Pearl of Faith

Malaysian Nasheed - Raihan

Raihan’s first and most successful album [tooltip text=”Praise” trigger=”hover”]Puji-pujian[/tooltip] released in 1997. It could have been a phenomenon all by itself, but in fact it appeared simultaneously with two other amazing albums of original Malaysian nasheed, [tooltip text=”Divine Light” trigger=”hover”]Cahaya Ilahi[/tooltip] by Hijjaz and a self-titled album by Rabbani. Together the three albums transformed Malaysian pop music, becoming the top-sellingest local records before or since.  The music industry rushed to create a category for them just to give them a music award, and proceeded to produce increasingly plastic imitation bands in their wake.  It is hard to believe nearly 20 years have passed. The Malaysian nasyid moment appears to be gone; the most popular religious music artist in Malaysia now is Maher Zain, a foreigner.  As their international presence has faded, websites that once existed just to translate the lyrics of Hijaz, Raihan and Rabbani have vanished from the internet. Bin Gregory Productions is left to fill the gap.

[two_first]Pearl of Faith
Iman Mutiara

[two_first]Faith is a pearl
In the hearts of humanity
Who of Allah have certainty 
Most Holy, Most Powerful
Iman adalah mutiara
Di dalam hati manusia
Yang menyakini Allah
Maha Esa Maha Kuasa

How can you, without faith
Feel your servanthood to Him
How can you, without faith 
Become a righteous servant of the Lord
Tanpamu iman bagaimanalah
Merasa diri hamba padaNya
Tanpamu iman bagimanalah
Menjadi hamba Allah yang bertaqwa

Faith cannot be inherited
From a righteous father
It cannot be bought or sold
Nor found washed upon the shore
Iman tak dapat diwarisi
Dari seorang ayah yang bertaqwa
Ia tak dapat dijual beli
Ia tiada di tepian pantai

By any means whatsoever
Though you may climb the highest mountain
Though you may cross an ocean of fire
Still it cannot be possessed

If you do not return unto the Lord (x 5)
Walau apapun caranya jua
Engkau mendaki gunung yang tinggi
Engkau merentas lautan api
Namun tak dapat jua dimiliki

Jika tidak kembali pada Allah (x 5)



[divider type=”thin”]

Original Malay Lyrics found at Lirik Lagu

English Translation (c) Bin Gregory Productions

Raihan’s Sesungguhnya, in English

Malaysian Nasheed - Raihan

A translation of the classic nasheed Sesungguhnya by Raihan into English.

In truth this heart longs for You
In truth this being longs for You
Yet I cannot understand
Why love still has not appeared
Yet I cannot understand
Why longing has not yet blossomed
Sebenarnya hati ini cinta kepada Mu
Sebenarnya diri ini rindu kepada Mu
Tapi aku tidak mengerti
Mengapa cinta masih tak hadir
Tapi aku tidak mengerti
Mengapa rindu belum berbunga

Verily though I may gather
Every jewel from the ocean floor
Verily though I may pour
Rainwater from Your seven heavens
Yet love will not appear
Yet longing will not blossom
Sesungguhnya walau ku kutip
Semua permata di dasar lautan
Sesungguhnya walau ku siram
Dengan air hujan dari tujuh langit Mu
Namun cinta takkan hadir
Namun rindu takkan berbunga

I try to offer
A gift to You
But maybe because it’s contents
Are imperfect, it fails to shine
Ku cuba menghulurkan
Sebuah hadiah kepada Mu
Tapi mungkin kerana isinya
Tidak sempurna tiada seri

I try to water it
That it may grow and blossom
But maybe because the water
Is not as fresh as the fount of Kauthar
Ku cuba menyiramnya
Agar tumbuh dan berbunga
Tapi mungkin kerana airnya
Tidak sesegar telaga kauthar

Verily though I may gather
Every jewel from the ocean floor
Verily though I may pour
Rainwater from Your seven heavens
Yet love will not appear
Yet longing will not blossom
If not for hope of Your mercy
If not craving for sympathy
From You, O Allah

Sesungguhnya walau ku kutip
Semua permata di dasar lautan
Sesungguhnya walau ku siram
Dengan air hujan dari tujuh langit Mu
Namun cinta tak kan hadir
Namun rindu tak akan berbunga
Jika tidak mengharap rahmat Mu
Jika tidak menagih simpati
Pada Mu ya Allah

Lord bestow upon me Your love
Lord grant me longing for You
That I may know
My gratitude belongs only to You
Tuhan hadiahkanlah kasih Mu kepadaku
Tuhan kurniakanlah rinduku kepada Mu
Moga ku tahu
Syukur ku hanyalah milik Mu

[divider type=”thin”]

Hard to believe it has been nearly 18 years since this first came out.  It is merely old now, but in another ten years it will be a classic. In the meantime I preserve it here.

Original Malay lyrics sourced from, compiled by Mastura AR

Inggeris translation mine.

You can get used to anything

Pic by Orihara San

The hazy weather Kuching had the last few days made me think of an old song from my childhood. It’s by Fred Small, and it goes like this:


Fred Small, 1976

Found on Home-Style Stone Soup: The Streetwax Recording Collective

When I was a kid takin’ biology,
I learned about man’s adaptability,
So don’t worry about reapin’ the seed’s we’ve sown.
When the goin’ gets tough, the tough get goin’!
That’s why we’ve got nothin’ to fear.
That’s why we’ll live a zillion years,
‘Cause we can get used to anything!


You can get used to anything–
A sunny day with no birds to sing!
Nitty-gritty in the city makes your eyes sting!
Ozone depletion and Burger King!
A little poison in the food on your plate,
A little cancer when you’re fifty-eight
You can get used to anything!

The factory was billowin’ smoke.
Every mornin’ I’d wake up and start to choke.
My lawyer said, “Wow! This smacks of tort!
Leave it to me. We’ll take the bastards to court!”
The judge said, “Look at the investment they’ve made!
They’re not hurtin’ you much compared to what they’ve paid,
And you can get used to anything!”

Way down South in New Orleans,
You know the drinking water ain’t too clean.
The mayor, he says, “It’s perfectly fine!
If it weren’t, would I give it to children of mine?
Who cares what it does to a couple of rats?
We gotta wait till we all get the facts!
And we can get used to anything!

CHORUS: (…when you’re forty-eight…)

In the year two-thousand and eighty-four
You get a square foot of land apiece and nothin’ more.
Sometimes it seems a little tight,
But the TV’ll tell you it’s all right!
Clean concrete where dirty grass once grew!
No more trees to block your view!
And you can get used to anything!

CHORUS: (…when you’re thirty-eight…)

I use to eat bacon but it went to my brain.
Used to take deep breaths, but now they cause me pain.
Used to buy what I needed, not what’s advertised.
Used to cross the street and not be traumatized!
Used to buy fresh fruit at the corner store.
Used to go to bed without lockin’ my door,
But you can get used to anything!

CHORUS: (…when you’re twenty-eight…)


dally in the Alley poster-1991
Dally in the Alley 1991 poster, featuring the Don’t Look Now Jug Band (and the Detroit Incinerator)


You Can Get Used to Anything was performed by Eden Winter and the Motown hillbillies of the Don’t Look Now Jug Band, with another verse inspired by the Detroit Incinerator.  Here it is:

Way up north in old Motown,
The air has turned a funky brown,
Now the finished that monster with the big tall stack,
Everybody’s really gotta cough and hack,
Some say recycling’s the way to go,
They say Burn it! It’s cheaper don’t ya know,
And you can get used to anything.

[divider type=”thin”]

I remember singing the lyrics with a big brown van full of grade-schoolers hurtling around the metro Detroit area with the Huchingsons at the wheel sometime in the early 80’s.  I couldn’t believe there was only one website on the entire WWW that knew this song, and (with the greatest respect) that site looked ancient and in danger of disappearing.  So I have reproduced the lyrics in full.  Thanks to Mudcat and contributor harpgirl for keeping it alive!