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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

al-fatihah

Two days ago, Pak Salim's mother passed away. Everybody (Malays) knows Pak Salim in Oxford; a towering elderly figure with white hairs, often mistaken as bin Laden's double especially when he put on his black turban and robe. Pak Salim, originally from Kg. Hj. Salam, Singapore, came here with his parents when he was young and been staying here since.

Earlier today, we gathered at Stanley Mosque after zuhr prayer for the Fardhu Kifayah jenazah prayer. After which we convoyed to the Botley Cemetery. Muslim section was at the far end corner, after the Commonwealth War Graves. It rained heavily right from the beginning, and it was the very first time in my life I participated in carrying a coffin. The majlis was adminsitered by the erudite young Malaysian scholar from the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Sheikh Mohd Afifi al-akiti. It went well...alhamdulillah.

Sheikh Afifi really wanted to make sure the majlis went in accordance to our Shafie's ways, hence he rallied all fellow Nusantarans to attend. Coz earlier he found out, rather surprisingly, the way local Muslims has been doing wasn't quite right. To quote part of his email:

  • Please come and help, as there is a sad but true saying among our scholars in Arabic: kama tadinu tudanu [what goes around comes around!]; we all sincerely hope and pray that in this difficult and "abnormal" country for Muslims to live in, the day that when we ourselves will die, we will not meet the same difficulties as what Pak Salim is facing right now. Please extend your help to his family now.

Saturday, Pak Salim will be hosting a majlis of qatam al-Quran for his beloved late mum.

"al-fAtiHata ila ruHah al-marHumah Safiyah binti Simin al-fatihah!", to quote the Sheikh.

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