Saturday, November 15, 2014

Health is wealth | So is history


Alhamdulillah. It's good to be writing from Penang. Though I'm missing my routine - the gym.  And the spectacular view from the treadmill. Am here visiting a relative who is ill. It's yet another reminder that health is wealth indeed.

Coincidentally, there was a similar message from my CEO yesterday about the importance of keeping our health in check. And guess what? He is giving each one of us a complimentary Pebble Smartwatch! How cool is that? Must record all these great stuffs, so that 10 years from now my journaling could benefit and/or entertain people who matters. InshaAllah.

Gym with a view

I am planning to visit the maqam of Haji Muhammad Saleh a.k.a Nahkoda Nan Intan who was a royalty from Payakumbuh in Sumatera/Indonesia who opened the first mosque in Batu Uban, Penang in 1734. It's surreal that I am writing from my room and that his maqam is about the same row as my house just 2 km away. I had visited the mosque several times before but without realizing he was the same Muhammad Saleh who built the mosque next to the famous Maqam Habib Noh in Singapore and the beautiful Tengkera mosque in Melaka.

According to a history book, his full name was Maharaja Nan Intan ibni Almarhum Tengku Patih Nan Sebatang. He came to Penang by boat with two other relatives. Nahkoda Bayan's boat arrived in Bayan where the Penang International Airport is. The other brother, Nahkoda Kecil arrived in Jelutong which is about 4 km north from where Nahkoda Nan Intan had arrived in Batu Uban. One of Malaysia' top university - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) - is located adjacent to Batu Uban on the east coast of Penang island where the first Muslim/Malay settlements and port had been established circa 1734, about 50 years earlier than the British Captain Francis Light's discovery of Penang.

I remembered reading the marvelous history book on Penang 'Dari Tanjung Penaga ke Georgetown' by Sohaimi Abdul Aziz. One Professor from USM lent it to me few years ago. Can't rely on sketchy memories so will go hunt the book soon. Perhaps I should heed his suggestion that I write something about Penang's history because he thought my writing would have "velvet touches".

Alhamdulillah for such kind words. I take it as a du'a. I ask for your du'a too, dear friends/readers. May Allah keep inspiring us with good ideas and give us the health and strength to work at it. Ameen.

Wish y'all a great weekend.

- from an island in the sun, Pearl of the Orient

A good article re Batu Uban (in Malay):

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