My Saddest Year

This 2019 has always been my saddest year. The most heartbreaking year of my life.

In January 2019 my mom’s health dropped drastically (she’s been ill since 2017. You can read some story of her ailment here :

January I was fully loaded with many teaching assignments but I managed to keep calling her every day, and tried my best to fly home whenever I have free time. I just cant teach while worrying about my mom’s condition. I was so lucky then I still have some chances to be with her and cherish her before she was hospitalized.

February 2019 is when my mom is turning weaker and weaker. Yet she just didn’t want to show her pain to us. That month was the last time she accompanied me to the airport, before that she took me to Bakso Bakar in Sawojajar and that was also the last time we dine out together. March is the starting of the darkness. My mom was sentenced to battle with cancer and was actively dying. I took office leave several times whenever I got bad news from my hometown. Going back and forth from Malang to Jakarta, trying to balance my life as a mom to my kids, a full-time trainer, and as a daughter who felt unprepared to live without a mother…it was so desperating. My most fear is always loosing my mom, cause I had no idea what the rest of the year looked like without her in this world as I always need her support, encouragement, and prayers for me. I spent days in hospital while she was on her terminal state, still hoping for a miracle to happen.

And Thursday 18 April 2019 came. That utmost grief…my mom took her last breath in Room 223 Paviliun Dahlia, RSSA General Hospital of Malang City. Read  here:

That day was the starting of my grieving days. Although I have accepted this destiny, time does not weaken the pain from the loss. Every single event that happens in my life, both hapiness or sadness, always reminds me of her, I have cried hundreds of times to any single moment, so cheesy I know.  But alhamdulillah, I don’t cry too long cause I still have my faith,. My faith and trust in Allah’s infinite wisdom really helps me endure these trials and keep me focused on the greater goal of salvation in the Hereafter. I keep on asking Allah for patience and the guide to always be in Islam way.

I am more clam now…although sad news keep coming from May to today, the last day of 2019.

My close friend got a sudden heart attack and passed away in May. In April one of my students got a car accident and passed away. My best friend from Unair caught her husband cheating and was on the verge of divorce. After Ied Mubarak, I have three former students passed away because of serious ilness. My son got bullied by his classmates and I’m still coping with building his confidence. My lecturer, Ms Santi Djonhar, passed away of a heart attack after Iedul Qurban, and I havent’ kept my promise to her to present our paper in TEFLIN.  My sister in law was hospitalised because of hemmoragic stroke and she hasn’t fully recovered yet. And Yesterday I got a news that my brother in law was diagnosed with a tumor in his heart, I cried hard for my sister.

I also feel sad with the news of environmental destruction and pollution in my country and other parts of the world, with Israeli’s demolitions to Palestine, with China’s cruelty to Uyghur moslems…oh my God these calamities are caused by us, human…

But this year also brings me some kind of betterment for my soul. I really realize now that our life is Allah’s hands and that we are all weak creatures ( that’s why dua is the part of my life. Especially after 5 times prayer and Tahajjud, really make myself  relax). I am fully aware that Allah gives me these to pass His tests. All resentments are from satan and I don’t want to be friend with them. I just feel thankful, alhamdulillah that Allah gives me strength and patience untill today.

I am still crying now, but more to thank Allah for giving me the chance to be a moslem. I am thankful cause Allah still gives me the chance to continue my mom’s good deeds,  which I hope these will benefit her in jannah.

La ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Azeem ul-Haleem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb il-‘arsh il-‘azeem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb is-samawaati wa Rabb il-ard wa Rabb il-‘arsh il-kareem.

Pancoran, December 30, 2019.

Rights of Friends

Friends are inseparable parts in our life. In the Qur’an there is a mention of friends along with those and distant relatives. They have the following rights:

  1. It is necessary to make a close of the beliefs, deeds, behavior and dealings, conduct and character of those with whom one intends to make friends. If they are found right minded and righteous, they may befriended, otherwise avoided. Great emphasis has been laid on shunning bad society. If one come across a person of like habits, belief and character, there is no objection to befriending him, as it is recognized universally that a friend is the greatest source of comfort and solace.

2. Never hesitate in sacrificing for him even your life and wealth.

3. If something unpleasant comes from him connive at it. If some quarrel occurs by change settle it at once instead of prolonging it, because even temporary differences among friends have some pleasant aspects.

4.  Do not be neglectful in wishing your friends well or in giving them good advice. Give ear to his advice with sincerity and accept it if it is practicable and valid in the Shari’ah.

(main source: Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi: Muslim Way of Life)

Strange? It’s O.K.

IMG000042I got this article from a friend. It’s so enlightening, that’s why I need to publish it here. This also a relief for some people who are categorized as the ‘strange’ one in this crazy world. Check this out:


“Dunia memang aneh”, Guman Pak Ustadz

“Apanya yang aneh Pak?” Tanya Penulis yang fakir ini.

“Tidakkah antum (kamu/anda) perhatikan di sekeliling antum, bahwa
dunia menjadi terbolak-balik, tuntunan jadi tontonan, tontonan jadi
tuntunan, sesuatu yang wajar dan seharusnya dipergunjingkan,
sementara perilaku menyimpang dan kurang ajar malah menjadi
pemandangan biasa”

“Coba antum rasakan sendiri, nanti Maghrib, antum ke masjid, kenakan
pakaian yang paling bagus yang antum miliki, pakai minyak wangi,
pakai sorban, lalu antum berjalan kemari, nanti antum ceritakan apa
yang antum alami” Kata Pak Ustadz.

Tanpa banyak tanya, penulis melakukan apa yang diperintahkan Pak
Ustadz, menjelang maghrib, penulis bersiap dengan mengenakan pakaian
dan wewangian dan berjalan menunju masjid yang berjarak sekitar 800m
dari rumah.

Belum setengah perjalanan, penulis berpapasan dengan seorang ibu muda
yang sedang jalan-jalan sore sambil menyuapi anaknya”

“Aduh, tumben nih rapi banget, kayak pak ustadz. Mau ke mana, sih?”
Tanya ibu muda itu.

Sekilas pertanyaan tadi biasa saja, karena memang kami saling kenal,
tapi ketika dikaitkan dengan ucapan Pak Ustadz di atas, menjadi
sesuatu yang lain rasanya…

“Kenapa orang yang hendak pergi ke masjid dengan pakaian rapi dan
memang semestinya seperti itu dibilang “tumben”?

Kenapa justru orang yang jalan-jalan dan memberi makan anaknya di
tengah jalan, di tengah kumandang adzan maghrib menjadi biasa-biasa

Kenapa orang ke masjid dianggap aneh?

Orang yang pergi ke masjid akan terasa “aneh” ketika orang-orang lain
justru tengah asik nonton sinetron “Intan”.

Orang ke masjid akan terasa “aneh” ketika melalui kerumunan orang-
orang yang sedang ngobrol di pinggir jalan dengan suara lantang
seolah meningkahi suara panggilan adzan.

Orang ke masjid terasa “aneh” ketika orang lebih sibuk mencuci motor
dan mobilnya yang kotor karena kehujanan.

Ketika hal itu penulis ceritakan ke Pak Ustadz, beliau hanya
tersenyum, “Kamu akan banyak menjumpai “keanehan-keanehan” lain
di sekitarmu,” kata Pak Ustadz.

“Keanehan-keanehan” di sekitar kita?

Cobalah ketika kita datang ke kantor, kita lakukan shalat sunah
dhuha, pasti akan nampak “aneh” di tengah orang-orang yang sibuk
sarapan, baca koran dan mengobrol.

Cobalah kita shalat dhuhur atau Ashar tepat waktu, akan
terasa “aneh”, karena masjid masih kosong melompong, akan terasa aneh
di tengah-tengah sebuah lingkungan dan teman yang biasa shalat di
akhir waktu.

Cobalah berdzikir atau tadabur al Qur’an ba’da shalat, akan terasa
aneh di tengah-tengah orang yang tidur mendengkur setelah atau
sebelum shalat. Dan makin terasa aneh ketika lampu mushola/masjid
harus dimatikan agar tidurnya nyaman dan tidak silau. Orang yang mau
shalat malah serasa menumpang di tempat orang tidur, bukan malah
sebaliknya, yang tidur itu justru menumpang di tempat shalat. Aneh,

Cobalah hari ini shalat Jum’at lebih awal, akan terasa aneh, karena
masjid masih kosong, dan baru akan terisi penuh manakala khutbah ke
dua menjelang selesai.

Cobalah anda kirim artikel atau tulisan yang berisi nasehat, akan
terasa aneh di tengah-tengah kiriman e-mail yang berisi humor,
plesetan, asal nimbrung, atau sekedar gue, elu, gue, elu, dan
test..test, test saja.

Cobalah baca artikel atau tulisan yang berisi nasehat atau hadits,
atau ayat al Qur’an, pasti akan terasa aneh di tengah orang-orang
yang membaca artikel-artikel lelucon, lawakan yang tak lucu, berita
hot atau lainnya.

Dan masih banyak keanehan-keanehan lainnya, tapi sekali lagi jangan
takut menjadi orang “aneh” selama keanehan kita sesuai dengan
tuntunan syari’at dan tata nilai serta norma yang benar.

Jangan takut dibilang “tumben” ketika kita pergi ke masjid, dengan
pakaian rapi, karena itulah yang benar yang sesuai dengan al Qur’an
(Al A’raf:31)

Jangan takut dikatakan “sok alim” ketika kita lakukan shalat dhuha di
kantor, wong itu yang lebih baik kok, dari sekedar ngobrol ngalor-
ngidul tak karuan.

Jangan takut dikatakan “Sok Rajin” ketika kita shalat tepat pada
waktunya, karena memang shalat adalah kewajiban yang telah ditentukan
waktunya terhadap orang-orang beriman.

“Maka apabila kamu Telah menyelesaikan shalat(mu), ingatlah Allah di
waktu berdiri, di waktu duduk dan di waktu berbaring. Kemudian
apabila kamu Telah merasa aman, Maka Dirikanlah shalat itu
(sebagaimana biasa). Sesungguhnya shalat itu adalah fardhu yang
ditentukan waktunya atas orang-orang yang beriman.” (Annisaa:103)

Jangan takut untuk shalat Jum’at/shalat berjama’ah berada di shaf
terdepan, karena perintahnya pun bersegeralah. Karena di shaf
terdepan itu ada kemuliaan sehingga di jaman Nabi Salallahu’alaihi
wassalam para sahabat bisa bertengkar cuma gara-gara memperebutkan
berada di shaf depan.

“Hai orang-orang beriman, apabila diseru untuk menunaikan shalat
Jum’at, maka bersegeralah kamu kepada mengingat Allah dan
tinggalkanlah jual beli [1475]. Yang demikian itu lebih baik bagimu
jika kamu mengetahui”. (Al Jumu’ah:9)

Jangan takut kirim artikel berupa nasehat, hadits atau ayat-ayat al
Qur’an, karena itu adalah sebagian dari tanggung jawab kita untuk
saling menasehati, saling menyeru dalam kebenaran, dan seruan kepada
kebenaran adalah sebaik-baik perkataan;

“Siapakah yang lebih baik perkataannya daripada orang yang menyeru
kepada Allah, mengerjakan amal yang saleh, dan berkata: “Sesungguhnya
Aku termasuk orang-orang yang menyerah diri?” (Fusshilat:33)

Jangan takut artikel kita tidak dibaca, karena memang demikianlah
Allah menciptakan ladang amal bagi kita. Kalau sekali kita
menyerukan, sekali kita kirim artikel, lantas semua orang mengikuti
apa yang kita serukan, lenyap donk ladang amal kita….

Kalau yang kirim e-mail humor saja, gue/elu saja, test-test saja bisa
kirim e-mail setiap hari, kenapa kita mesti risih dan harus berpikir
ratusan atau bahkan ribuan kali untuk saling memberi nasehat. Aneh
nggak, sih?

Jangan takut dikatain sok pinter, sok menggurui, atau sok tahu. Lha
wong itu yang disuruh kok, “sampaikan dariku walau satu ayat”
(potongan dari hadits yang diriwayatkan oleh Al-Bukhari no. 3461 dari
hadits Abdullah Ibn Umar).

Jangan takut baca e-mail dari siapapun, selama e-mail itu berisi
kebenaran dan bertujuan untuk kebaikan. Kita tidak harus baca e-mail
dari orang-orang terkenal, e-mail dari manajer atau dari siapapun
kalau isinya sekedar dan ala kadarnya saja, atau dari e-mail yang
isinya asal kirim saja. Mutiara akan tetap jadi mutiara terlepas dari
siapapun pengirimnya. Pun sampah tidak akan pernah menjadi emas,
meskipun berasal dari tempat yang mewah sekalipun.

Lakukan “keanehan-keanehan” yang dituntun manhaj dan syari’at yang

Kenakan jilbab dengan teguh dan sempurna, meskipun itu akan serasa
aneh ditengah orang-orang yang berbikini dan ber-you can see.

Jangan takut mengatakan perkataan yang benar (Al Qur’an & Hadist),
meskipun akan terasa aneh ditengah hingar bingarnya bacaan vulgar dan
tak bermoral.

Lagian kenapa kita harus takut disebut “orang aneh” atau “manusia
langka” jika memang keanehan-keanehan menurut pandangan mereka justru
yang akan menyelematkan kita?

Selamat jadi orang aneh yang bersyari’at dan bermanhaj yang benar…

Semoga bermanfaat.

I think you can also forward this message if you find it useful. No reward or gain for you, except that Allah will be ridho with your good deeds…amin.

Fasting in the Month of Ramadhan

What is the Month of Ramadhan?
Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar; it could be 29 or 30 days long. An Islamic month begins with the sighting of the new crescent in the western horizon, immediately after sunset. Muslims look toward the western horizon for the new moon on the 29th day of Sha’ban, the eighth month. If the new moon is sighted, Ramadhan has begun with the sunset but fasting begins with the next dawn. If the new moon is not sighted on this 29th day, Muslims complete 30 days of Sha’ban and Ramadhan begins the following day.
What is the Significance of Ramadhan and Fasting?
Allah says in the Qur’an:
‘O You who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain God-consciousness. 2:183

“In the month of Ramadhan the Quran was revealed, a book of guidance with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong. Therefore whoever of you is present in that month let him fast. But who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. Allah desires your well-being, not your discomfort. He desires you to fast the whole month so that you may magnify Him and render thanks to Him for giving you His guidance.” 2:185

Accordingly, the month of Ramadhan is called the month of the Qur’an, therefore, Muslims have tradition of reciting Qur’an frequently in this month.
What is Shaum or Fasting?
Shaum means a fast that begins with dawn and ends with sunset. Muslims rise before dawn, eat Sahur (pre-dawn meal) and drink liquids for the preparation of Shaum (fasting). Eating and drinking stops at dawn. During the day no eating, drinking or sexual activity is allowed. In addition, a Muslim must adhere to the moral code of Islam very strictly as failure violates the requirements of fasting.

Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is one of the deeds of worship required of all Muslims who have attained puberty. Women who are having their menstrual period or who have not fully recovered from childbirth postpone the fast until they are completely out of their special conditions. In addition, those who are ill or in travel may choose to postpone their fast.

Muslims fast because Allah has commanded them to do so. However, they may also think about the benefits of fasting which may include developing control over hunger, thirst and sexual urges, training to be a good moral person and, testing sincerity to the Creator. During the fast, Muslims may conduct their business as usual. However, in the Muslim countries working hours are shortened by a couple of hours a day and the hours are changed to make the work comfortable.

The fast is broken immediately after sunset by, usually, eating dates and drinking water or juice. However, any lawful food or drink may be used to break the fast. This is followed by the Maghrib salah (after sunset prayer) which is followed by a complete meal. After a brief rest, Muslims go to the mosque to offer the ‘Isha salah (night prayer) and then a special night prayer, called taraweeh.

Taraweeh: This nightly congregational salah (prayer) is performed after the ‘Isha salah. Traditionally, a Hafiz of the Qur’an, a person who has memorized the whole Qur’an which is in Arabic, leads the prayer. He recites the Qur’an in small portions, in proper sequence, every night and completes the recitation of the whole Qur’an before the end of the month of Ramadhan. Every Muslim who attends such prayers regularly gets the opportunity of listening to the whole Qur’an in a month. If a Hafiz of the Qur’an is not available, the Muslim who has memorized the most in a group leads the prayer and recites according to his ability. In the absence of a Hafiz some Muslims hold the Qur’an in the hand during their salah and read from it. Some Islamic scholars cite the report of the Prophet (pbuh) that, with the exception of three nights in one Ramadhan, he always prayed during the night in his apartment whether it was Ramadhan or not.
Ramadhan Generosity:
The month of Ramadhan brings many blessings multiplied manifold for those who do good deeds. During this month people are more generous, more cordial, friendlier and more ready than other times of the year to do good work. The poor and the needy receive food, clothing and money from the well-to-do in the community. Many people go to the mosque in the neighbourhood for fast breaking and meals. People in the neighbourhood send fruit, food and drinks to the mosque – the atmosphere is that of a friendly pot luck dinner every evening of the month.

Well-known philanthropists of the Muslim community find themselves surrounded by the needy people and Islamic workers for donations. Zakat, a wealth purifying tax, and donations are given at this time of the year since many Muslims wish to take the opportunity of multiplied rewards from Allah.

Lailatul Qadr: This is the night of the Qadr. The term Al- Qadr has been frequently translated as “the power”. A better translation may be “the value” or “the decree” because Allah says the value of this night is better than one thousand months, a life time of over eighty-three years. Allah sends His decrees in this night. This is the night when the Qur’an was revealed. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“We have indeed revealed this (the Quran) in the Night of Value (or Measure). And what will explain to you what the Night of Value is? The Night of Value is better than a thousand months. Therein come down angels and the Spirit (the angel Gabriel) by Allah’s permission with all decrees. (That night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn. ” 97:1-5

The night of value is a gift to mankind from Allah. However, it is not clear which night is Lailatul Qadr. Some reports by companions of the Prophet (pbuh) allude it to be the 27th night of the month of Ramadhan, but many more sayings point to any of the odd date nights during the last third of the month of Ramadhan. According to authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Muslims are advised to spend the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th nights of Ramadhan in worship and doing good works to assure finding Lailatul-Qadr. A portion of the Muslims stay up all night in prayers and good works, however, the Prophet(pbuh) and his companions used to sleep at least one-third of the night.

In Muslim countries, the 27th of Ramadhan is a holiday to enable people to rest during the day after all night of worship. Schools are closed from the 27th of Ramadhan through the 2nd of Shawwal (5 to 6 days) to combine Laylat al-Qadr and ‘Idul Fitri observances.
I’tikaf or Seclusion:
The practice of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadhan in the masjid (mosque). Following his practice, it is considered a community duty that some people go in I’tekaf (seclusion) in a neighborhood masjid. The people in I’tekaf spend their time in various forms of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), such as doing extra salah, recitation and study of the Qur’an, study of the Hadith, repetition of some phrases of praise and glory to Allah, exhorting each other to be good through obeying Allah and His Messenger (pbuh). Since people in I’tikaf are not permitted to go outside the masjid except for emergencies, they sleep in the masjid and use available facilities of the masjid. The food for the people in I’tekaf is provided either by their own families or people in the community. Itekaf is terminated, generally, at the declaration of sighting of the moon or the end of the month of Ramadhan. For busy people a shorter version of I’tikaf is allowed, such as one night, one day or a few days.
Sadaqat al-Fitr:
In general, any material help extended to the poor, needy and to those who ask and are deserving is called Sadaqah. Sadaqat al-Fitr, which is also called Zakat al-Fitr is the obligatory material help extended to the poor of the society before the ‘Eid prayers, preferably to be given early enough for the poor to prepare for the celebration. In Indonesia, the estimated amount is IDR30,000,- to be given on behalf of each member of the donor’s family, including infants.
Iedul Fitr:
The end of the fasting month is celebrated on the first of Shawwal, the 10th month, which follows Ramadhan. Traditionally, on the 29th of Ramadhan after sunset, people go out in the open looking for a new crescent in the western horizon where the sun sets. If the crescent is sighted, the end of Ramadhan and ‘Eid are declared. If the crescent is not sighted, Ramadhan is extended by one day.

On the day of ‘Eid, people take a bath or shower in the early morning, eat breakfast, wear their best clothes, apply perfume and proceed to the place of ‘Eid congregation while pronouncing takbeerat, saying, “Allah is the Greatest, there is no deity but Allah and all praise belongs to Allah.” Muslims pronounce takbeerat in their homes, in the street and at the place of congregation while waiting for the leader, Imam. It was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to hold ‘Eid prayer congregations in open grounds. Following the practice of the Prophet(s) Muslims are advised to hold ‘Eid prayers in open grounds. In the Muslim countries with warm climate there are designated ‘Eid prayer grounds. However, in North America Muslims rent halls at convention centers or major hotels.

The Imam rises at the appointed time, leads the prayers and delivers a khutbah, sermon. At the end of the sermon, people supplicate, greet, embrace and congratulate each other for the successful completion of Ramadhan and ask Allah for the acceptance of their efforts in His obedience.

During the day, people visit each other and children may receive gifts. In some countries, people go for picnics and other gatherings. In addition, special ‘Eid celebrations may be arranged at work or in social settings. Essentially, ‘Eid is a day of thanks to Allah, and also a gathering of family and friends.
‘Umrah or Minor Hajj in ‘Ramadhan:
There is a report from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saying that performing ‘Umrah in the month of Ramadhan is equal to performing a major or complete Hajj. Hajj is a pilgrimage to Makkah (commonly misspelled as Mecca). Hajj is the enactment of some of the trials and tribulations of Prophet Abraham(As), his wife Hajirah (Hajjar) and his oldest son, Isma’il(As) . Hajj includes the sacrifice of Ishmael, represented by the sacrifice of an animal, such as, ram, goat, sheep, cow or a camel. Complete Hajj lasts for five days but ‘Umrah is completed in a couple of hours. ‘Umrah is only a small part of the Hajj. An animal sacrifice may be offered at the completion of ‘Umrah. ‘Umrah may be performed anytime during the year but it has special significance in Ramadhan. Hajj is performed only during the 8th and 13th days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelveth month of the Islamic calendar.

Ali, M. Amir, Ph.D.2008. Ramadhan and Fasting.

The Holy Qur’an.