As we grow up

As we grow up, our mind gets matured. The way we see things; the way we understand things. In Islam, I think Allah hinted that it (maturity) is usually when we reached 40 years old (see QS Al-Ahqaf: 15). Indeed, Prophet Muhammad SAW received the first revelation when he was 40 years old. Nonetheless, I think to understand the religion, and partly the life, it shouldn’t take that long. From the first and two generation afterwards in Islamic history, we know many Islamic heroes were also those who were in early 20s, some are even younger. In Islam, as long as someone’s heart, mind, and tongue get matured, then he’s in.

I believe this maturity should be or be reflected in the way we understand and practice Islam as the way of life. Let’s take Sholat as an example. When we were child, maybe we just memorized the supplication and other prayer’s reading without understanding its meaning and insights; but, as we grow up, we should understand and able to internalize all of these supplications. One example is in Al-Fatihah. It is definitely, absolutely not a coincidence that the surah or chapter in Qur’an that we read repeatedly-in every raka’ah of our sholah is Al-Fatihah. This is the essence of the religion and the summary of the Qur’an.

At the beginning of Al-Fatihah, we openly and immediately admit that we’re extremely grateful to Allah, the Lord or the world (Alhamdulillahi rabbil ‘alamin). Why? because He’s entirely merciful and especially merciful (Arrahmanirrahim); and then Allah reminds us, that this life is only the life in this world; rather, there will be the real life, in which we’ll be given rewards and punishment from what we did in this life. Allah said, He is indeed the sovereign of the day of recompense (Maa likiyaumiddin). As the logical consequence, we submit and worship Allah as well as asking for help to Him alone (Iyyakana’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in).

Then, here we go, Allah taught us, if there’s only one request or supplication to Allah, then what should it be? Allah taught us to ask for guidance to the straight path (Ihdinasshiratal mustaqim) because indeed, day by day, we’re confronted with so many things: options, temptation, etc.; thus we definitely need guidance from Allah. Allah then proceed to teach us on how to make du’a or supplication, that is to be specific. Then we have this attachment to the du’a: “..The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”

The fact, that here we clearly specify in our du’a that we want the path of those who got ni’mah or favor from Allah, should make us think, who are these people? Who are these people who got the ni’mah. Right away, we come into realization that they’re the Prophet and all of the sholihin, of which the path that they chose was the path of da’wah. This should make us realize that Allah wants us to do da’wah, the path of those who got ni’mah from Allah.

Then Sholat is on and on. All movements and supplication in sholat are just amazing. We should really try to internalize it, so that we can be a better person from one sholat to another; from one time to another time until we’re back to Allah.

Let me close this post by stressing our supplication in tasyahud akhir. Do we realize that we, as a Muslim, at least, declare syahadah nine times in a day? Syahadah, as know, is an extremely powerful short-concise sentence; that is a declaration that Allah is the only God, the only priority, intention, and goal in our life; and that Prophet Muhammad is His messenger thus should be referred in any aspect of His life where applicable. Again, by declaring this at least nine times in a day, 365 days in a year, we should be reminded that this life is only for Allah and that whatever He asked us to do should be the priority of our life. Wallahu’alam; May Allah always guides and gives us hidayah.

Indahnya hidup di bawah naungan Islam

Tidak terasa, insyaallah, sembilan hari lagi studi saya di Tokyo akan selesai, which means saya akan segera kembali ke Indonesia. Jika ada satu hal yang akan sangat saya rindukan nanti di Indonesia, maka itu adalah Mesjid Tokyo Jami’ beserta para jama’ahnya.

Walau kami jarang bercakap bersama, namun ada satu rasa yang berbeda, mungkin itulah getaran ukhuwah islamiyah. Saya sangat kagum pada para Jama’ah ini, meskipun hidup di lingkungan non-muslim, biarpun gelap, bersalju, panas, menempuh jarak yang jauh, mereka tetap datang. Tujuannya hanya satu, untuk menepati janji sebagai seorang Muslim, sholat berjama’ah di awal waktu.

Di bulan Ramadhan yang luar biasa ini, rasa ukhuwah itu semakin kuat. Berbuka bersama, tarawih bersama, mengaji bersama, dan ibadah-ibadah lainnya. Sedih sekali saat teringat akan berpisah; semoga Allah menerima ibadah kita, mengampuni dosa kita, dan memperkenankan kita berkumpul di surga nanti.

Tokyo Jami'

Tokyo Jami’

 

Inside the masjid

Inside the masjid

Ramadhan is the month of Qur’an and Du’a

According to QS Al-Baqoroh verse 185 and 186, Ramadhan is the month of Qur’an and Du’a. As Ustadz Nouman Ali said, let’s try tor read Qur’an and then make Du’a. This way, we would feel the joy of Ramadhan.

In the verse 185, Allah mentioned there are four things that we should do in Ramadhan: (1) To interact more with Qur’an; (2) To complete the fasting; (3) To declare the greatness of Allah for hidayah that He gave; and (4) to be grateful for everything that He has given us. Let’s always try to do it.

Finally, let’s immerse ourselves with ibadah this Ramadhan. We would never know whether we’ll meet with Ramadhan again next year. This is it, this is the time. This is the time to rebuild our relationship with Allah. May Allah always guides us and accepts our ibadah.

Kindly watch this must watch Ramadhan booster lecture by Ust Nouman.

Taubat

Beberapa hari terakhir, tema siksa kubur; siksa akhirat, dan taubat sangat lekat di pikiran saya. Berawal dari membaca hadits berikut.

Dari Ibnu Abbas Radhiyallahu ‘anhuma, ia berkata: Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam melewati dua buah kuburan. Lalu Beliau bersabda,”Sungguh keduanya sedang disiksa. Mereka disiksa bukan karena perkara besar (dalam pandangan keduanya). Salah satu dari dua orang ini, (semasa hidupnya) tidak menjaga diri dari air kencing. Sedangkan yang satunya lagi, dia keliling menebar namiimah (adu domba).” (HR: Bukhari, dalam Fathul Baari: 1/317).

Saya sangat kaget saat membaca hadits tersebut. Jika tidak bersuci setelah buang air menyebabkan seseorang mendapat azab kubur, lalu bagaimana dengan dosa-dosa lainnya yang lebih besar?

Perasaan takut ini berlanjut saat membaca terjemahan QS Al-Haqqah. Saya merasa hopeless, sad, dan afraid. Sempat muncul pikiran, is it really the life that Allah wants Muslim to have? That is life which full with sadness and fear? I wish the answer is no. But then when I came upon the following hadits, my fear grew even more.

Surga dan neraka ditampakkan kepadaku, maka aku tidak melihat kebaikan dan keburukan seperti hari ini. Seandainya kamu mengetahui apa yang aku ketahui,
kamu benar-benar akan sedikit tertawa dan banyak menangis
”.

Anas bin Mâlik radhiyallâhu’anhu –perawi hadits ini- mengatakan, “Tidaklah ada satu hari pun yang lebih berat bagi para Sahabat selain hari itu. Mereka menutupi kepala mereka sambil menangis sesenggukan”. (HR. Muslim, no. 2359)

Saya merasa sangat sedih dan semakin takut. Kemudian saya bertemu dengan ayat berikut: 

Katakanlah: “Hai hamba-hamba-Ku yang malampaui batas terhadap diri mereka sendiri, janganlah kamu berputus asa dari rahmat Allah. Sesungguhnya Allah mengampuni dosa-dosa semuanya. Sesungguhnya Dialah Yang Maha Pengampun lagi Maha Penyayang. Dan kembalilah kamu kepada Tuhanmu, dan berserah dirilah kepada-Nya sebelum datang azab kepadamu kemudian kamu tidak dapat ditolong (lagi). Dan ikutilah sebaik-baik apa yang telah diturunkan kepadamu dari Tuhanmu sebelum datang azab kepadamu dengan tiba-tiba, sedang kamu tidak menyadarinya. (QS Az Zumar: 53-55).

Setelah membaca ayat ini saya merasa sedikit lebih tenang. Saya merasa, kita tidak boleh berputus asa dari rahmat Allah; rasa takut pada azab Allah, harus diimbangi dengan rasa harap akan rahmat-Nya. Pada ayat ini juga terdapat perintah untuk bertaubat, berserah diri pada Allah, dan mengikuti Al-Qur’an serta sunnah.

Taubat mensyaratkan tiga hal*: (1) Menyesal, (2) Berhenti dari dosa, dan (3) Bertekad untuk tidak mengulanginya. Taubat juga harus diiringi dengan memperbanyak amal ibadah, karena Allah mengatakan kebaikan itu menghapuskan kejahatan (QS Hud: 114). Semoga Allah mengampuni dosa-dosa kita dan memuliakan kita di hari akhir nanti.

*Dari artikel ‘Syarat Agar Taubat Diterima — Muslim.Or.Id

Komite Inovasi Nasional-few notes

#Doesn’t mean to be an arrogant person by commenting government institution; rather, just wanted to evaluate our institution’s work based on what I’ve learnt.

Indonesia is one of the emerging countries which is said to be the missing additional “I” in the BRICS grouping. Even though it was severely hit by the Asian Financial Crisis 1997, of which the effect lasted until 2003, the new leadership in 2004 has helped Indonesia to gradually recover which then was even praised for weathering the 2008 crisis really well. This writing simply look on how Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policy in Indonesia is (especially by looking at Komite Inovasi Nasional’s work) and whether this is sufficient to move the country form lower middle-income status.

In general, many developing country, including Indonesia, has adopted system of innovation approach to design its STI policy, nonetheless the practice usually follows old paradigm and rarely address the core problem (Intarakumnerd & Chaminade, 2011). The policy usually only focuses on increasing resources available for R&D, human resource development, and infrastructure development (i.e. linear model of innovation), while abandoning the importance of cooperation among various actors in the economy. I think this is mainly caused by the government’s assumption that researches from universities and public research institutions will easily be transferred to the private sector. Furthermore, there is usually dichotomy between STI policy and economic policy which means the STI policy was not design as part of industrial policy.

Realising the importance of national innovation system, Indonesian President established National Innovation Committee (Komite Inovasi Nasional) in 2010. This committee was tasked to help president in formulating a planned, integrated, and coordinated national innovation policy under national system of innovation framework.

In 2012, the committee launched 1-747 innovation initiative programmes which consist of several programmes (KIN, 2012):

  • 1% of GDP should be used as R&D spending.
  • 7 steps to improve innovation ecosystem, these are (1) incentive system and regulation to support innovation; (2) improving quality and flexibility of human resource movement; (3) development of innovation centre to support small-medium scale industry; (4) development of regional innovation cluster; (5) improving researcher innovation system; (6) revitalization of R&D infrastructure; and (7) establishment of system and management of research financing which support innovation.
  • 4 industries to accelerate economic growth, these are (1) basic necessity industry; (2) creative industry; (3) local-based industry; and (4) strategic industry, such as defence, transportation, and information and communication technology (ICT).
  • 7 vision of Indonesia in 2025, these are (1) increasing the IPR related to economic growth; (2) improving ST infrastructure; (3) achieving food, medicine, energy, and fresh water self-sufficient; (4) doubling creative industry export; (5) increasing  core products and value-added in industry; (6) self-sufficient in defence, transportation, and ICT products; and (7) achieving sustainable economic growth.

Based on system-theoretic approach concept, there are several ways to improve the programmes above. First is improving the paradigm. As pointed out by Intarakumnerd & Chaminade (2011), newly established national innovation system in developing countries usually follow old paradigm and rarely address the core problem. Most, if not all, programmes above focus on resource allocation matters, such as remuneration system, R&D infrastructure, research funding, and so on. The programmes should have been focused more on improving the learning process, that is addressing the question how the input (researcher, funding, etc.) could lead to innovative product. Second is by inserting diffusion of technology paradigm. The programmes above does not touch upon diffusion of technology and improving interaction across various actors. Certainly cooperation among firms, universities, and public research institutions is missing in Indonesia. Third, the program should include institutional or governance improvement strategy. Innovation would never be flourished when institutional or governance factors, such corruption, intellectual property right enforcement, custom procedures, overall investment climate, etc. are not fixed.

To conclude, even though Komite Inovasi Nasional is not a policy making body, rather it is (just) an advisory council which advice the president on national innovation policy; it has the strategic position in directing the development of Indonesia’s national innovation system. Thus I hope, it can move from old paradigm and embrace the ‘successful’ example of national innovation system in various developed countries. One thing is quite clear here, the committee members should read the latest research on innovation policy more =).

 

Intarakumnerd, P. & Chaminade, C., 2011. Innovation policies in Thailand: towards a system of innovation approach. Asia Pacific Business Review, 17(2), pp. 241-256.