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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Rant : Ramadan Kareem. Allahu Akram!

Right now I'm waiting for another 2 hours to break my fasting. Ramadan have start here in Germany and Alhamdulillah, it wasn't as long as when I was here on 2012. This year, we will be fasting for 18 hours. This marks the third time for me fasting in Germany. First of Ramadan in usually the time I suddenly remember the memories of fasting in my home country Malaysia. Although Ramadan in Malaysia is definitely festive but I enjoys my Ramadan here.

In Malaysia, you know Ramadan in here when every shop promotes a Eid crazy sale. We could here the sound of Taraweeh Prayer in very Mosque. A normal and empty road are now turn into overwhelming food bazaar. But here in Germany, none of that happens. It's boring. Unless someone take an opportunity to break his/her fast in Mosque, then it's festive. Nothing changes when you step outside the house. Except the fact that you are fasting and there are not. That's why I said it's boring. But to me the boredom itself is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. Why, because it is up to is to enliven the month of Ramadan. It is up to us too to make this month different and special than any other month. I'm not talking about starting my own food bazaar. No. What I mean it is up to us to fill this blessed and holy month with multiple ibadah.

I once thought myself unlucky to fast away from family, away from Malaysia. Now I realized that I'm in a very lucky situation. Without all those bazaar and sale, I can concentrate myself solely on my Ibadah. I won't be distract with every delicious food. Now I realized that cultural thingy during Ramadan distracts me from the true purpose of Ramadan. I bet when I mention Ramadan randomly, the thing that come across our mind is Bazaar Ramadan (food bazaar) or What to wear on Eid. I admit it, I'm guilty of doing that too. Perhaps that's why Allah put me here, to rethink and reset my mind about Ramadan.

No. I never said all of those cultural celebrations are bad. It just how we were created by Allah - each with our different culture and races. But our job is to not put culture first other than our faith in Islam. I never said going to Bazaar Ramadan is bad. It is okay if we don't spend our time so much there and then ended up spending too much money on a food that we couldn't eat. If we do that, we are guilty of wasting time and money. We could use those extra time for extra Ibadah and those extra money for donation.

I plan on improving myself on Ramadan. I'm not going to let this Ramadan wasted like the past Ramadan I've gone through. It is indeed a huge waste and lost when one gone through Ramadan without any better changes. With the Greatness of Allah, he chain every Devil to hell, he open every door of Heaven. So now we are free to improve ourselves for the better without any disturbance from the devil.

I've read in Facebook "Ramadan is month full of Multiplication". That is so true. The rewards for every ibadah is multiplied. But remember, when we do nothing good, then that is a zero for us. And when zero is multiplied by any number, it will be zero.

Wallahhu a’lam

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Solemnization of Afiq and Maria

I guess a lucky 5% of Malaysian got married to a German. And my senior Afiq are now included in the statistic too! Last Saturday was the Nikah's Ceremony of Afiq and my dear friend Maria Ziyan, a German revert to Islam. What made it really special was the ceremony was held here in Germany. Despite every problem, we managed to pull a real Malay/German Style of  Islamic Wedding! The wedding was accompanied with traditional malay wedding song, a typical wedding dishes in Malaysia such as Nasi Minyak, Dalca Sayur, Ayam Masak Merah etc and a Mini Pelamin!

I have taken the role of a photographer! This was my first real job on photography and I really refuse to take any payment knowing that I'm not a professional photographer. Somehow Afiq and Maria insisted on paying my service. At the end, they both agreed to pay me after they see the results and they must pay me according to what they think worth the money they spent with the quality of the photo. But I must say that I'm really satisfied with my work on Outdoor photo shoots. Then, I must improved more on capturing moment during the ceremony. I need to explore more on various angle, work faster and more efficient, and also learn to adapt with various situation and light sources.

We went to Maria's hotel room for Berinai which is Henna Painting. One of my senior did the plant and leaves motives painting on her hands beautifully!

I arrived early that Saturday to capture the image of the event house, helping them with a few preparation and also photographing Maria during her preparation. I was really happy to see that we managed to make a small Nikah's Dais (Mini Pelamin)
The Venue : Tagung and Eventhouse Erlangen

The Ceremony begins with the called for Prayer which Adhan for Zuhr. Then the men prayed together with the Imam. I really like this idea since people tend to ignore prayer because they are busy during a wedding ceremony. As Mufti Menk once mention "Wedding is a religious celebration. One should do it without ignoring important religious rule such as prayer, aurah etc" To view it from another angle, this was also an act of Da'wah, to show the non-muslim guests the beauty of Islam.

Zuhr Prayer

After Zuhr Prayer, the Nikah's ceremony beginned. It was really different from what I have seen in Malaysia. Here the Nikah was done by asking the consent of both bride and groom over marriage, where they just have to answer yes or no without any long answer usually used in Malaysia. No shake between the Imam and Groom was involved too. It was easier than getting married in Malaysia!

Filling in the Heiratsurkunde (Marriage Form)

After exchange of ring

Mahar : €10 in Cash & Ring with white diamond and blue sapphire

In the middle of the reception, we sneaked out for awhile to do the outdoor photo shoots. We did it at a small field near the Eventhouse with a river nearby. I bet the photo will be more wonderful if we did it at small river in Eichstätt.

I'm ending this Photo blog post with a silly photos of us, the so-called bridesmaids donning various style of matching pink scarf with Maria.

Look at the Bride!

What's that?

Acting Cute Pose

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Movie Review : 99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa

Spoiler Alert!!!

Title : 99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa (99 Lights at the Sky of Europe)
Authors : Hanum Salsabiela Rais & Rangga Almahendra
Country : Indonesia


The Encounter
One of my senior in Germany told me about this film back during the middle of 2013. Honestly, I only want to watch the movie because the trailer looks interesting. I've search a few times for online upload of the movie but the result was disappointing. Alhamdulillah, when I suddenly decided to search for it last month, I immediately found it!

The Synopsis
This film, which an adaptation from a novel with the same title tells a story from 2 different perspective about Muslim and Islam living in Europe. One side of story tells about a man named Rangga which trying to adapt his believe and practice of Islam into a society which pretty much couldn't care less about religion. The other perspective tells a story of Hanum (wife of Rangga) learning new things about Islam in Europe.

My Review
The movie was far from I expected. I cried, I'm touched seeing how accurate the situation I'm having with here in Germany. Since the movie pretty much take place in Vienna, Austria I could understand German language. At first, I thought the movie is just like other cliche islamic movie I've watched. I was totally wrong. It is better! I like how the story is arranged which somehow contribute a little to the awesomeness of the movie.

The message of the movie went straight into my heart. I somehow ashamed of how my behavior for the past few years dealing with non-muslim. It was wrong of me to expect them to understand my situation but instead I, the ambassador of Islam should explain it and make them understand. If I were to summarize the whole movie in one sentence, I would say : The movie tells us how to be the best ambassador of Islam.

One of the reason I like the movie so so much is how they enhanced each of the character. 4 characters gave me an impression of "I know the same kind of people!" feeling. The characters are :

1. Rangga, an indonesian muslim trying to balance his study and life while at the same time adapting Islam to it
2. Khan, a muslim (closed friend of Rangga) who thinks He should throw aspect of life and just focus on Islam when the two of it conflict with each other
3. Stefan, a friend of Rangga who always make fun and questioning Islam
4. Fatma Pasha, a turkish muslimah who experience a few hardship as a Hijabi

From each of this character, I learnt a lot about Islam especially on how to deal with non-muslim and how to balance islam and our life since Allah forbide us to ignore any one of it and just focus on one aspect. Which means, Allah ask His believer to excel in both life and aspects of Islam while making Hereafter and His Blessing as our ultimate goal. Other important thing that I learnt is smile and kindness is the best way dealling with the hatred toward Islam and Islamophobia.

I also learn a lot about the history of Islam in Europe. I know that Islam contribute a lot to Europe especially during the Dark Ages of Europe. But I never knew the trace of Islam is still left in present time. Some of unexpected place even pop out during the movie relating the place with Islam which left me only to say "Oh, I see!" with full of amusement and awe. Although I already visited all the places mention in the movie, I somehow want visit it again but this time I bring with me my new knowledge and feeling.

My Conclusion
This is a must watch movie especially for any muslim living in non-muslim country. The movie help renew myself and I'm quite sure it will help you too.

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

P/s : The movie has a sequel coming out on March 2014! It's 99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa 2.

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