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Firstly, I want to say congratulation for every Muslims in the world who fasted during this Ramadan and blessed with better understanding of sharing, selflessness and keeping patience. Also Happy Ied Mubarak, as we Indonesians say Selamat Idul Fitri or Selamat Lebaran.

Ramadan

Maybe to tell only five things are considered few to be learned during Ramadan, but these are essential to be observed.

1. Jihad is hard! It does not mean that the security was tightened during Ramadan for terrorism acts. No the Jihad I meant was to struggle against ‘the evil temptation”. For Muslims, not eating and drinking are easy, but to perform full and continuous prayer and stay away from bad talking were always hard but it is not impossible for some people. So my trick for this was keep trying to please The Lord, even we sinned in the middle. As the God is the Most Forgiving. I remembered that Ustaz Nouman Ali Khan’s post in Facebook was saying to never give up even you already reached two third of the Ramadan.

2. Indonesians flocked mosques the one third nights, then gradually chose Malls over congregational Taraweeh in mosques as Iftar/breakfasting invitations from friends received more. Then in the last-third nights, we could see people who were committed to continuous prayers. I personally admired those people and found my self to struggle for better prayer in Ramadan as I stated in point no. 1. It wasn’t bad at all to break fast with your friends, but it will be better in Allah’s favor. Inshaallah, if I can meet next Ramadan I will ask my friends and families to do breakfast in mosques so we can go Taraweeh together.

3. Be grateful at any situations (Inshaallah). As in July, Muslims in Indonesia experienced 3 things, they were World Cup in Brazil, Presidential Election and Ramadan Fasting. One thing for sure Indonesians did not face was the rockets above their homes. Yup, I am talking about Palestine-Israeli conflict. As 1 Aug 14, more than 1400 Palestinians and 50 Israelis are dead due conflict. 1 message for Israel, your reason of defending yourself and Hamas uses human shield are non sense. If there is a terrorism activity inside New York City, so it is okay to bombard the whole city to make sure you eliminate the terrorist even the number of civilians dead are huge? Think yourself! STOP the occupation from Gaza and West Bank, you can’t make Jewish only democratic country while there are Arabs inside. That is apartheid! At the end, i want nothing but communal peace between the citizens, like Indonesia, The Netherlands and Japan we can make peace after wars in the past time. I support peace between State of Palestine and State of Israel. Build better future! And also my prayers for all victims. Β #FreeGaza #FreePalestine

4. Race towards goodness. It wasn’t the race about who lost weight the most or who wore the best Ied’s Baju Koko or dress. Nut finally it is all about pleasing the Lord with prayers during Ramadan. Give charities is encouraged a lot, to the poor, needy, orphans. Do you know that the orphanages in Jakarta are full booked during Ramadan for Iftar events. That amazed me, I hope after Ramadan, the blessings for those who need are not decreasing. Giving charities in Ramadan is encouraged since the rewards are multiplied, but do not brag about your charities. Why? Let me quote a verse from Quran.

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.” Al Baqarah : 271

So let it be the secret between you and the God. Also don’t stop at charity, do all act of kindnesses, with the intention for Allah alone and the most important is do not stop after Ramadan.

5. Salute for people who fast far from families and celebrate Ied. I worked for a fixed schedule by 2 weeks working and 2 weeks off, so this time I experienced Ied at field. It is quite lonely but how to cope? Make your own families there. Skype with them. It just reminded me for point number 3 I wrote, be grateful for every situations. Palestinians celebrated Ied without families and homes.

Finally I want to wish you all the best during and after Ramadan.

 

 

Hi all, good morning. Peace be upon you all. So I want to share you about my city, Bekasi. This city is part of Metro Jakarta that includes 28 Million people. Metro Jakarta itself consists of cities and regencies from 3 different provinces, is called Jabodetabek. There are Banten Province, DKI Jakarta Province and West Java Province. Bekasi, in West Java, itself is place where 2.5 million people reside.

So while Ilisten to The Black Keys song – Stop Stop, I uploaded these pictures. Here is one of the mosque in Bekasi city. It is a new mosque opened in 2013, in this new residential area, Summarecon. The mosque itself is relatively small. This mosque wasΒ designedΒ in a mix styles between modern design and traditional red brick exterior. This mosque was designed by Ridwan Kamil, the Mayor of Bandung city. I lived there during college time.

 

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Like I said the mosque is somehow modern and traditional in the same time. There is only one minaret,and calls to prayer are voiced here. So here is the interior of the mosque. I guess at Zuhr time it is kinda quite. In

A woman was preparing herself before taking ablution

A pathway to connect the ablution/toilet area to the mosque

People are taking voluntary prayer before the compulsory Zuhr prayer

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There is no Air Conditioning inside the mosque, the mosque itself make use of its open air building system to stay environmentally friendly (The air really blows quite enough not making you sweat). So after I prayed Zuhr, I try to take some pictures of the mosque’s calligraphy. This calligraphy better seen in silhouettes.

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Besides five daily preyers, there are many activities to boarden knowledge about Islam, it is open to public. Every Sunday at 07.00 am, there is a 2 hours sermon with specific theme. And also a class in Quran reciting. I hope you can enjoy my pictures. Peace upon you all.

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Khemal A