Posted in Philosophy

Spell of Illusion

Looking back at 2016 made me realize something. My colleague once told me about career and passion. Which one do you choose, pursuing your career through passion or following any career that might compensate you well?

These choices made me thinking through about life and my personal thought on its view.

Then, came this question: What defines “you”??

Do we know ourselves? Do we pay attention to details on ourselves?
Are we defined because of our jobs? Are we defined because of our roles or position?

The problem is that sometimes we cast on ourselves “spell of illusion”. We create an illusion on ourselves, that we are so sure our personal definition is already defined. Yet we are still in progress, or even worse, we do not know where we are headed to.

Sometimes we are instilling in fear when choosing something that decisive. These fears might switch you from active into passive, from doing your passion to doing for what it is, anything that compensates. These fears made you believe all of your illusion as a reality. We create our own reality in many ways. Thus, all of these reducing your “activation energy” to the point where you are held as a prisoner by your mind.

This is where we are going to be caged by our daily activity, our routine, our “spell of illusion”

How do you live your life wide open, yet at the same time hold onto your very own core principle?

It is a learned discipline. It can be taught. It can be self-practiced. Live like a lifelong learner. Always learning something new, something unique that it is so related to yourself as a whole.

My personal advice to get it through: “Hold yourself accountable for every moment, thought and detail. See beyond your own fears. Recognize your own assumption. Harness your strength. Silence your internal critic. Correct your misconception about success. Accept your strength and your weaknesses, both, simultaneously.”

Your fears. your critics. your heroes. your villain. All of it. They are just your excuses. Rationalization. Justification. Your surrender. They are fictions you perceived as reality. They are your “spell of illusion” that might hold you back.

I had precious moments in 2016. Deliberately challenging, exhausting, yet I am so passionate to pursue my goals. By Allah’s will, there are so many accomplishments.

I believe, personally, that we are defined by our vision. It is not a matter of career only. Look inside, do you have visions of your own self?

Every great man in ancient times mastering many subjects altogether. While we are, today, only focused on what we learn in college, or formal education to be precise. In the past, a few hundred years ago, there are medical doctors who wrote history, philosophers who wrote medical science, and so on, and so forth.

I realize that these men are pursuing not only for themselves, they pursuing of the impact that might happen. That pursuit is because of the vision they had. This is the reason. I believe.

So many things that can be remembered from 2016.

My last moment as an Indonesia Student Association (PPI)-Taiwan President before elected as a chairman of Indonesia Diaspora Network in Taiwan.
2015-2016 Asia-Oceania Indonesian Student Association Committee. Invited as a moderator in the symposium. 
Elected as a new International Muslim Student Association’s President and delivered a talk in 2016 General Summit.
Invited as a speaker for GGC Indonesia’s Theme night.


Learning Arabic through Bayyinah Access program
Family trip in Taiwan at last!
Our team managed to win the first prize of the Business Plan competition. One of my dreams is to build a start-up company. Our apps: 
Indonesia-Taiwan public discussion, collaboration work between Indonesia Diaspora Network in Taiwan and Indonesia Economic and Trade Office
Because of our winning, we made it to the local newspaper. For more info: News link
On the day before my birthday, my paper got published

This is my memories. I believe that Allah has been given us moments to be remembered so we can learn from it. We can be anything we want if we had an intention, focus and real efforts. Whatever your imagination projected in your mind, be it jobs, careers, hobby, name all of it. You can be all of it. The question is do we live up our vision as we project what we want to be into our mind? Do we take real actions?

Free your “spell of illusion” and take action.

In conclusion, “It is what you do that defines you.” -Batman-


For what 2016 has offered: be grateful.

الحمد لله على كل حال

Welcome, 2017!


Posted in Culture, Poem

O Light. O Light.


I have seen the light. In the night when it is blight

When our soul is fright. And our view is outsight

I hear the crying plight. Will it end right?

I feel the joy and warm delight. The message was carried out forthright

Where is the shining knight?

O Light

O Light

Victory has been assured outright

The heart, relight. Our motherland, overlight

Gazing the skies out straight. Looking for the soft glowing twilight

O Light

O Light

Illuminates our insight

From the Omen in which sleight!


اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا وَفِي لِسَانِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ فِي سَمْعِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ فِي بَصَرِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ مِنْ خَلْفِي نُورًا وَمِنْ أَمَامِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ مِنْ فَوْقِي نُورًا وَمِنْ تَحْتِي نُورًا ‏.‏ اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِنِي نُورًا

“O Allah! place light in my heart, light in my tongue, place light in my hearing, place light in my eyesight, place light behind me, and light in front of me, and place light above me, and light below me. O Allah! grant me light.” [Sahih Muslim 763]

Posted in Philosophy, Religion

Honoring (him)

To most people, their parents and children are the most beloved people to them. If anyone was to try and harm any of them, it is expected that they would get upset and immediately jump to the defense of their honor. We get rushed into action.

For Muslims, the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is dearer than anyone else even ourselves. In fact, there are people nowadays that would trade everything just to see him visit them in their dreams. But then, how we honor him?


He is the one who we believe was sent as a Mercy. He is the one who we are indebted to for the message of peace that he came with. Yet, somehow his speech, more notably the hadith has been misused by some people.

People read the Quran and read the hadith, but all too often they read it selectively, taking phrases out of context. People just use it for whatever point they want to make. They come to it with their own mind and look for the verses (ayah) or hadith to confirm what they want to hear.

The Quran was not a shopping list for the good of life. Muslims need to stand back for a panoramic view of the text. Furthermore, hadith, which contains many Prophets speech and action, should not be misused, i.e. taking the phrase out of the real context [1]. These two (Quran and hadith) linguistically are different as a whole.

The Prophet ﷺ speech were used in his specific time, including the language and culture. There is remarkable consistency in his style of speech if we observe closely. One of the research nowadays concludes that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used certain language which structurally different with the Quran. This research counts specific words that were used in hadith, how the structure is, etc, and later compare these findings with the Quran.

The end result from this research is the two book (Quran and hadith) are coming from two different sources!

Regarding the style of his speech, Prophet ﷺ often used hyperbole in hadith [2]. He used the words best and worst to describe something. “The best deeds are….. The worst from people is….” In each of hadith, the description may or may not the same! This is how Prophet ﷺ said. The possibility is that it depends on the objects, with whom the Prophet ﷺ talked to? Or these things is the most amongst you can do, at least.

Another point of the Prophet ﷺ language is when he making a point, he used the language of Zajr (Rebuking). The Prophet was once said to burn the house for someone who did not come to Masjid, the question is did he burn the house?

لَيَنْتَهِيَنَّ رِجَالٌ عَنْ تَرْكِ الْجَمَاعَةِ أَوْ لأُحَرِّقَنَّ بُيُوتَهُمْ

‘Let men desist from failing to attend the congregation, otherwise, I will burn their houses down.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah [3])

Sometimes also Prophet ﷺ says a thing like, “Whoever does this and that are not amongst us…” Does it mean that kind of activity will remove our Muslim identity? No, of course not.

Muslim scholars define that as Kufr al-Asghar action. It means that only the action itself represents the kufr activity. It is a different term from “Kufr” as in disbelievers. This approach should not be in a literal meaning.

Honoring our Messenger is not only about our action, it is also about our attitude. What is the Quran do to adjust the attitude of believers to the Prophet ﷺ?

The Quran gave him a rank nobody had not been enjoyed, he was honored so much, that there was a danger that people might end up worshipping him [4]. In order to counter that act the Quran needs to say:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” [QS. 18:110]

In our daily life, when you are close to someone, the more casual you will be. Imagine the life of Prophet ﷺ when he was appointed as The Messenger of Allah. All of the people, including the people who are close to him, is hold respect to him by saying this word: “قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ” not “قَالَ فلنٌ” or any casual saying when narrated his speech. All of these things are recorded as we learn our hadith tradition. This is our attitude in order to honor our messenger  ﷺ.

In conclusion, the nature of our Prophet’s legacy is fiercely contested by a vast majority of Muslim and non-Muslim, each of those sides was impacted greatly.

It is as the famous philosopher in the early 20th century, Muhammad Iqbal says: “You can deny God, but you cannot deny Muhammad.”

It depends on our attitude in honoring him. صل على محمد

Check out this song and its lyrics: محمد نور

Some of its lyrics:
يا ربي بالمصطفى بلغ مقاصدنا واغفر لنا ما مضى يا واسع الكرم
محمد نور محمد نور مديحو زاد فينا سرور
مشي فينا بدرب النور
محمد نور
محمد نور
يا رسول الله سلام عليك يا عظيم الجاه والكرم
  1. Power, Carla, If the Oceans Were Ink: an Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran, Holt Paperbacks, 1st ed, 2015.
  2. From one of the lectures of Dr. Jonathan A.C. Brown, author of the book: Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy
  3. Sunan Ibn Majah Book 4, Hadith 61.
  4. From the history, many prophets and great men being worshiped as God.