zaharuddin.net - "Pulangkan wang sumbangan kerana hasil judi?"

You all must have read the recent "issue" that has been played up by the media, well actually certain political parties about returning donation funds that has been "tainted" by "haraam" sources. The amusing thing is that even by using just common sense that is already obsurd but when you start looking into the "nas" and "dalil"s on this matter it is clear that they need not return the donation money. It just shows:

1) How low certain political parties can go to play up religious issues to gain political mileage

2) How uninformed and unlearned alot of muslims in Malaysia are...

The article below give a very comprehensive explanation to this matter:

zaharuddin.net - "Pulangkan wang sumbangan kerana hasil judi?"

Tindakan penerima wang bantuan kerajaan Pulau Pinang memulangkan kembali wang tersebut boleh dinilai dari dua sudut iaitu sudut politik dan sudut agama atau hukum. Saya tidak berhasrat menyentuh isu terbabit dari sudut politik kerana ia bukan bidang saya.

Cuma jika, tindakan tersebut jika dijadikan ikutan, nanti kita akan dapat melihat kebanyakan orang miskin di Malaysia memulangkan wang bantuan yang diberikan oleh kerajaan negeri, kerajaan pusat dan syarikat.

Ini kerana sebahagian pendapatan kerajaan negeri dan pusat juga adalah dari sumber haram seperti cukai pusat judi, pelaburan haram, riba, pusat hiburan, rumah urut ‘pelacuran' dan sebagainya. Justeru bantuan mungkin sahaja diambil dari wang haram tersebut.


DARI SUDUT HUKUM

Jika dilihat dari sudut hukum, tindakan warga emas tersebut adalah SALAH lagi terkeliru dengan cakap-cakap orang yang tiada memahami hukum Islam. Ini kerana dari sudut hukum, faqir dan miskin HARUS menerima sebarang sumbangan yang diberikan oleh pihak kerajaan negeri, walaupun diketahui kerajaan negeri mempunyai sumber wang yang HARAM.

Fakta berikut perlu difahami:

1.  Wang kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang (dan lain-lain tentunya) adalah bercampur.

Para ulama telah membahaskan persoalan penerimaan sumbangan, derma atau menikmati juadah makanan dari individu yang mempunyai pendapatan bercampur antara halal dan haram. Majoriti ulama telah sepakat bahawa selagi mana harta si pemberi itu bercampur selagi itulah kita orang biasa boleh menerima hadiah, sumbangan, derma, menikmati makanan yang disediakan mereka.

Hal yang sama terpakai untuk sesebuah syarikat dan kerajaan, selagi sumber perolehan mereka bercampur, selagi itu HARUS untuk kita menerima gaji atau upah atau apa jua dari kantung mereka, selagi tugas dan cara kita memperolehinya adalah betul. Itu adalah hukum untuk orang biasa, maka jika penerima itu adalah warga yang memerlukan seperti faqir dan miskin, ia sudah tentu jauh lebih jelas KEHARUSANNYA.

Malah terdapat dalil yang jelas berkenaan keharusan terbabit. Kes yang sama terpakai untuk kerajaan pusat yang menerima sumber pendapatan dari sumber judi, riba, arak, babi, rumah urut pelacuran dan sebagainya. Selain itu, juga turut menerima sumber halal seperti hasil minyak, jualan komoditi dan sebagainya.

2.   Wang itu sendiri tidak najis atau haram pada zatnya.

Wang dan harta hanya dikira haram atau halal pada cara mendapatkannya dan membelanjankannya, ia dinamakan haram dari sudut hukmi bukan ‘hissi'. Ia tidak berpindah dari seorang kepada yang lain. Ia bukan seperti najis yag berpindah apabila disentuh oleh seeorang.

3.  Bagaimana jika benar-benar sumbangan dari terus dari kantung wang judi, riba dan rasuah?

Jika keadaan itu berlaku, ia masih lagi HARUS DITERIMA oleh faqir, miskin dan digunakan untuk maslahat umum seperti sumbangan warga emas, pembinaan jalan raya, pembersihan dan sebagainya. Itu adalah ijtihad majoriti mazhab silam dan ulama kontemporari.

Termasuklah, Majlis Fiqh Antarabangsa OIC, Majlis Fatwa Eropah, Majma Buhuth Mesir[1], Al-Lajnah Al-Daimah, Arab Saudi[2] dan ribuan ulama perseorangan seperti Imam Al-Ghazali, Imam An-Nawawi, Syeikh Al-Qaradawi , Syeikh Az-Zarqa[3], Syeikh Faisal Al-Maulawi dan ramai lagi.

Derma bagi wang haram tidak mampu dipulangkan semula kepada tuannya ini hendaklah disedeqahkan kepada orang faqir miskin telah difatwakan harus oleh majoriti mazhab utama Islam (Hasyiah Ibn ‘Abidin, 6/443; Fatawa Ibn Rusyd, 1/632; Al-Qawaid, Ibn Rejab, hlm 225)


PANDANGAN ULAMA MAZHAB

Ulama hanafi menyebut :-
والملك الخبيث سبيله التصدق به, ولو صرف في حاجة نفسه جاز . ثم إن كان غنيا تصدق بمثله
Ertinya : Pemilikan kotor (haram) jalan keluarnya adalah disedeqahkannya, malah jika pemilik itu seorang faqir, ia bleh mengambil untuk dirinya sendiri, kemudian, jika selepas itu dia menjadi kaya, hendaklah dia mendermakan wang haram (yang pernah diambilnya sewaktu miskin dahulu) [Al-Ikhtiyar Li Ta'lil al-Mukhtar, 3/61]

Ulama mazhab Maliki seperti Al-Qarafi dan Ad-Dawudi menjelaskan wang haram tidak hanya terhad untuk diberikan kepada faqir dan miskin sahaja tetapi juga apa-apa pembangunan dan kegunaan yang memberi manfaat kepada umum menurut budi bicara dan penilaian pemerintah adil. Jelasnya, mazhab maliki juga setuju faqir, miskin malah warga emas yang memerlukan boleh menerima wang sedemikian tanpa masalah. (rujuk Al-Dzakhirah, 5/69)

Ulama Mazhab Syafie, Imam An-Nawawi menukilkan kata-kata Imam al-Ghazali yang berkata:
وإذا دفعه - أي المال الحرام- إلى الفقير لا يكون حراماً على الفقير , بل يكون حلالا طيبا
Ertinya : Sekiranya wang haram itu diberikan kepada faqir miskin, ia tidaklah haram ke atas faqir (dan miskin), bahkan ia adalah halal lagi baik untuk mereka. (Al-Majmu' , 9/428)

Imam A-Ghazzali juga menjawab keraguan beberapa ulama lain :-
وقول القائل: لا نرضى لغيرنا ما لا نرضاه لأنفسنا فهو كذلك ولكنه علينا حرام لاستغنائنا عنه وللفقير حلال إذا حلّه دليل الشرع وإذا اقتضت المصلحة التحليل وجب التحليل
Ertinya: Menjawab kata-kata orang yang berkata : "Kita tidak sepatutnya redha untuk diberikan kepada orang lain sesuatu yang kita tidak redha untuk kita".  Memang benar sebegitu, namun dalam kes wang haram yag dimiliki, ia haram ke atas diri kita (pemilik) untuk menggunakannya, namun ia bagi faqir, miskin adalah halal, kerana telah ada dalil syara' yang menghalalkannya dan di ketika wujud kebaikan dari pemberian tersebut (kepada penerima), maka wajiblah diberikan. (Ihya Ulumiddin, 2/212)

Syeikh al-Qaradawi ketika membicara hal pengagihan wang haram berkata :
إذن ما دام هو ليس مالكا له, جاز له أخذه والتصدق به على الفقراء والمساكين أو يتبرع به لمشروع خيري
Ertinya: Oleh itu, selagi wang haram (yang dimiliki seseorang itu tidak diiktiraf oleh syaraa' sebagai miliknya), harus bagi pemegang itu untuk ambilnya dan disedeqahkan kepada faqir miskin atau didermakan kepada projek-projek kebaikan (untuk maslahat umum). [Fatawa Mu'asiroh, 1/606]


RINGKASAN DALIL

Terdapat banyak sekali dalil yang dijadikan sandaran oleh majoriti ulama, terdiri dari hadis-athar, qiyas dan logik aqal. Antara hujjah yang dipegang bagi mengharuskan ‘derma' wang haram yang tidak diketahui tuannya, cukup sekadar memaklumkan beberapa secara ringkas:-

1. Sayyidina Abu Bakar as-Siddiq r.a pernah bertaruh (di awal Islam) dengan seorang Musyrik (yang mencabar ketepatan Al-Quran dari surah Ar-Rum ayat pertama dan kedua yang mengisyaratkan kejatuhan Rom) iaitu kerajaan Rom akan tewas. Kemudian apabila Rom benar-benar jatuh, Sayyidina Abu Bakar dikira sebagai pemenang dan telah memperolehi harta pertaruhan itu (ianya haram kerana judi dan tujuan Abu Bakar hanyalah untuk membuktikan kebenaran al-Quran).

Apabila Sayyidina Abu Bakar datang kepada Rasulullah s.a.w menceritakan perihal harta perolehan pertaruhan itu, Rasulullah bersabda :
هذا سحت فتصدق به
Ertinya : "Ini kotor, sedeqahkan ia" (At-Tirmizi . 16/22 ; At-Tirmizi : Sohih)

Selepas peristiwa ini, barulah turun perintah pengharaman judi secara sepenuhnya sekalipun dengan orang kafir. (Tafsir At-Tabari, 20/16) Kisah ini dengan jelas menunjukkan Nabi tidak mengarahkannya dikembalikan kepada si Kafir, tetapi disedeqahkan untuk tujuan umum dan kebaikan ramai.

2. Selain itu, hujjah utama para ulama dalam hal mendermakan wang haram seperti wang rasuah yang dibawakan oleh Ibn Lutaibah, Nabi meletakkan wang ini di baitul mal dan diagihkan kemudiannya kepada faqir miskin dan kepentingan awam.[4]

3. Terdapat juga athar dari Ibn Mas'ud yang diriwayatkan oleh Al-Bayhaqi 6/188 dan banyak lagi.


KESIMPULAN
  • Warga emas, faqir dan miskin di pulau pinang dan mana-mana negeri dan Negara lain, DIHARUSKAN untuk menerima sumbangan dari mana-mana kerajaan negeri, syarikat dan individu selagi mana harta mereka bercampur antara wang halal dan haram.
  • Sebaiknya penyumbang tidak kira kerajaan, syarikat dan sepertinya; tidak mendedahkan sumber pemerolahan harta yang disumbang agar tidak mengelirukan penerima sebagaimana kes yang berlaku ini
  • Mereka juga HARUS untuk menerima wang sumbangan dari penyumbang tadi, walaupun jelas ia adalah dari hasil yang haram seperti judi lumba kuda rasuah, riba dan sebagainya. Tiada kotor pada wang yang diterima oleh mereka, kerana mereka adalah penerima yang diiktiraf oleh syara'. Manakala dosa hasil dari pemerolehan wang itu hanya ditanggung oleh pelaku dosa dan ia tidak merebak kepada penerima dari kalangan faqir miskin dan yang memerlukan.
  • Jika dilihat dari sudut hukum dan agama, warga yang menerima sumbangan terbabit TIDAK PERLU SAMA SEKALI memulangkan semula wang yang diterima.
  • Namun jika dilihat dari strategi politik pihak tertentu, tindakan tersebut di luar fokus artikel ini.

Sekian
Zaharuddin Abd Rahman
www.zaharuddin.net
30 Sept 2010

The business of occupation

A series that deeply moved me. Gives us an insight to the reality of occupation. When talking about Palestine most of us think of people throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and them shooting tear gas and rubber bullets. That however does not happen every day, but that always makes it on the news. The reality however is the reality of occupation: restriction on almost everything you do. The reality is that the 4 million or so Arabs in the west bank live normal day to day lives just like us but as them being the occupied, their every single aspect of life is somehow or another effected by Israeli "interference".... Watch the documentaries below for a clearer picture.

Nablus: The Business of Occupation



Witness - Nablus Restricted



Witness - Nablus Workers 


An F1 mess developing in Malaysia

I just read from Paul tan that Proton had revoked all rights to use the Lotus brand name in F1 and are pulling all sponsorship from the 1 Malaysia Lotus team. I have a feeling that the real Lotus team is coming back to F1... Looks like a storm is brewing in Malaysia... lets see how things unfold shall we...

An F1 mess developing in Malaysia

We are hearing that the Lotus-ART announcement last night is not merely about GP2 and GP3 and seems to be a precursor to a battle over the rights to use the Lotus name in Formula 1. From what we are hearing, Group Lotus, which is owned by the Malaysian government-controlled Proton car company, has embarked on three legal actions to stop Tony Fernandes from using the Lotus name next year. The Group applied for various trademarks relating to Lotus Racing earlier this year. The group is also believed to have withdrawn permission to allow Fernandes to use the Lotus name and is claiming that David Hunt, the owner of Team Lotus Ventures Ltd, had no right to sell the rights and logos to the Team Lotus name. The apparent aim of all this is to grab the Lotus name and to enter F1 with a Lotus-branded team, run by ART.

The bad news is that all of this is not on very solid legal ground. The Lotus company dates back to 1952 when Colin Chapman established the first Lotus company, called Lotus Engineering. Team Lotus, which ran cars in competition, became a separate entity two years later, while Lotus Engineering developed into Group Lotus in 1958, when the company began to build production road cars.
After Colin Chapman’s death in 1982 the Lotus companies were re-organized and Group Lotus was re-financed with capital from British Car Auctions, Toyota and various other parties. In January 1986 General Motors bought out most of the Group shareholders and, by the end of the year, had acquired a 91% stake in the road car business. This firm would later be sold on to Italian businessman Romano Artioli before Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) bought control in 1996.
While all this was going on Team Lotus was a separate entity, controlled by the Chapman Family. In 1975 the racing operations were transferred to a firm called Team Lotus International Ltd and a trademark application was made in 1988 for a “Team Lotus”, including the celebrated CABC logo. At the end of 1990 two former Lotus employees, Peter Wright and Peter Collins, took control of the F1 team, with a company called Team Lotus Limited, with the rights to the name and logo being assigned to this new organisation. Four years later this latter operation went into administration and a firm called Paintglossy Limited (later renamed Team Lotus Ventures Limited) bought the rights to the name and logo from the administrator. The “Team Lotus” trademark process was completed in January 1995, specifically in relation to Formula 1 racing.

Group Lotus challenged this decision in the courts in 1998 – after the Proton takeover – and lost. Thus Group Lotus has no real legal claim on Team Lotus, based on the decisions made up to now. There is no reason to suppose that a new legal action will be any more successful than previous ones. It seems that Tony Fernandes has now acquired the rights and logos from Team Lotus Ventures Ltd and so, in theory, has the right to call his organisation Team Lotus. The Chapman Family seems to be in agreement with this situation – which is a point of some importance.

Fernandes is very well-connected in Malaysia. For the last nine years he has run Air Asia, which was established in 1993 by the Malaysian government’s DRB-Hicom. This fell quickly into debt and in 2001 the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad sold it to Fernandes for one ringgit. He then pulled off an amazing revival.

Proton is a loss-making state-owned automobile company. Its ownership of Lotus has made little difference. The Proton board decided in September 2009 to hire Dany Bahar as the firm’s new chief executive. He was employed at Ferrari at the time and brought in a number of Ferrari people as he set about revamping the firm, trying to turn it into a Malaysian version of Ferrari (albeit based in England). All of this probably explains why there have been conflicting reports in recent days regarding the Lotus engine supply next year. Team Lotus is believed to have a deal with Renault, but Group Lotus and ART seem to be keen to use the old Toyota F1 base and equipment. The price tag on this is about $30 million a year and the deal is for two years. Toyota provides Lotus with road car engines and so Bahar is obviously trying to stitch together the various elements of the deal to Ferrari-fy Lotus. There is currently no F1 entry for Lotus ART, which will require further investment.

The bottom line of all this is that there is probably going to be a power struggle in Malaysia to see whether Proton’s masters support Bahar or Fernandes. It is a case of my politician is stronger than your politician. Bahar is guy with ideas, but Fernandes has had solid and impressive results in the past and he seems to hold most of the cards with regard to the Team Lotus name. He also has an F1 entry, which is more than can be said for Bahar (at least as far as we know).

Let the craziness begin

My dearest younger brother is getting married next weekend. Obviously the main preparations have more or less been done. Thing is, the devil is in the details. Anyways, The sequence of official events kick off tomorrow after Zohr prayers. We have a realative who is kinda turning out to be like the "pegawai adat istiadat istana". He seems to know all these little protocolly things and all the customs and the like. So, he suggested last week that we should do a "Doa selamat" which I thought was a good idea. Why didn't I think of that?! A lot of couples are too obsessed with their wedding preparations when the wedding is just a tiny part of the thing called Marriage. Though we as siblings/parents/relatives/friends can not make a loved one's marriage a happy one, the least we can do is to pray for things to go smoothly, for the wedding and for the marriage. Anyways, so we're having a doa selamat at our house... that means alot of people will be at the house. That is not something very common in my house hold. Even most of my friends have not been to my house before. When there r many people we expect quite a number of people are gonna be using the restroom on the bottom floor. The restroom that is connected to MY room! Jap, why am I using the word restroom?! That is so American! Ok, OMG, I need to do something with that bathroom! It is not what you call in a presentable condition. So, after going to the Pasar Tani this morning, I stopped by the hardware shop to get the things I need to spruce up the bathroom.

So, the project is simple. I need to change the plumbing for the wash basin and also change the bathroom mirror which has recently lost an edge but was still usable by my standards hehehe... but obviously my standards were quite low, until my mum snapped me back into reality. This is how the plumbing looked like:


When we had the bathroom renovated eons ago the contractor did a shabby job with the plumbing. Apparently he joined two different sized pipes together and the joins had become distorted. This resulted in an ill fitting join and the basin is not 100% water tight - kira sedikit bocor lah ya tuan2 dan puan...

This plumbing thing is not as easy as I thought. After a quick surf on the internet to check out video guides on how to do PVC pipe joins and the like I set off on a "Mario Bros" adventure! Sadly I hit an early snag when the  pipes of the set I bought after the pasar tani were too big! When I brought the sample to the hardware shop the uncle said everything is standard. Lesson 1 for today: NEVER believe what the hardware shop man says without further investigating any other possibilities. When I went back I told him the pipes were too big. The he said oh, there are two sizes!! Oohhhh... tadi taknak ckp!semua standard size..
This time I brought the whole original set and made sure everything was the same size. Upon checking I realised that the standard main pipe was too short. No wonder the contractor had to join two pipes together! Because of  the mishap in the morning, the shop guy gave me that piece of piping i needed to extend the main pipe free of charge... ala.. the pipe wouldn't have cost much if I had to buy it pun but I appreciated the gesture. Que the A-Team music (Original one okay... tak mainlah the new modern one) So, with pen knife and saw in hand, I set off fashioning myself some custom tubing (ceh, sounds like American chopper pulak...)

 Measuring, cutting, de-burring, and glueing - btw, I intend to vacuum the carpet later okay...


After a couple of hours, making sure the glue had fully cured I put everything back together I tested it and no leaks!! RESULT! but I realised that the new pipe looks somewhat dirty. So I whipped out the old aerosol can, masked everything else with newspaper and spray painted the main pipe and here's the result:Pretty chuffed with the result.

 Boleh jadi plumber tak?

Hehehe... ok.. next project: Bathroom mirror.

I checked at Ace hardware and also checked Ikea... all very the expensive lah... Ace had an oval bathroom mirror for RM60 plus which was ok but I dun like oval2 ni. Ikea had the size and shape I wanted but was too expensive and to go to Ikea on a weekend is never a good idea, what more on a Syawal weekend where cars will be out in force that'll make me feel like I'm stuck in a cockroach infested sewer...

So, I asked the local painting frame and window shop and he said that he can cut me a mirror to the size I wanted for RM8 per square feet. Cool! At first I wanted to get a bigger mirror than the current size but after thinking that larger mirrors break easier I settled for a mirror the same size as the current one. That only set me back RM18! I was well chuffed, though the mirror isn't as thick as the other ones on sale at the other outlets but it's ok... a mirror is a mirror, is a mirror. =p the guy said he could cut it for me now but I said takper, I'll collect it after lunch time (2pm) so I could do other things meanwhile. Having a stray mirror in the house is risky business...

Now... how do I mount this mirror? The old mountings were different. So, again, Mr internet on Unifi was my savior. I looked up mirror mountings and discovered that the easiest form of bathroom mirror mounting was the clip type. Looked simple enuf  on the webpage. So I set off mirror clip hunting. Alot of hardware shops didn't have it. Quite specialised item I guess. I finally found some very nice clips but were RM4.90 each for something so small. And I needed 4! but they were nice lah... stainless steel. By then I was already so malas to keep on looking so I asked the guy if he could give me a better price. I got RM4 for them each. oklah... Lesson number 2: Never pay sticker price at a hardware shop. Okay, I haggle at any chance I get but at hardware shops never pay sticker price ok. So I got them and another item that was another project which I outsourced to my brother. Too simple but tedious for me.. hehehe eksyen! well, I only have 2 hands!

At the shop I already anticipated a problem with the clips. You see the bathroom is only half tiled, and half of the mirror is on the tiled side, the other is on the wall. The tiled part is about 2cm thicker than the wall. So now i needed a spacer... do they even sell spacers? When I got home I assessed the situation.

 
See... there's gap between the tilled area and the non-tiled area.
I remembered that I had bought a rubber doorstop before this and ended up not using it. I got it out and measured it and low and behold! it was 2cm thick! Perfect! I love it when things fall into place beautifully. The only problem is that its in that horrid dirty red colour. No problem, I had that white aerosol can at hand. Cool, so a few moments later I had white spacers! =) blended right in with the white walls. Well, they will be white later when I will be out sourcing the painting job to my other brother... hehehe
 My doorstop spacer modification

Drilling the wall to mount the clips was erm, "fun". I was too lazy to get out the corded drill - that would've required extention cables etc... all for two holes? Malaslah... so I used the cordless drill which was quite a bit less powerful and didn't have hammer action to drill thru masonry. But I thought it was ok since it was just two holes. I could re use two of the existing holes. I tell you man, I spoke too soon. drilling through a wall with a cordless drill is plain agony. Takes like a lifetime for what would've taken a corded drill with hammer action a few seconds! Oklah, that's the price for convenience I guess...

Ok, so having put everything together here's how the end product looks like:



Oklah... you guys must have already gone to sleep reading this DIY blog. More work and stories tomorrow...have a great weekend everyone!

Pasar Tani lagi

Another Pasar Tani entry. It's not that I don't got to the Pasar Tani that often such that every visit is an occasion, no. It's just that while I was lining up at the butchers, I heard a kid say, in an American accent "Is that the heart! It's so big!". She was referring to the cow hearts on display at the buther's stall. I looked across and saw this little American girl with a camera taking pics. I thought to myself, what's this mat salleh doing here? The father was wearing an ISKL T-shirt so i guess the dad's a teacher. The wife was with the maid who seem like she's switched role to a tourist guide explaining what all the things were, how they are used in cooking etc... A sort of culinary adventure of sorts. Interesting. Walking over to the Chicken stall I noticed another Caucasian woman. Wow, my pasar tani is quite international! hehehe...

I've always thought markets, in any country is the best way to get a snapshot of that country's culture. At the pasar tani, almost everyone spoke Bahasa Malaysia during transactions. Much like during the times of the Malay kingdoms where the lingua franca was The Malay Language which developed through trade. At the markets you can also see what the average household would consume. The types of fish, fruits, vegetables, cooked food at the stalls among others. Very interesting if you were a tourist. I remember having the same feeling whilst walking through the Kota Kinabalu market a few months ago when I climbed mount Kinabalu. I discovered some of the local delicacies, fruits and fish I've never seen before! You can tell that the Sabahans are a fish eating people with fish stalls vastly out numbering meet stalls and the price of the fish were so cheap! =)

When I was in the markets in Spain and Morocco you get a totally different experience. The markets is spain had alot of nuts of all sorts, anchovies, pasta, fish, cheese and erm... pigs in all sorts of forms...The markets of Marrakech had alot of Orange stalls, dried figs and apricots, carpets and souvenirs. It seems that sigs are a thing both Spaniards and Morroccans share a love for. 

 A typical market stall in Barcelona

A typical sook alley in Marrakech

 Anyways, macam mana boleh sampai ke Morocco ni? Okay... I wanted to talk about my pasar tani run today. Just to share my typical routine whenever I visit the pasar tani. Mum says I should go early but on weekends I try to extend the unconscious period but alas, if I go too late all the good stuff is gone. Today I went at about 8.30am which was a bit late actually. The first stall I would go to is the butcher's as the good stuff sirloin meat (Batang pinang) would be sold out if I come too late. This time I managed to get 1kg which should last my family for a week. At the butchers I'd usually get some ribs too. The bones are usually used to add flavour to beef soup. Going through the parts and getting the fingers all oily you tend to realise why this stuff can kill you. The meat is far from lean...

Next up would usually be the chicken stall. That finishes quite quickly too. Lately I've been contemplating buying the Kampung chicken rather than the usual "manufactured" chicken. The latter is only a few months old prior to being slaughtered. They grow so fast with the help of growth hormones which some say has a negative impact on our health. The Kampung chicken are probably equivalent to the organic chicken you get in the west i guess.. for now I just got the normal chicken... 

While waiting for the chicken to be cut to size, I went to the fish monger next door. I usually get 2 or 3 types of fish depending if they have ray fish or not. I's usually get some squid or prawns as well. Hehehe.. only now did I remember to snap some photos... rasa mcm tourist pulak!


Then I proceeded to get some veggies....



Then I remembered about that Baju Melayu post where I went to the pasar ramadhan with my baju melayu. I was looking for some apam balik, which to my disappointment, no one sold it there. I knew the pasar tani had it so the next stop was the apam balik stall!

 I asked for an extra crispy crust

 The guy also sold figs, which reminded me of both Barcelona and Marakech

After collecting the apam balik I was on the way to get some eggs when I came across my favourite jeruk... the preserved prunes (black one on the right) is my favourite!

A few stalls down the row I saw this:


I just had to stop and stock up on some kerepek! My favourite breakfast substitute at the office! After feeling happy with myself with the restocking of my office food store, I totally forgot about the eggs and immediately proceeded to the onion stall... on the way there I passed by this traditional arts and crafts stall. Interesting but by now I was itching to go home. After I got the onions I headed straight to the car.
 
 Didn't really get a chance to stop by

All in all I like going to the pasar tani. The only problem I have is getting up early... Everyone should at least visit your local pasar tani or pasar malam from time to time. It's a good lesson in Malaysian culture and you get to know how the food you normally take for granted actually looks like.

On the way back I dropped by my usual Nasi Lemak stall to get the usual saturday morning nasi lemak fix... Start the day on a high!

 Not to fond of the exposed side dishes display. I'm always weary of flies..



My latest project

An original post time! I've been away for too long... I hear the son "Return of the Mack" at the back of my head right now for some reason...=S

Anyways, I'd just like to share with you guys the thing that's been keeping my occupied at any hint of free time I have. I've started on this latest canvas project I hope to finish by next week. This is the biggest project I've done thus far with the canvas measuring 36 inches by 36 inches. I started this last weekend. It's the first time I've used the book I bought from the Book Depository and like a true kiasu, flipped to the last page and wanted to do the hardest design they had in the book! hehehe...

I've modified the Qarawiyyin Mosque design... sorry Ms Fatima Fihriyya frm the 9th Century...

Check it out - Level 3 - Difficult!
 
So this is how the design is supposed to look like:



But the problem with this design is that my canvas is square. So I had to improvise. The other problem was that I couldn't figure out how to use my compass to work with large surfaces. I kinda know I can extend it's reach somehow but at that time it eluded me and I just couldn't be arsed. I just used some thread and tied it to my pen on one side and a needle on the other. It was a flawed method... the circle was jagged. Only after my design was completed did I fiddle with the compass and managed to extend it's reach! Darn! Well at least next time I'm doing another design I'd know... So here's a few pics taken during some of the stages of design:

 (left) my 18 inch ruler for you to get a feel of the size of the project. Check out the wonky circle! (right)

The completed construction lines (left). I then inked in the design proper using my Prismacolor marker.. later one I will discover that the lines are awfully stubborn and requires several layers of paint to cover them. I hafta rethink this method for next time. 

After extending the construction lines to the edge of the square I managed to figure out a design to extend the geometric design to fill up the square. The result is as above, in design stage and below after painting.


(left) the designed coloured in. The marker lines can still be seen! Looks like a few more layers of paint is on order... (right) Masking tape is the key to straight lines. This however takes a lot of patience and perseverance. took 2 working day evenings to complete the lines.

The completed Geometric art is as below:


It still needs some touching up though. Well, this is only the first half of the art work. Next up is a square Kufi design to wrap around the geometric pattern. I have a few dua's in mind but finding a good dua' that can fit within the design is gonna be tricky. I'll leave that for another post. Good night guys.

That Okay song

Sorry guys, I've been really tied up with wedding preparation stuff and my latest Khat project. I'll blog about that project soon. For now please enjoy this song from the guys at that Effing show. It's pretty catchy. It's called that Okay Song. I think Malaysians would be able to appreciate better, but heck it's a lesson in Malaysian-ness... enjoy:


Unwanted visitor...


I know it's the Raya period but sometimes we do get unwanted visitors....The scene above is not a sight one would want to see when you get back at 12am from a 9 hour journey after spending the festive weekend with relatives. Yes my avid readers, my house was amongst the 4 houses in my housing row that got broken into by burglars. We actually got the news earlier in the morning from a neighbour. He told us he saw our refuse door open on both sides - a sign that someone had been inside the house. On first inspection the front of the house did not show any signs of forced entry but upon further inspection, he found that the windows at the back of the house were wide open... Damn... That's MY ROOM's window!

Okay, so we would have to wait a whole day before we could access the damange. It didn't help that traffic was quite slow moving on the way back from Kelantan. We we planning to come back on the day we got the bad news so at least we didn't have to change any of our plans because of this.

So, we arrived at home at about 12am. We left my grandparent's place at about 4 pm. It usually takes only 6-7 hours but that day traffic was surprisingly heavier than usual. We were pretty sure the front of the house was quite well protected. We parked all our cars very close together with my sister's car parked close, parallel to the sliding door so there was no space for anybody to do any "work" there. All other cars were parked closely together.

When u have a big family you have alot of cars that u need to park securely for the long holidays...
 
Anyways, they came in thru my window. My room is an extension of the original building and apparently upon inspection of the point of entry the security grille was installed in an unprofessional and insecure manner. It was screwed on to the aluminium window frame. A good installer should've bolted the grille into anchors driven into the wall itself. Oh my... what an overlook that was! So my advice to you guys is to check the manner that your grille was installed. Some contractors take the easy way to things like this. Security is not something you'd want to take lightly...

So, after a brief inspection of the mess we gathered that the only valuable item lost was my dad's work laptop. It was his newest laptop, which meant in a silver lining sort of thing, that the laptop did not contain much important information which is what is more important than the laptop itself. For this, my advice would be to always back up your data on your laptop and keep it SEPARATELY from the laptop bag. There were 3 other laptops in the house but apparently they only took that one laptop, probably because its the newest. The burglars were probably after only cash and jewellery judging by the mess they left behind going thru the wardrobes and drawers. Of course they found nothing as we do not keep cash in the house and my mum takes all her jewellery with her whenever we are away from the house for more than a day.

Ironically, the took my hair clipper set, the Remington ones I bought when I was a poor student and used to cut my own hair! oh well, the blades were getting blunt anyways. The also took my Unifi cordless phone but didn't take the base! Not very smart were they? My little brother's piggy bank with small change was also stolen. The funniest thing lost was my youngest brother's school bag! The burglars actually removed the school books inside the bag and just took the bag. Very random but I think they must've used that to carry the stolen goods.

Most scary of all was the kitchen knife found on my parent's bed. they must have taken it just in case they found a maid or anyone in the house... which makes me feel rather alarmed that these people would've been quite violent if we were infact in the house at the time of the break in.. imagine them coming in through my window when I was sleeping! The noise would've woken me and ehem... I have a few weapons in my room at my disposal if the need arises.

So dad went to file a police report and the inspector finally came at about 2 ish and investigated the crime scene. An assistant was there to dust certain items for finger prints. None was found. They must've worn gloves. The Inspector was quite friendly and we had a pleasant time assisting his investigation. He did tell us some juicy stuff about what the police do to get their suspects and stuff like that. I shall not share that info here though. I kinda feel sorry for the understaffed police force. The do not have enough man power to frequently round the housing estates under their jurisdiction. We need the government to increase the police force numbers and we can not attain developed nation status if crime is a rampant problem... He told us that the best  thing is to have a private security company protect our neighbourhood. We tried that but people didn't all cooperate and pay the monthly fees.

The policeman left at about 3am, and I felt then, exactly how I feel now: Sleepy...

Good night all. 

1st day


Selamat Hari Raya! That's our obligatory 1st raya family photo. This year was the first time the Eid prayers was held at the local surau at the housing area. Saves us alot of time by having to go to the blue Shah Alam mosque. Traffic is bad in the mosque itself plus the many factory buses ferrying the many migrant workers doesn't help. So, it was a short walk to the surau for the Eid prayers after which we had our grandma's famous Lontong. After that it was a non-stop succession of visiting relatives around Shah Alam till Jumaat prayers. We had Jumaat prayers at the Shah Alam mosque as traffic was significantly better by then. I got to pray quite up front and could get a glimpse of the Sultan of Selangor. He looks quite down to earth to me in his green baju melayu. Could've stayed in line to shake his hand as he went out - there was already a bee line of people along his red carpet but I just didn't see the reason to do so. Anyways, after prayers there was one more round of relatives visiting. My brother is getting married in 3 weeks time so all the invitation cards to relatives had to be distributed by hand during this Raya period.



Lastly, we went to pay respect to our late grandfather's grave. It's almost 10 years now since he passed away. 30th December year 2000. I still remember getting the news on the 4th day of Syawal, we were all in  Kelantan. My parents took the first flight out to Shah Alam whilst we drove our grand parents from the Kelantan side immediately to Shah Alam. It was night time and I remember how sleepy I was driving the car - even after loaded up on Livita, coffee and other stimulants. Alhamdulillah, we arrived safe. It was a sad atmosphere, as you would imagine. I had never seen my mother and uncle cry before this. That was enough to make my eyes go all watery. I just cannot take it when other people cry... hehehe..

 
Anyways, we cleaned up the grave and bought some some stone chips to scatter on the grave in the hope that it'll slow down any weed infestation. We said our prayers and read verses from the Quran to be donated to the deceased. Muslims believe that only the prayers of the children will be accepted by God so I hope that that includes grandchildren...



So, that was the day in a nut shell. I'll leave you with an Eid song by Sami Yusoff. Heading off to Kelantan now. Enjoy.
 

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri



It's the last day of Ramadhan. It feels kind of sad that this month full of peace and blessings is about to leave us. Like most other special occasions, how much the month of Ramadhan means to you is actual a function of how much you make an effort to make it special. To me, I had significantly changed my daily routine to allow me to do more to make Ramadhan special. Ramadhan is a training ground for muslims to train self restraint and discipline; and to strengthen our bond with the almighty creator.

This year's Ramadhan for me has been better than most of my previous ones. Spiritually I have managed to fully complete reading of The Quran, although just in arabic, It is a start. I've also managed to not miss any communal Tarawih or night prayers. Only one or two days did I miss the communal prayers and have to do it on my own. I also managed to do more Qiams, or waking at night for prayers than last year. The charity done during this month has also increased probably due to the increased avenue to to so. On a personal side of things, I managed to connect, via breaking of fast events with a few people I do not usually hang out with. I gained alot i guess. The thing I think i lost the most other than the 3kgs in weight i guess is sleep. But sleep can be regained after Ramadhan...

Anyways, can't be long now. Busy preparing for tomorrow. So here's wishing all my muslim readers, "Eid Mubarak" or "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri". Please forgive me if anything I have written here has offended anyone or has made anyone uneasy. It has never been intentional. So, final say to everyone: Happy holidays! See you guys after the holidays!

Someone is back...


Judging by the items above, you can guess that my friend who entered Asa's biggest loser is out! When she was out, she lost 19kgs all together, in 6 weeks! Pretty good I must say and you can really see the difference. Too bad I can't post any pics as the competition is still running and the show hasn't aired on TV yet. To achieve this kind of weight loss, contestants work out 6 hours a day and observe a strict reduced calorie diet. I think by doing that, anybody can lose alot of weight if they have the mental will to stick to the diet and discipline to work out those long hours. I guess for me, what's more important that weight loss is increased health and fitness and most of the time that comes with reduced weight. Anyways, the new season airs on the Hallmark Channel on the 21st  of this month so don't miss it! It'll be a reminder for those who are over indulging during these Hari Raya open houses... hehehe..;) Stay healthy guys.    

Road tax expired!

It's that time of the year when you suddenly realise that your car road tax is about to expire! Not that I wasn't afore reminded of its pending expiry. A few weeks ago I got a reminder from my insurance company to renew my car insurance with them but the reminder came to early... next time I think they should remind me one or two weeks before it expires... So, I only realised that my road tax was about to expire tomorrow last evening after coming back from work. I usually just call up my insurance company and they will automatically renew it for me, then I'll go to the post office to get my road tax done. Last year I discovered myeg.com. This made renewing the road tax that much easier but this year, I found the motortakaful.com website and now I can renew my car insurance online too! Wickid! I'm no longer bound by office hours to do all this car insurance/road tax malarkey, eventhough it is just once a year...One other benefit is the extra 10% discount on insurance you one can get when renewing their insurance through the motortakaful website. I already get 55%  No Claims Discount (NCD) on my insurance so another 10% is always welcome! Here's how the motortakaful website looks like:

 
After ALOT of forms filled in, you will be asked to select a payment method. I chose credit card as I always try to maximise my credit card points at any given chance. Plus spending with a credit card means that you can spread the cost over two months, this month and the next month. there are many other payment methods including Maybank2u among others.

Once the payment is ok, they will email u a receipt and the e-cover note. Now you can renew you road tax. If you choose to renew your road tax via myeg, the last page with the payment confirmation will have a link to myeg. clicking this link will take you direct to the myeg page with all the insurance details pre-entered. All you have to do is check the detail, select a pick up/delivery method, if it is to be delivered then they will ask for you to enter your address. the online charges are an extra RM2plus ringgit and the delivery costs RM6. The extra cost is easily borne by the extra 10% saving from the insurance plus you benefit from not having to even leave your room to get these things done. So, I happily paid and the final screen said that I should call them if i didn't receive my road tax within 2 working days. Fair enough, today is not a working day so i thought that one day driving without a valid road tax is ok...i guess.


To my surprise, this afternoon I received a call from a guy from myeg saying that he'll be delivering my road tax in 30 minutes and he asked whether I'll be at home. "Yes I will be!" I told him. Sure enough, at arounf 4.20pm today I received my new road tax, less than 24 hours after completing the transaction on the myeg website! Malaysia is not usually this efficient! Not that I'm complaining ofcourse. Anyways, so guys, I would highly recommend renewing your insurance and road tax online. It is both stress free, you burn less fossil fuel and you do not clog the streets of KL... well worth it. Two thumbs up from me! =)

The myeg delivery envelope

The new road tax is green!

Baju Melayu

I like wearing my baju Melayu. I think I have 3 or 4 pairs that I can still wear, the oldest I still have was the one I had from what I was in form 5 of secondary school some 12 odd years ago. I havn't grown much and I don't wear them often so they last a long time. That's also why I haven't bought a new one since god knows when. I occasionally just buy a new sampin every now and again to make each raya a little different.

Aidilfitri 2002 at Leeds with the same baju Melayu I wore today but with a different sampin

It's funny how foreign people see our traditional costume. I used to be proud of my baju Melayu and every Eid when I was a student at Leeds Uni I would wear the complete baju melayu for Eid prayers and go straight to my lectures after that, in my baju Melayu. ofcourse I had a jacket on as a walked through Hyde Park from the Grand Mosque to my department but everyone could see my brightly embroidered/woven Songket sampin. I must admit that I did get the occasional stare and second look from passer bys, but one would expect that being in a foreign country. My friends would be like "love the little skirt you wear with your outfit".... hehehe... yeah, it does look like a skirt come to think of it. Well, It's a nice skirt. Hey, superman wears his underwear on the outside so wearing a skirt over your trousers isn't so bad in comparison huh? ;) The songkok never really attracted much attention I guess because it's black and it's just head gear. When I spent my raya of 2006 in Tokyo I also went to the embassy for prayers in my full baju Melayu and later went visiting Malaysian "open houses" on the Tokyo trains and subways in he same attire. I was never ashamed to wear my national dress in front of non Malaysians...

 Eid 2006 at the Malaysian embassy Tokyo

So, today we had our annual dekoraya competition at the office. As usual, each department had to decorate their office with a specific theme, sometimes of our choice but sometimes it is given. This year, the theme was MerdekaRaya... Anyways, I will not talk about the competition now - I haven't got any good photos to put up with the post so we'll wait till someone posts some pics on Facebook, after which I pounce upon their album and steal some photo to be put here! hehehe

Obviously since the whole department was decorated with both merdeka and raya themes, the people would also have to be "in the right attire" to compliment the raya setting. I as usual wore my complete baju melayu. The red one above but with a different sampin. I just wore it from home and unlike most people, those were the ONLY clothes I brought to work today. Others came in normal work attire and changed into and out off their baju melayu after the event. Obviously, this is Malaysia so I didn't get any stares or anything.

Eid 2006 in Tsukuba, Japan - Helping the Malaysian students raise money by selling traditional Malaysian kuih muih at the Tsukuba Uni "Gakuensai".
 
But AFTER work, I decided to go to the Taman Melawati Ramadhan Bazaar. It is supposed to be one of the biggest Ramadhan bazaars in KL with choiced of food galore. I was walking around looking for Apam Balik which I couldn't find, -disappointed- =(. How come a Bazaar Ramadhan of this size not have any apam balik!? Anyways, while walking around I couldn't help but notice that quite a few people were looking at me and a couple of ppl gave me second looks. At one point I heard a female voice saying "Siap dengan sampin tu... macam nak pergi kahwin..." which translates to "Complete with sampin.... like he's going to get married..."

Yes my faithful readers, this incident has reinforced the fact that the full baju melayu has now been relegated to official and religious events only. Eventhough civil servants wear the full baju melayu to office on Fridays (today is a Friday) the sight of someone wearing a full baju melayu still provokes gossip and second looks. It is no longer common place for Malays to wear baju melayu under normal everyday circumstances. It has now turned into a ceremonial costume reserved for official functions and religious activities. That's a shame as it is a very nice, and unique attire to be wearing. It's a shame also that someone wearing a full baju melayu in public gets people talking like that. I think we should be encouraged to wear our traditional costumes to ensure their continuity and ubiquitousness in Malaysian society, Just like how you can see women wearing their traditional dress taking the train in downtown Tokyo. We can make a change...  

The History of Kufi script

Since someone requested this on my blog and it happens to tickle my curiosity, I did a google search on the history of Kufic script, the script that the Original Quran was scribed in before the advent of Nasakh script currently used in today's Quran. Enjoy the read below, followed by a longer article on the Islamic history to the origins of the Kufic script. That is more academic so before you read, please be warned. it might get a little boring... hehehe... enjoy...

Kufic Script

Kufic script is derived from "Hijazi Script", whose origin may in order be traced to "Hirian", "Nebtian" or "Anbarian".

Old Kufic (Arabic Kufic)

Available petrography and existing documents, which belong to 7th century AD, indicate that in different kinds of irregular arabesque writing, Naskh and Kufic scripts, have been carelessly used and no rule or method was officially proposed to follow. The object has been only restricted to recording of written materials and their concepts, without paying attention to the elegance and artistic issues, which would have enriched those handwritings.


Such samples could be found in some available inscriptions on stone and in a few documents as well. But, when calligraphy was employed in the service of Islam for writing Koran, it entirely got changed and gradually paced in the path of perfection from viewpoint and aspect of art and elegance.

Iranian Kufic (Piramouz)

Its first style of Islamic period writing, in which the manifestation of art, delicacy and beauty are explicitly evident, is that of Kufic Script. As, it was developed in the city of Kufa, it is called "Kufic". 

During the first three centuries of Islamic period (7th-9th century AD), Koran was practically written and recorded with Kufic script, while calligraphers of every zone used to use their personal style and taste in this sort of handwriting. The nibs of their pens might have been different from one another, or the tendency of vertical ribs of the letters towards left and right sides, together with some other invented differences exerted in the chosen letters, might have been characterized the style and place of writing. Thus, various ways of inscribing letters, like those of Kufic, Madani, Basri, Shami (Syrian) and Maqrebi scripts came into existence.

 
Qaznavid Kufic

In spite of all these differences, so long as using of Kufic script, uses particularly restricted to Arabian peninsula, no significant changes appeared in the original forms of this handwriting. In fact, Kufic script could be known as the first and earliest calligraphy, used in writing many copies of Koran, which are still found here and there.

Sounds and Points (Erab and Ejam):
The early Kufic script did not have any signs to display the correct pronunciation of words. Even word's dots were not used on or under the letters. But, in the course of time, signs for pronouncing vowels gradually appeared. Abdul-Asvad Doeli (1310 AD) has been known as the first scribe, who used such signs.


 
Andalusia Kufic

In the available copies, written in Kufic script, cinnabar-red circles are more or less contiguous to Arabic letters, to show proper sounds of the desired pronunciation. Dots and points (Ejam) could also be seen.


Signs, for eloquent resting of Koran, later appeared on the basis of Choice and Convention of readers or scribes. With the advents of "ibn Mogla" (950 AD) and "ibn Bavvab" (1034 AD), Kufic script was no more used by Arab calligraphers and was relaced by "Thulth", "Reihan", "Mahaggag" and "Naskh".
 
Qouri Kufic

Thence, Arab scribes only used Kufic script in writing the rubrics of Koran's texts and margins, which were mostly as decorative designs consisting of ceruse or gold work traces done on azure background.

In non-Arabian Muslim areas, the use of Kufic script was not practically restricted to this aspect or dimension. In the course of time, it got evolution and was used in inscribing many epigraphs and writing books in the vast area, stretching between the borders of China and Spain.

 
Western Kufic (Morocco)

One of the most important Eastern Kufic (Iranin) Scripts was a kind, which is now called "Piramouz Kufic Script" that has greatly acquired. This form or style of writing is indeed the most beautiful from the viewpoint of its elegant characteristics, such as having regular separations between the related letters, which make words.

In order to avoid spending much time for and on writing, calligraphers, gradually, gave up the method or style of using separate letters in putting down a single word; thus, new letters were regularly joined together like those of Kufic or other words inscribed.

Decorative Kufic (Dome & Minaret)

Although, such style of writing has been relatively transformed in the course of time, taking new kinds and shapes, and being used in different areas, ruled by different governments, yet it is still known as Eastern or Iranian Kufic Script. Large number of copies of Koran and too many other books, written or printed in Persian, as well as various manuscripts are, at present, available here and there.

The reason of long prevalence and vast circulation of this style of writing, lies in its easy quality of being either written or read.


Khorasan Kufic

As, Kufic script was used mostly in writing Koran, different kinds of Kufic script became as sacred phenomenon and got holy aspect. Calligraphers tried to create as more beautiful and charming letters and words, as possible in innovative handwritings.

Various sorts of artistic symbols and tokens, introduced natural things or man-made objects, were explicitly used and observable in those sacred letters and words.

The present description of above-mentioned work of art cannot quench the thirst of those who may seize the opportunity of witnessing such beautiful copies and manuscripts with their own eyes. One can enjoy his time by watching them for hours or even for days in appropriate occasions.

Decorative Kufic

As, Kufic script was used in architectural designs on the basis and tastes in fashion of every area or vogue of time, Kufic script has been chronologically changed from viewpoint of its shape and style of inscription.

Decorative designs of this script could be seen on some pillars, minarets, porches and on walls of palaces. These decorations have been either done through plaster molding or by stone carving. Some ingenious craftsmen or artisans have successfully shown their artistic creations concerning Kufic script, in fine and multi-colored glazed tiles and sorted-out bricks. The history of all this covers a long period of 1000 years.

In short, one has to try to discover the mysterious beauty and elegance of the different decorative designs, skillfully used in presenting Kufic script here and there in different objects and instances.

 
Decorative Kufic (Dome & Minaret)

The manifestation of such Eastern beauties has been spread from Al-Hamra Palace in Spain to the ruins of Victory Garden in Ghazneh. Reports and records have been hitherto prepared on these relics by the experts of calligraphy and graphology. Many of the examples, found in the present collections, have been given on the basis of such inscriptions. 

____________________________________________________________
On The Origins Of The Kufic Script
M S M Saifullah, Mansur Ahmed & Muhammad Ghoniem
© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.
First Composed: 8th August 2000
Last Modified: 24th June 2006

Assalamu-‘alaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

1. Introduction
It has been claimed by the Christian missionaries that
... the Kufic Script which, according to Qur'an scholars Martin Lings and Yasin Hamid Safadi, did not appear until the late eighth century.
In other words, according to the missionaries, Lings and Safadi say that the Kufic script did not appear until the late eighth century. Therefore, the conclusions drawn by the Christian missionaries suggest that
... both the Samarkand and Topkapi Codices could not have been written earlier than 150 years after the 'Uthmanic Recension was [supposedly] compiled - at the earliest during the late 700's or early 800's since both are written in the Kufic script (Gilchrist 1989:144-147).
It appears that the origin of this claim goes back to John Gilchrist, a Christian missionary from South Africa, who claimed about the Qur'anic manuscripts that:
Virtually all the relevant texts surviving were written in a developed form of Kufic script or in one of the other scripts known to have developed some time after the early codification of the Qur'an text. None of them can be reliably dated earlier than the second half of the second century of the Islamic era. We shall proceed to analyse some of these scripts.
This assertion that the Kufic script originated very late, not earlier than 150 years after hijra, has been repeated in almost every Christian missionary writing against Islam on the internet. See for example the writings of Joseph Smith and the 'Sermon Series' on The Fairy Tails of the Qur'an. That a Christian missionary quotes yet another missionary without proper verification is not too surprising. Bruce McDowell and Anees Zaka quoting Joseph Smith say that the Kufic script:
... did not appear until the 790s of later.[1]
Similarly, using the services of Joseph Smith, N. A. Newman claims that the Kufic script:
... thought to date from about 790 AD.[2]
Similar claims concerning the origins of the Kufic script have been made by Robert Morey[3] and Brett Marlowe Stortroen.[4] In this paper we would examine the claim the origins of the Kufic script in the light of the early Kufic Qur'anic manuscripts as well as Islamic inscriptions.

2. The Origins Of The Kufic Script
We begin with the quote of a Muslim, al-Qalqashandi who maintains that Kufic is said to have been the earliest script from which the others developed, he writes:

The Arabic script [khatt] is the one which is now known as Kufic. From it evolved all the present pens.[5]
This is a very profound statement as its findings differ greatly from missionaries' assertions! Though Nabia Abbott's conclusions perhaps may not go so far as to agree ad totum with this conclusion we find that she does say:
...the Muslim tradition that the original Arabic script was Kufic (that is, Hiran or Anbaran) is one of those statements which, though known to be half wrong, may yet be half right.[6]
The terms that came to be applied to these scripts by early Arabs themselves could not have the chronological significance that some later Arabs and most Western writers have put to them. For is it the case that the name of a thing (e.g., Kufic) necessarily indicates its ultimate origin? The fact is that the script which later came to be known as Kufic has its origin far earlier than the founding of the town of Kufah.
Imamuddin writes:
The origin of Kufic or the angular style of Arabic script is traced back to about one hundred years before the foundation of Kufah (17H / 638CE) to which town it owes its name because of its development there.[7]
Similarly Moritz writing in the Encyclopaedia Of Islam says:
Although the script [i.e., Kufic] itself,.... was known in Mesopotamia at least 100 years before the foundation of Kufa, we may conjecture that it received its name from the town in which it was first put to official use...[8]
That is to say, the town was founded in AH 17, and the Kufic style originated 100 years before that time! This conclusion is agreed upon by other writers too.[9] Khatibi and Sijelmassi inform us that:
The Arabs usually distinguish four types of pre-Islamic script: al-Hiri (from Hira), al-Anbari (from Anbar), al-Maqqi (from Mecca) and al-Madani (from Medina). The famous author of Fihrist, Ibn Nadim (died c. 390/999) was the first to use the word 'kufic', deriving it from the hiri script. However, Kufic script cannot have originated in Kufa, since that city was founded in 17/638, and the Kufic script is known to have existed before that date, but this great intellectual centre did enable calligraphy to be developed and perfected aesthetically from the pre-Islamic scripts.[10]
What is of note here is that it is the Hiran script which later came to be classified as the Kufic. Abbott writes:
... Kufah and Basrah did not start their careers as Muslim cities until the second decade of Islam. But these cities were located closer to Anbar and Hirah in Irak, Kufah being but a few miles south of Hirah. We have already seen the major role the two earlier cities played in the evolution of Arabic writing, and it is but natural to expect them to have developed a characteristic script to which the newer cities of Kufah and Basrah fell heir, so that for Kufic and Basran script one is tempted to substitute Anbaran and Hiran ... our study so far shows that the script of Hirah must have been the leading script in the 6th century and as such must have influenced all later scripts, including the Makkan - Madinan.[11]
The city of Kufah, therefore, inherited and took on the script which was already prevailing in Hirah. The script, as we have mentioned, became later to be called as Kufic.

3. Martin Lings & Yasin Safadi On The Kufic Script
The missionaries have argued that it is the view of both Martin Lings and Yasin Safadi that the Kufic script
did not appear until the late eighth century.
The claim of Lings and Safadi allegedly saying that the Kufic script did not appear until late eight century has even entered the Christian missionary publications such as the one by Steven Masood. He says concerning the script in the Samaqand codex (note the same argument!):
It is written in a particular type of Kufic script which, according to modern experts in Arabic calligraphy, did not exist until late in the eighth century CE and was not used at all in Makkah and Madinah in the seventh century.[12]
It is difficult to see how this view can be ascribed to Safadi, because he himself, in his work Islamic Calligraphy, details the milestone from the period of the Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik (685-705 CE) which he describes as being in the Kufic script![13]
Concerning the the Kufic script, Yasin Safadi says:
The Kufic script, which reached perfection in the second half of the the eighth century, attained a pre-eminence which endured for more than three hundred years ....[14]
In the chapter "Kufic Calligraphy" Martin Lings says:
The first calligraphic perfection of Islam is to be found in the monumental script which may be said to have reached its fullness in the last half of the second century AH which ended in 815 AD.[15]
Can we then assume from this, taking into account the previous evidence, that Safadi held the belief that the script first originated at this time? No, rather he is clearly stating that it is here when it reached its 'perfection'. Lings and Safadi again arrived at a similar conclusion for their book in honour of the 1976 Qur'an exhibition at the British Museum:
Kufic may be said to have reached its perfection, for Qur'anic manuscripts, in the second half of the second Islamic century which ended in A.D. 814.[16]
One wonders how did the missionaries conclude the appearance of the Kufic script in the late eight century when both Lings and Safadi say that the script reached its perfection in the second half of second Islamic century! Concerning the style of script of the Samarqand codex, there are many examples of it from the first century of hijra in the form of dated Kufic inscriptions.
The Christian missionaries are found to be not only incorrect in their dating of the origins of the Kufic script, but also erroneous in their opinion that Kufic is not a script that we would expect to have been employed in the Hijaz during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman. In respect to Lings and Safadi, the missionaries have simply misread their statements.
To conclude, Abbott thinks that the ‘Uthmanic Qur'anic manuscripts were probably written in Makkan-Madinan scripts.[17] The manuscript attributed to ‘Uthman, located at al-Hussein mosque in Cairo, is indeed written in Madinan script.

4. Kufic Qur'anic Manuscripts From First & Second Centuries Of Hijra
The best way to refute the claim of Christian missionaries about the appearance of Kufic script (and hence the Kufic Qur'ans!) around late eighth century CE (or mid-to-late second century of hijra) is to show the existence of Kufic Qur'anic manuscripts from first and early second century of hijra. The following museums have Kufic Qur'anic manuscripts from 1st and early 2nd century of hijra.
Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria: Kufic manuscripts A. Perg 203, A Perg. 201 and A Perg. 193 + 196 + 208 are dated from the beginning of second century hijra. Manuscripts A. Perg. 186 and A. Perg. 197 are dated to middle second century of hijra.[18]
Beit al-Qur'an, Manama, Bahrain: Manuscript 1611-mkh235 is from late 1st century of hijra. Manuscript 1620-mkh233 is from 1st / 2nd century of hijra.
Maktabat al-Jami‘ al-Kabir (Maktabat al-Awqaf), The Great Mosque, San‘a', Yemen: Examples of first century Kufic manuscripts are available in Memory Of The World: San‘a' Manuscripts, CD-ROM Presentation, UNESCO.
5. Kufic Inscriptions From 1st Century Of Hijra
The Christian missionaries' arbitrary dating of the origins of Kufic script also contradicts early inscriptions which have been commented upon by both Western and Muslim writers.
  1. The Earliest Dated Kufic Inscription From Qā‘ al-Mu‘tadil, Near Al-Hijr (Saudi Arabia), 24 AH. This inscription, it appears, is destined to be the most famous of all the Arabic inscriptions as the UNESCO has added it to the Memory of the World Register of Documentary Collections.
  2. Tombstone Of Abd al-Rahmān Ibn Khair al-Hajri Dated 31 AH. This was first published by H. M. El-Hawary who said that it is inscribed in:
    ... carelessly written Cufic script.[19]
    Nabia Abbott reasserts:

    The earliest Muslim inscription, the tombstone of ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Khair al-Hajari, dated 31/652... It is certainly not Makkan and can safely be considered as poor Kufic.[20]
  3. An Islamic Inscription On The Darb Zubayda Dated 40 AH. This Kufic inscription was found on the Darb Zubayda caravan route at Wadi 'l-Shamiya during an archaeological survey in 1970s.
  4. An Islamic Inscription From Wadi Sabil Dated 46 AH. This inscription was found in Wadi Sabil during the Philby-Ryckmans-Lippens expedition.
These Kufic inscriptions date before the collection of the Qur'an by ‘Uthman.

6. Dated Manuscripts & Dating Of The Manuscripts: The Difference
A clear distinction needs to be made between dated (or datable) manuscripts and dating of the manuscripts for proper orientation. A steadily increasing number of manuscripts of both the Qur'an and the New Testament with confident allocation of dates by various palaeographers can obscure the fact that we do not have absolute secure dates for majority of the New Testament and Qur'anic manuscripts.
In the case of Greek documentary papyri such as private letters or receipts, the dates are often present. Most of the New Testament manuscripts are written in a literary rather than a documentary hand. Therefore, it always needs a careful investigation of the evidence and involves comparing it with datable parallels to arrive at a reasonable dating. In the case of Qur'anic manuscripts the dating is carried out by studying the nature of the script, papyrus, ornamentation and illumination. The palaeographers then date the manuscript to a particular century during which such characteristics were seen, a process similar to the one used in the dating of New Testament manuscripts.
The Qur'anic manuscript becomes datable when there is a note on it either from the scribe or the waqf showing the date of its accession in a library or the production of the manuscript itself.
Keeping this in mind let us move over to the statement of the Christian missionaries. They say:
Aside from some of the manuscripts discovered in the loft of the Great Mosque in Sanaa in 1972, no manuscript fragment of the Qur'an can be dated earlier than first quarter of the 8th century A.D. - nearly 100 years after Muhammad. (Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, Annemarie Schimmel, 1984, p.4)
The statement of the missionaries give an impression that Muslims do not have a datable Qur'anic manuscripts before the first quarter of the eighth century. The quote from Schimmel's book when read in the context says:
The terminus ante quem for a fragment or a copy of the Koran can be established only when the piece has a waqf note, showing the date of its accession in a certain library. The earliest datable fragments go back to the first quarter of the eighth century...[21]
Schimmel is saying that to firmly date a manuscript, we need something like a waqf note. She then mentions about the earliest datable manuscript that goes back to the first quarter of the eighth century. This manuscript is a very famous one and is located at the Egyptian National Library (was formerly at ‘Amr Mosque), dated 107 AH / 725 CE . Moritz has reproduced a large number of pages from this codex.[22] Arnold and Grohmann assigns this specific date.[23] The dating of this manuscript has been recently corroborated by Marilyn Jenkins of Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) by studying the ornamentation.[24] A folio of the manuscript is reproduced below.


Folios contains Surahs Ya-Sin, 72-83 and Al-Saffat, 1-14. It is written in mashq script, on vellum. No aya markers and no surah headings.
It is not true that the earliest datable manuscript goes back to the first quarter of the eighth century. The famous palaeographer Adolf Grohmann informs us that
one dated copy exists from the first century of Higra and two exists from the second, seven only from the third century of Higra.[25]
The first century manuscript is dated 94 AH / 712-13 CE and is from Iran. The two second century hijra copies, dating 102 AH / 720 CE and 107 AH / 725 CE are in Egyptian National Library, Cairo; the latter we have already discussed above.[26]
A word of caution needs to be added. Whenever there is a waqf marking on the manuscripts, it is the burden of the paleographer to estimate the time between the writing of a manuscript and its being deposited in a mosque or any other religious institution. In other words, the wakf marking is not the true representative of the exact age of the manuscript. It only overestimates the date of writing of the manuscript.
No discussion about the dated manuscripts is finished without the mention of the status of New Testament manuscripts. We have no dated manuscripts of the New Testament until the Uspenski gospels of 835 CE.[27] This is not very unusual, as literary documents were not generally dated in antiquity. The first literary manuscript (Vindob. Med. Gr. 1) dated by the scribe is a text of Dioscorides from 512 CE now in Vienna.[28]

7. Conclusions 

In conclusion, we have seen that the script which came to know as Kufic existed before the founding of city of Kufah. It was this script which reached its fullness or perfection in the second half of the eighth century CE. This is a clear refutation of the claims of John Gilchrist and other missionaries who have asserted that the Kufic script originated very late; not earlier than 150 years after hijra.
And Allah knows best!


References & Notes
[1] B. A. McDowell & A. Zaka, Muslims And Christians At The Table: Promoting Biblical Understanding Among North American Muslims, 1999, P & R Publishing: Phillipsburg (NJ), p. 76. Also see ref. 9 on p. 287.
[2] N. A. Newman, Muhammad, The Qur'an & Islam, 1996, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield (PA), p. 314. Joseph Smith's work is cited on p. 320.
[3] R. A. Morey, Winning The War Against Radical Islam, 2002, Christian Scholars Press: Las Vegas (NV), p. 70.
[4] B. M. Stortroen (Ed. G. J. Buitrago), Mecca And Muhammad: A Judaic Christian Documentation Of The Islamic Faith, 2000, Church Of Philadelphia Of The Majority Text (Magna), Inc.: Queen Creek (AZ), p. 143.
[5] Abi al-‘Abbas Ahmad al-Qalqashandi, Kitab Subh al-A‘sha, 1914, Volume III, Dar al-Kutub al-Khadiwiyyah: Al-Qahirah, p. 15.
[6] N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'anic Development, 1939, University of Chicago Press, p. 17.
[7] S. M. Imamuddin, Arabic Writing And Arab Libraries, 1983, Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd.: London, p. 12.
[8] B. Moritz, "Arabic Writing", Encyclopaedia Of Islam (Old Edition), 1913, E. J. Brill Publishers, Leyden & Luzac & Co.: London, p. 387.
[9] A. Siddiqui, The Story Of Islamic Calligraphy, 1990, Sarita Books: Delhi, p. 9.
[10] A. Khatibi & M. Sijelmassi, The Splendor Of Islamic Calligraphy, 1994, Thames and Hudson, pp. 96-97.
[11] N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'anic Development, 1939, op. cit., p. 17.
[12] S. Masood, The Bible And The Qur'an: A Question Of Integrity, 2001, OM Publication: Carlisle, UK, p. 19.
[13] Y. H. Safadi, Islamic Calligraphy, 1979, Shambhala Publications, Inc.: Boulder (Colorado), p. 11.
[14] ibid., p. 10. See also a similar assertion on p. 42.
[15] M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, 1976, World of Islam Festival Trust, p. 16.
[16] M. Lings & Y. H. Safadi, The Qur'an: Catalogue Of An Exhibition Of Quranic Manuscripts At The British Library, 1976, World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd.: London, p. 12.
[17] N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'anic Development, 1939, op. cit., p. 21.
[18] H. Loebenstein, Koranfragmente Auf Pergament Aus Der Papyrussammlung Der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Textband, 1982, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Wein, pp. 23-43. This contains the description of the manuscripts, see pp. 36-; H. Loebenstein, Koranfragmente Auf Pergament Aus Der Papyrussammlung Der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Tafelband, 1982, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Wein, See Tafel 11-19. This contains the pictures of the manuscripts.
[19] H. M. El-Hawary, "The Most Ancient Islamic Monument Known Dated AH 31 (AD 652) From The Time Of The Third Calif ‘Uthman", Journal Of The Royal Asiatic Society, 1930, p. 327.
[20] N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'anic Development, 1939, op. cit., pp. 18-19.
[21] A. Schimmel, Calligraphy And Islamic Culture, 1984, New York University Press: New York & London, p. 4.
[22] B. Moritz (Ed.), Arabic Palaeography: A Collection Of Arabic Texts From The First Century Of The Hidjra Till The Year 1000, 1905, Publications of the Khedivial Library, No. 16, Cairo, See Pl. 1-12.
[23] T. W. Arnold & A. Grohmann, The Islamic Book: A Contribution To Its Art And History From The VII-XVIII Century, 1929, The Pegasus Press, p. 22.
[24] M. Jenkins, "A Vocabulary Of Ummayad Ornament", Masahif San‘a', 1985, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, pp. 23.
[25] A. Grohmann, "The Problem Of Dating Early Qur'ans", 1958, Der Islam, p. 216.
[26] ibid.
[27] B. M. Metzger, Manuscripts Of The Greek Bible: An Introduction To Greek Palaeography, 1981, Oxford University Press, p. 102, No. 26,
[28] R. Devreesse, Introduction à L'étude Des Manuscrits Grecs, 1954, Librairie C. Klincksieck: Paris, p. 288.