Holy Hole / “Sweating Column”. This is the place where the Christians believe Justinian had cured from a migraine by resting his head against the stone. As such, the Christian pilgrims or visitors would rub the stone. They, by centuries, touched it and this had resulted a deep dent on it. How to do it? You have to stick or insert your thumb in this hole and make a 360 degree rotation with it. This is in the area of “weeping pillar” at Hagia Sophia. You can see the metal has been worn due to millions of people, by centuries, sticking or inserting their thumbs into this hole. In Islam, this practice is prohibited b’cos it deviates you from aqidah sahihah.
Aya Sofia or Hagia Sophia (The Church of Holy Wisdom) or St Sophia is undoubtedly the most spectacular sight in Istanbul. It was the great Christian cathedral in the world during the Byzantine era. In fact its very controversial due to the dispute among those who prefer to see it as a masjid, those who would like to return its status quo as a cathedral and those who insist it’s status to remain as a relic of Byzantium and museum as it stands today. Originally, it was a cathedral, but became a masjid during Ottoman Empire, when Mehmet 11, The Conqueror, who led the Turkish conquest in 1453, had converted it into a masjid and led the Friday prayer for the first time, but later it had been converted by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk into a museum in 1930’s.
The Jewish City Hall, built by Pankraz Roder (Italian architect) in the 1680s, not far away from the Jewish Old -New Synagogue. In fact, nobody can say for certain when the Jews migrate to Bohemia (esp Prague). The above Jewish Clock has Hebrew numbers,anti clock wise, going from right to the left like the Hebrew script. Just like us when performing tawaf….anti clock wise.
The apostles (you can see the sculptures appeared from the windows of the clock’s tower) would remind the people at the Old Town, Prague, pertaining to 4 dangers. First & Second, lost from my mind already, third is DEATH and forth is TURKISH INVASION! Yupp! This proves how great and strong the Ottoman’s Empire was at that time.
Ha ha ha, Look at me, I was wearing “topeng drebar lori”, “ray ban pasar malam” and tabung haji’s glove. This shot was on the Charles Bridge, Prague (Czech Rep.). The Gothic Charles Bridge is among the most important monument of medieval architecture in Bohemia (where Czech Republic locates now). It stretch over the Vltava River and remains the only connection between the Old Town, Prague, and the Lesser Town (Mala Strana) until the 19th century.
The above photo shows some of the sculptures (30 of them) on the Charles Bridge. The most important is that of St. Nepomuk. He was thrown into the Vltava River by King Wenceslas IV. This killing took place in 1683. His martyrdom (according to their faith), was due to his refusal to divulge the secrets of the Queen Sophie’s confession (she’s pious), as requested by the cruel king. As muslims, we understood that we are prohibited from having this kind of sculptures, thou’ they are pious or “saint”. Sculptures would lead you to associating Allah (Al-Shirk). Na’uzubillah.
Nasreddin Hodja (Hujjan) or Mullah Nasreddin (1208-1285) was a philosopher and humourist. Lived in Anatolia, Turkey, when it was under siege by Mongolian invaders. Studied Islam at Sivrihisar and Aksehir (he died & buried here), 200 km southwest Ankara.
What’s funny about him? Yeah.. As you can see from my photos here, the way he’s riding the donkey… always backwards HA HA HA (funny or crazy?) The tour guide told me that Nasreddin was very popular among his kampong folks. So most of them will greet him (by saying the Salam) whenever they met each other. In order, to entertain everyone (definitely large number of them), Nasreddin said, I have no choice but to ride my donkey backwards, as such, my donkey will answer the salam from the front, and I, myself can respond to the salam from the back. He he he.
One more story,
Nasreddin, one day, brought home one kilo of delicious lamb. Asked his wife to prepare it for the evening and set off to the teahouse to spend the rest of the day. Unable to wait (terliur sangat) his wife cooked the meat and shared it with her friends. Returning home, Nasreddin was told that the cat had eaten the meat. Puzzled, Nasreddin grabbed the family’s mangy cat and put it on the weighing scales. To his surprise, it weighed exactly one kilo. He barked at his wife, “If this is the meat, then where is the cat?”
REMINDER: ALL THESE ENDLESS JOKES ARE TALES. YOU CANNOT FIND THEM IN SAHIH BUKHARI OR SAHIH MUSLIM. HE HE HE. LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE (AGAIN, NOT MY SAYING)
Jokes from Wikipedia:-
Once, Nasreddin was invited to deliver a khutbah. When he got on the minbar (pulpit), he asked, “Do you know what I am going to say?” The audience replied “NO”, so he announced, “I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about!” and he left.
The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, the people replied “YES”. So Nasreddin said, “Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time!” and he left.
Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mullah to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question – “Do you know what I am going to say?” Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered “YES” while the other half replied “NO”. So Nasreddin said “The half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the other half,” and he left.
TWO SIDES OF RIVER
Nasreddin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side:
- “Hey! How do I get to the other side?”
- “You are on the other side!” Nasreddin shouted back.
WHOM DO YOU TRUST
A neighbour comes to the gate of Mullah Nasreddin’s yard. The Mullah goes out to meet him outside.
“Would you mind, Mullah,” the neighbour asks, “lending me your donkey today? I have some goods to transport to the next town.”
The Mullah doesn’t feel inclined to lend out the animal to that particular man, however; so, not to seem rude, he answers:
“I’m sorry, but I’ve already lent him to somebody else.”
Suddenly the donkey can be heard braying loudly behind the wall of the yard.
“You lied to me, Mullah!” the neighbour exclaims. “There it is behind that wall!”
“What do you mean?” the Mullah replies indignantly. “Whom would you rather believe, a donkey or your Mullah?”
TASTE THE SAME
Children saw Nasreddin coming from the vineyard with 2 basketfuls of grapes on his donkey, gathered around him and asked him to give them some.
Nasreddin picked up a bunch of grapes, cut it up into pieces and gave each child a piece.
“You have so much, but you gave us so little,” the children complained.
“There is no difference whether you have a basketful or a small piece. They all taste the same,” Nasreddin remarked.
WHAT IF IT HAPPENS?
Once upon a time Nasreddin Hodja went to the lake side, he was carrying a yoghurt cap, he was eating the yoghurt, and someone from the village ask him:
-What are you doing Nasreddin?
-I am mayaliying, (ie Brewing), the lake..
Villager is shocked:
-Nasreddin! Come on, you can not…..
-Come on Nasreddin, what are you doing there? You can not brew the lake…..
and Nasreddin surprised…. and Nasreddin turns him and smiles and says that:
“WHAT IF IT HAPPENS….”
Ini adalah gambar saya dalam perjalanan dari Ankara ke Istanbul. Nama tempat ini, BOLU (kena sebut betul-betul!) Ia adalah kawasan pergunungan di antara Ankara dan Istanbul. Perjalanan di sepanjang laluan ini mengingatkan kita kepada keindahan Switzerland. Cantiknya ciptaan Allah SWT. Gunung-gunungnya memutih dengan salji, mengingatkan saya kepada doa yang kita sering baca dalam solat jenazah, “…waghsilhu bil maa’ie wats tsalji wal barad..”, maksudnya, “mandikan (bersihkan) dia (si mayat) dengan air, salji dan kesejukan yang nyaman”.
Minta maaf, gambar-gambar gunung yang cantik itu tak “menjadi” sebab gelap. Baru beli kamera digital, tapi tak pandai guna. Masa tu dah maghrib, baru pukul 4.30 ptg. Sedih sebab tak dapat buat kenangan.
Sejak AKP di bawah kepimpinan Erdogan menerajui pemerintahan Turki, rakyat Turki mendapat beberapa kemudahan, antara lain lebuh raya moden yang menghubungkan Ankara dan Istanbul merentasi kawasan pergunungan di Bolu yang sebelum ini terbengkalai beberapa lama. Ianya dapat diselesaikan selepas pembinaan terowong merentasi gunung. Alhamdulillah.. di atas nikmat ini.
Saya berada di halaman kompleks kubur Ataturk, Anitkabir yang terletak di Ankara ibu negara Turki. Setiap tetamu negara Turki akan dibawa melawat kubur Ataturk sebagai tanda penghormatan kepada Bapa Turki Moden itu. Malah setiap pemimpin baru Turki yang mengambil alih tampuk pemerintahan Turki dimestikan menunjukkan penghormatan di sini tidak terkecuali, Erdogan dan Abdullah Gul
Mausoleum ini dibina dengan campuran dan kepelbagaian gaya termasuk gaya senibina Hittite (ingat ceramah saya tentang Palestin?) dan Anatolia purba. Setiap wilayah di Turki menyumbangkan batu masing-masing bagi pembinaan kompleks ini. Mayat Ataturk tidaklah berada pada batu “catafalque” yang dipamerkan itu sebagaimana sangkaan orang ramai, tetapi ditanam dalam sebuah bilik atau ruang jauh ke bawah batu tersebut.
Wah! Nak join askar Turki ka? Hehehe, saya senyum seronok bersama-sama dengan pengawal mausoleum. Pada asalnya, mayat Ataturk tidak disolatkan dan tidak ditanam, kerana “kasih” dan taasubnya rakyat Turki kepada pemimpin mereka itu, sambil menunggu kompleks maqam ini siap. Kemudian, selepas dinasihati oleh beberapa pensyarah universiti bahawa Ataturk seorang Islam yang wajib disempurnakan mayatnya mengikut ajaran Islam, barulah ianya disolatkan dan ditanam.
Apabila saya memasuki muzium yang terletak bersebelahan dengan kubur Ataturk saya dapati mereka (Turki) berjaya mewujudkan perasaan pentingnya mengorbankan “darah” demi negara. Suasana peperangan, suara orang menjerit, letupan bom saling bersahutan cukup menjadikan semangat saya berkobar-kobar untuk mempertahankan negara saya Malaysia tercinta.