Saturday, June 30, 2007

Jihad Tuan Guru Abdul Rahman Limbong

Didalam Buku 'Tangisan Bangsaku' Pengarang Arifin Ngah menceritakan tentang perjuangan Tok Guru Abd Rahman Limbong dan watak-watak lain di sekelilingnya. Ianya adalah sebuah kisah benar yang kekal jadi sejarah. Kisah perjuangan kaum tani memberontak menuntut hak dan berjihad dengan darah dan air mata.Novel ini mengisahkan tentang pemberontakan Tani 1928 yang dipelopori oleh Tok Guru Abd Rahman Limbong. Kebangkitan petani di Terengganu bermula pada tahun 1921 apabila penjajah British mahu mengenakan cukai tanah kepada rakyat yang mengusahakan tanah. Tok Guru Abd Rahman menentang undang-undang baru ini, kerana beranggapan undang-undang itu zalim dan bertentangan dengan Islam. Ini kerana umat Islam juga telah membayar zakat atas hasil tanaman. Penjajah British telah menggunakan pengaruh Sultan untuk melaksanakan undang-undang tersebut. Ianya dibantu oleh watak Melayu yang jadi talibarut penjajah dengan menjadi penghulu dan kerani Inggeris.Penulis telah menulis novel ini dengan gaya penceritaan yang mudah dan menarik hingga menimbulkan keinginan kepada pembaca untuk mengenali lebih lanjut watak Tok Guru Abdul Rahman Limbong di dalam buku ini.Tok Guru Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong adalah nama gelaran Haji Abdul Rahman Haji Abdul Hamid. Lahir sekitar tahun 1880an dan pernah mengaji di Mekah. Tok Guru Abd Rahman Limbong pernah berguru dengan Tokku Paloh, yang juga guru kepada Tok Kenali. Tok Guru Abdul Rahman Limbong adalah seorang yang sangat warak dan alim juga sangat dihormati oleh masyarakat di Limbong dan Telemong terutamanya. Haji Abdul Rahman Limbung telah memainkan peranan besar dalam masyarakat di Terengganu. Beliau bukan sahaja berperanan sebagai tokoh agama, malah juga mengambil berat tentang aktiviti ekonomi, sosial dan politik masyarakat setempat.Beberapa siri pemberontakan telah berlaku di Terengganu dari tahun 1921 sehinggalah kemuncaknya pada tahun 1928 bila melibatkan angka korban dan kemusnahan yang banyak. Maka, pada 12 Zulhijjah 1436 bersamaan 2 Jun 1928, Sultan Sulaiman Shah, atas nasihat Inggeris, telah mengeluarkan titah supaya Haji Abdul Rahman dibuang negeri dari Terengganu atas kesalahan menderhaka kepada negeri dan Sultan.Haji Abdul Rahman menafikan tuduhan tersebut kerana beliau bukan menderhaka, tetapi menentang sikap kerajaan dan raja yang telah diperbudakkan oleh penjajah Inggeris. Hakikatnya, Haji Abdul Rahman menentang pegawai-pegawai Inggeris yang mahu menindas rakyat untuk kepentingan British.Walaupun tidak mengaku bersalah, Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong menerima hukuman tersebut demi mengelak dari berlakunya huru-hara. Beliau telah memilih untuk tinggal di Mekah dan meninggal di Mekah pada tanggal 14 Jamadil Akhir 1348 bersamaan 16 November 1929. Maka berakhirlah perjuangan seorang tokoh agama yang ingin menegakkan kesucian agama dan menentang pengaruh barat yang cuba mengganggu-gugat kesucian Islam dan keimanan umat Islam di nusantara.* Rujuk juga buku Pemberontakan Tani 1928 di Trengganu: Satu Kajian Ketokohan dan Kepimpinan Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong, tulisan Timah Hamzah, terbitan DBP.
Gambar diatas; Orang ramai menunggu 'pemberontak' yang ditangkap oleh pihak British dibawa dengan bot dari Telemong, dihadapan pejabat Kastam dan Eksais Diraja Kuala Terengganu, 21 Mei, 1928

Pemerintah pada masa itu, British telah menggelar Tuan Guru Hj Abd Rahman Limbong sebagai 'Pemberontak'. Berikut adalah catatan seorang Blogger, berkaitan perkara berkenaan :

I found Hakim Wan Mahmud just a few days ago while looking at an event that was brewing up in Trengganu over many years but began to take the shape of an open rebellion this month, 77 years ago. And it centred around a man named Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abdul Hamid bin Abdul Kadir, who lived in the village of Beladau, on the Trengganu river. To the people of Trengganu he was — and still is — fondly known as Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong, or Tok Limbong.Tok Limbong was an itinerant religious teacher, a trader, entrepreneur, and spiritual leader. To many he was a saint and a scholar with many famous students from the Royal House of Trengganu, including Tengku Nik Maimunah of Telemong, (better known as Tengku Nik Haji), sister to the then Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah; Tengku Muhammad (known as Raja Darat), the former Sultan who was deposed and replaced by Sultan Sulaiman; and Tengku Ismail (Sultan Sulaiman's brother) who later succeeded to the throne as Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah. Tok Limbong himself was a student and anointed successor of another famous scholar-saint of Trengganu, Syed Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad al-Idrus, better known as Tok Ku Paluh
Crowd awaiting the arrival of rebel leaders by boat from Telemong, at the Customs & Excise Dept., Kuala Trengganu, 21 May, 1928.
These were early days of British 'intervention' in Trengganu, when the rural people, shocked by the need to acquire licences to work on land that'd been tilled and worked on for generations by their ancestors. They looked to Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong, a fluent Arabic speaker and Qur'anic scholar, as their leader. He did not fail them: he took a 'Wakil' licence that allowed him to appear in court as a pleader, and fought their case. The judge in the lower court decided for the people. He was Hakim Mahmud, the man my mother spoke about. In despatches back to the Colonial Office there was disquiet on the part of the British colonial officers about this decision as Mahmud was a former student of Haji Abdul Rahman. So they took the case up on appeal to a higher court, where Haji Abdul Rahman once again argued the case and won it for the people, while also running rings around the then police Chief of Trengganu, a man with the delightful name of Cheers.These were the early and mid 1920s. The dissatisfaction simmered on while Tok Limbong continued to ply the coastal waters in his Perahu Besar the Trengganu junk. In between his trading activities he became a widely respected religious scholar, a man described by the then British Adviser Humphreys thus:
"Haji Drahman is a small, dark, ascetic-looking Malay of about sixty-years. He has a great reputation for sanctity and good works, and great influences — secular as well as religious — among the people of the middle Trengganu river. Unlike most Trengganu 'saints' he is extremely charitable and does not use his influence for his personal profit; he devotes himself to religious teaching, agriculture, and devotional exercises." — Report of the British Adviser, Trengganu, 24 November, 1922.
On 20th April, 1928, the natives, still restless over the imposition of licensing fees on their economic activities, reportedly attempted assault on a Forest Guard and Police Constable in Kuala Brang, and so it simmered, with palace officials to-ing and fro-ing between Kuala Brang and Kuala Trengganu, and the Sultan Sulaiman himself visiting them on 3rd and 4th May, 1928 when he was met by about 3000 disgruntled subjects.Events came to a head on 21st May, when shots were fired at an armed crowd trying to attack a police station in Telemong, resulting in the death of 11 people, including Lebai Abdul Rahman, the man who led the attack, who was also known as Tok Janggut. Many of the rebels were transported downstream to Kuala Trengganu on the same day, to the Customs & Excise offices in the harbour where police vehicles awaited to take them to the detention centre. They were subsequently tried in the Istana Maziah, and received sentences ranging from 15 years to 5 years, with hard labour, to be served in Singapore.When all this happened, Tok Limbung was away on business in Beserah, but the British, convinced that he was the power behind it all, urged the Sultan to order his arrest. On hearing this, Haji "Tok Limbong" Abdul Rahman presented himself at the Istana (accompanied by a Palace official called Datuk Pahlawan) soon as he arrived from Beserah, in Pahang. At the Istana Maziah he met the Sultan Sulaiman for the first time. He was detained at the Kathi's Court (which was then in the grounds of the Istana) pending an order that was signed by the Sultan on 2nd June, 1928 for his removal, first to Singapore to be put under the care of the Straits Settlement Government. On 6th June, he wrote instructions for the sale of his property, proceeds of which to be used in settlement of debts with various people, including his wife. He was taken to Makkah 19th August, 1928, to end his life in the city it had begun, where he, as a boy, had lived under the care of his uncle Tun Muhamad Zain, a descendant of the Trengganu Tuns of Kuala Brang. His family on his father's side came from Patani.He was to live for another year, spending his time there lecturing at the Great Mosque which houses the Ka'abah. On 16th November 1929, he died, in poverty, in a waqf (trust) house set up by a family charity. Haji Abdul Rahman Limbung was one of the remarkable men in the history of Trengganu, a saint, scholar, leader, and entrepreneur. He was a slight man, attired in the Malay baju and Chinese-style trousers; he wore a conical Terendak hat and walked on wooden clogs (terompah) made, probably, in his own factory in Trengganu. There are many strange stories about him, still told by the people there, of how he crossed the Trengganu river to meet his teacher Tok Ku Paluh, without a boat, and how he could disappear from one place, and reappear in another. In the report by his contemporary, Humphreys, it was said that he:
"In short, — in the untranslatable Malay expression — kramat, supernatural, thaumaturgic. And his followers have so turned his head with adulation that he now appears to believe in his own magic powers and a 'call' to preach a Tolstoyan doctrine of prayer and agriculture, whose leading tenets are: that the land belongs to the people, that Government claims on it are contrary to Muhammadan law, and that the Government itself is a superfluous vanity."

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