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Seorang pemuda Somali sedang berdiri di koridor masjid kami, seolah sedang termenung. Beliau dulu murid saya di Sunday School dan sekarang sudah tamat SMA, baru masuk kuliah dan juga baru mulai bekerja. Bersama ayahnya,  beliau sedang menulis buku tentang perjalanan keluarganya dari Somalia sampai ke Boise.

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# 6:43 am

Finding Islamic Toilet (3): A Muslim Urinal

So far, this is the most serious attempt in the search of a Muslim urinal. Check here and here for my earlier rants on this topic. I think there are many people trying to come up with a good design for a Muslim urinal, but here is a design that has already been implemented.

From Masjid Salman at the campus of Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia (foto credit: Salim Rusli).

Muslim Urinal at Masjid Salman ITB

Muslim Urinal at Masjid Salman ITB

As you can see, the urinal is the so-called Muslim urinal by Toto, i.e. a urinal with a water drip that goes in the urinal. The only difference is the shield that protects the user from splashes of urine.

At this point, I do not know if there is a basis for the design decisions. For example: what is the height of the shield. Should it be a little bit higher so that the sides cover the urinal all the way up?  Is there a research on the “splash rate” from the original Toto urinal, and whether this design eliminates the splash?

In any case, I want this for my masjid. What do you think?

 

# 4:06 pm

Dari Mana Kita Mulai

Ketika Jan Sundell, seorang pakar kesehatan berlatar belakang insinyur, bertanya dalam presentasinya, “Mengapa kita perlu ventilasi?”, pikiran saya langsung meloncat ke tanah air di mana hampir seluruh bangunan rumah tinggal berventilasi alami. “Seluruh teori ventilasi akan kehilangan relevansinya, karena teori ventilasi di Eropa dibangun sebagai respon dari ditutupnya suplai udara segar dari luar dalam rangka penghematan energi. Mana ada hambatan suplai udara segar di rumah-rumah di Indonesia, wong salah-salah bisa masuk angin,” demikian kurang lebih hasil lamunan saya.
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# 11:40 am

Building a home

Trailing the footsteps of Ibrahim (as) and Muhammad (saw)
Synopsis for speech at IMEA, Enschede, Netherlands

As muslims, we believe in the importance of intention (niyat). Intention makes everything counts, either as a good deed or an evil act. Innocent action like eating can have a wide spectrum of value. It can bring a reward or a curse for us in the hereafter.

Marriage should never be seen as an exception. It can bring a great reward for us here in the world and the hereafter. But it can also be degraded to nothing more than an animal instinct, just like taking a pee.
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# 11:23 am

Menuju kelas dunia dengan sistem PNS: laporan hari ketiga

Tes hari ketiga sebenarnya kurang seru untuk diceritakan, walaupun sebenarnya sangat unik, yaitu tes psikologi. Di mana uniknya? Ya karena setahu saya hanya di Indonesia lah para calon dosen ini harus mengikuti pemeriksaan psikologi. Saya tanya kiri kanan, belum pernah saya menemukan negara yang menggunakan tes psikologi dalam rekrutmen profesor.

Tapi apanya yang mau diceritakan? Saya disuruh menambah bilangan sampai mau muntah, terus diminta menggambar orang (laki-laki dan perempuan — nuwun sewu, yang saya gambar adalah peserta tes di sebelah kanan-depan saya dan juga psikolognya yang sedang mengoreksi hasil tes) serta pohon kayu (yang saya gambar pohon kribo tapi saya tulis sebagai pohon beringin). Tidak ada gunanya untuk diceritakan.

Yang ingin saya ceritakan justru pembicaraan saya dengan seorang kawan tentang tugas-tugas CPNS, serta pertanyaan Pak KK tentang bagaimana kinerja CPNS dalam mengerjakan tugas-tugas tsb dapat diukur.
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# 4:08 pm

Quran and newspaper

I was out in the tennis court the other day, watching my oldest son tennis game. During the break, I met with my (former) student at the Sunday School. He is originally from Iraq, and lets say his name is Ahmad.

Me: Ahmad, have you registered for our Sunday school?
Ahmad: [looked at me, puzzled]
Me: [I looked back, even more puzzled] Don’t tell me you forget to register?
Ahmad: No, no, no. I mean, I have already known Arabic …
Me: [waiting him to complete the sentence, but he did not continue]
Me: I am speechless.

I was speechless, and I told him that, although I did not tell him the reason. The reason is simple: we do NOT teach Arabic in our Sunday School.

We do teach a lesson on how to read the Quran. The fact that Ahmad thinks that being able to speak Arabic means that he can read the Quran, that what made me speechless.

Of course, Quran is in Arabic and Ahmad — very likely — is very fluent in Arabic, his native language. He will be able to read newspaper in Arabic very well. The one very important fact that he missed is: we do not read the Quran the way we read the newspaper.

In Indonesian language, we use the (French?) word “courant” when we refer to a newspaper. And my Quran teacher always say, you do not read the Quran the way you will read courant.

But why I found it very difficult to convey this message to an Arab?

# 6:00 pm

Asides

You either write something that you will be remembered for or do something that people will write about. Other than that, you are just passing TIME.

– Deen Aljunied

If Moses had gotten the Ten Commandments on a floppy disk, it would never have made it to today. (Dag Spicer, curator of the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, The NYTimes Circuit, 26-Mar-2009)

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists

“The wrath of God is the only way I can describe it. I’m used to seeing roofs off houses, houses blown over. These houses were down to their foundations, stripped clean.” said Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, after surveying tornado damage there.

James Madison said, “If there be a principle that ought not to be questioned within the United States, it is that every man has a right to abolish an old government and establish a new one.” In Indonesia, …, well no comment.