One afternoon near Tokyo Station

When you hear the word ‘Japan’, what would you think about? What come to your mind? Most of us, I believe would imagine an technological advanced country, image such as robot, car, shinkansen (bullet train), and many technologically advanced things will come to our mind. And yes, I think that’s really true. From bullet train until toilet is very advanced in Japan.

Some questions that very often come to our mind, how did they do that? How can they become that advanced? As obvious as it is, it’s education, the technological mastery is the key. If many countries in Asia are developing with the help of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), such as the case of China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many others, Japan start its development through their own hand. As one of my professor said, yes, it is painful, you have to work hard, really hard, compared to just imitating what’s already there. But the result is very worth it; Japanese are used to work hard, innovative, and able to produce something with high quality.

Yet, there are many negative aspects in Japan as well. One of them is the reactive state status that it has, where it is quite reactive to external pressure, such as US. Partly I think is because of paralysis in their political system and lack of leadership. Nonetheless, I think we should take a good example from them, their hard working culture as well as master-piece oriented. I, myself, am in the process of learning as well, to be able to have such great work ethic.

Here we go, let me show some pictures near Tokyo train station, where the beauty of Japan, i.e. its orderly culture, cleanliness, and many others, can be seen.

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Know your passion, then commit to be excellent in it

For my beloved fellow Indonesian, Allah mentioned that all of us are equipped with potential. Some are good at natural science, some at social science, some at entrepreneur, organization, and many others. When you realize what your passion is, then work hard to be excel on it.

Nothing impossible with hard work. Insyaallah, with Allah’s help and guidance our efforts will be even more effective. We are created equal. Anyone has the chance to be excellent. As long as we are willing to work harder, willing to commit, insyaallah we’ll get it.

Allah said in Qur’an surah Al-Imran verse 200:

3:200
Translation:

O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.

So the key words are believe in Allah (iman), persevere (shabr’), endure, remain stationed, and fear Allah (taqwa). May Allah always guide in being excellent.
When you have time, please watch the following speech by our former president, Prof.Habibie. Salam,

Morning thought

  • As a makhluq, Allah gave us guidance, Qur’an; but how often do we refer to it? Let the ‘reference’ alone, we even rarely interact with it. I believe, there are many opportunity to read it or memorize it. Insyallah, as long as we have the will, we’ll be able to do it, how busy we are.
  • Very often we are very ambitious in achieving our targets in this world, but do we have the same ambition in achieving the highest paradise? Or have we ever thought whether we eligible to  get into it? May Allah always guides in this world. Let’s always try to reminds people around us also, at least by giving a living example.
  • Lastly, again, I do really think that a quality education is very important. So sad that the quality in Indonesia and many other countries are still low. For now, let’s just maximize we currently have in Indonesia, in your university for example. Change is definitely needed. Salam.

One morning in Tokyo, 6.33am

Life in Japan so far

After living for almost two months in Japan, I found several interesting things which I think we should take example of from Japan.

First, the dedication or professionalism. I witness that most of Japanese are really dedicated to their work. Be it a safety guard, chef, cleaning service officer, train officers, and others. No matter how ‘low’ their position is, they seem to do it whole-heartedly. The result? Almost all of their works are ‘A grade’.

Second, the bright people in government. I asked several Japanese friends; all of their answers are almost similar, almost all central government official in strategic ministries, such as Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are staffed with the brightest mind in the country, the University of Tokyo graduates. I find this as quite impressive. No wonder why they have a relatively good public policies, well-run administration, etc.

Third, valuing teacher. One of my Japanese friends told me that teacher salary’s is quite high compare to the average; even it is quite difficult to be accepted as teacher. Thus the teachers are usually very dedicated, and of course, very busy. I think this is one of the reasons why Japanese has good education quality.

Nonetheless, I also found several things that should be improved in Japan. First is reducing the number of suicides. Quite often we can see in train announcement that certain train line is late because of ‘passenger injury’, which means someone jumped on the train rail. I think Japanese should learn more about optimism. May Allah protect us from that behaviour. The second thing is the limited English study material in the library. I think Japan needs to open itself more to the world. I found it is very difficult to find English books in university library. I believe by embracing the world, Japan’s growth potential, in education and ultimately economy, will be higher.

That’s it for now, I’ll keep you posted when I found new one. Salam.

One week after Hajj

One week has passed since I left Saudi Arabia. There are too many sweet and unforgettable moments that happened. Time by time I spent, or place by place that I moved to in doing the Hajj, was just so amazing. Spending time in Masjidil Haram, Mina, Arafat, Masjid Nabawi, and others are just un-describable. Alhamdulillah, I am glad that I made decision to go, and alhamdulillah, all thanks to Allah who allowed me to go.

Now, day by day that has passed, make me really miss Masjidil Haram and Masjid Nabawi. For me, it was like, when you already felt that you are in the perfect condition to fulfill your ultimate goal in life, i.e. to worship Allah, then what else that you want? Being able to do sholah, tawaf, reciting qur’an, and other ‘ibadah in Masjidil Haram is just the best thing that I can feel and dream of. It was just the happiest moment in my life.

Nonetheless, I think I shouldn’t stay in this euphoria  at least I should try to. I just keep reminding my self that there are a lot more urgent problems in muslim world and around the world, which if I contribute to solve, will not only benefiting myself but also a lot more people. In fact, indeed Allah mentioned in Qur’an, that it is not same in Allah’s side the rewards for those who did ‘umrah and hajj with those who did Jihad. Jihad is certainly valued more. Insyaallah, I will always try to improve myself and contribute to others as soon as and as much as I can.