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A Lesson Learnt
By: Anonymous Story Submission

This story happened many many years ago. It was told to us by my friend’s elder brother (we shall call him, Ramli). Ramli’s maternal grandmother just passed away and the whole family was very distraught. This story is not about the grandmother’s restless spirit but what transpired after it. I will just give a short introduction.

A few weeks after the funeral, his mother started to have nightmares where the grandmother keeps appearing at the door and calling her name while gesturing for her to follow. His mom have these nightmares almost every night for the next 1-2 weeks and finally she told her husband and sons. Ramli’s father suggested they seek advice from one of his friends who is some sort of a bomoh. When the bomoh came over the next day, he said he could feel a presence in the house. The presence is not menacing but seems to be lost. The bomoh said a few prayers and told the family that he needs to go to the grave of Ramli’s late grandmother to get a handful of the dirt so that he could ‘ask’ the presence to leave the house. Here is where the story begins.

The bomoh asked one of the family members to follow him that night to the cemetery to get the dirt from the late grandmother’s grave and Ramli, as the eldest brother offered to tag along. When they reached the Muslim cemetery, the bomoh advised Ramli to not stare too long at anything in the cemetery and to chant some prayers as he follows along. Ramli, not being a pious man told the bomoh that he only knew 1 prayer by heart. The bomoh said its OK and to keep repeating the same prayer and again reminded him to stay close and never stare at anything that he might see.

As they were walking amongst the graves, Ramli, who was following closely behind noticed from the corners of his eyes a figure standing about 100 metres away on his right. He was starting to get afraid but kept chanting the prayer in his heart. The figure disappeared and reappeared closer to him but he kept on saying his prayers. this happened for a few times when finally the figure appeared right beside his face!

At this point, Ramli was chanting faster and faster and his heart was beating so loud and fast that he thought he would die of a heart attack there! The figure had a face that was so badly decomposed that he could literally see the bones and rotting flesh.. When he thought he could not take it anymore and was about to shout and run back out, the figure opened his mouth and said.. “Baca pun tak tahu..” (translation: You’re not even chanting the right way)and disappeared again.

At this point, Ramli was so scared that he stopped chanting and just walked as close as possible to the bomoh as he can because if he has been chanting it wrong, there is nothing he can at the moment.
This story is an example for all my Muslim brothers of how important saying your prayers in Arabic the right way is. if you say it wrong, the meaning is different and will not do you any good. Ramli became a totally different person after that incident. When in the past he used to drink and missed his daily prayers, he is now an Ustaz or religious teacher and emphasizes the importance of the right pronunciations during prayers.

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