MAKKAH: A 101-YEAR-OLD pilgrim from Sabah shared the secret of his longevity: no oily food and do daily doa (supplication) for good health.
Abdul Gapak Mahmud of Kampung Landang Awang Laut said he ate grilled fish, boiled chicken and fish, as well as beef.
“Aku ndak makan apa-apa sayur (I don’t eat vegetables),” he said with a laugh here yesterday.
His wife, Siti Maimun Hassan, 60, said her husband would not eat anything oily.
“Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), he is healthy.”
Gapak, a retired fisherman, said he was here to perform the haj for the first time.
“When my late first wife performed the haj, I did not go with her. But I felt a strong pull to perform it with my young wife now.
“I wonder why?” he quipped, drawing laughter from reporters and Siti Maimun, who blushed.
The centenarian said he and his wife did odd jobs in their village, including selling kerepek(crackers). He waved to the television camera, saying hello to everyone in Sabah.
Gapak, who was born on July 3, 1918, was treated to a belated birthday surprise by Southeast Asia Muassasah Tewafah (a pilgrim management body).
Present were its chief, Sheikh Muhammed Amin Hassan Andarqiri, and Malaysian haj delegation head Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
Sheikh Amin said Arabs viewed centenarians like Gapak like their own fathers and grandfathers.
“We, the children of Muassasah and Tabung Haji, hope he will have us in his prayers when he is here,” he said, adding that he would pray for Gapak to get mabrur (accepted by Allah) haj.
To a question, Sheikh Amin said the Southeast Asia Muassasah had recorded two pilgrims who were over 100 — Gapak and a 103-year-old pilgrim from Indonesia.
Syed Saleh said Gapak, who arrived here on Saturday, was checked by doctors and given a clean bill of health.