Three Pipers: Lada, Sirih, Kaduk

Black pepper is the quintessential spice of the Spice Route, the ancient trade routes across the Indian Ocean that have brought merchants and travelers to the Nusantara since antiquity. Pepper was once as valuable as gold, and even now, it is the world’s most traded spice. Piper nigrum is well suited to cultivation in Sarawak: pepper… More Three Pipers: Lada, Sirih, Kaduk

Awal Muharram

The first day of the Islamic New Year is a national holiday in Malaysia, but it usually passes unremarked. This year, the State Mosque decided to host a day of activities on the grounds around the mosque. It was grand: there was a marathon, sports competitions, a bazaar, a stage with silat, traditional dance and… More Awal Muharram

Temasek: saints past and present

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani swept through Southeast Asia this summer, traveling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, in the company of renowned nasheed singer Habib Syech Abdul Qodir Assegaf from Solo, Indonesia.  SimplyIslam was organizing a huge public event, and with more than six years having passed since I last sat in his blessed company,… More Temasek: saints past and present

New Facility for Ma’had Tahfiz

At the beginning of this year, my daughter Kak Andak started first grade at a new religious school. It’s a private school operated by the charitable foundation of the State Mosque, specializing in Quran memorization. For the last year and a half, it had been operating in the basement of the State Mosque itself. A… More New Facility for Ma’had Tahfiz

Commercialization of Sacred Space

The masjid is a sacred place, a house of God, and among the ways that sacredness is respected is by refraining from idle talk while inside. Handphones have been a terrible scourge in this regard, with phones ringing, even being answered, in the middle of congregational prayer. No doubt this is why signs have proliferated… More Commercialization of Sacred Space

KakAndak starts school

My fifth child started school this year. She’s going to a different school from her siblings. It is a Ma’had Tahfiz, a school focusing on Quran study, that only started primary school last year. Now they have first and second graders enrolled. They memorize Quran in the morning, and have a normal school day in… More KakAndak starts school

Datuk Haji Abdul Kadir Hassan

By Abu Muhammad of Bahrus Shofah *** English Translation by Bin Gregory Productions *** Datuk Haji Abdul Kadir bin Hassan, may Allah have mercy on him, was born in Kampung Patingan (or Kampung No. 6), Kuching, Sarawak, on the 6th of August, 1928 (28th Safar 1347). His formal education began at SRK (Public School) Merpati… More Datuk Haji Abdul Kadir Hassan