Why Pray?

If the almighty God is the greatest, why does he wants us to pray? To make him happy?

I don’t think so.

When you offer prayers, you think of God. When you do it regularly, in Islam is five times a day, you are at least five times with God. The more you occupy yourself with God, the more you will pause and think before acting.

You will also improve your conscience. Your conscience will tell you if you’re in the wrong path. You will feel it. You know it before your brain interrupts. When you follow that you will be in the right path most of the time. Your choices will be better, and you will grow gradually by the accumulation of that small good choices.

We pray not to make God happy but to save ourselves to live the right way.

“I can be good with or without God, why need him?”

You’re smart. But you need more than smart. You can’t only rely on your brain. It can get exhausted and you will make mistakes.

You also need a perfect soul. A good heart will lead a good brain.

When you are close to God. You will meet him in everything you do. You know he is the kindest, the most merciful, the most beneficent, and the most forgiving.

You will strive towards that and live on the right path.

My forever songs

I rarely listen to new songs. These are the soundtrack of my life that is stuck with me. I listened to these songs between 2004 – 2010. I’m sure there are more dearly songs that I haven’t remembered. Thanks, Spotify you are truly remarkable.

I didn’t include Indonesians songs here, maybe I’ll make one in the future.

  1. Deckchairs and Cigarettes – The Thrills
  2. Big Sur – The Thrills
  3. Ce matin-la – Air
  4. Special – Mew
  5. My Heart Won’t Break – Club 8
  6. Sleep Away Your Troubles – The Softies
  7. The Long and Winding Road – The Beatles
  8. Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
  9. I Need a Girl Pt. 2 – Diddy, Ginuwine, Loon, Mario Winans
  10. When You Believe – Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey
  11. La ritournelle – Sebastien Tellier
  12. A Box Full of Sharp Objects – The Used
  13. In This Diary – The Ataris
  14. Pulmonary Archery – Alexisonfire
  15. Take You On A Cruise – Interpol
  16. C’mere – Interpol
  17. Mosque of Love – The Adams
  18. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie
  19. Banquet – Bloc Party
  20. Reptilia – The Strokes
  21. The Take Over, The Breaks Over – Fall Out Boy
  22. U Got It Bad – Usher
  23. 6, 8, 12 – Brian McKnight
  24. 21 Questions – 50 Cent, Nate Dogg
  25. A Milli – Lil Wayne
  26. The Boy Is Mine – Brandy, Monica
  27. Too Young – Phoenix
  28. Burning – The Whitest Boy Alive
  29. Singing Softly To Me – Kings of Convenience
  30. Forgot About Dre – Dr. Dre, Eminem

Some songs I recently listened and liked:

  1. Magnolia – Young & Sick
  2. Feel Alright – Poolside
  3. Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  4. Song Seven – Interpol

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

How to live many lives, in one life.

1400 years ago, somewhere in the middle east, a guy about 40 was so pissed about the mad barbaric people around him. He couldn’t take it anymore, he retreated to a cave. In it, like desperate people, he prayed to a greater power asking for help. God did come to him. But, God did not come to equip him with X-Men superpowers. Instead, with a simple order: read.

The guy’s name is Muhammad, the Prophet Muhammad. The first verse revealed told him to read, without an object. It says “Read: in the name of your Lord who created.” But, read what? Quraish Shihab said read anything. Read what is written and what is not. Read people, situation, cues, anything. Read before you talk, read before you act, read before you click.

A wise guy said reading will give you many lives. As your ideas and imagination met with others’, countless ideas are produced. This is similar to a person sitting between two mirrors. He did not see only one picture of himself, not only two but countless. That’s what reading can do to you. When you eat, you can only fulfill one stomach. However you dress, you could only cover one body. Wherever you travel, you can only be in one place at a time. But when you read, you gather various ideas, tastes, and imagination. You live many lives.

A lesson from our daughter

Me, my wife, and our baby were in the living room when our baby took one of her shoes from near the door and approached us back. What another mess would she make, I thought, well, my wife would felt the same too. 🙂 It surprised both of us when she suddenly grabbed tissues from the low desk and cleaned her shoe.

Yesterday morning. Our daughter woke up and started coughing. It continued until she let the slime out of her mouth into the floor. I took her to the toilet in case she would retch more. Our baby took the rolling tissues beside our toilet seat, walked outside to wipe her phlegm on the floor.

That moment amazed me like no other.

Aleia is not even two and doesn’t understand responsibility. And she knew I was there to help her, but she did it anyway. She saw a problem and fixed it.

By fixing a problem arises in our vision, better problems will emerge, thus shaping you into a better person.

When we don’t act on the problem we see, we miss the opportunities to improve.

If you see a tissue on the floor and it bothers you, but you don’t do anything about it, your problems stay the same, even worse, the more you ignore it, it won’t be a problem anymore. You will have lower and worse problems than the ones you ignored. You are going backward.

See a problem. Fix it. See a problem. Fix it.

Thanks, baby, another lesson for me.

Your biggest contribution

There is a part of God, the perfect one, in each of our soul.

Developing that part is what matter the most to me. It means improving myself towards perfection. Sounds too egocentric. However, my best self is the maximum contribution I can give to my family, organization, and the world.

If “I” change, the world will change. Thus, the world can be changed only by me, and no one else will change it for me. When a person improves, a small part of society also improves.

 

Declare your faith first

The first pillar of Islam is “Shahada” which means a declaration of faith or bearing witness to the faith.

Bearing witness is to show that something exists or is true.

This should be the first step in whatever we want to achieve.

Perhaps it is aligned with the famous Napoleon Hill’s quote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

But how on earth we can achieve anything by only believing?

If you declare your faith or your dream, you eliminate unnecessary things. It gives you a target and shows you the path to your dreams. In the journey, failures will show you the way by giving you the wrong directions. Nothing is wasted.

Declare your destination definitively, believe it will exist. Keep it on your head at all time. Watch how eventually you will see the clear path to your dreams.

Respond with kindness, why?

You probably have heard this million times: You should not repay evil with evil. You should do kindness even to those who wronged you.

Our parents, teachers and religions taught us this.

But exactly why?

This excerpt from Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom made sense:

When people wanted to kill a bear in the ancient times, they hung a heavy log over a bowl of honey. The bear would push the log away in order to eat the honey. The log would swing back and hit the bear. The bear would become irritated and push the log even harder, and it would return and hit him harder in return. This would continue until the log killed the bear. People behave in the same way when they return evil for the evil they receive from other people. Can’t people be wiser than bears?