On discipline


Most of the time, the main issue is not the lack of knowledge; rather it’s the lack of discipline to act on that knowledge. I’ve never think that Indonesia and many other developing countries are underdeveloped due to the lack of knowledge of proper policy; rather, I believe it’s because of the lack of good governance.

It’s as simple as thinking like our own affairs. A successful person is a discipline, ‘goodly governed’ person. We can’t expect someone to be a good artist, farmer, teacher, or merchant, without being discipline to their own. A developed country is the accumulation of a developed individual.

I’ve wronged myself

One of the main differences between Prophet Adam a.s. and Iblis is their reaction after they’ve wronged themselves.

After Allah swt punished Iblis due to their refusal to prostrate to Adam, Iblis’ response was to put the blame on Allah swt, i.e. to claim that it is Allah swt the one that has led them astray.

“(Iblîs) said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path (16) Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You)” (QS Al-A’raf 15-16)

In contrast, when Adam a.s. was sent down to Earth as a punishment, the first thing that he did was to admit that he made the mistake and then ask Allah for His forgiveness.

“They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (QS Al-A’raf: 23)

We clearly has made a lot of mistakes. Allah swt has put a feeling, i.e. the feeling of guilty, inside ourselves that we may admit those mistakes and then ask for forgiveness and mercy to Allah swt. This is the right way to react on that feeling of guilty; instead of feeling desperate and despair from Allah’s mercy.

After admitting that we’ve wronged ourselves, the next thing that we have to do is to do as much as good deed as possible. Prophet Musa (Moses) a.s., when he fled Egypt after killing someone, he was terrified and felt guilty; but watch what he has to say to Allah swt after helping two ladies taking water from a well:

“So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: “My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)!” (21) And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan (Midian) he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” (22) And when he arrived at the water of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” (23) So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” (QS Al-Qasas: 21-24)

In short, Prophet Musa a.s. said to Allah swt that he is in a need of any good deeds that he can do to compensate the mistake that he did. This is a very inspirational example on how we should react towards mistakes that we made; we should admit to Allah swt that we made the mistake, ask for His forgiveness and mercy, and then actively seek any good deeds opportunity. Indeed, “the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins) (QS 11:114). May we always be on the straight path until we see our Lord in the hereafter.

Something extraordinary needs to be done

I believe we need to constantly ask ourselves; what are the reasons that we are worthy of Allah’s forgiveness and mercy? Most of the time, we don’t even consider success in the hereafter as indicator of our success. We are heedless and occupied with the never-satisfying worldly ambitions.

Living in non-Muslim majority country in the past four years has made me aware of the stark differences between western ideals and what Islam teach us. Islam teach us to obey and submit ourselves before Allah; while western ideals suggest to live a ‘successful’ life and ‘to have fun’. While we’re taught in Islam to have sami’na wa ata’na mentality; western ideals suggest to question religious orders; up to the point questioning the existence of God itself. Islam teaches what matters is what inside our heart; while in western world, what matters is how we look.

My position would just only be to absorb any good values that this society has; while putting a clear boundary between what I can accept and what I can’t. Now, my only concern is just how I can win Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. I don’t think by merely separating myself away from the ‘un-Islamic’ values would be enough. Alhamdulillah, that very often, before starting my study I would ask myself again and again why I am doing this; spending almost 12 hours in campus. Alhamdulillah that it helps me to stay focus on my intention; but obviously this is not enough. Something extraordinary needs to be done.

the big names that we often hear in Islamic history has clearly did something extraordinary. Some accomplished noble achievements; some endured great trials. Time is running out for me, and for all of us; we ought to answer and act upon: how can we win Allah’s forgiveness and mercy?

BJ Habibie

Bapak BJ Habibie has truly been an eternal inspiration for us. He’s the model for how a Muslim in the post modern world should be. His mind-set has always been as a problem solver, professional, and leader by heart. He has inspired us that we’re able. We’re capable. He will always be remembered as a good Muslim who continuously work hard for his people. His great legacy will always be continued, and insyaallah, with upcoming rewards from Allah swt in the hereafter. Now it’s our turn. It’s our time. Let us also be a problem solver, optimist, hard worker, contributor, and inspiring human being as he has always been. Barokallahu’alaik Pak Habibie.

Let’s raise the rhythm


Where are our position in the companion of Rasulullah SAW? Will we be eligible to meet him and be with him later in akhirah? The companions of Rasulullah SAW had struggled with Rasulullah SAW in a way that we might not be even dare to do it today. Where are our position in the eyes of Rasulullah SAW? Unless we follow his path and continue his mission, we would remain far away from him. Let’s raise the rhythm.

Our life mission


When Rasulullah SAW was sent by Allah SWT more than 1400 years ago, the people around him was in jahiliyah state; they worshiped idols, wealth, status, etc. Nowadays, the world is definitely in a much modern state, yet the state of the time is still the same as 1400 years ago. People still worship idols, wealth, status, etc. What a progress that Islam had made since the revelation of Qur’an until the set back which then brought the world back to the jahiliyah state.

Realizing this, we should be aware that our life mission is definitely to continue this message (risalah). We may live in a different set of time with Rasulullah SAW; but our life mission is unchanged; we live to spread the tauhid, that is there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger. Thus, we may be a doctor, an economist, an accountant, merchant, farmer, etc., but still, our main role is da’i, i.e. those who call for tauhid. Let’s not be deceived by Syaithan with worldly orientation which will separate us away from Allah swt and our life mission.

Hari yang cerah

One morning in London

One morning in London

Hari yang cerah di kota London. Dari jendela kamar, terlihat langit biru dihiasi awan putih, seperti kapas yang bergerak diterbangkan angin. Di sudut jendela, terlihat pucuk daun yang masih hijau, masih basah, disiram hujan tadi malam. Daun-daun yang belum berguguran juga bergerak ditiup angin. Alhamdulillah, what an amazing scenery. Alhamdulillah atas ni’mat penglihatan yang Allah swt berikan.

Selepas sholat dhuha, hatipun sangat tergerak untuk membaca Al-Qur’an surat Al-Mulk. Ayat pertama cocok sekali dengan pemandangan di luar jendela. Tabarakalladzi biyadihil mulk, Maha Suci Allah yang menguasai (segala) kerajaan; wa huwa ‘ala kulli syai’in qadiir, dan Dia Maha Kuasa atas segala sesuatu.

Pemandangan yang indah ini tentu berlanjut pada pemikiran, what a beautiful world; what a great life; Dari jendela terlihat bus iconic kota London yang berwarna merah. Orang-orang sibuk dengan kegiatan mereka. Ada yang bahkan tak sadar dengan keindahan alam karena selalu dikejar kesibukan, atau mungkin lebih tepat, selalu mengejar kesibukan. Untuk apakah hidup ini? Apakah ia hanya life for the sake of life itself? Ayat kedua, dengan tepat menjelaskan, alladzi khalaqal mauta wal hayata, Yang menciptakan mati dan hidup; liyabluwakum, untuk menguji kamu; ayyukum ahsanu ‘amala, siapa di antara kamu yang paling baik amalnya; wa huwal ‘azizul ghafur, dan Dia Maha Perkasa dan Maha Pengampun.

Ayat ketiga lanjut meneruskan gambaran kekuasaan Allah swt di angkasa. Alladzi khalaqasab’a samawati thibaqa, yang telah menciptakan tujuh langit berlapis-lapis; maa tara fi khalqirrahmani min tafaawuts, tidak akan kamu lihat sesuatu yang tidak seimbang pada ciptaan yang Maha Pengasih; farji’il bashara hal tara min futuur, maka lihatlah sekali lagi, adakah kami lihat sesuatu yang cacat?

Alhamdulillah, segala puji dan syukur pada Allah swt telah menunjukkan tujuan hidup melalui Al-Qur’an; yaitu untuk beramal dengan sebaik-baiknya, di mana pun kita berada, pada apa pun pekerjaan kita. Insyaallah, mari beramal sebaik-baiknya sepanjang waktu, selama Allah swt masih memberi kesempatan untuk hidup di bumi yang indah ini. Semoga kelak kita bisa hidup abadi di Surga Allah swt yang indah dan penuh dengan kenikmatan.

Endorsement for Bayyinah.tv


If I had to give only one advice for someone, then that one advice would be: study the Qur’an. Yes, study the Qur’an. I believe there is no other important things in this world other than Qur’an. It is the light, it is the healing for what’s in the chest, it is the guidance for everything in our life.

Probably some of us might think, if it’s that good, then why can’t we feel the benefit from our previous interaction with it? Well, first, probably we haven’t interact long enough with it; second, probably we haven’t understand what it really says. For the first problem, obviously, the only solution is to give more time for Qur’an. There are countless useless deeds that we might do everyday, let’s try to get rid of those. Indeed, when we spend more time with Qur’an, insyaallah, we’ll have more time to think and will be able to see things from different perspective. For the second problem, I believe it’s a very very common problem in every Muslim, in any country. If those who understand Arabic still don’t get the message; very understandable that we, who don’t speak Arabic, can’t comprehend what Qur’an says either.

Alhamdulillah, I think there is one solution for this second problem. Probably most of us already knew about this website: http://www.bayyinah.tv/sp/9942-bayyinah-tv. In this website, Ustadz Nouman Ali Khan tries to explain the messages of Qur’an which are hidden or missing from the current translation that we have; because indeed, Arabic is a very beautiful-precise language which sometimes challenging to be translated in a short space.

After listening for a year to the program, i.e. Qur’an cover to cover, alhamdulillah, I realize that there are many wrong perceptions that I had about Qur’an which really deteriorate the way I understand Allah’s revelation. For example, previously, I think that the order of ayah (verse) and surah (chapter) in the Qur’an does not matter because the Qur’an was not revealed all at once in order. Later on, I realize that there are many hikmah (lessons) that we can get from understanding why an ayah comes after certain ayah; or why a surah comes after certain surah. The understanding of this orderliness of ayah and surah in the Qur’an really makes me trust Qur’an even more. Another previously wrong-held belief is on the message of Qur’an. Previously, probably because of media brainwashing or secular education system, I treated what’s written in the Qur’an as something that Allah talked in the past, specifically to Quraish nation. Alhamdulillah, after listening to the program, now I completely convinced that every single ayah that Allah swt revealed in the Qur’an is indeed relevant to the present day.

Alhamdulillah, now, every time I read Qur’an, I understand it as personal message or personal order from Allah to me. Now, every time I read Qur’an, I read it as an instruction for action from Allah swt. I can’t say anything more than alhamdulillahirabbil ‘alamin; thank you Allah swt for introducing and giving me the Qur’an. May Allah swt always strengthen our iman.

“So whoever Allah wants to guide – He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe.

And this is the path of your Lord, [leading] straight. We have detailed the verses for a people who remember.

For them will be the Home of Peace with their Lord. And He will be their protecting friend because of what they used to do.” (QS Al-An’am:125-127).


Note: access to Bayyinah.tv is restricted to subscriber; $11 per month; you can’t spend your money on thing better than this =)


Awareness of a mission is something that makes everything we do is worthwhile. People who wasted their life did so because they forgot to set or to recall what their life missions are. However, as we human being tends to forget and busy with daily routine, awareness of a mission itself is not enough. We need something to strengthen or to remind us of that mission; that thing is inspiration. In another words, we should surround ourselves with inspiration to stay on the track of our life mission.

Speaking about inspiration, one remarkable person who inspire me quite well is Pak Dino Djalal; Indonesian ambassador to the US who just resigned to join Democrat Party Convention. I am not only inspired by his bold decision of resigning from his job; but more importantly, I see him as someone who has a lot of positive energy. Indeed, he repeatedly stresses the importance of positive energy, optimism, and strongly against cynicism. As he put it, orang yang sinis tidak akan pernah sukses.

Let’s fill our life with positive energy; with optimism. Believing that we can do something, achieving something is already half way towards the victory. Indeed, there’s no success for the cynical person.

When I am back to Indonesia, especially Jakarta, I can feel the aura or the feeling of pessimism. Pasrah pada nasib, if we can call it. When I went back to my home town, a city 200 km from Padang, the aura is even more. People live with the feeling that there’s nothing that they can do with their life. This is obviously entirely incorrect. Allah almighty has endowed us with many assets. He gave us mind as well to think. Probably, most of us lost our optimism somewhere during our childhood.

Let’s dare to dream big and work hard to achieve it. Allah grant the wish of non-believer who work hard; and I believe He will even be more generous to those whose life mission is to uphold this religion and help this ummah. So restate again your life mission in accordance to what Allah order us to do and then work hard-really hard- to achieve it.

Lastly, I would like to close with Pak Dino’s tips for success in his Mata Najwa interview: take risk, keep innovate, and serve the people. I wish the best of luck for Pak Dino’s candidacy. Semoga selalu dalam hidayah Allah.

Ikhlas, Ihsan, and Istiqamah

We only live once and our life is very short thus it’s imperative for us to have a meaningful and impactful life. Let’s sail away from doing an insignificant thing and move towards doing something significant for the society.

Also, remember to keep doing and being the best. We’ve endowed with the best from Allah swt; thus everything we do should also at the best quality.

Insyaallah, when we become a Muslim who is productive and competitive, as we should be, we’ll realize that Islam is indeed a blessing for the world; and more importantly, Allah will grant us with this forgiveness and paradise, insyaallah.

Let’s purify our intention to serve Allah only (Ikhlas), being professional in everything we do (Ihsan), and commit in doing good deeds (Istiqamah). Insyaallah.