The Holy Quran says,"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor." - Surah Al Isra (17:23).
Abu Hurairah, a companion of the holy Prophet, has said that "a person is indeed disgraced, who does not earn Paradise by caring for his parents during the life time and old age of his/her parents".
We normally go to PokDe Renek sundry shop in Kampong Pulau Ketam half an hour before sunset and would reach his shop just a few minute from sunset after a leisurely walk on a small sandy pathway. There was a 100m stretch, between Duyong Besar and the bridge that demarcated Kampung Duyong Besar and Kampung Pulau Ketam, that we have to walk in between thick undergrowths.
PokDe Renek would normally closed his shop at sunset after he has finished dealing with the customer who came before us.. He would close his shop before attending to our need.. I guessed he did not want us to be embarrassed as we were taking a loan for our food items and perhaps set precedence for other village folks some of whom were equally poor.
We would have finished our “purchase” some 15 minutes after sunset and would rushed back to our grandfather’s house in Kampung Duyong Besar, where we were allocated a room there. Granpa was known as Che’ Him Tukang (carpenter), Che’ Him Cermin (mirror/glass) as his house has the most glass pane windows on the island) and Che’ Him jangok (smartly dressed) as he “selit” his sarong like the ladies do as opposed to kilas, the way the men used to wear the sarong).
To the outsiders, my father did not fare too badly as we stayed in a big house.. but for the fact that my father work for pittance as an apprentice carpenter. There were times that we pay our zakat fitrah in the evening of Aidilfitri as opposed to a day before.. as money collected during Aidilfitri by my siblings will be used to pay the tithe.. I believed for most of my childhood, our family was qualified recipient for Zakat but was not considered as we stayed in a big grandpa's place.. but my mum did recalled that we have received zakat once when our close neighbour became an Amil (a person qualified to collect zakat fo the Government).
Ah too much intro.. my apology.
On one of those trips back from PokDe Renek sundry shop.. we stopped to take a breather at a big tree stump.. I remembered very well that particular evening.. my mother has my sister (four years my junior) on her “dukung sisi” (carrying my sister on her side) and a basket in her other hand grip... I was about six then..
She recounted my Grandpa story from that old tree stump. There was an old man that has lost his spouse and his ability to walk for quite some time. He has many children that could not keep their father in their houses for long without having some nagging and perhaps harsh words from their spouses.. So the children keep on shifting their father from house to house taking turns to take care of “the old man”.
As there was no other way to carry an old man in the old day except to put him on your back.. one of the old man son did just that and has to stop at a tree stump to take a breather after carrying his father for some distance.
“Why do you have to carry grandpa to uncle’s place” queried the son
“Ah your late mother was not happy to have your grandpa with us for a short duration of time” the father replied.
The son immediately lifted the father and carried him back to his place instead of carrying him to his sibling’s place. When queried by his unhappy spouse, the son said “I do not want to repeat my father’s previous actions and my children to follow my footstep “..
Have a nice weekend to all and have Happy MauludurRasul and a nice long weekend to my Malaysian readers ;))