How time flies? I can't believe that it was only last Friday that I was at a kampong mosque, in the province of Kota Jantho, Acheh Besar, Nanggroe Acheh Darussalam, performing my Jumaat prayers with my PPMM lawyer friends there.
It is only with the help of the following photographs and video that I get to relive those precious moments.
First and foremost, come join me in feasting our eyes at the majestic Gunung Seulawah with its striking cone shaped summit. Looking so blue and faraway, nestled in a carpet of green, green paddy fields.
Such was the glorious rural countryside of Acheh Darussalam as we headed towards its interior, especially that of Kota Jantho, in Acheh Besar where we received news that there was going to be a Syariah Code implementation of caning on several offenders caught gambling at the province. The punishment was to be carried out after Jumaat prayers at the Masjid Jamek, Kota Jantho, Acheh Besar.
We were at Banda Acheh, quite a distance away from the place and we were skeptical of reaching the masjid in time but nevertheless made our way there hoping to at least catch the last part of the event or at least get to speak to the Syariah Implementation officials.
We decided to stop over at a masjid on the way to Kota Jantho because it was time for the Friday prayers and we did not want to miss praying it.
It was like entering a time tunnel being there at the rural masjid. Complete with the 'Lat the Kampong Boy' type scenario. The giggling shy young boys of the kampong, each with his own peculiar characteristics and antics. It was just out of the ordinary for me.
Not that they have not seen a photographer come shoot their pictures before or what but I must have looked pretty strange with my kopiah and white beard peering through my lens at them and capturing their images for posterity here?
God knows what they might have been chattering between themselves about me? Hehehehehe...
There was this one character who smiled coyly at me with his row of prominent teeth. He looked exactly like a character that Datuk Lat drew in his famous cartoon series : Lat the Kampong Boy!
See for yourselves. Subhanallah.
Overall, I could sense their curiosity about us and the way they would steal furtive glances at us when they thought we were not looking?
There was this special character @ a one eyed old man who would turn every now and then and scrutinize me with his remaining one eye! That felt weird and I just felt that I had to snap him when he did that again. Hehehehe...here's my shot!
National Geographic quality material? Hehehehe..
Let's now take a look at the Acheh Muslims who came to pray.
Here's the young khatib. His words were a mix of Malay and Acheh lingo. I could just understand portions of the khutbah because I have yet to learn their dialect or language. His Arabic was fluent though and it was blissful to listen to his recitations. Superb!