Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: ramadhan

Eid Day

Eid with the Indonesians

Eid mubarak! Eid saeed! Kullu sanah wa antum bekhair…

It was a great Eid with Indonesian friends and delicious foods! Lontong, gulai kambing, rendang, and so many other foods that I can’t remember LOL. I was too busy eating that I forgot to take some pictures of the food itself! 😛 Well, I didn’t take that many pictures to begin with. There were many photographers with DLSR cameras so all I needed to do was to pose *kidding*. But these are the only pictures that I took.

I noticed two things about these pictures. One was that I looked soooo thin *panic* and second was that I was the only unmarried single woman there! Hahahaha. These women are my close-knit Indonesian Muslim family :). They make me feel "home" and keep me in check every time. Whether I am in Australia or in the Netherlands, I always make sure that I’m close to at least one family. I love spending with families and playing with their kids. I also like the fact that they keep me grounded and always remind me about certain things. Some of them automatically act as my guardian without being asked and I think that’s important — at least for me — to have someone much older than you to rely on, especially when you’re confused on two choices or need an elderly or wise advice :).

Anyway, after spending the Eid with them, I spent the rest of the afternoon with my Dutch friends that I met at the mosque. It was an Eid brunch/lunch a la Dutch :). Breads, cookies, cheese, and different kinds of spreads. It was really nice to see them again! I really enjoyed it! Alhamdulillah.


Cleaned Soul and Heart

Ramadan came, but Bairam* is with us.
The lock came, but the key is with us.

We have cleaned soul and heart with fasting.
The dirt which has been with us is cleansed now.

Some stress comes from fasting,
But the invisible treasure of heart is with us.

Ramadan came to the heart’s temple;
The one who created heart is with us.

— Jalal ad-Din Rumi

My sister Mulia who ordered Turkish food for me 2 weeks ago all the way from UK, sent me this poem 🙂

* Bairam is the Turkish name for Eid al-Fitr

Towards the End

Today marks my last day of fasting. I did my ifthar at the mosque so that I could bade farewell to my "sisters". These are my Dutch, Moroccan, and Somali sisters that I see every day during ifthar and/or taraweeh prayers. It’s been a great pleasure to know them and I’m very sad that this would be my last Ramadan spent in the Netherlands. I wish I met them years ago.

Without a doubt, this year’s Ramadan has been a great spiritual journey. Thank you, Allah! I can’t ask for a better one. I may not be able to worship You and do things for You in the level that You expects me to, but I hope You forgive me for all the shortcomings and accept my fasting and good deeds. I also hope that I can keep on carrying the improvements with me, even though Ramadan has ended. I hope that I can continuously improve and be a better person in the coming future for the sake of You. And I hope I can experience Ramadan again next year, possibly in a different country :). Amin ya Rabbal alamin.

Ah, good thing I still have to fast for a week to make up for my missed days + 6 days for the month of Syawwal. Alhamdulillah.

Eid mubarak everyone! I know that some of you in Indonesia will celebrate Eid on Tuesday and the majority will celebrate on Wednesday. But rather than focusing on the difference we have regarding moon sighting, let’s just reflect on what we’ve done and have not done for the past one month. Have we really done enough?!  What are the things we want to improve? What are the things we want to keep on doing? How can we make sure we keep on doing the things we’ve been doing for the past one month? How can we make sure that we don’t end up becoming a "seasonal Muslim"?

I’d like to conclude with these two quotes:

Out of all the symbols that Muslims could have chosen to symbolize the unity of Islam, it is indeed ironic that they chose the crescent, which for many signifies the greatest manifestation of division amongst Muslims

— Yasir Qadhi on Understanding the Controversies Re: Moonsighting


Let’s focus on MoonSighting instead of MoonFighting. Follow your community, stick to local jama’a. Unity > Fiqh

— @MuslimMatters

The Best Ifthar

I used to complain about having no girlfriends here in Eindhoven. I’m sure I’ve written about this a lot in my blog. During my first one year, most of my friends were guys. I’m fine with having them as friends, of course. But they’re different than girls, especially in terms of “curhat”. Not a lot of guys are good listeners I have to say :P. I also love to have friends to sleep over at my place so we can talk all night long. We can’t do that with guys, can we? 🙂

I basically felt so lonely, especially when I was so used to having housemates and roommates for years! It was not until the second and third year that I had girlfriends. But there’s always a downside: none of my friends were Muslims or practicing Muslims. I felt extremely lonely during Ramadan because I would usually be the only girl out of all men sitting at the Mosque’s dining hall. I didn’t feel comfortable at all.

Jacky's house

This year’s Ramadan is a bit different, though! I met a number of Dutch converts at the Mosque during the ifthar last week. I never met a convert before so it was a great opportunity for me to ask a lot of questions! (it’s so me, right?! LOL. Always curious about stuff). I met one of them again during the taraweeh prayer yesterday and one of the girls invited me to her house for ifthar! I would NEVER say no to that wonderful offer hahaha. A free ifthar and a chance to know them better — a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?! 😉

There were 2 other Dutch converts invited (so there were three converts in total). Most of them just converted to Islam for only 1-3 years and what’s amazing was that they all wore a hijab! I actually thought that they’ve at least been a Muslim for 5 years, because wearing a hijab (especially in the time of Islamophobia) was a big thing! But it turned out that they were “early” converts. What’s also interesting was that, although two of them were married, they came to Islam because they wanted to, not because of love or any other reasons.

I asked them how their family reacted upon knowing that their daughter was a Muslim. Only one of them had told the family and she said it was very hard for them. She hadn’t tell them about the hijab yet — she would do it one step at a time. Please note that Dutch parents are the most “easy going” parents in the world. As long as their children are happy, they’d accept their children’s decision. I have a number of friends whose husband converted to Islam due to marriage and their parents didn’t object both the marriage and conversion. So I was a bit surprised to know that the family of these girls would not accept their conversion to Islam. They told me that their parents were a practicing “hardcore” Christian and perhaps that’s one of the reasons why their parents found it unacceptable. Anyhow…

The host, Jacky, turned out to be a really EXCELLENT chef! She cooked a lot of foods. Not just foods, but DELICIOUS foods. The soup, biryani rice, raita (yum!!!!!), samousa, and some fruit deserts. My stomach were about to explode eating sooooooo much foods!


I had a lot of fun. It was no doubt the best ifthar I ever had in the Netherlands — ever since I arrived here 3 years ago. I start to wonder why all the good things always come during my last year of living here?! But anyhow, we’re planning to meet up again during Eid insya Allah! 🙂

Meeting a Muslim convert makes me feel so grateful and blessed that I’m a born Muslim. Often time we take this for granted, don’t you think? It’s definitely something that we should be grateful about. Having lived in a non-Muslim majority country for more than 7 years, the time has come for me to live in a Muslim-majority country again. Without a doubt, I’ve enjoyed living here or anywhere in the world. In terms of religion-wise, I’ve learnt and known Islam much better than if I’d in a Muslim country. But with Islamophobia sweeping across Europe, it’s time for me to go back to the country where I can practice my religion freely and where I can wear hijab without being the center of attention. It hurts to constantly hear Islam — my faith and my way of life — to be insulted and ridiculed again and again. Do insult my race or my nationality, but not my religion.

Thank you, ya Allah for always giving me reminders, giving me the best experience of my life, and answering my prayers. I cannot be any happier.

Happiness is…

For the first time of my life, after 3 years, I’m able to perform taraweeh prayer at the mosque. I can’t tell you how delighted I am. I’ve been going there for few days now. I never knew that the taraweeh prayer was performed quite early (around 10.45pm) at the mosque until a friend told me. That’s why I decided to join the prayers there.

I always thought that moving to this house was a mistake due to its well-known "dangerous" area. But now I think it’s a good decision! My house is located very near to the mosque and this is also the reason why I’m brave enough to go there at night. Alhamdulillah.

My homesickness decreases dramatically because of this 🙂 Thank you Allah.

The Years of Being Covered

Just like any Muslims around the world, Ramadan is an important month for me. Not only does the month of Ramadan mark the time in which the Qur’an was first revealed, but it was also the month when I decided, for the first time ever, to don a headscarf or a hijab. It was a stepping stone that changed my life forever. It was an oath I made to Allah SWT and for the next 11 years, it has given me an amazing journey that I never regretted.

I gave a detailed account on my other blog on how and why I finally decided to wear a hijab. To put it simply, a hijab for me is an act of obedient to Allah SWT. That is the only primary reason why I wear it until this very day. All other reasons, e.g. protection and identity, are secondary.

But I cannot deny the fact that the hijab is my identity. It defines me about who I am. A Muslim. There is no god but Allah SWT and Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of God. This is the very identity that has led to questions, judgments, abandons, sympathies, curiosities, or even stares. But this is also the identity that has changed perceptions and broken stereotypes. This is the identity that forced me to defend what I believe in, more than my nationality. More than anything else.

Hijab is also about modesty. Or Haya in Arabic. It is about being modest outwardly and inwardly. It is not only about the covering of the hair or your whole body. It is about how you act and present yourself. This is by far the hardest thing to achieve. I do not think I am modest inside out. There are many aspects I have to sort out. There are many things I have to fix. I do not even think that I can represent any respected hijabi sisters out there. I am far below that.

Indeed, I am not a perfect Muslim. I am not and never claimed to be religious. I do not and will never preach you why you do not pray. Or why you do not fast. Because there are still flaws inside me that I need to fix. Before I can correct somebody else, I have to make sure that I am free of those flaws. I have to be judgmental and critical about myself. That is what hijab has taught me all this time.

Hijab is my choice. It is my freedom. No one and nothing in this world can ever change that. Not even Islamophobia. Taking away my freedom to wear a hijab is a clear and definite sign of oppression. Period.

First Ifthar


This was my first ifthar for this year at the Turkish mosque! The photo was taken yesterday. Alhamdulillah, I was very full and I had a great time with friends. There was absolutely nothing to complain about 🙂

* Photo courtesy of my friend Manda, edited by me using Picnik — a very cool online photo editing tool. It’s free!

First Day of Fasting


O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous

— Al-Qur’an 2:183

Fasting during summer in this part of the world is such a big challenge. Fajr is at 3.22 AM and Maghrib is at 9.30 PM. There is only a six hour difference between ifthar (breaking the fast) and sahur. My stomach cannot eat heavy meals twice in those hours. It’s such a short time span. So what I would usually do is to eat something light for ifthar, eat a heavy meal in the middle of the night (around 12 AM), and then eat a bread or two for sahur.

Another challenge for this year’s Ramadhan is to eat at 12 AM, because that means, I have to heat up the food in the kitchen which can disturb my housemates who are probably already sleeping. This wasn’t a problem last year because I knew my housemate always slept late. But my housemate this time isn’t that easy going when it comes to sleeping (not complaining, just saying… coz some people need quite a bit of time to fall a sleep). So maybe I’d eat a heavy meal for ifthar straight away… I don’t know… this doesn’t sound so good though. But we’ll see!

Although I still want to recite the Qur’an from start to finish during the Ramadhan, my focus for this year’s Ramadhan is more about learning the Qur’an in depth (i.e. the tafseer). This is yet another big challenge for me because I don’t know when I’ll have time for that!!! LOL. But insya Allah, when there’s a will, there’s a way. I wish I can write the things I learn here too so that you can benefit from it as well. But I really can’t promise! Perhaps I’d do that once I become a desperate job-seeker, then I’d have time *chuckles*.

In the mean time, I posted the tafseer of Surah Al-Ikhlas. It was typed months ago, so all I need to do is to change bits and pieces and make it easier for others to understand. There will be 5 parts in total, which will be published twice a week in this blog. This is perhaps one of my favorite talks by Brother Nouman Ali Khan. Not only did he talk about the meaning behind this Surah, but he also explained it in a grammatical sense. It makes me realize that the greatness of the Qur’an does not only lie in the miracles and the messages or stories behind it, but also the words that were chosen, the order of the words in a sentence, and the connection between one surah with the one before or after it.  Subhanallah. It feels absolutely amazing to know and understand the meaning of this surah word by word. It makes me feel so blessed to be born a Muslim. No other words can be described. I just hope the tafseer would be beneficial to you!

May Allah SWT forgive us for all of our sins, make it easy for us to perform this year’s Ramadhan and keep on encouraging and reminding us to do good deeds for Him only. Amin ya rabbal alamin.

Broken Pieces

This is what happened when I didn’t tidy up my room for more than a week. This is what happened when my desk is full of things and stuff. Papers, books, notes. All of them are in one messy desk. I think I need to spring clean my room before Ramadhan.

Speaking about Ramadhan… it’s going to be one lonely month for me. As always, I’m going to miss my mama’s foods!!!! *crying out loud* Hopefully this would be the last time I spend my Ramadhan in a non-Muslim country. I miss the Ramadhan atmosphere in Jeddah. Everyone’s mood is usually very happy and cheerful during this holy month. Everyone smiling. People giving foods on the streets for free. Colorful lights decorating the streets and shops. Taraweeh and tahajjud prayers echoing the neighborhood. The shops staying open until 4am. It just feels so different than here. Yes, I’m homesick. Terribly homesick.



I have spent the last 6 years straight of Eid ul-Fitr without my family. And I don’t want to spend yet another Eid “alone” anymore! So today, insya Allah I’ll be flying to Saudi Arabia to join my mom, dad, sis, and bro for the Eid celebration!

I’ll arrive in Jeddah early Friday morning and I really hope I could perform Eid prayer over there! Or, worst case scenario I’ll be praying at the airport hahaha. Then hopefully I’ll meet some of my friends and former teachers at the residence of the consul-general of Indonesia. My family and I will also be visiting friends’ houses, so it’s going to be exciting! I can’t wait to eat the foods hahaha.

In the Netherlands, some people will celebrate the Eid on Friday. And some, including the Turkish people celebrate it today :).

So I want to wish you all, Eid Mubarak. I hope we have improved our faith and may Allah SWT accept our fasts and prayers, Ameen. Kullu 3am wa antum be7air! 🙂 Have a great celebration!