Friday, September 11, 2009

Haji Jaafar and The Devil....


Haji Jaafar knows where the devil lives. He told me, and at first I didn't want to believe him.

"The devil called my name once," Haji Jaafar said to me. "It was when we, your mother and I, were travelling to Alor Star... or somewhere, I can't recall, but I know it was a long journey."

There were no expressways then. The roads were narrow and dangerous, and the journey up north will take maybe ten hours from Muar.

Hj Jaafar told me he heard it clearly, above the drone of the car engine and howling wind as he sped to his destination.

"Maybe it was the wind rustling the leaves in the trees," I suggested.

"No," Haji Jaafar said, "it can't be." I waited for his point of argument, but it never came. Instead, he fell silent and looked out the window.

"He even tried to cause an accident..." Haji Jaafar said to no one outside the window. "He pulled on the steering wheel... but I managed to fight him... I read out the ayat Kursi... and he went away.

"That's what happen that day, too. It was raining heavily, Bad was asleep in the back seat, your mother was awake.. she couldn't sleep, maybe she was a little scared. I wasn't going very fast, but the car just appeared out of nowhere... and hit on your mother's side. If it was a japanese car... maybe we'd be dead. The Opel Kadett is really tough.

"The devil... he blinded me. And he blinded the other driver. He caused this accident and it's my fault... I couldn't fight him then.

"The devil, he lives in your blood... he sits in wait... in your blood and make you lose your concentration, makes you careless, makes you reckless. He makes you feel lazy, he makes you want to do something else when you know you want should be doing another thing. He tells you there's no hope... that it's not worth it, whatever you are trying to achieve, he tells you, it's not worth it...

"How I wish the devil looks like those monsters on TV. You know, red coloured humanoids with tails and horns... and a goatee... if they really look like that, it's easy to fight them. But, no... if you want to see the devil, just look in the mirror...."

Mother had to undergo a hip replacement. Apparently, when the people of Tanjung Gading realised that Haji Jaafar and Hajah Mahani was involved in the accident, they all came to help. But, moving mother out of the car had caused her hip bone to shatter. And, for a while nobody noticed the little boy on the floor of the car behind the driver... but he was fine. Yes, the Opel Kadett was a tough car. The other driver (I heard) lost an eye.

I thought, maybe the anesthetics or the pain killers were talking. After all, he just had the stitched on his head removed. But, then, almost three decades later today, before I start on a long journey, although most people will recite the travelling prayers (doa menaiki kenderaan), I will always say the Ayat Kursi.... to keep the devil away.

Praise be to Allah... It has worked thus far.

(Note also how easy for us to perform ibadah during Ramadhan, when he who live in our blood is shackled...)


(Haji Jaafar, Hajah Mahani & the Opel Kadett)

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