Monday, January 23, 2017

Wake up, know our identity! (LanH Jr)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
RECENTLY I was in Uzbekistan, visiting historically cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand. Alhamdulillah, our entourage was lucky to have a 'smart and very knowledgeable' local tourist guide.

His knowledge on Uzbekistan history really amazed me. He could recalled every single detail of events without difficulty, as we set foot in front of the many monuments there. 

But unfortunately, his lengthy stories about the Great Emir Timur empire, Ulugbek’s achievements in astronomy, prominent Muslim scholars, the Soviet Union era and even current geopolitical issues in the country sometimes bored many members of the entourage including me as many of us had little or no background about the subjects what's more they were not much of our concern.

One may argue, it was his job as a tourist guide but I doubt in our country, tourist guides would be able to do such thing (at par with historians) with the same passion! 

After visiting miraculous monuments that was still standing after hundreds and some of them thousands of years, that not only undergone wear and tear due to weather, but also through the World War II, I kept thinking about our own Malay heritage.

During the famous era of the Melaka Sultanate from early 1400, Melaka once was known as the most prominent ‘entreport’ in the world with classical Malay language was being used as the ‘lingua franca’ in the region. 

Sadly,the only thing left for us to see from that era is the replica of ‘Istana Kesultanan Melayu Melaka’ (Malacca Sultanate Palace) in Bandar Hilir, Melaka. Perhaps the only thing remaining as our identity is rooted deep in our heart displayed by ‘adab dan tatasusila orang Melayu’ (Malays way of life) that was also becoming alarmingly ‘endangered’.

Actually, many facts hypothesised by historians, especially the Westerners can be questioned nowadays with newer facts and findings. Melaka before the Portuguese colonization was not just a mere sea-side village with a port, but according to recent finding of Kota Melaka map and drawing, it was a huge city walled by bricks and laterite. 

Then, we were told that the Malays using ‘keris’ and ‘tombak’ to fight with the colonials, but recent findings show during those days, our ancestors had firearms and cannon technologies as mention byGodinhoEredia in Asia Portugueza and Manuel de Faria Y Souza in E. Koek, Portuguese History of Malacca. In fact, we have our own names for those various firearms known as  ‘terakul’, ‘pemuras’ and ‘rentaka’

In addition, even most of us do not realized that the most recent archeological findings in this nation was Sungai Batu,Merbok, Kedah, believed dated back to 500 BC. The site was known as Kadahar, Queda, CheahCya or Qalah in ancient times was recognized officially by the expert archeologists as the earliest civilization in the South East Asia.

It was not just mere findings, as the millions of tube was believed as tuyere’ with more than 10 ancient blast furnaces hold secrets of the technologies during those days in iron melting industry. It was considered as a large scale industry and had played an important role as the main exporter of iron in South East Asia during that era.

It actually proves the greatness of Malay civilization which we should be proud of to tell the world. Only by various source readings and researches, one can discover the true greatness of our own origin. I am hopefully that our country would 'produce' smart and very knowledgeable tourist guides just like the Uzbek gentleman I had met.

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