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Mengingat Pak Arief

Kemarin diingatkan Facebook bahwa Pak Arief Mulyadi (alm) berulang tahun.

Lebih dari sepuluh tahun lalu, saya meminta kepada Tuhan, “Tuhan, tunjukkan aku bagaimana membaca Al Quran, karena aku tidak percaya bahwa Tuhan yang Maha Pengasih dan Maha Penyayang, se-strict ini (ini itu harus; ini itu gak boleh, haram; salah sedikit dosa, gak diterima).”

Pak Arief merupakan salah satu respon Tuhan pertama dari permintaan saya itu. Pembahasan topik apapun dalam kajian yang ia fasilitasi, selalu setia dengan Al Quran. Setiap kajian, bisa membahas puluhan ayat bahkan lebih. Setiap topik, setiap pertanyaan selalu ditanggapi dengan rangkaian ayat ke ayat, di luar kepala.

Pembawaannya santai dan lugas. Mau seberapa sering atau jarang datang, seberapa awal atau seberapa telat, tidak masalah. Pake hijab rapat, baju nusantara, atau baju santai pendek, tidak masalah. Walau suara kerap menggelegar, tapi tidak pernah terasa merendahkan. Tidak ada judgement.

Selama bertahun-tahun, saya datang ke pengajian Jumat malamnya di jalan jaha, dan bertahan hingga larut malam atau bahkan dini hari. Orang-orang dayang dan pergi. Teman membawa temannya lagi. Makanan melimpah entah siapa saja yang menbawa. Tak ada pungutan wajib yang ditarik. Semua merupakan perbuatan baik semata.

Satu ayat sering ia gaungkan adalah QS 16:128 – “Sesungguhnya, Allah beserta orang-orang yang takwa dan berbuat baik.” Perbuatan baik sangat ia tekankan. Gak jalan deh takwa kalau tidak ada perbuatan baiknya. Tidak heran, ia dan murid-muridnya seperti tak lelah berbuat baik terhadap siapa pun, tak pandang latar belakang, suku, atau agama. Bentuk nyata pengabdian kepada Tuhan.

Ia membuka mata saya, bahwa Al Qur’an benar-benar tuntunan luhur yang manusiawi, logis, lengkap, dan relevan dengan kehidupan sehari-hari. Ia memperkenalkan kepada saya konsep Islam yang praktis, santun, dan terbuka.
Ia juga yang memperkenalkan ke saya istilah “kacung Allah” 🙂 — nurut aja disuruh ngapain sama Allah kalau kita udah janji loyal sama Dia. “Tanyakan semua kepada Tuhan, pada setiap langkah. Kalau gak tahu mau tanya apa, tanya sama Dia kita harus tanya apa,” katanya.
Suatu kali ada seorang hadirin bertanya, “Pak, menurut Bapak, orang kristen yang baik itu bakal masuk surga atau neraka?”

Spontan Pak Arief menjawab dengan gaya khasnya, “Mana gua tau, emang gua Allah? Daripada nanya tentang orang lain, mending kita nanya ke diri kita, kita bakal jadi penghuni surga atau neraka.” Lanjut setelah itu semalaman kami membahas amalan-amalan yang menjadikan kita penghuni surga; dan apa yang dimaksud surga dan neraka. “Surga itu,” katanya, “bisa ada di sini, kini. Gak perlu nunggu setelah meninggal.”

Pada pertemuan saya terakhir dengannya, di penginapan sederhana tempat ia tinggal bersama istrinya, setelah mengalami stroke untuk kesekian kali, kami berbincang panjang lebar tentang negara Pancasila. Dia memperlihatkan bagan tentang pandangannya apa saja yang perlu dikerjakan agar Indonesia sejahtera. Pak Arief bilang ke saya, “Gak perlu pilih semua. Pilih satu saja, apa yang kamu mau kerjakan, dan kerjakan. Yang lain, biarkan orang lain mengerjakannya.” Sambil kembali menekankan bahwa kita sudah janji sama Allah untuk jadi kacungnya.

Sejak memberikan jawaban awalnya berupa Pak Arief dan sharingnya, Tuhan tidak pernah berhenti menjawab permintaan saya. Ia terus menunjukkan kepada saya, bahwa Ia Maha Pengasih, Maha Penyayang, asal kita tekun membaca.

Pak Arief, terima kasih banyak. Shalawat dan salaam. Alhamdulillaahi rabbilalamiin.

Invitation: Discovering Unity Course

 
 The School of Beshara, now called The Chisholme Institute, has been fundamental to my growth as human being. 

It has helped turned me into a lover of Truth. It has established in my heart a way of being, a way of life that feels so real, kind and genuine. One which I am happily walk on.

It has given me another level of understanding of what it means to be a muslim in its essential meaning, a person who is in total surrender, who allows peace of perfection to manifest. I am not there yet. But I am sure aspired to it. And I cannot thank God enough for the opportunity.

Spirituality is not separate from everyday life. It is, in fact, as the name indicates, the very spirit of our everyday life. The Light that guides us in our every step, if we allow it to do so. 

It reminds us what it means to be human, why we are here on this universe of senses, and how we can act accordingly. A considerable process of unlearning and being let go(d). This matter is closer than we think, and doable, too.

The school is conducing a short weekend course on Discovering Unity next week’s weekend, near Jakarta. It would be a pleasure to have you there.

Salaam. Peace

Happy birthday, Indonesia


Happy birthday or happy independence day? Sorry the greeting comes one day late.

I want to quote the ad in the printed version of Kompas Dailies (in Indonesian), which I thought was great. From a long line of independence statement – from occupation (by other countries), lack of education, poverty, corruption, etc – Kompas has striked the word ‘occupation by other country’ (Occupation or occupancy? Unsure). We have gained our independence in that sense. One down, but still a lot to go – lack of education, poverty etc are still very much alive and kicking in our country.

I completely agree with the statement. I think you would too. Strangely, even though all agree, those problems still exist.

I think it is due to three things (1) We often think of ourselves and nobody else (2) We think in a too complicated way – how can we possibly provide education for all, we think and think but never do anything (3) We tend to belittle ourselves – who am I, what can I do, I am nobody. Oh and we often ‘let’ other people improve the situation while we do not do anything.

So, let us change our way of thinking (1) Start thinking of somebody else – your family, maid, janitor at the office, drivers, friends, etc (2) think simple (hah, tell that to myself) – do small things, what seems small to us might be meaningful to others (3) we matter. Stop thinking that we are nobody and start being somebody (Where does this insecurity come from anyway?). Try and see for yourself; and (4) if not us, then who would do it?

Where do we start? From whatever comes to our mind. Just do something. Whatever that may be.

Where should I start?

Just as I have suspected: I am puzzled of the kind of things I can write in this blog. There are so many things happening.

Every time I start reading newspaper, magazine or book, every time I listen to the radio or people conversing, and every time I watch TV, my mind is saying: hey, that is a good story. Too many, even though most are focusing on the problems and not solutions.

I feel like that certain Indonesian politician whom I said is talking too much about too many things. Now I know how he feels – what goes around comes around ☺

But then if I do not do that, I will never start, I will not do anything. Stuck. Hm, this reminds me of several other people as well – and me: thinking too much and never actually getting around to do it. Which is better?

So I thought, let’s just write. Whatever comes to mind. We never know, sometimes small things that we do, that we write, may make a difference however small it may be.

Like my friend said when I asked him where we should start, what we should do when there are so many wrongs, he answered: Just do what we can.

Bear with me. I will do my best. I will try harder – in writing for this blog, and for all other things that I cannot mention here one by one.

Standing strong after the storm

I have just watched ESPY (the ESPN Award-giving event). There is one category that strikes me most: the best team award goes to the John Ehret High School Basketball team.

The school is located just outside New Orleans, Louisiana – the state that was hit by Katrina. Nevertheless, the coach did not want to give up. He gathered all the boys in the surrounding area to play in the team.

Their condition did not put them off. In fact, it just motivated them even more and strengthened them as a team. They surprised everybody by moving forward in the Louisiana state basketball competition and winning it.

The players crashed in their family or friends’ couch, ate from the donation, and practiced wherever they could. And they could. They could even win.

I felt like I am writing fiction, but this is reality. With motivation, effort and enthusiasm, dreams can really turn into reality.

My thoughts went to the condition in the various regions in Indonesia. I am sure there are people who have such sheer determination. I just haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them yet. I am sure there are. Hats off to you.