Friday, 24 August 2012


   The period of the 12th and 15th centuries saw the arrival of Islam and the rise of the great port-city of Melaka on the south-western coast of the Malay peninsula — two major developments that altered the course of Malay history. The Islamic faith arrived on the shores of what are now the states of Kedah, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu, from around the 12th century. The earliest archaeological evidence of Islam from the Malay Peninsula is the Terengganu Inscription Stone dating from the 14th century found in Terengganu state, Malaysia.
   By 15th century, the Melaka Sultanate, whose hegemony reached over much of the western Malay Archipelago, had become the centre of Islamisation in the east. As a Melakan state religion, Islam brought many great transformations into the Melakan society and culture, and it became the primary instrument in the evolution of a common Malay identity. The Melakan era witnessed the close association of Islam with Malay society and how it developed into a definitive marker of Malay identity. Over time, this common Malay cultural idiom came to characterize much of the Malay Archipelago through the Malayisation process. The expansion of Melakan influence through trade and Dawah brought with it together the Classical Malay language, the Islamic faith, and the Malay Muslim culture; the three core values of Kemelayuan ("Malayness").

   Therefore Malays are Muslims and they practice 5 pillars of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) explained this further in a number of his statements reported in the books of Hadith. It is reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim on the authority of Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah said,
“Islam is built upon five pillars:
  1. testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the shahada (Islamic creed)
  2. performing Prayer, daily prayers (salah),
  3. paying the Zakah,  almsgiving (zakāt),
  4. fasting during Ramadan (sawm)
  5. making the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime."
Rules on Fasting Ramadan
Allah made it obligatory upon every Muslim to fast the month of Ramadan.
   The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.[Quran 2:185]
   Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory during the month of Sha'ban in the second year after the immigration. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in hadiths. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness.
Practices during Ramadan
   According to Islam, the sawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied. Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. The Malays practices the following during ramadan:-
  1. The fast (sawm) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also increase restraint, such as abstaining from sexual relations and generally sinful speech and behaviour.
  2. Each day before dawn, they will have a meal that is called Sahur or Suhoor.
  3. During dusk, they will break their fast with a meal that malays called buka puasa or Iftar.
  4. They will also do special nightly prayers called, Taraweeh prayers and usually there will be a "moreh" special suppers at the end of the taraweeh prayers
  5. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.
  6. Increase charity to help those in need
  7. Giving Zakah or almsgiving before end of ramadan
  8. Iktikaf where muslims on the last ten days of Ramadan, will stay up in at night in the mosque to pray and read the quran in order to get Laylat al Qadr.
     This month is special because it is the month in which Allah revealed the Quran as a guidance for the whole of mankind during the night of Laylat al-Qadr or sometimes referred to as "the night of power" or 'the night of decree". Laylat al-Qadr is considered the most holy night of the year. This is the night in which stated in Quran, this night was "better than one thousand months [of proper worship], as stated in Chapter 97:3. Also, generally, Laylat al-Qadr is believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last 10 days of Ramadan, i.e., either the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th.

Photos taken during activities in Ramadhan

Break fast (Buka Puasa) at football field in Kuantan Pahang

Reading the Quran

The Women Pray Solat Taraweeh

Solat Taraweeh with Saudi Imam

Performing Zakah
 Bazaar Ramadhan

   The month of Ramadan does sound like it is a sombre month; it is also a celebration of many things. flippin' for murtabak. Observed by Muslims throughout the world, Ramadan is when Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and indulging in excessive or ill-natured conduct, from dawn to dusk. It teaches one patience, perseverance and reflections of spirituality. The Ramadan month, too, brings with it much flavours. In Malaysia, Ramadan is greeted with a riot of colourful and tasty foods.
   Every state in Malaysia will have several designated places where stalls selling various delicacies and drinks for buka puasa (breaking of fast). These sites are commonly known as Bazaar Ramadan. Spoilt for choice, visitors to the Bazaar will be surprised at the wide variety of foods on offer.

   Usually, stalls open as early as 4 pm, when sellers start bringing in their wares. There are stalls selling fruits, drinks, foods and it will be a hive of activity with sellers arranging their foods, some grilling fish, with the smoke blowing gently in your eyes. Try the specialty porridge, bubur lambuk (mix porridge), kueh jala emas (a form of sweet cake) found mainly in Kelantan, pulut panggang (grilled sticky rice with prawns in coconut mixture), ikan terubuk bakar (grilled fish), oh, and so much more!

  The thirst-quenching ABC (air batu campur or syrupy ice shavings, with nuts, corn etc.), cincau (jellied drink), tasty soya bean drink, cooling sugar cane, are some of the selections of drinks sold at the bazaar. Yummy grilled fish. Sometimes, especially on a hungry stomach! It is difficult to make choices of what to eat and drink for buka puasa. One wants to buy everything. It is such a great temptation with so much wonderful foods!

Pictures of Bazaar Ramadhan


Post a Comment


Popular Posts

Powered by Blogger.

Prayer Time

Hijri Calendar

Blog Archive

Blogger news

This blog is all about Malay stories.