Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tok Kenali (1)

The MAIK expo at Istana in Kubang Kerian ends on 6 December 2012. I have not been there yet. Tomorrow is the last day. What I did earlier today after work was to visit one of the founders on MAIK. I did not visit a live person but I visited his grave Kubang Kerian. This is Kubur Makam Tok Kenali, a famous Malay man who devoted his life to the cause of his religion and his people. Reputed as a kind man, and quiet in his ways, he was one of Kelantan's powerful man. Along with four others, they set up MAIK, a first government of a free state of Kelantan following its freedom after the Bangkok Treaty where the state of Kelantan became the free state of Kelantan Darul Naim, a name that has withstood peace, war, reoccupation and Merdeka. Without his support, Kubang Kerian would never be this famous nor would we have set up our university here. Thanks to him, his people and the people of Kubang Kerian, we have managed to safely set up our university here. We are indebted to this man, a great man, whom we know today as Tok Kenali. His name appears everywhere in Kubang Kerian, at little chicken slaughter huts, pondok, wakaf, roads, lanes, mosque, madrasah, etc. Almost all structures in Kubang Kerian bear his name. Why?

Real name: Muhammad Yusuf bin Ahmad (1868-1933)
Contributions to Kelantan: religious teacher, thinker, intelligent holy man, sage

Tok Kenali was born Muhammad Yusuf bin Ahmad in 1868. He grew up and married and had family in Kubang Kerian. I couldn't make out which one was his house when I visited his grave today (5 December 2012). Tok Kenali walked from Kubang Kerian to the Muhammadi Mosque in Kota Bharu where he taught the religion. He walked barefoot. From accounts I have heard and read, he walked fast and there sightings of him in Kubang Kerian and he had arrived in Kota Bharu soon after that. These sightings were typically of people close to god, the Muslim god Allah SWT.

After assisting to make Islam a state religion and to focus life around its tenets, Tok Kenali finally died in 1933 at age 65. From the accounts and descriptions I read, I figured had died of diabetic complications. There was one account which mentioned he didn't feel an injury on the sole of his foot, which points to a diabetic foot. This was probably advanced diabetic neuropathy.

Tok Kenali was finally laid to rest at the Muslim graveyard in Kubang Kerian, close to the water storage towers in Kubang Kerian. The graveyard probably occupies a corner lot of a few houses and with a perimater road on 2 sides, a forest on one side and some house on the fourth side. A bright yellow graveyard board says its name. My husband and I entered the graveyard to explore it. We went right up to Tok Kenali's shed/makam and saw two graves and a whiteboard that explains his grave. We then explored the east, west and behind his shed. We then left as dusk approached.

Books on Tok Kenali:

Amin's On9 Bookshop