Category Archives: Malay

The Malays

It’s really quite astounding how much literature we have on the Malays. The Malays were both glorified and vilified as a people in history. Here are some snippets of those recordings.

Compare this:

“The intellect of the Malay race seems rather deficient. They are incapable of anything beyond the simplest combinations of ideas, and have little taste or energy for the acquirement of knowledge. Their civilization, such as it is, does not seem to be indigenous, as it is entirely confined to those nations who have been converted to the Mahometan or Brahminical religions.” – Alfred Russel Wallace. (1869). The Malay Archipelago.

“Frank Swettenham, in his book British Malaya described the Malays as a ‘shy and reserved race’ who were ‘inherently lazy’, with ‘no stomach for really hard and continuous work..’. The typical Malay was ‘hospitable, generous, extravagant, a gambler, a coxcomb…’. He was ‘Nature’s Gentleman’, blessed with singular dignity and good manners but fickle, indolent and, to borrow a phrase from Kipling’s poem ‘Recessional’, ‘a lesser breed without the Law’. – Christopher Hale. (2013). Massacre in Malaya.

To this:

“Only a few months ago there died in Perak a man who cannot be replaced. He was the Raja Muda, the cousin and natural successor of the Sultan. He cannot be replaced because he was in the prime of life, of fine character, experienced in all the affairs of State, able, energetic, just and high-principled, honoured and loved by his countrymen, and deeply respected by all Europeans who were fortunate enough to know him. It will be necessary to go to another generation to find a Raja Muda; the choice is not large, and men of the type of the late Raja Musa are rare. His loss will be keenly felt by the Sultan of Perak, who himself stands for all that is best in the Malay ruling class. Sultan Idris has all the qualities possessed by his cousin with a higher intelligence, a wider experience, and while Raja Musa was shy and retiring, the Sultan has great charm of manner and is a fluent speaker. The Sultan is a very earnest Muhammadan, without a trace of bigotry, and he is recognized as a high authority on questions of Muhammadan law and religion. In all the Malay States there is no one who, by his authority, influence, and direct assistance has done so much to promote the success of the new system of administration as Sultan Idris, on whom the Prince of Wales conferred the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George, when His Royal Highness visited Singapore on the memorable colonial tour of 1901.” – Frank Swettenham. (1906). British Malaya.

“The Malays, like many other peoples in history, were not idlers. Their activities in farming, industry, trade, commerce, war, and government are recorded in history. Only after the arrival of the Portuguese did the Malay merchant class decline. The Indians and Chinese immigrants were ensnared in the colonial capitalist system of production; the bulk of them remained coolies. Only a handful of them like Yap Ah Loi became successful capitalists. The immigrant coolies were left in their illiterate, backward state. They were used merely as a tool, “a mule among the nations”. The Malay refusal at the time to be exploited as “a mule among the nations”, was a rational and sound response. They attended to their own work in their own areas of interest. The accusation of indolence was merely a veiled resentment against Malay unwillingness to become a tool for enriching colonial planters.” – Syed Hussein Alatas. (1977). The Myth of the Lazy Native.

Huruf dan Abjad

Sebelum kemunculan pengangkaan Arab (Arabic numerals) pada sekitar kurun kelapan, sistem pernomboran abjad (alphabetic numbering) merupakan sistem yang biasa digunakan untuk tujuan pernomboran. Sistem ini wujud bagi kebanyakan bahasa pada ketika itu, terutamanya untuk bahasa-bahasa samawi (semitic), termasuklah bahasa Arab. Sistem dibawah ini boleh diibaratkan sebagai Roman numerals versi Arab dimana I, V, X dan L melambangkan 1, 5, 10 dan 50 dan seterusnya. Sama seperti itu, alif, ha, ya dan nun masing-masing melambangkan 1, 5, 10 dan 50 dan seterusnya.

ا – 1
ب – 2
ج – 3
د – 4
ه – 5
و – 6
ز – 7
ح – 8
ط – 9
ي – 10
ك – 20
ل – 30
م – 40
ن – 50
س – 60
ع – 70
ف – 80
ص – 90
ق – 100
ر – 200
ش – 300
ت – 400
ث – 500
خ – 600
ذ – 700
ض – 800
ظ – 900
غ – 1000

Penghafalan sistem yang sukar ini dimudahkan dengan mengelompokkan nombor-nombor yang berturutan bagi membentuk perkataan yang boleh dilagukan.

ابجد – abjad: 1–2–3–4
هوز – hawwaz: 5–6–7
حطي – hutthi: 8–9–10
كلمن – kalaman: 20–30–40–50
سعفص – sa’fash: 60–70–80–90
قرشت – qarasyat: 100–200–300–400
ثخذ – thakhidz: 500–600–700
ضظغ – dhazhagh: 800–900–1000

Perkembangan ilmu matematika pada kurun kedua dan ketiga hijrah amat pesat hinggakan tertubuhnya pelbagai pusat ilmuwan di serata dunia Islam. Ternyata, sistem pernomboran abjad tidak mampu menampung perkembangan ilmu bagi tujuan perhitungan yang kompleks, kerana penulisannya menjadi terlalu rumit. Penggunaan sistem ini menyorot dengan mendadak setelah sistem pengangkaan Hindu-Arab diperkenalkan. Sistem ini digunapakai secara meluas, hingga ke hari ini.

٠ 0 sifr صفر
١ 1 wahid واحد
٢ 2 ithnan إثنان
٣ 3 thalatha ثلاثة
٤ 4 arba’a أربعة
٥ 5 khamsa خمسة
٦ 6 sitta ستة
٧ 7 sab’a سبعة
٨ 8 thamaniya ثمانية
٩ 9 tis’a تسعة

Perkataan ‘abjad’ dalam bahasa Melayu mengambil nama dari empat nombor yang pertama dalam sistem Arabic alphabetic numbering, dan perkataan ‘huruf’ juga diambil dari perkataan Arab ‘haraf’ yang bermaksud single letter word.

Khutbah Jumaat

Alhamdulillah, saya kira khatib hari ini cakna dengan isu semasa. Hujah-hujah yang dibentangkan rajih dan amat menepati waktu. Masalah buli tidak boleh dipandang enteng. Malangnya, kehadiran para alim yang waspada dengan isu semasa adalah far and few in between. Seringkali tertimbul persoalan di benak fikiran, kenapakah ramai ulamak hari ini seolah-olah terputus dengan waqi’? Sekadar memuntahkan kembali teks ucapan di hadapan makmum. Nasihat buat diri.

Sujud Merdeka

Allah telah mengutuskan kami untuk mengeluarkan siapa saja yang Dia kehendaki dari perhambaan terhadap sesama manusia kepada perhambaan kepada Allah, dari kesempitan dunia kepada keluasannya, dari kezaliman agama-agama kepada keadilan Islam. – Rib’ie ibn Amir kepada Rustam, Pemimpin Parsi.

Benarlah, hanya jiwa yang merdeka mampu memerdekakan jiwa-jiwa lain. – Muhammad Ahmad Ar-Rasyid, Sajdatul Hurriyah, Al-Muntalaq.

Setiap sujud pengabdian kamu kepada Allah, adalah sujud kebebasan kamu daripada manusia. Inilah sujud yang merdeka.

Al-Qaleel (Golongan Sedikit)

Manusia sedia mengetahui perasaan-perasaan mereka terhadap jantina yang berlainan. Segala saraf dan emosi mereka menggerakkan hubungan antara kedua mereka, mengatur langkah-langkah mereka, dan menggugah tingkahlaku mereka, yang akhirnya membentuk penampilan dan orientasi sesama mereka, lelaki dan perempuan.

Akan tetapi hanya sedikit daripada mereka yang ingat akan tangan Allah yang telah menciptakan bagi diri mereka pasangan, dan mengamanahkan kepada jiwa-jiwa ini perasaan kasih dan sayang, dan menjadikan pula hubungan tersebut satu ketenangan bagi jiwa dan urat saraf mereka, kerehatan bagi badan dan hati mereka, kestabilan bagi kehidupan mereka, hiburan bagi ruh dan jatidiri mereka, dan keyakinan bagi kedua-dua mereka, lelaki dan perempuan.

Ekspresi Al-Quran yang lembut dan halus menggambarkan hubungan ini dengan gambaran yang sungguh memberi inspirasi, seolah-olah ia mengutip apa yang terbenam di lubuk hati yang terdalam, “supaya kamu bersenang hati dan hidup mesra dengannya dan dijadikanNya di antara kamu (suami isteri) perasaan kasih sayang dan belas kasihan.” (Ar-Ruum: 21)

Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal Al-Quran.

Allahummaj’alna min al-qaleel! Ya Allah jadikanlah kami dari golongan yang sedikit itu!

Dedikasi Buat Yang Telah Diijabkabul

Make du’a for your spouse, constantly. There is no greater support you could give each other than asking the Lord of the Worlds to help him/her in their earthly struggle. And when you have done that, ask him/her to make du’a for you too, for how beautiful is it that a couple remembers each other in their sujud, thanking and asking for guidance from the One who brought them together in the first place. Wouldn’t you love it for them to remember you in their prayers? Likewise, the opposite is true. Your spouse loves it when you remember them in front of The Most High, for you don’t love someone until you love what they love.