Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'Hidup susah, mati pun susah'

****************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ******************** Reflection ********************* "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ******************** During the school holidays, I spent four days (from Friday 24th May until Monday 27th May) traveling the two East Coast states - Kelantan and Terengganu - as well as southern Pahang and the eastern part of Johor. ****************** The following were the scenes I saw and the conversations I heard while on the journey; the places and dates are not in order of the visit. This is the first story of that travel. ********************* * PENGERANG, Johor: This site is where a few thousand villagers will be displaced by a massive RM60 billion petrochemical project. Residents have been offered alternative housing 15-20 kilometers away, but the resettlement area lacks supporting infrastructure and public amenities. Several rallies against the project had been held, one of them was dubbed 'Himpunan Hijau Lestari Pengerang'. *********************** Pakatan Rakyat has vowed to cancel the project should it win in power but that did not materialize...Putrajaya is still within its reach. Upon reaching Sungai Rengit, I stopped my car at the sea-front and talked to a man behind the wheel of his car parked next to mine. ************************ I tried to strike conversation by asking him what was the fate of a woman activist in the Pengerang issue. I was refering to a vocal local Muslimah raising the Pengerang issue and PAS candidate, Anis Afida Mohd Azli who was contesting in the state seat of N38 Penawar; but the man gave me this answer: ************************ "Yes, Azalina (Othman Said) won comfortably here. She has a house over there (he pointed to the said area). I mean a guest house. She stays there whenever she comes here. She's a hard working person; we would be getting our compensation in between one and three years' time (he was referring to the kampung folks' lands that were taken by the government for the giant project)." *************************** Azalina won the Parliamentary constituency of Pengerang (P157) in the 13th general election (GE13) held on the 5th May, defeating PKR candidate Dayangku Intan and an Independent Mohd Azaman Johari with a whopping majority of 21,713 votes. ************************** And in the state seat of Penawar, Anis was defeated by another 'wanita' (woman) from Umno-BN, Hamimah Mansor with a majority of 12,818 votes. In another state seat (N39 Tanjong Surat), PKR candidate Hasnul Ahmad was defeated by Umno-BN man, Syed Sis Syed A Rahman with a majority of 9,035 votes. ************************ Based to the election results in Pengerang; the people are apparently 'solid behind' BN, perhaps the Pengerang's issue 'was nothing to shout about'. Suspecting the man I was talking to was a staunch Umno-BN supporter, I had no intention to challenge his views. I let him pour out his heart, nodded my head whenever he stressed his points; then I said 'thank you' to him before leaving. **************************** After making my rounds in Pengerang; I stopped at a stall in Kampung Teluk Empang to have lunch. From there I watched a group of people in action in a 'bush' area nearby. *************************** I was told by a helper that workers and people of the kampung were digging up graves and removing the bodies to be buried at a far away site. *********************** After finishing my food, I rushed to the area and was in time to see two men inside a grave lifting up a corpse inside its 'kain kafan' (shroud) which was still intact even though it was dirty with earth and mud. The corpse with the old shroud was then put on a stretcher, wrapped with a new piece of white cloth and carried to a waiting van. ************************* I was told that the villagers and workers had managed to removed a few bodies that morning. As my eyes 'searched' the area which I guessed had more than 100 graves, my nose caught a fragnance like that of perfume. ********************** I was not sure whether that scent was from perfume brought by the villagers or workers and scattered over the area or from perhaps from the corpse itself...mind you, the corpse which I saw was still intact inside it's shroud even though the villagers told me that it was buried about three to four years ago. **************************** The cloth that wrapped the corpse (kain kapan) was in good shape; perhaps the body inside was 'in good condition' and not reduced to skull and skeleton. Perhaps, the body was that of a good soul, 'insya-Allah', (God willing) it would be rewarded with 'jannah' (heaven). ************************* Looking at the corpse being transfered to the van, I could not helped but liken the scene to that of a P Ramlee's movie (if I was not mistaken the title was 'Madu Tiga') where there was a scene of a Chinaman saying "Hidup susah, mati pun susah' (Being alive is difficult, being dead is also difficult). ************************ Yes, not only 'the alive' of Pengerang have to face difficulty resulting from the ambitious projects of certain parties to develop the area but 'the dead' too 'had to suffer'. Thus, somehow there's truth to the famous words from the P Ramlee's movie - 'Hidup susah, mati pun susah!' ************************** Putting aside that famous quotation; on a serious note, while looking at the corpse being brought up from the grave, a sudden awareness (insaf) crept inside my heart. ****************************** Well, to all human beings, one day all of us, I included would be reduced to become corpses wrapped inside our 'kain kafan' and then buried six feet underground. That corpse that I saw was 'actually' me, I could feel the smallness and weakness in me in front of The Mighty Creator Allah SWT. Indeed He is, Allahuakbar, God The Greatest. ************************ All life ends in death. Therefore, let us remember that a certain time is fixed for us when we too will be abandoned to the darkness of our graves. ************************* The day would come when we could no longer talk and boast in this world; we would not able to lift our hands and legs. We would lay motionless on our death beds; we would be buried in our graves, and no one can guarantee that 'our bodies' would not be removed from our 'resting places' just like the corpse that I saw in Kampung Teluk Empang, Pengerang, Johor. ************************ Before we would be resurrected in the Hereafter, in this 'modern time and era of development', we would also being dug up from our graves to be placed elsewhere. ***************************** Note that the world is only a play, Allah SWT says in the Qur'an, 57: 20, "Know that the life of this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and tho seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grevious punishment, and also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but a matter of illusion." ************************* And regarding the reality of the world, Abu Hurairah narrates that once the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him, s.a.w.) said: "Let me show you the reality of this world." I requested him to do that. He took me to a place of refuse outside Madina. There I saw human skulls and bones sunk in filth with dirty rags scattered all around. ************************** Addressing me he said: "These are the human skulls embodied brains filled with greed. These people were like many amongst you who live today. Like all of you they pinned their hopes on things worldly. These skulls are lying without skins and after a few days they will become part of the earth. They struggled hard to eat the spicy dishes only to swallow filth today. The state in which they exist now cannot be tolerably seen by those who have eyes to see. ************************* "The very side of those who enjoyed the fragnance of tasty food makes you hate them. These dirty rags are the worn-outs of the gaudy dresses that made men proud. Now they are at the mercy of winds which move them the way they like. And these are the bones of those animals that carried human beings only to make them feel proud. Anyone can shed a tear or two at the tragic end." Abu Hurairah stated that the tears welled up in his eyes and he wept bitterly. ************************ And to the people of Pengerang; be 'sabar' (patience) because 'hidup susah, mati pun susah'!

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