Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. That I did not have to wait too long for these gems to arrive. It might take a lifetime - to read cover to cover all nine volumes. Bi-iznillah. La hawla wala quwwata illah billah.
For the benefit of our foreign readers, Tafsir Al-Azhar is a tafsir of the Quran written by Professor Dr Hamka (1908 - 1981), a well known Indonesian scholar, philosopher, historian, politician, prolific author and social activist. Hamka or his full name Haji Abdul Malik Karim Abdullah began working on it in 1958 when he started a lecture series on the Quran at Masjid Al-Azhar in Indonesia. This daily morning lectures went on for six years until he was imprisoned in 1964. That's when Hamka officially began compiling his lectures on tafsir Quran into a proper publication. This took place during the entire two-year jail term and continued thereafter.
I felt compelled to buy the Tafsir upon recommendation by Dr Danial Zainal Abidin, a Malaysian medical doctor and dai'e who propagates tadabbur of the Quran instead of mere recital. Tafsir Al-Azhar or Tafsir Hamka is the only tafsir of the Quran written in the Malay language. As said Dr Danial, each Malay household should have a set of this masterpiece by Hamka.
Hmm...better late than never.
My dear mother had an opportunity to attend Hamka's talk in Penang. She said: 'Just once but I remembered how deep and profound the way Hamka wrote and expounded the underlying meanings of Bismillah. How the stroke of 'ba' and each of the letter in Bismillah represents our being, and how it relates to the reality (haqiqah) of Bismillah in our own existence.'
Let us all recite Al-Fatihah for Allahyarham Haji Abdul Malik Karim Abdullah (Hamka) and his forefathers who were all respectable scholars - Almarhum Dr Shaykh Abdul Karim Abdullah (his father), Shaykh Muhammad Amrullah (grandfather), Shaykh Abdullah Shalih (great grandfather) and Tuanku Pariaman Shaykh Abdullah Arif (great great grandfather).