Sunday, 23 December 2018

Chong Ket Pen's Manuever

December 23, 2018 1 Comments

If you were a businessperson, have you ever pictured your business had a great loss?

Nobody nor company wants to be in that position, I'm sure.

But, there is a man who is popular in internet nowadays. I read a lot of news about him. He's even in YouTube!

It's Chong Ket Pen.

Who Is Chong Ket Pen?

Chong Ket Pen is the Group Managing Director of Protasco Berhad, a public listed company since 2003 on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia. It operates six business segments which are road maintenance, construction, property development, engineering services, trading and manufacturing, and education.

He has been reported to the Indonesian Police for fraudelences.

What happened?

Here Is The Manuever of Chong Ket Pen

Global Capital Limited,  an Indonesian venture capital and asset management company - and also major shareholder of Protasco Berhad, filed a civil suit against the company’s Group Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen for alleged abuse of power.

The Oil and Gas industry of neighboring countries (Indonesia and Malaysia) is currently being a highlight.

The suit revolves around an Investment Guarantee Agreement initiated by Chong Ket Pen with Global Capital Limited on November 3rd, 2012.

Chong Ket Pen, under his personal capacity, approached Global Capital Ltd to assist in buying over major shares of Malaysia’s Protasco Berhad from its former beneficial owner. This is also known as business take-over.
Chong Ket Pen

In return, shall nominate Global Capital Ltd’s investors as Board member in Protasco Berhad, and all that he wanted is to maintain his position as the company’s Group Managing Director.

In the deal, Chong Ket Pen assured Global Capital Ltd that he will propose to the Board of Protasco Bhd to undertake a new oil and gas business subsidiary.

Following that, Global Capital Ltd acquired a 27.11% stake in Protasco – a deal concluded within one month of discussions and negotiations, for USD 24 million or a 33% premium over the market price.

The deal, viewed as a ‘premium’ was done on the assurance of Protasco Bhd’s planned venture into the oil and gas sector.

As stated in the suit: "The acquisition of the shares at a huge premium was a risk for the plaintiff, given the performance and financial situation of Protasco Bhd.
Nevertheless, that risk was undertaken, given that the plaintiff was under the impression that their investment was protected by the assurance given by the defendant, inter alia his guarantees and obligations under the Investment Guarantee Agreement."


Soon after, Protasco Bhd announced that it was set to buy 76% of equity interest of an Indonesian oil and gas company, PT Anglo Slavic Utama (PT ASU) with a value of USD 55 million (Rp 800 billion).

But, the deal did not materialize due to non-fulfillment of conditions.

What Happened Next Within This Story of Chong Ket Pen's Maneuver?

The Indonesia-based company is claiming USD 88 million from Chong Ket Pen over his act of contract breach, including:

  • loss of investment and future profits for the stake in Protasco Bhd; 
  • loss of margin to finance the acquisition of shares up to USD 18 million; 
  • liability of USD 55 million to PT ASU – as guarantor for Chong Ket Pen pursuant to the Investment Guarantee Agreement; 
  • and USD 15.5 million as payment for the profit guarantee under the Investment Guarantee Agreement.
Subsequently, it was discovered that Chong Ket Pen had made the proposal for the transaction of Protasco Bhd’s shares without disclosing to the Board that he has personal interest in obtaining control over the company, through the Investment Guarantee Agreement.

Following this discovery, Chong Ket Pen maneuvered by putting the blame on Global Capital Ltd’s investors (Tey Por Yee and Ooi Kok Aun) putting them under the limelight in 2014 on allegations of criminal breach of trust due to the non-disclosure of interest in a transaction involving USD 20.3 million.

However, they were granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the sessions court in September 2017, which also proved what was brought by Chong Ket Pen as sham documents.


Bursa Malaysia public information also revealed that Chong Ket Pen has been drawing unrealistic remunerations from Protasco Bhd at the peak of USD 576,000 in 2017 and USD 1 million in 2016 respectively, after he gained control over the company.

This suggested that Chong Ket Pen entered into business transactions and decisions on operation, remuneration, payments of dividends and salaries for his own benefit at the expense and the best interests of the company.

Global Capital Ltd came into the thought that Chong Ket Pen has failed to ensure that Protasco Bhd was profitable, with a profit before tax of USD 7.1 million and USD 8.3 million in the third and fourth year under the Investment Guarantee Agreement.

Aside from that, a total of USD 26.2 million profit was also guaranteed over the four years.

Furthermore, it was also reported that Protasco Bhd had recently lost a huge contract, as its subsidiary HCM Engineering Sdn Bhd received a letter of termination from Turnpike Synergy Sdn Bhd (TSSB) due to delays in the project, suggesting a USD 622,000 earnings impact.

Following this, CIMB IB Research has therefore maintained its “Reduce” rating on Protasco Bhd at MYR 20 cents with a lower target price of MYR17 cents (from MYR 30 cents). Weak job execution and poor contract visibility is likely to weigh on its shares price.

Well, life is full of lessons and surprises. It might come from any of us. Be prepared when entering  business. Fraudelences is likely to happen. We should hope and pray that we have trusted partners.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Mr. Inventor's Tahfiz Graduation

November 21, 2018 0 Comments
Tahfiz-quran

Mr. Inventor attended a special event last Saturday, November 3rd. It was the Tahfiz Graduation. It was when students who had finished memorizing a certain juz of Quran being certified.

Mr. Inventor had just finished his Juz 30. There were other 20 students with him, and some more students for Juz 29 and Juz 1.

Completing the memorization of a certain juz means that a student has been working hard memorizing and tested by the tahfiz teacher. Once he passes the test, he will be enrolled for the graduation.

Mr. Inventor started memorizing Juz 30 from grade 1. He started with surah An-Naas, went up surrah by surah until he reached surah An-Naba which is the first surah of the juz.

It took almost 7 semesters for him to finish it. He actually had to complete the juz on his 6th semester, but, he wasn't able to.

That is okay. For me, the most important part of the memorizing is the process itself when he had to be very patient and had to work hard.

Students learn reading Quran with Wafa Methode, a new methode using right brain. It is really a suitable methode for Mr. Inventor.

Unlike his friends who started earlier, Mr. Inventor was able to read hijaiyah letters or Arabic letters when he began entering elementary school. A little bit late if compared to other students. But, I'm not here to do the comparation. Let he be himself.

The Wafa Method uses right brain approach. It includes illustration and stories to support the teaching.



I have written about several methods of learning to read Quran here in Bahasa Indonesia: Belajar Mengaji Dari Masa Ke Masa

For example, in Book 1, the first lesson is to say 'mata saya kaya roda'. Yes, it uses Bahasa Indonesia which is written in Arabic letters.

Mata saya kaya roda means my eyes are like wheels. There is a picture illustrates a boy and car. The boy is making circles with his fingers and put them in front of his eyes. While the car's wheels behind him is highlighted.

Students easily understood that the boy's eyes are round like the wheel.

By saying the words and looking at the picture, it is really easy to remember the hijaiyah letters.

Back to the Tahfiz Graduation.

The event took place at school's masjid. Parents came to witness their children's ability.

I went to the venue with Mr. Admiral who found himself amazed with the crowd. He seldom met a lot of people like that. Mr. Professor came later with my husband. We really wanted to be part of that special event.

The event began at 8 in the morning, opened by the MCs. The first on the list was the Quran recitation by a student. After that, the Principal gave a speech, followed by a perform of habsyi (Islamic singing).

Another speech came from the school foundation, and then closed by a long speech from an ustadz (religious teacher).

The ustadz talked about the benefit of memorizing the Quran and the benefit of having kids who do that.

In akhirat, there will be crowns made of light for parents who have such children.

Right after that long speech, there came the test. All the graduate-to-be of Juz 30 entered the mosque, sat on three rows and recited surah An-Naba'.

I was nervous, thinking that Mr. Inventor might forget some verses because after the recitation there was a verse test from the audience, randomly.

The question could be from any surah, from any verses of Juz 30, and asked to any students.

And you know what, my feeling was right, Mr. Inventor was one of the chosen students to answer the question.

The ustadz recited some verses of surah Abasa, and stopped. Then Mr. Inventor had to continue reciting.



Alhamdulillah...Mr. Inventor was able to pass the test.

Finish with Juz 30, the graduate-to-be of Juz 29 came in and recited surah Al-Muzammil. There was also a test for them from the audience. And that also happened to participants of Juz 1.

After that, all the graduate-to-be were invited to come in the masjid once more to recieve certificate and medals.

I was sooo drawn to the event. Many parents shed happy tears when their children crowned them as a symbol of what will happen in akhirat.

Tahfizh-quran

Mr. Inventor gave the crown to my husband, and he said he was very affected.

Good job, Son. We really hope that you will keep on memorizing the Quran and reciting it.

While Mr. Inventor continues his steps with surah Al-Mulk, Mr. Professor can not be patient. He is now reaching surah Al-Kafirun. Four surahs to go and he will be ready for the graduation. Unfortunately, he has to wait until next semester as the graduation only being held once each semester.

Be patient, Son. Insha Allah you will be certified on the next tahfiz graduation.




Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Mango, Everyone!

October 23, 2018 1 Comments
Mango-fruit


Last quarter of the year there is mango season here in Indonesia! Hurray...!

That's the unique thing of living in Indonesia. We have many seasons, not only dry and rainy ones, but there are also season of durian, rambutan season (usually coming soon after mango season!), getting married season, and entering school season. LOL. Don't take it seriously. It is only a joke.

Okay. Back to mango.

I love mango very much. I had a mango tree in the backyard of my old home. It was 'honey mango'. The name tells us all. Yes. The mangoes are so sweet and orangish! There is a kind of visible dark orange line in the flesh circling the seed.

I always enjoyed picking them myself. Not by climbing up the tree but by using a specific tool to pick. With the help of my father, ofcourse. 😄

My dad, mom and my siblings love mango as well. We really, really felt blessed to own such a tree in the backyard.

Fun Facts About Mango

I always thought that mango was originated from my country as we call the fruit 'mangga'. Not far from its International name, right? But, I was wrong. Study told us that mango came from India.

Mango contains great amount of vitamin A and C, potassium and dietary fibers.

Mango

How to Get Mangoes When I Don't Own Any Mango Tree?


But, now the situation is different. I don't own any mango trees here. However, I still can enjoy this tropical fruit.

I can buy, ofcourse, at the nearest market. There are always fresh fruits at the market or stalls. But, buying them sometimes can be wrong when the price is still high. I have to wait until it goes lower.

Around my neighbourhood, there are a lot of mango trees. I heard that the previous era of local government stated a policy that mango trees should be planted along the sidewalk. Years after, we can see mango trees everywhere. Wow, what a great policy!

Mango trees are not only planted for the fruits, but for the shading function as well. Sultry days will be better with mango trees around as they are evergreen and can reach as tall as the house or even over.

Two days ago, one of my neighbour gave me four ripe mangoes. Alhamdulillah. I was sooo happy because I thought that I had to wait a little longer to taste the fruit, waiting for the peak of mango season to come, as the price will be lower and the fruits reach their ripeness.

So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? (Quran 55:16).

After that, another neighbour gave me two mangoes along with the Javanese palm sugar. What is it for? I will tell you later.

How to Eat Mangoes?


I love to eat them raw. It's not that I don't like mango pie or something. It's just common to eat mangoes raw here in Indonesia.

I just wash the fruit, peel the skin and cut it in to smaller pieces.

Mango

I also like to cut the fruit into this style.

Mango


My nephew said, it is the spider style. Hmm...it looks a bit like a spider web. Yeah, it makes sense. 😄

If you've looked at the first picture of cut mango above, you probably noticed some near-ripe mangoes. Yes, there are some. They taste a little sweet and crunchy, but most of all, they are all sour! I don't have the gut to eat them right away.

That's why I need some palm sugar I got from my kind-hearted neighbour I told you before.

Mango


Near-ripe mangoes are perfect for making rujak, a kind of sweet-sour-spicy fruit salad.

All we need are some near-ripe mangoes, jambu air or water guava, cucumbers, pineapples, jicamas, and any other watery fruits. Slice the fruits thin and serve with the dipping sauce.

The sauce is made of Javanese palm sugar, a pinch of salt, bird-eye chilly and a little of Kaempferia galanga. Grind them all together, add a little amount of water into paste. Ready to serve.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

Rujak comes in many variation. Don't get lost by other names of rujak. There are rujak cingur, bumbu rujak, or rujak petis. The fruit salad name is rujak buah. Here is a video of how to make rujak in a slightly different way than mine.



So, what about you? Do you like mangoes? Raw or cooked? Please, tell me your story about mango.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Cycling With Kids Around The Paddy Fields

October 13, 2018 0 Comments
Cycling with kids around the paddy fields is amusing. My sons (8 and 9 yo) love to bike. You know, they are young boys. And young boys love to make themselves sweaty and dirty. No matter what the risk is, what they care about is they are having lots of fun.

I love to bike, too. That's why on certain times when I know they are bored, I take them out for cycling. And thank God, where we live has the best place to cycle around: the paddy fields.

We usually start from home, bike slowly to North and then turn East. After some minutes we will see the vast paddy fields in front of us.



Not only rice, actually. There are also fields of sugar cane tree. Not far from our place there lies a sugar factory which was build in 1903 at times of Netherland's colonization.

The existence of this factory, and other four, can't be separated from the Colonial's policy called 'CulturStelsel'. Local farmers had to plant sugar cane tree which was sent from Central America.

Along with the factory, there came a railway system connecting farms and factories. It was a huge system, but, it is not shown that much today. One of them has collapsed and stopped operating last year.

Back to the cycling activity. What I love the most about biking with kids is that I can spend quality time with them. Biking, planning the route, enjoying the nature. Sometimes we cross the road and bike to other village. We also take pictures 😄



Other than doing physical activity, cycling is also good to strengthen our closeness. We also learn new things everytime we go out. We saw different phases of rice growing, we saw the harvest of sugar cane, we greeted the farmers, we saw some birds we never had seen before, we fixed our broken bike, and we also witnessed a fallen truck.

After we finished cycling, we rewarded ourselves with some treat. Simple ones. Just a bottle of water is enough. Lol.

What about you, guys? Do you love to bike around?

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Zikir On Fingers Using Right Hand

October 07, 2018 0 Comments

Doing zikir after each salah is strongly recommended. Prophet Muhammad Shalallahu alaihi wa sallam (pbuh) always used his right hand to do that. That becomes sunnah for muslims to follow.

In hadith narrated by Abu Dawud, it said that:
"I saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) counting the tasbih." Ibnu Qudaamah said, "With his right hand." (Sunan Abu Dawud).

Dhikr-on-fingers

How to Do Zikir on Fingers Using Right Hand Only?


I used to use each finger to count 1. I needed to count each finger on both hands to make 10 and repeated them again three times until I reached 30. And then added 3 to make 33.

Unfortunately, using this technique was hard because I sometimes got blank and not sure how many I had counted.

Related article: Teaching Kids About Hajj

Now,  after searching in Google, I use different method to reduce mistakes, and it really helps.

Here is how.

On each finger we have 3 joints, except the thumb that only has 2. Each joint has inner and outer parts and its point.

Each finger (except thumb) has 6 inner and outer parts of joints plus 1 point at the tip. So, by counting them all we have 28.

Thumb has 4 inner and outer parts of joints and 1 point at its tip. So, there are 5 spots we can count.

By adding them all: 28 + 5, we have 33.

Thirty-three for tasbih (subhanallah), 33 for tahmid (alhamdulillah) and 33 for takbir (Allahu akbar).

Dhikr-using-fingers

As it is not narrated in hadith which finger we should use first to start zikir, so it doesn't matter whether you start with your thumb or your pinky.

You can watch the video for the whole tutorial.


With this technique I really don't need to worry about miscounting.

What about you? Have you tried zikir on fingers using right hand only yet? Or have you got another way to do zikir with right hand?

Monday, 24 September 2018

Teaching Kids About Hajj, Not Only Fun But Also Surprising!

September 24, 2018 0 Comments
Hajj

Early in this September, my sons, Mr. Inventor and The Professor went on a hajj teaching ritual class. It is an annual class conducted by the regional teaching department. There were more than one thousand students from15 different elementary schools. It took place at the local square.

This year is special for us because male students had to wear ihram, a clothing of male hajj pilgrims. I was imagining it would be great as kids would learn almost the real hajj would like. The last year class didn't obligate male students to wear ihram, just white clothing.

Surprisingly, Mr. Inventor refused to attend the class.

"I will not go," he said.

"Why not?" I asked.

"I just don't want to."

Okay...it became a problem for me. I needed to find out what caused him not to. Mr. Inventor is 9-year-old now, so I think it is common for such a boy to feel uncomfortable about something new. Perhaps he wanted to look good with the ihram.

I persuaded him to go. I told him that there would be some fun learning the hajj ritual. After some tries, he didn't say anything about the idea of wearing ihram. I think he had already accepted the rule.

Buying Ihram, The Male Hajj Clothing


Other problems occurred. The first one was, where to find this ihram. I asked some friends about it and they told me to buy at the Hajj Store downtown. Such a difficult thing for me as I couldn't go anywhere to buy the ihram with the baby.

Alhamdulillah, there was another information telling me that the school sells the ihram on a budget. The fabric differed in quality from the one at Hajj Store. This one was more humble, made of unbleached cotton as the ihram at Hajj Store made from a towel. The price tells it all.


No problem. My kids seemed not to pay attention to that. All they need is just the ihram clothing were ready on time.

Learn How To Wear Ihram For Hajj


The school was really helpful, I think. The teachers sent the parents some pictures of how to wear ihram clothing via WhatsApp group. The students were also being taught at school. So, I guess they were ready for the day.

We also prepared for the logistic. For each kid, I put a pair of sunglasses, a disposable mask, 21 small rocks for throwing at the Jumrah, some snacks, water, and money. Sandals were also on the list.

The actual ihram clothing obligates the male hajj pilgrims to not wear anything but the ihram clothing. But, for the day, male students ought to wear rolled trousers under the ihram clothing. Just in case they lost control and behave extremely.

Underestimate Fitting The Ihram And The Impact

The second problem came in. At the D-day, I put the ihram clothing on my sons. Surprisingly, Mr. Inventor's ihram clothing was not fit!

What??

I regretted why I hadn't tried to put it on him before. I had, but, it was The Professor's who has a slimmer body than his big brother.

I tried and tried to make it fit by pulling the fabric as shown in the how-to, but, it still didn't' work. The clothing was not long enough to wrap my son's body. At the last try, I told Mr. Inventor that I would use some pins to make the fabric stay in that way.

I was worried he would complain and refused to go. I remembered how he first told me that he didn't want to go. Surprisingly, he agreed, alhamdulillah. So, I used one pin at the back and another one at the front close to the waist. I told him to be careful with the pins.

Hajj

Hajj Wannabe, Hajj To-Be Insha Allah

After that, we took them to the venue. There was a miniature of Kabah, some routes telling the Safa and Marwa, the Jamarat, the Arafah. There were crowded with students and teachers. I took some photos and back home, praying they would enjoy the event.

And these were what I got from the teachers. Students seemed to enjoy the activity and learned something from it. They even told me about the day.

Hajj
Credit: Classroom teacher

It took only about 4 hours to finish the Hajj ritual. When I saw the photos, I saw some Hajj pilgrims to-be there.

Alhamdulillah, another lesson from school. I really think this was a great activity of teaching kids about Hajj. What about in yours? Is there any Hajj ritual teaching for students as well?

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Mommy, I Wanna Be A YouTuber

September 23, 2018 0 Comments
Those words came out of my 9 yo son, "Mommy, I wanna be a YouTuber and earn a lot of money."

Well, I'm not surprised to hear that. As a blogger, I am also a YouTuber. I produce videos for supporting my blog posts. Not all blog posts, only some of them. And during the process, my sons used to watch me.

Not only that, I sometimes ask them to be the talents. They love doing that and so do I.

Mr. Inventor loves to watch videos about the computer on YouTube. After watching we usually tell me about the ideas he got from there.

"I am going to make a portable computer for you, Mom."

All I can say is thank you and suggest him to be careful with the budget.

Deep in my heart, I don't really like him to be a Youtuber. I wish him better. But, I realize I may not break his dreams. His future may be different from mine, so I decided to accept all his passions.

In his younger year, he was a robot freak. He had a dream to build a multitasking robot to help me at home. He also dreamt about generating electricity from new sources.

I guess his dreams are still changing. It doesn't matter as long as he has the responsibility to pursue them. So, when he wanna be a YouTuber now, it's OK.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Earthquake, A Small Scale of Doomsday

September 01, 2018 0 Comments
Earthquake

Halo, assalamu alaikum.

Lombok Earthquake this August has really broken my heart. 7.0 Richter Scale. Innalillaahi wa inna ilayhi roojiuun.

I feel them.

I was, by Allah's will, one of survivors of Jogja Earthquake back in 2006. It's been 12 years, but, the feeling remains the same.

I guess I can never forget it.

It was almost 6 a.m. I was having a lazy morning on my bed. My mom and dad were having their morning tea. We used to enjoy some tea, waiting for the morning newspaper to come and discussing anything.

All of a sudden, the house was shaking. My bed was, too. I ran out of the room and rushed to the side door. My dad was with me. The door was also shaking. It was hard for my daddy to open. The cupboard beside me was dancing. The sound of the cups and bowls and plates were frightening me. I was worried they might fall on to me.

Once my dad succeded in opening the door, we rushed out of the house. I didn't notice my mom and my brother. All I knew was they were running to the front door.

I looked at the sky. It was blue as usual but the air was horrible. I heard people crying and screaming and calling God's name no matter what their religion might be.

Earthquake

Alhamdulillaah, no one was hurt. In my neighbourhood there was no victim. The houses remain standing although some parts were broken. But, in short, we were all safe.

I then looked for my mom. "Where is she?" I thought. She was safe with hard breath taking.

After all of the disaster, my brother told me about the day.

At the day he ran toward the front door with mom. "The door was locked," he said. "Mom tried to unlock the key, but she couldn't do it. The door was shaking."

"So I decided to open it myself. I pushed mom aside and unlocked it. Then I ran out. I left mommy behind."

"When I had succeded in running out, I suddenly remembered mommy. I looked back and I saw her crawling on her knees," he continued.

My brother couldn't believe he had pushed mommy away. He also couldn't believe that he noticed nobody else's safety but himself.

I also couldn't believe in what I had done. I suddenly remember verses of surah Abasa. It tells me why I did such thing. It is because we were very frightened.

Read the verses below:

فَإِذَا جَآءَتِ ٱلصَّآخَّةُ

But when there comes the Deafening Blast

يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ ٱلْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ

On the Day a man will flee from his brother

وَأُمِّهِۦ وَأَبِيهِ

And his mother and his father

وَصَٰحِبَتِهِۦ وَبَنِيهِ

And his wife and his children,

'Abasa 80: 33 - 36 by Quran App: https://goo.gl/w6rESk

It was only a small scale of doomsday. I had forgotten my mom, dad and brother. I only cared about my own safety.

Allah is Ash-Shiddiq, The Most Right of All. The verses tell us all. The earthquake prooved it right.

I really, really hope and pray I will never ever witness the doomsday.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Windy And Chilly August

August 11, 2018 0 Comments
Indonesia-independence-day

It's August now! Independence Day is coming. Alhamdulillah, my beloved Indonesia will be 73 this August 17.

Our place of living is busy beautifying the neighbourhood. We hang some DIY lanterns and firefly lamps. We also fly our Red-and-White flags.

In kampongs there are several sports tournaments such as volley ball and ping-pong. There are some events and contests to glorify the day.


August also means dry season here. No rain, the air is windy and chilly. We are used to it, but, this year is masha Allah windier and chillier than ever!

Many people are complaining about the weather. We don't usually meet the 17°C, but, it was reported that cold. I myself feel uncomfortable when the temperature touches 20°C. Oh, ya Allah. My skin gets dry and tight.

Good News From Windy And Chilly August


One of my neighbour who had lived in Taiwan said that the weather is just like what she saw there during winter.

Then it's winter in wrong place, I guess 😅😅.

It's also windy here. Sometimes too strong. My second son told me that windy August is good for the flags to fly high.  😆😆

I like windy August, too. It makes the laundry dry quickly.😁

Oh, Allah...

Any weather is from Allah. There is no way we can deny. This windy and chilly August is caused by the wind itself that flows from chilly Australian winter. That's what the experts had said.

I'm Sure No One Likes To Hear Bad News On This Windy And Chilly August, But, There Is One


Along with this windy and chilly August, there were earthquakes shooke Lombok of Nusa Tenggara Barat (eastern province of Bali). It was above 7 in Richter scale, colliding houses, masjids, schools and many other buildings.

The survival have to live in tents, lack of facilities and live in scare.

I know how it feels. I had been there when a big earthquake ruined Jogja in 2006.

Lombok which means 'straight path' is also known as the island of thousands masjids. The governor is a hafizh, subhanallah. Many muslims live there. This island is now crying for help. We can donate through some trusted charitable foundations.

Prayforlombok


Allah has mentioned in
Al-Baqarah: 155 - 157 about the disaster and tests:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىْءٍ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,


ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَٰبَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيْهِ رَٰجِعُونَ

Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return."


أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَٰتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌۖ وَأُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُهْتَدُونَ

Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.

Source:
Aplikasi Quran:https://goo.gl/w6rESk

We #prayforlombok and hope that they will be better soon.

So, I guess this windy and chilly August brings us many stories. Let's pray for strong iman and hidayah and hope everything is running well.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Ten Years of Togetherness

July 06, 2018 2 Comments

Ten-years-marriage

Ten years of togetherness. Yes, this date 10 years ago was my wedding date. I was 31 at the moment and my husband was 32. Ten years after that, alhamdulillah we are still together.

Ten years, is not a short time, yet not a long time in life. When I was 10, I was able to do many things. For my 10th wedding anniversary? I guess we've been through many, many ups and downs.

The toughest part in marriage actually is how to cope with your partner. I believe that. The first week of marriage is the sweetest time of your life. Many surprises come to you as you are a new Mrs/Mr.

After that you will have to adapt to your real life again. Back to work or move to your partner's place, say goodbye to your hometown (I feel you), etc. In short, life of marriage begins right after week 2.

Weeks after weeks, months after months then years after years. Oh, God, I thank You so much for this wonderful journey called marriage. I become a new person as there are boys who call me mama. Our 1st anniversary present was our first son. A year later, there came our second son. Our life was complete and become more complete now with the presence of our third son.

We have many dreams that aren't come true yet, I admit. Buying a house is the biggest achievement we haven't met up to today. Hope it will come true soon.

Our sons' education is also our biggest concern. Teach them, tell them, guide them to be better persons in iman is not an easy task but I believe it is very possible to do.

Having a daughter? It is not on the list. I feel having these three guards are enough 😄 . I'm 41 now, anyway.

A friend told me on my wedding day 10 years ago, "You should never do it twice." All she meant was this marriage has to be my only one. I agree with her.

What I so grateful about is the love we grow from time to time. It is not a fairy tale love, it is a real love when you might feel hurt or dissatisfied sometimes but the pledge you've made make you turn back to your partner again. We learn and through the test together.

Marriage-quotes

I hope and pray this first 10 years will be a better foundation for us. I hope and pray we'll still be together for the 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th anniversary. Till Allah do us part by death.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Bringing My One-Year-Old Son to Masjid for the First Time

July 04, 2018 4 Comments
How to bring baby to masjid


On that fajr time, my first and second son opened the door to go to masjid for fajr salah. Suddenly my one-year-old son cried. He wanted to go with his brothers. I refused his wish, worrying he might be bothering other people by his cries or screams. But, my husband suggested me to bring him. So I walked to masjid with my son in my arms.

I entered the masjid, standing behind some ladies doing their qabliyah fajr salah, waiting for the iqamah. I chose the second row which was the last row of the ladies' area. I still held my son in my arms and he seemed to enjoy the moment.

The salah began. I was lucky there was only a lady at the left meaning that I wasn't in the middle of the row. I was afraid that my son would cry or something because he often did that everytime I do salah at home. I don't know why he behaves like that. Is this mukena (salah cloth) frightenes him? Or is it my flat expression during salah makes him scary?

Shalat-sambil-gendong-anak

At masjid I did the takbiratul ihram with one hand only, that was my right hand while my left arm held my son. Alhamdulillah it went well, until...

It was time to do ruku. I let my son free from my left arm. He stood and started to walk forward. He was looking for his big brothers. "Oh, no," I said to myself voicelessly. "Please, help me, ya Allah."

I'tidal time and he still stood up between 2 ladies in front of me. I really hoped my son would walked toward me.

Sujud time and I felt somebody next to me. My son! Thank God, he didn't continue walking.

As the second rakaah came, I embraced him again in my arm. And alhamdulillah, he just stood up next to me while I was doing ruku and sujud until salam.

It was a success, I guess. Some ladies turned to me after salah and they greeted me. No angry expressions on their face, alhamdulillah. So my son was welcomed.

I think it was a good start. For me, I feel I'm comfortable enough to bring my one-year-old son to masjid. For my son, he can learn something from it. For the community, the presence of young children is a good sign for they have next generation to come to merry the masjid.

When Is the Right Time to Bring Young Kids to Masjid for Salah?


Still, I'm considering to bring babies or toddlers to masjid are tough. Saluté for those who can do it at their kids' early ages. To minimize my worriness, I choose to bring my young kids at times when masjid is not really crowded. Duhur and asar time are great. Not many people come to our local masjid to pray.

Bring-young-kids-to-masjid

Maghrib time is really not recommemded as it is peak time at masjid. Many people come to pray as they get home from work.

Isya time is bedtime for my son, so I don't think I would bring him for isya salah.

What about fajr time? Is it alright to bring younger kids to masjid? It depends on the sleeping and waking up habit of the kid itself. For my son, he usually gets up at fajr time or before it. So, it's possible to bring him to masjid.

Don't forget to check the diaper first. Change it before going to masjid. Also make sure kids are full, not hungry nor thirsty. That's what keep them easy to handle.

That first experience was a good lesson. Bringing one-year-old son to masjid is not that bad although it wasn't easy. What about you? Did you have the similar experience too?

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Kids Ramadan Activity: DIY Pocket Calendar

May 24, 2018 2 Comments
Diy-pocket-calendar


During Ramadan kids really need to have some quiet activities. Rather than going outside, I prefer them to stay inside and do less physical activity. My almost 8 and 9 yo sons are still strugglung to conquer themselves. On the first days they still complained about how thirsty they had been. That is why they need activities that consume less energy.

Yesterday, after school, my second son did a good activity with his friend. They took scissors, paper and glue. What did they do with those materials? They made pocket calendars!

It is easy to make and can improve skills of cutting, counting, hand writing and color picking and memorizing. It also helps kids to work together. At the end, the pocket calendar is somewhat kids can be proud of. By doing this activity kids can learn to count how many rows and columns needed in each month and how to draw them in such limited space. Not only that, kids also learn to differentiate which month is which, 30 or 31 days.

Here is what kids need to make pocket calendar:

Diy-pocket-calendar

Color origami paper
Scissors
Ruler
Glue
Pencil or pen or color pencil
Calendar
Creativity! 

First, cut origami paper into 5 x 7 cm. Cut 7 sheet of paper in different colors. Then, fold the first 2 cm from edge and glue them together so that it becomes a bundle of paper.

Create a beautiful cover for the calendar at the first page, such as "Calendar 2018 by me". Use pencil or pen to draw raws and columns on page 2-7 to put the days and dates.

Diy-pocket-calendar


Copy 1st January from an existing calendar or from mobile phone. Fill in the rows and columns with days and dates until 31 January. Do it for the rest of the months.

Here is the calendar!

Diy-pocket-calendar


For an addition, my son made an envelope from origami paper to keep the calendar. Pretty, isn't it?

Diy-pocket-calendar


I think having such quiet activity during Ramadan is very helpful to maintain kids' emotion. They would probably say eagerly, "Time flies!" and iftar time is approaching.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Zeneefa Zaneer's 'In the Land of Strangers'

May 06, 2018 0 Comments
Zeneefa-zaneer


"Sometimes I wished if I was your mobile phone or the television, so you would feel better watching me."

Those words really stole my heart. I know some people out there feel the same, got lost in their own life, marriage life. Some of them struggled and got through it, but, some didn't. Including Hamid, a man with two kids.

Just like any other man, husband in this case, Hamid spent his time for work. His responsibility for his family drove him to work hard and paid attention to clients. Poor Hamid, he forgot he had got a wife who needed to be showered with love. He neglected her too often, burdended her life with domestic works. He even had sudden deaf ears everytime his wife tried to talk to him.

Zeneefa-zaneer

Hamid then found himself alone. His wife left him forever. Not for finding other man, but, to her God.
Taking care of two children made him overwhelmed. Remarry was one of the solutions. Even his mom had given him sign to find another woman to fill him life.

As a woman I often see this kind of situation when a man becomes a widower, no need too long you will see him remarry. And we will say, "Oh, man!"

Ah, forget it.

Anyway, would Hamid do the same, remarry?

You can find what's Hamid choice on the last pages of Passing Cloud II. Yes, Hamid is a fiction character created by Zeneefa Zaneer. Zeneefa wrote about him and other stories in her newest short story compilation called 'In the Land of Strangers'. There are 10 short stories in the book: Lost, Passing Cloud, Not without Her (Passing Cloud part 2), Devil's Gift, Nine to Five, The Journal, Dear Diary, Hope, A Bud of Love, Whisperer.

Zeneefa-zaneer


The book talks about relationship between husband and wife, mom and children, wife and in-laws.

Some strories really captured my heart like Passing Cloud and The Journal. A drop of tears accompanied me while reading Passing Cloud. I could feel the pain, the loneliness feeling, the hurt and the hope at once.

Lost, the first short story in the book talks about an ungrateful wife who left his husband for another man. A bad wife, wasn't she? But, wait, let's look out the reason. The wife, Fida, left Imran because he didn't look gorgeous anymore. Well, he was 'gorgeous' with his Islamic appearance. Beard, stop listening to music, stop smoking.

Hey, that's cool, Fida!

Perhaps Fida just needed some time to understand his husband. Perhaps Imran needed to be more careful to his wife. Perhaps it was their life test.

Alright, I'm adding my emotions to the review.

Zeneefa said that these stories discuss different relationship in our life and how we become strangers to our beloved ones. We only started realizing it once we lose someone dearer to our life.

Oh, God. No...

You can purchase the book at Amazon and you can take a look at Goodreads.

Other book review you can read from this blog:
Purity and Prayer
Nanni's Hijab
Bedtime Sunnahs

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Book Review: Bedtime Sunnahs

April 04, 2018 2 Comments
Bedtime-sunnah

My sons, 9 and 8 years old, now are in 3rd and 2nd grade. I still remember how they went to kindergarten which they never liked. The mornings were hectic because I needed to gently persuade them to go to school. I was worried this condition would continue until they entered elementary school. But, alhamdulillah, it didn't happen. Both my sons go to school everyday in high spirit. 

They go to Islamic Full Day School which runs from 7.10 a.m to 1.45 p.m. They do noon prayer at school, even my first son does dhuha prayer and Jumah prayer at school as well.

Being in an Islamic school means they get quite enough opportunity to learn the deen from their early age. It includes Quran recitation and memorization. My first son almost finishes his memorization of Juz Amma (Juz 30) now. After that he will be tested to be certified. 

My second son, Mr. Professor, completed his Quran reading learning and being certified to read the Quran now. He started from Juz 27, surah Adz Dzariyat. Masha Allah, I'm very proud of them. I'm dreaming to have sons who love the deen very much. I really wish they love reciting and memorizing Quran and love to attend prayers at masjid.

It seems that having Islamic environment really help my sons a lot to reach such achievements that I didn't at their age. Different era, different condition, right?

How about everyday ibadah other than prayers and reciting Quran? There are many things I need to teach them. For instance what to do when entering the house, how to eat the Islamic way, what to do before sleeping at night, etc.

Sometimes I tell them stories to remind them how important to follow the Prophet's way. 

Talking about what to do before going to bed at night, book publisher, Prolance, has released a book called Bedtime Sunnahs: Emulating the Prophet one night at a time.

This rhyming book outlines several nighttime Islamic practices for kids - and even adults - to implement before going to bed. Fostering a love for the Prophet’s Sunnah, as well as teaching children to practice good deeds consistently.

Bedtime-sunnahs

I think it's a brilliant way to let my sons read this large, colorful, hardback, 26-page book. Beautifully illustrated by Robin Boyer, makes it more vibrant.

This book also includes references to associated hadiths, an explanation of Islamic terminology, and additional advanced practices, for ones who need to know.

Related article: Nanni's Hijab: A Book for Young Hijabis

The Author, Alia G. Dada who was born and raised in Southern California, graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Minor in the Spanish Language. 

Shortly after, she moved to Cairo, Egypt. After privately studying Arabic she went on to obtain her degree in Islamic Law (Shariah) from the Al-Azhar University. Blessed with a child who has a love for reading, she was inspired to write a book that would help caregivers water the seed of faith and Islamic literacy in the hearts of young Muslims.  


Bedtime-sunnahs


Rhyme always captures our hearts easily. Even I love the rhyme in this book! Listen to this:

Hands up, hands up, we must make dua before we close our eyes.

Let's raise our hands up towards the skies.

So, if you are looking for a book that's full of advantages to teach your children about bedtime sunnahs, this book really suites to your needs. The book is available for order at www.prolancewriting.com/bedtime-sunnahs

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Women And The Right To Stay At Home

March 08, 2018 0 Comments
Stay-at-home-mom

It is International Women's Day. I have watched some videos about the day and this year campaign through UNWomen is #TimeIsNow .

It has been decades of struggle. Women everywhere in the world have been voicing, hoping and fighting for gender parity in many aspects of life. Economy aspect I think is the greatest issue followed by health. 
#TimeIsNow should be a milestone for human to stop discriminating women. NOW. Not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow, not in any future time.

Talking about economy aspect, many women are working moms to support the family. Some working moms even have to work abroad and it is quite common here in the place I live. I understood not long ago the meaning of 'leaving' in terms of working abroad. When I spoke to a kid and she/he said that the mother was 'going' what she/he meant was working outside the country. Mainly to Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong or countries in Middle East.


I actually feel sad to hear about kids grow without their mother's presence. I had written about Kids From Unhappy Family, however there are some understandable reasons for those moms to work abroad and leave their kids behind.

Who take care of the children she left? That's the biggest concern. Apparently the dads and the grandparents look after them. We may see dads stay at home, some by doing something to earn money, some don't do much but merely stay at home. What a shame, I guess. The responsibility to make money for the family lies on the husband's hand not on the wife's. That way, it is not something good to see.


Children, in the other hand, grow up with the grandparents' values. I witness some moms don't really come back to their family year after year. Some left their toddlers and see the kids again when they are teenagers. Economy is still the greatest magnet to draw those moms away from their families.

I don't want to judge the moms for not coming home, but I feel pity about the kids, the husbands and the family. How could a real family run without the presence one of the members? Is there a 'family' after all?

Stay-at-home-mom

#TimeIsNow. I think why not re-think about it again? Re-think about moms being the backbone for making money to support the family. Re-think about putting the responsibility to husband's back again. Re-think about finding a way to stick together as a family.

It is International Women's Day. The day when women speak out about their rights. Voicing the right to stay at home and embrace the kids? Why not?


This blog post is part of #girlpowerhop, a blog hop hosted by Aurora Hikma, in honor of women worldwide, on International Women's Day. Click this link to read the rest of the posts!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Baby Dig Loves Dragon Fruit

February 24, 2018 0 Comments


Ah, it's been weeks I didn't post anything. What can I say, I have busy days. Baby Dig is now 9 months old. He is able to crawl now and learn to stand up. I can't let him alone by himself for too long. I have to always look at him or else I will be worry about what he's doing. Well, you know the feeling if you happened to experience once.

At his age, Baby Dig has already eaten almost anything. Well, actually it is because he always asks for what I hold in my hands. Anything. So, everytime I have some meal, I offer him one. And he usually grab what I give him or simply opens with mouth. Sooo funny...

Baby Dig has eaten home cook meal. I prepare him food in the morning so he can have breakfast at around 9 a.m. He eats soft rice with veggies and chicken or tofu or fish or fried tempeh. He likes what I cook. Alhamdulillah.

Related article: Another Boy In My Life

I once bought him baby biscuits, but, he refused to eat them. My elder sons had them after all. He also doesn't like porridge or baby food I bought. I think he really loves my cooking. He eats 3 times a day, in the morning, around noon and in the afternoon. Each meal time has 4 hours in between.

What about fruit?


My eldest son, Big D, didn't really like fruits when he was younger. It was because I didn't introduce fruits to him as early as possible. Well, new mom makes mistakes, right? So, for Baby Dig, I don't wanna make the same mistake. I tried to introduce some fruits in any varieties, but Baby Dig seemed not too interested. I began to worry... Moms always worry, right?

Related article: Why Moms of Today Are More Fragile Compared to Their Seniors

One morning, I ate dragon fruit and was thinking to give Baby Dig a try. I was worried about the seeds. I was afraid the seeds would burden his stomach. So, I filtered the fruit and served him the liquid only. No fruit flesh, no seeds.

He loved it!

The next time I gave him a small amount of dragon fruit with the flesh and seeds. He chewed it happily and asked for another. I was thinking that I would wait for the allergic reaction or something before I gave him another try.

The next morning, baby Dig showed no bad reaction. His poo was reddish but in good consistency. So, I decided to continue the menu. Alhamdulillah.

After some time, I read about giving dragon fruit for baby. It is one of the recommended fruit for babies anyway. Served raw and the seeds aren't big deal for babies' digestive. That's what I see with Baby Dig. And what I like the most from dragon fruit is its fiber. It really really helps a lot in Baby Dig's poo. Dragon fruit itself is also rich in vitamin C. Tastes good and easy to chew even for 5 teethed baby like Baby Dig.