Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fallin' In Love (I)


My friend, a physician called Rahadi Widodo, a pulmonary specialist candidate, ask about my last writing which has given a title like the title on this website, Falling in Love. Similarly, a character in that story. So did my past first love who now lives in Nachtegaalan, Maasluis City, Netherlands. Oktavi Laily Irawati aka Ira. They are curious about the story continued. Ira even asked me whether was it a continuing story?


Indeed, I have another story when had been studying at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta. Of course, it was an actual love story. I think that nobody would be harmed if I tell here in this writing. At first, I thought, perhaps the girl that concerned would be offended when I tell this story. But then, I think again, and I have decided to tell it as well. As memories of the beautiful time when I was in Yogyakarta as a student. A nostalgia about the past time. After all, she had been now already married, and live in harmony and happiness with her beloved husband and their three daughters that I guess as beautiful as her mother. Surely, I do not know if there are might already four of the children now.


Moreover, her husband should be definitely, consciously or not, realized that his beloved wife was the belle of our great campus. He should be understood that once upon a time in the college, his wife as a single and available girl had had many admirer whose had crush on her as well, including myself. He should be grateful that he was the winner in this robust competition.


The love story had begun when I was attending the PIR, or Pesantren Itikaf Ramadan which held in Pesantren Budi Mulia that located in Banteng, Yogyakarta. Usually those who invited were the student activists. They come from all over Indonesia as well. I signed up as a personal participant, because I was an not activist of any organization. Indeed, I'd become a Section Chairman of the Education Department at Student and Youth of Al Irshad al-Islamiyya on Malang Branch, when I was in senior high school on Malang City. But it happened to me that I had not proceed my organization career furthermore during my study at Gadjah Mada University.


While Ratna, the belle of the campus, is a representative of the Jamaah Shalahuddin, a propaganda agency where propaganda and organizational activists at the University of Gadjah Mada have been doing their activities. Jamaah Shalahuddin, or fellow students often prefer to abbreviate with JS, has shaded by the Student Activity Unit, University of Gadjah Mada. They used to manage their activities in the Student Center. But now, they moved to UGM Campus Mosque, after UGM Campus Mosque has successfully established as well. Our campus mosque was so magnificent and beautiful, if you do not trust me, please come there.


In this PIR event at that time, we were divided into several groups. Each group as I recall, consisted of six or eight participants. Each group also had consisted of the males and females. So, we were not been separated between males and females. Of course it had been done when we were doing group discussions. In contrast to the tendency of most other propaganda institutions which more popular in Yogyakarta.


They tend to separate between male and female students on all the events and activities of any kind. But the barracks where we were sleeping, and our bathroom is of course been separated. When we were attending the course, the male students were on the front row while the female students in the back row. We were only separated within approximately two meters long, and between us were not separated by a curtain. The course had conducted in Abu Bakr Asshiddiq Mosque while the group discussions conducted on the courtyard of the mosque, guided by boarding school students and female students of the University of Friday Night.


University of Friday Night was an event led by Ustadz KH Suprapto Ibn Juraimi every Thursday night. On that occasions the female students had got lessons from the late Ustadz Suprapto Ibn Juraimi. It was not clear to me now how the state of the University of Friday Night after Ustadz Prapto, as usually we had been calling him, had passed away years ago. I was always impressed by Ustadz Prapto himself because he often asked me to have to praying calling or adzan every prayer time had come. God please bless Ustadz Prapto. Amin Yaa Mujiibas Sailiin.


In one of the group discussion, it had happened to us that my group was opposite to the Ratna's group in advance. First, I watched her inadvertently . I was impressed by her shining and beautiful eyes. Never have I met such beautiful eyes as hers. Finally, in the next group discussions I did so love to stole a glance at her, fortunately I had had accidentally noticed by others.


(to be continued)

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Ideology As A Moslem (III)


The bustled of Mount Merapi has begun to subside. Clearly remains excesses after the eruption. But certainly not as sensational at the early eruptions time. Perhaps this is the right time to continue my story more than before. This isi my last writing about my ideology as an Indonesian Moslem.

I was attending Pesantren Itikaf Ramadan XIII as a regular participant. I followed all the whole series of this event, but, actually my initial intention to attend the event is to listen to the discourse of Yusril Ihza Mahendra about Masjumi on his doctoral dissertation. Actually, there were a lot of things that he described, but in this writing, I could only write just a little portion about it here.

One of the points in the discouse was, Yusril categorized in sharp distinguishing between Modernism Islam and Fundamentalism Islam. Both of them surely having had highly contrasting dichotomy between the both. Pakistan Muslim League led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah is just an example as one of the sensible organization of Islamic Modernism, as well as Masjumi in Indonesia. While Jami'at Islami in Pakistan led by Abul A'la al-Mawdudi and Islamic party PAS in Malaysia are grouped in the group of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Both of them surely have a great similarities. They both believe that the Qur'an and the Sunnah was already perfect that had given to the moslems. They all both believe that the Qur'an is the revelation which are transcendent and not manmade, but truly from the God Almighty. Qur'an and Hadith from the Prophet Muhammad should be used as a way of life or weltanschauung for his followers.

But there are important and significant differences. The Modernist thought that had given by the Qur'an and Sunnah is surely the basic principles. To aplicate it on the community efforts and require interpretations and dialogues with large ideas appearing in the community. Therefore, there used to be an attempt in dialoging between Islam and socialism as had done by HOS Tjokroaminoto and other Islamic thinkers along the history of Indonesia.

In contrast with the Fundamentalists, they believe that the Qur'an and Sunnah had been perfect (In this case just the same as the Modernists). Everything is provided by the Qur'an and Sunnah so that no or less required interpretation or dialogue with big ideas on the growing world community. For them, the world is divided into Nidzam al Islami (the Islamic system) and Nidzam al Jahili (Jahiliyyah System). Abul A'la al Maududi said so, then followed by Sayyid Qutb as well.

Yusril told us that he had been arguing sharply with the men of PAS in Malaysia and the debate was not finished. Finally, Yusril asked the men of PAS, were they dare to pass judgment that people who resign from the PAS is apostasy, leaving Islam, and they did not dare to do so. But around the years of thirties Jami'at Islamic once said that people who resign from the Jami'at Islamic is the apostate. Thus the dialogue that occurs between Modernism Islam and Fundamentalism Islam. And I think something like that will never ending between the both of understandings.

It is lso usual that the modernist intellectually socialized in the western. Such as Muhammad Natsir in Indonesia or Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Pakistan. While the fundamentalists usually less intellectually socialized in the western, such as Abul A'la al Maududi in Pakistan or Kartosuwiryo and Isa Ansari here. It was possible factors that also affect their Islamic understanding.

So, finally I found my place myself on the religion life on my campus. I could be classified as likely to have a Modernist understanding vis a vis that my friends which were campus students propaganda activists tended to sympathize with the thinking of Fundamentalist. Just as that simple.

Some of my friends had the idea to create a group that could rival campus student propaganda activist, but I was less interested. To me those flags is already a great deal, ... why would we form a new group. campus student propaganda activist groups organized nationally. They are huge. After the reforms at the end of nineties decade they can form a party and attending elections in this country.

My Ideology As An Indonesian Moslem (II)


Just now I knew that on Tuesday, Mount Merapi had been erupted again. I wonder, it is still relevant to talk about myself as the inhabitants of Yogyakarta affected?. I should feeling sorrow because I've been part of the people of Yogyakarta. Imagine, .. I had graduated from the university in this town, with bloody tears. Nine years I had lived in Yogya with all of my memories. Happy, disappointing, painful, dreadful and everything. Yogyakarta is my second city however.

But then I watched around me, victims of Merapi eruption should have got the help they deserves. As the most active volcanoes in the world, the government clearly observe eruptions of Mount Merapi and its excesses for the inhabitants surrounded. So, I think there is none to be hurt if I continue my story.

With fiery spirit, I entered the city of Yogyakarta in attending Universitas Gadjah Mada. The spirit to seek knowledge about technology for a better life. But, as a former activist of Al Irshad, the charges of my understanding of Islam was still affecting all aspects of my life at this time. Passion to learn Islam as my religion that I had been being embraced could not leaving as well. But, there was one important difference ... inputs about my religion that I received and concerned was not monolithic, or one-sided only. Why? ... because I did not find even a single member of Al Irshad on my surrounding in Yogyakarta. So, I became friends and socialized with moslem's propaganda campus activist.

In addition to studying Islam from discussions and the Islamic books that I had bought with my allowance aside part, I also learned from the secular's books. The term for the books that are not or less inspired by Quran and Hadith. At the time, the term of “secular” was very popular together with the term of “ghazwul fikr”, on the meaning of war of ideas among students campus activists propaganda. Among the books that seized my attention were the books of Stephen Covey on personal development and the books of Daniel Goleman on Emotional Intelligence, which I still have today. On my last years in Yogyakarta I also interested in the spiritual thinking of Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall, her husband.

Because my manner which was very open minded to read , I eventually read also the writings of Nurcholish Madjid, Amien Rais, Said Agil Siradj and Abdurrahman Wahid, one of the former president. Their articles on the newpapers and magazine I had read and thought about.

The most interesting thing was, sometimes I had found a common thread between their thinking with secular thought's books I had been read. So, I had a thought that which were considered secular by the students activist propaganda are not necessarily un-Islamic as well. For example, about democracy, women's rights and human rights. I was also interested and appreciate the idea of civil society from Agil Siradj. Perhaps the Medina Charter was similar to Pancasila for us here in Indonesia.

Western books that I had read clearly affected my attitudes and statements when discussing with students propaganda activists . I did sometimes think that I am up to it is not a real Muslim. But a humanist indeed who worship on God in the way of Muslims. That's terrible, .... until I then knew the truth …

The truth comes on the way of Yusril Ihza Mahendra, a lecturer from Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta. I happened to know in advance that he would present his doctoral dissertation at the Budi Mulia boarding school on the occasion of Pesantren Itikaf Ramadan XIII. Incidentally, I also knew that this Yusril during his studies at the University of Indonesia was closed to, and often discussed and learned from Mohammad Natsir a former leader of Masjumi Party. And I really know that my grandfather, when he was a youth becoming a member of Jong Islamieten Bond, Muslim youth organization at the pre-independence era which their discussions had been nurtured by Haji Agus Salim.

Incidentally, I also knew that my grandfather, Mohammad, was a member of the Masjumi Party before it had been disbanded by the government of President Sukarno. And this, .. the very interesting thing was I came upon a card member of Jong Islamieten Bond on behalf of Grandfather Mohammad which have the year 1932 had written to it while being swept the floor of my grandparents house in Kediri, East Java. "Where did you find it?", asked my grandmother on surprise when I gave her that simple and dirty card to her. The color of that membership card was so brownish which should be red and white colors when it was new.

So it was fit already ... Obviously, I was very curious about the contents of Yusril Ihza Mahendra's doctoral dissertation. Tomorrow, I will tell the discourse that made me really really furious on the students propaganda activists. The discourse let me knew me that I am as Islam as they. The differences are about the way we interpreted the teaching of Islam. How could they make me feel just much more like a humanist and not been a Muslims?

(written on 2010)

My Ideology As A Moslem (I)

Reading the story of Captain James Yee, a chaplain in the United States Army was making me so dear into my heart. There, Captain Yee wrote about his suffering because of suspected terrorists and spies against his country. The allegations in the military court is not proven, but his reputation and career was already destroyed.

But, that's not what I want to share here in this writing. I just want to write my own story. The story of unnecessarily hatred and hurt feeling, ... especially since I had already proclaimed myself as a moderate Muslim who appreciate plurality. Plurality that also been taught by Chaplain Yee on his conggregation. Muslim military personnel on the armed forces of the United States.

My initial thoughts about Islam was probably started when I was entering my second year in my high school. At the time, I joined the Al Irshad al Islamiyya branch of Malang, East Java, the place that I had finished my senior high school. I even was appointed to be the Head of the Department of Education, Youth and Student of Al Irshad al Islamiyya of Malang branch by its chairman at that time. His name is Faiz Nadji al Said. Sound strange with that name? As if the name of Taliban fighters? .... Hahahaha.

My other friends are Ali Musallam Mahri, Chairman of Al Irshad of Malang branch at that time. Faiz was chairman of the Student and Youth of Al Irshad. My other friends were Jadid al Said, Mustafa al Said, Umar Thalib, Ghasim Sanad, Ali Alkatsiri, Osama Alkatsiri, Osama Mahri and much more ... But since I could remember none among my friends named Osama bin Laden, .. hahahaha.

Of course, I was the little among the members of Al Irshad whose flat-nosed. Even Abdullah Juraimi and Arifin which as Javanese as me also have long noses and handsome, ... hehehehe. My friend was calling the people who were the entity of Arabic descendants with term Jama'ah, and called the people like me which was Javanese with term Akhwaal which they said is jama 'or the plural of the word Khaal which its meaning is maternal relatives.

In my subjective opinion, I think my primary information about Islam had come from them. As a young man who thirst of spirituality I drank greedily about my religion from discussions with them. Among them, I most admire Ali Alkatsiri because his thinking was more moderate than others. Ali together with Ghasim ever went to Afghanistan when this country was still controlled by Russia.

I did not know how they were nowadays. Since I left to Yogya to enter Universitas Gadjah Mada, It had happened to me that I did lose contact with all my friends of Al Irshad. At that time, I wanted to go to Yogya and Mustafa want to Saudi Arabia for work. Even Mustafa's messages to keep in touch while I was in Yogya I had ignored. It is very regret today because actually Mustafa had very delicate feelings and a very good friend. I even receipt a little money for supplies to Yogyakarta from his mother. Money that had been trusted to her as charity of her families which were settled in Saudi Arabia.

I think I will continue my story tomorrow... this post is already too long. I will write about the changing of my Islamic paradigm when attending college in Yogyakarta. And then, my anger about Islamic propaganda activists' students on my campus. I want to parse the thread, ... and become a new person ....

(Written on 2010)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Indonesian Chosed Joko "Jokowi" Widodo?

The presidential election of the Republic of Indonesia has ended recently. And now, it's time for the new government to carry out the mandate of the people to choose Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as the seventh President of the Republic of Indonesia, if the leadership of Mr. Amir Syarifuddin and Mr. Assaat as acting president at the time of the physical revolution were not taken into account. It's time for President Jokowi and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to realize their promises to the people of Indonesia as they have done during the last campaign.

Why was Indonesian prefer Jokowi as their president ultimately ? The real question is difficult to answer unequivocally. Basically, both Jokowi as presidential candidate number two and Prsabowo as the candidate number one were equally had their own charisma. Vortex of politics in Indonesia makes them both being jockeying for the position of national leadership this time.

Perhaps the smear campaign conducted to Jokowi was one of the things that made the public sympathetic to Jokowi. But maybe it actually was not. Negative issues do not stop until Jokowi elected to be president. Among them was the issue of the minister of religion whose will come from the Shia sect. Something that is sensitive in Indonesia that is largely made up of Sunni Islam.

It should be noted that when the campaign on the people and in the television debates, seemed once that Jokowi more emphasis on the technical application and implementation of programs. Although occasionally talk about something globally, he also often talk about how a program was executed.

On the last presidential debates which was broadcasted nationally on television, Jokowi also stated that a program should no longer be interpreted as a project. Connotes conduct a policy program for the benefit of the nation and the people. That he might not disclose, but we all had to understand was, a project means giving away money for persons which held the project.

In agriculture, Prabowo and Jokowi as a presidential candidate equally emphasized the need for intensification and extensification for agriculture. Jokowi targeting added one million hectares of new land for agriculture while Prabowo wants two million new land for agricultural extension. In addition, Prabowo also wants to use agricultural technology in the form of compound fertilizers that are specific to each plant.

Prabowo reasoned that by using a common compound fertilizer, fertilizer which means it is used for all kinds of plants have been shown to increase the yield of crops acquisition by forty percent. And this has been done in a hundred districts in Indonesia as well. Moreover, if compound fertilizer specific for each type of plant be used, of course, it will further increase agricultural production much more.

Jokowi wanted when the government made the decision to open a new fields of agriculture, they should first think about irrigation. The Indonesian government has been wrong in doing this. A case in point had been happened on Papua. Once the land for agriculture had been opened, it was not enough water to irrigate plants. Still according to Jokowi, it should be considered to build the dam first and then constructed of tertiary irrigation so that agricultural land is not poorness of water.

In the field of animal husbandry, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo wanted in any village to be given cows managed in an integrated manner. Not on the nursery of every farmer on their own as had been done before. Integrated intention here was to put cattle on one location and one cage. This is, in addition to facilitate supervision, could also collect livestock manure in a place that allowed to take its biogas. Biogas could be used as an alternative energy to substitute the energy needed of the villagers.

In addition, Jokowi also wanted that every village should have a form of business entity that is managed jointly by the villagers. This business entity could be in the form of cooperatives or other forms. This required improved management and performance of the village's goverment.

We hope that President Jokowi would be able to carry out the promises he did for the Indonesian community. In addition, we also expect that Jokowi retaining the spirit to work in the interests of the people as he has managed to show for it.

Joko "Jokowi" Widodo As A President

The people of Indonesia having a new round of governmental era. Election for presidentship held in July 2014 has been completed. Based on the choice of the people of Indonesia, then Joko “Jokowi” Widodo admired the office of President of the Republic of Indonesia for a period of 2014 to 2019. Joko “Jokowi” Widodo collaborates with his partner M. Jusuf Kalla as a Vice President.

On the presidential election recently, Jokowi-M. Jusuf Kalla had fought with Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa as candidates for President and Vice President of the others side. Jokowi-M. Jusuf Kalla won the presidential election by a vote of 53.15% compared with 46.85% of votes obtained by other candidates Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa.


The role of the former president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in this presidential election this year is very slick and deserved for awardness. He kept the democratic processes occured at the end of his reign took place smoothly and safely. He took a neutral position and allow the people to choose his successor in accordance with his conscience respectively.


Lots of drama had been happened during this year’s presidential election. The dramas was going on before the candidates nomintate themselves till the presidential election was over. Negative campaign, even black campaign to the opposite conducted by highly structured and massive. The supporters of the both sides tried to drop the image of another nominee and even the reputation of their competitors. This was particularly could be seen in the social medias.


Occasionally, turmoil in the civil society of Indonesia because of the statements from both sides of the political elite. And of course it became controversy. One thing I remember is a statement of one of the political elite who equate this fight of presidency this year became as the Battle of Badr. Of course, the public hardly reacted to this statement. Finally, the statement is rectified as “the spirit of the Battle of Badr” and not “The Battle of Badr” itself. Speaking frankly the writer is still less understood the difference between them.


Maybe the most hard reaction came from the educator of Tebuireng Islamic Boarding School on Jombang, KH Shalahuddin Wahid. He stated that it is not appropriate to analogize the presidential election that was an usual election at this democratic era with The Battle of Badr which took place at the time of the Prophet Muhammad which was a holy war. Of course this presidential election is not a holy war.


Not least was Khofifah Indar Parawansa which at that time was the spokeswoman of Jokowi -M Jusuf Kalla side who reacted hard. She is the chairwoman of Muslimat NU, and surely understand a lot of things in the matter of Islamic religion. For her, using the term “war” brought a typical interpretation for the community. Moreover, according to her, around sixty-eight percent of the people of Indonesia have not been graduated from junior high school. The use of the term “war” could lead to horizontal conflict that could been occured in the community. And it is really not necessary.


Currently, Khofifah Indar Parawansa has serving as Minister of Social Affairs on the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla. There are eight female ministers in this government, and the most intererests public attention is Susi Pudjiastuti who served as Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Susi Pudjiastuti is a successful businesswoman who started her business by becoming fish collectors and fish tradeswoman on Pangandaran, West Java. She did not finish her senior high school education in Yogyakarta. Susi Pudjiastuti designation as Minister of Marine and Fisheries by President Jokowi must have gone through a fairly mature consideration. The writer becomes one of the fans of this lady.


Frenetic Indonesia’s presidential election was over. It’s the time for the new government together hand in hand with the civil society to cooperate in building the Republic of Indonesia onto a better and better direction of developing. Many problems have been faced by our nation. Let us together go hand in hand to organize ourselves as a nation to have a better governance and a more cultured society that Indonesian people can meet more hopeful on their life.


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