Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Beauty in Diversity

Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with a friend of mine. We started from a multicultural group chat containing French, Iranian, Koreans, Turkish, Chinese, and me, Indonesian, who speak absolutely random and nonsense (but fun!). He is younger than me, quite the same age as my brother  but I would say that he has a knowledge of more than teenagers here. So we replied to our snapgrams, and started to talk about languages. At first I was pretty shocked, because he explained to me very briefly about his native language. About how Persian is different with Arabic or the similarity of their old characters with Chinese characters. A lot of new things that I discovered (or am I just dumb I don't know) about Middle East countries etc, especially his. This is due to the fact that I very unlikely to get such information in my country. Too much... hoax. I don't know which is which anymore.

Well, let me say.. I realized how much the difference of how people from all over the world perceive the world. Complicated. Don't know how to explain, man, why English why!! But one thing that I know for sure is that we acknowledge quite similar thing, but turns out... I didn't understand pretty well. There is some abcd that I couldn't get, I mean...the things that might be usual to talk about there, is pretty unusual to talk about here. We know what we're talking about, we're on the same direction, but there is something like missing puzzles...because we live in a different countries, brought by different perspectives. But still beautiful. I don't know if it's just me, but I rarely have such conversation with locals. Things like the Middle Eastern wars, Sunni Shia, or Islam itself.

I don't know how it happened, but we ended up talking about deeper Islam. What do you mean? I don't know, just don't ask, I am confused too-_- To be honest, it was pretty awkward when we discovered ourselves being Sunni and Shia. I acknowledge that the rumours and news that spreaded in my country is quite...yea. DON'T GET ME WRONG. At first I was afraid that I might say something that would trigger "misunderstanding" between us, for I myself don't quite understand.  In my country, we rarely assume ourselves as some certain group. Though we know that some countries are majority of bla bla-muslim. We just refer ourselves as Muslim. And I absolutely have no problem about that as long as we could be tolerant to each other and prevent unintentionally conflicts.

I was afraid, I don't want to break a friendship just because a small misunderstanding. He calmed me by saying, "We all are muslim *cute emojis* take this one it's better. I told you this bcz it can make enmity" and other things that unsuitable to be posted along (because it might hurt others).

What I want you to realize is not the conversation that we had or else. But this conversation got me reflected upon the things that happened in my beloved country recently, the country of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Indonesia. I love differences and learn from various perspectives, it taught me to be tolerant and understand other people better. I like it the most, when I listen to people's stories about how they perceive the world or simply about how they live their life. It's not that I want to justify or forcing certain perspective or believes; I just love the beauty of tolerance in diversity. 

The heaven and the hell? It's our personal matters and the Lord's absolute right. We have no right to decide or accuse ones who deserve to enter the heaven or hell.  If we can't change the world all at once or attain world peace, at least, let's be good to each other in society as a human being.

Why do we have to war? If we can live together in peace...
May peace be upon you. Assalamu'alaikum~

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Reminder: Finding Inner Peace

Assalamu'alaikum!! (May peace be upon you) ุงَู„ุณَّู„َุงู…ُ ุนَู„َูŠْูƒُู…

Ramadhan is coming very near already. Oh, didn't you see that coming? So these days, recently, I felt like my iman (faith) has been decreasing gradually, astaghfirullah, and I kinda missing the peace during my prayers. Have you ever felt like... you just don't feel it? I felt bothered and blamed myself a lot about it that I tried various ways but the 'peace' never comes back. Perhaps it's because the sins I realized or not realized I've commited in the past. Or it might be because my mind had been occupied with everything wordly that I forget the akhirah. But today I would like to share a few things that probably could help you finding the "peace" back, or at least, reminding you(and me too) of Islam, Qur'an, anything.

I would like to recommend you an app, it's Nouman Ali Khan podcasts  which you can download it from App Store. It contains of da'wah lectures of Mr Nouman Ali Khan that you can actually access it from Bayinnah Tv or FreeQuranEducation in Youtube. It's very good especially if you would like to save your internet data (because if you don't, it's hours lectures in Youtube man). You don't have to start with an hour lectures, just begin with short 5-10 minutes lectures, but do it constantly in the morning or in the evening so you'll get used to it. Just as you like. As for me, I am trying to listen at least one lecture everyday to keep myself reminded. Mashaallah may He makes us among the people He loves.
Learn Tajwid. Download any apps or buy any books that could help you understand Al Qur'an better. Be an educated muslim! Educate and surround yourself.. start reading Sirah Nabawiyah and take reflections upon it.

Memorize at least one surah; read the tafsir, understand the tajwid, listen to lectures about it, and act upon it. Just one surah, but focus, and make sure to dig deep down inshaAllah it would give a good impact in your life. Focus on one thing and reflect, open more doors. The more you recite, the more you understand.

Help people. Good causes are good causes, people wouldn't judge your religion or where'd you come from. If possible, be a part of good cause in non-muslim event (volunteers, etc), not only among Islam communities. Be a better human being, better muslim. Be an example of what true Islam is. Let's put aside all those bad news about muslims these days, rather than debating the whole day (and keeps debating anyway) let's just put our focus on ourselves instead. We can't change people to what we want them to be except Allah is willing to give His blessings and hidayah. All we have to do is to pray, guide, and remind them. I am not saying that we have to give up, but we have to understand whether it's our personal lives or in society. Inshaallah there is a way.

Fix our intention only for Allah. This one is very hard, I admit. When you're going to give, expect only for Allah. If we are doing good for others, don't say that you help them, we're actually helping ourselves. There is nothing to big for Allah to give. It's easy for us, because Allah made it easy for us. Be faithful and keep reminding each other for we are imperfect human beings.

Guys, Allah doesn't need us. He is independent and qiyamuhu binafsihi, he doesn't need our struggles or anything. It's us who need Him.

It's a reminder for me too,  Ramadhan is near and I wish we could prepare ourselves before its coming. May Allah Azza wa'Jalla makes us of those who are committed to our faith throughout our lives. May Allah overlook our shortcomings and not make us among the dhaalim. And may He protects us forever. Aamiin..

List of lectures I recommend in Nouman Ali Khan podcast:
1. Have Genuine Love to the Book of Allah
2. How We Lose Our Iman
3. You're the Best For People
4. Purify your Faith
5. Amazed by The Qur'an series
Well, I have to say, everything!!! 

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Portia, to the Knight.

[Sunday, 17th November 1986. 11:34 pm. Location: unidentified, yet]

I built a wall, a fortress so high, that keeps me a prisoner of my own mind. I came back to the day where I've been told all the pretty things you think I need to hear. You're right, they wind themselves around my ears and brittle bones; creating a new flesh of me. But you're wrong too, it didn't affect me the way you thought. Had you ever been straightforward, I would not have stepped any further.

We are two muted gray figures of a silhouette, stopped between two panels of lights. To the fingers dancing past 2 a.m. I told you I wasn't into it I was a denial, but you dragged me along until I drowned in a sea of lures. I was spellbounded! Captivated! Enchanted!

You told me once, "Amor vincit omnia", and the time stopped for a while.

Someone should have reminded me, not to fall in love or fall in fools (I am not quite sure); for I have, and wounded my knee into benevolent promises. I struggled to orbit, freaking lost my axis.

After all that happened, I decided to build the walls even higher than I could ever imagine. I regret the things I have said upon the blisters. Sometimes I talk to myself about the things I wish I could take back for I no longer have a chance to transmit the signals anymore. Now that it's gone, I just realised how much I need them.

Don't ask me to write a poem anymore. Believe me when I said all those things, I meant it. It's not that I hate the things that happened, but I hate myself for doing what I shouldn't. I blamed myself, I used to..

But then I remember why I started, and I know why it never worked out with anyone else.

The shadow behind your cape,

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Post-Graduation Reflection

Heheheheeee I am so excited. Oh finally, the day that I have always dreaming of since the first time I stepped in the yellow gate (which turned green eventually). Yeah, since the very first day. Pretty ironic I know. The thing is... I have always wanted to just get out of this place as soon as possible hehe but wouldn't I be such an ungrateful human-being? I used to think that choosing this school was the second worst decision I've ever made in my life (sometimes I still do) but Allah showed me another way to make my life full of meanings. Mercy to Allah for His blessing that the days I spent my 3 years in high school filled with a lot of experiences, lessons, and a lot of skipped class (and research's lab activities!). The only thing that keeps me doing what I love. Alhamdulillah....
Oh. Haven't I told you? I graduated today!! YAY. I've never been this happy before. Errr..nope, I did too at the last graduation. Ehehee. Sorry not sorry.

Talking about graduation makes me think about the old days I had spent my life in private school, how the teachers and school systems are so well-managed. The relationship between students-teachers-parents are glued and they cooperate to improve each individual's developments. Well, not to mention that it's pretty costly, but it does worth it. I am very much disappointed with the public school's schooling system, I just... really don't get the idea. In private school, I've always learned that teachers are our family who push us to learn about new things and develop curiosity. The first time I went to public school, I never knew, I was pretty shocked that the relationship between students and teachers (let alone the parents) is how do I say it...unnatural and rather enmity? If I ever had the opportunity to change anything in my life, I would like to finish my 12 years of study in a private school. Despite all the circumstances, I won't regret the decision.

I remember myself doing my first-ever graduation speech as a representative of one of the private school's branch in front of Mr Amien Rais, Indonesian political who owned the institution, even though my national exam was among the lowest. Going down the stage, Mr Amien Rais greeted me and told me that my speech was amazing. As an elementary school student who values everything, I get so hyped by it, even though I know it doesn't have a meaning but it does affect me during the entire year. It has always been my problem. I never liked studying for grades but I love and enjoy learning that I could stayed up all night to read my favorite books. Well it's my fault though, dumping things away that I think isn't that important is one of my hobby. Just kidding! Grades are important hahaha I am just that ignorant.

Thinking about the past today, I realised how much I have developed and changed. Both good and bad. I could feel the dynamics in my way of thinking and life's principles. Well, things are though and there's a few things I regret that I did. But so what? There always comes a lesson in every hardships. At least, now I have graduated... I am not that bright of a student no matter how hard I tried, I could never make it as a center of my focus, but I know for sure that the other things going around unnoticed are pretty much my thing. I cannot wait for the opportunities ahead, I wish it will be another good decision. See you.