OK... Come the time to continue telling stories...
Lihat pintu bangunan ini...
Look at this building's door...
Look at the roof from inside...
Lihat bahagian dalam bumbung...
Kalau nak tahu, inilah Masjid Zahir di Alor Setar, Kedah!
If you want to know, this is the Zahir mosque in Alor Setar, Kedah!
The Zahir mosque is the royal mosque of Kedah. The word Zahir is Arabic meaning clear and apparent as opposed to Batin which can't be seen because it's inside, more spiritual and hidden in nature. When I looked at the name Zahir, what came to mind is the old royal title for the rulers of the kingdom of Pasai in modern-day Aceh... The title of kings then was Sultan Malikul Zahir... Is there any connection?
Memang ada kaitan tertentu antara kerajaan Kedah dan Pasai dahulukala. Keluarga diraja kedua-dua buah kerajaan pernah berkahwin antara satu sama lain. Malah di sebuah tempat bernama Minye Tujuh (kalau tak salah) di Aceh, terdapat sebuah batu nesan yang menyatakan Kedah dan Pasai serta perairannya berada di bawah pemerintahan raja yang sama!
The Kedah river seen from the mosque's compound.
Actually, the inscriptions on the tombstone made in very old Malay mixed with Sanskrit and Arabic sounded like this...
Tujuh ratus asta puluh savarasaa
Haji catur dan dasa vara sukra
Raja iman varda rahmat Allah.
Gutra bharu bhasa (ng) hak Kadah Pase.
Matarukk tasih tanah samuha
Ilahi ya rabbi tuhan samuha
Taruh dalam svarga tuhan tutuha.
The translation: On Friday 14 Zulhijjah 781 Hijrah of the Islamic calender (equivalent to the year 1380 AD), a pious princess returned to the presence of God (as in died)... A princess descended from "Gutra Bharu Bhasa" or "the people of the new language", the people who brought a new culture and faith that is Islam and have authority and power over Kedah and Pasai, on land and see. God and Lord, the master of all the universe, do put her in heaven.
Who is the princess referred to? Some scholars believe she is Queen Nur Ilah who ruled Pasai before 1380 AD while Kedah was already under the rule of her father Sultan Malikul Zahir Thani who ascended the throne in 1326.
This commemorative stone at the Zahir mosque says the mosque was built based on the mosque architecture in Langkat, a province south of modern-day Aceh and north of Sumatera Utara. Actually, under the current borders defined by the rulers of Indonesia in Jakarta, Langkat is just a district within Sumatera Utara. Whatever, Langkat used to be its own Sultanate while Sumatera Utara was a province within the Deli Sultanate. Both kingdoms used to be under the rule of Aceh while Aceh of olden days was under the rule of Pasai. See the connection?