Monday, February 9, 2009

Aci bids farewell...

Sorry for such a long gap after the last post. Have been busy lately. Work is still the same though, but after office hour, I am mostly occupied with few new things. First, I enrolled in an exercise class which runs everyday except on Saturday. Not that I go there every day, but I am ttrryiinngg. Especially when I have not been exercising eversince days? That's like 15 years ago. Then new school year and another boy is in. Farhan is doing ok so far, except that he lost probably 10 pencils, a few erasers and a ruler and a few text books, and a lunch box. And they have their tuition classes - 4 subjects, 4 times a week courtesy of their Tok since she's paying. 2 nights of Quran classes too, plus homework time which sometimes involves late bed time especially if mama is occupied with something else and doesn't check their begs until later and the boys told her that they don't have any when in fact they do! Plus I am working on turning the 2 small plots of land at each side of the porch into a mini garden. mom's helper for so many years is no longer working for us. She's a single mom with a grown up son and her husband has passed away so many years ago. She has been working with us for 20 years, and she decided it's time to say good bye when her son got a job as a teacher. I feel sad a bit since she's been around since I was a kid and she has seen us in so many forms, good and bad. She might move to Penang to be closer with her other relatives. All the best Aci with your new life! We love you!

The only picture I have of Aci - Jan 07

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sharina's wedding

Last Friday, I attended the "akad nikah" ceremony for my 2nd cousin, Sharina at the state mosque. "Akad nikah" is the formal contract of marriage or also commonly known as the marriage solemnization or wedding vows. This marriage contract is an Islamic requirement and that happens when the bridegroom seals the "contract" with either the bride’s father, or an authorised person called "wali" who is either the bride’s male sibling or uncle or very close relative, but nowadays usually the "imam" of the nearby mosque or his authorised deputy.
The wali represents and takes the place of the father of the bride in conducting the akad nikah, and this delegation of duty must first be formally agreed before the akad nikah proceedings.

Mom posing before entering the mosque.

The interior of the mosque.

I love this part with all the pillars.

Pretty in pink. Gifts for the groom to the bride.

Gifts from the bride to the groom.

"Sharina!" - Snap!

The bride is waiting patiently. Women and men usually sit separately.

Notice that everyone is seated on the floor, with witnesses surrounding the groom and the imam.

The groom listening attentively to what the Imam is saying before proceeding with the akad nikah. Before the akad nikah proper, as preliminaries, the imam will try to make the groom comfortable and gives out advice and suggestions on the duties of a good husband and wife. Sometimes, he might test the groom on religious matters by asking him to recite verses of the Al-Quran, or knowledge of the basic pillars of Islam and faith.

Here's the newly wedded couple!

"I'm glad everything went so well" =)

These 2 are pretty shy.

Snapped this view on my way out to the car. Definitely one of my favorite buildings.

View of the mosque from the back gate.

View of the mosque from the side. We're heading to the place where the wedding feast is taking place the next day for hi-tea.
Arriving at the homestay where the wedding feast is to be held the next day. Some far away relatives stay here too.

Usually after the akad, guests will proceed to the bride's house for some food, this time it's hi-tea. Sharina's dad, Uncle Din decided to rent this place for the wedding instead of holding it at his house. I think it's a brilliant idea! Definitely less hassle.

Tea time with the bride and groom.

Dad's teasing Tok Cik coz she hates his moustache and beard.

Hmm Abah...I think Tok Cik's right. You look so much nicer without the beard lah.

Chatting over tea between 2 generations. From left: Tok Cik, Dad, Mom, Tok Cik, and mom's eldest brother, Pak Long.

The homestay where the wedding took place.

Some parents opt to have 'pelamin'. It's where the bride and groom will sit and families and friends will be able to see them close up.

In Malay language, bride and groom are called 'Pengantin'. This is the pengantin's room. It's always been made up pretty and it's been sort of one of the main attractions with the female guests.

For 8 rooms @ RM900/night, I think it's pretty cheap!

Uncle Din, Sharina and hubby, Auntie Jah and me.

Wedding Feast - Nov 29th 2008

This is at the main table. The groom's parents are in green. And mom seems busy with the boys.

The groom with his brother as his best man, and Sharina with her sister, Sarah.

Random pic of guests from the bridegroom's side.

Sharina and hubby. Aren't they sweet?

Pretty goodie basket full of candy bags for kids.

The boys are busy checking out what's inside their candy bags.

Dad's telling Laily how tall she has grown to be. And Imah's (Laily's sister) looking at Pak Chaq, (dad's nickname) probably amused by his antics.

Dad, putting up his goofy face again with my cousin Laily. And no they don't plan to wear the same color =)

Here is a short video of an akad nikah proceeding taking place.

Well, the akad nikah will start with the groom sitting (on a small square mattress to make him comfortable,) facing the imam. They will then hold hands in a handshake manner, and the imam will say the words of the akad nikah to the groom who will then reply.
You will have noticed in the video that after the imam has said the words of marriage to the groom, he will shake the hand of the groom. This acts to signify to the groom to make the reply.
Normally the imam will say something like this:-
"___________ (name of groom), I hereby marry you to ____________ (name of bride) with mas kahwin (dowry) of $ _________ cash".
He will then shake the groom’s hand, and the groom will reply immediately:-
"I accept (or agree) to marry ____________ (name of bride) with mas kahwin of $ _________ cash".
The groom must utter those words in one breath and must be clearly heard by at least two of the main witnesses sitting beside the imam. The imam will then ask both witnesses and others whether the groom’s vows or recital can be accepted. If they agree, then the marriage is solemnized and the wedded ones are now deemed husband and wife.
And the imam then immediately recites prayers (do’a) for a happy and blissful marriage for the wedded ones.
Signing the Official Letters
So, after the akad nikah is accepted and the imam recites prayers for a happy and blissful marriage to the couple, he will then read to the groom the duties of a husband, his rights, the dos and don’ts, and also the duties and rights of the wife.
He will mention in particular the stages in pursuing the Islamic divorce and the consequences of reciting divorce intentions including incidences where it is lawful for the wife to seek divorce.
And after the imam has finished with his advice ( mostly read from prepared text), the groom, acknowledging the advice given, will then sign the formal papers of marriage for official documentation purpose. The Religious Department will, in about two weeks time, deliver him the official marriage certificate.
The groom will then do the Muslim two rakaah "Solah Syukur" (prayer) as gratitude to Allah on the successful proceedings and to seek guidance daily on his new status as a husband.

The groom went to 'salam' (handshake) the relatives and guests before proceeding to exchange rings with the bride.

The formalities of the akad nikah being over, and after his short prayer (solah), the groom now will go to his wife and slip in the marriage ring, in a brief Malay traditional ceremony known as "membatal air sembahyang" or "breaking the solah ablution".
This is essentially a symbol that he now can touch the bride being her lawful husband. In Islam, males are not allowed to touch unrelated females, and vice versa, unless the skin or parts are covered. Now, however, as husband and wife there are no such restrictions or prohibitions.
The ceremony ends with the bride kissing the groom’s hands after the placing of the ring.

Eid-ul Fitr 2008

This post is long overdue. The next Eid which is Eid-ul Adha is coming up on Dec 8th, and only now I am putting up pics of Eid-ul Fitr. The pic above was taken the day before Eid, last day of fasting month. It was raining in the morning and I love rain especially when I drive pass by the padi field on the way to office. The padi has been harvested in September so all one can see at this time around is just water. But it's a good time to catch fresh water fish inside these plots!

People busy buying fresh meat and chickens at last minute. One can find many makeshifts stalls like this one here around the villages and town. They're mushrooming especially towards the end of the fasting season.

I love this candid shot. It's a test shot prior to the real one taken by Najib and plus we're so late for prayer at the mosque.

And hence, this is the only proper Eid family picture for this year. Not so great, plus Nabila is still in New Zealand.

Here's Farhan all smiling.

And Ezzat is happily showing his wallet full of money!

Another test shot. And this is taken at the boys' great grandparents's house at the village. They've passed away so many years ago but dad's sister and brother and his family live here. And one family is missing, another uncle who lives in Kuala Lumpur. Eid is not that fun when the Mukthi's fam are not all together. Otherwise we would have another 10 additional people in the pic!

2008 family picture.

The boys are pretty restless actually. It's probably around 3.30pm and is way past their nap time.

Next stop - Uncle Sharuddin's house. And met my cousin, Nizam with his wife and kids. Actually we visited another uncle, mom's oldest brother - Nizam's father. But I didnt get to take nice pics there. Anyway, Nizam is the one sitting next to Ezzat, and his wife is on the very left. We're all tired by this time, coz it's already late afternoon but it's still fun and plenty of yummy food!

Just hanging out, watching cartoons.

Oh dad, so busy replying text messages wishing Happy Eid.

Here's Uncle Sharuddin, on the left, with his parents - my Tok Ciks, and his wife. Tok Cik - the one in blue is mom's uncle. That makes him 2nd grandfather? I also call his wife Tok Cik. it can get pretty confusing sometimes. So there's a male Tok Cik and the female Tok Cik. Get it?

Aahh the lovely ladies. The 3 younger ones are Auntie Jah's daughters and that makes them my 2nd cousins. The one at the very right in light purple got married 2 days ago. Pictures to come later. Mom, u're closing your eyes!

And here are the gentlemen. From left, my 3rd brother Najmi, 1st cousin Nizam, my 2nd bro - Nasfi and Najib, the eldest son in the fam.

Hmm I think this is taken on 3rd day of Eid. This is my friend Laila and her daughter, Aleesha. And they came all the way from Kuala Lumpur coz Laila's hubby's hometown is in Alor Star.

One happy family.