Friday, October 13, 2017

dr kassim ahmad in memorium......

the late dr kassim ahmad is a  black blot in my world view of things. his politics does not interest me , much less his position on hadith and islam. i always thought a chap who claimed, and been acclaimed to be a scholar, could have done much  much better than  being  'anti hadith' man. with all the scholarship and the hardship he had gone through his entire political life, i would expect him, of all people, to get not lost of the light at the end of the tunnel.

islam is, in the final analysis, about closeness and mahabatullah.
and one cannot get close to allah without knowing and loving his messenger, muhammad [pbuh].
just because there is a wide spectrum in the practice of islam due to the varying ways people perceive and accept the sunnan of muhammad [pbuh], does not mean one , in order to simplify and unify things, one can do away with sunnah rasullallah.
differences are mercy and rahmah from allah , not a scourge.
just look at the rainbow! how pristinely beautiful it is........

'anti hadith' and a specie belonging to the same genus, liberal islam , to me is just the preserve for prematurely retired arrogant young cardiothoracic surgeon, still wet in between the ears young journalists, retired ambassadors who should know better, daughters of ex ministers, generally angry middle aged ladies etc etc and what not, who wished to bath in  glamour and at the same time revel in their  utter ignorance of their ugama for public viewing . 

i always put dr kassim ahmad  much higher on the pedestal  than these such lowly vocation.

but alas! life is always like that . when you least expect, the best that you thought of a person somehow turns out the other way round. 
it is a disappointment really.

'anda bukan saja sesat ......bahkan anda menyesatkan!', this harsh sentence still ring loudly in my ears, coming from one ex brigedier general  cum dg of ugama, brig general [rtd] datuk zainal abidin, many years back during the very public inquisation of the shaykhul al arqam.

so one fine day some two years back i was surprised when this fine elderly gentleman, very frail looking, was pushed into my consultation room.

i was elated actually. for years i was trying to get to see him personally to give him some advice on the 'hadth' thing. many young professionals with mainly secular education and little else , have been misled  on a wrong path.

and there he was, being wheeled into my consultation suite.
it is as if the 'mountain has come to muhammad!'.

'anda bukan saja sesat..bahkan anda menyesatkan!', i pushed that aside.

after a brief examination and an echocardiogram and xrays, i came to term with his condition:
'this 82 year old veteran politician is a candidate for sudden cardiac death, any time. he has a large failing heart, hardly moving, with severe aortic stenosis probably of rheumatic origin  in childhood [ probably his difficult  'marhein' childhood had contributed to that since repeated streptococcal throat was endemic during his time with his poor childhood back ground ], and most probably compounded by additional ischaemic cardiomyopathy as well..
surgical risk is plus plus...medical treatment is just symptomatic at best. a candidate for sudden cardiac death!' 

that was my 'internal conversation' and 'executive summary' on him.
at my hospital, and in my practice, it did not take long to arrive to such summary.
one visit, at the most two.

'doctor kassim. the outlook is grim. you have a big failing heart with you main valve needing to be replaced as well. additionally before a surgeon can do anything operative  on you, they would need a road LV angiogram and coronary angiogram.....and even that itself , in your present state, constitute high risk'

'doc i just need  two years to complete my work,  after two years i can close my eyes'

in my mind i wished i could tell him that even that two years is a tall order, but i kept my mouth shut.
too much bad news and awe for the old man already. 40 years in the practice tells me that shock in small doses over time can be taken more easily.

in his very frail condition i will be lucky if i can find a very senior brave surgeon to replace his valve and do bypass grafts as well. the possibility of 'dying on the table' is just too high!
no surgeon worth his salt would want that to happen!

we spend the next ten minutes discussing his new book plan he was writing.

'frankly dr kassim, if you were to ask me, and i am a fan of hamka and tafsir like you as well.....your position on hadith is islamically not defensible. i do not think at this juncture in your life you should concentrate on that......there is not much time left, frankly.'

' but doc, you are wrong! those people  from jakim dont have ilm. they are cocooned in their own ignorance..'

' well, dr kassim you are more well read than me,but the little i know about islam tells me that you are on the wrong should come back to the right path. you are not only lost. many young people got lost as well following you. some of them i know personally'

that was my parting remark.

the week after, dr kassin ahmad did not turn up for his scheduled follow up visit.
i assumed he went for a better second opinion.
see some young cardiologists elsewhere who know how to keep their mouths shut!

may his taubat, insyaallah, be accepted by allah rabbul jalil. 
may his soul be placed amongst the blessed!

inna lillah hiwainna ilai hirojiun.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

of over glorified water carriers and all that jazz.....

friends , dato and tansri,

on the day when all and sundry were waiting for numero uno to announce the   date for the 14th   general election, when the many substantive raayat's grouses will be once and for all addressed, instead we have the 'not at all  great  and surprising 'news that an old 'fart' is returning to his old lousy and foul smelling den.

this same old 'fart' who some 15 years ago was proclaimed world wide to have carried a couple of million rm in a brief case in australia but relieved of his guilt of money laundering in a foreign land on the premise  that he can be excused he did not understand proper english and thus was free to rob and launder money as much as he like and to where.

what he was going to do with that bagful of ringgit did not fire any imagination with our local attorney general of that time.
let alone from where he got it.
that was the depravity we as a nation already were wallowing even 15 years ago.
dr m was numero uno at that time!

malaysia, was known as  'boleh land', translated as 'everything can do one' with the proviso one is well connected politically. 

not, 15 years later not  much has changed.
in fact things has gone from worse to worst.
the degree of depravity in 'boleh land' seemed to be a bottomless pit .

and why not?
from top to bottom , the machineries of ' boleh land ' are inundated by over glorified water carriers and sycophants bidding each and everyone to be the best of  the worst.

from time expired and function expired cabinet ministers, to attorney generals, other 'generals', editors and general of editors ,right down to the lowly ' clerks'   and 'general chief clerks ' manning  the counters at the various ministries.

most , except for a few have lost their raison de' tre and meaning of their functions and existence.

from my humble opinion and perspective, many have even lost even their 'ugama', in favour of 'cari makan'.

the raayat are now itching for the next general election so that 'justice and the order of law'  and some degree of dignity can be  restored to 'boleh land'. 

some idealists, like me, even  are nursing a dream that we can put a few on the top behind bars permanently for the rest of the meaningless lives.

but i am a pragmatist.
i doubt this can happen.
the malays are nature's gentlemen, according to old winstedt, and thus even in the event that ge14 go on to the required result, the new power that be would string up some form of 'save waterface' manuerve.

we are famous for that.
in fact we are world champion at that.

this being the case, i pray to allah that,
 ' ya allah ya rabbi, letak kan lah mereka2 ini di maqam yang setimpal dengan kerja2 mereka didunia ini.
dan jika didalam ilmu mu yang menjangkau penilikan hamba2 yang serba berkurangan dan lemah ini adalah, mereka2 ini hanyalah  sebagai satu bala kepada saya bangsa yang telah lemah dari segi ugama dan sa'siah, bagikan lah kepada kami , sabr dan riddha menempuh dugaan mu....amin, ya rabbi alamin! "

dr nik howk


 From: hamzah
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 3:01 PM
To: Nik Isahak Abdullah
Subject: Re: Fw: surah ash shuura.......epilogue

More convincing if it happens in this world!


On 18 Sep 2017 16:51, "Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah" <> wrote:
if it does not happen in this world it is because our muslim -malay world has for centuries become corrupted and irreligious.
part of which is due to our very feudal character.

partly also due to our pseudoreligiousity....being malay means we accept carbuncles warts and all readily......that is in our genetic makeup.

dont blame that on islam
belum apa2 lagi a malay will start with ;

sembah patik harap di ampun......blah blah blah, when
'your excellency' would have sufficed.

in a time when  all ' his excellencies' were all upright in characters, things would have been better but when they are also feeding in the same trough as patik2, a new class of patik2 would share power and status.

perhaps dato, you and me , we would not live long enough to see any movement towards the better in our lifetime.
there seemed to be a ganging up of the selected patik2 and the excellencies todate to maintain the status quo.

dr nik isahak


Tue 9/19/2017 7:42 AM


You replied on 9/19/2017 8:59 AM.

To view it seriously, doc:  It is because our society has remained feudal in outlook, and greedy in character.
The combination of these two traits results in superstition and low public ethics. 

There is no 21st Century concern here for high ethics in public life, no drive for modern education (we still go for non-rational Tafiz schools and madrassas; we are reminded of them from time to time by tragic fires and loss of young lives), no passion for rational, scientific, and technological excellece...  

The real reason is this: we are caught in an old mind-warp. Not because of no religion. 

If it is "because of no religion" how is that 25 secular societies (including Japan, Taiwan, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Singapore) have such honest and efficient governance, excellent schools (no madrassas where children die in fires from time to time), very low drugs, crime, and sex abuse?

I have made these points many times in the past, but you ignored them. Don't you think educated Malays like you have a role in analysing the problem with modern pragmatism in your blog?
But l don't think you can. Your mind is cast in an old mould, that of a dakwah, a proselytiser. Not that of a reformer.

A real pity. There are so many smart Malays from Kelantan and Kedah.


Tue 9/19/2017 8:59 AM


we have roles to play dato, specialize roles.

what are you doing?
you and your very quiet generations of ex ksn, ksu, a whole load of ts and datuk sris warming are you guys soooo silent and so comfortable.......guys who meet over lunch in lake club, with fine wine to follow and lament about the good old days in britain and your foreign adventures and misadventures under the guise of foreign service.

what is tsming doing apart from minting money?

what is my good friends, che heng  and the maurauding oil baron, nadzru azahari,doing?

what is everyone doing?

i have two prof in my family who are 100 % behind ntr......that speaks a lot about the volumes of what remained to be done.

i am just an observer of life on this planet, albeit a 'noisy' one,

i know my limitation and skill.

what are you more talented, more 'collected'  and more connected individuals doing!!!???

apart from lamenting in limited private circles in muted voices lest numero uno knows!


Tue 9/19/2017 11:47 AM


replied on 9/20/2017 12:50 AM.nikhowk,
nik howk,

quote: "what is tsming doing apart from minting money ”

is that a question or is it an accusation?

well, if you must know, i do plenty of some, none of others. i try to leverage on the gifts that Allah has granted me, making the best of them, and try to touch as many who can benefit from those gifts or are in need to be touched. I do not do things I am not equipped to do, and leave those to others who feel they can. we shall leave at that, for the good the right hand does, the left does not need to know.

from time to time, i still read your posts. but too often find your ranting and railing tiresome. it reminded me of the slightly loopy or seriously unhinged street characters of our youth in kota bharu. particularly one who used to walk the streets and shout at school buses ‘medeko, apo medeko?’. you remember the fellow - who went by the name 'tok awae'?  there may have been something profoundly wise and deeply insightful in his observation and message about the false promise of independence and nationhood. (with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and current evidence, you could make the argument that he was a man ahead of his time - prescient and prophetic).  but going about the way he did, nobody could have taken him seriously, and none did. 

nikhowk, i fear unless you start responding to legitimate arguments (such as posed by dato hamzah) and construct the foundation of your message with clarity as opposed to resorting to broad generalisations and broadsides, you may be risk not being taken seriously. and that would be a shame.

salam and regards,  azmi.

From: Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:50 AM
To: Azmi Wan Hamzah
Cc: hamza
Subject: Re: surah ash shuura.......prologue


before your bp hits the roof and you get a sub arachnoid bleed up there in your brain, do cool down my dear ts!

at least we know our beloved tsming is still very much alive and kicking!

if i have to invoke some 'generalization bordering accusation' to get to hear some 'pearls and gem' from tsming i will do so, even if, he deemed it as an uncalled for and unkind remark.
that ts ming is not is a matter of perspective.

apart from lamenting in limited private circles in muted voices, lest numero uno knows!

yes i mean it,
i am not apologising.
what are you guys doing apart from some,lamenting in a few private circles, in lake club for example, in between lunch and in between heavy doses of dom perignon!
what is g25 doing?
what are the rest of us doing?
our national press is next to nothing
[  ]
our judiciary is nothing to shout about and yet one ex cj recently  came out with his memoir.

i have the displeasure of meeting his publisher just yesterday in my clinic, she lamented that 'doc, it is not selling, i rugi banyak!! '
'what to sell madam...the memoirs of the last 3 to 4 cj's ...there is nothing to read about...they are no salleh abbas.....they are just over glorified water least i cried after reading salleh abbas, 'mayday for justice' , not that we have great cj's as far as i can recollect'  "

we cannot depend on the press, our justice system has been so so and tainted etc etc and etc....

the minimum our 'bijak and pandai ' can make is at least a lot of animal noise rather than keeping mump! 

numero uno is a politician....he and his close coterie of friends look out for all these 'noises', then act.
in any civilise soceity apart from malaysia, this kind of excessess would see them behind bars for life 

in japan, it is straight two ways about it.

shame on all of us!
we are not doing enough!!
sorry ts, we are all not doing enough
otherwise the carbuncle and wart in the room would have long disappeared

......and by the way , i take your 'tok awae' thing in this soo soo quiet 21 st century in malaysia, coming from  you  ts, as a compliment!
after that f.u  in 2011 from nothing less than the supremo of malaysian mega media apparatus, 'tok awae' from tsming is a  superb compliment!

one need to be in a state of  a ' tok awae 'nowadays to be above this 'madding crowd' and maintain one's sanity, rather  than quietly accepting substandard, corrupt  and self serving governance as a norm !

dr nik

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Interesting Mad Men of Kota Bharu in the 60's and all that jazz.....

my good friend , dato yeh, of titwangsa, whats app me this morning a most beautiful, short  wirid/doa involving some aspect of allah's beautiful names. i was reminded by allah's beautiful name, 'ya latif', and somehow my mind wanders off to kota bharu in the early sixties.

i must be just about six, seven or eight year old then.

for people of that age to be living in kota bharu around that time was extra special. kota bharu was a microcosm of the whole wide world. and why not , nothing else exists beyond kota bharu.

kuala terengganu of old was at least a day away, with a total of 5 to 6 long , and tedious tedious ferry crossings.
and another five before reaching kuantan, kuala lumpur suddenly become very very far away.
crossing the hazardous titiwangsa range via janda baik was no mean feat for the average driver, with narrow one way lane at places and  steep drop to no where.
kuala lumpur was a one and a half day journey  unless you are titled  and loaded and can fly the malayan airways on rickety old dakota prewar planes!

so one has to pardon a seven year old who grew up on the assumptions that, ' sultan ismail college [ lovingly called s.i.c ] is the best school in the whole wide world!'; ' the world famous zain building', a four storey mammoth building right smack in town, is the tallest building in the world', taller than empire state building; biaritz park sited on tengku li's father's huge land bank, is the best fun park in the world........etc and etc.

" awae!.....margi lah awae.....samah jah! " [ children , come lah, only fifty cent! ]
those middle aged  dance ladies in biaritz park, sitting by the veranda of  their makeshift small houses, grooming themselves, some looking for 'gutu' [ head lice ] for their friends, used to tease us small children wandering in the fun ground in late morning while waiting to go to our afternoon session school at s.i.c.

we all ran, helter skelter.
that was a long story deserving another write up!
'samah' or 50 sen , at that time in the early sixties is probably 5 rm now. big money for a morning of pleasure.

panggong rani showing cheap matinee john wyne and  the delectable marlyn monroe and sandra dee, was nearby.
cattle class, with pijat, coakroaches all thrown in, at 40 cent per viewing.

everything kota bharu was 'huge' to the seven year old.
we had two traffic lights then. one near the bata shop right in the middle of the town near the present tan sri mydin's father's sundry shop....somewhere near panggong odean.
we pride ourselves with these two traffic light because our elders told us terengganu have none!
'how can these poor teganung people live without a traffic light !!??', people of my age wondered, then.

my family, we lived at jalan teliput. this is equivalent to ttdi  now. senoir government officials of low grade like chief clerks, senior postal workers etc etc doted the road. jalan ferguson just a street away was kota bharu's damansara height. state engineer, magistrate,goverment doctors and ado's lived there.

some 400 metres from my house is sic with its famous rugby and football team. it's rugby team, i recall, was always champion of the world. however, in football, sic almost always lost to islah.
islah, to us young boys, belong to the domain of the infamy. only 'big boys who failed their standard six and form three exams go to islah!.... they cannot be good...only rascals go to islah!'.
that was drummed onto us by our parents on a daily basis.

they don't even have a rugby team! 
'what! no rugby team!..'

across my house there used to be a big agricultural research station. i did not have any notion what research they do at that time because that concept was beyond us. to us seven year olds, that huge place with big padi fields and huge chickens and oversized goats and sheep.....a fantastic playground for us. 
it was heaven on earth.

all year long, after mid morning 'mengaji qur'an' with tok ayoh long and mak long down the lane we had a gala time swimming in the parit and 'air gumber' located at the north end of the station. during fruiting season, we boys and girls had free rambutan.
i spent many happy evenings, with my elder brother hashim, prowling the ground picking brazilian seeds. very tasty, eaten raw.

needless to say the bigger kampong boys also frequent the place because pak ali, the caretaker had two good looking seven, my interest was still elsewhere.

in the center of the large station, there used to be a sombre looking building , very official looking with dark glass windows. 'wow! what goes on inside', i wondered to myself.
my elder brother hashim , by then must be around 10, and much wiser than us, opined that , 
' this is the government! '

" wow!.....this gomen must be the invisible god inside printing money to pay for wae's [ my dad ]salary and everybody's salary in kota bharu!! no wonder they have dark glasses!!...all day long printing money for the rest of people in kota bharu to live on...WOW ! ".

we children did no even dare to peep inside. 
gomen or god busy at work!....we did not want trouble.
we already have enough trouble been chased around by pak ali!

when we got tired of swimming at the air gumber' of the station, during heavy rain we swam in the parit near istana teliput, an former old british adviser's residence, currently the unofficial residence for sultan muhammad the 5th whenever he is back in kb, which is fairly rare nowadays. oftentimes we play, 'police and thieves' near the compound.

i used to catch big 'anak sepila' in the big well kept drains around the istana, during monsoon season. i remember a famous old teacher of my eldest brother , cik gu embi, an 'orang luar', lived neighbouring the southern border of the istana. cik gu embi was quite famous that they named a lane by the side of the istana  then, after him : lorong cik gu embi. 

[   cikgu embi, like the marican brothers were 'orang  luar', people from outside kelantan , who form the inner  fabric of 'high' society in kota bharu. they are the elites.
cik gu embi, dr ezanee marican, mr siddique marican, mr bapoo hashim, mr yusuf , the late father of the delectable amenu lady of the 80's, marina yusuf, just to name a few. mr fernandez, mr and mrs john and mary cardosa, mr mukherji, mr durbara singh etc and etc.

oouch! there was one more , dr aziz, whose daughter rashidah, i fell in love with secretly at age 9....i wonder where she is  now.  people may not know it but children these age fell in love many times over .  i still recall in standard two in tanah merah, all the boys of the class fell in love with miss hasnah abu bakar, our form teacher! she got long flowing hairs and slender hands....during 'paying school fees' time , which is 2.50 rm per month, all the boys will crowd around miss hasnah, the girls of the class will be relegated to the back rows...some boys will be close enough to be able to touch cik gu's hands!, all fighting to be in the 1st row!.. a digression. ]

this vicinity around the istana  was also a good place to catch or 'lastic' [ biddah ] a bird or two , since the surrounding of the istana, especially the back part, that time was fairly thickly wooded.

i recall there were two famous characters in downtown kota bharu.
tok awae and tok wali sa'ad. 
tok awae must be in his late 40's or 50's and tok wali probably 60's.

tok awae, thickly mustachoid with that characteristic upward twist of his end-mustache, used to frequent the makan shops around the central market at jalan temenggong.
he cannot be a schiz because he was too bouyant and gregarious in his character and exhortations. could well be a chronic bipolar in persistent manic phase.

when he saw a young lady crossing crossing the busy street , for example, he would shout, in his well known guttural , coarse , voice:

" heh! demo mulut mergah tu! comel weh demo!...margi bining dengan kawae lah! "
[ heh! that young lady with the red gincu! are beautiful...come marry me!   ]

tok awae was a very popular figure to the point one of our famous poet of that time, moyhiddin, penned a sajak about him in his weekly column in the national newspaper, berita harian.

tok wali sa'ad. 
he is the chap that make me write this piece. 
always impeccably dressed in white. white serban  and white baju tok, very distinguished looking old man. loaded as well  since he traveled in and around kota bharu with a private rickshaw . apparently he come from melur, and more usually than not his rickshaw man will 'drive' him thru jalan teliput before he make his daily round in kota bharu.

the wird sent to me by dato yeh this early morning on my whats happ, reminded me of tok wali sa'ad actually. how can i forget him. he was just a 'janggut close' to me one fine morning. i was playing around the house compound at teliput oe fine late morning ,playing hotpscotch and marble with a couple of  girls and boys, our neighbour, while waiting to walk to school for the afternoon session school.
suddenly there was this booming voice, " ya latif , ya latif, ya latif, ya latif...", directly above me.
i looked up and there he was...tok wali sa'ad himself!

all of us ran for dear life.
tok wali sa'ad was actually very benign.

my life with respect to tok wali sa'ad actually come whole circle recently.
i had a small querrel with najib's lhdn recently who has become over-creative in looking for more fund to support their oneamgedebe. they are coming after us , poor doctors.

so i wrote to my sheikk, sheikh ninowy asking for a wirid or two.
he suggested , " ya latif, ya latif , ya latiff....", a total of a hundred 29 times following 2 rakaat of sunnat/ hajat prayer or whatever.
shaykh al yacoubi of syria also agrees on this.
it work insyaallah, alhamdullillah!!...but you need to be persistent. 
do it as a daily wirid for months or weeks .

tok wali sa'ad has got a system in his madness.
the kelantanese call this 'iseng'.
i remember my sis  in law some years ago warned me,
" howk, tok leh belajar tafseer baco hamka, nanti jadi iseng! "
[ howk, dont learn the ugama reading hamka's can go mad ]
that is the typical advisory one get when trying to learn the ugama just a wee bit deeper than the usual , occassional  tazkirah one use to get from the madrasah, which is usually non structured.

try learning the ugama from just one ustaz or tok guru, and then one occasionally get slotted into the unnecessary groups with unnecessary leanings...wahabbis, the mad sufi's, the kampong ustaz, the liberals etc etc.

the safest bet is actually, in my humble opinion, to get some modicum of ugama knowledge from one's madrasah or masjid by attending regular magrib or subuh congregational prayers and the tazkirah that follows, and from there  build on it by reading voraciously books on ugama and start your journey from . these provide the necessary check and balances, ie safety in numbers.

with due respect to  people like ustaz abdullah yasin , ustaz azhar idrus, rasul dahari, maulana asri or that mufti from wang kelian, of whom are all good ustazs and have good intentions, don't  just be limited by one tok guru only, lest one become too myopic.  the best is to have several or many, has to move on from there, and finally choose which schools or leaning one is comfortable with.

dont let one tok guru or one ustaz 'straight jacket' you into his own narrow understanding of islam. islam is a wide spectrum.

read, read, read and read........and think.
with the proviso , you have some basic  in the ugama of course.
this is way madrasah attendance is important because it opens one to a variety of tok gurus initially.

dont worry you would not end up being 'iseng'.
and even if one become 'iseng' like tok wali sa'ad, i would like to reassure my sister in-law, if she is reading this, is still ok.

we who want and dare to take this journey call  this, 'essence'.
then , you can choose to be a sufi, a wahabbi, hanafi, maliki, shafei, a salafi  or just will be ok, insyaallah!

ya fattah, ya razak, ya wahab, ya ghaniy , ya mughni;
ya qodim, ya daim , ya ahad , ya wahid, ya samad;
ya allah, ya rahman, ya rahim , ya hayyu , ya qayyum, ya rabb, ya zaljalalilwal ikram;
ya ghaniy, ya hameed, ya mubdiu , ya mu'id, rahim ya wadud;

ya latif , ya latif, ya latif , ya latif.............