Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kolak of Love

The picture above is the food called “kolak” made from some ingredients which are all abundantly available in Indonesia. To make this food we need to prepare some of the following:
- Banana (the ripe one)
- Palm sugar
- salt
- water
- coconut milk

This post is specially dedicated to my wife who has made kolak for me. She's been somewhat an expert as the taste of kolak she made gets better day by day.
To me, it is little bit hard to actually describe the procedure of making kolak. Well, here are the steps to make it on your own:
- boil the water inside a pan
- put the palm sugar onto boiled water
- put the sliced banana whenever the water heated already
- put some salt and mix them

You can stop mixing when the texture of banana has been softer and palm sugar has spread. Having done it, put the kolak on a cup and serve it while hot. Don't forget to pour the coconut milk onto the ready colak to make it much tastier. I am sure it is a perfect companion in rain or you can serve it during winter (if you live in Europe, North America or else). The kolak that I show above is super special one as it is made with love. My wife called it “Kolak of Love”. Many thanks to my lovely wife :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Almost all of high school students here in Indonesia must learn Economics. They start learning it since the first year of the school and it might end when they have finished this first year. At the second year of the study, Economics becomes the optional subject – meaning that those who wish still can take it and those who don't can just overlook this subject, yet they have to take another subject such as sociology and and geography.

My two-year-experience of teaching Economics has been somewhat challenging to me since the major of mine at college was not Economics. It has relationship with it though.

The importance of learning Economics is the thing called “priority”. One of my instructors at university once said that Economics is all about making priority in life. When we cannot make priority, it means that we are not good in Economics. And for sure we cannot be called Economists.

The benefits of this subject or science is to enable as make a priority in life. Of course, the context of economics is mostly in the level of nation or province or region. In fact, we can also apply it in the context of ourselves. For example, if cannot really manage our want (desiring to always have a new gadget), we have a bad score of our Economics application. So, it is embarrassing if Economics students are not able to control their wants as it shows that they have leak point in making priority. The keys is, be smart in following the want of ours, be smart in making priority. We should start being able to do something important first, and postpone the less important one. Happy Thursday!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kautsar Youzarsif Seferagic

Peace be upon you,
All praises to Allah, peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad.
On Thursday, September 19, 2013, at 12.43 am, my boy was born. It was unbelievable that I could finally see him here on earth. We had been waiting for him for almost 39 weeks and thankfully Allah let him birth normally, without so called caesarean and vacuum.
My wife and I were so relieved with his birth. We could never thank Allah for His blessings. Everything is perfect in His design.

Some of my friends asked me about the meaning of my son's name. Yes it is somewhat unfamiliar in the ear of Indonesian. Moreover when we need to say it. But I am sure we will be familiar someday. We name our son Kautsar Youzarsif Seferagic for some reasons - hope, prayer and gratitude. 
First, I personally admit that my name does not really have a meaning. My parents just did not explain. But I am so grateful, of course. My son's name has a deep meaning, hopefully.

Kautsar, it is a lake in paradise. From this lake, Prophet Muhammad later will give the fresh water to his followers. My wife and I really hope that my son and us will be those who drink the water from the lake, aamiin. Another meaning of Kautsar is the blessing. Yes, he, my son is a huge blessing for us since he will later pray for us, he will worship Allah with us. He is now worshiping Allah, anyway, we just do not know the way of his worship as a newborn baby.

Youzarsif, it is a calling of old Egyptian to Prophet Yusuf. When Prophet Yusuf became a noble and trusted person in Egypt, he was called so by the people of Egypt and king Amenhotep. We pray to Allah may our son will be like Prophet Yusuf who had firm faith, who could influence and give benefit to as many people as possible, and also who could think and act wisely.

Seferagic, it is a word in Bosnian. The meaning of it is the same as Abdullah in Arabic. The meaning in English is "Slave of Allah". We pray our son so much to be just the slave of Allah. We pray him to always remember and call Allah whenever, wherever.

We as parents can only give the best effort for our son. Islam teaches us to name our sons and daughters with a good name. We try to do so. Now we are planning to hold an aqiqah (slaughtering goats). May Allah bless my son, may Allah bless us, may Allah bless you all, amiin.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Piracy – We can ignore it!

Peace be upon you,
Few days ago I saw a headline on newspaper saying that the piracy in Indonesia has already somewhat terrible. As the largest Muslim country, it's undoubted that this fact is shameful. It's not just songs, movies which are being pirated, but for sure it includes software such as windows and Microsoft office which might be the very common things among us. Well, don't you think that it's wrong to use any piracy stuff or doing piracy itself? To me, I just cannot live and think well if I do it. Why? It is because I have known the risk of committing piracy as well as I know the alternatives of software and things related. The risk, I read somewhere on the net that we Muslims are supposed to respect somebody's properties. Example, we cannot of course steal the pen belongs to somebody who is not Muslim. Though we think that he is disbeliever, we have to still respect him. Even we have to live with him well, respect to each other. If we steal his pen, that means we do not respect him and it'll be counted as a sin. Talking about alternatives, exactly there are lots of free and open sources softwares we can use and emblem in our computers. As a teacher and student, I really only use my computer for mostly typing, browsing, watching, listening and doing little sketching. Indeed I can do all of them by simply using a zero dollar software i.e. Ubuntu. If there is something at-no-cost and pretty easy to use, why are we still using illegal ones? Unless you bought the software, you'd better use any free operating system available out there. What I mentioned above is just one of the countless programs we can use and share with anyone. Something I do to minimize the piracy is by spreading the message of “go open source” to friends and relatives of mine. Praises to Allah that one of my co-workers is now using Ubuntu for his laptop. He does not use pirated Windows anymore. What I did to him was just to give little bit explanation about Ubuntu and I helped him install his computer. Earlier before him, I also installed free softwares on my wife's laptop. Respecting other can be done by not pirating and starting to learn something free such as Ubuntu Linux. If we spend few hours to learn, we can be free from so-called pirating. I am insya Allah willing to help anybody explain or install the free ones.

Knowledge in Islam

Seeking for knowledge is indeed a compulsory for Muslims. This is what my Prophet taught me. We are highly encouraged to get as much as beneficial knowledge for the sake of living our lives well. Knowledge or science in Islam is not something separated from religion. In the past, we knew that a group of people got victory or advancement because they left their religion, meaning that they did not follow the teaching of their religion since it was false or somewhat contradictory with science. But we Muslims will never get any improvement in terms of science whenever we leave Islam since in the book of Islam, i.e. Al Quran, it contains countless number of sciences we can surely believe or prove that they are along with the inventions. Attaining beneficial knowledge is one of the three good deeds that will finally benefit us when we have passed away. Those three things are amal jariyyah (charity), devoted and pious offspring and the last is beneficial knowledge. Thus we could know that indeed Islam emphasizes the importance of seeking for knowledge and its application or benefit for society. In another hadith, more or less says “Seek for knowledge since you are an infant till your are about to be buried”. The next thing we need to put in mind is that, the knowledge that we pursue in Islam must be knowledge that is useful or not crossing the Islamic rules. Dr. Saiful Islam once said, “We Muslims should not always be in the most front of everything. We cannot always be the pioneers or the advanced ones in every single aspect of life”. From his statement we can take lesson that for example in the competition of certain kind of vulgar dancing, we are not demanded to take part moreover wish to be the best. In fact, we should abandon that kind of stuff. Another example, in the competition to be the best pub singers, for sure we can never participate in that event since the place like pub will drag us far from Islam. What we Muslims should pursue is the knowledge that will make us know Allah better. It can be anything, you know better. Think it yourselves or ask your pious friends and trusted teachers. Happy learning!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mayor needed by Bandung

Local election to vote the mayor of Bandung is about to begin. Now there are at least three pairs of candidates competing to get the most votes. All of them started to campaign or disseminate their pictures to ignite the awareness of Bandungnese. I think I am not going to vote as my legal ID card shows that I am a Gartutnese. Nevertheless, I am very much concerned with this election as I have been living here for about seven years and of course I am hoping to be led by good mayor. I plan to continue living here, too.

Referring to my deep concern, I did little research by asking some friends of mine who are native Bandung about what kind of problems they have in Bandung and what kind of leader they wish to be as mayor. Here are some problems felt by Bandungnese (based on my research).

First, we all now are fed up with the traffic jam. Everyday on the street is crowded caused by too many cars and motorcycles. I do ride motorcycle to my workplace and campus, so I admit that contributed to this jam. And yet, I have no more idea about using any alternative since me and every one agree that motorcycle is the most efficient one for the time being. If there is better public transporter I am sure we all will consider to use that instead. Monorail is still in a proposal now, I hope that this will be approved and the construction will soon start. We cannot wait!

The second problem is about demography. There are too many people live here. There are many people come and settle here. Is it a problem? Yes, again I contributed to this issue. But there must be real solution of this increasing number of people. I think that the development of regions around Bandung should be started. In other words, we might prevent people to come to Bandung by doing subtle way such as building vicinity cities. Third problem is illegal street vendors, beggars, illegal cafeterias and unregulated advertisements such as billboards. Don't you think that Bandung now has an overwhelmed amount ads? I am hoping that all of them will be weeded out as the cleanliness and tidiness of this city are much better. Beggars are also the issues in this city. It doesn't mean we have no mercies on them, but still we have to place them in the right places, not on the streets. In facts, some of them can be rich by doing their job asking people from a car to another. There must be really action to take care of those people!

The next problem is flood, broken streets and trashes. One way to solve those problems is to learn from another country such as Malaysia and Singapore. I think it is not really difficult to solve them if we want to really learn hard and implement the result of the learning. Start imitating from others for the sake of the good!

Those are several problems faced by Bandung, the city of Paris Van Java. I am hoping that the next mayor will be really able to overcome the problems and bring this city toward the betterment.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dealing with other Muslims

This piece of writing is mere my opinion that might be shaped by everything I read, I listened and I learned so far. I am one of 1,3 billions Muslims on earth and I am very grateful of my faith – Islam. I found the truth in my heart that this religion suits me in every aspect. Aside, I could find something big and miraculous in this religion, that is the goal in life – paradise. Everyone wants it, no doubt! As Islam is a perfect guidance, I am also guided on how to deal with everything in this life, including with other Muslims. I am not going to explain on how to deal with non-Muslims here anyway.

All I know, all Muslims are brother and sisters. We are bound by a tie that is remarkably strong that is Islam. In Islam I am taught that I have to love other Muslims as I love my self. This is very hard though because in nature, we human will for sure prioritize ourselves among others. But Islam through the prophet Muhammad has given example that we had to love other Muslims as we love ourselves. As am example, we cannot insult any Muslim because we ourselves have never been eager to be insulted. So, what should we do to our Muslim brothers and sisters if they make mistake? Yes, indeed we have to remind them but in a very good and subtle way. The prophet grand sons exemplified it for us. In the past they saw another Muslim man was having ablution (wudlu). In his wudlu he acted something wrong, meaning was not exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad. Something that Prophet Grand sons' did was to pretend to compete on how to do right ablution in front of that man. It is very brilliant thing that I learn in Islam that we have to indeed remind to each other in a very wise way. Seeing lots of conflicts, riots and insults among Muslims now is really shameful. We are driven by our emotion (shahwat) that we are correct and others are wrong. As a result we are at ease at blaming other Muslims if we something different with them.

From now on, let's ponder deeply before judging any Muslims because essentially we are brothers and sisters. The way that we have to pass to remind any Muslims doing error is by a good way. Another thing is that by giving good example in our attitude in order that they know the truth. Respecting other Muslims is a must, praying for other Muslims is also noble action that people in the past used to do. We? We most of the time only pray and cry for ourselves. Have we ever cried and prayed for other Muslim brothers and sisters? Let's start doing it now, brothers and sisters. Wallahualambishowab...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing for Newspaper

It's little bit embarrassing that I haven't updated my blog this year, 2013. Well, all I want to write here now is about the writing I wrote few days ago. I wrote an article about leadership and I then sent it to two popular newspapers in my country. One of them is regional newspaper and the other one is national. That was my first time sending an idea to printed media to be published. And sadly to say that none of them replied my email. I very much understand that they got lots of emails and some of them are probably junks so that they had to select any writing very carefully before it is printed. Or I might think positively that they are still reviewing my writing :).

My reason of writing is not because of money. I read that if they publish our writing they will transfer some money as a form of appreciation. The money ranges from US 20 – 60 dollars. Well, I do need money but I didn't really expect that from my writing. My idea here is that, many of us can at least write something but we are too afraid to send that to any newspaper to be published. We tend to undervalue our writing, in fact no body has ever read or reviewed that. So, the good thing is that, let's start writing anything and trying to send it to any publisher. Writing a book might be little bit harder, so let us begin by writing for a column in a newspaper. If you need any link or email for you to send writing, here I show you the link to follow