Ojek & Tawakkul

Ojek. The Indonesian term for "motorcycle taxis". Now upgraded to "ojek online". Download an app, press a button, and your two-wheeled taxi is here to take you anywhere you wish!
One of the more subtle benefits is being able to relax on the road. Driving a motorcycle is physically and mentally straining, having to constantly scan the road and manuever through traffic. On an ojek, I only have to not fall off. I even close my eyes frequently, limiting my awareness and trusting the driver to do his job. In any case, he's in complete control of the vehicle I'm on, so no use scanning the road as if I were driving. Thus, I do not get tired on the road, which helps me to be healthy and productive.
Now, why do we not trust our lives to Allah?
Most stressed people are worried about what they can't control. They think of the negative possibilities that could result, even when they can't do anything. But is it not better to have faith that our Most Generous L…

Effort & Gratitude

A worrying mindset nowadays is how people are satisfied with the bare minimum in their religion. Just praying 5 times a day and such. I've already covered in my previous article why we should never feel safe with our current deeds, so here I will talk about two more positive aspects: effort and gratitude. 
Firstly, no one's scale of deeds is enough to enter Jannah without Allah's Mercy. Rather, it is effort that really counts. Allah says many times that the shortcomings of the believers will be forgiven and their efforts appreciated. 
On the one hand, this shows that a believer who tries his best will be granted Allah's Mercy, even if his or her actual deeds may not seem much. On the other hand, this is a warning to not slack off. One with many opportunities to do good may be questioned and perhaps punished if he doesn't take them. 
Only Allah can properly judge efforts between people. However, we know what our capacity is. So strive to please Allah with the best …

Is your level enough?

"He prays 5 times a day in the mosque."
"She wears a very modest Islamic dress and headscarf".
"He never backbites or lies."
Never be satisfied with the deeds you do or the sins you don't! 
It could also be your deeds are diminished or not even accepted due to a critical mistake, showing off, or arrogance.
It may be that you aren't avoiding the sin completely. Like laughing at a derogatory joke, or being silent when you should've revealed the truth. And are you completely sin-free?
If you pat yourself on the back thinking you're religious, you risk incurring Allah's Wrath!
Do you really believe your deeds are enough? Do you think yourself alim just because you seem better than those around you? Know that our deeds will be judged by Allah, not by those people!
Fear you will be asked why you never sought knowledge. Fear you will be asked why you didn't apply your knowledge. Fear you will be asked why you weren't consistent in …

Entertainment That Doesn't Entertain

Humans need timeouts. That's what entertainment is for: to reenergize and become happier through an enjoyable activity. For a good mood makes you more  active and helpful. So if some entertainment makes you lazy, it's not a good mood booster. What is this kind of entertainment except a complete waste of time?
This problem arises when the entertainment becomes addictive, such that we become depressed outside of it. This is more prevalent nowadays with the plethora of choices to "kill time".
Addictive entertainment isn't limited to a single type: it could be a tv series, console game, or social media. Even sports and reading can, in excess, cause one to neglect and/or hate their duties.
Just a side note: hobbies are a special form of entertainment which develop oneself. A good example is reading, particularly of deep topics or with complex vocabulary. Sports are also healthy hobbies. Thus, try to take up hobbies as entertainment rather than consuming mindless tv s…

Delaying my Master's & Fear of Falling

There are a number of reasons why I chose to delay my Master's degree. Amongst them are applying for better universities and degrees, searching out my passion/talents at work, and building my experience and analytic skills.
But a huge reason is my fear of being substandard in my religion and personality. I fear the return of my previous bad habits, like hours wasted daily on entertainment and not having much taqwa. I also feel I lacked in good habits too: almost never did tahajjud, had a minimal connection to quran, and didn't follow daily/weekly routines regularly. It's not unlikely that Allah will be quite displeased with my throwing away my potential if I continue like that.
Now in Indonesia, having just left ramadhan and with my parents around, I remember Allah a lot more. I constantly lower my eyes, waste little time on entertainment, and regularly (somewhat) read and memorize the Quran. My daily routine has become much more regular, and I've returned to frequent…

Patience in Ibadah

The Quran frequently commands us to be patient. Al-Kahf (18:28) and al-Maarij (70:5) are just two examples. But the question may arise: isn't patience just being able to wait? Like when you're waiting for a bus or someone to arrive?
Indeed, part of patience in Islam is waiting for Allah to reward you. But patience is not passivity. The prophet Yusuf ran away from his master's seducing wife. Hajar ran between Safa and Marwah looking for water. Both were patient, but they did what they needed. This is especially true for patience in ibadah.
I recently heard a scholar talk about three types of patience, summarized as: maksiat, musibah, and ibadah. The first is about avoiding sin. The second is guarding your iman during difficult times. But the third- related to ibadah/worship- is the most important. For ibadah is done multiple times everyday, so patience in it is the most frequently tested.
Patience in ibadah can be further divided into "do it" and "while doi…

Gaming & Patience

For the past year and a half, I've been playing World of Tanks Blitz. Battle 7 vs 7 online in a wide range of tanks, with a variety of skill levels too. There's a lot I've learnt from playing this.
First and foremost is patience. It is absolutely essential in this game. In fact, there are three types of patience here: waiting instead of rushing, accepting what is past and focusing on what's next, and dealing with pressure from insolent people. 
Often players often want to push forward as fast as possible or try to take risky shots which end up killing them instead. However, the best players play very conservatively, only plunging in after a ton of waiting and/or moving and maximizing their chances of winning. While I'm no master, I also learnt to wait for the right opportunity and do the boring yet necessary preparations.
The second type of patience comes into play when the stupidity of my team or perhaps even luck costs the game. I had to learn how to accept the…