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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Late night visit to the tomb of Sunan Ampel

From the airport we entered the city of Surabaya where we stopped by at the tomb of person known as Sunan Bungkul. But our main destination in Surabaya lies at its northern outskirts, at place called Ampel. That's where we decided to check in at a budget vintage hotel. Late at night I decided to take a walk while the wife and kids rest.

You see Ampel is very famous due to a certain major saintly figure.

Unlike Sunan Bungkul, his name is so well-known throughout South East Asia.

But like Sunan Bungkul, he is also known after a place, in this case Ampel.

Notice the list of tombs? Tombs are called makam in Malay. Guess which one I was headed for...

First a quick look at the mosque.

The mosque was built when the personality concerned was alive some 600 years ago.

Entering the compound of the tomb of Sunan Ampel...

He is known as the leader of the group of 9 major saints of Jawa called the Wali Songo.

Upon entering the gates that's when I realised how alive this place is.

There's still another gate to go. That's when I realised that the tombs of well-known major saints in Java especially that of Wali Songo are visited 24 hours round the clock.

I decided to find a quieter corner first. Here is the tomb of a follower of Sunan Ampel who became a saint himself!

Inside the main area which contains the tomb of Sunan Ampel. Notice the people facing the tomb ahead.

Going outside again I noticed these crocks for drinking water.

The water came from a well dug by Sunan Ampel.

Sunan Ampel is known for many miracles. But I won't list that here. Find out yourself...

A look inside the main area again. This is the best picture I could get of the tomb area as whenever I tried to take pictures pointing at the tomb I was stopped by the caretakers.

No one is allowed to take pictures of tomb of Sunan Ampel, not even from far away. With that I decided to head back to the nearby mosque.

At the opposite side lies the tomb of another follower of Sunan Ampel. This is the tomb of Mbah Sholeh the caretaker of the mosque who is said to have lived and died nine times! It is said that the first time he died no one could take care of the mosque the way he did. This lead to Sunan Ampel wishing out loudly for Mbah Sholeh to be around.  By God's will immediately the caretaker reappeared and did his job.

After a time Mbah Sholeh died again and the mosque became unkempt. Again Sunan Ampel wished the man was around and again he reappeared. This happened for a total of nine times, until Sunan Ampel himself passed away and the miracle just disappeared. For the record this is the 949th article in this blogspot.

Flying from Sepang to Surabaya

Peace be upon you all. While the storytelling for the East Coast trip made 26 March-4 April has entered its middle phase I've already started a new series in my main blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU. It is about a more recent trip where me and family went round the Indonesia island of Java 1-14 May. So now I'm starting the supporting articles here.

Afternoon Tuesday 1st May. It was Labour Day holiday. Me and family embarked on the aircraft that would take us from the Kuala Lumpur LCCT in Sepang to the Eastern Java city of Surabaya in Indonesia.

The trip has been booked and planned since a year before. For our two and half year old son Muhammad Al-Aminul Rasyid this is his 9th trip overseas (or anywhere for that matter) by plane. 

But it seems to me that it was only starting with this trip that he realised he was riding a plane. His previous flight,  Banda Aceh to Sepang was made when he was just over 2 years old.

Unlike that flight and before this one has our new addition to the family, baby Muhammad Alauddin Johan who was then just two and a half-month old. Here we should be looking at the Melaka coastline.

I'm very sure of the location as I recognise the shape of the island called Pulau Besar situated off the Melaka coast.

I can see that the flight path followed the Straits of Melaka between the island of Sumatera and Peninsular Malaysia...

Soon we were in a part of water I could not recognise. But a check using Google Earth, time during flight and estimated speed shows this should be above the part of the Riau archipelago of Indonesia between Singapura (I prefer this spelling rather than the Anglicised Singapore) and mainland Riau, at the island of Sumatera.

This is Sumatera 27 minutes later. I almost lost where I was until I noticed the location of the jet engine to the right which is enough to show that I took this picture on the right side of the plane.

For the record most pictures here were taken from the left side as that was where we were seated at.

 Soon heavy cloud began to obscure the view. Time then was 6.04 (Malaysian time).

Still I could surmise where we were. You see the flight was on schedule to land in Surabaya at 5.25 pm local time which is equivalent to 6.25 pm Malaysian time. So I know we have arrived at the island of Java (pronounced Jawa by the locals and also people of Malaysia).

I decided to take a snooze. Upon waking up I could see the plane flying low.

Soon the city of Surabaya came into view. In the background should be the island of Madura...

Time to land.

Welcome to Juanda airport. We have arrived in Surabaya. :]