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By: RaY KinZoKu

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Thursday, 22-Dec-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
M e n c a r i ~ W a k a F

The newly restored old Wakaf..
..standing beside it, a smaller Wakaf..
..located just next to Masjid Selehor..
..on a cemetery ground in Kok Pasir, Tumpat.
Inside, the roof structure...
..this is wrong. Not Kampung Laut but Kampung Kok Pasir.
Nearby, by a road to Terbak, Tumpat, stood a Wakaf..
..old and heavily Thai influenced, built by the Thai minority..
..and as for the inside look.
By a road between Pasir Pekan and Tendong..
..an old Wakaf, undoubtly built 100 yrs back..
..with traditional authentic Malay architecture..
If you look carefully, this wakaf is equipped with a well..
..the way they laid down the roof tiles really fascinates me..
An old well next to the wakaf, clean water for the travelers..
A new Wakaf based on old design next to Masjid Kg. Laut ..
Another newly constructed, at Istana Jahar..
.. from a different angle ...
.



There are not few places in Kelantan,
with the word " Wakaf " sticking onto their name !



Here are the well known ones :

Wakaf Mek Zainab ( read : Wokah Mek Jaenak ), Wakaf Zin ( read : Wokah Zeng ), Wakaf Stan ( read : Wokah Stae ), Wakaf Bharu ( read : Wokah Barghu ) , Wakaf Siku ( read : Wokah Sikuu ) and Wakaf Che Yeh ( read : Wokah Che Yeh ) etc etc.

And not to mention those Kampungs ( village ) named after it, Kampung Wakaf Aik ( Tawang, Bachok ), Kampung Wakaf Bata ( Machang ), Kampung Wakaf Berangan ( Pasir Puteh ) etc etc.

( ... but if you know more, do tell me ! )


In the days when a journey by land was often made either by foot or a slow going ox-cart,
when there is no such thing as hotel or guest-house, when even mosque was hardly around, a traveller embarking on a long journey would normally expect himself to endure the harsh tropical climate and road-weariness before he could finally reach his destination.

Then, came the Wakaf idea, as described in the following :


Quote:

    Throughout the generations of the past,
    weary Malay travelers sought rest, shelter and prayer in the many intricately carved wakaf, or rest pavilions, that dotted public pathways. Villagers built them as an act of charity towards those in need of shelter. In doing so, they fulfilled part of the cultural and religious obligations observed by traditional Malay society.


    Reference : The Internet






A photo of a Wakaf taken somewhere in feudal Kelantan around 1905.

From the book " Kelantan : A State of The Malay Peninsula " ( 1908 ) by W.A Graham,
the then Siamese appointed British Advisor to the Court of Kelantan. The English author described the wall-less structure as a "charity" in form of " a wayside resthouse ".



I am not sure of other Malaysians and how Wakaf played part in their lives.

But, I somehow believe that in the old days, the Wakaf must have had some great importance of some sort to the Kelantanese that economic activities eventually thrived around the usually humble huts. Soon afterwards, people started to make reference to the Wakaf whenever they try to describe the area where the Wakaf stood and finally the place got a formal name, and of course the word Wakaf was a part of it, which explains why there are numbers of places in Kelantan ( and even Terengganu ! ) have Wakaf in their names.

In the other hand, the origin of the name " Wakaf ", is quite interesting.

Wakaf is in fact a word of Arabic origin which found its way into Malay terminology with the spread of Islam. Most people will probably think of it as an act of giving away of one's private property to the society for communal benefits i.e charity thus suggesting the origin of the name. Maybe.

But there is another kind of Wakaf that most tend to forget.
Learning qiraati ( the discipline of Quran reciting ) will introduce you to the infamous " tanda Wakaf " or literally " stopping point " ie designated point marked on the Quran by Arabic alphabets, where a brief stop is allowed between recital so that the reading would not sound distorted. I was told that the name Wakaf originally came from the latter definition ie " a place to stop ". The latter indeed sounds more logical to me. But still, both are acceptable as they both sound logical.






An old Wakaf, remnant from the bygone era, in Kampung Kok Pasir, Palekbang, Jajahan Tumpat, Kelantan.

It was built by Tok Selehor, a famous religious teacher ( ulama' ) of the early 1900s. Although this one was obviously built on a cemetery ground which means the purpose of its existance might be quite different from those normally used by travelers of the old days, it shows what Wakaf generally must have looked like back then



Now, with the presence of modern mode of transportations and hotels alike, it is a well accepted fact that now Wakaf is a thing of the past.

I have no hope of finding a functioning one in this modern day Kelantan but I decided to place a bet and embarked on a private journey to search for the remnants of the traditional rest pavilions around Kota Bharu. The journey however took me outside of Kota Bharu to Pasir Puteh, then to Tok Bali and back to Kota Bharu again through Melawi and Bachok. From Kota Bharu I continued the search across the Kelantan River into Tumpat then to Pasir Mas through Tendong then finally return home to Kota Bharu through Salor.

By the end of the journey, my mileage reading showed that I had covered 170 ++ km, literally covering much of northen Kelantan in my search for the elusive old authentically traditional Wakaf.

The search was quite disappointing though, especially when I have no idea of the exact place to look except having my eyes pinned along the roadsides, but I did find something worth searching for. Three old Wakafs and all of them are in Tumpat !
I decided to snap some photos and put them here.

Someone told me that I did not have to go that far in my search for old Wakafs. Since there are Wakafs of such kind in the Masjid Kampung Laut compound (in Nilam Puri) and in the Istana Jahar's courtyard, and yes, I do notice that. But unfortunately they were obviously moved there quite recently thus lacking much of the originality and the romantic qualities - unlike the one that I was looking for.

Therefore, if you do have some information on or the whereabout of OTHER old, traditional or historical and onced functional Wakafs anywhere in Kelantan ( or even Terengganu ! ), do inform me.

I would appreciate that so much.






My first attempt to search for traditional old Wakaf started in the cyberspace.

I got to know the whereabout of this beautiful "Wakaf Tok Selehor" from a website promoting the village where the Wakaf is now.

I then went for a real life search for it only to find it off the main road, into a narrow village road, in a place called Kok Pasir. I was surprised to see what had became of the Wakaf, different from the one I first saw on the net, the Wakaf just got restored very recently.I believe this is the work of the villagers.

Even though I preferred old buildings to be restored or preserved without replacing any of the original materials but honestly, I am proud of their effort. Unlike many other Kelantanese, these people are obviously aware and proud of their national heritage and instead of bringing it down to make way for a crappy tasteless Wakaf of these days, they decided to be proud of what their grandfathers had left them.

To the people of Kok Pasir, if you read this, well done, you guys did a great job ! TAHNIAH !






An old Wakaf by the road somewhere between Pasir Pekan (Tumpat) and Tendong (Pasir Mas).

Honestly this is what I was looking for in the first place. A Wakaf built for the sake of the travellers in the days when every journey was often made by foot. This Wakaf, located by the old road connecting Pasir Mas with Tumpat, are even equipped with a well. Another innovation by the past generations to add to the comfort of the travellers. I hope that this one would be preserved but without the effort from people like the Kok Pasirians, it days are surely numbered.

Another national heritage soon to be lost forever.. Pity.









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~ We are so eager of looking outside,
that we fail to realise of what we are losing inside ~



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