Saturday, May 29, 2010

Excerpts from Risale-i Nur

Excerpts from Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Risale-i Nur

"He who created the eye of the mosquito is the one who created the sun. The one who ordered the stomach of a flea is also the one who ordered the solar system." Letters/Seeds Of Reality, p.542.

"Do not suppose yourself to be free and independent. For if you look at this guest-house of the world with the eye of wisdom, you will see that nothing at all is without order and without purpose. How can you remain outside the order and be without purpose?" The Words/Fourteenth Word , Conclusion, p.184.

“Every village must have its headman; every needle must have its manufacturer and craftsman. And, as you know, every letter must be written by someone. How, then, can it be that so extremely well-ordered a kingdom should have no ruler?" The Words/Tenth Word , p.60.

"Yes, we look and see that all the atoms in blood are so orderly and perform so many duties that they are not inferior to the stars. All the red and white corpuscles in blood work with such a degree of consciousness in protecting and feeding the body that they are more efficient than the best commissaries or bodyguards. All the cells of the body manifest such orderly processes and incomings and outgoings that their administration is more perfect than the best-run body or palace. All plants and animals bear such a seal on their faces and such machines in their chests that only one who created all of them could situate those seals and machines in their places. And all the species of living beings have spread over the face of the earth in such orderly fashion and have intermingled with the other species having mutual relations with them, that one who could not simultaneously create, administer, regulate, and raise all those species, and not place that veil on the face of the earth, and not weave that most ornate, artistic, living tapestry with its warp and weft of the four hundred thousand plant and animal species - one that could not do all these could not create and administer a single species. If analogies are made with these for other things, it will be understood that in respect of creation and bringing into existence, the universe is a whole that may not be split up into parts, and in respect of dominicality and management is a universal whose division is impossible." The Rays/The Second Ray, Second Station, p.35.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


GoGo Monster, vol. 1, written and illustrated by Taiyo Matsumoto was recently nominated for a book prize somewhere.

The story centers on Yuki Tachibana, a 9-year old bullied introverted student with long unkempt hair who scrawls strange drawings all over desks. That is his real world, but he also lives in another world: a darker world populated by supernatural monsters both large and small fighting for supremacy in a world of chaos.

One reviewer wrote that GoGo Monster is innovative, mesmerizing and memorable...will suck you in and won't let you up for air until the very last page.


Am now reading a dialogue between Linus Pauling and Daisaku Ikeda in A Lifelong Quest for Peace, the English translation published in 2009 by I.B. Tauris, London.

Linus Pauling is the only person ever to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, one for Chemistry in 1954 and one for Peace in 1962. According to Ikeda, he is considered as one of the greatest scientists and deserves to stand with Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Curie and Einstein.

Apart from advocating Vitamin C, he has consistently promoted opposition to the use of military force. Daisaku Ikeda was the third president of the Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist organization whose goal was to promote Nichiren Sho-shu, or "true" Nichiren Buddhism, worldwide. His peace dialogues has earned him hundreds of academic awards in addition to the UN Peace Award in 1983.

Based on the blurb, this book which is “richly anecdotal and warmly engaging....ranges over...critical themes as ethics and technology, the appropriate use of which science should be put, the nature of morality and the human quest for progress, justice and equality...”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


George Orwell pernah berkata bahawa "autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful" manakala menurut Quentin Crisp, “an autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.”

Walau apa pun perkara negatif yang dikatakan tentang autobiografi, hakikatnya kini ia dikelompokkan sebagai bahan sumber sejarah yang sangat penting. Ini kerana terdapat banyak maklumat penting yang dapat memberi pemahaman baru daripada apa yang terkandung di dalamnya.

Sifat autobiografi yang berbentuk pendedahan dapat memaparkan sesuatu yang jauh lebih mendalam daripada laporan jurnalistik. Yang lebih penting, autobiografi dapat meneroka minda dan jiwa penulis. Dengan demikian karya-karya riwayat hidup yang ditulis dengan baik dapat memberi suatu perspektif sejarah yang segar dan dapat menghasilkan suara-suara kesusasteraan selain memberi sumbangan ke arah kesedaran budaya.

Demikianlah yang diharapkan bagi buku Seribu Satu Kenangan: Autobiografi 10 Sasterawan Utara yang disunting oleh Dr Pisol Maidin. Buku ini merupakan antologi sumbangan individu dalam bentuk pelukisan riwayat hidup yang ringkas oleh lapan orang penulis Kedah dan dua orang penulis Perlis. Penulis-penulis tersebut merupakan karyawan genre fiksyen yang tidak asing lagi dalam dunia sastera Malaysia. Walaupun terkenal, kisah hidup dan pandangan peribadi mereka tidak banyak diketahui kerana kurangnya penulisan tentang diri sendiri penulis-penulis tersebut. Dengan demikian, buku ini tentulah dapat mengisi ruang-ruang kosong yang dimaksudkan.

Empat daripada penulis dalam antologi ini dilahirkan pada tahun 1930-an manakala empat lagi lahir sama ada pada tahun 1940 atau 1941. Tulisan-tulisan mereka ternyata mengimbau sejarah dan peristiwa lebih setengah abad dahulu. Dengan demikian buku ini tentulah mempunyai nilai sebagai sumber sejarah sosial.

Dr Pisol Maidin bukan sahaja telah merangka dan menyusun dengan kemas tetapi juga telah menelitinya dengan baik sehingga berjaya menghasilkan antologi ini yang penting untuk dijadikan sumber ilham dan panduan khususnya bagi penulis-penulis muda. Bagi para pengkaji, karya ini bukan sahaja boleh dijadikan rujukan penting tentang latar belakang penulis tetapi juga tentang peristiwa, suasana dan persekitaran yang wujud semasa kehidupan penulis tersebut.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I have just finished evaluating a manuscript which was given to me by a “literary agent” friend, Mohd Halimi Abdul Hamid, less than a month ago. The manuscript immediately captured my attention not only because it reads like a memoir which is one of my favourite genre but also because I know the writer and I had once travelled with him in 2001 to a war-zone Kashmir for a humanitarian mission.

And in February 2003, he was detained by the Malaysian police under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly being involved in a global terrorist network. That shocked many people who knew him personally including me who sees him as very humble, kind, gentle and honest. But as a retired lieutenant-colonel who had earlier served with the UN peacekeepers in Bosnia, he is smart and has a strong physical and moral courage.

There was never any slightest indication that he was a criminal or had any link with terrorist groups. Yet, he had been named by the Security Council Committee [established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities] as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” along with others such as Nordin Mohd Top, Wan Min Wan Mat, Mukhlis Yunos, Zaini Zakaria, Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, Agus Dwikarna, Huda bin Abdul Haq, and Azahari Husin.

It is unbelievable that he could have been “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of Jemaah Islamiyah” as written in the charge sheet.

This manuscript is his personal account, a memoir remembering the tragedies of his more that three years ISA detention, the chilling and heartbreaking experience in the war-torn Bosnia, and his involvement in voluntarily organisations. It is a fascinating narrative as well as timely and important.

However, it has an obvious weakness that it is not so much a memoir as a commentary or a monologue. It would have had a much more impact had the writer made the narrative of what happened his primary focus and integrate his commentary and monologue into the story.

Since it is still a draft, I hope to see the improvement and to be able to recommend to others when it comes out of the press.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


What are the reading preferences of Malaysian readers for non-fiction?

Our preliminary findings from about 500 respondents indicate that general interest titles are the most preferred, followed by religious, sciences, business and politics.

Based on age groups, political titles are likely to be read more by mature adults and historical titles are preferred by youth (13-17 yrs old: 15%) and younger adults (18-25 yrs old: 7.3%). Religious books are more likely to be read by people at the ages of 41-55 and 18-25.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Yang kurik kendi, [sebenarnya "kundi'; terima kasih Siti Ezaleila kerana membetulkannya] yang indah bahasa; Tiada kata seindah bahasa.

Sejauh mana BM mempunyai kualiti keindahannya? Adakah kata-kata tertentu dalam BM dapat dianggap indah? Apakah yang menjadikan kata-kata tersebut indah?

Dalam Bahasa Inggeris, sekurang-kurangnya terdapat beberapa usaha untuk menyenaraikan kata-kata indah misalnya oleh Dr Robert Beard (100 Most Beautiful Words in English) dan sebuah British Survey yang menghasilkan 70 perkataan yang digemari. Antara kata yang tersenarai ialah: Bungalow, Demure, Effervescent, Eloquence, Felicity, Glamour, Labyrinthine, Onomatopoeia, Ripple.

Di Amerika, staf editorial American Heritage Dictionaries menyenaraikan "100Words to Make You Sound Smart". Dalam senarai itu terdapat kata-kata berikut:

Smart Nouns: Acrimony, Anomaly, Dichotomy, Euphemism, Harbinger, Misnomer, Non Sequitur , Panacea, Paradox, Rhetoric, Sycophant .
Smart Adjectives: Caustic, Esoteric, Fastidious, Glib, Gregarious, Idiosyncratic , Infinitesimal.

Bagaimana kalau kita senaraikan Kata-kata Terindah Dalam Bahasa Melayu supaya dapat dijadikan panduan kepada penulis? Persoalannya: Apakah yang menjadikan sesuatu kata itu indah? Mungkinkah keindahan itu dilihat pada faktor-faktor berikut:
• Ketampanan struktur
• Keanggunan bunyi
• Percikan makna
• Cetusan konsep

Dalam buku saya Strategi Bahasa: Panduan Nahu dan Retorik untuk Penulisan (dengan Mohd Saleeh Rahamad) (1998), saya cuba menyenaraikan beberapa kata yang indah. Pemilihan itu antaranya adalah berdasarkan hasil keseronokan bunyi yang berirama melalui permainan ritma atau makna yang dicetuskan yang membawa perasaan indah: Contohnya:
• Adikarya
• Jari-jamari
• Keabadian
• Bersenandung
• Seri Mersing
• Kinabatangan
• Syahdu

Apakah pilihan anda dan mengapa?


Semasa Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur, MBIC dan MBKM telah menjalankan kajian tentang Amalan Pembacaan dan Pembelian Buku serta Persepsi terhadap Industri Buku. Pembantu penyelidik saya Sdr. Fadli Abdullah kini sedang bekerja keras memasukkan data ke dalam SPSS untuk analisis.

Pemerhatian awal saya tentang minat pembaca terhadap penulis tempatan menunjukkan trend yang sekaligus menarik dan merisaukan:

Daripada 100 peminat buku (6% keseluruhan responden) yang kami soalselidik, didapati bahawa:

10% tidak meminati penulis tempatan.
43% tidak pasti sama ada mereka minat atau tidak.
47% mengaku berminat pada penulis tempatan.

Daripada 47% yang meminati penulis tempatan itu, masing-masing menyatakan nama penulis yang kebanyakannya tidak dikongsi oleh orang lain. Nama-nama penulis terkenal dan pemenang anugerah tersisih, namun terdapat nama-nama daripada pelbagai genre yang menunjukkan selera yang pelbagai. Daripada apa yang dinyatakan oleh responden setakad ini dapatlah kami senaraikan 34 penulis fiksyen dan nonfiksyen yang yang diminati.

Namun, sebagai "sneak preview" kajian itu, saya namakan Tujuh Penulis Tempatan yang Diminati Mengikut Keutamaan (Berdasarkan 100 Responden Satakad ini):

• A. Samad Said
• Ramli Awang Murshid
• Abd. Latif Talib
• Hlovate
• Aisya Sofea
• HM Tuah Iskandar
• Norhayati Berahim

Apakah agaknya respons editor, penerbit dan penulis sendiri tentang minat dan selera pembaca kita? Apakah pula yang dapat dikatakan terhadap usaha pembangunan penulis?

Monday, March 29, 2010


Pengurus Kanan Penerbitan, Encik Poh Swee Hiang dari Penerbitan Pelangi telah memberikan saya sepuluh novel untuk dibaca sebelum dilancarkan pada dua hari kemudannya iaitu pada 24 Mac 2010. Saya sempat membaca beberapa buah antaranya ialah dua novel oleh Geidurrahman El-Mishry iaitu Bait-bait Cinta dan Langit Mekah Berkabut Merah.

Saya memilihnya kerana alasan yang amat jelas: bahawa saya dengan mudah dapat menghubungkan dirinya dengannya. Kedua-dua novel ini berlatarbelakangkan Timur Tengah, dan saya pernah tinggal di beberapa negara Timur Tengah untuk mengajar di universiti atau membuat penyelidikan. Tentang dua karya tersebut, satu adalah mengenai kepedihan, kepiluan dan cabaran hidup seorang pembantu rumah yang pergi ke perantauan untuk mendapatkan rezeki; manakala satu lagi adalah tentang liku-liku kehidupan dan idealisme perjuangan seorang mahasiswa Universiti Al-Azhar.

Lapan daripada sepuluh novel yang dilancarkan merupakan adaptasi karya Indonesia dan dua ialah karya tempatan. Penerbitan Pelangi telah menubuhkan Pelangi Novel Sdn. Bhd. untuk menangani karya-karya kreatif dan mengambil peluang daripada pasaran cereka yang semakin luas. Pelangi Novel diketuai oleh Tuan Haji Senan bin Ibrahim, mantan Pengaran Pelajaran Johor yang saya kenali semasa beliau menjadi pengarah BBT. Yang istimewa tentang penerokaan Pelangi ke genre novel ialah penubuhan cawangan di negara tetangga itu bukan sahaja untuk membawa novel mereka ke Malaysia tetapi juga novel Malaysia ke pasaran Indonesia. Kita berharap langkah ini akan berjaya dalam usaha ke arah mewujudkan lalu-lintas perbukuan yang lebih stabil antara kedua-dua negara.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Dunia pernovelan sekarang telah semakin berubah berubah. Kita biasa mendengar Kindle keluaran Amazon dan iPad keluaran Apple yang memberi wadah baru kepada dunia perbukuan. Dengan teknologi informasi yang canggih, orang telah melangkah ke genre-genre ajaib yang tidak pernah terfikir misalnya “cellphone novel”. Mulai tiga tahun lepas, di Jepun, di antara 10 best-selling novels, sebanyak LIMA daripadanya adalah berasal daripada cellphone novel atau novel telefon bimbit.

Sebuah novel berjudul “If You” telah terjual sebanyak 400,000 naskah iaitu menjadi novel kelima paling laris selepas diundi sebagai cellphone novel paling popular. Walaupun banyak perdebatan dan perselisihan pendapat tentang kebaikan dan manfaat cellphone novel, namun ia kini terus berkembang menjadi genre yang mulai popular di kalangan pembaca remaja termasuk di dunia perbukuan bahasa Inggeris.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Essentials of Research Methods

Essentials of Research Methods: A guide to social science research. (2005). Janet M. Ruane. Malden MA: Blackwell. 239 pp., Price $ 29.95 (paperback). ISBN 0-6312-3049-1.

There are many books on research methodology. My preference include this book which gives an excellent introduction to those unfamiliar with research in social sciences including media and communication studies.

First chapter explains the need for systematic research that discovers both new knowledge and avoids faulty logic. Second chapter, "Ethics: It's the Right Thing to Do," emphasizes the importance of researchers' conduct: researchers working with human participants must do no harm, must obtain informed consent and must respect participants' privacy.

The next five chapters deal with the topics of measurement and research design.. The chapters on measurement cover concepts of validity and reliability, and the chapters on design cover causal analysis, research strategies and sampling. The chapter on sampling covers the techniques used to conduct research-and assessment. Two chapters are devoted to statistics: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. As the title suggests, the book describes the essentials of research methods.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Anak Hamas: Kisah yang Memukau tentang Keganasan, Pengkhianatan, Tipu Daya Politik dan Pilihan Luar Duga

Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices
Anak Hamas: Kisah yang Memukau tentang Keganasan, Pengkhianatan, Tipu Daya Politik dan Pilihan Luar Duga.

Sebuah buku yang memberi pukulan hebat kepada perjuangan Hamas dan Palestin telah diterbitkan minggu ini di Amerika Syarikat oleh Penerbit SaltRiver. Penulis buku itu ialah Mosab Hassan Yousef (bersama dengan Ron Brakin), yang mengaku murtad pada tahun 2005 lalu menukar kepada nama Joseph. Mosab ialah anak sulung kepada Sheikh Hassan Yousef, ahli pengasas Hamas yang dikatakan sebagai pemimpin paling poular dalam gerakan itu.

Pada sesayap kiri buku setebal 288 halaman itu dinyatakan antara lain (terjemahan saya):
“Sebelum berusia 21 tahun Mosab Hassan Yousef menyaksikan sesuatu yang tidak sepatutnya disaksikan olehs sesiapa: penderitaan kemiskinan, salah guna kuasa, penyiksaan dan kematian. Beliau juga menyaksikan urusan rahsia oleh pemimpin tertinggi Timur Tengah. Dia dipercayai sepenuhnya oleh Hamas dan turut serta dalam Intifada tetapi kemudian ditangkap dan masukkan ke dalam penjara Israel yang paling digeruni. Pilihan bahaya yang dibuatnya menjadikan dia pengkhianat di mata orang yang disayanginya – dan memberinya lowongan kepada rahsia-rahsia luar biasa. Dalam buku ini, dia mendedahkan peristiwa dan proses yang sehingga kini hanya diketahui oleh beberapa orang individu…”

Selama satu dekad, Mosab mengintip Hamas bagi pihak Shin Bet iaitu agensi keselamatan dalam negeri Israel. Nama kod yang digunakan ialah "Green Prince," dan kerja-kerja perisikan yang dibuat dikatakan telah menyelamatkan banyak nyawa hasil pendedahan tentang plot pembunuhan oleh kumpulan berani mati Hamas. Baginya, dia mahu menyelamatkan nyawa, bukan untuk menghapuskannya. Tentang perkara ini, dia menulis:

"I watched the mindless killing through the eyes of Jesus," he writes, "who agonized for those who were lost. The more I read the Bible, the more clearly I saw this single truth: Loving and forgiving one's enemies is the only way to stop the bloodshed."

Buku Mosab telah mendapat puji-pujian tinggi daripada ramai pembaca bukan sahaja dari segi keberaniannya tetapi juga dari segi gaya penulisannya. Seorang pembaca menulis dalam ruangan ulasan di

This book is very captivating and intriguing. The style makes you feel as if you are talking to Mosab rather than reading the book. .. It is very insightful into the deep issue of the Middle East and what it will take to overcome those issues. It is ... about respect for other people.

Penulis lain mengulas:
The story itself is also amazing. As a Christian, it was inspiring to see how one sentence from the Bible was able to transform Mosab's heart and change the course of his life. As a result, many lives were saved. It is also a work of peace, helping us see that there are no cut and dry answers to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. All have done wrong, with Jesus all are capable of peace.
It is remarkable when Mosab Hassan Yousef says, "There are two facts that Muslims don't understand ... about more than 95 percent of Muslims don't understand their own religion. It came with a much stronger language than the language that they speak so they don't understand it ... they rely only on religious people to get their knowledge about this religion.

Seorang lagi menulis: “Yousef you're a modern day prophet...whether on the side of light/thruth or that of darkness/propagandas..time will tell.”

Ketika diwawancara oleh, Mosab Hasan berkata:
Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis," he said. "Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.

I wish I were in Gaza now," Yousef said by phone from California, "I would put on an army uniform and join Israel's special forces in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. If I were there, I could help. We wasted so many years with investigations and arrests to capture the very terrorists that they now want to release in return for Shalit. That must not be done." “I wish I were in Gaza now” he told the newspaper from California, where he finally ended up hiding, adding: “I would put on an army uniform and join Israel’s special forces in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. If I were there I would help. We wasted so many years with investigations and arrests to capture the very terrorists that they now want to release in return for Shalit. That must not be done.

Dalam Wall Street Journal, keluaran 5 Mac 2010, Hasan ketika ditemu bual disebut sebagai berkata:
I absolutely know that in anybody's eyes I was a traitor," says Mosab Hassan Yousef. "To my family, to my nation, to my God. I crossed all the red lines in my society. I didn't leave one that I didn't cross.

Akhbar-akhbar di Timur Tengah sepanjang minggu penerbitan buku tersebut tidak banyak memberi ulasan. Seorang kolumnis untuk The Jordan Times, keluaran Jumaat 5 Mac mengulas:
It is usually difficult for people who sink so deep in the vice of treason to justify their treachery by simply pretending to be defending principles. Treason is an absolute depravity that under no circumstances can be converted into a virtue.
Despite all the Israeli fanfare and the propaganda to create from a single ordinary spy affair a big drama of a magnificent desertion from Hamas “evil” to Israeli “righteousness”, the facts remain unchanged. Such ludicrous attempts are often counterproductive, in the sense that they further expose Israeli moral bankruptcy and failure in engaging in a meaningful discourse, opting, instead, to such ragged fabrications and bare tactics.
For a state known to use any means available to its agencies, no matter how brutal, including barring sick people in desperate need of medical treatment, to recruit spies, gaining another traitor is not a big achievement worthy of such noise. Neither, apart from the understandable family pain, should it be a great deal for Hamas to suffer the loss of another defector. That happens in the best circumstances.

CNN melalui rancangan yang dikelolakan oleh Amanpour membuat liputan khas tentang reaksi terhadap buku tersebut. Beliau mewawancara Osama Hamdan, pegawai tertinggi Hamas yang member reaksi berikut:
The Israelis issued this book as a kind of propaganda. When you say that he was working for his enemies, it means that he lies for his own people, and we expect that there are big lies in this book," told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview from Damascus, Syria.

Dalam rancangan yang sama, Fawaz Gerges, professor dalam bidang politik Timur tengah berkata bahawa Hamas merupakan organisasi yang amat menjaga kerahsiaan dan sangat sukar bagi anak muda seperti Yousef untuk menerobos atau menyusupi bahagian ketenteraan.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Ketika saya menulis ini, saya teringat pada Sdr. Fadli Abdullah dan berterima kasih padanya kerana menggerakkan saya untuk mencatatkan sedikit sebanyak tentang manuskrip yang sedang saya sunting ketika ini.

Manuskrip itu ialah karya terjemahan daripada bahasa Turki iaitu salah satu buku pemikiran Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1878-1960). Bagi sesiapa yang belum mengenali beliau, Said Nursi sebagaimana yang dihuraikan dalam buku Contemporary Islam (Turner and Horkuc, 2009), ialah salah seorang “makers of contemporary Islam” di Turki.

Ketokohannya sejajar dengan nama-nama besar seperti Fethullah Gulen, Muhammad Abduh dan Muhammad Iqbal. Karya terkenal beliau ialah koleksi Risale-i Nur (Risalah Cahaya) yang merupakan ulasan dan penerangan ayat-ayat al-Quran dalam lebih daripada enam ribu halaman. Bedi├╝zzaman merupakan gelaran penghormatan kepada Syed Nursi yang bermakna "keajaiban zaman".

Saya tidak bertujuan untuk menulis latar belakang Said Nursi kerana kisah hidupnya amat banyak ditulis dan dapat ditemui dengan mudah dalam Internet. Kelompok yang mempelajari penulisan dan pemikirannya kini berkembang pesat khususnya di kalangan generasi muda, bukan sahaja di Turki tetapi di seluruh dunia termasuk Malaysia. Di Turki, buku-buku Syed Nursi ditulis semula dalam huruf Arab, bukan huruf roman dan perkembangan untuk kembali kepada tulisan Arab adalah amat menggalakkan, berbeza dengan nasib malang tulisan Jawi di negara kita yang tercinta.

Beberapa tajuk dalam versi Melayu telah diterbitkan misalnya oleh Persatuan Kebudayaan Malaysia-Turki Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor iaitu untuk judul Persoalan Ijtihad Masakini dan Koleksi Rasael An-Nur (2009); Jabatan Pengajian Arab dan Tamadun Islam UKM bagi judul daripada koleksi Risale-i-Nur. Salah satu judul terjemahan Indonesia ialah Sinar Yang Mengungkap Sang Cahaya daripada edisi Inggeris bertajuk Epitomes of Light.

Salah satu keunikan karya yang sedang saya sunting ini ialah kekayaannya dengan analogi atau kiasan. Saya dapat membayangkan betapa sukarnya para penterjemah mencari ayat-ayat yang sesuai dalam bahasa Melayu yang berpadanan dengan bahasa Turki.

Sdr Ozata baru dua tahun mempelajari bahasa Melayu tetapi kegigihannya telah mempercepat proses pemahaman dan kefasihan dalam bahasa yang baru baginya. Beliau dibantu oleh sdr Firdaus, anak Felda Pahang yang pernah saya temui lebih sepuluh tahun lepas di Istanbul untuk menghafaz al-Quran sambil mempelajari bahasa Turki. Kini beliau telah dewasa dan menyertai program terjemahan karya-karya Said Nursi di bawah Yayasan Hayrat.

Di bawah ini ialah tiga paragraf yang saya maksudkan daripada terjemahan Risalah Said Nursi itu yang belum disunting kecuali paragraf pertama:

Insan pada fitrahnya adalah daif sedangkan semua benda mengganggu, memberi kesan dan menyakitkan. Dia juga sangat lemah walhal musibah dan musuhnya amat banyak. Dia terlalu fakir manakala hajat-hajatnya amat tinggi. Dia malas serta tidak berupaya walhal taklif-taklif hidup amat berat. Kemanusiaan telah mengaitkannya dengan alam semesta walhal kehilangan dan perpisahan semua perkara yang disayangi dan disenangi sentiasa menyakitinya. Akal pula menunjukkan kepadanya matlamat tinggi dan buah-buah abadi walhal tangannya pendek, umurnya singkat, keupayaannya kurang dan kesabarannya sedikit.

Maka betapa pentingnya bagi roh yang ada dalam keadaan demikian bermurajaah (merujuk) lalu mengadukan keadaannya, memohon taufik dan bantuan dengan rayuan, dengan solat kepada hadrat al-Qadir Zul jalal dan al-Rahim Zul Jamal pada waktu subuh. Begitu juga betapa perlunya suatu nuktah persandaran untuk menanggung tugas-tugas yang akan ditempuh dan dipikul pada dunia siang yang menyusuli subuh itu dapat difahami dengan jelas.

Masa pada waktu zohor ialah detik-detik kesempurnaan. Kecondongan ke arah menghilang dan kematangan kerja-kerja harian. Ia merupakan waktu istirahat yang sementara daripada himpitan kesibukan iaitu waktu roh memerlukan kerehatan daripada kelalaian dan kebejatan yang terhasil daripada dunia yang fana dan kerja-kerja yang tidak kekal dan berat dari satu detik terhadirnya pemberian nikmat ilahi….

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Anda dialu-alukan menyertai pelbagai aktiviti berikut pada 22-23 Mac 2010:

Pembentangan kertas kerja tentang literasi dan hak kanak-kanak

Bengkel dua hari untuk membimbing penulis berpotensi menghasilkan karya. Pembimbing: Dr Amidah Abdul Hamid.

Bengkel dua hari untuk membimbing ilustrator berpotensi menghasilkan karya. Pembimbing: Yusof Gajah.

Peragaan karya-karya ilustrasi terpilih.

Dibuka untuk pelajar sekolah menengah berusia 13-17 tahun.

Untuk penyertaan atau pertanyaan, sila rujuk poster atau hubungi: Sdr. Rastam Jamali Zubir di Jabatan Pengajian Media Universiti Malaya: 03-79675551

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I once asked my postgraduate students what makes a story book memorable. The group comprising editors, media reporters, and teachers with some hesitations came up with answers such as:

• When it has moments of grief, joy, love, frustration, all in the same book, then I would have to say that its memorable.

• The ones that are witty that makes you re-read till you memorize them so you can share them with others.

• If the book made me think differently and changed my perspective.

• Excellent characters where you feel as if you know personally the person, good or bad.

• Books with an exciting plot that twists and turn.

And the list goes on.

As for me there are several books, fictions and non-fictions that I couldn’t bear to part. One of the books that my family and I enjoyed reading is Island of Blood. by Anita Pratap.

I bought the book in a Colombo bookshop while I was on Global Peace Mission’s trip to send young Malaysian volunteers to Sri Lanka. My wife and all my children loved the book and we still talk about it whenever issues about Tamil Eelam are mentioned.

The book is Anita Pratap’s memoirs as a war correspondent, presenting frontline reports from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and other conflict areas in South Asia.

With intimate knowledge of the conflict in Sri Lanka especially and with details of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), her book provides a great deal of insight into the conflict-ridden nation of Sri Lanka. On several occasions Anita has interviewed Prabhakaran, the elusive LTTE leader and has lived from close range the anti-Tamil incidents in Colombo and Jaffna during the late 80s.

Substance-wise, Anita is far from objective when it comes to Prabhakaran and the conflict. She is praiseworthy of Prabhakharan's charisma and his militant organisation. She describes the fight for Tamil Eelam as a romantic fight for freedom and justice. This may disappoint many history students. While Prabhakaran was once a hero, much of that quality has faded into the opposite whose bloody politics demeans the cause he tried to promote.

What’s memorable, I think, is her writing style and the illustration of herself as a journalist, a mother and a wife. She begins the chapters by describing her personal stories such as a luxurious holiday or her experience of giving birth to Zubin, her only child, before she plunges into the story. Zubin, described as bright, sparkling and witty is everywhere in the book. And there is also her husband’s son who is portrayed as having the opposite character.

Anita seems to have a self-indulgent and self-centered style but it is far from painful to read. And there is also a narcissistic element to her writing. Her epilogues seem to be an exercise in self-glorification. But that makes me more sympathetic to her.

She keeps me entertained and she does not force me to read through or skip so that I can go to the next chapter. It has lots of interesting details and gets me to think and be concerned with the issue at hand as well as the lead character who is the author herself.

And that makes the book memorable to me and my family.