Thursday, 11 April 2013

Datuk Shahbudin bin Mohd Amin (asal Cirebon, Java)

Masjid An nur
Bandar Hilir Melaka
Dibina pada tahun 1820
Pengasas
Dato' Shahbudin bin Mohd Amin
Berasal dari Cheribon
Tanah Jawa

Masjid Banda Hilir founder's plaque

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I'm writing again on a famous old masjid in Malacca which my great-great-grandfather laid down in 1820.

The details of Masjid Banda Hilir founder and his tomb are from a man named Mahadhir Mohamad (cicit Hj Mohd Nordin = middle brother of Hj Mohd Sharif and the eldest of 3 brothers). I don't know Mahadhir Mohamad but he has knowledge of my family and ascendants.

The links of Masjid Banda Hilir founder to my father was narrated to me and the location of the founder's tomb were shown to me by my second eldest cousin, Abdul Muin (Abang Moin anak Pak Ji Usop & Mak Lah Semabok) when I visited Semabok on 4 June 2016, where I met him, and he took me around to see Malacca. We have not met for more than 42 years. Abang Moin is 9 years my senior. I left Malacca in 1973 after Form 3, when I was 15 years old.

Here is the story pieced together from 2 accounts - Mahadhir Mohamad and Abang Moin:

Masjid An-Nur Bandar Hilir, Melaka was founded by a Javanese man named Datuk Shahbudin bin Haji Mohd Amin. He was from Cheribon, Tanah Jawa, that's as much as the plaque says. The masjid was built in 1820, much later than Masjid Tengkera (1728) and Masjid Jamek Batu Uban, Penang (1734) which were built by Haji Muhammad Salleh (Nakhoda Nan Intan). Masjid Banda Hilir was built 92 years after Masjid Tengkera. Masjid Tengkera was built during Dutch Malacca while Masjid Banda Hilir was built during British Malacca.
Note: Cheribon (English) is now Cirebon (Indonesian).
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The grounds of Masjid Banda Hilir
Perkarangan Masjid Banda HIlir

There were initially 2 main structures on the grounds of Masjid Banda Hilir -
1. a madrasah/masjid and
2. a wooden house.

1820:
The masjid was first a madrasah (a Quran learning centre). Activities and space needs then led the madrasah to become a masjid. The original masjid resembled the Indonesian masjid at Tanah Jawa (Java). The original masjid had 4 big columns, windows, doors, one main stairs in front, an ablution pool (kolam) beside the main stairs, a toilet by the main gate, and a front brick wall. Qiblat faced the direction of Malacca town and the old fort (A Famosa).

From even before I was born, meals accompanying masjid activities were held at the adjacent house, at the front portion of Rumah Banda Hilir - at the part called sengkuap rumah (1897-1958). Where was food served after the masjid was built and before the house was built (1820-1896)?

Late 1950s:
Even after I was born, meals continued to be served for the masjid people at the same house where my family lived. We used huge serving trays (dulang besar) for serving food. There were bronze (dulang tembaga) and enamel trays (dulang ayan). The trays were heavy for me - a 5-year-old girl. The bronze trays had to be scrubbed with tamarind and salt and washed under running tap water at the tap beside the bathroom. They were flat-bottom bronze trays. Che Nah and I helped to scrub the bronze trays. The bronze trays shone after that (berkilat). They were dried by placing them against the white-washed brick wall where we washed them. The enamel trays were washed with coconut husk, coconut soap and running water. There were flower motifs on white background on the enamel trays. The enamel trays had a flat bottom and sides that curved outward. As a child, I was fascinated by these large serving trays.

Early 1960s:
The original masjid built in 1820 did not have a surrounding corridor.  The surrounding corridor was built later when my family lived at rumah Banda Hilir. The corridor was built between 1960 and 1963. My paternal grandmother Nenek Inchek went to pray at the new corridor that was nearer our house. I could see her praying there when I peered through the wooden louvres of the windows at sengkuap rumah, which was the closest portion of the house to the masjid.

My Bapak was born on 28 November 1931 at the Government quarters at 1092, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. He was the 8th child of 15 siblings. My Bapak and his family returned to live at Banda Hilir house since the early 1940s when Kuala Lumpur was bombed during WWII; this could be between 1942 and 1944 when he was 11-13 years old. The family continued to live in Banda Hilir during and after the war. Bapak narrated stories of the Japanese army in Malacca during the war. There is a photo after the war, of my Bapak's family and relatives at Pulau Besar, Melaka in 1948.

My parents were married in KL in 1955 and their bersanding was held at 262 Rumah Banda Hilir. We lived at Rumah Banda Hilir till my youngest brother Amin was born in 1962. We left Malacca in 1963, after my Bapak returned from England. We moved to Alor Star, Kedah and I waited a year (1964) before I started primary school at Standard 1 at Sultanah Asma Primary School in 1965.

2007:
Rumah Banda Hilir was demolished circa 2007. Masjid renovations were extended and covered the original house site and were completed in 2007, which led to a different and more modern masjid, with better ablution facilities and toilets. Both the old and new masjid portions are attached, and share a new ablution pool (kolam), but re-built at a different location. The initial masjid had the kolam adjacent to the main stairs (tangga utama masjid). The renovated new masjid has a kolam, but in front of the old tangga utama masjid, thus blocking the old main staircase.

The house referred to as Rumah Banda Hilir, was built in stages, and was our family's temporary home in Banda Hilir.  The rear house was the oldest part of the house (older than the year 1897). The front portion of the house (bahagian depan Rumah Banda Hilir) was built much later, and was of much sturdier built. This front portion of the house was rebuilt in 1897 by Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail. The house had classical Rumah Bagondang Minangkabau features. The house supported the activities of the masjid and meals were served at the house instead of the masjid. The jemaah masjid (people of the mosque) would come to the house to have meals at the sengkuap portion - a long room in the front part of the house and nearest facing the masjid.

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Qariah Banda Hilir

Datuk Shahbudin passed away and is interred (buried at; dikebumikan di) Tanah Perkuburan Islam, Jalan Panjang 7500 Melaka, Qariah Banda Hilir. The road or place is also referred to Lorong Panjang in Malacca and in Google maps. There is a long lane that leads from the main road to Makam Shahbudin and other graves of Qariah Masjid Banda Hilir, which are at the end of the lane. That is why the graveyard is referred to as Lorong Panjang (long lane) or Jalan Panjang (long road).


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Update 4 June 2016

Tanah Perkuburan Islam, Jalan Panjang 7500 Melaka, Qariah Banda Hilir

Abdul Muin bin Haji Yusuf (Abang Moin)
Contact: +6-013-779-1949
- anak Pak Ji Usop, Imam Masjid Semabok in the 1960s, 1970s till his demise
- anak sulung Mak Lah/Melah/Ramlah be Hj Mohd Yusope bin Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail
- abang kepada Kak Bibah and Kak Salmah


We visited the cemetery at Tanah Perkuburan Islam, Jalan Panjang, Melaka on 4 June 2016. We followed Abang Moin who drove his white MyVi, along with his wife Kak Rosalina (Kak Ros) and their 5-year old son Mohd Nur Hidayat (he sat in the car as he was unwell that day).

The cemetery is some distance from Masjid Banda Hilir. Abang Moin opened the gate for our cars to enter the grounds of the cemetery. We parked near the wakaf (shed) just after the main entrance.

There were many graves here. The front graves were scattered, but were laid down as normal ... all graves were facing Qiblat. There were some graves to the right, within a crumbled square brick wall enclosure (to the left if I stood inside Makam Datuk Shahbudin enclosure). I did not count how many graves there were inside the enclosure and outside the enclosure. I walked around the crumbled brick walls of the enclosure that contained many graves. Abang Moin said they were our relatives. We don't know them individually nor do we have any names of our relatives.

Makam Datuk Shahbudin is in a separate smaller brick wall enclosure against the backdrop of overgrown bamboo trees, at the foot of a hill (hidden by bamboo thickets). His grave and grave post are painted yellow. His grave is quite long, longer than the usual graves we see today. The grave post has a blue metal plate that reads:

Makam Datuk Shahbudin bin Hj Mohd Amin
Pengasas Masjid Annur Bandar Hilir Melaka

Makam Datuk Shahbudin at Tanah Perkuburan Islam, Jalan Panjang, Malacca. Photo from Mahadhir Mohamad (cicit Hj Nordin).
Map of Kubur Jalan Panjang: https://goo.gl/maps/sqKGPFUWkrp

There was another smaller grave within the enclosure of Makam Shahbudin. Whose grave is this? Is it his wife's grave?

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Tanah Perkuburan Masjid Al-Abrar Semabok (Masjid Semabok)

Fatimah, wife of Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail, is interred at Tanah Perkuburan Masjid Semabok, next to her husband, and their son - Mohd Yusope bin Hj Mohd Sharif. These 3 of 4 graves lie to the left of the mimbar at Masjid Semabok. The 4th grave is empty (liang lahad kosong) as it was meant for Nenek Inchek, but she died in Kuala Lumpur and is interred in KL.

The graves here are on a steep hillside. Over the years, the earth of the hillside moved and moved the gravestones. Some low brick walls collapsed in several places.

Hj Mohd Sharif's family members are buried in a brick wall enclosure near a tree. The tree is now overgrown. The roots have knocked down the brick wall, which collapsed onto the grave of Mohd Yusope, covering it altogether. When I visited the graves, I could only see the gravestones of Hj Mohd Sharif and his wife, not of their son. The 4th liang lahad site had no gravestone. Two other graves were nearby - they could be those of Hj Mohd Sharif's 2 unmarried daughters - Quran teacher Mahani (Nenek Ani guru Quran) and Alijah/Khatijah (Nenek Jah). Nenek Jah was said to be the youngest and prettiest of the 4 sisters.


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Who was Datuk Shahbudin bin Hj Mohd Amin?

Abang Moin explained to me that Datuk Shahabudin bin Haji Mohd Amin was the father of Fatimah; Fatimah who married to Ismail; Ismail orang Yaman. No place of origin in Yemen was mentioned.

I mentioned to Abang Moin that Bapak's Syed relative in Singapore informed me of a place named Sayhoun/Sayhoon in the Hadramut region of South Yemen - now the united Republic of Yemen. A Sumatran relative (who spoke Arabic) had returned to Sayhoun, lived there, passed away and is buried there.

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Which Shahbudin?
Which Fatimah?

Who was Fatimah?

Abang Moin mentioned Fatimah. The name Fatimah is confusing as there are many Fatimahs in our clan. Which Fatimah was Abang Moin referring to?

According to my notes from what Bapak narrated to me and from Wasiat Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail, my great-great-grandfather named Ismail married a Malacca lady by the name of Inchek Nyonya bt Shahbudin (not Fatimah bt Shahbudin). Inchek Nyonya was the daughter of Shahbudin, but my Bapak said Makam Shahbudin is in Tengkera. Bapak did not mention kubur Jalan Panjang. So I am confused.

As far as I know, Padma/Patma/Fatema/Fatimah married to Hj Mohd Sharif. Fatimah's surname is not stated in her son's birth certificate. Fatimah's son is Mohd Yusope bin Hj Mohd Sharif. Mohd Yusope's son is Hj Abdul Rashid bin Hj Mohd Yusope. Hj Abdul Rashid is my Bapak.

Hj Mohd Sharif's mother is Inchek Nyonya bte Shahabudin. This significant clergy and imam could be Datuk Shahbudin bin Mohd Amin (asal Cirebon/makam Jalan Panjang).

Bapak mentioned that there is Makam Shahbudin (of an Indin man) at Tengkera. Bapak did not mention the Makam Shahbudin or graves at Jalan Panjang at all.

I will still need the birth & death dates of these people before I can pinpoint which Fatimah and which Shahbudin are meant in my Bapak's lineage and family tree.


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How is Imam Masjid Banda Hilir connected to Wali Songo?

There are 9 clergy men termed as Wali Songo. They were closely related as father-and-son or first degree relatives. They were related to Islamic teaching and learning in Saudi Arabia (Hijaz/Nejad) and this region (Nusantara).

According to Abang Moin, Datuk Shahabudin bin Hj Mohd Amin was from Cirebon in Java (asal Cirebon, Jawa). He was from Kadilangu in Java. He was related to Sunan Gunong Jati, but we don't have the family tree. Our Indonesian counterparts/relatives may have that information. Abang Moin went to Java to search for information about our ascendants and their descendants. However, he did not get much information.

I have written a post in this blog before about Sunan Gunong Jati. Sunan Gunong Jati is his nickname. His full name is Sharif Hidayatullah bin Sharif Abdullah. Here, Sharif is used as a title and name prefix. What does it denote?  A revered person?

Abang Moin also named his son Mohd Nur Hidayat.


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Abang Moin also mentioned Sunan Kalijogo (Demak), but I can't recall the full story. I couldn't hear properly because of street noise and I am hard of hearing. I will need to ask him again.


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Orang Jawa
Of Javanese men

According to Abang Moin, orang Jawa are quiet and do not fool around or joke around. They are serious people. They will pulled out their keris if attacked.


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Datuk Shabudin's keris

Datuk Shahabudin was a man of small frame or body build, neither fat nor thin. He was Javanese and carried his keris on his rear waistline. A keris is a small dagger, a weapon used for self defense in Malay fights or battles. It is a deadly weapon and must not be left lying around unattended by its owner. For goodness sake, don't touch or handle someone else's keris. Don't mess around with any keris. You can take a look at keris at any museum or see them in photographs of Malay weddings.

If anyone attacked a Javanese male, they would pull out their keris from behind over their shoulder and defend themselves. Non Javanese men carry their keris on the front waistline, but with the handle turned inward. That is how to tell a Javanese man from a non-Javanese man. The keris handle is never turned towards the front or facing another person. In royal ceremonies held on palace grounds too, the keris handle is turned inward. Turning the handle forward means that the next move is to kill! Always look at the position of the keris handle and be careful. If the owner turns his keris forward .... run for your life before he pulls out his keris!

Datuk Shahbudin's keris had special powers (karomah). If he waved his keris (layur keris) in front of people, they would fall or pass out (faint).


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Anti-British sentiments

The founding of Malacca by a Sumatran Indian prince Parameswara along Malacca river - Sungai Melaka at Duyong. The Malacca Sultanate was Hindu in the beginning and Islam towards the end. As Parameswara was Hindu, he had no grave since in Hinduism, the corpses are cremated. However, there are many versions of narrations about what was his real name as a Hindu & as a Muslim, who was Parameswara and what happened to Parameswara.

1511:
The Portuguese attacked and ousted the last Sultan of Malacca. They burnt down the Sultan's mosque and palace and built a red laterite brick fort instead - called A Famosa. They lived within the fort and kept out the Malays - the original people who lived harmoniously in ancient Malacca and traded with the world.

1641:
The Dutch fought the Portuguese in Malacca and won. The Dutch ruled Malacca by dividing and setting up ethnic communities, each with its leader/captain/kapitan. The Baba & Nyonya lived in Banda Hilir city centre, at Bukit Cina, along Sg Melaka, at Jonker and at Tengkera. The Indians lived in Kg Hulu, Kg Pali, Limbongan (ancient wharf) and Klebang. The Arabs and Malays lived in another part of Bandar Hilir and towards Ujong Pasir and Umbai towards Muar in the south, in Semabok and nearer Singapore.

1720s:
The Dutch ruled Malacca and allowed other religions to flourish.

Kapitan Cina Shahabudin bin Arom (Haron) came from mainland China and settled in Tengkera. He converted to Islam and built Masjid Kg Hulu in Central Malacca district.

1728:

Shahabudin bin Arom passed away. Shahabudin bin Arom could have met and known Haji Muhammad Salleh (Nakhoda Nan Intan). Haji Muhammad Salleh (Nakhoda Nan Intan) built Masjid Tengkera in Central Malacca district. Nakhoda Nan Intan then travelled/sailed north to Penang.

1734:
Haji Muhammad Salleh (Nakhoda Nan Intan) opened Kg Melayu Batu Uban in Penang. He built Masjid Batu Uban by the sea in 1734. The village is at the foothills by the sea.

Haji Muhammad Salleh passed away and is interred at Makam Haji Muhammad Saleh at Tanah Perkuburan Masjid Jamek Batu Uban, his own masjid.

Haji Muhammad Salleh's comrade and stevedore, Ismail (Nakhoda Kecil), opened his village at Jelutong and cultivated lands at Tanjong Penaga. He was in Penang before the arrival of Captain Francis Light.

1771:
The British first became involved with Malay politics when Great Britain tried to set up trading posts in Penang, formerly a part of Kedah. They first tried Pulau Jerejak, but the island was inhospitable and infested with mosquitoes - banyak nyamuk. Then they tried Pulau Pinang, a bigger island with a deep harbour at the southern tip, near to the mainland of Malay Peninsula.

1779:
Dato Jenaton came much later to Penang compared to Nakhoda Nan Intan, who opened Kg Batu Uban - the first Malay settlement in Penang.

Bukit Jenaton was owned by a warrior cousin, Datuk Jenan/Jenaton/Jannatun, who married a sister of Dato Setia, a loyal follower of Datuk Jenaton. Dato Jenaton and Dato Setia graves lie side by side at a grave plot at Minden Heights, Jalan 1. Minden Heights was re-designed by Dr Hj Che Lah bin Md Joonos, an early Malay Penang doctor (1903-1986).

When the British tried to land in Penang, Nakhoda Kecil and his people welcomed him ashore and provided them shelter. Captain Francis Light occupied a place at the shore front. That initial place expanded and later became a British stronghold.

The place where the British settled was renamed George Town after King George VI of Great Britain. So Tanjong Penaga became George Town when the British East India Company (BEIC) interfered with Pulau Pinang (betel nut island) which was renamed Penang or Pearl of the Orient. But till today, 2016 (after 237 years), the Malay people have always used Tanjong and Pulau Pinang in their conversations. Some use the word Town instead of George Town.

1819:
The British colonised Singapore in 1819 and was in complete control of the state at that time. Singapore was traded off and the last Sultan of Singapore fled to Banda Hilir, Malacca.

Munshi Abdullah was working/teaching in Malacca at the time. Stamford Raffles requested him to work for him in Singapore, which he did. He helped to translate British documents into Malay, which started in Malacca. It was said that even the Bible was given to him by the priests to be translated into Malay at the time. Thus, to the Malays, Munshi Abdullah was considered a traitor.

Even though Munshi Abdullah knew the Brits wanted Singapore island, he only arrived to work for Raffles in Singapore, after Raffles took Singapore for the BEIC. He was not involved with the ploy. Even though he was not present at the takeover of Singapore, the Malays still continued to blame Munshi Abdullah for supposedly assisting Raffles to seize Singapore for the BEIC. To the Malays, that was how Singapore was lost forever. This is of course untrue. Munshi Abdullah knew what the Brits were after, but there was nothing much he could do alone. So the Malays at large labelled Munshi Abdullah as traitor (tali barut) and blamed him partly for the loss of Singapore to the British. He is hardly talked about or studied in Malay Literature. The Malays do not want to hear about this famous Indian Muslim man.

Singapore was again lost, but to the Chinese in 1965, when Tunku Abdul Rahman ceded it to the Chinese and the island became the Republic of Singapore. To the Malays, Tunku had betrayed the Malay people. He was not talked about or studied in Malay Political History. The new generations do not even know him as part of Malaysia's history. The old Malay people do not want to hear of Tunku.

Regardless of the general unhappiness, Munshi Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir could be a relative. (Need to research this topic.)

According to Abang Moin, Sultan Hussain rented a Chinese house behind Rumah Banda Hilir. As far as I know, the houses behind Rumah Banda Hilir and right up to the shore, had belonged to Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail. Why did Sultan Hussain seek refuge in Banda Hilir? Did he know my great-grandfather Hj Mohd Sharif bin Ismail? Then the Sultan left Banda Hilir and rented a shop house at Jonker Street, near Masjid Keling in the city.

1820:
According to Abang Sharif and Abang Moin (second eldest cousin), Ismail came from Yemen. He was a Yemeni. His descendants carry Al Yamani/Alyamani as suffix in the names. His full name is He probably had a dark complexion. Bapak also sometimes used the Alyamani suffix in this full name.

The British colonial masters ruled Malaya, taking over from the Dutch.

The British Administration in Malacca bombed the Portuguese fort, thinking that in doing so, there was no point of the Dutch taking back Malacca. Only the fort entrance facing the Straits of Malacca remained. It is known as Porta de Santiago (port of Santiago).

In Penang, the British feared revenge/counter attacks/resistance/retaliation from the Malays as they lost Malacca to the Dutch and then to the British, and then the BEIC under Captain Francis Light, took on the whole island of Penang by force/cheating the Kedah Sultan/etc, ... and taking everything for Great Britain. The British residents in Penang decided to make a brick fort for their own safety.

The brick fort in Penang, Fort Cornwallis, was built from the ruins of the Portuguese fort (A Famosa) in Malacca. Even canons found in the depth of the Straits of Malacca were transported to the fort in Penang. One gigantic Javanese canon, known as Meriam Rambai, originated from Batavia and had Jawi inscriptions. Meriam Rambai was displayed at the fort when I last visited the British fort.


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Masjid Banda Hilir 1820

Masjid Banda Hilir was built by Datuk Shahbudin bin Mohd Amin (asal Ceribon, Java) in 1820.


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Abnormal powers

Abang Moin narrated that Datuk Shahabudin had abnormal powers. He was locked up by the British Administration at Rumah Pasong (penjara/jel/jail/lockup) in Banda Hilir, Malacca, but he escaped and appeared at the Banda Hilir grounds of his masjid. 

In another unrelated trial to test his powers, he was tied up and dumped into the sea, but he escaped alive.


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Tariqat

In Sufi teachings, tariqat is the path to reach four spiritual stations: sharia, tariqa, haqiqa. The fourth station, marifa, which is considered "unseen", is actually the center of the haqiqa region.

According to Abang Moin, Datuk Shahabudin was a tariqat leader. He taught the Naqshbandiyyah tariqat. This is not surprising as Maheran Ahmad and her family also follow the Naqshbandiyyah tariqat. Maheran Ahmad is the 5th generation of Haji Muhammad Saleh (Nakhoda Nan Intan).

Naqshbandi (Persian: نقشبندی‎‎, Arabic: نقشبندي‎‎ naqshbandī) also written Naqshibandi, an-Naqshbandiyyah, Nakşibendi, or Naksibendi, is a major Sunni spiritual order of Sufism. It traces its spiritual lineage to the Islamic prophet Muhammad SAW, through Abu Bakr, the first Caliph and Prophet Muhammad SAW's companion.


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1942-1945:
Second World War/World War II (WWII)

The British disappeared during the Second World War (WWII) when Japan attacked Malaya. The British colonial masters escaped temporarily to India for safety. After the Japanese surrendered and Japanese soldiers were repatriated, the British returned to re-occupy Malaya. However, the Malays refused to allow the British to re-occupy Malaya and resisted and fought back. Hence, there were many unhappy incidents. 

Masjid Banda Hilir was bombed during WWII. However, only a portion of the front brick fence crumbled. It was rebuilt by the masjid people. It is not known who bombed Masjid Banda Hilir - either the British or Japanese. Access to the WWII records on Malacca may tell us who bombed Malacca.

1945-1948:
The immediate post-war period was a state of lawlessness. There was widespread looting as the people were hungry and food was scarce. Bapak said his granduncle (Hj Mohd Nordin) and himself took a wheel-barrow and went to obtain a few bags of wheat flour (gandum) from the city as they had no food to eat.  

1948-1960:
The communists condemned the British when they returned to re-occupy Malaya (British re-occupation). The Malay people resented the proposed Malayan Union under the Union Jack and wanted to rule their own land. The Emergency Period ensued in Malaya between 1948 and 1960 when the Brits returned and installed a new administration called the Malayan Union.

The person in charge was Sir Henry Gurney. He was shot dead by the communists while on his way to a hill resort. His wife, children and driver escaped unhurt. According to elderly locals, his assassination was planned as he was the main person pushing for the Malayan Union. He was gunned down by Malay soldiers who were against the Malayan Union. None of his killers were ever made known. 

The Rumah Pasong at Ujong Pasir is now the Henry Gurney School for delinquents, named after Sir Henry Gurney. Another small house was the detention centre, also named after him.

Negotiations ensued and Malaya became 'free' of British reign. 

1957:
British Malaya became the Federation of Malaya on 31 August 1957. However, Malaya continued to use the British system for everything - education system, judiciary, hospital, commerce, banking, etc. And that was how many Malay families in early Malaya, copied the British way of life and spoke British English as well as Malay at home. 

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