Saturday, August 28, 2010

17th day of Ramadan

The night of glory and the night of power!
It is the night in which the most myriad and magnificent love of Allah is given to those who are lucky – the believers who get lailatul Qadar. Lailatul Qadar is super special night as Quran was first descended. It happens in Ramadan. Those who get it will get reward more than worshiping Allah for 1000 months (around 83 years). Hm...appealing, right? For sure it is.

Al Quran was gradually revealed to our prophet long time ago. It was taught to our prophet by Allah through Gabriel. The content of Al Quran never changes though it has been 14 centuries now. The speech person of the last taraweeh kultum told us that Quran consists of :
Aqidah. It is the teaching that says Allah is the only one God. There is no god but Allah.
Ibadah. Quran tells us to worship Allah, respect people, universe, nature and follow our prophet.
Promise and threat of Allah. Allah will never lie and He will for sure fulfill His promise.
The ways we must take to gain true happiness both in this world and hereafter.
The ways for us to get away from the misleading path.
The stories from the past so that we can take lesson.

Those are some of the contents of the Quran. The preacher told us that those who know the meaning, share, and implement the Quran, they will indeed be protected by Allah. Hope we'll be able to love Quran more. Let's make this Ramadan as a reflection and starting point to learn and implement the Quran, insha Allah.

16th day of Ramadan

Last night I did go to DT mosque and prayed isha there, but I didn't attend the speech session. Instead I had a weekly gathering with some friends of mine at different mosque. So, I here would like to document the result of our gathering.

The meeting was started at 8.40 pm and we began it by eating fried-foods and kolak. Some of us read Quran, chatted and some just listened to the recitation. We then gathered and listened up to the sharing delivered by someone. He is a friend of mine from psychology department. He told us the history of dakwah of our prophet. The speech was about the phases in which our prophet took part in doing dakwah in Mecca, Thaif, Habasyah, Medina and out of Arabia. Our prophet started the dakwah in 3 phases : the furtive phase in Mecca, obvious phase in Mecca and the phase outside of Mecca in which Islam gained more support from people.

Our prophet was against by many people in Mecca as he brought new teaching saying the worshiping statue or pagans was wrong. He was accused for breaking family relationship between husband and wife, children and parents and so forth. Abu Lahab and his wife were two of those who against our prophet the most. They always tried to hurt the prophet by setting trap and else. Allah curses the Abu Lahab and his wife as in the Quran says “Tabatcyadaa abillahabiwwatab...” etc. Even so however our prophet never gave up and he kept his head up to carry on the dakwah duty on his shoulders.

Thing we could learn from this story is, we Muslims need to remind to each other that doing dakwah is not easy but we can never give up. We do dakwah by being good people that worship only Allah. A good person in Islam is the one who shares with other, gives to others, becomes the good figure for the society, and fully able to give benefit to society. I think this is the culmination of someone's attainment. Being rich, smart, popular, respected is nothing if we cannot be a good follower of our prophet.

The essence of learning a history is we need to look back and take lesson from the past so that we'll be able to make betterment for our present and future. By knowing the struggle of our prophet, hopefully we'll be motivated to do dakwah ; spread peace, give benefit to society and of course worship merely to Allah.

Hope you find this note useful.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

15th day of Ramadan

Half way there...
Daarut Tauhiid. I've been there for five years now. Time flew so fast. Well, it might not be the best part of the world for you. It might not be the super-awesome place for you to go to either. But to me, it indeed has profound effect for my life. One phrase representing this place – self improver. I feel a lot better of being familiar with this spot. At least this is what I feel inside, and I don't at all care with what people say about it. I just simply follow something that I'm sure it is true and peaceful for me. Well, I went there just now, performing taraweeh prayer. Beforehand I had kultum session and that time the sermon giver was Pak Saiful Islam Mubarak, Lc. He told us about Al Quran as it was revealed in this holy month. So it is good to kind of commemorating the revelation of our holy book at the very right time.

The speech delivered by Pak Saiful was quite dissimilar to the usual speech told by other preachers. He asked us to follow his way in reciting some verses of the noble Quran. He actually talked about the 7 styles of reading Quran which were taught by our prophet to his companions long time ago. It was Allah who taught our prophet to ease all Arab tribes and all human to pick the easiest style to recite. At the early times Gabriel appeared to our prophet bringing the style of reciting holy Quran was actually been negotiated by our prophet in terms of reading or pronouncing verses. Our prophet bargained and he finally was given looseness by Allah as He for sure wouldn't burden us. It is hard for us to master all those seven styles as we've been so much familiar with the commonest one we know nowadays.

Before reaching the level in which we are able to pronounce all those styles, first we've gotta master the basic. Here are the steps:

1.We have to correct our common mistake in reciting it. Example, instead of saying long “la” in “bis- mil-la-h”.. we have indeed say it short as it is one harakat (kind of tempo).
2.We then must be able to perfectly sound the right sound of each letter in our Arabic alphabet. It might be hard, but we need to learn.
3.We then must lern the tadzwid or the rule in reading sentence or verses in Al Quran.
4.Then we need to know the history of revelation of the Quran. By knowing this will be much eager to learn Quran as well us to understand it.
5.Qiraat is the next point then. It is the style that is used by people in singing the holy Quran.
6.Tafsir is the last. It is kind of interpretation of the meaning of the Quran.

By knowing and implementing all those things, we then can fully grasp the Quran as our guidance in life. It is indeed the so-called a holy book that regulates and makes us close to our creator. Reading Quran 1 juz a day in Ramadan is kind of a must. Hope we'll be able to be istiqomah...amiin.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

14th day of Ramadan

Budi Prayitno is a quite popular ustadz in the city of Bandung. I've got several podcast containing his speech about some several familiar topics. Last night he delivered a kultum at DT mosque and thankfully I went there. In that speech he told us two things – Allah's assurance and tips in marriage. The two of them are extremely important to notice for those who are now having “issues”, for me too :).

Well, Allah will for sure pretty much love the believers. The believers mean those who always do what Allah wants and forsake what He forbids. There are three things will be given by Allah to those kind of persons:
Allah will never let them alone. Allah will always be with them. They will never felt sad to much with this world as they already make Allah the only goal in their lives.
Allah will always grant their prayer. There is no obstruction between their prayer and Allah's grant of the dua.
Allah will always help them in difficulty. One of the ways we can do to get rid off the barriers in our lives in by saying “Allahhuakbar” - Allah is great. Compared to His might, our problem or handicap is nothing – exceedingly trifling.

The second point delivered by Ustadz Budi was the so-called tips to make our wedlock last long live. To ustadz Budi, a marriage is called a “sweet-jihad” as it is part of Jihad and it is sweet. Hm...I cannot disagree with him. Well, he actually took the sort of tips from a research conducted in the USA. There are 8 things we need to note here:

1.The strong commitment from the couple to always keep and defend their marriage. Their promise is totally important so that they have to keep the pledge to always together. Whatever the storm they face, they will never say no to divorce and maybe polygamy.

2.Two of them must have a realistic hopes or future wishes. No one is perfect, so we need to make reasonable hope from our couple. Wife's weakness is husband's strength, vice-versa.

3.Tolerable to our partner. It means we always forgive mistake made the couple of ours. A little mistake can sometime affect the longevity of marriage so that we also need to overlook every single mistake as much as we can.

4.Be smart in understanding the implicit meaning of our couple. When our partner say yes, it doesn't mean she or he is really okay with that. We've gotta know the body language or gesture practiced by her or him.

5.Must have a skill to compromise to each other. In other words, we need to own a good art and skill in managing our anger. As a good example, ustadz Budi told us about one couple of his students who promise to each other to solve and and end every problem they have no longer that the time of prayer. When they have problem at 7 am in the morning for example, they will have ended this before dzuhur prayer at 12 pm. What a good example, right?

6.Spend and find a particular time to just be together. A good couple is smart in making time to just 2 of them without anybody around.

7.Sex is important. Be genius in this kind of thing and our marriage will last long. In Islam, this husband-wife most intimate relationship is not just a media to satisfy the need or lust. But it is also an act of worship to Allah.

8. The couple must have an ability to solve every problem. It is totally vital to be owned by all couples who dream of having eternal relationship.

Well, I found myself impressed by the speech given by ustadz Budi. Hope you find it useful, too.

13th day of Ramadan

Again, I missed the moment to pray at mosque for Taraweeh. The lesson I'd like to share now is a speech from an ustadz in MQFM radio aired on Aug 24, 2010. I listened to his speech in the morning after Aa gym gave a usual speech beforehand. The ustadz basically talked about the importance of making charity or sadaqah in this holy month.

It is really good if we are able to make much more contribution to the society around us in this Ramadan than in other months. That is why we need to put our attention in making this, at least we make daily target in allocating particular number of money to those who are needy. As an example, our prophet was for sure a generous person. But in Ramadan he even was more generous that he was in other months.

The role of government is really great in managing charity or zakaat. Thanks God we've got supportive constitution showing our govt. cares quite much to Islam. Even so however, Indonesian government cannot force someone to pay zakaat as it is the part that is not regulated in our rule. Our government has only part in regulating the institution which is allowed to manage zakaat and so forth.

The potential of zakaat is abundantly myriad in this country as the majority of people is Muslim. The number of Muslim here is more than the number of Muslim in the entire middle east. If managed professionally and people have awareness to pay zakaat, it can lessen the number of poor and unemployed people. So, let's be used to pay zakaat, infaq and sodaqoh (charity). Let's give charity everyday, insha Allah...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

12th day of Ramadan

Ramadan as th the month of “la'laakum tattaquun & la'laakum tasykurun”. This is the only sentence I remember from the speech in the radio as I didn't go to the mosque. I listened to the MQ FM radio at the very last minutes. The speech person was someone that I must not familiar with as I didn't recognize his voice.

The meaning of la'alaakum tattaquun is more or less the taqwa reason. Yes the ultimate goal of Ramadan is taqwa. Everybody is supposed to be taqwa person within her or his life, and Ramadan is the media to drill in order that for each of us to reach this sublimest attainment. It is for sure not as easy as it is to gain Taqwa. If you ask me, I'm way far from it..let's keep trying though.

While the second part of that sentence is the gratitude reason. It is really important to be notice this. We sometimes or most of the times forget what Allah has done to us. To make any gratitude or syukur is indeed a must thing to do. But many of us tend to pretty much overlook it from our daily routine. We seldom spend our time focusing on how to fully gratitude to Allah, this is what I feel. I hope you don't do the same.

As an analogy, the speech person said that we have to thank Allah like a louse, don't like a mosquito instead. A louse will just shake the blood from human body without many sayings. It acts swiftly and finish its work as soon as it can. But mosquito does less intelligent in this case. This able-to-fly animal always sounds the voice so we human can hamper it from sucking the blood. This sort of analogy simply means, we have to make syukur or thank without saying anything to anyone. It is just Allah, enough!

Well, it is quite hard to do.. But as always, never give up to learn and work the best we can, insha Allah. Allah knows us best. He knows for sure our capacity. Insha Allah...


11th day of Ramadan

On that day I didn't go to the mosque or listen to the radio speech. So I just want to share with you a prayer from Ali bin Abi Thalib. I have ever heard Aa's saying says Ali ask for three things in his prayer:
“Ya Allah jadikan aku mahluk terbaik dalam pandanganMu”
“Ya Allah jadikan aku mahluk terburuk dalam pandanganku”
“Ya Allah jadikan aku mahluk yang biasa-bisa saja dalam pandangan manusia dan mahlukMu”

It was quite hard to understand that prayer, but lately I started to understand quite much. In English this prayer more or less says :
“Oh my Lord, please let me be the best person in the view of Yours”
“Oh my Lord, please let be the worst person in the view of mine”
“Oh my Lord, pelase just let me be the ordinary person in the view of other people”.

The essence of this prayer is sort of clear now. I begin to realize that the meaning of the first, second and the third downstream to the so-called Tauhiid – the oneness of Allah. Here is the explanation.

It is totally clear that if we want to be the best in Allah's side, it means we are eager only to get closer to Him and be with Him all times. The essence of tauhiid is that we never rely on anything except God – Allah. Our effort, prayer, worship and anything we do in this world are for the sake of Him.

The second point of the dua above is that, we always try hard to improve ourselves to be a better persons day by dsay. It happens as we think we are nothing. We've got many flaws so that we have to always make some efforts to bend all weaknesses of ours.

The third point is that, it's just enough for us to be seen as ordinary people instead of extraordinary in the view of humans. It won't make us feel boastful and we indeed don't need to been seen as good, smart or generous people by other people. What we need to do is to be serious in reaching those degree. That's all.

As I outlined before, the kernel of Ali's prayer is tauhiid that made him closer to Allah. Allah is indeed Ali's first goal. And I think we need to learn from Ali. Wallahualam....

10th day of Ramadan

What can be learn from a chicken?
People call chicken to those who don't have any audacity of something. But in this writing I'm going to tell you what a chicken really can do and we can't! It is then somehow stronger that us. Really?

Well, last night Mr. Mulyadi told me about chicken in his taraweeh speech. Chicken can actually fast much longer than we can do. The hen or the mommy of chicken can brood on the eggs before they are hatched about 21 days or three weeks. We human just fast 14 – 18 hours a day. What is behind this? It means we Muslims cannot actually just doing fast in Ramadan. Merely doing fasting in Ramadan is not extraordinary. There are lots of things we need to do and focus on them. Fasting is just one of them. A mommy chicken does better that us in terms of keeping itself from eating for hours and days.

Another animal which is better that us in a way of keeping from eating is snake. Snake changes its skin regularly and to do this this, every snake fasts for about 2 weeks. Snake has to pass this hard time in order that the skin can peel with ease.

Another thing I could share with all of you here is that, chicken and snake will change something within themselves after they endure this fasting. The mommy chicken will be quite tough as it has to keep its chicks from any disturbance. The snake in the other hand will look much beautiful in some ways as it has new skin. What Muslim need to learn from them is that, fasting in Ramadan is not just holding ourselves from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse (for the married). We need to hold our saying, thinking, behavior and all the bad things we have. At the same time we need to escalate our effort in charity, reading Quran and others in other months. The result of our effort will then come into fruition which is called Taqwa. This is indeed the ultimate goal of our fasting in Ramadan.

That is all I could share for now, I hope this note can be a good reminder that recalls in the future in case I forget some things I mentioned here. The paucity of knowledge doesn't necessarily limit our effort in making some mends this Ramadan, this should be emphasized. Happy fasting, let's learn from chicken and snake...

Tons of thanks.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

9th day of Ramadan

Aa Gym was the speech person that evening since it was Thursday. From the speech he delivered, I could take some points here as follows :

1.Don't be afraid of the entire world. It basically means we should never feel afraid with the anxiousness saying we won't be sufficed by God. Indeed everything has been calculated and God will give that to us. Our fortune, our couple and everything are not needed to be worried about. The thing we only need to be afraid of is when we don't repent our sins and mistakes. We've got to make extra effort in order that ourselves become so-called taqwa persons.

2.To some extent, this life will be quite hard. But it actually feels difficult since we don't have any guide. If we seriously ask and make Allah as our guidance in this life, we won't feel that hard. Just be sure!

3.The solution of every problem is not just our intelligence. We might say that our mind or logic can also solve particular issue within ourselves. But most of the time, it is indeed our faith or taqwa that does that. It does give us solution as we ask for God's help. The matter is, we sometimes don't realize that Allah is behind that.

4.Our lives won't be guaranteed by salary, saving and our asset. It is Allah who “insures” our lives. The things we own are just for awhile so we should never make them as our insurer.

5.When we are able to make Allah is just enough, everything will be just little. Everything in this world is minuscule thing we should never be proud of.

6.The best amal are the deeds conducted in Ramadan month since Allah multiplies the rewards. Be serious in making good deeds. In making charity, the best thing is that when we don't tell anybody. To practice, just do and forget it, do and forget it.

7.The best men are those give many benefits to other people. We need to be the ones who give more instead of the ones who accept. It is ok if we get something from someone, but afterward we have to think and make effort to repay even the bigger thing to him and to other people.

8.Indeed, everything we have in this world such as money, position, car, house, laptop and everything should be used to make ourselves closer to Allah. All of them are just facilities, not our end goals.

Well, I am not sure I can implement all knowledge mentioned above, it is hard. But insha Allah, I'm trying. Please guide me, my Lord...amiin.

Friday, August 20, 2010

8th day of Ramadan

Still remember the time at elementary school? Maybe not all you do remember it. Well, what about the time when Ramadan came? I think you do. School which was represented by our teachers always gave us a book called “Ramadan Book”.

On that book, all students should fill all activities they did on the basis of daily. It started from compulsory prayer, taraweeh, quran recitation, zakat and so on. And remember, after filling each page we then needed to ask our parents to sign that – legalizing that we didn't make any intelligent lie to the school. This habit lasted till I went to senior high school. Yet, I don't know about today. What do you think about this sort of book? Why can't we find this kind of thing at universities or colleges? I mean it's probably a good idea to prevail a quite similar thing at a higher level of education. We just then need to adjust the contain and some parts. Hm...what I'm going to share here is not about the Ramadan book.

Well, I was just impressed by scores of students at DT mosque bringing and filling this kind of kind-book. I think they are must be SMK students or the students who take a short Islamic class or learning at the pesantren area. What I'm outlining here is probably the same as what they wrote on their Ramadan book. At that evening, the speech person was Professor Miftah Farid. He's known as a popular ustadz in Bandung and West Java. He spoke about the dua or supplication.

Professor Miftah emphasized the supplication in Ramadan as in this month Allah will surely grant or approve the prayer. Ramadan is the only one of the 12 moths in which Allah is even more generous to those who make prayer. However Allah always accepts the prayer of the believer. It is just the matter time. If a dua is not granted in this world life, then Allah will definitely give it to us as our saving in the hereafter.

Pak Miftah also said that one of the differences between a good person and not is that, the good man will always ask for anything he wants to Allah. While the bad always doesn't want to since he probably doesn't really need that. In fact, every person is lack of at least something so that we should always make prayer. Go boasting of something is always unfavorable in Allah's view. Allah loves those who ask through supplication and hates those who don't. But of course dua should be accompanied by effort. Dua and effort should go along till Allah let them meet in an intersection.

Another thing that I had just knew by then was the term Tawasul. Once my mom ever told me this, but I didn't really care about it. Tawasul is kind of intermediary of dua. Pak Miftah mentioned 3 things of Tawasul. They are :
1.Before making dua, we first make good deeds, say shalawat, praises Allah.
2.Use Allah's names before making dua. You must have known Asmaul husna, right? We then pick some or all of them to refer to Allah's names.
3.Ask someone to make dua for us. We may ask an ulama, ustadz or a pious person.

The best month to make dua is undoubtedly in Ramadan. So in this month we really have to make as much dua as we can. Let's ask Allah our prayer. Let's let Allah hear our dua. Besides, we need to be aware that in making dua, our money, our clothing and everything attached to us should be good (halal). Allah will never grant someone's dua if he's wearing haram thing. After clearing everything, we then must be sure that Allah will grant our dua, either here or there.

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

7th day or Ramadan

Peace be upon you...
Due to some unspeakable reasons, last night I didn't go to the mosque for performing taraweeh. Instead I just stayed at home and did taraweeh alone. Even so, I felt more tranquility inside as much of the time was spent to focus on me and God. I mean, there less disturbance from other people especially children who pretty much some noises. Since tarweeh is a sunnah prayer, so there is no necessity to conduct it at the mosque with jamaah. Jamaah is sometimes better though.

Although I stayed at home, I did listen to some speech on the radio. MQ FM was my only choice then. The speech was still about magnificent Ramadan. From hadith, the sermon deliverer said that if all Muslims know the miraculously blessed Ramadan, indeed, all of them will ask all the months become Ramadan. Since in Ramadan there are tons of rewards given by god.

Ramadan is actually an Arabic word. He said that long time ago, Arabic people named every month based on the weather they felt. And in the moth they fasted, the weather was so extremely mild. So they came to a decision that that month was finally named Ramadan, meaning the combustion. So what is being combusted or burnt? It is our sin and our bad acts.

Why our sin is needed to be burnt? The answer is, Allah wants us to be much better people. As an analogy, the speech person said that the roof-tile is much more expensive than just the clay since it has been burnt, shaped and ground. The price of this processed stuff is tougher and worth more payment. Besides, we put it in the upper part of our house. It is not a clay in which we step on it staying under.

Another thing that I could catch was about the importance of giving some foods or refreshment to those who fast. There are 3 things that Allah will grant to those people:
1.Allah will erase their sins
2.Allah will protect them from blazing fire in hell
3.Allah will give the same rewards of the food receiver to the giver.

That is all the note for last night taraweeh speech. See you tomorrow. Have sound sleep...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

6th day of Ramadan

I don't precisely remember what was said in the last night tarweeh speech. Person delivering the kultum was an imam of a mosque near the Ledeng area, as always, I never brought the speech person's name to my mind. He was quite old though, indeed. One thing I very much remember was about the people grumbling at his quite-long-speech. I don't intend to undervalue his saying with this post. I just need to tell the about truth. I think that person was too energetic in giving his speech so that he sometimes forgot the time limit he had.

To write this post, I squashed my mind and finally found one key word. It is shaum. Yeah, he mentioned that, the word shaum derives from Arabic and we'd better use it instead of puasa or fasting in English. The word shaum more likely belongs to Islam while others may have been influenced by other religions or faiths.

Shaum basically means to hold. In terminology is more or less the effort we make to hold ourselves from eating, drinking, having sexual intercourse from the dawn until the dusk time. Shaum in Ramadan is exceptionally special as it is only once in a year. As it is totally special, we must then give our best effort in doing shaum this month.

I think those are the only points I could remember...(I'm going to make some notes on the forthcoming speech).

Monday, August 16, 2010

5th day of Ramadan

Last night was the first time for me to perform Taraweeh prayer at DT mosque. As always, every Sunday afternoon I come to MEC. On day I decided to just stay at the pesantren area for doing isha as well as taraweeh prayer. For taraweeh in Ramadan, most of the mosque here in Bandung has 2 x 4 + 3 formation, including DT mosque. But there in my hometown, people have got 4 x 2 + 3. It's just a comparison anyway. Well, the person in charge to give us a kultum speech that day was an ustadz, an al azhar graduate. But again, I forgot his name. It's been my personal flaw to remember people's name. But I am quite often hearing his voice so he was not strange and ineed I very much enjoyed the evening sermon. He brought us to the topic of Ethic of fasting in Ramadan.

There 6 things we need to put in list when doing Ramadan fasting. The first is, do eat predawn meal at the later time. I mean if we wake up at 3 am and imsak time is around 4.30 am, so we are totally recommended to have sahur at around 4 am. Beforehand we can do some prayers or read Quran since the predawn time is the favorable time for us to pray. Allah loves more those people who perform some worships at that time. Tons of blesses will be given to those who supplicate or pray in the dawn time.

The second is, do break our fasting as soon as we can when its time arrives. When adzan resounds, we should start breaking our fast by either eating or drinking something. He said that it might seem good to keep fasting, but when the time of fast breaking arrives, we must break the fast, that what our prophet did. It doesn't necessarily to drink nice or delicious beverage, a glass of plain water is also good.

The third is we have to keep ourselves from doing unnecessary things. They include watching TV, playing game, chatting, walking around for no good reasons etc. There are indeed many better things we can do instead of doing those things. We do sometimes need refreshing, but it Ramadan. It's too pity to leave reading Quran or reading books.

The fourth, add the intensity of tooth-brushing. It is true that in the viewpoint of Allah, people who fast in Ramadan have fresh and extremely fragrant breath. But in human', it doesn't count so that we'd better brush our teeth as often as we can. Not that often though, maybe 3 or 4 times a day is good enough to have a fresher mouth.

The penultimate, read Al Quran as often as we can. Hearing this, I am abashed as I haven't been able to fulfill my target – read 2 juz a day. I juz a day is actually hard too. But keep on trying.

The ultimate, get exercise ourselves as Ramadan is the month of exercise. It barely happens for many people to wake up at 3 or 4 am unless in Ramadan. In Ramadan some people tend to make some improvements in themselves so that in other months this habit is actually supposed to be prevailed too. We learn to pray in jamaah, read Quran, gather for eating and so forth. Aren't they good for us to do the following moths after Ramadan?

Hm...that's all the summary for today, keep on writing, keep on doing good things in this magnificent month, insha Allah.
Thank you

Sunday, August 15, 2010

4th day of Ramadan

Today was the first time driving again a motorbike for a quite far distance - Cisewu to Bandung (around 90 km). It's been so long no to ride it, so I very much needed a lot of adjustment and adaptation in myself. Alhamdulillah everything went quite well. Soon after I arrived in Bandung I directly went to Daarut Tauhiid mosque. I went parking and had dzuhur prayer at the mosque. I was not alone – accompanied by one of my cousins. Riding the motorbike, he headed my dorm as he badly needed to take a rest, he told me so.

After reading some pages of Al quran at the mosque, I then joined the English club of mine, as always. I talked and shared with about 13 members there. Afterward I got breakfast and performed maghrib prayer. For taraweeh did it at Nurul Huda mosque situated near to my lodging house as I was quite tired to perform it at DT mosque. The speech person was someone that is very familiar to me but I didn't know his name. It's terribly poor I didn't hear his name at the accoutrement.

The topic he said was still about Ramadan. Ramadan is the month for us to drill and exercise. Allah compensates and motivates those who fast with tons of rewards – unbelievably great rewards, you've got to believe though. The sunnah prayer has the similar reward to the wajib ones, and the compulsory ones of course are multiplied.

Something that impressed me so much was the question, “are we sure we'll be able to meet Ramadan next year?” well, it tugged me anyways. From this statement I could say that we must do our bestest in this Ramadan this year since there is no one can guarantee we will be still alive until next year. This is the point of tonight taraweeh speech. Hope we can take something.
Thank you.

3rd day of Ramadan

Last night the speech person was Mr. Rahman. He is one of my neighbors. He is a headmaster by profession but he is sometimes also able to be an ustadz, no, he is a great person anyway.

Well, since I went to Ar_Rahmah, mosque where I studied Islam when I was 8 years old. I found some memories there. I still remember when I read Quran, learned how to sing shalawat, completed to each other and all things. Nonetheless, I won't talk about those here. Instead, as I promised myself, here is the summary of that night taraweeh.

Pak Rahman spoke about several things that abrogate the reward of our fasting. He also mentioned the 5 things that can reduce our fasting rewards. Since I have mentioned the latter in the prior post, so please scroll down to find them out. Well, here are some sort of things that discard our fasting:

Swallowing something through our mouth (e.g. eating and drinking)
Ejaculating caused by “imagining wrong things”
Having sexual intercourse (for married couple)
Vomiting (intentionally)
Being Epilepsy at the time

There are special treatments we need to do if we do or experience any of them. For example, if we eat something in Ramadan for no reasonable reason, then our fasting was broken and we have to replace it in other months. But, I don't recommend you to do this since if you do, you've got sin still. I mean it is not permissible thing to do to break our Ramadan fast before maghrib.

There are exactly some versions about the things that cancel our shaum. Pak Rahman just summed of from all of them. You may ask google for the complete ones. In short, by this writing I just reminded myself about things that can discard our fast, hope I won't forget them. Thank you .

2nd day of Ramadan

It's the second day of Ramadan and I still here at my little town – gratifying all things given to me and family. A new and big thing happened, mada doumo arigatou kamisama.

Well, as I mentioned to you in the last post, it's my commitment to post the summary of Taraweeh kultum. The speech person yesterday was the religion teacher of mine at senior high school. His name is Agus Badrusalam and last night he spoke about “Islam is my Religion”.

The speech was quite touching and I found some similarities to what Aa Gym has every told me in his speech. I mean I have ever heard Aa's said the message in Pak Agus speech.

Pak Agus told us that in Ramadan we've got to accelerate our effort in a way of getting closer to Allah. It is true that all people benefit from this month – the sellers, drivers and all profession regardless to their believes. But since this is this is an extraordinary special month, we have to make sort of betterment plans.

He told us that Islam is such perfect religion regulating all things. All has been mentioned in the Quran so that we have to be able to maintain reading it in a regular basis. Shaum in Ramadan is a part of His teaching supposed to make us become more taqwa, shalih and faithful persons, it is mentioned in the Quran, too.
Thank you.

Munggahan & 1st day of Ramadan

The thing that is quite close to my mind when facing the month of Ramadan is munggahan. I don't know how to say it in English though. Well it's just basically kind of preparation in the first day of holy month - Ramadan. We Indonesian Muslims have sort of unique thing binded in our society. Every part of this country has different name to call Munggahan though. As I live in the province where Sundanese language is commonly spoken, we call it as munggahan meaning the ascending. If I am not wrong, Javanese people also share the same name. Munggahan means we go up or upgrade ourselves to be much better people than ever before.

On Munggahan day we usually travel home to meet our family. Or if we can't, we may text, call or just email them. This year thankfully I've got a chance to meet my family directly. This meeting in munggahan is simply a way of us in expressing our apology as well as a way of us in giving forgiveness to all of them. To our friends, we usually do the same. Sending SMS is the best way – cheaper and a lot faster. Giving and asking for forgiveness are the must-do thing before Ramadan begins as we human are tend to be sinful. No one is free from mistakes or error so that every single Muslim has to both ask and give forgiveness.

In this preparation, some of us usually also buy some things such as produces, dates and maybe new clothes. As we may see in market such as Tanah Abang and Pasar Baru, many people flock buying their stuff. While at the same time many sellers also gain much more profit than usually they do. However, in our teaching there is no need to wear or buy new cloth in Ramadan. It is just actually our behavior or habit. Nonetheless, I'd say it's not really a good habit readers, I mean we'd better save our cash or donate to those who are needy instead of quenching our thirst or greediness to buy new thing.

In Ramadan this year, I started making Taraweeh prayer in the evening. Tararaweeh is a special sunnah prayer we do only in Ramadan month. We can never do this in other months, just in Ramadan. The rewards that Allah has promised to those who perform Taraweeh in Ramadan is indeed multiplied. I can't mention the precise thing though. I myself did go to Masjid Agung Cisewu to perform this prayer. We did Taraweeh after we performed Isha prayer and had short speech beforehand.

The first speech or kultum (7 minutes speech) at my mosque was performed by the chief of our mosque. He welcomed the jamaah and announced several things we needed to noticed. Something that we were quite eager to hear then was the certainty of the first day of fasting. It happened to us to wait the formal dissemination from government of ours since they somehow were not able to see hilal to determine the first day of Ramadan. Wanna know what hilal is? Please ask Professor Google or Doctor Wiki :)

The kultum speaker of the first day of Ramadan was Mr. Someone (I forgot this name). The 1st day of Ramadan means the 2nd speech and the 2nd taraweeh. The speaker said that there are 5 things that can reduce the reward of our fasting. Two of them are making a lie and doing ghibah. Unfortunately I forgot the other three. Well, from now on until the end of Ramadan I'll try my best to sum up the speech of Taraweeh. I hope I'll be able to be commitment to it. Well, the first day of Ramadan ran very well anyway. I went to and fro to meet relatives and fixed several things I pretty much do. Tomorrow is the second day of Ramadan, you'll see the excerpt of Taraweeh on the forthcoming posting. Have a blessed Ramadan respected brothers and sisters :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bosscha Observatory

As I promised you, I'm now showing you the shots and sort of summary of my trip to Bosscha observatory. Bosscha was built in 1923 when we were colonized by Dutch. The Bosscha itself is the name of someone who back then owned the money for building this observatory. He was a Dutch but he didn't have any background in science or such. Till now, it seems the government of ours never plans to build the new one. I would say that, more or less Indonesian government barely ever made observatory as we are only proud of having this only one observatory which is the legacy of colonization era.

I and some friends of mine arrived at the site at around 5 pm. We all 36 members of MEC headed up this place as it was our routine program to hang out. We pretty much learn English and learn anything around us. The first thing we visited there was the park and we sat there gathering to kick off the agenda. Having had the short opening, we then went to the biggest cupola where Zeiss telescope located. Someone explained us quite much about it, we felt quite difficult to understand his explanation though.

Soon the adzan maghrib resounded. Some of us headed to the praying room. We were quite in trouble since there only small room there. Besides, the ablution room was not quite representative either. I didn't want to complain about all things there, but it seems the management or our government needs to give more attention to mend the facilities and everything. I hope it will be getting improved soon.

The next thing we did was to listen up to someone's explanation about Bosscha's history and and astronomy. We were seated in a room accommodating around 100 persons. Subsequently we explored moon and Saturn by using other smaller telescopes. We were not able to use the Zeiss as it was being used for research, a guy said. To use the telescopes, we stood in line as other schools of people also wanted to try them. I met some guys from Solo and Palembang then.

Having done all of them, we then shopped some stuffs. I myself bought a miniature for sister of mine. Hope she'll like it. Some of us groped rupiahs to buy key tag, sticker, miniature and others.

The last thing we did before leaving was to snap some pictures. We of course didn't want to miss every corner there so we posed ourselves at almost all parts of the site, not that much though.

A thing that I could take from the trip, regardless to the facility drawbacks, coldness, unclear explanation or anything is that I must thank God more. I do realize that I am nothing and this world is nothing either compared to the gigantic and unknown universe. We do only know a little thing of anything. God knows all things.
Alhamdulillah I so much liked this trip. It is comparable to the trip I had in Mt. Lemon Kit Peak – Steward observatory.

Hope I can visit other observatories, any suggestion?

See you.