It was an odd feeling coming home to this city after being away for a short while. Come to think of it, that oddness started to show itself from the moment I left where I was to fly back to this city I called home for the time being. The overheard comments people made about the citizen as I was queuing at the airport, the incidents in the flight, the chaotic feeling in the airport, and the traffic on the way home.
It was not only about the surrounding. It was also about what was going on inside.
Ramadhan is the fasting month for those who observe it among the muslim communities. The word fasting in Arabic is Shawm, which means “to refrain.”
According to Al Ghazali, ordinary fasting is observed as abstaining from food, drinks and sex from sunrise to sunset. Special fasting is observed as abstaining [the ears, eyes, tongue, hands, feet and all other organs] from what is considered as sinful deeds. Extra-special fasting is observed as abstaining from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God.
The month is a valuable momentum to see where we are with this, and what fasting mean to us at this point of life. A timely reminder for Indonesia, as the nation is facing its most enthusiastic yet presidential election campaign period.
Siapa pun presiden kita nanti, kondisi pasti berubah. Semoga yang terbaik untuk Indonesia.
Bagi saya, yang lebih menarik bukan tentang satu orang Indonesia itu, tetapi sisanya yang berjumlah lebih dari 250 juta ini — mereka/kita/Anda/saya: Apa yang akan kita lakukan untuk berperan dalam memajukan bangsa dan negara?
Pemilu berlaku bagi diri kita masing-masing. Saatnya menentukan pilihan. Kita memilih untuk berkontribusi seperti apa? Menjadi apa? Atau apakah bahkan dalam hal ini pun terpikir memilih menjadi golput?
“What is the idea that the world to needs to know? What is that core idea that is fresh and unique to you?” That questions just refused to left me. I first heard it when I was watching Chris Anderson’s talk at TED about what makes a great talk, great. I have been pondering about them since then. On and off, of course.
The other night that questions came up again. So I posed them as a question to myself. I waited for a response. It came in the form of a distant memory: of me sitting before the Ka’baah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2003, asking God for a favor, “Show me how to read the Qur’an. Because I don’t believe that God who is The Compassionate, The Merciful, is as strict and vengeful as they say You are.”
“… So when they have focused their hearts and their spiritual aspirations on God and have truly taken refuge with Him – giving up any reliance on the claims of reflection and investigation and intellectual results – then their hearts are purified and open. Once they have this inner receptivity, God manifests Himself to them, teaching them and informing them through the direct vision of the inner meanings of those (obscure scriptural) words and reports, in a single instant.”
– Futuhat Al Makkiyah, Ibn Arabi
Hope this note finds you well.
It is a dynamic time that we are living in at the moment. Various things are happening at a global and national level, and, one suspects, at our immediate surrounding of work, family, and friends, as well as interiorly within ourselves. Along with it, rises various challenges that may create discomfort, doubts, and perhaps preferences of how things need to be. It is indeed a time of change. One that may define how we move forward to become our honest self. Continue reading →