"Hope and Believe"

Archive for August, 2011

Dear Jogja

Dear Jogja,

Lima hari yang lalu tepat dua tahun terakhir kali aku menjejakkan kakiku di Indonesia. Hari itu tepat sehari sebelum Ramadhan tiba. Tiba-tiba saja teringat semua kenangan bersama dirimu. Dipisahkan oleh jarak yang jauh ini, kita hanya diikat hanya oleh kenangan.

Bagaimana kabarmu wahai kota kelahiranku?  Aku mendengar kabar bahwa dirimu yang sekarang sudah berbeda, banyak gedung-gedung baru dibangun, membuat dirimu yang kukenal dengan romantismenya luntur. Aku lebih suka dirimu apa adanya tak usahlah dikau berubah banyak…

Masihkah penduduknya ramah dengan senyum tulusnya? Ah.. .aku kangen banget sama ciri khasmu yang satu ini. Disini.. orang-orangnya lebih jarang tersenyum.. mungkin gara-gara kedinginan ya? Mereka menahan dingin terus… jadinya susah tersenyum. Dan juga dengan guyonan plesetanmu yang terkenal itu. Salah satunya “basa walikan”(red:kebalikan), banyak loh yang enggak tau “basa walikan” dari dagadu itu artinya matamu… hehe..

Tugu Jogja, courtessy of arriehome.blogspot.com

Melekat dalam pikiranku juga, ketika malam tiba, dirimu menyuguhkan segala hidangan…  tak habis-habisnya dirimu menyuguhkan menu yang berbeda.. cita rasa yang menggelitik lidah.. terlebih lagi dengan masakan yang penuh bumbu eksotis itu.. Gudeg Yu Djum, Ayam Goreng Suharti, Bakpia Pathuk, dll Nyam..  Ingin aku mencicip kembali masakan-masakan itu..

Aku juga penasaran dengan teman-temanku yang sering meluangkan waktu bersama, masihkah bersamamu? Ataukah mereka merantau keluar dari pelukanmu? Mantanku yang pernah membuat hatiku berbunga-bunga,  tahukah bagaimana kabarnya adinda sekarang? Juga guru dan dosenku yang mengajar diriku banyak hal.  Tolong sampaikan salam buat mereka semua.

12.000 km.. 6 jam waktu perbedaan.. hanya ini koq yang memisahkan kita sekarang ini… tunggu aku ya Jogjaku.. suatu saat aku kan kembali dan melepas kangen bersama dirimu.. Saat ini aku kan menggapai mimpi…

Eindhoven, 31 Agustus 2011

Salam Kangen,



Story of Adam a.s. (Alternative Ver.)

Last night I heard this story of Adam a.s. from Nouman Ali Khan. He made it into an alternative version. Just to make it the audience have a better picture.

Imagine.. 35 years ago you were a young intern from college have internship in a big company. Then you graduated from the college and worked at that company. Couple of years later, you got a promotion, you went up into the position of regional manager. You didn’t stop at that position, you continued to rise, district manager, international, and so on. 35 years later you are the senior vice president(VP) of the company with the biggest and highest office of the building. Starting from just an intern, you are now a VP. Who’s above you? Of course, It’s only the owner/president of the company.

One day the president of the company walks in to the office with a high school boy. That boy is looking around, and chewing bubble gum. A freshman high school, a kid. Suddenly the president talks to you “Mm.. yeah.. let me introduce you, this is our senior VP… You..! Need to get him some coffee! ” How do you feel? Ok.. Let’s stop at this moment, you don’t have to answer this question.

Imagine.. now you are watching this moment from the distance. What do you see next? That person says, “Him??? Who’s he? Has he already graduated from high school? Are you kidding me? You can’t be serious….!  It can’t be right… ! You can’t just replace me like that!  I lived my life for this company!!  ”

Everybody is there, and who’s the one you tend to side with? If this was the story of a vp in a company, I would say that the judgement is unfair. The boss couldn’t do that. But… this is not a story about a VP in a company, isn’t it? If you know this is the story of Adam a.s. and still to go to the side of Iblis and sympathize him, its kinda of scary. Let’s take a note what Iblis said. When Iblis presented the argument, the argument was based on what? Qualification, right?

There is another story, same company but different employee. He is doing ok, nothing is wrong with him. But, there is a memo which is send to the entire company. Everybody knows that he is going to be transferred into the new location, perhaps Timbuktu.  The one who doesn’t know about this memo is only himself. The boss said to him “Don’t come late to work”. He said, “Fine, I’m not going to be late”. He never late ever. One day he comes late. The boss said, “I told you not to come late, I’m sorry but you are transferred into Timbuktu”. Was the plan is already set that he is going to be transferred into Timbuktu? Yeah…

Let’s take a look what happened before he comes late. The day before, he got a memo from his co-worker. “Hey.. you are gonna be transferred into Timbuktu”. Then he thought, “What.. ” He couldn’t think well, and couldn’t sleep at night, and the morning after he come late at work.

He could have thought, “Wait a second, I’m not moved to Timbuktu because I came late, you set this. This is an entrapment. It was not my fault. Since you already knew this”

That’s the end of the other story. As we know that the announcement of Allah SWT is going to send a khalifah into the earth happened before everything else. Satan told Adam and Hawa(Eve) if they ate the fruit of that tree he would be staying in heaven eternally. Actually Adam a.s. could turn back, and said that Allah already knew that this is going to be happened. But he didn’t do that. He didn’t give a counter argument with his intellectual reason.

Now let’s make a comparison, Adam a.s. is given an honour by Allah, Iblis was too. Adam a.s is given a rank above the angel, Iblis was too. Adam at some point disobeyed his Lord, Iblis did too. Adam a.s. has the ability to make choices, Iblis? Sure….  A lot of common right?

So what makes them different? After the mistake Iblis challenges Allah SWT.. “No..no..no.. I have a reason for disobeying You.. ” On the other hand Adam realized “No matter what reasons could come up, he couldn’t challenge, everything is Allah’s and Allah’s wisdom is beyond his intellectual”. He trust Allah and ask for forgiveness. In the end Iblis is cursed and Adam a.s. and his wife are forgiven.

This story is repeated for 7 times in Quran. We are being reminded, if we made mistake, we always have 2 options, the first option is to be like Adam a.s. ask forgiveness, follow his legacy. The second option is to be like Iblis, believing that his intellectual reason is better than Allah’s wisdom, and challenging Allah.


  • They(Adam a.s. and Eve) said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost (Al- A’raf:23)

Last Remaining Days of Ramadhan

Time flies by.. I dont believe it’s almost the end of Ramadhan, because the last time I wrote my blog was the 10th of Ramadhan. Just like the previous Ramadhan, at this ending moment my hearts feels like being on a roller coaster, the fact that I’m leaving the holy month, a month with many blessing makes me sad. On the other hand, getting nearer to forgiveness of our sin by Allah SWT (really hope that all of my sins are forgiven) makes me happy.

As a student I used to spend my time during Ramadhan at university library, read paper, after paper…. after paper….. after paper…. *silence* Ok, let’s drop this part, shall we…. 😀  After finish reading paper I usually go to the mosque to enjoy iftaar together… meeting with friends, enjoying the food. Ah.. what a life.

Quran, courtessy of alisina.org

Arrived at home, I open my laptop and enjoy the youtube video lesson of Quran. Especially from Nouman Ali Khan, he is a good speaker. He explains something in a simple way, yet deep. After years,  I realized that Quran supposed to be like a conversation between Allah and human, because when I heard how he explains just keep flowing. I guess to read the translation of Quran and to read Quran in arabic is in a completely a different level, it’s like playing Atari compare to playing PS3 (Sanusi, 2011) It’s much..much better…

With a simple sentence, it describes a really good picture inside our head. because the detail of the Arabic words are magnificient. Let’s say… camel in Arabic, has 160 words, and each words is used differently. If you want to read/write “camel”. It’s different between “A camel that drinks once every two days” or “A camel that drinks once every 3 days” or “A camel that returns to the watering hole to drink once more”, etc.

Camel, courtessy of dryicons.com

The funny thing is I know some languages, English, Indonesian, a little Japanese, a  little Dutch. I also study a languange which is not even a human languange, Java languange, which doesn’t make sense, i.e. “Ah.. there should be a semicolon ( ; ) ”  😀 But, when it comes to Arabic I feel like walking in the pitch black of the night. Shame on me.. Quran should be my holy book yet I don’t understand that much. Maybe that’s why when I met with a Moroccan in Netherland, he was confused, I’m a Moslem, but doesn’t understand Arabic.

Although Ramadhan is almost over, I guess it’s not too late to start learning Arabic, it will be my long-term project. I hope on the next Ramadhan my level of understanding and application of Quran will be better (Insya Allah) 😀

Random song

I like this kind of song, cheerful with a little bit jazzy taste 😀

Baca, Tulis dan Kebudayaan

Suatu sore hari yang cerah di Belanda. Saat itu saya sedang menunggu kereta di stasiun Den Haag, ketika saya duduk di salah satu bangku, saya lihat ada seorang anak kira-kira umur 12 tahun, berjaket merah dan bercelana coklat membaca dengan seksama. Dari raut wajahnya ia sangat menikmati apa yang ia lakukan, tidak peduli dengan hiruk pikuknya stasiun ia benar-benar bisa menikmati bacaan itu. Tiba-tiba bunyi peluit terdengar, kereta yang berwarna kuning biru itu telah datang, kualihkan pandanganku dari dia dan dengan bergegas tas kuambil dan masuk ke dalam gerbong.

Setelah mendapatkan posisi yang pewe, saya melihat sekitar. Di samping saya ada seorang nenek tua yang ditangannya memegang sebuah novel, di samping depan agak jauh saya lihat ada cewek ABG menggunakan headphone dan membaca majalah, dan kebetulan di sampingku ada seorang lelaki kantoran yang tampak baru saja membaca-baca secara sekilas laporan kantor. Sebagian lain yang didalam gerbong ada juga yang berbicara kepada temannya, tetapi jumlah ini sangat sedikit dari mereka yang membaca. Apa yang saya lakukan saat itu? Yup..  masuk ke golongan minoritas, yang kulakukan hanyalah melamun melihat jendela luar sambil mendengarkan musik.. hehe.. 😛

Rijkmuseum Library, Amsterdam

Oke… orang sini memang banyak yg seneng baca, tapi klo hal lainnya gimana? Bagiku orang disini “pemalas”, karena mereka malas untuk mengingat, apapun yang mereka akan lakukan pasti ditulis dalam agenda, sejak SMP mereka sudah diberikan agenda untuk mengatur jadwalnya oleh orang tuanya. Semua janji dan apa dikerjakan oleh mereka tersimpan dalam buku itu. Sempat saya kaget, mendengar cerita bahwa data mengenai jumlah penduduk Belanda, berapa jumlah laki-laki dan perempuan sejak abad 18 masih dapat ditemukan di biro statistika nasional Belanda. Tentu saja.. sekarang bukan dalam bentuk buku atau partitur kuno bulukan, tapi sudah dalam bentuk digital.

Pen and paper, courtesy of freegreatpicture

Masih teringat dengan pemboman di Norwegia beberapa saat lalu? Bukannya aku menyarankan untuk mengebom sih.. tapi.. ada sisi yang menarik dari kejadian ini. Tahu apa yang dilakukan si pelaku sebelum sebelum melakukan pemboman itu? Dia membuat jurnal mengenai pemboman tersebut, sebut saja, dari pendahuluan, tujuan, metodologi, dsb sampai setebal 1500 halalaman. Setahu saya baru kali ini pelaku teroris yang melakukan pembukuan sedetail ini. Bandingkan juga dengan rata-rata tebal thesis s2 di universitas Eindhoven yang setebal 100 halaman. Berarti dia tuh bisa buat 15 thesis.. -_-”

Dari kejadian ini saya sempat berpikir apakah benar dengan kebudayaan membaca dan menulis, membuat bangsa eropa lebih maju daripada bangsa lain saat ini? Mampukah Indonesia melebihi Eropa? Mari kita flashback ke masa yang lampau, masa dimana kakek nenek kita belum lahir. Eropa pernah memasuki “Dark age” atau jaman kegelapan, jaman setelah romawi, runtuhnya kebudayaan Eropa, yang berlangsung kira-kira dari abad ke 6 hingga ke-13. Di belahan dunia yang lain, tepatnya di timur tengah, Babylon(Iran dan Irak) dan daerah sekitarnya mengalami masa-masa keemasan. Dimana penemuan-penemuan dan ahli-ahli bermunculan, dari Ibnu Sina dalam bidang kedokteran, Al-Khawarizmi dalam bidang matematika, dll.

Book, courtesy of conradventi

Semua ini berubah, puncaknya Eropa mengungguli timur tengah berawal dari tahun 1683, yaitu ketika gagalnya kerajaan Ottoman menyerang Vienna, Austria, karena tertinggalnya teknologi. Eropa mengalami kemajuan yang sangat pesat, khususnya bidang ilmu pengetahuan. Setelah saya baca-baca, banyak faktor yang menyebabkan semua ini salah satunya adalah Gold, Glory, and Godspell. Kolonisasi menyebabkan si miskin Eropa menjadi orang kaya mendadak. Faktor yang lain adalah ditemukannya mesin cetak di Eropa pada tahun 1440. Sehingga banyak buku-buku diterbitkan dengan harga yang relatif lebih murah.

Indonesia yang saya cintai mempunyai sumber daya alam yang melimpah, buktinya kekayaan alam kita diambil oleh Belanda saat itu, sampai sekarang pun masih sisa banyak. Menurut saya, yang masing-masing dari kita lakukan adalah untuk belajar untuk membiasakan untuk membaca dan menulis. Dengan sendirinya pengetahuan itu akan datang kepada kita. Bukan tidak mungkin Indonesia akan menjadi kiblat bagi negara-negara di dunia 😀


  •  “Bacalah dengan (menyebut) nama Tuhanmu Yang menciptakan” [Al-Alaq:1]
  • Dan sesungguh perbedaan keutamaan orang yang berilmu dengan orang yang gemar beribadah , sebagaimana keutamaan bulan purnama dari seluruh bintang lain ” [HR Tirmidzi , Ahmad ]
  • Dan sesungguhnya ulama itu pewaris para nabi,dan sesungguhnya para nabi itu tidak pernah mewariskan dinar dan tidak pula dirham, tetapi mereka mewariskan ilmu.Maka barangsiapa mengambilnya, sungguh telah mengambil bagian yang besar. [HR Tirmidzi, Ahmad dan Ibn Majah]

Ramadhan(The first 10 days)

Its my third consecutive enjoying Ramadhan in Netherlands. In Indonesia we call it as “Bang Thoyib-phenomenon” LOL 😀 (Bang Thoyib is a fictional character from a popular song in Indonesia who never returns to his family for three consecutive Ramadhan). Maybe if some of you doesn’t know what Ramadhan is, I will explain it to you. Ramadhan is a special month, especially for moslem, because this is the month where Quran is descended for humankind. Most of the moslem society use this month to give an extra effort for doing good deeds and resist all kind of temptation, e.g. gluttony, lust, anger, etc. On this month it’s also like a family month, because most of the people will try to spend most of their time at home with the family.

Eindhoven twilight sky

Compare to Indonesia which the majority of the people are moslem, Ramadhan in Eindhoven is far less attractive, no people selling food beside the road, no adzan is being announced, no shop is having sale for Iedul Fitri, etc. Ramadhan is just like a plain plain ordinary day in Eindhoven. Despite of this condition, Im enjoying Ramadhan with friends. This reminds me the warmth of Ramadhan.


But this year Ramadhan are more special.. You know why? No.. It’s not because the Ramadhan this year is on summer and makes you fasting more than 17 hours a day(subuh 04.00, maghrib 21.40). And it’s not because this year menus in mosque are more delicious than the previous year either. This year’s Ramadhan are special because maybe this is the last year I spent Ramadhan with some of my bestfriends. Some of them are going back to Indonesia. I dont know whether I can meet them again or not. Although my friends are going to go home, but I also make friend with new people.

Some people says that Ramadhan in abroad will make you feel lonely, since we can’t celebrate with our family. To me.. Ramadhan is always special.. Don’t care where I am or with whom I celebrate.. When it’s come I feel my old..old bestfriend is coming, and of course I will fell very happy to see him again. Happy Ramadhan everybody 😀