Saturday, 21 February 2015

Obituary: YB Tuan Guru Dato' Bentara Setia Haji Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat (1931-2015)


Nik Abdul Aziz was born at home in a Malay village at Kampung Pulau Melaka on 10 January 1931. His village lies on the outskirt of Kota Bharu in Kelantan, on a big sandbar in Sungai Pengkalan Datu. At the time of his birth, Kelantan was a Malay state free of Siamese control, but was an Unfederated Malay State under British Malaya. Kelantan is now a part of Malaysia.

From historical Malay accounts written about his family origin, his ancestors were of royal Malay heritage from southern Siam, now Thailand. The royal family relocated to Kampung Pulau Melaka.

His parents were Raja Mohammad bin Raja Banjar and Aminah bt Abdul Majid. His father was also known as Nik Mat Alim and Nik Mat Raja Banjar.

His family tree was released by Brunei in September 1997 (scroll to the bottom of this post).

Early Education

Nik Abdul Aziz studied at 3 local Malay religious schools in Kelantan and Terengganu before pursuing his studies overseas. Firstly, he studied at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kedai Lalat, Kelantan for 3 months in 1936. Secondly, he studied at Sekolah Pondok Tok Kenali in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. Thirdly, he studied at Sekolah Pondok Tok Guru Haji Abbas in Besut, Terengganu (undated). He completed his studies in Malaya in 1956, before the Malayan independence.

Tertiary Education

He went overseas in 1952 at age 21, and studied at 3 Islamic tertiary institutions. Firstly, in 1952 he studied at Deoband University (Darul Uloom Deoband) in the city of Deoband Saharanpur, in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Secondly, he studied the Translation of the Quran (Ilmu Tafsir Quran) at Lahore, Pakistan in 1957. Thirdly, he studied Arabic Language for his Bachelor's Degree ( Ijazah Sarjana Muda Pengajian Bahasa Arab) at Al-Azhar University, Egypt. Fourthly, he studied Islamic Law for his Master's Degree (Sarjana Perundangan Islam) at Al-Azhar University.

He was a native Malay speaker and with Kelantan accent. During colonial British Malaya, many Malay men were also able to acquire and speak good British English. India also uses British English as a unifying language. From his studying overseas, he was able to speak 3 additional languages - Tamil (India), Urdu (Pakistan) and Arabic (Egypt).


Early on in his career, he taught at 3 religious schools in Kelantan. He was a schoolteacher at Sekolah Menengah Agama Tarbiyyah Mardiah in Panchor. He was then a schoolteacher at Sekolah Menengah Agama Darul Anwar at Pulau Melaka in his village, a school that was established by his father. He was then a coordinator for an adult class under KEMAS. He was a schoolteacher at the all boys' school, Sekolah Menengah Maahad Muhammadi in Kota Bharu.

Political Involvement

He was involved with Malay politics in Kelantan. He registered as a member of PAS in 1967, aged 36. He became a Member of Parliament (MP) for Kelantan Hilir for 2 terms in the late 1960s to before mid-1970s (1967-1969; 1969-1974). The constituency of Kelantan Hilir was then abolished.

He was Head of the Ulama' Wing of PMIP (1971-1995). PMIP is Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party. He attended a Persekutuan Islam SeMalaysia...PAS at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in Kuala Lumpur on 28-29 July 1971, aged 41.

He was photographed at the Jawatankuasa Kerja Agung PAS 1977 (aged 46), along with Haji Hassan Shukri, En Mustapha Ali, Dr Sanusi and Datuk Asri.

He became an MP for Pengkalan Chepa for 3 terms from 1974 to 1986 (1974-1978; 1978-1982; 1982-1986).

He was Kelantan PMIP Commissioner (1978-2013).

He was a Member of the Kelantan State Assembly (ADUN) for Semut Api (1986-1990/1995). This constituency was then abolished.

He was a Member of the Kelantan State Assembly (ADUN) for Chempaka till his demise (1995-12 Feb 2015).

He succeeded YB Tuan Haji Yusof Rawa (Penang) as Mursyidul Am PAS (spiritual leader of PAS) till his demise (1991-12 Feb 2015).

He succeeded YB Dato' Mohamed bin Yaacob as Menteri Besar (MB) Kelantan (22 October 1990-6 May 2013), and stepped down after PRU13.

Altogether, he had served Kelantan for a total of 39 years: as MP for 19 years, as ADUN for 4 years, and as MB Kelantan for 24 years.

He served as MB Kelantan for 2 sultans - Sultan Ismail Petra and his eldest prince, Sultan Muhammad V. 

His deputy MB was YB Ahmad bin Yaakob.

A Thinker and Imam

In his post retirement months, he continued to serve Kelantan. His office at the State Secretariat is the Institut Pemikiran Tok Guru Dato' Bentara Setia. He served as an advisor while his successor, the MB of Kelantan, YB Ahmad bin Yaakob, chaired the institute.

He led prayers as Imam at Stadium Sultan Muhamad IV on many occasions - before the general elections (PRUs), after a long draught, before each football match held in Kelantan when the Red Warriors team were to play. 'This is Kota Bharu' became an icon of the state of Kelantan at the stadium during his tenure as MB Kelantan.

He led prayers seeking peace for Egypt and Syria (Solat Hajat & Munajat Keamanan, Mesir & Syria) at Pusat Tarbiyah Islamiyah Kelantan (PUTIK), organised by Dewan Ulama' PAS Negeri Kelantan on Saturday, 6 July 2013.

Orator and Writer

He gave public talks every Friday morning at Medan Ilmu in Kota Bharu (Kuliah Pagi Jumaat). These talks were well attended by the public and were often overcrowded by those who came from far and near. The tents for the talks were set up by Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu Bandaraya Islam (MPKB-BRI). These talks are now handled by his sons Nik Abduh and Nik Umar. Nik Abduh is the MP for Pasir Mas, while Nik Umar is the head of Darul Anwar school at Pulau Melaka.

He gave the Keynote Address at the Kolokium Agenda Kesejahteraan Rakyat on 28 January 2014 at Dewan Bunga Teratai, SUK.

He launched his book, Khalifah; Kita Pilihan Allah on Friday, 17 October 2014 at Medan Ilmu in Kota Bharu.

Titles, Salutations and A World Figure

He was Mursyidul Am PAS. He was regarded as Murabbi Ummah. He was addressed as YB Tuan Guru Dato' Bentara Setia, a post which he held till his demise.

He was listed as the 55th most influential man in the world.


His colourful and educational posters were prepared by Unit Komunikasi Menteri Besar (UKMB) Kelantan. 

Personal Grooming

He always wore either a black or white serban (turban), like the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. wore his. He never wore a songkok.

He appeared neat in very clean clothes, either white, black, or pastel colours.

His barber used a robe for him which was kept separately from the other robes for other customers. He adorned a crewcut.

Family Life

In 1963, he was 32 when he married his teenage wife who was 14. His wife is Tuan Sabariah bt Tuan Ishak (66; born 1949) and they have 10 children - 5 boys and 5 girls.

His eldest child is 50 years old (in 2013) and was born when his wife was 15.

His children are: Nik Aini, Nik Umar, Nik Adli, Nik Abdul Rahim, Nik Mohamad Abduh, Nik Adilah, Nik Mohamad Asri, Nik Amani, Nik Amalina, and Nik Asma' Salsabila.

His children were brought up based on Islamic teaching and discipline.

All his children pursued studies on Islam.

His children live in the same village except 2 of his children's families live far way - one in Malacca and another in Dungun.

He had 60 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren when he passed away.


He was a healthy man except towards old age. He had suffered from prostate cancer and was warded at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) for treatment. His son Nik Abduh was often seen by his side at HUSM. Even though he was hospitalised, he continued to perform his night prayers (Qiamullail).

On his request to die at home, he was discharged home alive on 12 February night at 8.40pm. Many people had gathered in his compound to receive him when the HUSM van arrived at his village. On hearing news that he had reached home, many came to his village, including those from outside Kelantan.


He passed away at home on Thursday night on 12 February 2015 at 9.40pm (malam Jumaat), aged 84, an hour after he was discharged from HUSM.

The entire nation was shocked and grieved. Many cried.

News of his demise was aired on all Malaysian TV stations and on Astro Awani.

Messages and condolences filled all social media platforms, including Facebook.

A football match (Kelantan vs PDRM) was postponed to honour his passing.

The by-election for DUN Chempaka is also postponed (to 10 March 2015) to respect him.

Burial Rites

Solat Jenazah was performed at his masjid on Friday at 10 am, before Friday prayer (Solat Jumaat). Thousands of his fans and followers prayed. The crowd that had turned up was so huge that police had to man his village, all roads leading to his village and and burial ground. Pall bearers carried him to the burial ground near the former ikan linang industry in Pulau Melaka. It took them an hour to reach the burial ground because they had to snake through the dense crowd.

He was laid to rest next to his father, in a simple grave.

For a week following his demise, there was non-stop flow of visitors to his grave at Tanah Perkuburan Islam Pulau Melaka, near Sungai Pengkalan Datu that flows out to the South China Sea. 

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un. 
From Allah do we come and to Him is our return.

Sources, external links and acknowledgement

Blog Tok Guru - Biodata
Accessed 15 Feb 2015

Accessed 15 Feb 2015

Photos are from Unit Komunikasi Menteri Besar (UKMB) Kelantan.
Facebook: https://www.facebookcom/Zam.UKMB.13

Some photos from Facebook are by Rizal Tahir.

Other photos are from the Internet and Kelab Pencinta Sejarah Kelate.

YouTube videos:


Family Tree
obtained from Kelab Pencinta Sejarah Kelate in Facebook

Ihsan drp:

Yang dimuliakan Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja
Dato' Seri Utama Dr Haji Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri
Pengetua Pusat Sejarah

Disusun oleh

Unit Salasilah, Bahagian Penyelidikan dan Dokumentasi, Jabatan Pusat
Sejarah, Negara Brunei Darussalam.

September 1997


Maharaja Srimat Trailokyaraja Maulibhushana Warna Dewa (Brahma)

Raja Surendra (Maharaja Suran)

Raja Sakranta (Maharaja Jawaka)

Raja Tilam (Raja Sang Tawal)

Raja Bahrubhasa (Sultan Mahmud; Raja Lankasuka)

Radin Mas Aria DiGunung (Sultan Baki Shah)

Sultan Iskandar Shah (Sultan Kelantan I)

Sultan Mansur Shah (Sultan Kelantan II)

Raja Gombak (Sultan Kelantan III)

Puteri Mani Kemenyan

Raja Sungai

Raja Dewi

Raja Abdul Rahman (Raja Mir)

Raja Abdullah

Raja Mohammad

Raja Kechik

Raja Majam

Raja Banjar

Raja Mohammad (Nik Mat Alim)

Tuan Guru Dato' Haji Nik Abdul Aziz


Raja Bahrubhasa (Sultan Mahmud; Raja Lankasuka)
2 children
- Radin Mas Aria DiGunung (Sultan Baki Shah)
- Puteri Zubaidah


Puteri Zubaidah
m. Sultan Zainal Abidin (Che' Bong Pa)
Their daughter
- Puteri Ramawati


Raja Sakti (Raja Jembal; Sultan Kelantan IV; 1638-1949)
m. Puteri Mani Kemenyan
- Raja Sungai
- Raja Omar
- Puteri Sayu Bari
- Puteri Cempaka Bongsu
- Puteri Unang Melor
- Raja Bahar
- Raja Loyor


Raja Sungai
His daughter
- Raja Dewi


Raja Omar (Sultan Omar; Raja Jembal V; 1675-1721)
His son
- Raja Kecil Sulong


Raja Dewi
m. Raja Kecil Sulong (Raja Jembal VI; 1721-1725)
- Raja Sakti III
- Raja Ngah
- Raja Pah
- Raja Ami___ (Raja Na___) ... unclear


Raja Bahar (Bendahara)
His 2 sons
- Raja Abdul Rahim (Sultan Abdul Rahim; Raja Jembal IV; 1671-1675)
- Raja Abdullah (Sultan Abdullah; Raja Jembal III; 1663-1671)


Raja Abdullah
m. Puteri Saadong (Putri Maryam)
Their son
- Datu Pengkalan Tua (Petani)


Datu Pengkalan Tua (Petani)
His son
- Long Bahar


Long Bahar
m. Raja Pah (Tuan Besar; Raja Jembal VIII; 1725-1733)


Raja Loyor (Sultan Adiluddin; Raja Jembal II; 1649-1663)
m. Raja Kuning (Putri Nang Chayam)
Their children
- Raja Sakti II
- Puteri Saadong (Putri Maryam)


Raja Mohammad
His sons
- Raja Kechik
- Raja Hitam (Kangkong)


Raja Hitam (Kangkong)
His son
- Raja Abdullah


Raja Kechik
His daughter
- Raja Majam


Raja Majam
m. Raja Abdullah
Their 2 children
- Raja Banjar
- Raja Sharifah


Raja Banjar
His son
- Raja Mohammad (Nik Mat Alim)


Raja Mohammad (Nik Mat Alim)
m. Aminah bt Abdul Majid
Their 9 children
- Nik Hussin
- Nik Din
- Nik Radhi
- Nik Daud
- Tuan Guru Dato' Haji Nik Abdul Aziz
- Nik Wajih
- Nik Md Ajun
- Nik Md Yassin
- Nik Abdullah


Raja Sharifah
m. Raja Tengah
Their 3 sons
- Raja Sulaiman
- Raja Setapa
- Raja Mat


Tuan Guru Dato' Haji Nik Abdul Aziz (MB Kelantan)
m. Tuan Sabariah bt Tuan Ishak
Their 10 children
- Nik Aini
- Nik Umar
- Nik Adli
- Nik Abdul Rahim
- Nik Mohamad Abduh
- Nik Adilah
- Nik Mohamad Asri
- Nik Amani
- Nik Amalina
- Nik Asma' Salsabila.