Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Counting down Ramadan!

Does anyone realize that Ramadan is getting closer? Yeah exactly, it is less than 100 days from now. Okay, first of all I’ll explain you what Ramadan really is. Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar-based calendar which is of course different from the commonest calendar we use today (Gregorian calendar). We, Moslems do fasting during that month for about 30 or 29 days depends on the moon’s emergence, since different place has different view of the moon, so we have different numbers of the days for fasting. Guys, fasting means we don’t drink and eat anything during the daytime, starts from the dawn (before sunrise) until the sun sets (dusk).

As I’m one of billion Moslems in this world, I do believe that Ramadan is much better than 1000 months; this is what we believe anyway. So, what does it mean actually? In simply we can say that if we do goodness within the period of a thousand year, it is equal with the righteousness we do in just one month (Ramadan), what a far-out month, all praises are Allah’s.

In Ramadan, aside from not eating and drinking, we should also control our rage to other people; we can’t at all express our fury like we usually do in other months, though getting angry in any month is valued as bad deed. Having sexual relationship between husband and wife during the day is also prohibited since it can abrogate the fasting, they still can do that in the night anyways. One purpose of doing fasting in Ramadan is that to strengthen our patience as well as to sharpen our empathy to the poor.

For the very first time in my life, I had different and unusual Ramadan last year. I did fast in Tucson Arizona since at that time I was studying at University of Arizona. The weather was pretty hot in summer and it made me quite dazed for the first two weeks, though afterward it was getting better since the season turned into autumn.

The hardest thing I faced when experienced two months fasting in US was not about the weather or food; I pretty much could deal with that. It was about the schedule of my program that made me somewhat frustrated. I could only go to bed after 11 pm since the tasks were always hard and plentiful, moreover I must have woken up at 3 am to prepare for my sahoor, what a short sleep then. I always asked myself and complained about the circumstance I had then, but then I knew that my whining did not make any sense at all. I must thank God since I got the huge bounty to be a grantee to study at the UofA, thank you Allah.

One more, the unforgettable experience when I did fasting in Tucson was that the “iftar” time. Yeah, iftar means the break time. I had fast break (iftar) at 7 pm and I always did that with friends of mine at Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT). ICT fully supported the jamaah or Moslems who did fasting by providing halal food such as beef, chicken, vegetable and rice. And you know what? Those foods were all completely free, it means we could eat as much foods as we want, but of course I didn’t do that. I just ate the food I needed, not what I wanted.

After having iftar, we usually went back to apartment to do our homework from CESL (Center for English as Second Language). Since the tasks were always hard, I didn’t do taraweeh (night praying) at mosque. I did that at my room with friends of mine, but most of the time I did that alone.

Yeah, more or less I’ll be missing that moment this year since I’m gonna be doing fasting in my city again. I’m thankful for anything, wherever I do fasting I’ll always feel the same; I am weak and I need God’s help to live my life, Insya Allah. May I can do fasting this year (2009), amiiin.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My juniors, way to go!

Few days ago on June 6, 2009 precisely, I attended seminar namely “Seminar Ekonomi Syariah”. It was carried out by SCIEmics UPI. SCIEmics is one of my ex-organizations at campus. I was pretty delighted to join the seminar since one member of its committees invited me and my friend cordially through text messaging, she asked us to participate at their event. Moreover, both me and my friend shouldn’t have to pay for the ticket at all, it was completely free (just for senior, ha…lol).
Okay first of all, I’m gonna tell you what SCIEmics exactly is. SCIEmics stands for Study Community of Islamic Economics, do you think this is an abbreviation? Hm…whatever you may say. Anyway, this organization is established to improve the students (especially those who major Economics) with the Islamic economics knowledge which is really urgent for us Moslems to learn.
SCIEmis was firstly just kind of division of FSM (Forum Silaturrahim Muslim) which concerned about Sharia economics comprised of Islamic Banking, BMT, Insurance sharia and other studies. I initiated the name of SCIEmics itself, it used to be called “Divisi ekonomi Syariah”, but one day in the very last minute of students plenary, I suggested altering that name with the new, fresh, marketable, and more educated one, yeah SCIEmics was chosen then. The members finally approved it without any considerable objection.

Well, jump into the very earlier topic, yeah the seminar above was initially aimed for economics teachers at senior high school, but, there were also students from some universities in Bandung such as Ekuitas, UIN, Unpad and of course UPI. We had one day workshop with some speakers who fully grasp Islamic Economics; they were Pak Agustianto from IAEI and Pak “forget the name” from Tasikmalaya. According to the speakers, we should nurture our upcoming generation with understandings of integrated sharia, one of them is Islamic Economics. Economy is one of fundamental and important fields in our life so we should recognize which economy is good or bad. What we’re having right now in this country is probably more capitalistic instead of Islamic, you can see it from the banking system, insurance, lease or else in here, riba and interest are still thriving. These acts are often unfair to customer.

From the seminar, it is very true that we should at least implement sharia by doing very simple thing in life, for instance by saving, crediting, paying bill etc at Sharia bank. Students at college can also disseminate and learn sharia Economics by making community like SCEIemics or anything.
I am sure that all participants of that seminar must have gotten something to share and to talk to the people around them; hopefully it can be applied in their life as well. Thanks to my Junior at SCIEmics, I am absolutely proud of you guys, you made a huge step forward. Keep Learning and making good deeds!