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.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Night visit to Masjid (mosque of) Zahir

Continung the supporting series for the trip to the north made end of August last year. After spending time up Gunung Jerai we went down late afternoon and headed further up north to Alor Setar. Stopping en-route to break our fast (it was the Muslim month of Ramadhan remember?) we only reached the Kedah capital sometime after 8.

Upon reaching Alor Setar we immediately head for the main mosque at the centre of town.

This is a very beautiful mosque but I can't remember ever visiting it at night...

After taking a shower at the restroom it's time to roam and look around.

But first let's have a look at the mosque from main front. The opening pictures were taken from a rather obscure part...

It is from this front that passers-by often enjoy the view of this beautiful mosque. It is the view everyone can't see while driving up the main street in front.

Oh. Did I tell you the mosque is called Masjid (mosque of) Zahir? It is also the royal mosque of Kedah.

Now let's go inside.

By then people were waiting for the Isyaq prayers, the last of the 5 obligatory prayers prescribed to Muslims for a day.

Area under the dome.

Now I've been to this mosque many times but like I said before I can't remember visiting it at night.

This time I found out there's another section in front.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bringing the family to the place designated as Padang (field of) Tok Sheikh

Continuing from The well of Tok Sheikh.

The journey was continued uphill.

At a bend close to the summit of Gunung Jerai we stopped and parked the car.

There's a place I wanted to bring the family to...

To get there you have to walk up this path.

The path gave way to an opening.

The opening has stony ground...

Welcome to the place designated as Padang or field of Tok Sheikh.

Besides is a monument which if I'm not mistaken marks the location of an ancient mosque...

The 'field' covers parts downhill.

Want to know why I said this place is designated as Padang Tok Sheikh, why not say it outright?

To understand read the old article Views on top of Gunung Jerai... Enter Padang Tok Sheikh. Is it?.

It was made 3 years ago. Then there's no such concrete walls here...

Meanwhile let the family enjoy this place in quiet joy. I love you very much wife. Thank you for giving me the boy which I have always wanted the last 10 years! For the record this is their first time ever at Gunung Jerai. Baby Muhammad Al-Aminul Rasyid was then only 10 months. :]

The well of Tok Sheikh

Continuing from The superb views from on top of Gunung Jerai.

Soon it is time to head for another section of Gunung Jerai.

First you have to take a winding route downhill.

Nope. We're not leaving the mountain. It is just we're going down to get to the saddle between two peaks, the second highest which we have just left and the highest which we could partly see in the background.

Notice where the road evens out?

From there the journey is uphill again.

We stopped at the saddle to get to a certain place.

Here lies a small stream and besides it is a well.

Legends say this is where Tok Sheikh, a magical elderly and saintly figure used to take abolution for prayers some 900 years. Tok is a Malay call of respect for the elders, coming from the word Atok or Atok which means grandpa. Sheikh usually means a religious teacher or spiritual master. Don't mistake it with the Sheikhs of oil-rich Arab states which tends to carry a negative aura of unbridled indulgence in worldly passions. For the record this is the 656th article in this blogspot.

The superb views from on top of Gunung Jerai

Continuing from The trip up Gunung (mount) Jerai.

Slightly further on you can see these buildings.

It is among the chalets available at this resort, the only one on top of Gunung Jerai.

One thing about this place is the superb view you could get.

From here you can practically peer down on almost half of Kedah's coast. Such is the vista provided from 1,200 metres high.

Actually Gunung Jerai has a higher peak as seen in the background. For the record most mountains have a number of peaks and the one see here is the highest for this mountain. However it is thickly covered by jungles and growth obscuring the view. Besides the topmost part is guarded by the military and thus off-limit to civilians.

As far as I could gather the peak we were standing at here is the second highest. Thus officially it is designated as the top of Gunung Jerai where everyone could pay a visit. In the background is the surau or small praying hall within the resort's compound. Look around and you could see it is the highest point around these parts...

A view of the chalets previously seen in the first picture. This one is taken from the verandah of the surau.

A view towards the coast. It is refreshing to see such a wide vista.

I was trying to remember from which angle this picture was taken. Then I noticed the stains on and realised it was taken from inside the surau pass the glasses.