You know, the songs that he (P Ramlee) learnt from the nusantaran tradition with regards to the nasyid-nasyid and the salawat-salawat. And that is quiet amazing. So for instance you hear, right, in one of his most famous songs that is still sung today, most children would know this song, it is ‘Aci Aci buka pintu, nana balik pukul satu,’ Those of us who don’t study this properly and don’t make tafakkur as Allah s.w.t. asked us to reflect on the creation and even the things that we create, meaning the things that we produce. If you think about it, Aci Aci bukak pintu, and those of you who have been following you know going to your masjids during the salawat punya sessions bila kenduri kahwin, bila marhaban for example right; then sometimes if you hear very carefully to some of our marhaban songs; Ya Rasulallah salaamun alaik! Ya rafii’asyaani waddaraji, akfatai yaa jiiratal ‘alami ya uhailal juudi wal karami! (At this point Dr Afifi does his thing with the teng teketeng teng teng tune which cant possibly be transcribed, followed by the audience’s laughter). I mean, silap-silap ternyanyi pulak Aci Aci bukak pintu! But this is a case in point, how is that possible?! He (P Ramlee) did not invent that song(the Qasidah)! He grew up with that song. When he went to the modern world, he took that which he knew, that was a successful song, and he BUILT on that, this is the meaning of ‘al muhaafazotu ala qadeemis salih,’ to protect to preserve what has gone before, but now that he has passed on to the next world(the modern world), ‘wal akhtu bi jadeedil aslah’. He had made that song into a normal malay song.
The transcript of Dr Afifi al Akiti lecture at Sacred Path of love 2010
Dr Afifi al Akiti is teaching at Oxford University though he started his education at Pondok pesantren in Indonesia.