After living in this world for almost.. three decades, I am still surprised that I know nothing about human interaction, let alone human relationships. There is nothing new under the sun, it is known. Still, I am amazed to see many vulnerabilities shared on those conversations.

“Wow, you can do that?”

I thought exactly like that to many things, including having best friends, revealing crushes to them, secrets that not-so-secret, the real secrets, online dating conversations, inappropriate chats, smooth interactions, having someone who can read your mind, having many non-work-related people chat you at once, late night talks with best friends, otherwordly dialogues, having hundreds or thousand of notifications of people who want to chat with you, having people reply your questions, being confident, being happy, et cetera.

I felt missing out for never having such interactions.

Am I a robot? Is there anything wrong with me? Maybe my outer and inner somehow made a thick wall for those interactions?

After Inside Out, I can easily identify and accept emotions. Sometimes the feeling is invalidated, but that is okay. C’est la vie.

I just can not stand that I am living in a world where I am missing out basic human interaction.

Be vulnerable, they said.

Or so I have tried.

Happy birthday,

to me

These are one of those days that changed my way of thinking. Almost completely.

I was on a dire position that I’ve never prepared for and I did unimaginable things ordinary me will never do. Just because I wanted to, I needed to, I must do that. Else, I don’t know what to do. I was lost. And still am.

I knew that the things I did 95% will not change a thing. But the thought that I might get what I want when I did that conquers all. It was worth it, but it failed anyway. At least it was worth the fight. At least I won’t think “what will happen if I choose that path?”. At least I make myself the “at leasts”.

So I can sympathize with people who use all means to get what they want, including using crowdfunding to pay tertiary needs most people didn’t have, as long as it’s not making other people’s life miserable.

Because in the end, what I will remember is:

“At least I’ve tried”

Still on my way to heal the wounds,
N

When I first saw this book on my friend’s bookshelf, I immediately know that I want to own all the series (The Ideal Muslim, The Ideal Muslimah, and The Ideal Muslim Society). Unfortunately, it is nowhere to be found in Indonesia and even not in Book Depository and the only way to get it online I have to pay a very expensive shipping cost. So I use the jasa titip aka personal shopper service in an app I’ve developed with my previous office, Prelo (who knew I would very grateful to develop it!) and I asked an Indonesian traveler who will do his Umra that time to Saudi Arabia and the two books (The Ideal Muslim and Muslimah) arrived safely, with cheaper price. I haven’t bought The Ideal Muslim Society one because it would be very expensive haha.


After reading both of them (so my review will cover both sides), here are the reviews:

Comprehensive

Both books cover how Muslim should behave according to Islam, divided into ten chapters: to our Lord, our selves, our parents, our spouses, our children, our children-in-law, our relatives, our neighbours, our friends and brothers/sisters in Islam, and our community or society. The “to our children-in-law” part is on the newer and revised editions, so maybe you won’t find it in every copy. Every chapters divided to smaller sections, such as “The believing woman is alert”, “She (Muslim woman) regularly prays five times a day”, in the chapter “The Muslim Woman and Her Lord”.

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There are parts that every Muslim should have known, such as worship Allah, regularly prays five times a day, pays zakah, fasts in Ramadan (and another nafl fasts), Hajj, and so on. There are also parts that I was surprised to find, such as how Muslims should mind their mind, body, and soul, because in my social media feed, all those Muslim accounts mostly discuss about soul (power of ikhlas, etc), marriage (the most popular topic), etc. They rarely talk about mind and body. This book emphasise the importance of taking care of your body, cleanliness, and good appearance (within the Islamic rule). The book also talks about how we should never stop studying, both the deen or the “secular” knowledge that will benefit society.

Full of stories

One thing I never expect from the books are the stories. Other than Quran verses and popular hadiths, there are also many stories that support the topic discussed that actually interesting and surprising in a way. One of the stories I want people to read is this one, that is in the section “She (Muslim woman) may attend the jama’ah prayer in the mosque”.

Wa’il al-Kindi reported that a woman was assaulted by a man in the darkness of the early morning, whilst she was on her way to the mosque. She shouted to a passer-by for help, then a large group of people came by, and she called to them for help. They seized the man to whom she had first called for help, and her attacker ran away. They brought the (innocent) man to her, and he said, “I am the one who answered you call for help; the other man got away.”

They brought him to the Messenger of Allah and told him that this man had assaulted the woman, and they had seized him whilst he was running away.

The man said, “I was the one who answered her call for help against her attacker, but these people seized me and brought me here.”

The woman said, “He is lying; he is the one who attacked me.”

The Messenger of Allah said: “Take him away and stone him.”

Then a man stood up and said, “Do not stone him, stone me, for I am the one who did it.”

Now the Messenger of Allah had three people before him: the one who had assaulted the woman, the one who had answered her cries for help and the woman herself. He told the attacker, “As for you, Allah has forgiven you,” and he spoke kind words to the one who had helped the woman.

‘Umar said, “Stone the one who has admitted to the crime of adultery.”

The Messenger of Allah said: “No, for he has repented to Allah” —I think he said, “with an act of repentance so great that if the people of Madinah were to repent in this way, it would be accepted from them.”

Seems relevant to current issues, right? Where women are heard and not questioned “why are you in the darkness? what clothes are you wearing? etc etc”. There are many more interesting stories here for many different topics, but you should read it yourself.

Also, what’s with the writing of hadith that requires everything to be in one paragraph?? It’s confusing.

Difference between Muslim and Muslimah

While I agree that men and women have different physical condition, needs, obligations, and rights, I can’t help but notice the difference between the two books in the the chapter about spouses. I read The Ideal Muslim in English Edition 4 (2005) and The Ideal Muslimah in English Edition 6 (2005). While the other chapters relatively balanced, this one chapter is unfortunately not.

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I really like the part of “She (Muslim woman) chooses a good husband”, which emphasises the right of woman to choose a man for whom her heart may be filled with love and respect, and who is pleasing to her both in his appearance and in his conduct (I am tired of those posts that implies chemistry aren’t important in choosing future spouse, because they said what’s important is religion and character, as if holistic view is not important). However, noticing “The Muslim Man and His Wife” has 9 sections spread in 23 pages, while “The Muslim Woman and Her Husband” is in 59 pages divided into 19 sections such as “She (Muslim woman) fills her husband’s heart with joy”, “She shares his joys and sorrow” (and there is no male counterpart) made me upset a bit. It is as if wife has sooo many responsibilities in making her husband happy, while the husband only has to “understand his wife and respect her feelings”, as if they don’t have to share her joys and sorrows. I really hope it is revised in later editions because it seems so unbalanced.

Western “obsession”

The book made many references to “corrupted western values” that corrupts many Muslims nowadays. Some of them are right, but the author referenced it so many times it almost funny and made me laugh and think “Is he obsessed with Western people?”. I mean, not every so-called Western values are bad, right? I admire their independence, hard-working, and appreciation of individuality. The author wrote it in a way that if you are an alien from another planet, you’ll think Western values are complete evil. However, if someone from the Western world made a praise about Islam, he will referenced it immediately. That’s why I said it’s almost funny.

That being said, with its plus and minus, the books are something Muslims should read. I suggest people to read both because I think the author put too much attention to The Ideal Muslimah. I really hope there is another edition that is written by female scholars to make it balanced.

x

N

Looking back at the posts in this blog and found out that most of all pictures links are missing and/or broken. Damn. Maybe because I used the hot links, Facebook posts links, etc that I used to keep my WordPress image quota.

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Well the posts look a lot like this with those broken/missing images (source)

So I just spent the day reading through all those posts, editing those posts with missing pictures. I also upload some new photos of the book I reviewed so I don’t have to use the Goodreads link anymore.

Rereading those posts? Of course.

Many posts are cringe-worthy, some make me realize I’m still a procrastinator af with “I promise I’ll write more”, some make me realize I was so stupid, and others make me realize “Wow, what made me changed my mind now?”. Everything is changing but not everything is different and I still love orange the color.

I also took notes on how I made many of my posts for university credits and those posts are quite hollow, how 2012 was the prime time when I posts almost every months, how these 5 (?) years I only posts book reviews and nothing more, and I have 30 drafts that maybe I will never posts.

I had mixed feeling rereading those. I’m happy to recall those cringey, happy, sad, etc moments, and also I regret on why I don’t write more. So here’s a random picture for this post.

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One of the photos you’ll get when you seek for “random” on WordPress free photo library (source)

x

N

Wow. Hari terakhir di 2017. Sebelum hari ini berakhir, saya ingin berbagi memori mengenai salah satu hari paling Patronusable di tahun 2017, tepatnya tanggal Sabtu, 15 April di mana saya jalan-jalan keliling Kyoto dengan empat teman sambil memakai kimono. Kok tumben baik amat mau berbagi? Ehe. Soalnya pada hari itu, banyak turis Indonesia dan Malaysia yang melihat kami dan bertanya di mana kami menyewa kimono, berapa, sampai kapan, dsb. Berhubung sepertinya promo ANA dan JAL ke Jepang pp 4,5 jutaan belum akan berakhir dan berakibat turis Indonesia ke Jepang pun akan makin membludak, yah siapa tau postingan ini sampai juga ke orang-orang yang tertarik keliling Kyoto menggunakan kimono.

Mending sewa di kota mana? Dengan argumen “Kyoto tuh kayak Jogja-nya Indonesia, budaya Jepang-nya masih kental, ga kota banget kayak Tokyo dan Osaka“, akhirnya kami memutuskan bakal sewa di Kyoto saja. Ternyata keputusan yang tidak salah, saudara-saudari! Dari ketiga kota tersebut yang kami kunjungi (empat kalau Nara dihitung), memang kota yang dengan populasi pemakai kimono paling banyak tuh di Kyoto. Bukan hanya turis, banyak juga orang Jepang–kebanyakan cewek-cewek–yang jalan-jalan pake kimono. Kalo cowok, biasanya pake kimono pasangan, nemenin ceweknya. Dari 8 harian di sana, kayaknya ga pernah sih lihat geng cowok doang pake kimono jalan-jalan keliling kota, kecuali mungkin turis mancanegara.

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Berdasarkan pengamatan, tiga dari tujuh penduduk Kyoto memakai kimono setiap harinya (survei ngasal). *If you happen to be one of the subject of this photo and you mind this photo to be published, please contact me immediately, I’ll remove it*

Lalu apa yang harus dilakukan selanjutnya? Sebetulnya, tempat sewa kimono BANYAK BANGET ternyata di sana, terutama di tempat wisata kayak Kiyomizu-dera. Jadi ga perlu khawatir dan maksa banget harus di Yumeyakata, karena sebetulnya si Yumeyakata ini cukup jauh dari tempat wisata populer. Cuma emang kelebihan Yume (biar cepet) adalah:

  • Relatif murah (total ngeluarin 3900an yen, dan di tempat sewa kimono yang ada di tempat wisata biasanya 5000-6000 yen).
  • Situsnya ada bahasa Indonesianya: https://www.id-kyoto.yumeyakata.com/cara-melakukan-reservasi
  • Banyak staf internasional. Saya udah berharap ada staf Indonesia, tapi waktu itu sih ga ada. Cuma ada staf Malaysia (di name tag staf ada benderanya) yang ngerti-ngerti dikit, ngasih rekomendasi obi yang cocok 😀
  • Pilihan warna kimono-nya lebih sesuai sama selera haha. Kalo di tempat sewa kimono yang lain kayaknya banyak yang warnanya ngejreng banget, motif bunganya gede-gede, dan sebagainya. Nah di Yume ini banyak pilihan warna yang lembut dan motif bunganya kecil-kecil (penting banget ye)

Kalau sudah mantap ke Yume, hal yang harus dilakukan selanjutnya adalah:

  1. Reservasi. Wah setelah saya cek sekarang, situsnya udah lebih canggih dan ramah untuk orang Indonesia! Dulu tuh UI-nya khas situs Jepang, more is more, jadi foto di mana-mana. Sekarang kayaknya udah jelas banget, klik aja link ke formulir dan bisa langsung liat aja informasinya semua di situ.yume2
  2. Isi formulir. Bisa pilih paket, berapa orang, tanggal, dan isi data kita. Waktu itu kami pilih Kimono Rental Plan yang 3500 yen seorang. Dengan pajak dan sebagainya, total bakal jadi sekitar 3900 yen. Ini paket yang paling murah meriah dan simpel. Pinjem kimono, jalan-jalan, balikin paling lambat jam 19.30! Banyak juga paket yang bersama fotografer profesional.
  3. Terima e-mail konfirmasi. Kira-kira kayak begini. Kita ga usah bayar apa-apa dulu kok. Bayarnya langsung di sana. Oh iya, jangan lupa simpen screenshot e-mail ini, jaga-jaga kalau di sana ga ada internet.yume1

 

Lalu, pada hari H, apa yang harus dilakukan? Langsung datang saja sesuai jam. Nanti pas datang, langsung dikasih formulir yang harus diisi dan diminta kasih liat e-mail reservasi, dan dikasih tas kain untuk masukin barang-barang. Nanti tunggu dipanggil sama stafnya, dan disuruh naik ke lantai 2. Tiap lantai itu ada fungsinya masing-masing yang bakal saya ceritakan, dan walaupun customer-nya banyak, layanannya cepet dan profesional banget dan ga pake ngantri! Oh iya, ingatan saya juga campur aduk sih jadi mungkin beberapa detail agak ngaco dan ga sesuai sama keadaan sebenarnya, tapi semoga ga terlalu banyak ya ngaconya! Haha.

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Yumeyakata. Fakta remeh: kanji yang dipakai 夢 (yume), artinya mimpi.

Di lantai 2, bakal udah mulai dibedain wanita dan pria. Di lantai ini pula langsung disuguhin bermacam-macam kimono warna-warni. Ga hanya kimono, ada juga obi, dalaman, hiasan rambut, dan sebagainya. Sebagian besar sudah termasuk paket Kimono Rental Plan (kimono, dalaman, obi, hiasan rambut). Karena saya emang sudah bertekad dari tahun lalu untuk memakai berjalan-jalan memakai yukata hitam seharian, saya udah pakai kerudung hitam dari airbnb tempat kami nginep. Nah itu sih tips pertama saya: kalau kamu berhijab/pake kerudung dan udah tau mau pake kimono warna apa, pastikan kerudungnya udah sesuai 😀

Setelah staf yang bertanggung jawab sama kita nentuin ukuran kimono yang pas, ngasih rekomendasi obi yang cocok, dan sebagainya, kita bakal langsung disuruh bayar (nah ini sih yang lupa-lupa ingat urutannya). Berhubung saya dan teman-teman pakai kerudung semua, jadi ga perlu cari hiasan rambut. Setelah bayar 3500 yen + 8% pajak, kita disuruh ke lantai atas.

Di lantai 3, sudah ada beberapa wanita yang cukup senior aka cukup tua yang cekatan menunggu. Yes, ini kamar ganti! Sempet agak self-conscious karena dikelilingi cermin di sekitar, kita semua disuruh lepas baju. Iya, beneran lepas baju, jadi ya tinggal dalaman saja haha. Karena emang paketnya lengkap dengan dalaman. Jadi buat yang ngerasa ga nyaman buka baju di depan orang banyak (perempuan semua), ya mungkin pikirin lagi aja hehe. Atau mungkin kalau bisa bahasa Jepang bisa nego dikit sama ibu-ibunya..

Staf ibu-ibu yang bertugas bantuin ganti baju bakal dengan cekatan bantuin pasang dalaman, kimono, obi, dan sebagainya. Ternyata, pakai kimono juga ga sembarangan kayak kebaya yang tinggal pakai. Obinya harus kenceng banget, saya ampe sesak pas stafnya tarik-tarik dan kencengin si obi. Setelah selesai semuanya, langsung ambil tabi (kaos kaki) sesuai ukuran dan lanjut ke lantai atas. Berhubung semuanya pakai kerudung dan ga pakai hiasan apapun, jadi langsung lanjut ke lantai atas. Tapi mungkin buat yang rambutnya bakal dihias, bakal tetap berada di lantai 3 buat rias dan hias rambut. Oh iya, satu tips lagi buat yang pakai kerudung: lengan kimono memang panjang, tapi didesain supaya lengan bagian dalam juga kelihatan. Jadi kalo megang pegangan di bis pasti lengan kamu bakal keliatan ke mana-mana. Karena itu, bawa manset yang cukup panjang kalau kamu ga nyaman dengan hal tersebut. Kalau di Memoirs of Geisha, dibilang kalau bagian lengan dalam adalah salah satu bagian yang seksi gitu lah ga ngerti lol.

Di lantai 4, waktunya milih tas. Pilihan tasnya cukup banyak dan kelihatannya bisa dibeli juga di lantai bawah, atau juga banyak di tempat jualan souvenir. Staf yang ada juga bakal ngasih rekomendasi cocok atau ga sama kimononya, hahaha. Selama seharian, kita bakal pakai tas ini doang (ga lucu kan pakai kimono tapi bawa ransel wkwk), jadi pilih tas sesuai apa yang mau dibawa dan sesuaikan juga apa yang mau dibawa supaya ga terlalu banyak dan ngeberatin diri sendiri.

Masih di lantai yang sama (kayaknya, lupa), ada penitipan barang. Semua barang bakal dititipin dan bakal dikasih nomor barang. Jangan sampai lupa ya! Habis itu, balik deh ke lantai paling bawah dan milih bakiak.

Setelah itu, bebas! Maksimal pengembalian jam 19.30 kalau ga mau kena denda. Di lantai bawah juga ada rekomendasi tempat wisata dan cara menuju ke sana. Kalau kami, itinerary-nya antara Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, dan Kiyomizu-dera. Setelah berbagai pertimbangan, langsung ke Fushimi Inari dan Kiyomizu-dera. Capek polllllll karena nanjak! Kaki rasanya kayak langsung langsing bagaikan girlband Korea. Tapi ga sih huhu :(. Walaupun capek, sepertinya Fushimi Inari dan Kiyomizu-dera pilihan yang tepat untuk foto-foto pakai kimono. Kenapa? Karena pas besoknya ke Arashiyama.. Yah, namanya juga hutan bambu, jadi cukup redup pencahayaannya. Bagus sih kalo di deket sungainya. Kalau di Kiyomizu-dera, banyak tempat terbuka yang terkena sinar matahari jadi bakal lebih puas untuk foto-foto.

Lalu bagaimana cara ngembaliinnya? Setelah berlomba dengan waktu, akhirnya kami sampai di Yume lagi jam 19.00an. Kita bakal langsung disambut sama ibu-ibu yang bantuin pakai kimono lagi buat lepasin semuanya. Terus namanya juga ibu-ibu sih ya, lagi lepas baju gitu juga tetap aja suka ngajak ngobrol. Pakai bahasa Jepang. Untung ngerti-ngerti dikit sih, standar juga yang ditanyain, kayak: “Genki? (Sehat?)”, “Doko kara desu ka? (Dari mana saja?)”, “Mareshia? (Dari Malaysia?)”, dsb. Tapi lagi super self-conscious terus ditanya-tanya gitu kan ya jadi deg-degan (naon).

Dan inilah beberapa foto contoh kimono yang ada di Yume jika penasaran… (alias foto kami hahahaha, credits to kamera Tifa dan kak Karina sebagai sang fotografer pribadi)

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Selesai! Semoga bermanfaat! Semoga Yumeyakata kasih komisi ke saya! Amin!

xoxo

N

*If you happen to be one of the subject of the photo on this post and you mind this photo to be published, please contact me immediately, I’ll remove it*

My Timehop showed me the photos of my undergraduate graduation which happens…. four years ago!!! Unbelievable! I can’t believe I have ever been young and full of dreams. Was it really four years ago? I can’t decide whether it’s been so fast or so slow. Because if you reflect on some time and making several points of your timeline as the base point, it will have different sense of pace, depends on where (or when) you see it. Get it?? Lol. You don’t have to because I know it doesn’t make any sense.

But I will make this point of time to reflect on my graduation, because.. my, I had the best graduation arak-arakan party ever! Big thanks for my juniors who arranged it very well! And as a tradition in every graduation party in my major, we got the messages written by our friends (juniors to seniors) to congratulate us. Our graduation theme was “British” (yeay!) so the design of the message holder is that iconic British post box. Like this 🙂

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I read the messages again after four years and I kind of getting sad. I missed my friends so much it almost hurts. I am still in here, doing my jobs, friends are getting masters, phd, jobs in another cities and countries…

No need to be sad.

So I will upload their kind messages here, to make sure that they will stay alive. I didn’t remember that we will have the messages and I was expecting very few messages because I don’t have any charisma or popularity or as inspiring as my friends but the messages I got was more that I expected!

So here they are..

From mafren ma gostip freeeenn ma five++ years college freeeenn :*

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From Dea Rahmatia (whose wishes to graduate is granted)

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From our angel Caci aka Sasri aka Dyah Dewisasri, the one that is beautiful inside and out. Congratulations on finding your Mr X, Sas!! Pray for mee.

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From Gita sagittarius_9174 Desrianti (lol)

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From Umek Umeee Umeee

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From Latifa Dwiyanti. Thank you for the Pixar wishes :”

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From Agastia. Love you tooooo :”3

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(Lol Riza, if it’s read with no context…)


The shorty

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From Adinata

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From Anshor. I never wish to have RBF, so… 😦

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From Amel, Evlyn, Rita, Etha. Awww thank youu girls 😀

The ones that make me regretful about not writing much to my seniors and friends..

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From Puti puti melati alibaba. The “makasih atas bimbingannya” always make me realize that I never really “membimbing” them 😦

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From the imbaest Daniel Widya, good luck to you too!!

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Aww kak Atin :’3 Thank you for coming to the graduation (Padahal mah ya karena ada Hasby).

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From Danny Wong, who also become my successor in 2 years, my LO in my graduation. Thank youu 😀

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Raheeess mafreenn. Sepertinya kita belum pernah jalan-jalan tim admin sampai sekarang :))

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From Aribowo (??) Thank youu for the wish!

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From the now-arrogant Marchy. Thanks and bhay!

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From the kindest Edo :”

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Thank you so much Tika yang sudah asik di Inggris bersama Faiz. Jangan lupa cari jodoh ya.. Hmm.. Ga lupa kok, cuma yha ga ada yang mau ajha.

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From Gurun, who also had his wish granted 😀

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From the prince Adhiguna S. K. yang sudah menjadi kahimku, I am sorry that I am not that good doing my job.. Thank you for letting me join your DE.

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From Ichal the super imbalance and genius 4.0

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Thank youu Faiz!!

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From Okihita. Thanks!!

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From Algooooo the cat master.

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From Ardian (?) Really surprised that you join the Internal Affairs Division because of me?? I think Ardian is joking 🙂

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Hapsyyy the purest one. I’ll invite you to my wedding….of course… If I ever have one..

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Thank youu Gilang! I see that you took notes of my observations and some of the programs are still running until now 🙂 Good job!

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Liooo. Thank you too!! Loosen up a bit???? Reallyy??? I am the most laid back person I know!!!!

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Hasboooyyy thank you for asking me to join your team in that competition!!! I learned a lot from you!!

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I don’t think I am a good head of division, but that “Aku sayang kak Nadin” melts my heart, Fani :”

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Ebeee, thank you for using your own paper to write the note. And now you’re getting married before me??? Bye!

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Auuul! You currently far far away, I hope you can learn French in the Netherlands! Hahaha.

The unidentifiable ones..

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Unidentifiable 1. He/she calls me Nadinos. There are several people hmm..

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Unidentifiable 2. I can’t read the name.. Akau? Auau? Aliau? Sorry :((

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Unidentifiable 3. The signature says SG but I can’t remember anyone….

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Unidentifiable 4. He/she is a junior, but I can’t identify the writings..

That’s all!

Every once in a while, I recall many moments in my university life and somehow I want to go back. There were the best times of my life so far.

Thank you for all the memories.

x,

N

I don’t know what that Arabic means, I only took it from Pixabay lol

Every person interested in Islam most likely have known this: the very first revelation of Quran, the holy book of Islam is اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ – (Al-‘Alaq (96):1). In Bahasa Indonesia, it is translated into “Bacalah dengan (menyebut) nama Tuhanmu Yang menciptakan”, in English, it will be “Read in the name of your Lord who created”. Iqra, the transliteration of the first word “اقْرَأْ ” has a meaning as “baca” or “read” as in “reading the book”, “reading the comic”, etc.

That’s what I understand, until my English is getting better and I read the Quran English translation.

Based on Sahih International, the translation is:

Recite in the name of your Lord who created –

Recite. Not read. Which has a different scope of meaning. Read, as most of know, is “to learn from what one has seen or found in writing or printing”. Calmly, no sound. While recite has the sense that you read something aloud.

This is something for me. As someone who interested in language studies, it is very interesting. A change of scope of meaning that could change my perspective of reading Quran. Moreover, Muslims are taught that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was illiterate, so “the angel Jibril asked an illiterate man to read, and suddenly he can read” thingy made the Quran revelation story seems magical. (Well, there is a discussion about whether Prophet Muhammad was illiterate, but it is irrelevant now and I have no knowledge about that, so I’ll just leave it here).

So what is the real meaning of iqra “اقْرَأْ ” ?

Muslims was taught that Quran can’t be truly translated, since Arabic is an old language that has concise nature in its words. So the answer to my question lies in the knowledge of Arabic… so I googled it, and found this link that has interesting answers.

In summary, it turns out only Sahih International that translate “اقْرَأْ ” as recite. Most of the translators translate the word to read and one of them to proclaim. So what’s the context or the situation when the first revelation revealed? From the top answer in that link, based on Ibn Kathir’s tafsir..

The context indicates that the word Iqra in verse 96.1 is a command to the prophet (saw) to recite or read or proclaim. Its meaning may be to read and understand the meaning and then proclaiming/reciting it aloud to others. So the conclusion is the word Iqra in the said revelation seems to have a broad meaning (a command to the prophet) to read and then proclaim it to the people of Mecca (who were pagans) by reciting it aloud.

There is also another interesting answer that needs a basic knowledge of Arabic root word system. Turns out the word “اقْرَأْ ” has the same root as ” قُرُوءٍ” which means “menstrual periods”, which can be found in Quran 2:228. Wow, talk about blood clot! The “menstrual periods” word itself come from the real meaning “gathering the blessed blood in the womb and being thrown out” and over time, it has been used as the name of the periods that include women’s idle days and immediately after them.

Later, the word began to be used in the sense of “accumulating something, distributing it, transferring it to other places”. The word used in the sense “getting pregnant, carrying the baby in the womb, and giving birth to it” and “bringing together letters, words, sentences or information and transmitting it to someone else”. (Please go to this answer link for clearer explanation). This is also why it is used in the sense of “reading”, but the real “act of reading something” is “tilawa” in Arabic, which roughly translated as “reading a text that has already been written”.

So by using “iqra“, it means the revelation is a command for the prophet to accumulate something (knowledge/revelation) and then will distribute that knowledge, because he has the responsibility to teach people what he learned, either verbally or in writing.

Yeah! That’s the conclusion of what I have read. My comprehension of the word “اقْرَأْ ” gone deeper, started as only “read”, then “recite”, then has connection with “menstrual blood”, then the real meaning: accumulate something (knowledge/revelation) and then will distribute that knowledge. This is new to me. Hahaha.

This “revelation” also struck me hard. I love reading (but I am getting lazier these days), I love accumulating knowledge, but I realize never really distribute it other that in the format of tweet or social media post. So this blog post should be one of the first steps to “distribute” the knowledge that I had today.

See you later,

N

Another source:

  1. The meaning of “read” in Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/read
  2. The meaning of “recite” in Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recite
  3. The meaning of the root word “iqra” http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=qrA
  4. The meaning of the root word “tilawa” http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=tlw