21 Years Ago, Today…

8 Jun
Sheikh Mohammad bin Sheikh Mahmud

Sheikh Mohammad bin Sheikh Mahmud

The Day When My Father Dies…

there is a day to be born and a day to die…

Chinese Proverb

.

i.

It was on a Thursday, Isyak prayer time, the exact day, exact time he told my sister Malai Nafeah, six months earlier. Everybody was by his ‘death-bed’ at RIPAS hospital except for his eldest sister, Malai Marhani, who was at the the time in Kuala Lumpur and his two younger brothers; Sheikh Azahari & Sheikh Salleh, both of whom were  living in exile,  given political asylum by Indonesia and the latter, Malaysia.

Earlier that day, my dad fall to his come at around 3.45 am. I was lucky for having insomnia since 1978 – thus making it possible to look after him in the hospital when all my other siblings were (maybe) sounds asleep in their homes. I was with my mom, and being accompanied by four Gurkha warders.

His last word to me was, “Mansor, jaga adi beradi mu…” (Mansor, look after your siblings…) and then he turn to my mom and said, “Dik Mon, kalau kan kawin lagi, cari lelaki yang beriman..” (Sis Mon – short for Maimon, if  you want to re-marry, find a pious man…). He couldn’t finish his sentence as by that time my mom lovingly puts her index finger to his lips. They both smiles at each other, both saying nothing more, only smiles – and I can tell you this, that was the sweetest loving smiles I have ever seen…

Shortly after that, my dad says (apparently to me), “Ayah kan tidur ni. Jangan dikacau…” (Dad  going to sleep. Don’t disturb…). I nodded.

Dad started to recite Quranic verce (Surah Ad-Dhuha), repeating it again and again until he falls asleep while I keep watch and my mom sitting by his bedside, holding his hand. He sleeps until about 16 hours later, Isyak prayer time,  Thursday, 9th. June, 1988 – the day he said he will die, at the  age of 63. We were all there, by his death bed.

I never shed a tear that day. I was happy that he died. My dad has proven himself correct, that no one is a able to keep in the detention centre forever. One day he will be out, he said. Yes, he was finally a free man …

ii.

From his detention cell, every time we visited him, my dad has always reminded us of giving full pledge loyalty to our beloved Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah. A reminder which puzzled me to date. He also reminded us never to go against the Sultan. As a political detainee, detained by HM’s government, my dad could have said otherwise. I think he is fully entitled to it. But he never did.

(But I am sure of one thing now – my dad is waiting to see face to face those responsible ‘bastards’ who took him away from us, to face Allah, God The Almighty. Good luck to you Pehin-Pehin, Dato-Dato…)

Al-Fatihah…

In life beware of the law court; in death beware of hell

Chinese Proverb

Kalau Boleh Kuundurkan Waktu

(Buat ayah yang tumpas di Pusat Tahanan,  serta anak-cucu yang pasrah ditinggalkan…)

.

Malam itu kulihat ibuku

Tenang sekali mencuci kamar mandi

Subuh sudah semakin hampir menyapa

Sedang aku cuma berbaring mendakap ayah.

.

Janji Azali tepat dan pasti:

Seminit tak berkurang…

Seminit tak bertambah…

Seminit yang gundah…

.

Dia yang kudakap mesra

Terdiam cuma, tanpa suara…

.

Dia yang kudakap hiba

Terdiam cuma, tanpa suara…

.

Dia yang kudakap rindu

Tanpa suara, tanpa emosi

Mengundang seribu damai di hati

Dan sejuta syukur:

Ayah akhirnya bebas kini…

.

Jerjak-jerjak besi pemisah

14 Raya tak mencium tangan Ayah…!

.

Di ruangan sepi, tenang dan muram

Sedap terdengar suara membaca surah

Abang, kakak dan adik yang pasrah

Serta harum setanggi memenuhi suasana

Mengimbau kenangan pada kata-kata terakhirnya

Di subuh hening itu

Berteman ibu tua yang setia menunggu:

“Jaga adik beradikmu, nak…”

Singkat wasiatnya sebelum koma

Diiringi surah Ad-Duha yang tak lepas di bibirnya

Sedang mereka tentu sekali gundah tidurnya

Dan di kejauhan bilal bilang “Assalatu khairuum minan nauum…”

Tilam empuk namun tak tertinggalkan lagi.

.

Sesungguhnya…

Kalau boleh kuundurkan waktu

Akan kukejutkan semua kamu

Biar turut mendengar wasiat Ayah

Jangan cuma aku…

.

Dan tambah Ayah lagi:

“Jangan adakan majlis doa arwah

Aku tak izin orang baca Quran di pusara…”

.

Dan aku tersenyum pada sebuah kematian

Pahit memang, namun ia telah dijanjikan

Pesan Ayah supaya tidak ada tangisan

Perginya menghadap Tuhan, Allahu rabbi

Perjalanan ke sebuah kehidupan abadi…

Janji Azali…

Yang memang dinanti…

.

Namun…

Kalau boleh kuundurkan waktu

Tak akan kurelakan ibu tua mencuci kamar mandi itu

Biarpun Ayah pasti mengerti

Keinginan isteri mithali mengabdi hingga ke mati

Cinta kasih pada suami yang tidak berbelah bagi

Biar 14 tahun bertemankan sepi

Malam terakhir Ayah menghuni dunia

Senyumannya berbunga, menghadapi Tuhannya…

.

Dan di dalam liang lahad itu:

Sudah pasti ada bidadari menunggu

Bidadari itu, pasti ibu tua, ibuku…

.

.

Telanai, 8 Mac 2001

.

To be continued in:

The Day They Took My Father Away

One Response to “21 Years Ago, Today…”

  1. sheikh zulkamal b. sheikh salleh 26/01/2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Salam , these is a really good blog and i love the way you comnunicate through these🙂

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