Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pusara Abadi, The Forever Cemetery



A day after "Not Just 'Imam Muda' But Eternal Leader" was published here, my eldest sister called to say my mother wanted to visit Ustaz Taha's graveyard.

Ustaz appeared in my mother's sleep and showed her, his very big white house he is currently in.

Did Ustaz know I mentioned him?
GOD Knows Best.

So on Tuesday, we were at Pusara Abadi, the forever cemetery, at Jalan Bahar in Choa Chu Kang.

On the way there, I was told that the wife of Ustaz Osman Jantan, Ustazah Chik Syed Othman, had just passed away the day before.
Her husband, the late Ustaz Osman Jantan passed away just 2 weeks ago, June 7, at age 74.

I had never used his family's travel service, Hahnemann Travel and Tour, but my father, after his retirement, had several times travel to Mecca with ustaz.
Even my younger brother used Hahnemann's service for His musafir Haj.

I take this opportunity to mention my heartfelt thanks to the late Ustaz Osman Jantan.

His knowledge is blessed and passed on, as I had been using his history book, 'Kisah Khalifah-Khalifah Rasyidin' almost twenty years for my Sunday class. 

I had tried changes to other books, followed the IRK (Islamic Religious Knowledge) syllabus, but found the book by Ustaz Osman Jantan was easily understood by students. 

Not forgetting Ustaz Ahmad Sonhaji Mohamad, who passed away last year, August 12. 
His book, 'Mari Sembahyang', I had been using since small, and used it for the Sunday class too. 

Both men's writings are indeed valuable to the young generation. 

The Prophet Muhammad sollallaahu 'alaihi wasallam taught that 
three things continue to benefit a (believing) person even after death: 

*charity - which he had given (which continues to benefit others), 

*beneficial knowledge - which he had left behind (authored or taught), and 

*supplication (du'a) - on his behalf by a righteous child. 
- Narrated by Sahih Muslim  

****** 

Before we went to Ustaz Taha's place, we visited my father's.

My eldest sister asked Putra, the man who cleaned around my father's area, to plant a basil tree on the grave.

We then proceeded to visit Ustaz Taha.

True enough, his resting place is white all around, with basil tree on it.
I was told even on his wife's grave site, Ustazah Enon, who is at the same block as my father, there is also a basil tree.

We had a hard time locating my younger sister, who passed away on November 2003, 16th Ramadhan.
Her grave is somewhere beside the last year's relocation of those from nearby Pusara Aman.

Since she has more neighbours now, we asked Putra's assistance to help locating her place as we will be there again, GOD willing, tomorrow.

Although at the same block with my sister, we had to miss out Ustaz Syed Abdillah Ahmad AlJufri, who passed away January 4, 2003, as it was almost noon, and we have had more sites to go.

It is Ustaz Syed Abdillah's reminder that I hold on strongly until today, to recite the last two verses of Surah Al-Baqarah, whenever we are unable to finish the Qur'an.  

The Messenger Muhammad (sollallaahu 'alaihi wasallam)
believes in what has been sent down to Him from His LORD, 
and (so do) the believers. 
Each one believes in ALLAH, 
HIS Angels, HIS Books, and HIS Messengers. 
They say, 
"We make no distinction between one another 
of HIS Messengers" 
- and they say, "We hear, and we obey. 
(We seek) 
YOUR Forgiveness, our LORD, and to YOU is the return (of all)." 

ALLAH burdens not a person beyond his scope. 
He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, 
and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. 
"Our LORD! 
Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, 
our LORD! 
Lay not on us a burden like that which YOU did lay on those before us; 
our LORD! 
Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. 
Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. 
Have Mercy on us. 
YOU are our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving people." 
- Al-Qur'an Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 285 - 286

******

Ustaz Syed Abdillah was once asked his daily surah, to which he replied was Surah Al-Faatihah, Aayatul Qursi and Surah Al-Ikhlas all recited seven times every dawn and dusk.

******

Around two years after Ustaz Abdillah's passing away, I was talking to a man who is still working part-time, supervising grave diggers, to share with Me, of his most memorable episode while working at the cemetery plot.

Seeing fleeing corpses just after burial with burnt and tattered clothes is a normal sight to him. 
Some fled with raging red fire burning ferociously behind them.

But there was once, even after several alterations made, the grave was always very much bigger than the normal size.
After more exhausted but failed trials, nothing they can do about what GOD wanted it to be.

They finally left the ample site as it was, as the spacious grave belonged to none other than Ustaz Syed Abdillah Ahmad AlJufri.

Even during the jenazah prayer, 5,000 attendees were at the Sultan Mosque.

Though the great teacher had left us eight years ago, but his teaching "here, about the importance of daily prayer" lives on...

******

While Putra was cleaning my grandmother's site, I asked him to share with me of a site which turned him on.

Yes, it is a site in Block 16, where he usually hear from far, a woman reciting versus from Al-Qur'an.
But he is not too sure in which grave site she really is, although there is luminous light glowing from faraway.

It reminded me of my eldest sister, who was shown a site where a woman, Raja Zubaidah, was buried.

Ayer Gemuruh Cemetery was near Changi, where fishermen in the early 60s and I think the 70s, passed by, on their way to the sea.
It was a usual before dawn hearing of Al-Qur'an recitation from where Raja Zubaidah was buried.
Her body was said to be sleep-like when exhumed.

My eldest brother was at Ayer Gemuruh Cemetery too, when these 'people' were to be relocated around the late 70s or early 80s.
One of the corpses, said to be a rich a woman, had her hair and fingernails entwined her 'body'...

My mother, when she was around 6 or 7 years old, (pre-Japanese occupation, I guess) used to see 'a man sleeping, not dead, in his not covered grave' at Bukit Larangan, Fort Canning Hill.

The 'sleeping man', she claimed, is Sultan Raja Iskandar Shah.
Parameswara? before became a Muslim?.

I had several times went up Fort Canning when I went to the National Library during my schooling days in the 70s, but never did I see 'a sleeping man'.

Even now, several times when weddings took place at Fort Canning Hill, I never missed going to the site.
Maybe one of these days, I'll see 'the sleeping man'?
GOD willing.

******

My eldest sister wanted basil tree to be planted at my grandmother's site.

Why basil? I asked My Mother.
It is because, she said, basil or selasih is not called selasih to Javanese, its selawat.

But basil is also used in funeral rites and planted on graves in many different cultures.
I'll do my own search till then.

******

In the mean time, I am still thinking of Siput binti Dolah.

Despite always being portrayed as a cruel woman, Siput binti Dolah, or Siput Sarawak, mother of the famous Anita Sarawak, must be a very good woman at heart during her living days.

Her grave site is just 3 plots away from Ustaz Taha.
Being a very close neighbour to Ustaz Taha, Allahyarhamah Siput binti Dolah is sure guaranteed Ustaz's syafa'ah, his intercession...

My day will come too, for sure.
But can I choose my closest neighbour?

Al-Faatihah         

18 comments:

mamasita said...

What a beautiful posting..
made me so sad and teary-eyed..
insaf and thanks for the precious reminders..
Thanks Ummie..May Allah SWT Bless us always with loads of iman..Ameen.

Ummie said...

Asking myself what will I leave for the future generation?

HE is what we think out of HIM.
Sure, we will all be accepted by HIM.
Ameen...

mamasita said...

Ummie..I placed your posting on my blog post..I hope it's okay with you.
Thanks Mie.

Ummie said...

Knowledge and information are meant to be shared.
Pass it around.
Thanks...

Ezza said...

terima kasih atas posting ini..lepas ni nak cari pokok basil lah nak plant atas kubur anak saya...

Ummie said...

I used to plant it (atas tanah).
But found out kucing suka duduk bawahnya.
Tak lama, mati.
Can try, see if your cats like it too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Ummie for this posting.

Lots of lessons to pick up from. I used to follow Ustaz Abdillah's classes in the early 90s. May Allah cucuri rahmat atas arwah Ustaz.

I vow to myself to make strong efforts untuk melapangkan masa beribadat kepadaNya.

Thanks again Ummie for this posting.

Rafiah

Ummie said...

I really like it when I went to the cemetery - A very nice & serene spot, away from the hustle & bustle of living.

Thanking My Mother to dream of Ustaz.
At least I know now, where is the very best place in Singapore.

MUMMY CHOP MINT said...

Assalamualaikum Kak Ummie:
thank you to mamasita as well for linking this blog. many lessons learnt. must keep on reminding myself that my time will come soon... so little prepared for my pusara abadi. i wish i could have a plot close to my beloved kekasih.

Ummie said...

Mummy Chop Mint,
Nice name.

I had several times encountered those who welcome Izrail,
the death angel,
& those who shooed him away.

Both are eyeopener experiences.

HE is what we think out of HIM.

Stay focus...
We all can have a plot close to our beloved kekasih.

We can choose to receive or to shower blessings too...

*Just do normal & ordinary everyday things but with 'extraordinary intention' - HE Knows.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Ummie, very interesting post. Always good to learn something from other religion I believe.
Best regards, keep well, Lee.

Ummie said...

Mr Lee,
I learn a lot from your writing too.

Keep well too, Mr Lee.

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