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Sabtu, 18 Agustus 2012

Remaining Steadfast After Ramadhan

Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah radiallahu 'anhu said: "O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you." He said: "Say: 'I believe in Allah' and then be steadfast (upon that)." [Sahih Muslim 38]
The hadith is proof that the servant is obligated, after having iman in Allah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion without drifting away from it, to the right or to the left.
If the Muslim lives through Ramadhan and spent his days in fasting and his nights in prayer and he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allah at all times. This is the true state of the slave, for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing over his servants at all times.
Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadhan and the rectification of one's statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadhan and striven in obedience. They are tokens of reception and signs of success.
Furthermore, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another, rather they continue and extend until he reaches death. Allah says:
"And worship your Lord until the certainty (death) comes to you." [Al-Qur'an 15:99]
If the fasting of Ramadhan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year. If standing in prayer at night during Ramadhan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if the Zakat ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year. This goes the same for reciting the Qur'an and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is sought, for they can be done at all times. From the many bounties that Allah has bestowed upon his servants is that He has placed for them many different types of righteous acts and provided many means for doing good deeds. Therefore, the ardor and zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Lord.
It is unfortunate to find that some people perform worship by doing different types of righteous deeds during Ramadhan. They guard strictly upon their five daily prayers in the masjid, they recite the Qur'an a lot and they give in charity from their wealth. But when Ramadhan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship. Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the fajr prayer.
And they commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks, especially on the day of 'Eid. Obtaining help from these evils is only through the grace of Allah. Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and destroy what they have established. This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition. We ask Allah for His safeguarding and protection.
Indeed, this type of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to the month of Ramadhan. And they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops. Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadhan, and not out of fear of Allah. How terrible is the state of these people, who do not know Allah, except in Ramadhan!
Truly, the success that Allah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadhan. His assisting him to do that is a great favor, thus the calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord. This understanding can be found in the statement of Allah after completing the favor of the month of fasting:
"(He wants that you) must complete the same number of days, and that you must magnify Allah (by saying Allahu Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him." [Al-Qur'an 2:185]
The one who is grateful for having fasted, will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds. Verily, the true way of the Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for giving him the ability to fast and make qiyam. His condition after Ramadhan is better than it was before Ramadhan. He is more receptive to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to enforce the obligatory acts. This is because he has gained benefit from this prominent institute of learning. It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allah only accepts from those who fear Him. The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that it would be accepted and fearing that it would be rejected. From the reports of 'Ali, "Be more concerned with having your deeds accepted than the deed itself. Did you not hear Allah say: 'Verily Allah, only accepts those from those who fear Him. (i.e. possess taqwa).' [Al-Qur'an 5:27]" [Lata'if al-Ma'arif, p. 246]
'A'ishah said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah concerning the ayah: 'And the one who are given what they are given and their hearts tremble with fear.' Are they the ones who drink alcohol and steal?" He said: "No, O daughter of as-Siddiq. Rather, they are the ones who fast and pray and give in charity yet fear that it won't be accepted from them. They are the ones who rush to do good deeds and they are the first to do them." [Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi 3/79-80]
So be warned and again be warned of turning backward after having attained guidance of going astray after persevering. And ask Allah to provide you with duration in doing righteous deeds and continuity in performing good acts. And ask Allah that He grant you a good end, so that H

Tips for Brilliant Writing

 Tips for Brilliant Writing

The ways you can start sounding brilliant as the following:
1. Have something to say
This makes writing easier and faster. When you have nothing to say, you are forced to write sentences that sound meaningful but deliver nothing.
Read widely. Take notes. Choose your subjects wisely. Then share your information with readers.
2. Be specific
Consider two sentences:
·         I grow lots of flowers in my back yard.
·         I grow 34 varieties of flowers in my back yard, including pink coneflowers, purple asters, yellow daylilies, Shasta daisies, and climbing clematis.
Which is more interesting? Which helps you see my back yard?
3. Choose simple words
Write use instead of utilize, near instead of close proximity, help instead of facilitate, for instead of in the amount of, start instead of commence.
Use longer words only if your meaning is so specific no other words will do.
4. Write short sentences
You should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: they’re easier to read and understand.
Each sentence should have one simple thought. More than that creates complexity and invites confusion.
5. Use the active voice
In English, readers prefer the SVO sentence sequence: Subject, Verb, Object. This is the active voice.
For example:
Passive sentences bore people.
When you reverse the active sequence, you have the OVS or passive sequence: Object, Verb, Subject.
For example:
People are bored by passive sentences.
You can’t always use the active voice, but most writers should use it more often.
6. Keep paragraphs short
Look at any newspaper and notice the short paragraphs.
That’s done to make reading easier, because our brains take in information better when it’s broken into small chunks.
In academic writing, each paragraph develops one idea and often includes many sentences. But in casual, everyday writing, the style is less formal and paragraphs may be as short as a single sentence or even a single word.
7. Eliminate fluff words
Qualifying words, such as very, little, and rather, add nothing to your meaning and suck the life out of your sentences.
For example:
It is very important to basically avoid fluff words because they are rather empty and sometimes a little distracting.
Mark Twain suggested that you should “Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
8. Don’t ramble
Rambling is a big problem for many writers. Not as big as some other problems, such as affordable health insurance or the Middle East, which has been a problem for many decades because of disputes over territory. Speaking of which, the word “territory” has an interesting word origin from terra, meaning earth.
But the point is, don’t ramble.
9. Don’t be redundant or repeat yourself
Also, don’t keep writing the same thing over and over and over. In other words, say something once rather than several times. Because when you repeat yourself or keep writing the same thing, your readers go to sleep.
10. Don’t over write
This is a symptom of having too little to say or too much ego.
Put your reader first. Put yourself in the background. Focus on the message.
For example:
You can instantly and dramatically improve your blog writing skills and immediately explode your profits and skyrocket your online success by following the spectacular, simple, and practical tips found in this groundbreaking new free blog post.
11. Edit ruthlessly
Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add to the meaning. It’s okay to write in a casual style, but don’t inject extra words without good reason.
To make this easier, break your writing into three steps: 1) Write the entire text. 2) Set your text aside for a few hours or days. 3) Return to your text fresh and edit.
None of us can ever be perfect writers, and no one expects us to be. However, we can all improve our style and sound smarter by following these tips and writing naturally.

Quotes on Happines

Quotes on Happines
Do you want to be successful, you must be happy first...and  take these quotes
Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy.
Robert Anthony

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
- Albert Camus

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Mark Twain

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
- Benjamin Disraeli

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.
Burton Hills

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
- Ayn Rand

Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy.
Cynthia Nelms

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
- Abraham Lincoln

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
- James Oppenheim

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer

Happiness depends upon ourselves.
- Aristotle

The road to happiness lies in two simple principles; find what interests you and that you can do well, and put your whole soul into it - every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.
John D Rockefella

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
- Albert Schweitzer

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
- Helen Keller

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
- Albert Camus

When you relinquish the desire to control your future, you can have more happiness.
- Nicole Kidman (in The Scotsman)

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Joseph Addison
Lebaran yang dinanti tinggal beberapa saat lagi. Kumandang takbir mengingatkan kita masa kecil dulu, hari penuh ceria  nan  bahagia.  Lebaran adalh uang fitrah. Uang Fitrah sebenarnya tidak seberapa, namun rasa bangga yang  tiada tara bila kita menerimanya.

Kini aku  sudah semakin tua, anak-anakku empat jumlahnya. Kehidupan mereka jauh  lebih bahagia dari masa kecilku. Kini aku ragi apakah kiehidupan anak-anaku bisa lebih baik dari kehidupanku.

Tiap hari aku berdoa, nantinya mereka bisa hidup bahagia. Kubekali dengan nasihat biar mereka menjadi manusia sholih dan sholihat.


Tangisan itulah yang dirasakan Rasulullah dan para sahabatnya  ketika akan meninggalkan bulan ramadlan. Rasulullah adalah pribadi  yang terpelihara dari dosa, para sahabatnya adalah umat nabi yang terbaik karena sifat mulianya. Mereka semua orang-orang yamg mulia namun merasa diri mereka  belum maksimal dalam beramal di bulan ramadlan.

Kita sebagai manusia biasa yang masih berlumur dosa sering melewatkan ha-hal yang memberikan ampunan dan pahala  luar biasa di bulan ramadlan di tahun ini, kita terlena dengan kehidupan yang menipu. Ramadlan berlalu, kita kehilangan  greget mohon ampunan Allah s.w.t. . Pahala kitapun  tidak  dimaksimalkan. Dan tanpa menyesal atas kelemahan, dan dosa.

Sikap rasulullah s.a.w dan sahabatnya di akhir bulan ramadlan alam  suatu riwayat: “Di malam terakhir Ramadhan, menangislah tujuh petala langit dan tujuh petala bumi dan para malaikat, karena akan berlalunya Ramadhan, dan juga keistimewaannya.”

Waktu terus bergulir dari detik ke detik, dari menit ke menit, dari jam ke jam, dari hari ke hari, dari minggu ke minggu…. Rasanya baru kemarin kita begitu bersemangat mempersiapkan diri untuk memasuki bulan Ramadhan, bulan tarbiyah, bulan latihan, bulan Quran, bulan maghfirah, bulan yang penuh berkah. Namun beberapa saat lagi, Ramadhan akan meninggalkan kita, padahal kita belum optimal melaksanakan qiyamul lail kita, belum optimal membaca Al-Quran serta belum optimal melaksanakan ibadah-ibadah lain, target-target yang kita pasang belum semuanya terlaksana. Dan kita tidak akan pernah tahu apakah kita masih dapat berjumpa dengan Ramadhan berikutnya.

Bagi para salafush shalih, setiap bulan Ramadhan pergi meninggalkan mereka, mereka selalu meneteskan air mata. Di lisan mereka terucap sebuah doa yang merupakan ungkapan kerinduan akan datangnya kembali bulan Ramadhan menghampiri diri mereka.

Orang-orang zaman dahulu, dengan berlalunya bulan Ramadhan, hati mereka mejadi sedih. Maka, tidak mengherankan bila pada malam-malam terakhir Ramadhan, pada masa Rasulullah SAW, Masjid Nabawi penuh sesak dengan orang-orang yang beri’tikaf. Dan di sela-sela i’tikafnya, mereka terkadang menangis terisak-isak, karena Ramadhan akan segera berlalu meninggalkan mereka.

Ada satu riwayat yang mengisahkan bahwa kesedihan ini tidak saja dialami manusia, tapi juga para malaikat dan makhluk-makhluk Allah lainnya.

Dari Jabir RA, Rasulullah SAW bersabda, “Di malam terakhir Ramadhan, menangislah tujuh petala langit dan tujuh petala bumi dan para malaikat, karena akan berlalunya Ramadhan, dan juga keistimewaannya. Ini merupakan musibah bagi umatku.”

Kemudian ada seorang sahabat bertanya, “Apakah musibah itu, ya Rasulullah?”
“Dalam bulan itu segala doa mustajab, sedekah makbul, segala kebajikan digandakan pahalanya, dan siksaan kubur terkecuali, maka apakah musibah yang terlebih besar apabila semuanya itu sudah berlalu?”

Ketika mereka memasuki detik-detik akhir penghujung Ramadhan, air mata mereka menetes. Hati mereka sedih.Betapa tidak. Bulan yang penuh keberkahan dan keridhaan Allah itu akan segera pergi meninggalkan mereka. Bulan ketika orang-orang berpuasa dan menghidupkan malam-malamnya dengan ibadah. Bulan yang Allah bukakan pintu-pintu surga, Dia tutup pintu-pintu neraka, dan Dia belenggu setan. Bulan yang awalnya adalah rahmat, pertengahannya ampunan, dan akhirnya pembebasan dari api neraka. Bulan ketika napas-napas orang yang berpuasa lebih harum di sisi Allah daripada minyak kesturi. Bulan ketika Allah setiap malamnya membebaskan ratusan ribu orang yang harus masuk neraka. Bulan ketika Allah menjadikannya sebagai penghubung antara orang-orang berdosa yang bertaubat dan Allah Ta’ala.

Mereka menangis karena merasa belum banyak mengambil manfaat dari Ramadhan. Mereka sedih karena khawatir amalan-amalan mereka tidak diterima dan dosa-dosa mereka belum dihapuskan. Mereka berduka karena boleh jadi mereka tidak akan bertemu lagi bulan Ramadhan yang akan datang.
Suatu hari, pada sebuah shalat ‘Idul Fithri, Umar bin Abdul Aziz berkata dalam khutbahnya, “Wahai sekalian manusia, sesungguhnya kalian telah berpuasa karena Allah selama tiga puluh hari, berdiri melakukan shalat selama tiga puluh hari pula, dan pada hari ini kalian keluar seraya memohon kepada Allah agar menerima amalan tersebut.”

Salah seorang di antara jama’ah terlihat sedih.Seseorang kemudian bertanya kepadanya, “Sesungguhnya hari ini adalah hari bersuka ria dan bersenang-senang. Kenapa engkau malah bermuram durja? Ada apa gerangan?”
“Ucapanmu benar, wahai sahabatku,” kata orang tesrebut. “Akan tetapi, aku hanyalah hamba yang diperintahkan oleh Rabb-ku untuk mempersembahkan suatu amalan kepada-Nya. Sungguh aku tidak tahu apakah amalanku diterima atau tidak.”

Kekhawatiran serupa juga pernah menimpa para sahabat Rasulullah SAW. Di antaranya Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Thalib. Diriwayatkan, di penghujung Ramadhan, Sayyidina Ali bergumam, “Aduhai, andai aku tahu siapakah gerangan yang diterima amalannya agar aku dapat memberi ucapan selamat kepadanya, dan siapakah gerangan yang ditolak amalannya agar aku dapat ‘melayatnya’.”

Ucapan Sayyidina Ali RA ini mirip dengan ucapan Abdullah bin Mas’ud RA, “Siapakah gerangan di antara kita yang diterima amalannya untuk kita beri ucapan selamat, dan siapakah gerangan di antara kita yang ditolak amalannya untuk kita ‘layati’. Wahai orang yang diterima amalannya, berbahagialah engkau. Dan wahai orang yang ditolak amalannya, keperkasaan Allah adalah musibah bagimu.”

Imam Mu’alla bin Al-Fadhl RA berkata, “Dahulu para ulama senantiasa berdoa kepada Allah selama enam bulan agar dipertemukan dengan Ramadhan. Kemudian mereka juga berdoa selama enam bulan agar diterima amal ibadah mereka (selama Ramadhan).”

Wajar saja, sebab, tidak ada yang bisa menjamin bahwa tahun depan kita akan kembali berjumpa dengan bulan yang penuh berkah, rahmat, dan maghfirah ini. Karenanya, beruntung dan berbahagialah kita saat berpisah dengan Ramadhan membawa segudang pahala untuk bekal di akhirat.

Jika kita merenungi kondisi salafush shalih dan meneliti bagaimana mereka menghabiskan waktu-waktu mereka di bulan Ramadhan, bagaimana mereka memakmurkannya dengan amal shalih, niscaya kita mengetahui jauhnya jarak di antara kita dan mereka.

Bagaimana dengan kita? Adakah kesedihan itu hadir di hati kita di kala Ramadhan meninggalkan kita? Atau malah sebaliknya, karena begitu bergembiranya menyambut kedatangan Hari Raya ‘Idul Fithri, sampai-sampai di sepuluh hari terakhir, yang seharunya kita semakin giat melaksanakan amalan-amalan ibadah, kita malah disibukkan dengan belanja, membeli baju Lebaran, disibukkan memasak, membuat kue, dan lain-lain.

Padahal di sisi lain, masih banyak orang di sekitar kita yang berjuang untuk mendapatkan sesuap nasi untuk berbuka hari ini, bukan untuk besok, apalagi untuk pesta pora di hari Lebaran.

Tapi apakah salah bila kita menyongsong Hari Raya ‘Idul Fithri dengan kegembiraan? Tentu saja tidak. Bukankah Rasulullah SAW telah mengatakan, “Wahai Abu Bakar, sesungguhnya setiap kaum mempunyai hari raya, dan sesungguhnya hari ini adalah hari raya kita.” (HR Nasa’i).

Rasululah menambahkan
. Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda,
مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
“Barangsiapa yang berpuasa di bulan Ramadhan karena iman dan mengharap pahala dari Allah maka dosanya di masa lalu pasti diampuni.” HR. Bukhari no. 38 dan Muslim no. 760.

 Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda,
مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
“Barangsiapa melakukan qiyam Ramadhan (shalat tarawih) karena iman dan mencari pahala, maka dosa-dosanya yang telah lalu akan diampuni.”[ HR. Bukhari no. 37 dan Muslim no. 759)