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Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

PILGRIMS PROGRESS

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Once again, it is the haji season.

Muslims who can afford it will make the pilgrimage to Mekah Al Mukaramah at least once in their lifetime. It is one of 5 the rukun (tenets) of Islam. It is the fifth tenet and with good reasons that it is placed last. You are supposed to do all the other 4 well first. You are also given an incentive to work hard and save enough money to make the trip. Money used must be from approved sources (halal). Money such as those accrued from interests or windfalls from Magnum 4D are not allowed. Before you go, you have to clear your debts or you run the risk of your pilgrimage not accepted by Allah.

Many years ago, many Malaysian Muslims got into difficulties after coming back from the Holy Land. Some sold their land, buffaloes or fishing boat to finance their trip and lost their means of livelihood. There were also instances of Malaysian pilgrims being taken advantage of while in the Holy Land. In fact, many gullible ones were already conned when their ship stopped at Penang. In order to lighten the economic burden of the pilgrims and their family and also not to impact the rural economy adversely, something had to be done.

Enter what is now known as Tabung Haji. The setting up of Tabung Haji must be credited to Royal Professor Ungku Aziz. In 1959, he wrote a paper entitled "Rancangan Membaiki Keadaan Ekonomi Bakal-Bakal Haji" (Plans to improve the economic well-being of prospective pilgrims). The government adopted most of his recommendations and set up Perbadanan Wang Simpanan Bakal-bakal Haji ( Pilgrims Fund Board) in November 1962. In 1969, the Department of Pilgrims Affairs, based in Penang merged with the board to be Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji or The Pilgrims Management and Fund Board. In 1977, the board was renamed Lembaga Tabung Haji.

There are 3 main aims of the board:

1. To enable Muslims to save gradually to support their expenditure during pilgrimage and for other beneficial purposes

2. To enable Muslims to have active and effective participations in investment activities permissible in Islam through their savings and

3. To protect, safeguard interests and ensures welfare of pilgrims during pilgrimage by providing various facilities and services.

I am sure there are less buffaloes sold off now and going on a pilgrimage is more comfortable. Every now and then we hear complaints like when Tabung Haji introduced the muasasah system. Teething problems gave rise to remarks that it was a "susah" system.

At least it was an improvement over the pilgrimage long long ago. People went by ship. One ship got stranded in Colombo and these poor people came back and were known as "Haji Colombo".

I will share you my own experience in the next post.

| 12:01 AM :: ::
18 CommentsOldStyle:
  • a good idea i must say. looking forward to your next posting !

    By Blogger Chief, at 12:08 AM  
  • ...not sure if you have heard of a term 'haji sangkut'. is etymologically related to the stranded ship too?

    -riza

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:26 AM  
  • Pokku:

    Saya amat sedih melihat bagaimana Tabung Haji telah tersasar dari fungsinya yg sebenar sejak kebelakangan ini. Tabung Haji terlalu ghairah dengan aktiviti2 pelaburan sehingga menjejaskan fungsi sebenar penubuhannya. Sehinggakan ada antara aktiviti2 pelaburannya yg dikaitkan dgn syarikat2 yg mempnuyai saham2 dalam syarikat perjudian sepertikan yg pernah dibongkarkan sebelum ini. Amat mendukacitakan sekali melihat bagaimana ada pihak yg sanggup menipu Tabung Haji di mana ratusan juta ringgat lesap kerana tipudaya, pelaburan yg lebih bersifat menyelamatkan golongan tertentu, pelaburan yg merugikan dll. Saya berpendapat jika TH menumpukan fokusnya utk menguruskan jemaah haji sudah pasti sekali kos menunaikan haji dapat dikurangkan atau dipertahankan dengan kadar yg lebih bukannya semakin naik hampir setiap tahun.

    Di Kelantan, pelbagai gelaran diberi kepada mereka yg sekadar melepaskan batuk di tangga dalam menunaikan fardhu Haji. Antaranya ialah Aji Markoko dan Aji Malboro.

    Wassalam

    Oghe Kelate
    (naik aji atah papae jah sekat ni)

    By Blogger oghe_kelate, at 6:13 AM  
  • Pok Ku, your writing style always bring the smile. :) Now I know the history of Hj Colombo! Look forward to your next entry. :)

    By Blogger Jane Johan, at 6:32 AM  
  • Pokku, you just know how to cheer me up. From the first day I read your blog, the articles never fails to either tickle me or amuse me. Well done Pokku.. keep on posting.

    By Blogger bat22, at 8:59 AM  
  • Jika pergi haji dengan wang tak elok + tak bermaaf-maafan etc cerita anda mungkin akan muncul dalam mastika atau variasari.

    By Blogger Aku Tak Reti, at 9:38 AM  
  • Pok Ku,Dulu gi Haji naik kapal laut. Saya dang gok gi ato orang Haji naik kapal masa kecik2 dulu. Ada satu kapal tu stranded kat Dungun terlekat di beting pasir. Mungkin sereme tu dipanggil Haji Dungun. Haji Singapore pun ada dulu.

    Nok 'golok' PokKu cerita bab-bab Haji jamang dulu je nih.

    By Blogger d'arkampo, at 10:45 AM  
  • So where should i put aside my money for haji n umrah then? Tabung Haji dah takleh pakai ek... *sigh*

    By Blogger yatot, at 12:36 PM  
  • When I was small, we used to get the black bangle as souvenir from people coming back from Makkah. Now, there's no more gelang Mekah.

    By Blogger Nectar, at 1:14 PM  
  • I remember those gelang mekoh. If not black, it is red.
    By the time I went, they only sell those metal ones.

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 2:16 PM  
  • i remember gelang mekah! Used to have lots of them. Brag items during ngaji Quran. hehehe. Also remembers the 3 inch green belt with leather pocket(s). My Atuk ngaji (arwah now, i guess) used to threaten to hit us with his belt if we mispronounce the idgham. He was kind enough to let us go after kene pial telinga.

    -chek na-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 PM  
  • Ya..gelang mekah..ha ha ha...
    PokKu...I heard someone nominate your blog...Good Luck!

    By Blogger zaireen, at 3:04 PM  
  • Assalamualaikum Pokku..

    Since last week, i rcvd a few emails from a fren yg bukan org Trg but ghairah meng'forward' kan article Pokku tentang bahase Trg nie.. :)

    Baru hari ni sy berkesempatan..singgoh kat Blog Pokku ni.. :)

    By Blogger ceklong, at 3:25 PM  
  • Chief: God-willing.
    riza: Haven't heard of "haji sangkut". Probably you are right.
    O.K.: InsyaAllah, khabarnya TH sedang diperbaiki.
    Honeytar: Thank you!
    bat22: Thank you too!
    Aku Tak Reti: Memang pun. Banyak cerita yang didengar. Sesatlah, sakitlah. Macam-macam!
    d'arkampo: Ceritalah. Sedak dengo!
    kokoro: Stick to Tabung Haji. As far as we are concerned, it is halal.
    nectar: During my younger days, I got "cincin dawai" from mekkah.
    lion3ss: black or red, all are made in China.
    Chek Na: I still hav ethe belt. Keeping it for Firhad's trip.
    Zaireen: Thank you. Nominated aje. Menang belum tentu.
    ceklong: walaikumsalam. Selamat ketemu.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:17 PM  
  • Some ppl said, if you remember or had a glance of someone right in front of Ka'abah, that person soon or later will got the "panggilan" to be there too. Meaning to say, the chances of that person to perform haji will become easier.

    Itu yang orang cakap laa.. heeheh!

    By Blogger sgarul, at 5:41 PM  
  • LOL! Haji Colombo and OMG, Haji Sangkut, too. I guess my late father must be Haji Black-Market; he went there on a one-way black market ticket bought at the pier in Penang. He was there for a few years and I won't be here today if my uncle didn't go and persuade him to come back.

    By Blogger Kri, at 9:54 PM  
  • Hey Pok Ku, another interesting blog. I figure you're the only one that shares insights into the Islamic life without being preachy or demanding and it's a pleasure to read your posts from the first time I laid eyes on your article on the bersunat ceremony. Keep this up, it bridges a lot of gaps in my knowledge hehe :D

    By Blogger Kervin, at 10:08 PM  
  • myroute: InsyaAllah, everything is possible.
    kri: Interesting story. Food for a post.
    kervin: Thank you. I am not a preacher and I share experience for what it is worth.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 11:46 PM  
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