Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Anaemia...



Izinkan aku 
bersandar sebentar di  bahumu 
Buat hilang lelah seketika
Sempit rasa di dada 
Degup jantung makin pantas
Lesu badan sukar untuk bernafas
Bibir pucat bagai di toreh tak berdarah
Kepala pusing, tak keruan arah
Mata kelam
Bagai mahu pitam
Biar ku pejamkan mata seketika 
Agar bisa minda ku berfungsi semula
Biar darah mengalir ke organ utama
Gejala anaemia ini akan reda

Terima kasih Tuhan
Kerana beri aku peringatan
Terima kasih Tuhan
Dengan nikmat kesihatan
Terima kasih  Tuhan
Kerana masih beri ku kesempatan
Untuk aku terus bersyukur
Dengan segala nikmat Mu yang tak bisa diukur
Alhamdulillah....

-Alhambra 
26 Oktober 2015


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bertemu cinta di jannah



Cinta...
Ada apa dengan cinta
Hanya mainan perasaan
Mana ada cinta sejati
Tiada kesetiaan seperti Shah Jehan dan Mumtaz
Tiada pengorbanan bagai Romeo dan Juliet
Semuanya hanya dongengan sebelum lena
Cinta hakiki
Tiada di dunia yang fana ini
Lalu kenapa terus leka 
dibuai angan-angan 
Mencari cinta dunia yang sementara
Ia hanya pertemuan seketika di persimpangan 
Sampai masa dengan rela atau paksa
Masing-masing pergi dengan haluan berbeza
Cinta...
Tak perlu dicari di dunia ini
Biarkan ia pergi 
Tak perlu di kesali 
Tak perlu ditangisi
Kerana cinta sejati bukan disini
Biar di cari di alam abadi
Biar sampai kita bisa tiba ke jannah
Bertemu cinta hanya di taman firdausi
Lalu bagaimana hendak ketemu
Hanya satu
Menempuh kematian 
Bukan kah mati itu syarat menemui cinta
Lalu aku ingin menunggu cinta mu itu di jannah
Ya Allah...
Sampai kan aku ke jannah mu
Biar ku temui cinta hakiki disitu
Insyaallah...

-Alhambra 
Jumaat
23 Okt 2015 (10 Muharram 1437H)




Monday, October 19, 2015

Travelogue to Turkey- Part X- Ankara and Ataturk's mausoleum

It has been quite sometimes I stop updating my travelogue. Ok, I will try this time to continue after long break for Ramadhan,Syawal and now it's already entering Muharram. Hopefully, I'm able to complete my travelogue to Turkey. The momentum become slower and slower. Just pray that I have the courage to continue writing...πŸ˜„

Travelogue to Turkey- Part X- Ankara and Ataturk's mausoleum 


D7- 27th March 2015

After 2 days in Cappadocia, it's time to move on. It's going to be another long journey.  From Cappadocia to Ankara, it would take about 5 hours. We would visit some places in Ankara (which is the capital city of Turkey) and from there we'll continue our journey to Bolu. It will take another 3 hours from Ankara to Bolu. We will stay overnight there in Bolu before complete the circle back to Istanbul the following day.

We left Ramadha hotel, Cappadocia at ~ 8 am. As usual Bro Anas recited a du'a upon starting our journey. Hoped that we will get barakah from this journey. It rained on and off during our journey making the temperature colder than it's supposed to be. In a way we were lucky, if the weather was like this yesterday...I wouldn't have a chance to fly with the hot air balloon. So in the bus, some of us were just chit chatting, some will take the opportunity to admire the scenery along the way from Cappadocia to Ankara, while the others dozed off especially with the welcoming weather. 

We stopped for toilet break half way of our journey. Some of us rushed to the toilet. With the cold weather like this definitely it will make people feel the sense of urgency to go to toilet. Fauzan came back to bus happily announced that he bought 'roti canai'. Hehee...at last he found a dish which looked like roti canai. I would agree with him, it did look like roti canai from outside anyway...πŸ˜„. Who knew that ultimately he found roti canai here.

We reached Ankara around lunch time. On and off we can see the statue of Mustafa Kemal  Ataturk standing tall in the city of Ankara. Symbolised the modern Turkey. Ankara is the capital of Turkey, replacing Istanbul. It's been the capital of Turkey since 1923, following the fall of Ottoman Empire. It's considered the second largest city in Turkey after Istanbul. Compared to other city in Turkey we could see some areas with shantytown. Could be due to high cost burden for those who stay in city centre, and have no choice but to stay in the shanty houses.

Roughly about 1 pm, we stopped for lunch. It was still drizzling. We had to walk uphill, before reached the restaurant. It was quite cozy and warm. The restaurant mainly occupied by our group. Partly, could be because it was Friday and it's time for Friday prayer when we had our lunch. Overall menu...I would say almost the same everywhere. The only thing, they served the item which looked like 'Roti canai' which Fauzan bought this morning. It's more like 'murtabak' I would say, but inside it contained cheese. Ok...la, for a change of taste. But, hmmm...I definitely prefer our local murtabak or roti canai. 



We took our wudhu in the restaurant itself and heading to the local mosque which located within a walking distance from the restaurant. By the time we reached there, it's already empty. We took sometimes tried to figure out how to open the antique door. Thought it was locked. After few attempts we managed to 'unlock' it. It was relatively small mosque. The female section was located upstairs which was quite a small compartment... May be can occupy only two safs for jamaah prayer. Since it was quite empty, some of the female went down to pray downstairs joining their male family members. 

After prayer, we continued our visit to Anatolian Civilisation Museum. It was located uphill, so we had to walk up a bit before reaching the museum. Finar passed the ticket as we went in, somehow we were called back...I had no idea why, but seemed that we needed to change to a new ticket. We took some photos with the headless statues in the compound outside the museum. Some of the areas behind us actually were graveyard.  I only realised it later, after took some photos with the headless statues...😜



Anatolian Civilisation Museum was opened during Ataturk  era. It has a number of exhibits of Anatolian archeology from different era and phases. I was not really paid attention that much...nothing interesting. It's just another museums filled with all the stones and statues collected from the era of Paleolithic , Neolithic, early bronze, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Not my type of place to visit...πŸ˜‚

We left the museum and went to the next destination... It was Ataturk Mausoleum or the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Let's learn a little bit on who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. 
Ataturk had Mustafa as his name at birth (means the chosen one). Young Mustafa studied at the military junior high school in Salonica, where his mathematics teacher gave him the additional name Kemal (means perfection or maturity) because of his academic excellence. Therefore, he became known as "Mustafa Kemal". In later years, it would be required that all Turkish citizens were to take a surname, the surname "Ataturk", which means "Father of Turks", was given to Mustafa Kemal by the Turkish people in accordance with his reforms and his success. This was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament. 

Ataturk was a military officer during World War I. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, he led the Turkish National Movement in the Turkish War of Independence. Having established a provisional government in Ankara, he defeated the forces sent by the Allies ( French Republic, British empire and Russian empire). His military campaigns led to victory in the Turkish War of Independence. He became the first president of Turkey and ruled for 15 years (1923-1938). Ataturk then embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms, seeking to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern and secular nation-state. Under his leadership, thousands of new schools were built, primary education was made free and compulsory, and women were given equal civil and political rights, while the burden of taxation on peasants was reduced. His government also carried out an extensive policy of Turkification. The principles of Ataturk's reforms, upon which modern Turkey was established, are referred to as "Kemalism".

Sounds good yaa...So why Muslims disagree with his ideology?
During his era, he implemented reforms that rapidly secularised and westernised the country. Under his leadership, the role of Islam in public had shrank drastically. European-style law codes came into being, the office of the Sultan was abolished and new language and dress requirements were mandated. Although the country was nominally democratic, Ataturk at times stifled opposition with an authoritarian hard. 
Kemalist ideology, questioned the value of religion and held that the religion was not compatible with modern science and secularism was very important for modernity. Thus Ataturk regime began step by step to implement the Kemalist ideology with a radical reformation of the Turkish society with the aim of modernising Turkey from the remnants of its Ottoman past. To achieve this, he closed all religious courts and schools, prohibited the wearing of headscarves among public sector employees, abolished the ministry of shariah law and pious foundations, lifted a ban on alcohol, adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Islamic calendar, made Sunday a day of rest instead of Friday, changed Turkish alphabet from Arabic letters to Roman ones, mandated that the call for prayer be in Turkish rather than Arabic and even forbade the wearing of fez hats (tarbush). These are the reasons why most of Muslims don't agree with him.
In addition Ataturk took over the country's 70 000 mosques and restricted the building of new mosques. Muftis and imams were appointed and regulated by the government, and religious instructions were taken over by the Ministry of National Education. Mosques were to preach according to the Ataturk dictates and were used to spread the Kemalist ideology.
For Sufi Muslims, Ataturk confiscated Sufi lodges, monasteries, meeting places and outlawed their rituals and meetings.

His religious belief is questionable. According to his book 'Nutuk' (Speech), he was a Muslim, and some natives sources claim he was a sincere believer. However, according to some researchers Mustafa Kemal himself was an agnostic or non-doctrinaire deist, or according to others, an atheist.
His lifestyle had always been strenuous. Alcohol consumption during dinner discussion, smoking, long hours of hard work, very little sleep, and working on his projects and dreams had been his way of life. As the historian Will Durant had said, "men devoted  to war, politics, and public life wear out fast, and all three had been the passion of Ataturk.".

Ataturk died at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul in 1938, at the age of 57. It's thought that he died of liver cirrhosis. His remains were originally laid to rest in the Enthography Museum of Ankara and then transferred in 1953 (15 years later) to the current mausoleum.

After Ataturk death, some of his preposterous laws were revoked by his successors due to their harshness and the fact that Islam was always a strong force at the popular level despite the suppression. Since then there have been occasional calls for a return to Islam. But the secular governments and military true to the Kemalist ideology have managed to suppress them. Amidst this environment in the 1980s a new generation of educated, articulate and religiously motivated leaders emerged to challenge the dominance of the Kemalist political ruling elite. By their own example of piety, prayer, and political activism, they have helped to spark a revival of Islamic observance in Turkey. But Turkish military and the state bureaucracy are infiltrated with Kemalist (secularists) and act as the guardianship of Kemalism and weakened Islam. This situation has gradually led to a polarisation of the Turkish society and today it remains as a 'torn society'. Today 98% of Turkey's population is officially Muslim but the proportion of practicing Muslims is as low as 20%. May be now Turkey has changed to more Islamic country under a new leadership of pro-Islamic  party and we hope the situation maintain this way. We hope that Turkey will come back to be like what it was before during its peaked success in Ottoman Empire....InsyaAllah. 

That's briefly about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, especially for those who love to know about history. You can make your own judgement on his personality or his vision. For Turkish people, he was a hero who reformed and modernised Turkey. But if you ask most of the Muslims, it was a very sad day when we see the fall of caliphate system and Ottoman Empire which was one of the Muslim empires that we are proud of. Within 15 years of his reign, Ataturk has in a way brainwashed the Turkish people and able to change Turkey into secular country. For me....that was his biggest crime. Those who believe and pro secular or liberal might argue with me and support Kemalism ideology. In fact this so called 'Kemalism' ideology is not foreign even in some elite or pro-liberals groups in our own country. 

Our driver parked the bus quite a distance from the mausoleum, so we had to walk quite a bit to reach the mausoleum. We had to climb the stair to the reach the entrance. At the entrance, stood guards who stand still...just like guards at Buckingham palace. I could not understand  how a person can stand still like robots for hours..πŸ˜‰. Anyway those guards were handsome young Turkish men... Some with blue eyes. My friend said it...not me...hahahaaπŸ˜†. There will have a change shift ceremony at 4 o'clock (if I remember correctly). So we went straight to Ataturk mausoleum.




It was a big compound and the mausoleum located further uphill in which we had to climb the stairs some more. There were several delegates from other countries came at the same time and we had to wait until those delegates finished giving the respect to the 'Ataturk'. Turkish national anthem song was played. All other visitors just waited outside the rim till those delegates finished. The mausoleum was a rectangular and surrounded by columns on all four sides. It's another tomb anyway... and personally I don't kind of like visiting tombs. Ataturk sarcophagus rest in front of the open space at the end of the hall of honour. On the front of the mausoleum there's Ataturk's speech inscribed on the wall. On the way out, I tried to recap back what Finar told us about Ataturk in the bus earlier...whether Ataturk reign was 15 years or 50 years (at that time I've not read its history yet). Asked Ida about it...and at last we came to conclusion...it doesn't matter how long he became the president of Turkey...😜. What we knew he had destroyed the previous Ottoman Empire and managed to change Turkey into a secular state within a short period of time during his reign.




Once we were out from the mausoleum, Ida  and I decided to go to the gallery @ museum located on the left side of the mausoleum as we went out. We thought it was only a small museum, because from outside it looked like just a short stretch. When we were in, we were stuck with a lot of other visitors from other countries...especially when they came in a big group with a tour leader explaining what's inside it. As for us it's just like making a 'tawaf' tried to find a way out from the gallery. Inside the gallery, there were a lot of history of war and names of people who involved in World War I and contributed to the independent of Turkey. I didn't pay attention that much because so content to find a way out from this place. It took sometimes for us to find a way out...feels like in a maze.

At last we found our way out, just on time...to see the changing guard ceremony. They marched like German army marchingπŸ˜‚...before entering the guard's booth. 

We went back to the bus and that was the end of our tour today. From Ankara, we traveled another 3 hours to Bolu. Because of long journey, most of us already tired by then and slept. On the way there we can see some of the areas still covered with thin cap of snow. 

We reached Bolu roughly about 7.30pm and headed for dinner after checked in. We stayed overnight in hotel Koru and tomorrow we will continue our journey back to Istanbul. One thing which I didn't  quite like in this hotel...lack of power point supply, especially to charge my phones and iPad...πŸ˜“. Otherwise...ok la. We sleep early. Tomorrow we will have another long journey.

Good nite everybody...😴

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bendera dan Al Aqsa



Bersorak gumbira lah mereka menipu umat dunia
Kata nya bendera sudah di kibar
Tanda wujud nya negara Palestin berdaulat
Mengaburi mata dunia
Kononnya niat UN begitu mulia
Tapi di biarkan Israel menyerang Al Aqsa
Senyap mulut Uncle Sam tak bersuara
Melihat tentera Israel membantai warga tak berdosa 
Bagaimana mahu kita percaya
Kamu musuh tetap musuh
Itu yang paling nyata
Kamu hanya mampu beri kami bendera
Dengan harga sebuah Al Aqsa

-Alhambra
2 Oktober 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kenangan Sang Sufi




I.
Ingin ku menjadi seorang sufi
Mengurung diri dalam sangkar sakti
Biarpun diintai sang bidadari 
Dari celah-celah tirai besi
Namun tetap ku berdiam diri
Hingga saat roh ku dipanggil pergi

Wahai sang bidadari
Pergilah dari kedaerahan ini
Usah lagi hinggap di dada ku ini
Usah hadir dalam ilusi dan mimpi 
Dalam jaga dalam lena
Dalam bayangan dalam rupa

Kita punya cita dan impian sendiri
Semoga kita kan bertemu lagi 
Pada hari yang telah dijanji

II.
Pergi lah wahai sang sufi
Tak akan ku ganggu kau lagi
Dalam ilusi mau pun mimpi
Walau rasa perit tak terperi
Tetap ku relakan sepenuh hati
Jika memang itu ketentuan Ilahi
Hapuskan aku dari kotak memori
Anggaplah aku tak pernah kau temui
Tak perlulah lagi mengurung diri 
Kerana hati mu tak ku intai lagi
Berkelanalah engkau sepuas hati 
Usah lagi menoleh walau sekali
Terbanglah setinggi langit jika bisa kau menguasai
Takkan ku jejaki langkah mu lagi
Hanya doa ku titipkan mengiringi
Selamat tinggal wahai sang sufi...

15 Oktober 2014
Cetusanrasa Alhambra



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

PESANAN...


Ajarkan anakmu
Jangan bangga jadi Melayu 
Kerana Melayu selalunya layu
Masih ingin menjadi tuan
Tapi melangut menunggu habuan
Menjerit berpesta tak ingat tuhan 
Terasa hebat merempit di jalanan
Bangga dengan kuasa ditangan
Tak sedar ia mula lucut dari genggaman 
Masih khayal terpinga-pinga
Sangkanya, takkan Melayu hilang didunia
Rupanya kekal hanya pada nama
Adab dan bicara sudah tiada serupa

Ajarkan anakmu
Menjadi Muslim beriman
Manusia budiman
Tahu hidup biar bertuhan 
Agar tak menyimpang tersesat jalan
Kenal  ALLAH, kenal Rasulullah 
Agar tidak bertuhankan Abdullah
Ajarkan Al Quran, ajar berzikir
Kelak mereka tahu berfikir
Ajari mereka lengkapkan solat
Bila besar tak jadi sesat

Hidup ini anakku
Bukan berbangga dengan bangsa
Tapi hidup biar beragama
Jangan terpesona tipu daya dunia
Ia hanya bisa bawa mu ke neraka
Pada tuhan jangan ada sekutu
Biar menyembah hanya pada yang Satu
Mungkin kamu dari generasi baru
Tapi asam garam kehidupan tiada pernah berbeza
Kerana kita masih berperang dengan syaitan yang sama

-Alhambra
2 Sept 2015


Friday, August 14, 2015

Bilakah agaknya....


Aku bukan menulis puisi 
Bukan mahu berpantun seloka 
Tidak juga ingin bermadah helah
Atau menyusun kata-kata indah
Cuma ingin meluah rasa
Buat mereka para penguasa 
Yang mungkin telah terhijab hati
Sungguhpun kataku mungkin tak dipeduli
Lalu aku berceloteh sendiri 
Sekadar untuk memuaskan hati
Kerana....
Hati ini dah mula jemu
Dengan segala  jenaka yang dijamu
Ada saja muslihat baru
Menipu dusta bagai kan aku budak darjah satu
Kata mereka...
Tak mampu kau makan saja kangkung
Kau saja yang tak tahu di untung
Jika tidak suka ini negeri
Kau berhijrah lah ke lain negeri
Menteri Perdana orang paling berjasa
Jika tidak mana ada yang mahu menderma
Bidak-bidak nya pula berkata
Ringgit jatuh tidak mengapa
Ada untung nya untuk kita
Tak perlu melancong ke lain negara
Kayakan saja negara kita
Hasil nya nanti kita bagi bersama
Aduh...
Aku kah yang gila 
Atau mereka kah yang kurang siuman

Ohhhh...NO!NO!NO!..
Aku bukan UMNO
Aku juga bukan biaDAP
Bukan yang asyik dengan kipidap
Bukan juga pendokong demonstrasi 
yang asyik menjerit Reformasi
Tidak juga lebai atau mereka golongan haru biru
yang masih bercelaru
Aku cuma rakyat biasa
Kekuatan hanya pada mata pena
Biar melawan dalam diam
Tapi bukan bererti aku berdendam
Aku mendokong hanya pada mereka yang benar
Bukan bersekongkol dengan yang bikin onar
Kemenangan itu pasti
Bila telah ditakdir 
Ia pasti hadir
Kerana yang haq akan mengalahkan yang batil
Cuma...
Bilakah agak nya
Aku masih menunggu

-AlHambra
12 Ogos 2015



Friday, July 31, 2015

Wayang Kehidupan ( Popcorn dan Kopi)


Wayang hidup sudah bermula
Popcorn dan secawan kopi telah tersedia
Apa lagi mari kita tonton bersama
Sandiwara sensasi yang tiada tolok bandingnya
Saksikan saja siapa yang kena
Lakonan menarik dari watak-watak utama
Ditambah pula pelakon tambahan yang pelbagai rupa
Ada Pak pacak tolong bersorak sama
Tak kurang yang kerja asyik menghentam saja
Yang buta tuli dan kayu berlagak juga
Mengiyakan saja apa kata si kepala
Menambah perisa dengan berdusta

Hero jahat memang selalunya hebat
Dia lah ketua dan penyamun terhormat
Langkah di atur dengan penuh cermat 
Agar rahsia tertutup rapat
Apakan daya dunia kini penuh maklumat
Terhidu juga segala muslihat
Bagaikan tupai yang pandai melompat
Ke tanah juga ia jatuh mendarat
Membuatkan semua orang meluat
Hingga tak sabar rasanya menunggu ke garisan penamat
Mahu saja ke penjara dia disumbat
Malangnya ramai pula badut yang kaki kipas
Disamping permaisuri setia berganding pantas
Mengorak strategi yang cukup kemas
Mungkin harus di bakar agar bukti tidak terlepas
Siapa yang membantah dia di cantas
Ditolak ke bawah agar tak bisa memanjat kembali ke atas
Semoga takhta tidak berani lagi di rampas

Sukar di teka pengakhiran cerita
Kesudahan baik atau sebalik nya
Hanya DIA lah yang menentukan nya
Mungkin ada hikmah dan teladan dari setiap ceritera
Cuma manusia yang masih leka 
Tidak pandai mengambil pengajaran
Segala panduan tertulis dalam kalam Al Quran
Ada Musa dan ada Harun
Ada Fir'aun, Haman dan Qarun
Dua jalan untuk tujuan pengakhiran
Perlu beriman dalam kesabaran 
Atau angkuh terus dalam kekufuran
Yang pasti di akhirat amal di timbang di neraca mizan
Ke syurga kah atau ke neraka
Semuanya bergantung pada lakonan di dunia 
Dan kita masih leka menonton wayang kehidupan
Sambil menyuap popcorn dan menghirup secawan kopi
Ahhhh...Siapa yang kena kali ini...

-Alhambra
30 Julai 2015


Friday, May 29, 2015

Travelogue to Turkey- Part IX- Whirling Dervish Show



D6- 26th March, 2015

We reached the place for whirling dervish show roughly about 6pm. Once reached there we were greeted by a person at the entrance who gave us a pamphlet on whirling dervish ceremony.  We were among the first group reached the hall. The hall had a stage for the dervishes to perform in the centre and the benches were arranged in semi-circular arrangement. Above there were names of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w along with all 4 rightly guided caliphs as well as the names of Saydina Hassan and Hussein names hung from the ceiling. At first I only saw the name of Saydina Hussein (Hehee... thought of whether there's Syiah influence), but after I looked around, I realised they put all the names. On the stage, at the far end, there was a hat or tarbush with surrounding light. According to Finar, that was supposed indicating or symbolised  Mevlana Jalaluddin Ar- Rumi. I didn't know whether it's true or not, because when I read the pamphlet later it didn't mention it. Furthermore I guessed it might be a symbolic that the Mevlana was there. Hehehe...kind of creepy.

I tried to read the pamphlet before the performance, but I definitely could not concentrate at that time. Partly it was already late and we were kind of tired and partly due to the light was not suitable for my old eyes to read. So, I just put it aside for reference later once I need it. We were seated on the right side of the stage. Later, the other audiences from other nationalities entered into the hall and filled up the empty benches. The hall was almost full.

Roughly at 6.30pm, the light was dimmed and the dervishes entered the stage and the ceremony about to began.

Ok before I give my own view on this topic, let's learn something what's this ceremony all about. Basically I took the information from the pamphlet which was given to me earlier to understand their view first.

***
[Sema (the whirling dervish ceremony), is the inspiration of Mevlana Jalaluddin ArRumi (1207-1273) as well as Turkish custom, history, belief, and culture. Sema has seven parts and each part symbolised a stage of the mystic journey to perfection called ascension ('Mirac' in Turkish).
Contemporary science definitely confirms that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object or being which does not revolve, and the commonality amongst beings is the revolution of the electrons and protons in their atoms, which constitute all things from the smallest particles to the stars in the sky.
As a consequence of this similarly, everything revolves and man carries on his life, his very existence by means of the revolution in his atoms, in the structural elements of his body, by the circulation of his blood, by his coming from the earth and return to it, and by revolving with the earth itself.
However, all of these are natural, unconscious revolutions. But man is the possessor of a mind and intelligence which distinguishes him from and makes him superior to other beings. Thus, the whirling dervishes ("Semazen" in Turkish) cause their minds to participate in the shared similarity and revolution of all other beings. 

The sema ceremony represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to perfection ("Kemal" in Turkish). Turning towards the truth, a dervish grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth, and arrives at "Perfection".
Then he returns from his spiritual journey as a man who reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to all of creation, and to all creatures without discriminating in regards to belief, class, or race.

The dervishes, with their head-dresses ( representing the ego's tombstone), their white skirts (representing the ego's shroud) are spiritually born to the truth by removing their black cloaks, and they journey and advance to spiritual maturity through the stages of the Sema ceremony. At the onset and at each stage of the Sema ceremony, holding their arms in a criss-cross position, they represent the number one, and testify to God's unity.
While whirling, their arms open, their right hands directed towards the sky and ready to receive God's beneficence, gazing up, they turn their left hands towards the earth and turn from right to left, pivoting around the heart.
This is his way of conveying God's spiritual gift to the people upon whom God "looks with a divine" watchfulness. Revolving around the heart, from right to left, they embrace all of humankind, and all of creation with affection and love.

The Sema ceremony consists of several parts with different meanings...
1. It starts with a eulogy "Nat-iserif" to the Prophet, Muhammad, who represents love and all prophets before him. To praise them is praising God, who created all of them. 
2. This eulogy is followed by a drum sound symbolising the divine order of the Creator... "Kun=Be!"
3. Then follows an instrumental music improvisation ("taksim" in Turkish) with a reed wind instrument called a "ney", which represents the first breath which gave life to everything: The Divine breath.
4. The fourth part is where the dervishes greet each other and perform their thrice repeated circular walk called the "Devri Veledi", accompanied by music called "peshrev".
This part symbolised the salutation of soul to soul concealed by shapes and bodies.
5. The fifth part is the Sema (whirling), which consists of four salutes or "salams". At the end of each salute, as in the onset, the dervish testifies to God's unity with his appearance.
A- first salute is man's birth into truth through feeling and the mind. It represents his complete conception of the ecstasy of God as the creator and his own state of being.
B- second salute expresses the rapture of man witnessing the splendour of creation in front of God's greatness and omnipotence.
C- third salute is the dissolution of rapture into love and thereby the sacrifice of the mind to love. It is complete submission; it is the annihilation of self in the love one, in His unity.
This ecstasy is known as "Nirvana" in Buddhism and "Fenafillah" in Islam. In Buddhism, this is the highest state of ecstasy. However, the highest rank in Islam is the rank reached by Prophet: He is called God's servant foremost and subsequently his messenger.
The aim of Sema is not unbroken ecstasy and loss of conscious thought, but realisation of submission to God. 
D- The fourth salute: Just as the Prophet ascended to the "Throne" and the. Returned to his task on earth, the whirling dervishes, following the termination of their spiritual journey and ascent, return to their tasks and to their state of subservience. 
At the end of their salute, they demonstrate this again with their appearance, arms crisis-crossed over the chest to represent the unity of God, consciously and feelingly. 
6. The sixth part of the Sema is a reading from the Quran, especially of the verse " Unto God belong the east and the west, and wherever you turn, there's God's countenance. He is All embracing, All Knowing" (Surah Baqarah, verse 115)
7. The Sema ceremony ends with a prayer for peace of the souls of all Prophets and all believers. after the completion of the "Sema" ceremony, all the dervishes return silently to their cells for meditation ( "tefekkur" in Turkish). ]***

That was the explanation step by step from the pamphlet. Hmmm...sound ok in some part and not so ok in the other. I am not here to judge whether they are a deviated sect or not, nor do I have the right to talk about fatwa whether it's haram or halal. Let's those in authority give their verdict. Talking about this..it's like a coincidence because once I came back from Turkey, majlis fatwa Malaysia gave the fatwa on 'zikir menari'. So in a way it gives us a clear answer on this subject.

Ok, what I am going to tell here is my own opinion after seeing the performance. Some might have different opinion...depends on how you think about it.

After the light was dimmed, about 10-12 dervishes walked to the stage. The hall was suddenly quite. We were not allowed to make noise or make any recording. There's going to be another session after they had completed the performances for the tourist to take photos or record it. Half of them were the 'performance' who did the dancing part and the rest seated at the back and their job was to play the musical instruments including flute. All of them stood up and facing the place where the tarbush I mentioned earlier and bowed down, a sign of salutation. I was not sure to whom the bowed down, whether the salutation was meant for the Prophet as what mentioned in the pamphlet or 'the spiritual Mevlana' as mentioned by Finar. Then they positioned their arms in criss-cross and bowed as a salutation to one another. 


Then they started whirling around with the right hand pointed up and the left hand pointed to the ground. They kept this movement for quite a long period with their trained foot step to make them maintained in the same posture. If one looked at them...they were like immersed in their own world without knowing what's happening outside their realm. Ida said that she thought she could do this movement...hahaha. I was just afraid she'll get vertigo after few whirling...πŸ˜œπŸ˜πŸ˜›. One of the dervishes (don't know whether he's the leader) ...still wearing the black cloak, kept walking in the middle like wandering around while reading something (I guessed he read zikir). The people who seated at the back were the one who played background musical instruments which accompanied the dervishes dance and the one who recited few Quranic verses at the end of the session.

I think the whole ceremony took approximately 1 hour. I didn't know the exact time...but I felt it was so long. Seeing the dervishes just whirled around made me sleepy, especially with a very good ambience to sleep. I was amazed that Fauzan could sit quietly watching this ceremony, when I was already bored....😜.


Few points I would like to mention here, why I am not in favour of this 'whirling dervish'
1. It is definitely not a sunnah from Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. In other word it's bid'ah. Especially when it comes to bid'ah in the name of worshipping Allah.
The Messenger of Allah s.a.w said: "Every innovation is misguidance and going astray". reported by Abu Dawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and it is saheeh.
And he s.a.w. also said: "... and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire." Reported by an-Nasaa'ee (1/224) from Jabir bin Abdullah and it is saheeh.
2. The 5 obligatory daily prayer are the best way of worshipping Allah. It doesn't need all these stupid dancing to get closer to Allah. Solah is the only act of worship which Allah directly ordered to our beloved Prophet without any intermediary by the angel Jibrail. How high is the status of solah. It's better to do the voluntary prayer rather than perform this whirling dance. Do as much as you want the voluntary prayer and speak directly to Allah.
3. For me such act of worship by dancing is just a waste of effort. Allah does not ask us to perform in such a way to worship Him. So why do something which was not prescribed by Allah and never been done by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
4. Our act of worship is not base on the sheikh or maulana...We already have a perfect example and the best role model who ever walked on this earth. Why we need to follow a maulana when we have Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. as our role model
5. Allah s.w.t said " Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My blessings upon you, and chosen Islam as Deen (religion and a way of life)- Al- Maeda (vs 3).
Our religion is already perfect without this kind of innovation.
6. The issue of background music accompanied the act of worship....I think this is wrong. The scholars even debating about whether we can play the musical instruments especially when it comes to flute or something which works in similar manner. May be some allow 'duff' something like 'gendang'...but I don't think it is allowed to accompany any act of worship.
7. Lastly worth to mention here... It was maghrib prayer time when they did the performance. And it took almost the whole time of maghrib. The evil side of me asking...did they perform their maghrib prayer? The good part of me said...Jangan bersangka buruk. They might rush for maghrib after the ceremony...πŸ˜‡. By the way...malam ni malam Jumaat pulak tu...πŸ˜‘

When it was over, there had a separate session of whirling dance for the benefit of those who intend to take photos or record the movement of this dance. Only 2 or 3 of them performed. The rest already out. 

When the event finished, it was already dark outside. We run to our bus and went back to Ramadha hotel. Tomorrow we will have another long journey...Cappadocia-->Ankara--> Bolu.

Till next time...πŸ‘‹πŸ»πŸ‘‹πŸ»πŸ‘‹πŸ»

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Travelogue to Turkey- Part VIII- Sight seeing in Cappadocia


D6- 26th March, 2015

I rushed to my room after breakfast, took a quick shower and prepared to go down for another  tour today. Before 9 a.m, I'd already down in the lobby but found nobody there...So I went outside looking for our bus. Few buses there looked almost similar in colour made me confused which one was my bus. In my mind I was thinking...No...It couldn't be they'd left me alone here. After few rounds looking for our bus...I turned back to hotel lobby and saw the rest were just on the way out. Hehee... I was earlier then them and I saw our bus just arrived at the lobby parking. 

There were few interesting places we were going to visit today, namely the underground cities, pottery factory and  Gerome open air museum which had old cave churches. 

Our first destination was the underground city... We reached there quite early. We had to walk quite a bit from our bus to reach the interest area. On the way, as usual there were professional photographer following and snapped our pictures, hoping that we'll buy the product later once it had completed. 


A little bit on this underground city... It's the Kaymakli underground city, an ancient multi-level underground city. Extending to a depth of approximately 60m and large enough to shelter approximately 20000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It's one of the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia. It incorporated areas for sleeping, stables for livestock, wells, water tanks, pit for cooking, ventilation shafts, communal rooms and bathrooms.


Caves may have first been built in the soft volcanic rock during the Indo-European era back in 8th-7th centuries B.C. It was later inhabited by Christians, who expanded their underground caverns adding chapels and inscription. The city was used in Byzantine era, for protection from Muslim Arabs during the Arab-Byzantine war. Some artefacts discovered in these underground settlements belong to the Middle Byzantine period, between the 5th and the 10th centuries A.D.  These cities continued to be used by the Christian inhabitants as protection from the Mongolian. After the region fall to the Ottoman the cities were used as refuges from Turkish Muslim rulers. Hahhh...All about Christian running away from Muslim.

We entered the first chamber.... Finar explained briefly on the underground city while we're still there. The first chamber was a stable where they tied their horses...some of the areas on the wall, we could see they had made a hook (or more or less like a small hole on the wall) to tie the horses or other livestock. If I was not mistaken, it was part of the strategy to deceive people who enter this area...people who came here, might not realised there're a city underground. 

From there we went down through a series of tunnel. Some of us already backed off due to some medical problem and afraid to go further. Some areas, we had to bend down to go through the tunnel. May be due to my size...I found it was not that difficult. But, It would not be a good exercise for those who had knee or spine disease. You might injured your joints and spine.  The tunnels here anyway were much bigger than chuchi tunnel in Vietnam. At some points we needed to climb up or down the staircases. In between the tunnel there's flat surfaces or chambers where the previous activities had taken place. These included, cooking area, food storage area,  rooms for families and chapels. It had been their culture may be ...even in this underground city, there's also a place for making wine and wine storage. 

We went up and down, sometimes climbing stairs and sometimes went through a narrow path. I was among those who walked in front and followed Finar for her explanation. On and off, I could hear people at the back already making noise...'Bila nak habis ni'...Hahaaa. Frankly speaking you need to be fit to enter this underground city. On and off we had to slow down our pace to wait for the rest at the back to catch up with those in front. 

Overall, I would say.... I was not that excited that much with this place. Ya...it could be an ancient site and one might be impressed a little bit with their hard working to live in such place. Making tunnel and a strong protection from enemies. But...hmmm...going to Christian site ...a place where they were hiding from Muslim pulak tu...Doesn't impress me that much. At least not a place I was looking forward to see. Some of us felt relieved once we out from this city.

Outside the underground city, some of us continued shopping at nearby shop. Some took photos as usual. I went straight to the bus. Nothing interesting. Outside the bus, a lady sold our photos taken while we were on the way to underground city just now. It was sold as a photo engraved on the plate. It was quite nice as a memory. Frankly speaking, I bought it because I didn't like my photo to be displayed there...hmmm...😏




From there we were brought to Gerome valley and Uchisar Citadel. This was the area I saw from the balloon this morning. It's just this morning I saw the view from the sky. The same thing but from different view. 



Gerome is a district of the Nevsehir province in Turkey. After the eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2000 years ago, ash and lava formed soft rocks in Cappadocia region.The softer rock was eroded by wind and water, leaving the hard cap rock on top of pillars, forming the present day 'fairy chimneys'. People of Gerome, realised that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries.


Our bus stopped at the roadside. So we went out, took some photos with the beautiful background views of the houses made from the soft rock. From far, it looked like a giant pigeon holes. People still leaving in these houses up to this day and age but may be inside they already decorated to suite the modern design. It reminded me on the stories of Ad and Thamud narrated in the Quran. But, of course these was not huge enough compared to what has being told in those two tribes which Allah had destroyed earlier without a trace. The people whom Allah gave strength and power and carved the mountain to make their house. Allah destroyed them without a trace because of their arrogance.

From here we could see the panoramic view of the city made up of the similar structures. Some remained as multiple pointed rock and some carved into houses and inhabited by human. The view there was spectacular...and the best to described it was just Subhanallah and Mashaallah. Nothing happen in this world without His permission and everything in his world belong to Him alone. This beautiful landscape was one of the signs of His existence and His power. However, people still persist in making mischief in His land and forgot the Creator and submitted to the creation who were powerless.



Before lunch, we went to a pottery and ceramic shop, where we were shown how they made a pottery. If I  remembered correctly, Finar did mention the source of clay used in pottery factory here were from the red and white river, which produced red and white clay. Once reached the pottery shop, we were brought to an area where they showed us how they made a pottery. He mentioned about the types of clay used, red and white clay. Red clay used for pottery products for the purpose of decoration where else the White clay products were usable for daily usage.  The person in charged jokingly informed us, for a man to get married, he should passed the test to produce a pottery pot with its cover perfectly fixed the mouth of the pot. After the explanation of the types of pottery, we were then brought to the areas of ceramic that considered part of its shop. The product here mostly were a high quality and the price ranged from few hundred to few thousands USD, depending on the piece of products. Some ceramic designed to glitter in the dark and of course this piece of work will be more costly. 


At first I didn't think that I would like to buy any of those things...it was supposed to be just 'window shopping' session. However, influenced by Ida who would like to have a piece of souvenir for herself, I took one ....so buying more pieces, at least it was less expensive ...πŸ˜ƒ. Hahaha...until now it still lying in touch on my table.

After the pottery session, we went for lunch and jama'  zohor and asar prayer in 'Dorak' restaurant. Dorak is the name of our local travel agent and seems it had more than just a travel agency.

In the afternoon, our first destination was to 'Open Air Museum'. It was basically a monastic  complex composed of monasteries placed side-by-side it's own church. The structure made was similar to the houses we saw earlier in Gerome valley and Uchisar Citadel. The only thing, here were the complex of churches. We walked uphill toward one of the chapels. Nothing much, just another chapel with decorations of Jesus Christ or Virgin Mary painted on the wall. I did not really entered it, just had a peeped from outside. Some of the Christians gave their prayer in this chapel. There were many more churches up hill. Some were very excited to walk further to other churches which situated at a higher level and need some effort to climb up. Our group showed disinterest to this site and made a U turn after the first chapel. After all we wouldn't  be rewarded for our extra effort to climb the hill just to see the chapels...πŸ˜…




I did raised this issue to our tour leader...Knowing me..πŸ˜‰.I asked why we need to take so much time visiting this place. One or two places may be still ok...but too many churches was not something I like to see. It might be be different to the non Muslim group. What I suggested was, why not focused more on Islamic civilisation places which I thought might be more useful for Muslim. The answer given to me was...all the local tour agency will go through the same route and these places were the famous site of tourist attraction. Yaaa... They preferred to cater places for the non Muslim rather than Muslim..😏. That's very typical. My argument was, Turkey had a very important Islamic civilisation ...only if the Muslim agency in Malaysia approached the correct Muslim tour group from Turkey and chose more 'Islamic' site to visit.. That would be interesting... To learn the Islamic history of Turkey first hand ....not to learn the civilisation of Christianity. What a pity...we come all the way to Muslim dominated country...only to learn about paganism and trinity.

From there we went to a carpet factory. We were brought to the site where they showed us the manual way of making a carpet...from weaving the thread to the complete piece of work. It was a meticulous work and only dedicated person would give so much attention to do this. The full process might take at least three months to be completed...of course depending on the size of the carpet. The thread used were wool, cotton and silk.



After went through the process of making a carpet, we were brought to the display room. We were seated around and served with pomegranate drink, while the workers started display one by one of the carpet. All the carpets displayed were beautiful and we were like 'rambang mata'. The texture of the carpet also was very nice. The carpets came with wool, cotton and silk or in combination of these materials. Of course silk carpet would be much more expensive. When I said expensive, it was not just expensive but very very expensive...hahaha. A small 100% silk carpet might cost nearly as much as USD5K...which if we converted to RM...would cost roughly 15-20K. Hmmm...πŸ˜“. I, on the other hand could not really differentiate the material...but of course the silk carpet looked shinier that the other two. Nobody bought anything here...sooo expensive lor...πŸ˜‚. I was wondering what the owner might be thinking...with all the effort of his workers...none of us bought it. 

From the carpet shop, we were brought to jewellery or diamonds shop. Ok, that was enough....I preferred stay in the bus. Knowing that wasn't my type. I thought I could stay on the bus and got connected to wifi while the rest shopped, but somehow Mustafa turned off the wifi. He might not even realised that I was still on the bus. So at the end I just tried to sleep while the rest 'cuci mata' with the glittering of diamonds.

Our last stop for the day would be 'The Derwish Show' a.k.a ' The whirling dance'. The show began at ~ 6.30 pm. So we had quite a lot of time before it started. So we were brought for an evening walk around the town of Cappadocia. The weather was nice that day, so strolling around the park and some of the shop wouldn't be that tiring. But of course in my mind, it would be better at this time to rest in the hotel after quite a pack tour around Cappadocia. Usually with other travel agency which I traveled before, we were given free time at least to rest in the hotel or had our own free and easy program. Earlier I thought since we didn't travel and change hotel today and just had our tour in Cappadocia only, we would have time to go back to hotel earlier. Anyway, may be it's good too....once going back we were already tired and just sleep and made used all our energy and tour during the day time. 

Ok I am already tired typing this and will continue with the Derwish show part in my next entry. See you next time.

Friday, May 15, 2015

SINIS



Terima kasih PM
Kerana tuan kami kini sudah berakal
Kalau dulu kami mungkin berfikiran dangkal
Kini kami dah makin pandai
Maklumlah hari-hari di asak dengan berita di TV nasional
Hingga makcik dan pakcik di kampung pun dah makin pintar
Kalau tidak percaya tuan bisa saja beri soalan menduga akal
Jika di beri kertas untuk di uji
Bisa saja kami lulus kelas terpuji
Bukan setakat CGPA 3.85 lagi
Lebih dari itu pun kami bisa beri
Kerana akal kami lebih sedikit dari akal menteri

Kami sayang PM
Banyak sungguh yang telah tuan beri
Hingga kami rasa malu sendiri
Duit BRIM tahun lepas pun belum habis kami makan lagi
Kini masa kami pula membalas budi
Minta apa saja kan kami beri
Mahu di minta bantu bayar hutang 1MDB
Jangan risau nah cukai pendapatan tahunan kami beri 
Tak cukup kami tambah dengan cukai GST
Buat lah pelaburan dengan tabungan TH kami
Lambat lagi pun kami boleh naik haji
Kalau tuan mahu ambil dulu lah tabungan pencen dan KWSP
Naik kan saja harga minyak lagi
Kami tak kisah berjalan kaki
Pandai-pandai lah kami hidup berdikari
Kerana kami memang suka berbakti

Kami sokong PM
Jangan lah tuan hiraukan musuh yang menyerang
Itu semua fitnah yang terancang
Kerana mereka hanya cuba mencari peluang
Menanti saat bila tuan akan tumbang
Namun tak usah lah tuan bimbang
Di belakang tuan ada permaisuri terbilang
Tak kurang juga badut-badut sekeliling pinggang
Mereka sanggup saja berjuang demi wang
Berpura-pura menghunus keris bila ditentang
Lagak bagai panglima dan hulubalang
Cuma hati-hati dengan tikaman dari belakang
Jika saat kejatuhan itu tetap mendatang 
Ada baik nya tuan berfikir secara matang
Jangan teruskan angan yang panjang
Berundur lah secara hormat sebelum tuan ditendang

-Alhambra 
11 May 2015