Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Supplication On Lailatul Qadr

Photo and text from here

`A’ishah (radhiallahu `anha) reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say:

اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

“Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuh.ibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.” [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mosques In The Lands Of -Stan

When I was still in the elementary school, my paternal grandpa visited me and then gave me an envelope before he went home to Bandung. Inside the envelope was a piece of paper with names of countries and places across the globe that end with "stan". 

There must be around 20 names he wrote there. Since I have always liked geography, the eight-year-old me already knew some of the countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. But I also found other unfamiliar names, like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The names have been haunting me ever since. 

Grandpa did not give any explanation on why he wrote those names or why he gave it to me. He was a schoolteacher, so perhaps he wanted me to find out where those countries are? Grandpas are weird, aren't they? 

Grandpa passed away in 1999. Unfortunately, I lost that paper when we moved from our old home. In an effort to stop the memories from fading, I go online and search mosques across the lands of -stan. So here they are.

Pavlodar mosque in Kazakhstan

Mosque in Kyrgyzstan

 Central Mosque, Nohur, Turkmenistan

Abu Mansur mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Grand Mosque in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
The bottom photo is from here, and the rest are from here

Monday, July 29, 2013

Old Photos Of Mosques Worldwide

As we are approaching the last 10 days of Ramadhan, I'd like to dedicate this week on the beautiful mosques, where we should be spending our nights. Thanks to a random blogwalking, I stumbled upon Archi/Maps tumblr site, which actually has a tag on mosques. So I clicked on the tag and here are some of my favorites :).

 The mosque in Minangkabau, Indonesia

The Great Mosque of Samarra, Iraq

The Mosque of the Pasha, Oran, Algeria

 The Dhurrumtollah Mosque, Calcutta

The Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Friday, July 26, 2013

Smile, It's Charity :)

From here

Hello sweeties, how was your week? I hope everything went well with you guys. Even if they didn't, there is always a reason to smile. For me, this week has been great, alhamdulillah. I couldn't disclose anything today, but let's just say that I've been blessed with such kind and supportive friends, thank you so much, guys.  

Back to business, this week's events include:
Art Exhibition: Islamic calligraphy. Until July 27, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Galeri Cipta III, Jl. Cikini Raya 73, Central Jakarta. Free and open to public.
Movie Screening: Rabat, July 27, 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., Erasmus Huis, Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav S-3. Free admission.
Movie Screening: Pekan Film Anak dan Remaja. Bentara Budaya Jakarta. Check the schedule here

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Calligraphy Is In The House, Yo!

All of the calligraphy works mean "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".
The last photo from here, the rest from here

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Colorful Calligraphy of Surah Abasa

Found here

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى (1) أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَى (2) وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّى (3) أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنْفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَى (4) أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى (5) فَأَنْتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّى (6) وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّى (7) وَأَمَّا مَنْ جَاءَكَ يَسْعَى (8) وَهُوَ يَخْشَى (9) فَأَنْتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى (10) كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ (11) فَمَنْ شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ (12) فِي صُحُفٍ مُكَرَّمَةٍ (13) مَرْفُوعَةٍ مُطَهَّرَةٍ (14) بِأَيْدِي سَفَرَةٍ (15) كِرَامٍ بَرَرَةٍ (16) قُتِلَ الْإِنْسَانُ مَا أَكْفَرَهُ (17) مِنْ أَيِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ (18) مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ خَلَقَهُ فَقَدَّرَهُ (19) ثُمَّ السَّبِيلَ يَسَّرَهُ (20) ثُمَّ أَمَاتَهُ فَأَقْبَرَهُ (21) ثُمَّ إِذَا شَاءَ أَنْشَرَهُ (22) كَلَّا لَمَّا يَقْضِ مَا أَمَرَهُ (23) فَلْيَنْظُرِ الْإِنْسَانُ إِلَى طَعَامِهِ (24) أَنَّا صَبَبْنَا الْمَاءَ صَبًّا (25) ثُمَّ شَقَقْنَا الْأَرْضَ شَقًّا (26) فَأَنْبَتْنَا فِيهَا حَبًّا (27) وَعِنَبًا وَقَضْبًا (28) وَزَيْتُونًا وَنَخْلًا (29) وَحَدَائِقَ غُلْبًا (30) وَفَاكِهَةً وَأَبًّا (31) مَتَاعًا لَكُمْ وَلِأَنْعَامِكُمْ (32) فَإِذَا جَاءَتِ الصَّاخَّةُ (33) يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ (34) وَأُمِّهِ وَأَبِيهِ (35) وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنِيهِ (36) لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ (37) وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُسْفِرَةٌ (38) ضَاحِكَةٌ مُسْتَبْشِرَةٌ (39) وَوُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَلَيْهَا غَبَرَةٌ (40) تَرْهَقُهَا قَتَرَةٌ (41) أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَفَرَةُ الْفَجَرَةُ (42)



In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. He frowned and turned away because the blind man approached him.Yet for all thou didst know, [O Muhammad,] he might perhaps have grown in purity, or have been reminded [of the truth], and helped by this reminder. Now as for him who believes himself to be self-sufficient to him didst thou give thy whole attention, although thou art not accountable for his failure to attain to purity; but as for him who came unto thee full of eagerness and in awe [of God] him didst thou disregard! Nay, verily, these [messages] are but a reminder: and so, whoever is willing may remember Him in [the light of His] revelations blest with dignity, lofty and pure, [borne] by the hands of messengers noble and most virtuous. [But only too often] man destroys himself: how stubbornly does he deny the truth! [Does man ever consider] out of what substance [God] creates him? Out of a drop of sperm He creates him, and thereupon determines his nature, and then makes it easy for him to go through life; and in the end He causes him to die and brings him to the grave; and then, if it be His will, He shall raise him again to life, Nay, but [man] has never yet fulfilled what He has enjoined upon him! Let man, then, consider [the sources of] his food: [how it is] that We pour down water, pouring it down abundantly; and then We cleave the earth [with new growth], cleaving it asunder, and thereupon We cause grain to grow out of it, and vines and edible plants, and olive trees and date-palms, and gardens dense with foliage, and fruits and herbage, for you and for your animals to enjoy. And so, when the piercing call [of resurrection] is heard on a Day when everyone will [want to] flee from his brother, and from his mother and father, and from his spouse and his children: on that Day, to every one of them will his own state be of sufficient concern. Some faces will on that Day be bright with happiness, laughing, rejoicing at glad tidings. And some faces will on that Day with dust be covered, with darkness overspread: these, these will be the ones who denied the truth and were immersed in iniquity.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Reading Material

Giant Koran: Teachers show a giant Koran displayed at Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman boarding school in Parung, West Java,Tuesday. Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, where they refrain from drinking, eating, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk. (AP/Tatan Syuflana, link)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ramadhan With Those In Need

Emergency period: Children in Ketol Village, Central Aceh, sit around a fire in a camp where they are temporarily living after an earthquake struck the area earlier this month, killing at least 40 and displacing 22,125. Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah has decided to extend the emergency period for the quake until the end of Ramadhan. (Antara/Rahmad, link)

Widespread inundation: Residents salvage their belongings from their flooded home in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, on Wednesday. Incessant heavy rain triggered widespread inundation in the province, where flood levels reached 2.5 meters in the worst-hit areas. (Antara/Jojon, link)

After writing last Friday's post, I found these photos. I hope everything goes well with the victims. Since it's Ramadhan, the natural disasters give us opportunities to help them and help us improving ourselves.

From here

Have a magnificent Monday!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Have A Sweet Weekend

Quiet thoroughfare: A trash picker pulls a cart with his children on it, crossing the quiet Jl. MH Thamrin in Jakarta on Sunday on the first week of Ramadhan. The area around the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle was usually crowded with families and communities enjoying sports activities during Car Free Day. (JP/P.J. Leo, source)

Hello, sweeties!

How was your fasting (if you're fasting that is)? This week I attended several breakfasting events at various venues, from a newly-opened restaurant to a hotel. Despite the delicious foods they served, I just couldn't help wanting to go home and had a simple breakfasting with M&D. So I brought a burger from the new restaurant and we shared it at home.

Then I stumbled upon the photo above and felt a bit guilty for not being grateful.

Anyway, for those of you coming here for the Weekender events, sorry I have yet to find any exciting information on this weekend's events. I will just stay at home and be with my folks. If you know anything, feel free to write the events in the comment box.
Hope you have a great one :).

PS. If you're a Liverpudlian, there is something to do this weekend because the lads are coming to Jakarta for the world tour :). How come I miss this one? Darn.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The 2012 Olympic Muslim Women Medalists

Aliya Mustafina (Age 17 - Russian Federation - Gymnastics)
Won gold in the uneven bars, silver in the women’s team final and a bronze in both the floor exercise and the individual all-around final. Mustafina left the Games as the most decorated Russian gymnast.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo (Age 19 - Kazakhstan - Weightlifting)
Won gold in the women’s 53kg competition.

Maiya Maneza (Age 26 - Kazakhstan - Weightlifting)
Took gold in the women’s 63kg competition.

Asli Cakir Alptekin (Age 26 - Turkey - Track & Field)

Captured gold in the women’s 1500 meters.

Habiba Ghribi (Age 28 - Tunisia - Track & Field)
Won silver in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase.

Mavzuna Chorieva (Age 19 - Tajikistan - Boxing)

Won bronze in women's boxing, a sport that debuted this summer. She was the only medalist from Tajikistan

The Muslim women athletes had come a long way from their countries to be in London for the 2012 Olympic Games. They had faced the hardships of training period, the fasting-or-no fasting dilemma as well as the hijab-or-no hijab question. They managed to win the medals, though. 

This post is a bit late, but since this year's Ramadhan also falls in summer, it makes a good excuse to revisit last year's Olympic results.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi

I've posted the 2011 Nobel laureate Tawakkol Karman from Yemen last year. So I guest this week should also note Iranian lawyer, former judge and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to receive Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts for democracy and human rights.

Found here

She's often photographed without hijab, but I think she looks prettier with it :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Space Tourist Anousheh Ansari

Photo from here

Iranian-American entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari became the first female space tourist when she funded her own way to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz space capsule in 2006 through the firm Space Adventures.  I wonder how she decided on the prayer time table during the trip.   

Monday, July 15, 2013

Female Aviators

It's sad to see the oppressive governments of Muslim nations limit the women's rights that Prophet Muhammad had conferred centuries ago. As a result, many people of different faiths see Islam as restricting women to dress, work and think. So this week, let's debunk that idea by featuring Muslim women who work in the male-dominated fields.

First up this week is the female pilots.

Ayesha Farooq, 26, is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the past decade, but is the only one ready for action. She is stationed at Mushaf base in Sargodha, north Pakistan. A growing number of women have joined Pakistan’s defense forces in recent years.

Images of Reuters Photo/Zohra Bensemra. Found here

Afghan Air Force 2nd Lt. Niloofar Rhmani walks the flightline at Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan prior to her graduation from undergraduate pilot training May 13, 2013. Rhmani made history May 14, 2013 when she became the first female to successfully complete undergraduate pilot training and earn the status of pilot in more than 30 years. She will continue her service as she joins the Kabul Air Wing as a Cessna 208 pilot. (Scott Saldukas)

Photo from here

Sabiha Gökçen (March 22, 1913 - March 22, 2001) was a Turkish/Bosniak aviator, the world's first female fighter pilot and the first Turkish female combat pilot at the age of 23. She was one of eight adopted children of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Gök means sky in Turkish and Gökçen means belonging or relating to the sky.

Photo source

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bye Bye, Orange Bajaj

Eco-friendly program: A worker collects body parts of three-wheeled bajaj at a junk yard belonging to PT Matahari Trans Utama in Srengseng, South Jakarta. The company won a bid held by the transportation agency for 128 bajaj confiscated from their owners. All 14,424 orange, fuel-fired bajaj will be banned due to the noise and air pollution they generate and replaced with blue, liquefied gas-fired ones. (JP/P.J. Leo, link)

A colleague who is now living in the U.S. told me prior to his departure that one of the things he would miss was taking a ride in a bajaj. 

"Of all public transportation, why does it have to be bajaj that you'll miss?" I asked. 
"Well, it's quite small so it can navigate through the traffic jams and it's warm inside. Walking in the midst of winter is just not a fun thing to do. I wished I could bring bajaj to the U.S," he said. 
Hmm. Ok.

Anyway, if you don't have any events this weekend, here are several events that may catch your interest:
-- Movie Screening: Nuovomondo, IIC Cine Club. July 13, 4 p.m., Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto 117 Menteng.
-- Theater Festival: Helateater Salihara. Until July 13. Galeri Salihara, Jl. Salihara 16 Pasar Minggu
-- Exhibition: Sana Sini Seni Budayaku, children art festival, Until July 14. Galeri Nasional, Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur 14 
-- Sport: Arsenal Asia Tour, July 14, 8:30 p.m., Gelora Bung Karno, tickets at

Have a blissful weekend, everyone :).

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Girl From Fort De Kock

A young vendor at the market in Fort de Kock, Indonesia, poses by her peppers, February 1930.
Photograph by W. Robert Moore, National Geographic. Found here

I found the photo when I browsed through Nat Geo tumblr (the blogs is a real gem!). Fort de Kock, which is what we call as Bukittinggi today, was also known as Parijs van Sumatera during its heyday. Since the girl is wearing a headcovering, I think this makes a good opening for the Ramadan posts :).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Five People I Met On Jakarta's Public Transportation

Since I like to observe people quietly, taking public transportation has become one of my greatest sources of happiness (I'm so easy to please :P) because there are so many interesting people out there. Here are five people I met on Jakarta's public transportation and if you also use public transportation (or plan to take it), there are chances you meet them too one day.

-- The bespectacled woman was probably in her 40s or 50s. She wore a cammo shirt and trousers, a white headscarf and had a small mailman bag slung over her right shoulder. She asked the officer who guarded the TransJakarta door about Semanggi shelter, which was still five-six shelters away. After learning that her destination was quite far, she sat down, opened her bag and fished out...a crochet hook. A cammo suit and crochet? Hmm. She then peacefully worked on her crochet. While the bus quietly zoomed along the busway lane, her crochet works also progressed. When the bus approached Semanggi, she quickly put her stuffs inside her bag and then hopped off the bus. Of all people in the bus, she's the only person who did not check on her cellphone or listen to an MP3 player. Awesome.

--  The 502 Kopaja bus (Kp. Melayu-Tanah Abang) was about to depart when I hopped on. There was an empty seat at the back seat near the window, so I headed over there. But the old lady who sat on the seat next to seat by the window scooted to that seat (Have I confused you now? Good, that is exactly my purpose). Anyway, I sat next to her. It didn't took long before we started chatting. At first she asked whether the bus was going to stop at Blok A Tanah Abang (I don't know why people always ask me direction, I must have look very street smart). She said that she was going to Pelni hospital to accompany her husband doing dialysis. Her husband was sitting on my left, she was on my right, I was sandwiched between them (Why didn't she sit next to her husband? Ok, let's stop over analyzing this). She said that her husband had to do dialysis twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday. The procedure would take around five hours, so she had prepared lunch boxes and drinks. She said that her husband used to be a sailor, so he could have the dialysis for free at Pelni hospital. If they do it in another hospital, she would have to pay the fee. She said that her husband had diabetes too, which was the cause of the kidney failure. She then advised me to do a general check up. "Your body will start to weaken after you reach 35 years old, so you'd better have a medical check up to prevent the illnesses," she said. This time I hopped off first and I wished her and her husband well.

-- A towel vendor boarded the 502 Kopaja bus (I take the bus from time to time whenever I get bored with TransJakarta. The Kopaja is a bit shabby, but at least I can get a seat if I board it from Kp. Melayu). He wore a red bucket hat, a blue baju koko and black trousers. He gave the conductor the fare, but the conductor said,"Just keep it." The vendor then squatted and arranged his goods. Besides the towels, he also sold batik scarves. He placed a cardboard as the base on his left hand and started to pile up the towels with his right hand. It was a bit entertaining to see the vendor doing the arrangement, just like seeing a shop window being decorated :).

-- I was on 19 Kopaja bus (Blok M-Tanah Abang), sitting near the front door, when two unlikely passengers hopped on. The first person had traces of blood on the corner of his mouth, his eyes were red, he smelled like urine and the worst part was his trousers were on his knees. His shirt reached mid thigh, though. He was either drunk or mentally ill. The second person held a brick on his hand and threatened the first person to quickly hop on. The first person sat behind me and the second person on the back seat. Ack! Most bus passengers hopped off upon seeing the new passengers, but I stayed (If I think it over now, I didn't know why I stayed. Oh wait, perhaps lack of transport money? Ha!). I stood up and moved to the seat near the bus driver. I thought I heard one of those guys saying something, but the words were not clear. Then an old man who sat in the back approached the bus driver and yelled,"Pak, help me! Please protect me from this man!" The conductor told the two passengers to leave the bus. Surprisingly, they obeyed. So they were not crazy after all? Was it just some kind of stunts to get money from us? I asked the old man what happened to him. He said that the second man (who carried the brick) asked for some money. The bus driver assumed that perhaps the first man was drunk, while the second was mentally ill. Ok, so tips for you guys, don't play hero, just hop off the bus. Or if you don't have enough money to pay for the next bus fare, ask help from the bus driver.

-- I forgot to read the bus number, but I was sure it stopped at Jatibening tollgate, where I would hop off. The bus was already very crowded, and more people were boarding. I didn't get a seat. It was raining outside, and whenever there is rain, there are traffic jams, so the bus inched very slowly along the road. I had a rough day and really hoped someone would give up his seat when suddenly...a young guy (quite gorgeous, if I must add) gave up his seat for me. Alhamdulillah. I had yet to pay the fare, so I casually asked him if he had paid the fare. He said he hadn't. So I prepared the money. When the conductor approached, the very same guy paid for my fare. Ack, but that was my plan! I protested to him,"No, you shouldn't do that." The guy just smiled and said,"It's ok." He obviously didn't want to receive my money, so when I was about to hop off the bus, I slipped a Rp 10,000 note into his back pocket. He was surprised at first (What? Did you think I was pinching your butt? Yeah, I wish :D), but then mouthed a 'Thank you'. I wished I had written down my phone number on the note :P.

Have you ever met interesting people or experienced bizarre occurrences while taking public transportation? Do share :). 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Human And The Beast

Beast friend: Abdullah Sholeh, 31, plays with Mulan, a 5-year-old Bengal tiger weighing 200 kilograms, at the back of the Al Ainul Baahiroh boarding house in Malang, East Java, on Tuesday. Abdullah began to take care of the tiger when it was only three-months old. (Antara/Ari Bowo Sucipto, from here)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Between Pahawang And Kelagian Islands

Last weekend, I went on the trip arranged by a friend's friend. There were 15 people joining the trip (including me), none of us ever met before. But we had the best of time. We snorkeled, took photos and joked around as if we had known each other for years. We plan to meet up again this Wednesday to trade the photos.

Updated: Ok, so we had met again to trade the photos. It sure felt weird to see my travel buddies in their working attire. They look so serious and professional here in the city, while when we were on the trip, we just wore casual clothes or swimming suit. Now that I have the photos, I'd write the travel notes here because I want to make good use of this post (and also too lazy to press the 'New Post' button). 

To tell you the truth, I didn't know where Pahawang island was when I first heard that Iget, my friend's friend, planned a trip there. But when I learned that it is just offshore Lampung, I just went for it as I needed a short break before Ramadhan.

We met in Merak port at 1 a.m., hopped on the ferry some 30 minutes later and reached Bakauheni port at around 4:30 a.m. Iget already booked two Suzuki APV cars, so we all got on the cars and left the port. Being a person with motion sickness, I sat on the second row.

We stopped at a mosque and then had nasi uduk for breakfast, which was actually a rare thing to find in Sumatra island. I mean, most food vendors here sell nasi Padang. Although I'm a spice girl at heart, I don't think my stomach would enjoy having nasi Padang as the first meal of the day. 

We picked up two more travel buddies, Okka and Ari, who are from Lampung before we headed to Betung port. Then we boarded small boat to Kelagian island, where we would stay for the night.

All aboard! Courtesy of Sukma Pamungkas

 After around two hours of boat ride, we reached Kelagian island. Courtesy of Sukma Pamungkas
Our humble abode. The boys slept on the left, the girls on the right. Courtesy of Sukma Pamungkas

After we changed into swimming suit, we boarded the boat again to head to Tanjung Putus and Pahawang Kecil. Speaking of the view, Pahawang-Kelagian islands are beautiful, either on surface and underwater.  I'll just let the pictures do the talking :).

Panorama of Kelagian Island

Panorama of Pahawang Kecil

Gosong Pahawang

Colorful fishes swarm around the corals


More clownfishes. Taken by Okka Daryusman using my camera.