Saturday, February 27, 2010

One Day with Pals

Hello there, now I'd like to share with you all the story of my life on Feb 26, 2010. It might be not that necessary or so exceptional that I'd like to share with the world. I just feel it's a great experience to have this kind of sweet and fun time with some best friends of mine. As I mentioned in the last posting, Feb 26 (Rabiul Awal 12th) is the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or it's called Maulud/Mawlid (you may read previous posting to know more about it). On that day, we Indonesians had holiday as the majority here is Muslim. Moreover, it's a pretty long holiday as in this year, the following days after that day are Saturday and Sunday. So nice to have these holidays, respectively.

Well, I actually just simply want to share good things I experienced and I hope you can take lessons from those, or you may take valuable information which of course I'm more than welcome if you can find any. This sort of writing is also the appreciation for some friends of mine (in the picture) who badly requested me to post their faces here on my blog haha….kidding.

As usual, on that day I also started my day by doing regular activities - praying, taking a bath, having breakfast and doing some chores. Subsequently, I headed my friend's dorm to practice TOEFL. There were 6 persons came then – Tuti, Sity, WinQ, Ikah (host), Ayib and of course me. We practiced it for about 2 hours. Just Men then went to the mosque to perform Friday praying. I went to Daarut Tauhiid mosque which is relatively near to my friend's lodging house. The imam told us ma'mum the importance of Maulud day. He also gave several examples of those who didn’t apply Islamic values in their daily activities. We Muslims have to totally apply Islamic rules and teachings not just when we are praying but also when we are socializing with society. That is the hard point to do since we are inclined to sort of forget it, aren’t we? Well, by commemorating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad we are able to trace back his exceptional struggle in many fields of life so that we can then take example. Our prophet is the perfect figure of such a multi-talented person; a businessman, a leader, a husband, a teacher, a father, a military expert, a thinker, a giver and everything. It is therefore we’d better start figuring him if we want to get Allah’s bless. That is more or less what I got from the Friday sermon.

After doing Friday prayer, I went back to the dorm and had lunch with the pals, we ate rice and some snacks then. Well, there was also a blind cat at my friend’s dorm and it was really pity, you may see in the picture above. I wonder it can still alive without eyes, praises to Allah the almighty who takes care of everything. Whatever it looks like, that cat also praises Allah, we just don't understand.

Having had lunch, we then decided to go to Jayakarta hotel as there was Education USA fair in which some universities from USA participated. I went there with Dicky by riding motorbike and the ladies went there by using angkot (public transportation). We arrived at the hotel at 3 P.M. What a surprising thing was that we met the representative from Ohio University in which one of us, WinQ is going to go there in April. We then a bit chatted with Mrs. Vicky (the rep) and that was so nice for us. The rep as in the second picture above (4th) was totally friendly and looked professional, indeed she was a pro.

Not just from Ohio, there were also reps from Aminef, IIEF and other universities but I just didn’t really know them. There were about 200 comers inside the hall. Having visited some of the booths, we then headed the seminar room where the seminar had been already begun. The speaker in the seminar was an alumnus from one of the universities in the USA. He gave us a quite clear and concise explanation on how to apply, get financial aid and all. Thanks sir!

Asyar time! We firstly were quite unsure about finding the praying room in the hotel, we then asked a doorwoman and what a luck she showed us the place. It wasn’t really far from the seminar room, about 30 meters. We then in turn did pray there, we also took several snapshots (as you can see in picture 1 and 2). The hotel is quite nice with the swimming pools inside and some gazebos for us to relax or to have a chat. I assume the price at Jayakarta hotel is quite expensive, around IDR 500 thousands - 1 million per night, I am not really sure though. Of course we didn’t stay there as we were not guests, still we could use the hotel facilities though :).

That event had not end yet when we finished doing asyar prayer. We just headed down the town as the day was quite cloudy; it was not because weather anyways. We just felt tired and then came to a decision to go home. Angkot was then the only transportation we picked, you know why? You know the answer :).

On angkot we planned to go to book store, and indeed we did that. We went to Gramedia book store at Merdeka Street. Guess again, what kind of book we bought? None, we just read and read, what bunch of window shoppers right?

One of the interesting things at Merdeka Street is that the crossing bridge which connects the two most visited places in Bandung – Bandung Indah Plaza and Gramedia book store (you can see the bridge in the picture 3). Many people don't choose to use this bridge; instead many of them just cross the street, ON the street ladies and gentlemen. WinQ, one of us then also told us that we’d better not to use the bridge. She said it was rather tiring or somewhat strange to do that, “look! Other people also cross on the street”, she remarked. Well, I told her that it is a must for us, educated persons to obey the rule. It is not that burdening to obey that simple rule, is it? She apparently digested and figured out my saying then. We then chose to cross using the bridge. In fact we could also take some snapshots and enjoyed the view from above. Nice isn’t it?

Having read and peered some books, Magrib adzan was resounded, we didn’t hear that though. We then went to find a praying room. As the tiny and small mushala at the bookstore was quite crowded, we then looked for another alternative to pray. The mosque at Tax Office was the chosen one then. We prayed magrib there and it was a good place for sure. The mosque is located beside the BEC building (Bandung Electronic Center) and it can be accessed by visitors of BIP, BEC and Gramedia book store. During the day it is publicly opened fo all but in the night I don't know for sure. We’d better ask first the officer whether or not we are allowed to go inside the mosque. But we didn’t ask permission as I was quite sure that we wouldn’t be barred from praying at the mosque. Thanks God we finally could use the mosque.

After having Magrib prayer, we went on to continue our trip to our final destination home), again by using Angkot ladies and gentlemen. On angkot we chatted along the way and unconsciously we were at Setiabudhi Street. We then said goodbye toward each other and one by one stepped down from the angkot. I was the last one moved down from it as I live near to the angkot's terminal. In total, most of us spent around IDR 15 thousands for the fares on that day. That day was such an exhausting yet impressing day. We all together enjoyed the outing; we all chatted, ate, prayed and had fun. Thanks so much to all who became my fillers on the birthday of prophet Muhammad – Dicky, Ikah, WinQ, Tuti, Ayib & Siti (missed the hotel trip though), Dede who phoned me when I was at Jayakarta). May that day will remind us about the greatness of Allah, may Allah's bless and love will be granted to all of us, may we can always be grateful for all the things we had, we have and we will have. Many thanks buddies, Allah be with you. Wassalamualaikum ^_^.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Birthday of #1 Person in the entire Universe!

Dear blessed visitors,
Tomorrow is 26th of February, there's nothing special, isn't there? Yes if we use Gregorian calendar it's totally true that tomorrow means almost nothing, just an ordinary day. But if we take a look Hijra calendar instead, tomorrow is 12th of Rabiul Awal. There's must be something on that day, right? Yes tomorrow is a quite special day for me and of course for all Muslims. It's the birthday of our beloved prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him). It's so familiar to us and it's called Maulud of our prophet (the name may vary depending on what language we use).
Maulud simply means the birthday in Arabic language. It's not an obligatory to commemorate his birthday though as he never commanded or urged us his follower to do so, the companions of him didn't do that either. The commemoration of prophet Muhammad's birthday was firstly conducted during the Islamic glorious ages – the middle ages, around 8-11th century if I am not wrong. It's somewhat attention-grabbing to discuss this topic since this is a debatable area, I'd say. I mean there are some Islamic “sects” which do that and some do not. It's not ever so crucial though as this is not a sunnah or obligation that we've gotta submissively obey it. The main point is that we have to take lessons from this commemoration, what are they? Hang five there!

Long time ago, some of Islam prominent figures initiated to date some of the important events to unite Muslims whole over the earth, one of them was our prophet's birthday on 12th of Rabiul Awal. By doing so, they also intent to remind all of Muslims the importance of keeping the track of our prophet's life. Where on earth can we find the meticulously bequeathed story life except Muhammad's story? Indeed, everything about him is recorded, studied, taught and disseminated so that everyone on earth can know it, we know it as Hadith or Sunnah, don't we? Ever since, it became then quite popular among nations, some nations do particular event to celebrate the Maulud, celebration in Islam is okay so long it's done in proper way based on Sharia law.

In Indonesia, we have our very own way to do so, not all of people celebrate it though (due the different view point as I mentioned above). Javanese Muslims (in Central and East Java) tend to have more lively event than any other regions in the nation, what I know, Jogjakarta's citizen in Central Java province have Sekaten which means the a ritual to commemorate this day. At Sekaten, there's an uproarious and interesting event in which many people snatch away something which is carried by particular people from one place to another place. That's like a huge cone formed by several things. The things being pursued formed the cone are food, produces, beads and so forth. It's believed that if someone can take one or some of those things, he or she will be given bless and mercy by God, I don't really understand about it though, for more info about it please do search on Google then.

In my region (West Java), either in Bandung or Garut, I think there's no kind of thing to commemorate Muhammad's birthday. It might be existed in several places in West Java, but I can't make any certain as I've never seen or experienced that directly except in Garut and Bandung. In Garut, we usually make sermon at night and some people are invited to join. In Sundanese (my mother language) this event is called “Muludan” which derives from “Milad” in Arabic. In Muludan, we usually listen to the speech delivered by well-known person in the village of mine. Or sometimes we have quite popular preacher from out of town. The theme talked usually about the history of prophet Muhammad's struggle to spread the beauty of Islam as it will definitely remind us his strive, perseverance, and all his good things. Following the urgency to fully follow his action as it what we are supposed to do as good Muslims, there's some of our prophet's actions we should not have to follow though, exampling riding camel at war, eating dates instead of rice etc. We also kind of chant the shalawat (prayer) for our prophet before the day, several days ago I herd that resounded from mosques around my place. Some of us might hold nasheed contest, quran recitation contest, adzan contest and so fort. Children are always stoked to those.

My mom called me yesterday, she told me that Muludan in my village has been conducted before tonight, it's not really matter though as the essence is not the exact time but something behind it. She did not talk a lot as she was about go then. Even so, I could catch the point she'd say. Though the topic is pretty similar, it's often worth it though as we also often forget about topic in Muludan sermon. I mean it's really important to know and always remember our prophet. The commemoration of his birthday is the best moment. The extravagant celebration is not really wise for us to do as Allah does not like it. Everything must be in mediocre and focused on the goal to just keep closer to Allah, I am ashamed as I can't do the best yet to learn about the story of our prophet. I hope this event is kind of milestone for me to be better know him. Let's make a specific target we want to reach through this commemoration, I think I'm going to buy the Shirah Nabawiyah book and I luckily have downloaded some e-books from Internet, what about you?
Hope you can find this writing useful, thank you so much.

Stay hungry stay foolish!


Thursday, February 18, 2010


It's not the first time to here, yes; I am here at the open veranda of a mosque where so many scholars in this country at least had ever prayed or done something related to Islamic teachings here. Masjid Salman is the place where I am typing this writing. Salman is the mosque belongs to one of the finest universities in Indonesia - ITB.
ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology) is the most advanced university in technological field. It's like the Indonesia's MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in which most of the ministries and entrepreneurs in Indonesia produced. Salman and ITB cannot be separated though the location of Salman mosque is located across the ITB complex. There are around 10 thousands of college students and staff at ITB and about 70 percent of them are Muslims, Many students flock at Salman whenever the praying time comes. Besides, Salman also has such thought-proving activities that many of college students from other campuses tempted to join. Many friends and seniors of mine have ever been here as they said Salman is much better that the Mosque we've got – Islamic Center of UPI. I don't really agree with that though as for some cases my campus is better than Salman, it's all yours to decide then.

Well, Salman also has kind of Islamic bank (BPRS) where we can do saving, getting loan, and doing any other economy transactions. The existence of Small Islamic bank around Salman is a symbol of the advancement in terms of doing economy based on Sharia principle. I am somewhat jealous with it since the Mosque at my campus doesn't have it yet. Aside from Islamic bank, Salman also has shop where we can buy any kind of stuff we need, it's like supermarket we often see. The supermarket sells stationeries, snacks, souvenirs, books etc. Something that interests me is that the presence of special market out of the building where the sellers usually sell books with discount, this day they aren't here though as the days always rain. Some of my friends who involve in Sharia Economics Study organization had several times opened the market which used gold and silver money for its payment. It means between buyer and seller there's exchange of products and gold or silver. Gold money (dinar) and silver money (dirham) were universally used during the era of Islamic glory long time ago (and of course during Prophet Muhammad governance). Since that method was not really common in this century, the market which was held at Salman utilizing dinar and dirham attracted ample of people to come, that's what my friend told me. I totally agree with that even though only small percentage of us would be eager to use both of dinar and dirham for our transaction. In other words, we prefer to use paper money instead of gold or silver money. But I think it's great idea if we try to use these payment tools as they were proven more effective from crisis or economy turbulence. If gold and silver are used, we won't depend on US dollar, Euro or anything so much. We'd better consider using them anyways, what do you think?

Honestly, I start loving this place as it has attractiveness and I hope I can visit this place in a regular basis for the days to come. Though I was not the student of ITB, I am really proud of having this place in the city of Bandung. As Daarut Tauhiid’s Mosque where I frequently visit, Salman also gives tinges to the movement of Islam’s spread. One of the differences here is that the speech delivered isn’t merely about Islamic values but also about science, technology, social, economy and many more. You’d better visit this mosque if you have never been here. Asides from the desirable aspects mentioned above, you may also feel the fresh air as the mosque is surrounded by trees. Or if you want to mount a horse you don’t need to go to New Zealand, it’s also available near Salman mosque, just pay some money and you’ll be able to ride it for some minutes, if not hours ^_^. In short, I love this place and I hope I can be here again. Thank you for reading.

Picture from:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Only human...

One of the things that distinguishes human and angels is desire (there might be other distinguishers). Angels and human are Allah's creatures and both of them have obligation to obey Him. Angels can never betray God as they have been sort of “programmed” to be so – to obey Allah by doing all of their tasks. Angels always show their conformity to all Allah's commands, never complains. In this case human is different from Angels, God gives us human desire that determines us whether or not we are on Allah's path, whether or not we are counted as believers.

As desire or nafs is embedded in our soul, we sometimes make good or wrong deeds. Desire is not always bad. We need it to live our live as it is a bless that Allah has given to us. By having desire human can reach sublime position among others. By having passion we can attain zenith achievement that might upscale our dignity compared to others.

A thing seems to be the problem is that many of us sometimes (or most of the time) cannot manage our desire. We've got mind (thinking) to differ the good and the bad, but it cannot always work out. I mean we sometimes are out of control by easily following our wants, desires or lusts. Human are indeed very weak, unless those who can always seek refuge and helps to God. We sometimes cannot beat our biggest enemy, as our Prophet said that the biggest foe isn't anything but our desire. Those who can control the desire from wanting the entire things of this world – money, position, praises, women, lavish gadgets etc, they are indeed the champion in Allah's view.

Keeping or maintaining the nafs is not really easy job to execute, I cannot fully manage that either as I think I'm lacking of knowledge and the firmness of faith, I'll keep trying to improve though. People's weakness is that the existence of Satan around us who always tempt us. Satan can get into our vein and influence us no matter who we are, the smart person will be intruded by egg-head Satan, the pious person will also be molested by genius Satan, that's what I've heard. One thing that we have to do is to always ask for Allah's beneficence so that He will pretty much protect us from Satan with their alluring-yet-torturing temptation. We Moslems have good way to start doing anything by reciting dua or prayer – basmallah says “in the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful. Before reciting Al Quran we begin by saying taudz says “I seek refuge with Allah from the temptation of Satan the outcast”. How perfect Islam is, right?

In order to make ourselves be protected Allah, the only thing we have to do is to just Worship Allah alone. There can never any others protectors, sustainer, givers or anything we believe as Almighty one except Allah. This is called Tauhiid or the the belief of oneness of Allah. This is the very basic thing that Moslems have to keep, it's also said in the Sahadah or the confession or a Moslem (also testimony of faith). The next thing is might be about rituals such as prayer, charity, fasting, pilgrimage etc.

Readers, I am not telling or lecturing you about the value of Islam since I know nothing about it but a little. I just wrote what I have known from Islamic preacher (ustadz), books, studies etc. You'd better ask other people to explain about Islamics values if you have any questions or anything. At last, we know that we are weak, therefore we've gotta ask for Allah's help, let's keep remembering Allah. Wallahualam. Kinldy thanks.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


When we experience something strange in our lives we certainly will not be able to forget that with ease, at least that occurrence will influence or impress us either good or bad afterward. Four days ago I dreamed about something which shocked me so much. I dreamed about two very important people in this country – my president SBY and my great ustadz Aa Gym. I don't know whether or not what I write here is appropriate for me to disseminate. Regardless to that, I mere want to share with you all about the lesson we might be able to take from the dream that will be outlined momentarily.

Well, in the dream of mine I met with those two very important persons in the village of mine, a very small yet harmoniously chic village in the regency of Garut – Cisewu. In that dream Aa gave a speech in the sport hall close to my house, I got no idea why that miraculous thing could happen. Besides, a thing that surprises me was about the presence of our beloved president SBY at the event. He opened up Aa Gym's speech by commencing the speech. He was guarded by some watchmen as we always see on telly.

Having started by our president, Aa then gave the speech which was about the importance of purifying our heart. This sort of topic is somewhat popular recently and I pretty much hear it in Aa's speech either on radio or directly from his speech at the mosque.

The speech was attended by more than about 400 people in a Badminton sport hall. It was also quite nice since we could see Aa in 3 big screens projected from LCDs. As always, Aa delivered his speech pleasantly with a juicy joke and cool analogy. Something odd accidentally happened when someone unknown went on the stage and closed the projector's lenses so that we audiences couldn't see Aa in the screens. He did that straightforwardly without feeling afraid, shame or anything as we normal people would feel. I could not figure out why this scarce or never-happened thing eventually could happen before my eyes. I thought that person was something brain-damaged or insane as he shamelessly did that. Well, another shocking thing then was that, (I don't want to tell it though), we unveiled that Aa gave a dubbing speech, it means he kind of just talked without really talking. He just moved his body and in a pseudo way spoke went along his recorded-sound from the tape. Masya Allah, I could not at all believe that, how come I experienced that kind of nightmare. I thought it was ridiculously impossible to happen. I couldn’t think clearly for a moment then. And I obviously know that this will never happen in the reality. SBY won't come to my village near my house and open the speech, Aa Gym also is rather impossible to give us speech in the very far place from Bandung, and the worse, Aa won't ever give dubbed speech as I experienced in my dream. Subhnallah, what a flower of sleeping, that's what people might say about a dream.

Well, from this dream I just want to point out some important notes we can take. The First, it's really good thing to pray before we sleep. Indeed, I missed praying that night so that I dreamed something that scared me enough. The second, don’t bring any problems or anything when we are about to sleep, just forget any news on TV, movie you watched, jammed or anything. Those sort of things will apparently appear in our dream and it is exactly not really good if we want to have sound sleep. The third, intend ourselves that we are about to sleep, not to do anything, sometimes when we imagine something before sleeping, that thing will flash in our dream. The Fourth, Aa Gym always says that it is important to be a honest person as most of us tend to love hypocrisy by wearing expensive stuff, acting like we are good people, or giving alms as we want to be captured by medias, those kind of artificial things are totally useless. In other words, we’d better act like what we are, we’d better say what we have on our mind, wed’ better wear stuff that we really have – not to force ourselves to meet people’s standard or something. I’d say that this is what our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did 14 centuries ago. He was the most humble, simplest and honest person ever, no need to be a center of attention or anything. At last, God will give us what we really need if we keep doing good deeds and staying on His track.

A good dream comes from Allah, while the bad one comes from Satan. It’s therefore really crucial to notice that we need to always pray to Allah before sleeping as Satan might be taking control of ourselves while sleeping. We Moslems really have good ways to prepare our sleeping, not just praying but also any other rituals such as reciting Quran, shalawat or even making any good position of our sleeping. I would like to thanks to president SBY and Aa Gym as we finally met in my dream. Hope Allah be with you all and protect you from any people who might dislike you, you too are leaders whom we believed to make changes and improvements for this nation, we work together though :).
Hope we can always have good quality of sleeping readers, kindly thanks for reading. Wallahualambishawab.



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A fox or a hedgehog?

It is not a neoteric or brand new concept, it's not passe or outmoded concept either. I just expect this is as an everlasting, debatable, and not easy notion to judge for everybody. That is why I write this sort of writing for you guys. Well, it is between being a fox or hedgehog obviously. A Greek poet Archolocus says ”The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing”. In simply, it is about being a generalist or specialist. A generalist is the one who knows many things as he or she learns all kind of subjects (fields) he or she interests. This type of person does not have a so special technical skill as he or she spends the time to study many different things, they can be called master of none. A specialist on the

other hand is the one who only knows one thing but in an amazingly detail. He or she meticulously and impressively masters his or her own field, without any doubt. What an unfortunate thing for this type of people is that they don't really know about the world in general. They just stick on their field and know very little about others.

I am actually confused which one is better for me. I guess we in Indonesia are supposed to be generalists as from elementary school until high school we learn too many subjects at school. I don't say that the education system is bad or inappropriate, it is just kind of hard to figure all subjects out when I studied at school. The teacher gave us too many different lessons we have got to learn. Compared to the country such as America, in 2 last decades the people there are more specialists as the education shapes them to be so. Many of experts come from the uncle Sam starts from Astronomy, Business, Technology and so forth. As the matter of fact, USA leads and goes to be the leader or globe cop in this world as it has tons of professionals or experts in all fields. I didn't say that Indonesia is weaker that USA, for some cases we beat USA. In the natural resources for example we are equal or even more than Americans. The problem is, we cannot manage all of our forests, oil, ocean, fishery and all things well. That is why we entrust many expatriates from other countries to take care of all resources. It makes us even more sluggish in accelerating our growth as none of us fully know about so-called managing things we belong to. The best thing to do for now is, send as many students as abroad and take them back to this country after they master many specific things to be applied in this country. I know it's rather difficult to do so as many of smarts Indonesians settled abroad in hoping for the better living, indeed they get much more than if they stay here. So, who should be blamed then? Ah...I get no clue on this. The point is, we need more specialists than generalists for this time being as we need to advance our growth. Learning from Americans might be a good way to realize it.

To be honest, I feel myself as a fox as I master no one. It's my personal feeling though. Even so however, I thank God for what I've got. He grants me remarkably great bless by making me like what I am today. It does also make sense if search for new key advancement that will make me a bit more specialist as I think it's the time to know and familiar with something more than ever before, I just haven't found that yet. So, I need everybody's sincere input to find my nature.
Well, may you can find benefit from this short writing, kindly thanks for reading.