Tukang Cuci

Seorang akademisi muda yang cerdas mengisi aplikasi untuk posisi manajerial di sebuah perusahaan besar. Dia lulus pada interview tahap pertama, dan tahap selanjutnya adalah interview dengan jajaran direksi. Sang direktur menemukan prestasi-prestasi cemerlang dalam CV anak muda tersebut. Sejak sekolah dasar hingga perguruan tinggi, anak muda tersebut selalu mendapat peringkat pertama. Baca lebih lanjut

The Islamic Notion of Mercy

William C. Chittick

Acquaintances of mine who have participated in recent dialogues between Christian and Muslim theologians, such as those organized by A Common Word, report that one of the biggest misunderstandings shown by Christian theologians is the notion that Islam has little or nothing to say about love.
One of the several reasons for this mistaken view is that the early Orientalists — those who first studied Islamic thought in the modern West — imagined that a school of thought known as “Kalam” played the same role in Islam as “theology” does in Christianity. In fact, Kalam has been one of several approaches to knowledge of God, and certainly not the most influential.
Kalam was closely allied with Islamic jurisprudence and typically depicted God as the supreme law-giver. When it mentioned love, it claimed that God loves human beings by issuing commandments, and human beings love God by obeying him. Those who obey go to heaven, and those who disobey go to hell. God deals with human beings strictly in terms of carrots and sticks — forget about love in any normal meaning of the word.
Despite the fact that more recent scholarship has done a much better job of describing the diverse theological approaches of Islamic thought, this has had relatively little effect on the prejudices that Christian theologians picked up years ago in seminary. Pope John Paul II, with all his remarkable accomplishments, provides a good example. In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, he wrote, “The God of the Koran … is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us.” (his emphasis) Baca lebih lanjut

On Loving Money

by Joshua Becker

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” – Benjamin Franklin

The possession of money is not contrary to a simplified life, but the love of money is. The love of money can never be satisfied. It is a hopeless love that always desire more. It is a wasted energy. And more than that, it keeps us, our attitude, and our actions in bondage.

When the love of money is present, freedom is not.

* The love of money consumes our time. Whether we are thinking about how to find it, make it, grow it, or save it, the desire to acquire more robs us of our most important and finite resource: time.
* The love of money wastes our energy. It requires constant, continual attention. After all, no opportunity to acquire more can ever be wasted.
* The love of money devours our values. When the love of money is present in our lives, we become different people. The passion for money is a trap that quickly swallows our heart convictions and causes us to engage in behaviors that we would otherwise avoid.
* The love of money fuels competition. By definition, the love of money requires me to desire what you already possess. For me to gain more, you must part with yours. The world quickly becomes a zero-sum game dominated by jealousy and envy.
* The love of money limits our potential. We can never become greater than that which we most desire. When the acquisition of money becomes our greatest goal in life, we can never become greater than the balance in our bank account. And that’s a shame… we have so many greater things to offer this world.
* The love of money attracts the love of money. Our lives will naturally attract like-minded people. When we love money, we attract others who love money. And the more reinforcement we receive from those around us, the more natural the emotion becomes.
* The love of money destroys other loves. The love of money causes many to sacrifice their true passions and desires just to acquire more of it. It has truly killed many a passionate dream. To determine if the love of money has killed your dreams, answer this question, “If the need for money were not a factor, what would I be doing today?”

How then do we move beyond the desire to acquire more? While entire books have been written on this subject, let me throw out a few thoughts just to get you started toward freedom from the desire to acquire:

1. See money only as a tool to move through life. At its core, money is a bartering tool. It saves us from making our own clothes, tools, and furniture. Because of currency, I can spend my days doing what I love and am good at. In exchange, I receive money to trade with someone else who uses their giftedness to create something different than me. That‘s it. That‘s its purpose. And if you have enough to meet your needs, you shouldn‘t commit the rest of your day to acquiring more.

2. Be content with poverty or great wealth. I know poor people who live in complete contentment and I know rich people who are further from contentment today than when they were lacking. Your possessions do not lead to contentment. Your heart attitude does. And if the love for money limits freedom, contentment is the pathway to it.

3. Avoid debt. A lender is a slave to his creditor. Spending more money than you earn will always result in bondage to another. And there is no simplicity in bondage. If you cannot get out from under the weight of debt, find some help.

4. Learn to share. Sharing your possessions with others benefits the borrower and the lender. So be a lender… and be a borrower.

5. Remember that money comes and money goes. Like the tides of the ocean, money rolls in and money rolls out. Sometimes, there is money left over at the end of the day and sometimes there is not enough. That is the very nature of money. Do not fear its cycles. Welcome them.

I have no hidden dreams of this post magically solving the world’s desire for more. I just hope it helps to balance mine…
Source: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

Modern Asceticism: Live More Need Less

The more I focus on living, the less it seems I need.
What does it mean to focus on living? It’s a shift from caring about possessions and status and goals and beautiful things … to caring about actual life. Life includes: taking long walks, creating things, having conversations with friends, snuggling with my wife, playing with my kids, eating simple food, going outside and getting active.
That’s living. Not shopping, or watching TV, or eating loads of greasy and sweet food not for sustenance but pleasure, or being on the Internet, or ordering things online, or trying to get popular. Those things aren’t living – they’re consumerist pastimes that tend to get us caught up in over consumption and mindlessness.
When I focus on living, all those other fake needs become less important. Why do I need television when I can go outside and explore, or get active, or take a walk with a friend? Why do I need to shop when I already have everything I need – I can spend time with someone or create, and I need very little to do that.
These things I do now — they require almost nothing. I can live, and need little.
And needing little but getting lots of satisfaction … that’s immensely rewarding. It’s an economy of resources that I’ve never experienced before.
These days, I need nothing but my loved ones, a text editor, a way to post what I create, a good book, simple plant-based food, a few clothes for warmth, and the outdoors.
Sumber: http://mnmlist.com/

Ketika Aku Harus Memilih

(dari milis sebelah)

Aku pernah berfikir, bahwa setiap manusia pasti ingin memiliki seorang kekasih. Kekasih yang akan terus bersamanya, sehidup semati, dalam suka maupun duka tak akan terpisahkan. Sekarang, aku memilih amal sholeh sebagai kekasihku. Karena ternyata hanya amal sholeh-lah yang akan terus menemaniku, bersamaku, bahkan menemaniku dalam kuburku, kemudian amal sholehku pula lah yang menemaniku menghadap Allah.

Aku pernah berfikir, setiap manusia pastilah punya goresan masalah dengan manusia lain, sehingga wajar jika manusia memiliki musuh masing-masing. Kini aku memilih menjadikan setan sebagai musuh utamaku, sehingga aku lebih memilih melepaskan kebencian, dendam, rasa sakit hati, dan permusuhanku dengan manusia lain.

Aku pernah selalu kagum pada manusia yang cerdas, dan manusia yang berhasil dalam karir, atau kehidupan duniawinya. Sekarang aku mengganti kriteria kekagumanku ketika aku menyadari bahwa manusia hebat dimata Allah, adalah hanya manusia yang bertaqwa. Manusia yang sanggup taat kepada aturan main Allah dalam menjalankan hidup dan kehidupannya.

Dulu aku akan marah dan merasa harga diriku dijatuhkan, ketika orang lain berlaku zhalim padaku, menggunjingkan aku, menyakiti aku dengan kalimat kalimat sindiran yang disengaja untuk menyakitiku. Sekarang aku memilih untuk bersyukur dan berterima kasih, ketika meyakini bahwa akan ada transfer pahala dari mereka untukku jika aku mampu bersabar… Dan aku memilih tidak lagi harus khawatir, karena harga diri manusia hanyalah akan jatuh dimataNya, ketika dia rela menggadaikan dirinya untuk mengikuti hasutan setan…

Dulu aku yakin, dengan hanya khatam Al Qur’an berkali kali maka jiwaku akan tercerahkan. Kini aku memilih untuk mengerti dan memaknai artinya dengan menggunakan akalku, dengan mengaktifkan qolbuku dan mengamalkannya dalam keseharianku, maka pencerahan itu baru bisa aku dapatkan.

Ketika aku harus memilih…bantu aku Yaa Rabb….untuk selalu memilih yang benar dimataMu…({})

Adab Makan

Makanlah makanan orang miskin yang akan makan dan meninggalkan meja tanpa rasa kenyang. Jangan minum selama makan dan kurangilah air yang kamu minum. Jangan terima perlakuan khusus selama kamu makan. Jangan pamerkan dan sok aksi. Jangan pernah menunjukkan rasa laparmu. Ukurlah jumlah makanan yang kamu makan agar kamu hanya memuaskan kebutuhanmu seperlunya. Suapanmu sebaiknya tidak besar maupun kecil. Ingatlah Allah pada setiap suapan, dan kunyahlah dengan baik sebelum kamu telan. Setiap kali kamu menelan, beri kesempatan pada makanan itu untuk turun dalam perutmu dan pujilah Tuhanmu.

Kutipan di atas saya ambil dari buku Selamat Sampai Tujuan, sebuah risalah sufi praktis dari Ibn ‘Arabi. Sengaja saya jadikan pembuka dalam tulisan ini mengingat relevansinya yang kuat di bulan Ramadhan. Mengapa demikian? Karena di bulan Ramadhan ini, yang sedianya puasa diwajibkan agar manusia bisa mengendalikan diri, sebagian orang-orang yang berpuasa malah menunjukkan keganasannya sebagai makhluk “omnivora”.

Betapa tidak. Waktu berbuka menjadi saat-saat menegangkan bagi para pemburu kuliner. Malah, rencana untuk berbuka di tempat mana dan dengan apa sudah dirancang sejak dini hari ketika makanan sahur belum selesai disantap. Sehingga, tak jarang, dengan pola makan dan gaya hidup yang tak berubah, sebagian orang malah tetap memiliki berat badan yang stabil. Malah seseringnya bertambah.

Kalau sudah demikian, ada baiknya kita kembali merenungkan pesan Ibn ‘Arabi tentang adab makan yang saya kutipkan di muka. Seluruh paragraf yang dikutip, pada intinya, memerikan satu hal saja: pengendalian diri. Dengan pengendalian diri, Ibn ‘Arabi mengajak kita untuk mengurangi segala kenikmatan, seperti makanan. Beliau menyeru kita (atau tepatnya calon pesuluk) untuk menyantap makanan yang sederhana sebagaimana yang dikonsumsi oleh orang miskin dan menyesuaikannya dengan kebutuhan yang diperlukan kita. Ini dimaksudkan, menurut saya, dengan makanan seperti itu akan membawa kita kepada kerendahan hati. Dengan kerendahan hati, sangat dimungkinkan bagi kita untuk bisa secara mudah mengingat Allah dalam setiap suapan. Karena kita akan mengingat rezeki yang dikaruniakan oleh-Nya kepada manusia.

Selaras dengan itu, jauh-jauh hari Imam Jafar Shadiq mengingatkan dalam Lentera Ilahi bahwa makan karena dorongan kebutuhan adalah untuk orang yang suci. Menikmati makan terlalu banyak, tambahnya, akan menimbulkan dua akibat: kekerasan hati dan bangkitnya nafsu. Kekerasan hati akan mempersulit diri untuk menyesali dosa-dosa yang pernah dilakukan. Apalagi menangisinya sebagai buah dari penyesalan.

Semoga pesan spiritual mereka berdua ini lebih mudah dicerna bagi para shaimin. Amin

Ten Reasons to Watch Less Television

Joshua Becker


“TV will never be a serious competitor for radio because people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn’t time for it.” – Author Unknown, from New York Times, 1939
Life is meant to be lived, not watched.
To get you started living your life rather than watching others live theirs, consider these ten reasons to watch less television:
1. It is influencing your worldview. Anybody who has ever been a policeman, a lawyer, a psychiatrist, an ER doctor, or an FBI agent will attest to the truth that television does not accurately portray their life. In almost all aspects, television rarely depicts the world and life accurately. Too much television results in disallusionment about what to expect from the world around us. This can most commonly be seen in people’s expectations of love, romance, and sexuality. Baca lebih lanjut