Monday, January 9, 2012


          The evening sky at the Iron Mosque Putrajaya and ecstatic features of the mosque

 On Sunday 8 January 2012 we had the pleasure of attending two wedding ceremonies or more definite receptions. One was at Putrajaya and the other close to it at Bandar Baru Bangi. Both receptions were held in a hall. The former was at Dewan Seri Hindon and the latter at Dewan Akademi Percukaian. Being held in a covered hall gives advantages to the organizers or  hosts. I am not about to talk about the merits of it but want to look at the very aspects of invitation itself.

Firstly with all the prior attentions and  procedures for the engagement of the couples made, how do the hosts set down to planning the invitation of their guests? Where would the wedding reception take place? How many would be on the invited list of the host? The biggest question perhaps would be how does he go about compiling the invitation list? Mind you 'he' would be a misnomer as many other 'he' and 'she' would come into the picture. Besides the man of the house, the 'lady' would have her guest lists too. Then the bride or the bridegroom plus the other members in the family who also would not like to exclude their close friends. Not forgetting the parents of the host and hostess. At the end of the day there will be a long list indeed. It therefore becomes a norm to 'slaughter' a cow or two if all are to be invited. Such is the occasion in the 'kampong' then and even now where necessities provide. For you and I who have passed through this encounter we would be happy to know that we have not forgotten the closest of friends. If that is done then there is another occasion if the opportunity allows us to have another reception for the following son or daughter. Foremost we will give priority to our neighbours and members of the 'jemaah' of the mosque or 'surau' which we attended, followed by relatives ( closed and extended), office mates, friends and all together with their families. Well I guess it is a big predicament if you determined not to miss all the closest of families and friends.   

Next on the agenda would be the venue. Your home would be of course the best alternatives. But the huge guests list would make you decide otherwise, unless you have a palatial home.Even parking would be an issue to think about too now.

I would like to look at the format of the 'Invitation Card' as part of the order of things. From a simple one piece invitation card, it too has taken its role as an important part of the check list. The wordings and phrasing may not alter much, being fairly constant but the card and its format, size, colour and scent too may take different styles. Noticeably there is hope and expression as one notice an opening page which reads:
                                    ' Ya Allah Ya Tuhan Kami 

Kami memohon restuMu,berkatilah majlis kami ini, limpahkanlah barakah dan rahmat keatas pasangan suami isteri ini. Jadikanlah  rumahtangga mereka aman dan bahagia dalam ketaatan terhadapMu. Kurniakanlah kepada mereka zuriat yang soleh dan solehah, serta berikanlah ketenangan kepada mereka di dunia dan di akhirat. Sempurnakanlah agama mereka dengn ikatan ini. Amin Ya Rabbal A lamin   '

Much as the host feels delighted and happy to  forward the invitation for the marriage of his or her daughter, he too asks for Allah's blessings for the future of the bride and bridegroom, their well being, their steadfastness to the religion and the granting of good and religious off springs and blessings for their future. That would be followed with the invitation to attend the reception on a particular day and date and at a specific time and place. Invariably a map of the location will be added for the convenience of the guests especially if it is held not at his residence.    .

For our attendance at the above two receptions, we had to refer to the maps.   Invariably guests are invited to the reception which are often held between  12 .00 to 5.00 pm with mention of the time the bridegroom and bride would arrive. Hoping that guests will scheduled their time to be at this specific hour. Invitation to Majlis Marhaban or special prayer would have been arranged earlier with a chosen invited guests. This occasion would have been part of the program still if the function is held in the kampong and in the towns outside the capital cities. For convenience too several telephone numbers would be included in case guests would like to get explanations etc. Yes 'rsvp' is not requested. Neither is there a dress code. You could come in your normal attire or come in the best traditional dress. 

Therefore the host has to make the best of his planning especially in the preparation of dishes etc to be served. It would be a calamity if the servings should fall short of the expected number. In the kampong and suburbs where community identity and spirit still endures, reception and the preparation plus serving of the dishes for the special occasion would still be organized and prepared by the community's group who has always been trusted to come forth at such function. This would of course make for a complete participation of the neighboring members and friends.

Attendance at wedding receptions especially, continue to link the close friendships of friends, neighbours and relatives. It helps to bring about meetings of relatives and friends who may not have met each other for reasons of their own. Therefore every one concerned would attempt to attend irrespective of distance or time. The occasion of our trip to Putrajaya and Bangi with other relatives that accompanied us testify to that objective. As such we were glad to meet relatives and friends who had journeyed there from other towns and districts as well. No momentous would be more valuable then a photograph that recorded the warm meetings. All will go home with fond memories not so much of the wedding reception but the opportunities to have met uncles, aunties, grand fathers or grand mothers, cousins and nieces etc. By order of nature, perhaps the entourage could be invited to our home after the ceremony. This did happened.  

However we must remember that no amount of brilliance  in the invitation card can surmount the personal invitation by the host or hostess. They must make an effort to call at the individual homes of the closed relatives and friends.It would be excusable decades ago when transportation or communication was at its infancy. Now where motor vehicles and other means of transport are available there is no excuse. Telephone calls or 'sms' would be alternatives. Even 'emails' would be a good choice. As much as our guests take the opportunity to attend we must also be there at the front to welcome them when they arrived and departed. Such is hospitality.

The wedding reception at Putrajaya held in Dewan Siti Endon. Here we met our neighbours of Precinct 16 and also friends from Kedah itself.

                 The other reception we attended on the same day at Dewan Akademi Percukaian
    Bandar Baru Bangi. This was a family affair and you can see the closeness as all took time to have a photograph taken with the "Raja SeHari" It was more poignant to me as the father of the bridegroom was a student of mine when he was in the secondary school. Sadly he has passed away so too his parents and the children grew up with their mother. 

Our visit to the capital city gave us the opportunity to also record a few photographs of the new mosque at Putrajaya which has yet to attract jemaah and visitors as seen at Masjid Putra, the other mosque in Putrajaya.

It seems to flow into the lake beyond and thus bring the classic background as part of the backdrop to Masjid Tunku Mirzan Zainal Abidin which boasts of a no wall surroundings. Not a wadding pool but part of the mosque features.                               

    Iron everywhere and no doubt for its name. The entrance as you move in from the east into the main prayer hall for men.

                  Arches and frames that make the mosque a piece of architectural design

                                               Another view as seen from the mosque

The mosque is an integral part of the wedding ceremony too. The solemnity of the marriage ritual and vow is better done in the mosque than elsewhere else. It calls upon all to be at the mosque as at other times in the day too.It is good to see the adherence to this practice or choice.


Wan Sharif said...

Alhamdulillah your entry this time around depicts things and matters that I have yet to experience and can be my useful reference in not too near a future.. Anak2 masih belajar :)

kotastar said...

Sdr Wan Sharif,

Thank you for yr visit. Nanti bila perlu nasihat jangan lupa tanya khabarlah. lagi pun peluang untuk kami ke Pantai Timor. Wishing you segala yang terbaik bagi urusan sdr.

Hoping yr young man/woman are blessed with their hopes and ambitions.

Al-Manar said...

I have gone through this but not in the manner you described. We chose our home and that being over 400 km away we knew that the invitation became a formality. Only the very close would travel. So the process and expenses were manageable. Even in KL, the cost was reasonable 20 years ago.

kotastar said...

Sdr Al Manar,
We chose the way you did too. Having it at home and therefore none of the extras. I wrote with the intention of leaving a small note of things that come with the marriage ceremony - that readers may take note.We have another candidate who has yet to be the 'raja sehari' but no idea when that will be ..Looking at some of the functions held with canopies,all the extras etc you would find in a 4-5 star hotel you wonder why such approaches. Still its hospitality I guess. @0 yrs ago .. that seems almost a century back in term of expanses ''' Salam