Pulai Melaka is around 12 kilometres away from Kota Bharu town centre. Once a sleepy hallow some 50 years back more well known due to it's proximity to Kedai Lalat, a nearby kampong notorious for 'hitmen' and 'gedebes' ready for hire. Now if you mention Pulau Melaka to anyone in KB, the name conjures a'gedebe' of a different kind: Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz or in short TGNA, an ulama' par excellence, a man who practises what he preached and preaches what he practised. TGNA, a model of simplicity,frugal living, accountability and an excellent example of a God-fearing man.
I was in Gunong, Bachok last weekend overseeing final preparation by my 'boys' from the TMKN Endurance equesrian team in our bid to yet again win big at the now International Sultan's Cup, an annual do in Teganun. We had already beaten the Agong's team thoroughly,three times over consecutively, and looking forward to trouncing them again fair and square for the fourth time, come what may, in Teganun on their very own turf.In whatever I do in the endurance sports,I go for the 'jugular' and put aside reverence and protocol. In between training session a long time friend of mine, Deng, invited me to drop in for Zohor prayer at TGNA's surau." If we are in luck we could even catch a glimpse of the old man ", Deng said.
I jumped right away at that kind of opportunity as I know this could be a one time chance to meet the Tok Guru as I was told by my medical colleague, Dr Razali Omar, the 'electrcian- plumber', of IJN [ my student anyway ] who looks after him ,that the old man is 'quite frail'....A 'weak' heart with an implantable defibrillator.We doctors do not need euphemism: TGNA is in frail health, fullstop.
Saddled by recent problems of ongoing imbroglio within the palace, broad and far-reaching division within his party on the issue of 'to be or not to be' with respect to Amenu and Pakatan, and more so recently, trouble within Perbadanan Mentri Besar involving his own family member, contributed partly due to his political naivety and blind spot.In spirit and 'organically' speaking one can surmise TGNA has reason and reasons to be in frail health. Lesser mortals would have been long torn apart but TGNI is no ordinary mortal.
You talk to any ordinary Kelantanese, whether he be Chinese, Malay ,card carrying members of PAS or non card carrying,fence sitters or even Amenu, TGNA is 'adik sikit pada wali kalau tidak wali'!Even if you talk to 'frogs' like Ibrahim Ali, he would not dare differ very much! This is gospel truth in KB today! Dare say otherwise you run the risk of 'funny' looks and the possibility of not being invited for the next kenduri!
We were in luck.Tok Guru did Zohor with his tahfiz boys[ some 100 of them studying the Quran at his pondok,surviving on public donations and TGNI'own salary cut] that Sunday cutting short his punishing routine at Kota Darul Naim [ KB's equivalent of Putrajaya ] for he was feeling under the weather.His face lighted up on seeing Deng and myself and lo and behold, we were invited to have lunch at his house , just some 40 feet away from the surau's mimbar. Reminded me of Masjid Nabawi 1450 years ago! It transpired much later to me that Deng is close to Tok Guru since the stormy 90's when as a post grad student in Jordan he acted as a tourist guide to Tok Guru when the later needed to visit Lebanon for an important conference.
TGNA's house is a small wooden shack by Putrajaya's standard. Painted with an understated yellow on the outside and light green interiorly.Dr M or Pak Lah I am sure would not want to be caught 'dead' in TGNI's wooden old house!Madame R would not even let her chickens live in it.Too small to even keep her massive wardrobe by her standard probably. That was my first thought. The guest hall is a spartan 12' by 15' area with an equally spartan wooden settee set which any young up and coming executive in KL would not be caught buying at any cheap sale in Court Mammoth.The young chap would receive hell from his wife.
After some minutes of brief formality, TGNI invited us to a simple lunch of lkan kering, budu , some ulam and tomyam. He himself went back into the kitchen to brew himself a cup of green tea. The dining hall was a wee bit bigger than the guest area. In one corner an exercise bike, a floor to roof cabinet full with books , amongst which I cannot help noticing, a full volume of Prof Hamka's Tafsir Al Azhar.A small dining table for six, equally spartan as the settee in the guest area.
A study of simplicity, frugality and accountability.A man who 'is truly just stopping under a shady tree' before he carries on his onward journey! I was inwardly ashamed of myself....By TGNI's standard, my small unassuming Subang Jaya house is excessive opulence, in size and furnishing!..This is the true meaning of zuhud living....a 'life' examined...a 'life' in continuous contact with Allah from dusk till dawn!
"Ambo baru ning terimo lawatan dari sorae ketuo Amenu Puteri di pejabat Ambo. Ambo raso dio lawyer mungkin pasal dio napok orghe yang 'analytical', jenih hok buleh mikir.
Ambo bagi tahu ko dio, kito ning ado cik gu.Cik Gu kito Muhammad. Cik gu nin betukar dari zamae ko zamae. Mulai dengae Adae, Nuh, Ibraheng, sampai ko Musao , Isa dan akhir sekali nya Muhamad.
Sapa ko Muhamad, Tuan boming ning kata cukup dengae Muhamad. Dio lah cik gu kito hok terakhir.Mung semuo kalau nok hidup dalae bumi Aku amae dan damai , mung keno ikut cik gu nin! Mung nok ikut cara lain ,cara mung syok sendiri, Aku tok terima.
Mung buleh ikut undae2 hok mung buat sendiri tapi mung kena ingat setiap insae hok hidup hari inin , semuo nyo akae mati. Tak dok lagi hok tok mati.Kalu mung sohor sangat nok hidup dengae cara hok mung pileh dae tok mahu ikut cara hok cik gu mung ajar, Aku tidok nok juppo dengan mung masa Aku perhidup mung semula.Sapo hok ikut cik gu ajar , Aku masuk dio ko surgo,. Demo hok tok mahu ikut Aku buwae dio dalae nerako.
Mung buleh kato mung doh ikut cik gu setengah setengah. Setengah setengah ikut secular. Keno buat gitu pasal siasah politik,kalu tidak hilae kuasa ko orghe lain hok tidak keno mengeno denga Islae. Tapi tu loyar burok mung jah.Nationalism, materialism dan apo2 'ism bukae cara Aku. Cara Aku adalah cara hok Aku perturun ko cik gu mung,cara Muhamad! Undae2 mung doh lengkap. Baco Kur'ae, buko hadith...
Lepah Ambo kecek gitu, Ambo tengok menengung dio.Senyap, tak kecek apo. Dio Lawyer. Pasal dio orghe mikir!"
DNI:" Tok Guru,keh Allah baru2 nin machae mana pada pandangae Tok Guru?"
"Kepado Ambo senae sangat jah. Nabi Muhammad bin Abdullah. Masa Abdullah, Islae hok dibowok oleh Nabi Ibraheng, sapa ko Muso dan terusnyo Isa doh hilae di muko bomi. Orghe tok tahu lagi Islae machae mano.
Maso tu maso Jahiliyah. Pasal apo ayoh nabi Muhamad nama dio namo Abdullah.Abullah ,Abdullah ning, maano nyo 'Hamba Allah'. Mari manno tu 'Allah'?
Masa Nabi baru terimo wahyu dari Jibrael, Nabi balik juppo binin dio, Khatijoh. Apo Khatijah kato?
'Ini adalh tanda2 dari Allah'....macamano dio buleh sebut macam tu kalu Allah nin mari selepah Nabi Muhammad?
Yang kito ning nok balloh sangat pasal apo? Pah ko lo nin Ambo masih tak pehae.. Kito takut sangat orghe kafir, orghe Kristiae, orghe Hindu panggil Allah, apo pasal? Kito takut gapo dio? Apo yae kito rugi?
Biar ko dio lah nok panggil tuhae dio Allah. Lamo2 demo akan pehae, Allah Allah ning bukae satu dalae tigo atau tiga dale satu, bukae tok pekong dok tepi pokok besar tepi bukit , bukae ramai.Allah ning hanyo satu.
Tu lah kerjo kito. Bagi orghe pehae Allah ning satu. Dio tidok beranok dae Dio bukae ado mok. Dio lain dari yang lain.Dio yang Maha Eso.
Tu lah kerjo kito. Bagi demo pehae. Islae Islae ning bukae hok untuk orghe Melayu jah . Islae Islae ning universal. Untuk semua. Orghe putih, hitae, kuning, koko. Cino, India . Bohkae jinn sekali. Islae untuk semua atah muko boming ning!"
That was Tok Guru Nik Aziz in essence. When people like him leave us to go and join the Realm of The Beloved, insyaallah, even the "bumi will cry".The 'skies and heavens' would lit up...Allahualam
Dr Nik Howk
...And as for those who are unjust, they are firewood for hell....
[Surah Al Jinn , 72 : 15]
... And they will not heed unless Allah willeth (it). He is the fountain of fear. He is the fountain of Mercy.
[Surah Al Mudhatthir , 74 : 56]