Reflection on Ramadhan 1440 H


Dan sesungguhnya telah Kami berikan hikmat kepada Luqman, yaitu: “Bersyukurlah kepada Allah. Dan barangsiapa yang bersyukur (kepada Allah) maka sesungguhnya ia bersyukur untuk dirinya sendiri; dan barangsiapa yang tidak bersyukur, maka sesungguhnya Allah Maha Kaya lagi Maha Terpuji”.

Al-Qur’an, Surat Luqmaan, ayat 12

‘Change’, a word that is common to everyone’s ears. Things change, situation change, and people change, though in fact, they do not change a lot. Almost all circumstances change, only if we change.

When I think about my Ramadhan this year, yes, things change. Although things might change, but I feel that such changes bring me to become a better person, a better human with all of its well-being. In Ramadhan 1439 H, the previous one, I learned the notion of Sabar (patience). To grow patience in your soul and mind is not easy. However, I am sure that it gives more peace than harms to oneself.

Unlike previous year, as I mentioned above, in this year I learned the notion of thankfulness to Life that God had trusted me to live this life. Islam teaches me how to represent this attitude with a word: Bersyukur. The word is a word of Bahasa Indonesia and it means that sincerely praising Allah SWT for all blessings that He directly and indirectly provides to all humans.

The way I cam to the word Bersyukur is interesting to me. It came through different directions, internally and externally.

Internally, of course, the word Bersyukur exists in my mind as a reflection of everyday experience. Day by day, I see things in different perspectives, no longer in a personal level, but I had tried to learn to think beyond my comfort zone. I began to raise questions to myself, such as “What would I think and feel if I was that person in that life circumstance?” The answer might be personal and different for each and everyone of us.

From the internal changes, then I projected my mind to see how things going on around me and beyond my presence. I began to learn more how to care for my country, Indonesia, and the world where I live in to this day I type this post. When I was a young person, a teenager to be precise, I did not pay attention that much about my country including its politics and social circumstances. Well, no, I did. I cared, but such care was left unknown. Who was I? Only a teenager at that time.

People might say that it was not their business to care for others, although they might live on the same country.

During Ramadhan 1440 H, exactly on May 22, 2019, for example, a riot happened in front of KPU and Bawaslu building in Jakarta. A number of people protested about the results of 2019 General election, which for some parties the election had fraud and mischievous attitude on the voting process. After the riot took place, six people died, as the DKI Jakarta Governor mentioned publicly. Up to the day I publish this post, Indonesian Constitutional Court still examine the documents submitted about the fraud and mischievous conduct by one of presidential candidate’s parties. Nobody can predict what the outcome of the court decision will be. Should we assume it constitutionally, politically, or socially? God knows. Wallahua’lam bi shawab.

Another shocking news that happened in Ramadhan 1440 H was the attack on Masjid Al-Aqsa in Palestine. I myself wonder a lot about the answer of the following question in mind: “In this year and age, where technology speaks beyond border and truth revealed through everyone’s eyes, why does Israel keep ‘hurting’ Palestinians? Up to now, I could not find the answer. I only can assume the answers would be: Greedy? Power?

On, and on, and on…so many social disputes and judicial abandonment on the name of humanity. The social case on Rohingya in Myanmar and Uyghur in Xinjiang, China, and Syria…. I sighed deeply. 😩 How could all those things happen?

Anyhow, what are all those things above related to me?

The point is that I am thankful to God at least I am not in the position of the leaders involved in Indonesian politics. From what they did, as politicians or leaders in their sector, I learn many more things on how to speak responsibly on public (not just silent), be responsible, be wise on making political decisions, and on top of all is to be honest and fair in all affairs, nationally and internationally.

In short, this Ramadhan 1440 H brought me insight on how to express the feeling of bersyukur (thankfulness to God). People cannot live alone themselves. The air that I breath and the body that I have are the creations of Who? I am one, so God must be one, too. Allah SWT as Tuhan Yang Maha Esa. Esa means One and Only. Therefore, there is only between me and God directly.

What does Ramadhan 1440 H mean to you?

The Greatest Masjid in West Sumatera, Indonesia


One of the interesting places to see in the province of West Sumatera in Indonesia is Masjid Raya Sumatera Barat, known as The Greatest Mosque in the province of West Sumatera. The mosque itself was started to be built in 2016 and the construction was completed in 2019, together with its tower. From the outside, the mosque has beautiful ornaments with a soft red color.

Besides, the building has two floors. Most people visit the Masjid not only for daily prayers but also for Holy Islamic Days, such as Idul Fitri and Idul Adha.

The unique thing of this Masjid is the combination between Minangkabau culture and Islam. The roof of its kind and the crafted Arabic letters on its walls create additional artistic values toward the building.

Anyway, if you need to know a short description on this aspect, please watch my explanation in the following video:

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Bahasa Digital dan Bahasa Inggris sebagai Bahasa Internasional


Era informasi teknologi saat ini (2019 ke depan) akan membutuhkan kondisi kepekaan berbahasa secara digital bagi rakyat Indonesia, terutama bagi mereka yang sedang menuntut ilmu baik di tingkat dasar, menengah, atau perguruan tinggi. Meskipun hal ini adalah sebuah terobosan yang baik untuk perkembangan Indonesia, namun tentu ada beberapa tantangan dan kendala yang cukup signifikan untuk kita cermati. Salah satu tantangan tersebut adalah penguasaan bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa internasional. Selain itu, bahasa Inggris juga bahasa yang lazim digunakan di ranah atau konteks perdagangan internasional.

Sebagai salah satu negara yang terletak di kawasan Asia Tenggara, Indonesia masih diharapkan untuk berbenah diri di dalam menghadapi tuntutan seperti hal di atas. Kesiapan Indonesia untuk menghadapi era informasi teknologi tidak akan terlepas dari unsur kepemimpinan yang ada di Indonesia. Setiap keputusan yang diambil dan ditetapkan oleh para pemimpin di Indonesia, termasuk keputusan yang diambil oleh Presiden, MPR, DPR, dan Mahkamah Agung, misalnya, akan sangat mempengaruhi jalannya kestabilan negara dan bangsa Indonesia perihal penggunaan teknologi informasi. Untuk itu, perlu dikembangkan sikap technology awareness (kepekaan teknologi) bagi peserta didik Indonesia, dan pada saat yang sama, mereka juga perlu mengembangkan sikap international language awareness (kepekaan bahasa internasional) pada saat mereka berkomunikasi dengan alat digital.

Salah satu contoh adanya penggunaan Bahasa Digital di dalam bisnis, dapat dilihat di sini: http://bl.id/a/m6GVzr9

Di link tersebut, dapat kita perhatikan bahwa Bahasa Indonesia telah mengalami proses digitalisasi. Bahkan, pengunjung situs pun bisa menerjemahkan bahasa di situs tersebut ke dalam Bahasa Inggris hanya dengan meng-click tombol Translate.

Untuk menambah bahan koleksi tentang Bahasa Digital, anda bisa membaca daftar-daftar buku di bawah ini yang recommended tentang Bahasa Digital (silahkan di-click untuk pratinjau buku tersebut):

Lalu, apa kaitannya dengan anda selaku kaum intelektual? Sebagai mahasiswa, pendidik, atau guru, tentu anda peduli dengan kondisi dan situasi bangsa Indonesia. Beberapa media massa senantiasa menyebut istilah “Revolusi Industri 4.0” Pada kenyataannya, tidak banyak dari rakyat Indonesia yang aware (peka) akan hal ini dan mereka lebih mengutamakan kesejahteraan hidup daripada memikirkan atau bekerja untuk sesuatu hal yang abstrak.

Untuk itu, melalui postingan ini, saya mengajak siapa saja yang termasuk ke dalam kelompok pelajar, mahasiswa, pendidik (dosen), atau guru, untuk dapat berbagi pendapat atau opini mereka tentang fenomena Bahasa Digital dan Bahasa Inggris sebagai Bahasa Internasional. Pendapat atau Opini yang disampaikan boleh dengan menggunakan Bahasa Indonesia atau Bahasa Inggris. Silahkan pendapat atau opini anda dituliskan di bagian komentar yang telah disediakan di bahwa ini.

Yuk, mari kita berdiskusi. Diskusi ini bersifat terbuka dan tidak ada kaitannya dengan suhu politik Indonesia saat ini (menjelang Pemilu 2019). Diskusi ini murni tentang Fenomena Sosial berupa Bahasa Digital dan Bahasa Inggris sebagai Bahasa Internasional dari sudut pandang kelompok terpelajar yang ada di Indonesia.

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Silahkan tulis pendapat, opini, komentar, atau masukan dari anda tentang Bahasa Ditigital dan Bahasa Inggris sebagai Bahasa Internasional di era Indutri 4.0 saat ini, dan proyeksinya ke depan. Atas masukan, pendapat, opini, atau komentarnya, saya ucapkan terima kasih.

Mohon dituliskan komentarnya dengan mengikuti format berikut:

Nama:

Peran: Pelajar / Mahasiswa / Guru/ Dosen

Institusi / Instansi / Sekolah / Universitas:

Tanggapan / Komentar / Opini:

Jika anda berkenan, anda boleh memberikan tanggapan terhadap komentar / opini yang ditulis oleh pembaca sebelumnya. Terima kasih.

The New Year: 2019. Good Bye, 2018.


Many things had happened throughout the year 2018. Happiness, sadness, gloomy, and tears were all in one place. However, from all that had happened in 2018, I thank Allah SWT for everything that He had blessed. He always showed me how to be grateful in life I live, even in conditions where sometimes I feel in disappointment to see how the world works.

  • Happiness.

When I think of happiness, I think of what makes me feel happy. Of course, the very basic thing that makes me happy is to see how healthy I am. I had been in conditions where I was hospitalized due to a motorbike accident in 2017. Now, things are going alright. I started to learn to see the plus side in every condition. Guess what? Another thing that makes me happy is to see the face of my son. The very first time I noticed the sound of his heartbeat when he was in his mother’s womb, I felt so amazed. I asked the doctor checking my wife’s pregnancy, “Is that the baby?” The doctor replied my question by saying, “Yep, he is your baby, and the mother is well” Remembering that moment until now, showered me with the joyful moment. Then, from that moment, I began to see my mother in such a more respectful attitude. Looking at how hard my wife gave birth to my baby in normal condition has made realize that my mother might face the same thing as well. Eventually, as time passes, the happiness that means a lot to me is my family. I know that I can travel the whole world, but if my heart is not there with me, the world might not be a better place for me. Perhaps, when I travel alone, I would feel so much fun, but will I feel happy? How about you?

  • Sadness.

One a time, sadness came. It came like the wind. The first sadness in 2018 was the news on natural disasters happening in Palu, Petobo, Donggala, Lombok, Lampung, Banten, and many other places in Indonesia. A tsunami hit Palu and Banten. The worst image that I could watch online was liquefaction that happened in Petobo. Seeing the faces of those people who had been buried alive by the natural disaster had influenced me a great deal to realize how marvelous the Creator of this universe is. Does nature occur and exist just like that? I still remember the time when an earthquake happened in Padang in 2007 and 2009. The most damaging earthquake happened in 2009. Many buildings collapsed at that time. Several young men and children were buried by pieces of buildings when they tried to come out from the building. I was there. It was so scary and everyone seemed to protect themselves. I remember when my family and I walked by foot around more than 10 km from Ulak Karang to ByPass. I carried my sister, while my father carried my brother, and my mother walked along together with us. I honestly fear tsunami and earthquake. The sadness is, at that time, we felt so exhausted. My mother saw someone she knew. That person was on a pick-up boxcar. Without hesitation, my mother asked, “May we sit here for a while? Or, can we go with you?” Unfortunately, she did not allow us, although we were neighbors in a quite distant area. Then, we walked… That night, my family and I, together with other people of Padang who were living near coastal areas, seemed to be standing together around ByPass. I sometimes imagine and ask myself, “How if one day that happens in Padang?” My sadness will become even greater. Therefore, 2018 has made me feel much sadness. My condolences to those people whose family could not be saved due to natural disasters that happened in the abovementioned areas. Besides, from all types of transportation in Indonesia, many took calamities or victims. Starting from the ship, to the airplane, train, and bus, all had taken victims. I wish that Indonesia can improve the quality of its transportation and the government really pay attention to the safety of all of its citizen. We pay our taxes, don’t we?

  • Hopes and Wishes.

2019. Now, it is 2019 turn. My hopes and wishes in 2019 are very much related to living peacefully in Indonesia. No corruption, no gratification, no nepotism, no illegal payment, and no social problems due to the economy. I wish that I can go anywhere in Indonesia because Indonesia is my country. It is the country where I was born. Also, I hope that all Indonesians can have joyful conditions in life, and above all, the next generations of Indonesia can have a critical mindset to set their life by taking care to the maintenance of surrounding. We share this place, don’t we? And, why should I write about all of these in English? The answer is that I want the world to know more about Indonesia. Indonesia had been colonized by Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese for years. This country successfully obtained its independence on August 17, 1945. Therefore, Indonesia needs helps from nations in the world. My special hope for Indonesia is that Indonesia can have a faithful leader who can lead people to the truth: let Indonesians love their work, but set them also to think freely as free Indonesians, of course, free in a sense of obeying the legalized constitutions and religions they believe. Eventually, I also hope that I might continue my education to a higher degree. The reason is simple: I love doing sensible learning for a bright future, not only for me but also for all people who are being affected by me, in a positive sense.

At last, I also would like to express: The New Year: 2019, Good Bye 2018.

I hope everyone can have a faithful life and fully blessed by God. Amen.

I also wish the best to all good and faithful nations in the world. May happiness and a peaceful life be upon us all. Amen.

 

Diaries on Ramadhan 1439 H/ 2018 M


I remember that day, exactly on May 17, 2018, was the first day of Ramadhan month 1439 H. It was such a blessing to me, indeed, to meet again with this holy Islamic month. Unlike previous Ramadhan, in 2017, I had a motorbike accident. Praise to Allah SWT, this year I could meet with Ramadhan month and I could complete daily fasting and prayers in this month. Also, my body felt healthy and things were alright. Again, all beautiful praises are only for Him. He, the Best of All Creators, is Allah SWT.

The first days of Ramadhan 1439 H were, still, busy at work. However, I was not that all busy. The office hours started at 08:00 am and ended at 03:00 pm. Meanwhile, work days were from Monday to Friday, although occasionally, I still went to work until Saturday. Working harder than average government employees, somehow, since I was working at a private educational institution.

Now, let me share with you answers of my own question to me: “What did I learn from this Ramadhan 1439 H? What are the things that I see as ways to grow myself individually and as a member of a society?”

The above question was only a hint. Everybody has their answers actually. This time, I compose this writing in a sense of writing a diary. I hope that in the end, it brings useful things to whomever this post is read. To answer the question, I have three things that I learned during Ramadhan 1439 H.

The first thing I learned in this Ramadhan 1439 H was patient. In Arabic, patient means sabr, or sabar in Bahasa Indonesia. To be patient, is hard. Being patient when you spoke to others and being patient when you listened to others who spoke at you and about you are two essential things in social communication. I began to realize that what matters is our attitude toward what we said about others. What we said to others is much more important than how we responded to what others said about us. I learned how hurtful it was to listen to utterances that provoked my emotion. Such utterances also led me to grow hatred within myself. I felt that I did not want to accept it. For several days, I felt trembling and my body went weak. Then, I delved into what it means to be patient. I opened the Qur’an and I learned it. (To read Qur’an once is never enough for me). I then realized that the problem was not in me. I only listened – being the passive information receiver. What did I do as a listener? I did nothing. The main problem was the person(s) who spoke. Have they spoken good words? Have they considered their verbal and nonverbal language well in accordance to people to whom they spoke? Hurtful, it was, indeed. However, I learned that to confront these sorts of people is easy: do not have to pay attention that much. The person who knows exactly who you are is yourself. Thus, I learned that to utter words that are good to hear for people bring many more advantages than to utter words as I desired in my emotion. In the same time, I noticed that our attitude to what others said is also important, in order not to grow anger or revenge. Allah SWT dislikes an individual whose heart is filled with revenge, but He condemns those who spoke no good.

The second thing I learned in this Ramadhan 1439 H was the power of sedekah, infak, zakat, or giving freely for charity. At first, from economic standpoint, to give freely would not bring me any profit, especially when money is what you gave to others. I used to think like this – being the rationale guy, the economic guy. I began to share what I have to others, firstly, in a small amount of rupiahs, not that much. I learned to give money in conditions where I could. The rest of money that I have was saved, in case that I will need them one day for me or for my family. Slowly but sure, I noticed that the blessings that I received were far more beautiful than what I gave. There was a feeling of gratefulness in me. To see how people smiled at me and uttered nice words to me was indeed such a nice blessing. To feel happy is what money cannot buy. In fact, I did these three deeds occasionally – under circumstance when I had permissibility to do them. Finally I learned that it was not that minus to do these deeds. Allah SWT promises that to Muslims who do good charity only for the sake of His Mercy will enter His Heaven in no difficulties after the Day of Judgement. Do you know how much the Heaven is? Beyond selling all this universe.

The third thing I learned in this Ramadhan 1439 H was that realizing how things were meant to be, when Allah SWT decided that they were not meant for you. He knows what is best for you. In 2011, I successfully obtained scholarship to study in the United States of America for gaining a master’s degree in the field of English. This year, in 2018, I was not successful to get this scholarship again for the second time. I still remember the feeling of being a failure for many times to get a scholarship until I could get one. If only I am living in such a welfare life, or having abilities to get far more all life necessities I need for myself, then, I might not necessary in need of a scholarship; even I will give scholarship to those who are in need of it. In fact, I am not in that kind of life, so of course, I tried to think of gaining a scholarship. I might not be able to enrich myself financially due to conditions in my country, but with a scholarship, I might enrich my knowledge and expertise in the field, so eventually I could enrich my students’ knowledge and expertise as well. I might view this as a life-long investment, where I will positively get the reward from Allah SWT with His Heaven (if He will). There is a bigger gap to enrich myself financially, where as a matter of fact; I enriched people to whom I worked – the private sector. After facing such failure, I looked at other sides that life gives to me. How marvellous! I learned that Allah SWT gave me many other beautiful things that sometime I took for granted. I still have my beautiful family, my mother, father, siblings, wife, and my son. For whom I worked that hard in life if it is not to for them? I learned that may be this time, Allah SWT does not let me get this scholarship for reasons that I myself could comprehend days later. Seeing them happy and have full of hope to me had me grown stronger. I will do my best again in this year and in the upcoming years to obtain a scholarship to study overseas. Would it be other countries like Australia, England, or may be to study English for doctoral degree in Saudi Arabia? Who knew? Keep trying, never lose hopes.

In brief, the three things above are beautiful things that I have learned after Ramadhan 1439 H. I hope that Allah SWT accept the deeds that I had done only for Him. He is the Best-Knower of all matters, either the matters are spoken out loud or hidden under the bottom of the ocean in everyone’s heart.

May He forgive all my sins, aamiin.

To Him, we all will return.

Idul Fitri 1439 H
Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkun, min taqabbalallahu yaa kariim.