through his grandchildren Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussein".

"There is a saying, 'Lineage has no barrier'. This is true because what we are talking about is seeds. If you want an apple you would plant an apple seed, if you want an orange you would plant an orange seed and so forth. Some people have to learn to acquire certain traits but some people, due to genetics, have certain flairs which come naturally."

"The 'Ahlul Bait' are entrusted with the capability for leadership and capacity for 'dakwah' or preaching. In order for the 'Ahlul Bait' to bring out their true capacities within themselves they have to exert efforts to emulate the traits of their ancestors," he said.

Radzi highlighted that the Brunei monarchy possesses the "Ahlul Bait" lineage through Sultan Sharif Ali, a descendant of the Prophet's first grandson, Sayyidina Hassan, who arrived in Brunei in 1395 from Mekah. "The significance of being descended from Sayyidina Hassan was that he was a 'Khalifah'. Sharif Ali was once the King of Mekah and used to rule Hijaz," said Radzi to The Brunei Times.

The definition of "Khalifah" is "the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state who is also considered to be a representative of Allah on earth. "The responsibility of an 'Ahlul Bait' is such that they are to protect their people and bring their people to the right path of Islam," he said.

Radzi continued to emphasise the significance of Brunei's position in terms of possessing both nobility as well as a blessed lineage.

"The term 'Raja' (King) is the emblem of Malay nobility in this part of the world. We all know that the number of monarchies around the world is declining. The Malay Muslim Royalty will serve as the protector of the Malay Muslims," he said.

Radzi also mentioned the "Ahlul Bait" network of families can also be found within the royal families of Malaysia such as in the states of Perlis, Johor, Terengganu and Pahang in Malaysia.

He added that being a true Malay requires membership that covers three aspects; practising the religion of Islam, practising the Malay customs and traditions as well as speaking the Malay language.

"We should not hold on to the old belief that Malays are a weak race. This is what the colonisers have been trying to ingrain in us since their arrival in this region. They came, they destroyed our civilisation, took our books and manuscripts, thus almost wiping out historical evidence of our traditional knowledge."

"The coloniser often said, "In order to be cultured, you must learn our language and our music, and since you lived on trees, we will teach you how to live'," he said.

In a separate interview with Brunei's very own historian, Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Haji Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri Begawan Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Paduka Haji Umar, he verified the lineage of Brunei's monarchy as possessing "Ahlul Bait".

"We must feel proud that our country is blessed with such a monarch," he said while pointing again out that the monarch is descended from the same lineage of Sayyidina Hassan that ruled countries such as Morocco, Libya and Mekah in the past as well as Jordan.

He added that most rulers in some states in Malaysia and Indonesia claimed lineage of 'Ahlul Bait' from Sayyidina Hussein, another grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammad who was only a year younger than Sayyidina Hassan.

According to the 'Salasilah of Raja-Raja Brunei' or The Genealogy of the Sultans of Brunei published by the Brunei History Centre, Sultan Sharif Ali became the third Sultan of Brunei after Sultan Ahmad died without leaving any male descendants, and at the request of the people of Brunei, he became eligible for the throne after marrying Sultan Ahmad's daughter, Puteri Ratna Kesuma.

To the people of Brunei, Sultan Sharif Ali was an example of "Insanul Kamil" the perfect human being mentioned in Sufi teachings as the one who have attained total real understanding of the relationship between Allah and His creation, thus making him a reception for God to extend His bounties for mankind and all of creation.

He was known as "Sultan Barakat", whereby the definition of the word "barakat here means "Blessed".

According to the book, Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasullulah SAW & Malay Sultanates, Sharif Ali came to the Malay region bringing along the sword called "Pedang Si Bongkok" which is a symbol of recognition from the government of Turkey to the kings of Mekah and Eygpt. When he became the Sultan of Brunei, he continued his role as an "Ahlul Bait" and continued to spread the teachings of Islam all over Brunei. Sultan Sharif Ali is also credited for building mosques, which was never done by any Sultan before that period. He also led the obligatory Friday prayers and read the sermons on religious festive days of Aidilfitri and Aidiladha.

To honour Sultan Sharif Ali's deeds, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam, on January 1, 2007, announced the establishment of a second university, the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (Unissa). The name of this university was to honour Sultan Sharif Ali who was remembered for his contributions towards the glory of Islam in Brunei.

The Brunei Times


Oh. On the subject of Ahlul Bait perhaps you can take time to read these translations made by yours truly. Cheers! :]

The Tariqat of Ahlul Bait 1

The Tariqat of Ahlul Bait 2

The Tariqat of Ahlul Bait 3

The Tariqat of Ahlul Bait 4

The mosque of Baiturrahman at night

Assalamualaikum. Peace be upon you all. A new series based on my trip to Aceh end of January 2010 has been started in the Malay blogspot BERPETUALANG KE ACEH and as usual supporting articles would be made in this blogspot starting with this...

This trip is my third to Aceh. This time I took a hotel within short walking distance to Masjid Baiturrahman, the main mosque in the whole of Aceh.

So I took the opportunity to visit it at night, something I did not do in previous trips. For the record I have been to Aceh four times.

Anyway, I didn't reach this part of Aceh in my first trip January 2004. Aceh then was under emergency rule due to war raging between the Indonesian military and GAM separatist group and I only managed to reach Langsa, some 45 km inside Aceh's south-eastern border before being shooed away. I first got to Banda Aceh in my second trip June 2009. By then Aceh has been opened to foreigners as the Tsunami of 26th December 2006 has forced warring factions to sit together in peace and find solutions to rebuilt Aceh.

In that second trip, I stayed at a hotel 3.5 km away. It is a distance I could have walked through without much problem but our 8 days 7 night trip then (I went with the wife who was 6 months pregnant) was so full of activity that I was practically floored after dinners.

In the third trip our hotel was less than 300 metres away. It's so easy to reach the mosque at any time even late at night. Here is the tower in front of the compound of Masjid Baiturrahman. It is the tallest building in Banda Aceh.