The Light

Posted: August 14, 2010 in English Nasyeed Song

Now, I’m searching the light,
The light that lighten up my life from the darkest side side,
Now, I’m climbing so high, now I’m striving so hard
to find and feel the love of divine,

Why, should I feel so happy?
When the embrace is not strong as I wish,
Could I keep demanding? Could I keep lamenting
When the worships are not perfect as You want,

Don’t be too far away ,
Listen to my heart and prayers,
I’m begging you the brightness of Your Light,

Turn it up to my life,
Make it until my worthy cry,
Though I know the levels are so high,
Show me the shine of your light,
Lead me so that I’ll be right,
And take me to the most beautiful night,

Certainly, can’t hold my missing,
My missing to you, I’m really in pain,
I’m listening to your words, is calling up my soul,
Please crying misery to real veracity,

Should I, should I satisfy?
Temporary life is saddened by my sins,
Could I keep demanding, could I keep lamenting?
When the practices are not honest as You want,

Don’t be too far away ,
Listen to my heart and prayers,
I’m begging you the brightness of Your Light,

Turn it up to my life,
Make it until my worthy cry,
Even though I know the levels are so high,
Show me the shine of your light,
Lead me so that I’ll be right,
Bring me to the most beautiful night,

Compassionately, mercifully,
Blessing me, oh The Almighty,
Even when you are forgotten,
I will always be forgiven,
If return to Him in repentance.


Story 5: His Pure Serban

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Short Story

His Pure Serban
By: Azalan Bayu Zakaria

When he first asked Munirah to wear serban, her mother felt surprised. She never thought about it. Her reaction did not portray her disagreement to her child’s intention but there is no serban cloth suited her son’s head .In the closet, there are only her husbands’ serban clothes which were too big to be worn by Fariz. She is actually happy with his son’s request because it is a sign of changes. He was the only child of her and Hashim so they hope something good happened to Fariz. And now, she is assuming the positive changes in her son’s life.
Before this, Fariz was very naughty child. He was 13 years old and considered as a very problematic student in his school. He did every “crime” at there. Truancy, bullying, fighting, insulting teacher and mingling with other bad students; just named a few. Munirah and Hashim did not know what they should do to see Fariz growing up as a good man. At least he became what most Malay people would say “Kalau tak boleh jadi baik sangat, jadilah macam orang sekurang-kurangnya”. They were afraid he would later become gangster or thief or anything bad. However this time, Fariz really made Munirah felt shocked but happy at the same time. She sensed that her prayers had been fulfilled by Allah.
“Right, Fariz, tomorrow, we will go shopping and guess what will we buy?” Munirah forced her son to guess.
“How do I know, ummi? Maybe you want to buy your new handbag or clothes or…I don’t know,” Fariz answered.
“No, no, I together with you and your walid will find the best serban cloth to you.” Munirah cheered up his son.
“Really Ummi? Wow, you know how much I love to have one. I love you, Ummi.” Fariz hugged his mother to show his enjoyment. Later that night, Hashim and Munirah discussed about Fariz’s changes. Hashim as well as his wife felt surprised too. They were having conversation during supper.
“Ayang, why do you think Fariz got excited to wear serban?” he asked his wife spontaneously.
“I do not know, Abang. Perhaps something good is happening to him. I hope so we could face it as positive as we can.” Munirah sipped the coffee politely after answering her husband’s curiosity.
“I’m afraid if the thing that we expect and hope doesn’t work well. I mean do you suspect the changes that he show because of something…. bad.” Hashim expanded his nosiness.
“Abang…abang…It is just wearing serban. Nothing is bad about it? You also wear serban, too. You’re supposed to know it better than me. At least Fariz wants to do something good after doing a lot of bad things before this,” she tried to convince Hashim.
“I know it Ayang but don’t you ever think that Fariz is changing drastically. The issue is not definitely about the serban, but the extreme changes of Fariz? You know right that he is…” the polemics he raised between them was interrupted.
“Well, it is better than being unchanged, right?” she defended Fariz. “…plus the change is something positive.” She added. The discussion between this loving couple ended with no resolution but an argument that made Munirah felt uneasy. Despite her disagreement about Hashim’s opinion regarding their son’s transformation, she kept thinking about Fariz. It made her sleep disturbed even though that night was in a good condition for her to sleep tight with her husband.
Fariz felt happy today because he would go shopping with his parents today. His father completely knew where the best serban cloth can be bought. His intention to wear serban wasn’t hoisted with pretence for he really wanted to wear it, sincerely and deeply came from the bottom of his heart. He had prepared himself if his parents asked about his changes.
The changes of him had started since last week when he was all of a sudden and not purposely listened to the teachings given by Tuan Guru Ahmad. He was actually wanted to meet his friends, Abu and Salim at the stall near to the mosque. Then, before he came back to his house, the muezzin, Lebai Sulaiman performed azan to call for Maghrib prayer. He felt something altered within himself at that time after listening to that azan. Before this, he just neglected it although he was ordered by his father to perform prayers altogether with other people in the mosque. He did pray but to pray earlier is not his priorities. He would finish playing video games, or online chatting with his friends or updating his blog first before he prayed.
However this time was so different. He himself automatically went to the mosque, took an ablution and performed Maghrib prayer with other jemaah. He was not sure why he can do something that he did not want to do. He realised that it was good to be a good Muslim but he just did not want to do. Just like that. That was the first time, he felt so calm and comfortable within his prayer. Most of the jemaah who were praying with him wore white serban. Some of them wore black serban. They were all smelt so fragrance. He hoped to meet his walid at that moment, but he didn’t see him. Perhaps his walid were praying with his ummi at home.
After he finished performing Maghrib prayer, he shook hands with others and without thinking to leave after praying; he just sat closely altogether with other jemaah and listened to the teaching given by Tuan Guru Ahmad. He had just known him at that time after listening to his teachings. He was old but his face was so pious and pure, the purity that indescribable but Fariz can feel it well. The voice that came out from Tuan Guru Ahmad’s voice soothed his heart. He never heard such a peaceful voice. He still remembered the contents of the teaching.
“Assalamualaikumwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh, my brothers and sisters, in the name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The All-Merciful, and Praise be upon Him for choosing us to be here today, Peace be upon our prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) for teaching us the best guide to live in the world…” Tuan Guru Ahmad started his teaching with a full of gratitude to Allah and His Messenger.
He continued “As a Muslim, we always say that we are true Muslims because of our name, because our father is a Muslim, because we celebrate what other Muslims celebrate, because we eat something that categorised as halal. We can just simply say that we are qualified to be called Muslim because of these things. Are we a real Muslim? Is it enough for us to just fulfil the criterion that I have mentioned just now?” Tuan Guru Ahmad expressed out the arguments about the issue within his teachings.
“My brother and sister…,” he stopped to take breath then he continued. “Take examples from our prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), who never failed to uphold Koran within his life, always welcome good thing and prohibit firmly what has been prohibited by Allah. He never failed to perform Tahajjud prayers even though it is not compulsory and he never made his wife, family and friends felt burdened towards him.” He told passionately to all jemaah.
“Why he need to do all this. Why he need to devote himself till sometimes he got no time to think about himself. Why my brother and sister? Can anybody tell me?” he asked them, ensuring that his teaching worked in two ways communication. Suddenly Fariz answered spontaneously. “Our Prophet love his ummah, when he died, he keep saying ummati, ummati, ummati,(my people) to prove his love to all Muslims.” Actually that answer is not what Tuan Guru Ahmad expected yet Fariz can justify it reasonably.
All jemaah now focused on Fariz. “Masyallah, young man, you’re so intelligent. What is your name? I never saw you before.” asked Tuan Guru Ahmad. Fariz was embarrassed for his absence to the mosque before, but then he answered “My name is Fariz. I’m son of Hashim. I think all of you know my father. Unlike my father, I never come to pray at this mosque, before.” Fariz appeared to admit his mistakes.
“I guess I know your father. Never mind Fariz, I hope you will always come to this mosque. It is happy to see young generation like you who want to take part with us. Praise be to Allah,” he appreciated Fariz’s presence. Tuan Guru Ahmad finished his teachings within an hour for they had to be ready to perform Isya’ prayer. Fariz stayed at the mosque until the end of the prayer. After shaking hands with other jemaah, then he went back home. He felt very happy, enjoyed and… addicted to come to the mosque again. One more is serban that worn by most jemaah at the mosque impressed him. Deep in his heart, he was so eager to have one. That was why he asked her mother to get him serban for him so that he can wear it when he was performing prayers at the mosque. Fariz and his parents were having conversation during the ride to the shop.
“What are you thinking, son?” Hashim woke him up from his trance.
“Nothing, walid. I am just thinking about Tuan Guru Ahmad. His teachings amazed me. Do you know him, walid?” said Fariz politely.
“Hmm…I never heard his name before. Maybe he is new religious teacher at our mosque. When is his class?” Hashim.
“Every Friday, walid, I can’t wait to attend his teachings next week.” He said. Hashim was not sure about a new ustaz at the mosque.
“Maybe the committee members wanted more ustaz to teach at that mosque,” he thought, whispering in his heart.
Fariz and his parents arrived at the shop which sold variety of serbans. Hashim knew better which shop was the best.
“Ummi, which one is good for me?” Fariz asked his mother while he was choosing those serbans.
“Let’s ask walid, he knows a lot about it,” then Hashim came and chose two serban clothes for her son. One is white and the other one is black. The serban clothes were a bit smaller than his father’s. Hashim thought they suited Fariz well.
“Alhamdulillah, I like these serbans. You really know what I want, walid!” he smiled and was being hugged by her mother, Munirah. Besides, they also bought attar perfume, kurta and white kufiyyah to Fariz. He felt so happy on that day.
“Thank you, ummi and walid for all these things. I promise to wear it when I pray.” Fariz made her parents smile with his reaction.
“Alhamdulillah, wearing serban means you should be a good boy. Not to be hypocrite but to train yourself to become a better Muslim.” Munirah reminded his son.
“Your ummi is true. Wearing serban is not an assurance to go to heaven; we wear it because our prophet wore it. We must wear it, sincerely because of Allah and as our appreciation to our prophet.” Hashim explained it to Fariz.
“Insyallah walid, ummi. Tuan Guru Ahmad told me everything about this. In fact he said that a person who wears serban must show a good image to others; Muslim and Non-Muslims. That’s a part of da’wah.”
“Masyallah, my son becomes smarter now. Alhamdulillah, Fariz, don’t forget to tell me other things that have been taught by him.” Munirah praised his son.
“Insyallah ummi.” Then Fariz slept during the ride that took an hour to reach to their home.
The changes of Fariz were only the serban he wore but also his attitude. He never did any problems in school. Before this, he always made his teachers mad at him. Instead now, he studied so hard and would meet his teachers if he cannot understand the lessons well. His teachers felt surprised. However, they accepted it positively same like his parents. Fariz’s friends who were also considered problematic shocked towards his changes. They humiliated him when he tried to advise them.
“Fariz, don’t tell me now you become like an angel. We should enjoy our life, here not to become like girls who wear selendang…hahahaha” his friends laughed at him.
“Don’t pretend that you are good. Most of teachers and students know you well. Why should you change yourself? Wearing a…what…a python look-alike selendang, that was not trendy, so embarassing” Salim talked to Fariz with cynical look.
“That cloth is called serban, Salim. Guys, all people will change one day. The changes can be good or vice versa. I don’t say that I’m good and I don’t say to become good, one has to wear serban but…I’m taking efforts to become a good Muslim,” Fariz answered it kindly.
He continued “ and Fariz is still Fariz. I don’t change myself physically. I just change for a good reason. I still want to befriend with you and ask you to change with me. We did lots of problem and made our teachers and parents hate us. Do you think Allah will help us if we are not blessed by teachers and parents?”
“Wow, now you become non-graduated ustaz from nowhere, right, blaming us similarly like our teachers and parents. Fariz, listen here, don’t ever say that you are our friends if you are not part of us. Guys, let’s go, leave this loser alone. We got something important to do, now” Abu gave him a smirk action.
Fariz cannot do anything. He will ask Tuan Guru Ahmad tonight about what he should do to help his friends to change. He felt so frustrated about his friends because they refuse to change.
“What should I do to help my friends?” he met personally Tuan Guru Ahmad after Isya’ prayer.
“As a Muslim, we have a duty which is to ask for da’wah. What are you doing now, is so right and insyallah it will be blessed by Him. Fariz, to ask for da’wah, we must be strong and we can only strength from Allah. Do praying Tahajjud every night to ask from Him so that He will award hidayah to them to repent. Insyallah Allah will help you. The challenge that you face is harder than wearing serban, right? By the way, your serban is so beautiful on your head. Who bought it for you?” asked Tuan Guru Ahmad while he was touching black serban worn by Fariz.
“My walid. He also wears serban when he prays,” respectfully he answered it.
“Ohh, I knew your father, Hashim. Where is he? I didn’t see him, tonight?”
“Walid needs to go to Indonesia for two weeks to meet his clients, there,” he describes.
“I hope I can meet him when he comes back,” said Tuan Guru Ahmad.
“Insyallah,” then Fariz kissed Tuan Guru Ahmad’s hand and went back to his home.
He kept thinking about what Tuan Guru Ahmad had said to him. However he needs to sleep earlier with the intention that he can wake up at 3 am to perform Tahajjud prayer. Yes, tahajjud prayers which he can get the strength to face his own friends. Later that night, after finished praying tahajjud followed by taubat and hajat prayers, he started reciting Koran. He would do everything to make sure he was ready enough to accomplish his mission; asking for da’wah, hoping that his friends would join him in this transformation.
“O Allah, please forgives me, forgive my parents and family, forgive my teacher and friends. I know I did a lot of mistakes to you. I regret because I live for myself not for you. I repent to You now and then, O Allah, The Most Compassionate and The Most Benevolent. O Allah, I’ coming to you to ask for your help, begging You to bestow the strengths that You gave to our prophets, making me consistent and strong to ask for da’wah, to sustain Islam for being humiliated by them…I beg You to fulfill my du’a. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin” he ended his prayer with shed of tears. He did this almost every night. He felt incomplete if he did not do this lamentation.
The most challenging moment for him within his da’wah happened on Monday, 4 Syaa’ban 1429 Hijriah. He was on the way to the mosque for Asar prayer. Fariz was wearing white serban and green kurta. He smelt so fragrant at that time. He just walked to go to the mosque because of the short distance between the mosque and his house. Unexpectedly, he met Abu, Salim and other friends who sat altogether, doing nothing. Thinking about asking them to join him, praying together at the mosque, Fariz approached them.
“Assalamualaikum, guys. How are you doing? Can I join you?” Fariz started the conversation, wishing the acceptance of his friends. They react nothing but looked sharply at him. They don’t even reply the salam greeted by Fariz. Then, Abu said to Fariz.
“Hey, young poor ustaz, can you get rid of us. Stay away and stop asking him to pray. We know what we should do. ” it seemed that Abu knew Fariz’s intention.
“Why don’t you join me if you don’t pray yet? I’m so glad if I can pray together with you, my friends. After that, we can go playing football, right?” Fariz tried his best.
“Back off, man! Should I repeat it with my beats or kicks? Salim pulled out roughly his serban and strangled his neck. Fariz can’t breathe. Then he released Fariz and warned.
“Hey, loser, I don’t want to see your face anymore. It is so disgusting to see your “pious” face and your “python” selendang,” they giggled while throwing out his serban to the main road. Fariz felt a little disappointed but he tried to convince himself that this is only a test from Allah. Perhaps one day, his friends will apprehend his intention. He kept thinking about them whilst he was walking towards the road to take his white serban. He cried without perceiving it. He didn’t cry for the humiliation he got just now but he cried because he failed again to change them to become good Muslim. Suddenly a red car moved fast from his back and hit him. The car driver lost his control and Fariz involved in that accident. The car driver tried to help Fariz but the injuries was too bad. His kurta was covered with his blood. In pain, he said to the car driver who was holding his body.
“Brother, I think Allah had decided for me to meet Him, now. Please give this serban to my parents… so that they know this is mine. ALLAH, ALLAH, ALLAH…!” he closed his eyes calmly even though he was in pain. Sweats were on his forehead and he was smiling when he died. Her hands were on his chest, grabbing his serban. He closed his eyes forever, leaving his loving parents, stubborn friends, righteous Tuan Guru Ahmad, the mosque and his pure serban. Only Allah knows his next journey after this.

Light of Love (Nur Kasih)

By: Azalan Bayu Zakaria

“Nasib hidup dan pilihan
Lain hukum setiap insan
Mengharapkan perjalanan
Dalam maya kesamaran”

            The soundtrack of the highest-rating Malay drama, “Nur Kasih” echoed in the leaving room, where she would be glued on couch for an hour, watching the drama series acted by popular artistes, Tiz Zaqyah and Remy Ishak. She had never missed the drama since the first episode. Furthermore, she was so sentimental when she watched it, not because it is highest-rating drama or handsome actors, but she thought the dilemma faced by the main character, Nur Amina in Nur Kasih reflects herself. A woman who were forced to do something that she does not want to do, to sacrifice something that she likes the most and to live with somebody that she does not love. Haifa thought that her parents did a big mistake. A big mistakes which affected her whole life. Consequently, a two- month marriage between  Ziyad and her went with no intimacy, passion and happines. In fact it had been replaced with hatred and prejudice to Ziyad. She still remembered the moment her parents accepted the proposal from Ziyad.

            “Alhamdulillah, finally He sent a nice man to our daughter. We accept the proposal heartfeltfully,” said Ariffin, Haifa’s father.

            “Insyallah, we will marry them as soon as possible. Ziyad has prepared everything to be Haifa’s husband,”added Tariq, Ziyad’s father. All family members were so happy at that time they received good news about Haifa’s marriage. Unfortunately, it did not happen to Haifa. She grieved.

Haifa felt disenchanted with his father’s decision.  However, she cannot do anything but to be compliant with it. She knows that her father is so strict and will not change his mind. Furthermore, Ariffin and her wife do not like Adli for his disrespectful attitude towards them when he first met her parents. However, Haifa does not care about his attitude because she believes people can change; changing to be a better person.

Time went on and she had to forget Adli, the man she loves. The man she planned to marry with after 3 years relationship. Everything had been destroyed by Ziyad, the son of her father’s best friend. Ziyad has everything. He is a good-looking man, rich and owns a big company. Why should he choose her? Why should he marry a woman who does not love her? He should not let his parents arranged his marriage because marriage is not like wearing shoes or clothes. Marriage is the commitment one must be responsible about it associating with love and honesty, not by force and pretence. She could not stop hating Ziyad despite their 2 months marriage and she does not feel guilty for the marriage is not her wants.

Ziyad in the other hands accepted Haifa as her wife with honesty, trying so hard to win Haifa’s heart although he knew it is so difficult to Haifa to accept him as her husband. He bought gifts to his wife almost every week after marrying with Haifa. He gave chocolates, clothes, necklace, bracelet, bouquets of flower and so forth but Haifa still does not love her. She not even tried to love Ziyad. However, he did not give up because he knew one day Haifa will love her, accepting him as her husband. He would not stop enticing Haifa for the rest of his life.

“Nur, kita mesti hentikan perkahwinan ini. Kita cari haluan masing-masing!” (Nur, we must end this marriage. We find our own way!), the character of Nur Kasih, Adam expressed his regret about his marriage with Nur Amina.

Haifa who was watching the drama influenced with the idea of divorce. She would ask Ziyad to divorce her, thinking it is the only solution to her problem. She knew Ziyad would not disagree but this is the only way to end her marriage, so that she can be back with Adli.

“I love having breakfast with you, Haifa. You know why?” Ziyad as usual started conversation.

“Why? Nothing is special,” Haifa said drowsily as if she was not interested to chat with her husband.

“It’s because I can eat your delicious cooking and I can stare its beautiful cook,” Ziyad answered cheerfully.

“You’re always like that. Everything that I cook is delicious although I know it is not that good. Don’t be hypocrite, Ziyad. I’m sick to live in the house!” Haifa showed her anger while Ziyad said it calmly.

“Haifa, is it wrong for me to appreciate the woman I love and whom I married with honesty and love? I know I’m not perfect but I wish we can build up a happy family together. Haifa, please tell me what is wrong with our relationship.”

“There are so wrong with relationship. You know it well. I can’t forget Adli and it is very hard for me to love you. Love cannot be forced, Ziyad!” she started to cry, went to the room and lock it. Ziyad would let her, giving her time as usual.  

It seems that this weekend went badly for Ziyad and Haifa. There were no changes of Haifa’s feeling towards him. When he looked Haifa had already slept later that night, he woke up and performed an ablution, intending to perform Hajat prayer. He was performing with a full of concentration and hopes. After the last salam of her prayer, Ziyad lamented within his heart.

“O God, I ask for your forgiveness if I do something not right and cause Your anger. Please help me, facing the problems. I love my wife and I don’t want her life encompassed with cry and misery. When You had fated her as mine, I beg You to make me the best man for her. Yet, if she is not fated to be with me, please show me the best thing I could do to be Your true servant…Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.”  Ziyad sobbed when it came to the end of his prayer. Then he continued by enumerating wirid and reciting Al-Quran. He recited slowly so that it would not wake her wife up. This week would be a busy week for him because he had to attend a meeting at Penang.

Haifa, I miss you, honey. Can we meet this Tuesday at usual place?” Adli messaged her. Haifa smiled. The message from Adli cheered her up. She replied via her mobile phone.

Okay. Ziyad went for out-station. He’ll be back on Thursday. See you soon!” Haifa used the chance to meet Adli while Ziyad was attending a meeting at Penang. She missed Adli so much. They did not meet since Haifa’s marriage. She felt so excited and prepare herself to meet her lover. She looked at the best clothes and veil to be worn and kept looking herself at the mirror, acting differently from usual. Ziyad would feel happy if Haifa reacted like that in front him but alas it was only for Adli. Haifa gazed at her watch which showed a right time for her to meet Adli. She drove her car fast and went to the restaurant, the place that she always met Adli. She would tell her plan to Adli, the plan to ask Ziyad to divorce her. She was so sure Adli would feel happy after knowing about this.

When she arrived at the location agreed by both of them, Haifa felt surprisingly flabbergasted, shocking on what she was watching. Her exhilaration to meet Adli destroyed just like that. Yes, she can see Adli at the restaurant but with another girl. A young pretty girl who was sitting in front of Adli, grabbing his hands and kissing his cheeks intimately in front of public. Adli in the other hand replied it by kissing the girl hand romantically. She was so sure the girl is not Adli’s sister because he has no brother or sister.

She shed tears and ran to her car, feeling disappointed with Adli. She was continuously crying while she was driving. She went back to her housed and locked herself at her room. She felt that her heart was exactly broken into sorrowful pieces of love. She looked at her hand phone, wanting to delete Adli’s phone number, did not want to any connection with Adly anymore. She wanted to forget Adli forever and would not forgive for what he had done. Before deleting Adli’s number, she read his message again to assure that Adli had not wrongly sent it to her.

Haifa, I miss you, honey. Can we meet this Tuesday at usual place?” This message was exactly sent to her but she forgot Adli wanted to meet her on Tuesday not today. Then she cried even harder because it totally proved that Adli is not loyal with her, remembering his shameful actions and ignominy at the restaurant with another girl. She got no idea when Adli already had another girl, beside her. Maybe it had happened since she knew him. She did not think about him anymore. She felt terribly betrayed.

      “O Allah, what have I done to my husband? I have betrayed him to for the betrayal love of Adli.” She whispered sadly. She cannot stop crying, a repenting crying and hoping that Ziyad would forgive her. She would do anything to get Ziyad back. After three years relationship with Adli, she cannot believe he is able to betray her but Allah showed everything to her today; a real Adli.

Haifa performed an ablution and performed Taubat prayer. She wanted to ask forgiveness from the God who showed that she does not belong to Adli but her loving husband, Ziyad. After the prayer, she took her mobile phone, having in mind to call Ziyad, yet she is not ready yet to tell every single thing to her husband. Ziyad might hate and divorce her. Haifa cannot imagine a polite and kind-hearted Ziyad would change to a tempered husband with full of anger. Last week’s episode of Nur Kasih immediately reminded her.  The scene where Adam slapped and hit Nur Amina to show his disgust to the marriage worried Haifa. Ziyad might do similarly like that but he deserved to do it. She has to do something to save her marriage. After a long thought, finally she messaged Ziyad.

  “Ziyad, I love you so much, can’t wait to meet you, Abang,” this is the first time she address Ziyad by such name; Abang. Meanwhile, Ziyad who received the message, feeling surprised because he never got even a sweet message from his wife before this. He worried about Haifa and directly called her.

Assalamualaikum, Haifa, are you okay? I’m actually happy to get your message just now. ” Ziyad talked with cheerful intonation but he still wanted to know Haifa’s condition.

Waalaikumussalam Abang. I’m okay here. Don’t worry about me. I’m just missing you. When will you come back?” said Haifa who tried to change the topic of conversation.

“Haifa, I’m missing you too. Besides, I will come back today. My four days meeting will be post phoned. I hope that’s good news to you.” Ziyad answered it with full of love, expressing it as usual.

“I’m waiting for you, Abang. Please do have a safe journey. Assalamualaikum,” greeted Haifa, hoping Ziyad would be by her side soon.

Waalaikumussalam.” He replied it passionately, driving his car to meet Haifa.

Haifa waited for Ziyad, while she was watching her favourite TV drama series, Nur Kasih. As usual the soundtrack sung by Yassin attracted her attention to continue watching it. It was again sent an important message to Haifa.

Nur kasih
Nur kasih
Aku kembali kerana masih
Mencari yang hakiki
Sinar pasti
Janji suci yang abadi…”


She was enjoyed understanding and interpreting the song’s chorus from her point of view. Now she really found the light of her love because Allah had shown us to her, and she believes the light will give a new life for her and Ziyad. She prayed. At 5 pm his house door was knocked by somebody. She hoped Ziyad’s presence.

Assalamualaikum,” Ziyad appeared.

Waalaikumussalam!” Haifa replied excitedly. She went to her husband and kissed his hands, thing that she never did before this. She hugged Ziyad tightly as if she did not want to let him go. Ziyad replied it by kissing Haifa’s forehead. They walked towards the leaving room for Ziyad wanted to have more comfortable conversation with his wife. Haifa served him with tea and muffin that she made especially to her husband.

“You know my favourite, well. Let’s eat together.” Then Ziyad fed Haifa with full of love and Haifa too. He never expected Haifa can be so different after he went back from outstation. Instead, Haifa would tell what had happened to her yet she knew Ziyad is still tired, driving far from Penang. After performing Asr prayer, Ziyad called Haifa.

“Haifa, come dear,” Ziyad called her from the room. He wanted to show a gift he bought for his Haifa.

“Surprised!” then he showed up the gift and gave it to Haifa.

“Thank you, Abang. You are always being nice with me, pampering me by giving beautiful presents. Abang…” she stopped for a moment.

“Yes, is it anything wrong with the gift? I can change it.” Ziyad asked.

“No, I just wanted to tell you something…,” she answered it sadly, hoping Ziyad would not be disappointed to her. She continued “You must be surprised upon my changes. Well, as we know that our marriage doesn’t work well. It happened because of me who refuse to love you. Today Allah had shown everything to me, abang.” Haifa told what had happened to her. With tears, she admitted her sin as a wife who tried to betray the marriage. She kissed Ziyad’s hands and asks for forgiveness which she is supposed to do at the moment they married. Ziyad was listening to her wife’s confession, smiled calmly and then he said.

“Haifa, I had expected you will meet Adli because I knew you love him more than me. I’ll let every to Allah and I tried so hard to win your heart .Today Allah had helped me. He fulfilled my prayer and proved you are mine, and I am yours.” He continued “I am willing to forgive you but you have to repent for the sin you had made. Allah will be always forgiving to His servant.” He said it serenely to Haifa.

“Thank you abang for accepting me… I will do anything to gain your bless. I’ll pray our marriage will be blessed till our last breath. I love you so much, abang!” Haifa then kissed Ziyad and hugged him to show her undivided love.    

Ziyad and Haifa lived happily as husband and wife. Ziyad worked even harder and Haifa would make sure a completeness of her husband’s life. After a year, Haifa gave birth to a cute daughter. They agreed to name her Nur Kasih not because of the popular TV series drama her mum liked to watch. They name her because Nur Kasih is the light of their love which they have built for 2 years.  



A Winning Nasi Kerabu

By: Azalan Bayu bin Zakaria

Nik Kalsum is an expert in making nasi kerabu. She learnt it from her late mother and the recipe of her nasi kerabu was special because it was inherited within her family; her late mother learnt it from her late grandmother who learnt it from her great grandmother. Hence, it was named “Nasi Kerabu Mak Nik”, since all of her female family members’ name started with “Nik”. Her nasi kerabu was the best in Shah Alam. Nobody can challenge her overwhelming nasi kerabu. My friends and I would buy her nasi kerabu more than a pack, because we would usually wanted to have another one after finishing a set of it. She is friendly with her customer too. Sometimes, Nik Kalsum would put extra rice for those who always bought nasi kerabu from her.  One thing that made her lacked is her looks. Nik Kalsum is not beautiful; too ugly even to be a Nasi Kerabu seller. Some of my friends said that she is a beautifully ugly girl who needs a plastic surgery to attract people to buy her Nasi Kerabu.  She is fat; lots of pimples in her face, extra big nose, braced unaligned teeth and the worse thing about her look is her cheeks which made her looks like an old woman although she is still young. I do not humiliate but that is the fact about her.

In the other hand, another Kelantanese girl who was also sold nasi kerabu just next to her stall was gorgeous. She got a beautiful smile I had ever seen in my life. Her eyes, skin, nose, and height; everything is perfect. Most of my friends said that she is a Maya Karin mirror image. Sometimes I thought that she should become a model rather than nasi kerabu seller with her looks. Her name illustrated her beauty; Mimi Asmidar. However something is lacked about her. Her nasi kerabu is not great as Nik Kalsum’s. The rice is sticky like glutinous rice, an attractive blue hue of Nasi Kerabu looked just white, too salty gravy, lacks of fresh raw vegetable and salad, “elastic” grilled beefs, over-fried mackerel, smelly salted egg and no fish crackers and coconut sambal would be added if you buy only a pack of nasi kerabu. The price of her nasi kerabu was inconsistent. Last week, she sold RM 3 for one pack, this week its rate was RM 3.30, different customer would get different price although they got same dishes. I hate to buy nasi kerabu from her because of these factors.

 “Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Kerabu…!” they were shouting to attract customers around their stall they rented from the local authority. The stalls are not big and cosy but good enough to them to sell their nasi kerabu. Perhaps when it rained, then they would find it unsheltered to her and her nasi kerabu. The stall’s roof is not wide and big enough to protect them from raining. Nik Kalsum had reported it to Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam but there were no actions taken so far. They usually would get an equal numbers of customers. Most women would buy the more delicious nasi kerabu from Nik Kalsum and most men bought nasi kerabu from a beautiful woman; Mimi Asmidar. Maybe that is the law of competition and the norm of sexual attraction. I viewed it as pure competition which had possibility to be a destructive competition or co-operative competition; for them as the direct competitors in selling nasi kerabu. The knowledge I got as a degree student in Economics helped me to understand more about it.

The competition did not stop. It kept attacking one of my housemates’ life, Izwan or his Kelantese nickname, “Iwe”. Now, he was in dilemma. These two nasi kerabu sellers wanted to befriend him. No doubt, Izwan was a handsome Kelantanese guy with Hindustanis look. He worked as a promoter at Plaza Perangsang and always bought nasi kerabu from these girls for his breakfast and lunch. The regularity of Izwan to meet them made his coincidental meeting with them every day. Mimi approached her first by giving her a love letter then Nik Kalsum told him the next day saying that she wanted to befriend with him…sincerely.

“What should I do know, Man?” he asked me one day.

“You can befriend with both of them. If you think they might fight, you should choose just one of them, it is so simple. In fact, we are man who is supposed to be chased by girl. Ha…ha…ha” I answered it with giggles though I knew it was so hard for him to decide.

“I cannot do like that. I need only one steady girlfriend, a loyal gewe who will be my wife soon. My mother keeps asking me about this. The condition that she gave to me is… the woman I chose must be a Kelantanese girl. The problem is I don’t know whom should I choose to be my girl friend, and at the same time I don’t want to disappoint them” he explained something that I had predicted.

“Do research then,” I suggested to him.

“I …what…Do you think I am doing Master or PhD, friend?” then he continued “research for what?”

Now, you listen to me…do what I ask you to do. It’s very simple and it will solve your problem.” I said to him, trying to calm him down.

I started while looking at him. “In business, we have to set goal…”

“You meant goal like in football,” Izwan disrupted.

“No, it is about the objectives you want to achieve in business, let’s me make it simpler. For instant, in selling nasi kerabu, Mimi or Nik should know how much profit they must get per day. To decide how much they must get, they should use SWOT analysis which means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that both of them have.” I tried to explain SWOT concept to Izwan.

“I still cannot understand, can you go straight to the point,” he demanded.

“Gosh! First you need compare between Mimi and Kalsum in term of their strength and weaknesses. Remember your objective is you want to choose the best girl for yourself.” I was a bit frustrated to explain it to him.

“Their strength and weaknesses?” he asked again. “For example…?”

“We start with Nik…hmm, what strength this girl has?” I guided him.

Then he answered “For sure his delicious nasi kerabu.” Then he said confidently..”Ho…ho…now I understand. You are smarter than I expect.” Then I smile, showing that the intelligence of mine.

Hence, Izwan started to make his “SWOT” analysis by jotting down in a paper.

 Strengths –   Delicious Nasi Kerabu –   Beautiful and has sweet smile
Weaknesses –   Fat and ugly –   Hopeless nasi kerabu


“Have you found who the best is, Iwe?” I asked Izwan after letting him for 5 minutes.

“It seems that they are ‘draw’. How am I going to know about the threats and opportunities of them.” he questioned me.

“Well, Iwe, you need to know by yourself, yet I have a very good plan for you…in order to know about these factors.” I said to him encouragingly.

“How…?” he asked excitedly.

“I will ask one of my coursemate to be our ‘bait’. His name is Hanif. He’s a quite handsome man like you. My plan is Hanif will pretend to buy nasi kerabu from both of them, then asking them for a date. Those who accept his invitation will be considered not sincere in winning your heart.” I presented my plan to him.

“Azman, are you sure it will work and I will finally find my true love?” he showed his concern.

“Let’s try, first…it’s better than doing nothing, friend,” I brought him into another dilemma.

“Alright, I agree but…” Izwan said. “If we got the result later, it does not mean I have to marry the girl, right?”

“Iwe, it’s up to you, your future is yours…hey, I’m not a matchmaker. I just want to help solving your problem. That’s it.” I explain my purpose.

“If that so, I agree and should I pay your friend to become our ‘bait’?” he asked.

“I don’t think so. Perhaps a treat at Mamak stall is okay with us.

“Us…? I guess it is only him,”

“Yup, Hanif and I…Hello, I’m a mastermind in this ‘mission’, understood!” I said firmly.

“Alright then, but only both of you…” He confirmed the agreement strongly.

“Okay, boss.” I said it with funny look.

                I met Hanif tomorrow morning, after the lecture. He agreed with my request and the reward he would receive after doing his job. We have planned this undercover properly. Hanif was free to do it during weekend and I got no problem with it. Later that night, I informed that good news to Izwan and he just smiled, wishing that it would help him to know the truth. I expected this weekend would be full of investigation and revelation.

                On Saturday, Hanif as planned went to the stall, pretending that he wanted to buy Nik and Mimi’s nasi kerabu.  He wore the best casual clothes on that day and started to flirt with Nik first.

                “Hi, sweet girl, you look pretty, today?” Hanif tried to get Nik’s attention with his ‘Romeo’ style.

                “First, you should greet me with ‘Assalamualaikum’ and second I’m not beautiful.  Please don’t lie the fact about my look. ” Nik said it with honesty.

“No, I tell you the truth. Your look make me attracted,” Hanif did not give up, trying so hard to get Nik’s attention.

“I’m sorry sir, if you want to buy my nasi kerabu, you are welcomed, but if you don’t, please don’t disturb me.  I have many customers now.” She refused Hanif’s compliment respectfully.

“What about a treat of dinner, tonight, darling?” Hanif kept persuading.

“Sorry. I don’t go out with anybody that I don’t know. Can you please go away or I might scream to the public. Please do not embarrass yourself.” Nik was getting fed up and warned Hanif with anger.

“Okay…okay…I leave now. By the way you are right about your look, ugly girl.” Hanif ended the conversation harshly. Nik Kalsum was just silent upon Hanif’s comment about her. Perhaps she was thinking something.

Meanwhile, Izwan and I were looking the drama acted out by Hanif from afar. We just kept laughing at the moment Hanif was scolded by Nik. Izwan thought Nik can be so fierce. Ouch, that was another weakness of Nik but…it can be her strength if Izwan perceived it positively.

Now, Hanif was going to Mimi’s stall with his flirtatious smile. Mimi replied his smile and she was firstly started the conversation.

Abe, wanna try my nasi kerabu.” She smiled with excitement.

“Can I have the seller of nasi kerabu?” Hanif trapped her.

“What did you mean, Abe?” she pretended that she did not understand.

“Well, sweet girl. I have one more ticket to watch cinema. Ermm, would you like to join me?” he without waiting longer, inviting Mimi due to her positive reaction.

“Why not Abe handsome, you are so nice and romantic,” she praised Hanif.

Abe, don’t just look at my nasi kerabu. Buy it if you want to hang out with me.” She demanded to Hanif.

“Alright, by the way, what is your name, sweetie?” Hanif was getting excited with this girl.

“My name is Mimi Asmidar, but you can just call me Mimi, Abe. How many packs do you want? I will make it special for my Abe handsome.” She was getting over-reacted.

“Mimi… please give Abe one pack.” Now Hanif started to address himself as “Abe”.

Mimi put every dish of nasi kerabu but as usual she did not put any fish crackers or coconut sambal because Hanif just buy only one pack of nasi kerabu. Luckily Hanif did not really know about this Kelantanese food so he did not ask about it.

Abe, you did not tell me yet, when we will watch cinema, together?”

“Owh, I forget about it Mimi. Can you give your phone number? I will tell you later because I forget the actual time of it,” he was lying to Mimi. Surprisingly, Mimi easily gave her number to Hanif just because she just knew him 10 minutes ago.

“Honey, I will call you. Don’t forget to pick up the phone,” Hanif reminded Mimi.

“Okay, Abe. Can’t wait to meet you, bye” she gave a flying kiss to Hanif without feeling shy in front of her customers. 

 I felt shocked about Mimi’s reaction. Obviously, now Izwan should know who is more sincere between Nik and Mimi unless he was still confused and not commonsensical about what he had just watched. We met Hanif who is smiling while holding a pack of nasi kerabu he had just bought from Mimi.

“Now, can we go to Mamak stall and discuss about the findings. Your treat,” I pointed to Izwan and he nodded his head.  I can’t wait to have two pieces of roti canai banjir made by the owner of the stall.

Hanif reported everything to both of us. It was what I have expected based on the observation. Izwan just kept quiet and looked like he was thinking deeply about his problem.

“Obviously, Nik is better than Mimi. Mimi is a threat for your life because she is a quite a player; however Nik is loyal, hoping your answer about the relationship of both of us,” I gave my opinion.

“What about opportunities?” asked him.

“Forget about SWOT analysis. I guess this finding really help you. Opportunities can’t be applied here” I felt that I was trapped with the SWOT analysis issue.

“Azman is right. For me sincerity is important in man woman relationship. Trustworthy is vital here, Iwe. I don’t see it in Mimi’s” Hanif added, supporting my opinion.

“Hanif and Azman, I need times to think about it. This issue is more complex than setting the goal…” he sighed, thinking deeply about his future.

“Like what I have said. Your future is yours. Do asking from Him and insyallah, you will get the answer,” advised me honestly.

Insyallah, I will.” He started to smile to show that he was no longer in an uncertainty.

After two months relationship, Izwan finally married with Nik Kalsum. Izwan looked happy and satisfied with his choice. Both of them decided to go back to Kelantan and setting up their nasi kerabu business. I am so optimist they would succeed because of Nik’s great recipe of nasi kerabu. While Mimi was still a nasi kerabu seller at Shah Alam, waiting for another handsome guy who wanted to approach her. I guess this is a very destructive competition but it was won by the right person; Nik Kalsum, winning in a very pure competition.

We Never

Posted: June 2, 2010 in English Nasyeed Song



Intro (Chorus)


Spoken (…I’m a Muslim, You’re a Muslim, We never do bad thing…)



Please don’t fight, among each other,

Trying to prove, you are the winner,

For Islam brings a peaceful life,

Muslims never cheer violence,

We never kill, we never hurt,

We never hit, people of the world,

We never beat, we never avenge,

We never hate, people of the world.





When you saw a smiling face,

For we have been, we have been blessed,

By  the God who really wants to give it to us,

We hardly breathe in a happy space,

That lead us to unanimity,

And later bring us to serene days,



Please don’t fight, among each other,

Trying to prove, you are the winner,

For Islam brings a peaceful life,

Muslims never cheer violence,

We never kill, we never hurt,

We never hit, people of the world,

We never beat, we never avenge,

We never hate, people of the world.





When you say, we are the killers,

You’re killing us, with no reasons,

Destroying us, with no hearty sympathy,


You blame us, build terrorism,

You’ve done it to our brothers,

Take away the happiness,

Of their families,




Please don’t fight, to one another,

Trying to prove, you are the saviour,

For Islam brings a peaceful life,

Muslims never cheer violence,

We never kill, we never hurt,

We never hit, people of the world,

We never beat, we never avenge,

We never hate, people of the world


(repeat chorus)


Oh Allah, please forgive us,

Oh Allah, help all of us,

Oh Allah, bless all of us,





Song and lyric  (Inspired by God)    :  Bro.Bayu (Azalan Bayu Zakaria) 


The Only God

Posted: June 2, 2010 in English Nasyeed Song

Deep in my humble heart

I’m seeking upon his light

Who control my body and soul

And He deserves everything,

 By the name of the Creator,

Who possesses the Day of Judgement

And all praises be to God,

For giving us serenity,


Welcoming good, and avoiding evil,

Worshipping Him with sincerity,

Don’t let faith, fade away.

Do bind it within your life.

Deep in my humble heart

I’m seeking upon His light

Who control my body and soul

And He deserves everything,

 By the name of the Creator,

Who possesses the Day of Judgement

And all praises be to God,

For giving us, serenity.


We must go towards the right path,

Sacrificing Fisabilillah,

Obeying His Book and realizing Sunnah,

Please be sincere and kind ummah.



Song and Lyric (inspired by God): Bro. Bayu (Azalan Bayu Zakaria)


Story 2: Markonah Marcona

Posted: June 2, 2010 in Short Story

Markonah Marcona

By: Azalan Bayu bin Zakaria

Markonah binti Sumarto. A typical name for a Malay girl like her. In fact, it is too out of date for a young generation like her; a 19 years old girl in 2008 but regrettably she owned such name. She felt ashamed. She wished to have names like Amylea, Tiara, Maria or Rina. They are so modern and attractive compared to her name. Should she blame her parents? Should she ask Encik Sumarto and Puan Sukirah to change her name? She used to ask her mother about her name.

“Your name was given by your grandmother, Konah…but what is wrong with that?”

“Nothing, mum, I’m just asking,” she tried to hide her feeling.

She knew her family wanted to maintain the originality of Javanese tradition. She is actually can admit the food they eat, the occasion they have to attend but not this one. A Javanese name which had embarrassed her since she was in Year 1.

She always believes that she is so unlucky. She has a very ordinary looks and lacks of friends but her name is the main problem to her and her whole life. Fortunately, she is a smart student, hardworking daughter who always helped her mother without being asked. She never failed to get straight A’s for each examination she took. Because of that, on July 17, she would be starting her new life at a campus after getting an excellent result of SPM. She was offered to continue her degree in Bachelor of Mass Communication (Broadcasting) at UITM, Shah Alam. It is true that she really wanted to become television broadcaster. She likes to imitate beautiful TV3 celebrities like Normala Shamsudin, Wan Zaleha Radzi, and Azura Abd Karim, imagining that she is her own talk show or reading news in Buletin Utama. Those women looked gorgeous on screen. She determined to be like them with her positive attitudes and qualification she would have after this. However, what if one day she becomes television presenter and then how is she going to end up any television broadcasting hosted by her?

“Thank you for watching, I, Markonah Sumarto ….,” she did not want to imagine the situation. She guaranteed that all Malaysians who watch it would laugh at her because of her name. Therefore before she started attending her first lecture at UITM, she planned something.  

“I must have a new name. A more attractive and commercial name like…erm…,” she talked to herself, thinking about her new name that she would use as a Mass Communication student.

“Markonah…Markonah…what if I change it to Magdalena or Madeleine…no, no, it sounds too ancient and classic.” She tried to “convert” and hoped it would be competitive enough for the industry. Finally she got ideas in forming her name. She found it on internet, wishing the most suitable names for her.

            “Those named Sophie, Rachel or Olivia is considered particularly attractive. Attractive female names tend to be soft-sounding and end with the “ee” sound whereas the sexiest male names are short and much harder sounding…” she read that part silently but with a full of excitement.

             “A soft-sounding name which ends with “ee” sound”. Those are the conditions to be super attractive girl by using name. Markonah thought hardly to find names based on what she had read in that article. Without wasting her time, she brainstormed and shortlisted the names which start with the letter M.

Mary         Macy       Marcella    Madison

Myra         Minnie     Maxine      Mariah

Morgan      Mia           Maia       May

Maya      Melody   Meredith     Maria

Marissa     Melanie    Melinda    Miki

Mimi      Mikayla     Mandy   Melinda 

            She did not want something that sounds too “Mat Saleh” but it must have a commercial values and definitely attractive. At first, she thought about using “Macy”. It seems unpopular to her. Next, she thought about Melanie but it sounds too “Mat Saleh”. Then she chose “Minnie”. However, she did not want her friends to mock her as Mickey Mouse wife. “Melody” sounds nice but it was too far from the name “Markonah”. She actually needed “Markonah” name in more popular, modern and interesting version. For instant, Khatijah can be renamed Katie or Salmah becomes Sally. A popular girl always did it when she was in the secondary school.

She can’t really find the most appropriate name for her especially the name which has soft sound and end with “ee” sound. Plus, her name must be not too far from her old name, Markonah.

“Oh my God, how’s difficult to find the best name for me!” she complained herself.

She ended her discovery with nothing. Alas, she would be having the first lecture tomorrow morning with Mr. Edmund Ross and her name was still Markonah. He is a lecturer for Radio and TV Presentation, the course that she absolutely liked the most because it is a stepping stone for her to achieve her dream.

That night, before she slept, she would read as usual. She was reading teen magazine borrowed from her roommate, and suddenly she found something. The ad she read pleased her so much. She never expected that ‘Markonah’ can be so popular and trendy; so canggih. She smiled to herself, wishing that tomorrow will be a new shining start for her as a celebrity-going-to-be. The ad made her slept well and having a beautiful dream ever.

MARCONA is a European fashion enterprise and has specialised in sophisticated women’s outer garments (New Classics) more than 50 years. Through a consistent market focus and their well selling collections, we are a competent and reliable partner in the retail trade, both locally and abroad. They attach particular value to current appeal and quality of their collections, which incorporate coordinates and the various range, as well as separate items such as jackets, coats and skirts.

She was actually felt proud after looking at this ad. The word MARCONA was apparently a brand of women’s outer garments which symbolised a new classic fashion and style. Wow, it’s great although not as great as Versace or Gucci, at least, this brand is something trendy and favoured Markonah to a modern woman that she wished to be. Besides, she can use it as her new name. The name must be correctly articulated and that was it. She is now can boast to her course mates during the first session with Mr. Edmund Ross this morning.

                  “Now, I can forget about seeking the name which ends with “ee” sound. “Marcona” is awesome than others” she whispered.

                 “M. A. R. C. O. N. A, it will be pronounced /            /. It also can be pronounced “Makona” in Malay Language,” she practised herself. She kept repeating and memorising that word. A Javanese and Malay authentic sound of “Markonah” had just lost like that. Now she is “Marcona” not “Markonah”.  

                       “Students,  I want you to introduce yourselves in my first class. All of you are compulsory to take part. In my class, you are free to talk anything you like. Do act like Oprah or Martha. They become millionaire because they keep talking and entertaining their audiences with their words,” Mr. Edmund started his class, do inspiring his new students.

                       “Well, who like to go first?” asked him.

                       “Sir, may I…,” Camelia volunteered herself.

                       “Good, young lady, I love to lend my ears upon you,” he encouraged his student.

                       “Thank you, sir. Hi everybody, my name is Hani Camelia binti Dato’ Malik. I’m from Kuala Lumpur. My dad is a successful businessman who owns a famous big company. Have you ever heard about Mercu Holdings? For your information, that famous company is owned by my father and later by my future husband.  How lucky am I, right? My favourite brand is Prada …bla..bla..bla, I always go shopping at France, Italy, UK and all over the world. Sometimes I forget how many times I went travelling because it is too many?” she paused for a moment while squeezing her hair. She was so arrogant.

                       “Why did I accept this course as my next higher education? Guys, it is clearly because I want to become the next top host in Malaysia. For a fat ugly Normala Shamsuddin, you can now plan to retire because Hani Camelia will ask you to do so.” Camelia ended the introduction of arrogantly and by humiliating Normala Shamsudin, a popular television celebrity. Everything she talked when introducing herself was all about arrogance and negative thing about other people.  However, she was young, rich, pretty and sexy and the most important thing is she got a “hot” name. All men in the class excluding Mr. Edmund focused attentively to her. Every male creature in the lectures hall astonished her presence even though her tone of voice is not good to be a TV presenter.

                       “Thank you Miss Hani Camelia, the most beautiful girl I have ever met in my life for giving me a chance to introduce myself…” Daniel was flirting with Camelia when he was introducing himself. He was actually not introducing to his course mates but he was speaking only to Hani Camelia. He tried to get her attention by praising Camelia and tried to connect his introduction to her. At that time, Markonah was just feeling sickened watching the dramatic and pathetic introduction by Daniel. She admitted that he is a handsome guy but his action is unacceptable.

                       Besides, Hani Camelia played her role as a “diva” well. She smiled and blinked her fake eyelashes   at Daniel, as if she replied his appreciation made by Daniel. Markonah just hoped that this class would end immediately. She cannot stand to watch the drama between them every day. It is not because of her jealousy, but she expected these two jokers would be “parasitical” to the whole class with their sickening actions. She thought her other classmates would think similarly like her.

                       After two guys and a girl, now it is Markonah’s turn to introduce about herself. She felt so nervous. She was about to think that she did not belong to this class. The class which had arrogance, beauty, sensation, and popularity created by its students. It seemed that there no brilliance, intellectuality or wisdom surrounded the atmosphere of the class. Everything that had been planned had lost just like that. She was trembling but she knew she should be honest to all of her friends and Mr. Edmund. She did not want to be Marcona. She was and is Markonah. Markonah binti Sumarto , a girl who comes from Parit Jawa, Batu Pahat.She stood up and started introducing herself.

                       “Assamualaikum and good morning to all of you….,” she stopped for a moment, taking her breath deeply.

                       “I’m not cool like Miss Hani Camelia, I also never wish to have a handsome special boyfriend like our friend here, Mr. Daniel,” she was shaking when she pointed out to Daniel. Markonah had made him shocked.

                       She continued “…because I knew that my name will perhaps embarrass myself and people who close with me,”

                       “My friends… before I come here, I was always thinking about how I could look great in front of my lecturer and friends” She did not know how she can be so daring to tell about her plan, revealing a real Markonah. Then she strongly prolonged her “speech”. “I…I…I am assuming right now that people will laugh at me when I mention my name and I believe you will do it right after I have finished introducing myself,” she’s bit stammer at this time.  She paused again to get confidence, and then she strongly resumed her speech.

                       “Nevertheless, I hate to become hypocrite person. For me to become a successful radio or TV presenter, we must be honest especially to ourselves. For the honesty will make us a human. A human who will feel confident to herself or himself, no matter who are they? Are they black or white? Do they come from “kampung” or urban area?  Are they rich or poor, first class or second class or even no class, attractive or not…,” she’s quite emotional when she was trying to finish her words.

                       “Yet, for those who have everything today, you must feel gratitude you must use them to achieve what you want to achieve. These are what have been awarded to you. For me, brilliance and wisdom is very important especially to us, people who dream to become somebody after we have graduated,” She felt better now after expressing it to the whole class.

                       “To end my introduction speech today, I would like to say that I’m proud to who I am.  I felt proud to admit myself as Markonah bt Sumarto. Markonah? Didn’t you feel funny hearing this name?” she paused for a moment and then continued.

                       “Well, I didn’t. By the way, Markonah is a kampung Malay girl who was born in Parit Jawa, Batu Pahat, Johor and has a very ordinary life but she lives with a happy family. Anyone who wants to befriend her, you are welcomed but those who want to laugh at her because of the name, you are also welcomed to my life but you cannot stop her to succeed. Nobody can stop her to be the best host in the world! I thank you” she ended up it with a meaningful remark of her vision.

                       Camelia thought that Markonah had stolen the attentions which had been given to her before. Daniel cannot say a word. Most of Markonah’s coursemates congratulate her for her great speech. It seems that they like to befriend Markonah. The peak of this precious moment of Markonah was when Mr. Edmund clapped his hands and followed by all students. It was so infectious until the lecture hall had been full with applauding noise from its inhabitant. That was a really big appreciation to her. After 19 years, she never feels appreciated like that. Suddenly she felt that she become the most popular students in this class. She smiled and kept smiling. Markonah was really had a shining start today.

                       “I guess we have a new Oprah or Martha, now,” Markonah impressed by her lecturer.

                       “Markonah, thanks a lot because you helped me to teach about the needs of successful TV and radio broadcaster. I would like to challenge you to prove this industry has perceived wrongly to such person likes you” Mr. Edmund gave her support to Markonah.

                       “Remember students. Look, wealth, name and origin are not main factor to us to succeed in life. For everything we want to do, for every dream that we want to realise, it comes to two things; your strong heart and your sparkling mind.  That’s it for today, class dismissed,” Mr. Edmund ended the class earlier because he would only started his lectures next week.

                       Meanwhile Markonah stepped out to the class with determination and strength that she got today. The strength she would sustain until her graduation day.


 They Do Not Belong To Us

By: Azalan Bayu Zakaria


They did it again. Their teachers became so frustrated. It seems that they refused to become obedient or at least stay away from problems. These two boys always tried their best to show that they were the real villains in the school. Madi and Daut were very famous in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Batu Kikir yet in a very negative way. They showed up late on almost every morning. They were involved in bullying. They punctured and scratched teachers’ car that they disliked as well. They depicted a symbol of roughness. Some teachers combined the first and last syllable of their names and it became a negative nuance; MA.UT which means “DEATH” in Malay Language and Arabic. And the best part about it is they felt proud of the name entitled to them!

“Principal Lukman, these two boys are really uncontrollable, all teachers who are teaching them say bad things about them,” Mr. Sulaiman complained.

“Besides, they threaten and blackmail other students for money every single day” Ustaz Amali continued.

“Well, it is very hard to eliminate them just like that. We have a very strict policy. We cannot punish them based on mainly accusations by teachers and students. In fact, we need concrete evidence to prove their wrongdoings,” principal Lukman replied.

“I will work on that. However it is unfair to me and the disciplinary board if you say it is “accusation”. They really do that and I will make sure they will be kicked out from this school. I promise,” swore Mr. Sulaiman. He was very upset. 

 “We’ll see.” said Principal Lukman calmly.

The school disciplinary board meeting ended without any result or resolution. Mr. Sulaiman and Ustaz Amali were tired to handle these students. They caused headaches to them since they were in Form 1. Now, they were form 3 but their attitudes seem unchanged. Mr. Sulaiman once referred them to school counsellor, Miss Nur but the two boys refused to attend any session. As expected, they had thousand of excuses and baseless reasons of their absence.

“I got migraine,” Madi lied.

“My grandmother gave birth last night,” Daut said it playfully.

“Both of us were trapped in congested traffic jam,” repeated both of them with a sneer smile.

Principal Lukman took an initiative to call their parents to discuss about the matter yet there is no answer until today. Their parents condemned to be very busy. Perhaps they have given up too in handling their children.

Mr. Sulaiman and other members of disciplinary board were really disappointed with them. They had to do something. Something brilliant and tactful to ensure Madi and Daut could be kicked out from this school. During the meeting of disciplinary board, Ustaz Amali suggested to use informers among the prefects or trustful students. However, Mr. Sulaiman disagreed because this way would not work. He used to ask few students to be his spies but finally they were punched and kicked by Madi and Daut. The smartest thing about them is they knew how to punch or kick or slap other students without any bruises or bleeding. They also knew how to shut their victim’s mouth up.

Miss Nur, a motherly counsellor came out with an idea. She suggested appointing four of them to become prefect or class monitor. In her point of view, she thought maybe they would feel more appreciated when they became the leaders among students in this school.

“I tried this technique last year, Miss Nur but it seemed that they are so impossible to be helped. When I appointed Madi as a prefect and Daut as a class monitor, the whole school became even worse. Daut spent the class fund like his own money. Besides, Madi forced students who came late to the school to give to him money as a guarantee for him not to report it to Mr. Sulaiman,” explained Ustaz Amali.

Lastly, Mr. Sulaiman recommended a new idea. He was thinking to ask help from school gardener, Uncle Samy to trap them. It sounds good and this would assist him in getting him “concrete evidences” as required by Principle Lukman.

“But, how does this plan work, can you explain in detail?” asked Miss Nur and Ustaz Amali.

“Hmm…Well, it might be risky but we have no choice,” he sighed.

Mr. Sulaiman planned to trap them by the help of school gardener, Uncle Sammy. Mr. Sulaiman would lend his Sony Ericsson mobile phone to Uncle Sammy and asked him to record and capture them when they were bullying or blackmailing other students. That was when Uncle Sammy started to act undercover private investigator! He had no problems in helping Mr. Sulaiman and his friends. Mr. Sulaiman helped him a lot before this, thus somehow he felt obliged to repay his deeds.

“Uncle Sam, are you sure how to use this hand phone?” asked Mr. Sulaiman, assuring his private investigator.

“Absolutely sir, my son taught me how to use this gadget efficiently,” he replied.

“Good for you and thanks a lot for helping me. Remember our mission; to get visual evidences and to make these naughty boys realise upon the mistakes they have committed,” Mr. Sulaiman made it clear.

While for Madi and Daut, they also had their mission for this week; to get money as much as they can. They planned where, when and how they should accomplish their mission. Usually Madi who act as a leader would instruct.

“Daut, ensure that the time is right for me to act. Keep watching and inform me when Mr. Sulaiman comes,” he pointed at Daut bossily.

“Di, what about prefects?” asked Daut.

“They may be a threat for us,” he reminded his best friend.

“Nah, I don’t think so. Remember the last time we punched them and kicked their butts? That should be the last warning for them. They even trembled after I warned ‘beware snitch, MA.UT will hunt you if you report it to anyone’,” Madi guaranteed with boast and laugh.

Madi was in a deep thought. Were prefects the only threat for their activities? However, he did not express his concern to his friend, for he was afraid Daut might feel terrified. However Madi and Daut did not expect that the school gardener was listening to their conversation. Uncle Samy was pretending to clean the pond near the place they met. None of them noticed Uncle Sammy’s presence.

Apparently, their conversation had been recorded by Uncle Sammy using Mr. Sulaiman’s hand phone. He did the job well. Now all he needs to do is to monitor them from afar. Every details of the activity planned by MA.UT would be informed to Mr. Sulaiman.

“You can watch this recorded video. They planned to blackmail and force students to give their money as usual,” reported Uncle Sammy.

“When and where will they do that?” Mr. Sulaiman asked.

“Based on the conversation I have recorded, it will happen tomorrow evening, I guess around 5 p.m. I think you can watch the video and everything is up to you now” said Uncle Sammy while he gave the hand phone to Mr. Sulaiman.

“Thank you, Uncle Sam. I will call you if I need your help,” Mr. Sulaiman smiled.

“You are most welcome, see you tomorrow,” Uncle Sammy replied.

Later that night, Mr. Sulaiman watched the video together with Ustaz Amali. They needed to plan something to make sure they got the evidences required by Principal Lukman. Ustaz Amali thought that it would be better if Uncle Sammy joined the investigation. They agreed. Ustaz Amali also promised to bring camcorder so that they can record these students’ action clearer.

Mr. Sulaiman and Ustaz Amali met Uncle Sammy to tell about their ambush on that evening. Uncle Sammy felt so honoured and motivated to join the operation. At 5 pm, in the school compound that MA.UT planned to accomplish their mission, Mr. Sulaiman, Ustaz Amali and Uncle Sammy were hiding behind the bushes. Ustaz Amali was holding his camcorder while Mr. Sulaiman and Uncle Sammy were watching carefully. All of sudden Daut appeared without his partner, Madi. He was waiting for someone. Later, when a male student was walking alone towards the school fence, Daut immediately grabbed his shirt collar, harshly.

“Hey, you, what are you doing?!” shouted the student after Daut dragged him roughly.

“Nothing, I just want to take you to heaven,” Daut answered it with laugh.

“And can you keep your mouth shut or I will slap you!” Daut continued warning him. That student was sweating and shivering.

Daut was ready with a handkerchief and big masking tape. He used them to cover up their victim’s eyes and mouth. He took the victim to Madi for him to continue their wicked action.  In the meantime, they did not realise that all of their actions were recorded by Ustaz Amali and watched by Mr. Sulaiman together with Uncle Sammy.

“Uncle Sam, we should not move unless they start to hurt this boy. Ustaz, you must keep recording their actions. I hope you bring extra batteries,” Mr. Sulaiman instructed them.

“Okay boss,” they replied with cynical smile.

Daut asked the boy to bend his knees like a slave then opened his plastered mouth. Then Madi played his role.

“Right, you little puppy, do not cry…I just want your money and after that we will let you go,” Madi pretended to act politely.

“I am so sorry, I have no money. I am a poor boy. Every day I bring food cooked by my mother,” his victim begged.

“He’s cheating you. I saw him buying food at the canteen yesterday,” Daut provoked Madi.

“It wasn’t me! Please trust me. I will do anything for you…,” he did not finish explaining and suddenly…

Pap…pap…pap…Madi kept slapping his victim without any sympathy. Daud laughed and mocked the victim. Pup..pup..pup..Daut continued hitting the victim’s head with his shoes. This student cannot do anything but kept crying.

 “I just love this party” said Daut.

“Me too,” Madi smiled badly.

Before both of them started to kick the unlucky boy, Uncle Sammy and Mr. Sulaiman came out from the bushes and  shouted at them.

“Hey you! What are you doing?!” shouted Mr. Sulaiman.

When they heard Mr. Sulaiman’s voice, they ran as fast as they could and they managed to escape themselves from him…again!

“You are so stupid! Why don’t you tell me about it,” said Madi while he was breathing in and out hastily.

“Everything is clear when I left. I didn’t see any car or people in that area,” answered Daut.  

 “Next time, you have to stay until the end. Anything can happen to us!” Madi replied angrily.

“Luckily, the boy didn’t see our face after I covered his eyes with my handkerchief,” Madi continued.

“Does your handkerchief is written with any of your names or sign that can help Mr. Sulaiman to recognise us?” Daut asked curiously.

“Of course not! I am smarter than you,” Madi answered with confidence.

“Hopefully, Mr Sulaiman failed to recognise us,” Daut wished.

“He is a loser. He always failed to catch us…ha.ha.ha.” Madi laughed followed by his friend.

They certainly had no clue on what had happened, unnoticed that they had been trapped. All of their actions from A to Z were well recorded by Ustaz Amali. Mr. Sulaiman showed everything to Principal Lukman. This time, the proof satisfied him. He must take action on those boys; Madi and Daut also known as MA.UT. 

Principal Lukman called all of their parents. He also asked Miss Nur to call Madi and Daut to attend at the meeting room. Mr. Sulaiman and Ustaz Amali also had been invited to be part of this judgment. When all of them had arrived, Principal Lukman showed the recorded video to them. Ustaz Amali smiled with satisfaction. He thought of being professional photographer. Meanwhile these two students felt shocked and speechless. They could not utter even a word.  It was such an embarrassing moment in their life.

“I did not want to comment anything about this interesting ‘documentary’, ladies and gentleman. What do you say, Madi?” Principal Lukman asked.

“Errmm…I actually wanted to play with that boy, I mean…sometimes, we would like to act out like hero such as…ermm…Robin Hood, maybe…” Madi tried to pretend as usual.

“Yes sir, I would play the role as Friar Tuck, Robin Hood’s friend…erm, that boy was actually acting like nasty stingy rich man who did not want give us money,” Daut helped Madi.

“What an ‘intelligent’ explanation from you young men, so you both think that forcing others to give their money to you is good thing to do, right?”  Mr. Sulaiman seethed in anger.

“Not “forcing” sir, but “asking”…erm…” Madi explained worryingly.  

Principal Lukman asked Madi and Daut to go out from the meeting room because he wanted to have further discussion with their parents.

“Well, I think all of you have watched the video. This is very serious offence conducted by your children” Principal Lukman moaned.

“We know it, sir but could you give them one last chance to them,” Mr. Amar, Daut’s father begged.

“This is not the first time they do it yet this is the finale of every wrongdoing done by them. We tried to call you several times to discuss about this matter but you refused to do it. Your children have given a very negative impact to the whole school. All students come to this school to learn not to bully or to be bullied,” Principal answered it firmly.

Finally, Principal came out with his own opinion; these students absolutely do not belong to the school system, rules and regulation. They had to be eliminated from this school.

“But what will happen to their future? Honestly, I can’t control Madi. He is so stubborn. I tried to teach him to be a good boy but he refused,” Madi’s mother was almost crying.

“You got the point, madam. Your son is beyond your control. This is up to you. I will suggest them to continue studying in special schools which may provide an education to them after they have been eliminated from this school. Both parents have rights to apply it for their children through Children Court according to Children Act 2001,” Principal Lukman clarified in detail. He is very knowledgeable about the law.

After thinking about the best lesson that they should give to their children, the parents agreed with Principal Lukman and listened to his advice. After two months of elimination, Madi and Daut were sent to hostel probation for a year and three years in Sekolah Tunas Bakti Taiping. Did they change? Did they realised their mistakes? Did they take efforts to be part of a civilised community? Within 5 years, these questions were emblazoned in Mr. Sulaiman’s mind. He smiled sceptically after reading the headline on newspaper front page “COP FAILED THE BANK ROBBERY ATTEMPT OF TWO FRIENDS”. It displays faces that he knew very well. Madi and Daut (MA.UT).