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DAYS BEFORE THE BIRTH (A Trip to Say Happy Birthday)

13 October 2017 by 0 Comment Scientific Article 328 Views
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Some of us think that the date we were born is a special day to remember.  That is why most of us celebrate it happily.  Not only the happiness becomes ours but we invite others to feel the happiness, too.  We also feel happy when our beloved someone reaches the special day of his or hers. 

Most forget, however, times before the birth.  How a future creature develops is a very amazing thing to observe.  Each of us was once a baby and was an embryo in our mom’s womb.  Our daddy was only a media for an embryo to inhabit the warm womb.  The development of the embryo inside the womb is a natural fact full of sophisticated miracle.  Science is the eye-opener for us to see the miracle.

Through embryology people find an interesting fact of the origin of life.  Aristotle, Galen, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Reigner de Graaf, Kaspar Friedrich Wolff, Karl Ernst von Baer, Matthias Schleiden, Theodor Schwamm, Charles Darwin, George E. Coghill are between the names we are to say thanks to.  They were ones had had the curiosity about how embryo developed into a new little creature born.  Any effort was done to fulfill the curiosity on how the life of the living things before coming to the wide wild world.  When we see it then, may be only words of admiration to Allah we may utter.

Subhannallah!!! We passed very complicated stages before we transformed as we are today.  We cannot remember, for example, how we when were only 1.5 centimeters long.  It was the time when we were six weeks inside our mom’s womb.  It was the time our heart beating so rapidly and our full-of-neurotic-system brain developed amazingly.  A week later, our only-some-millimeters hands showed the development of bones.   The next were the some very amazing progress staging the embryo into a perfect human being shape.   The single cell develops into two hundred millions in the number and about six trillion times of the previous ovum weight.  The growth of the embryo, however, stops at the 260th days or about a week before its birth.  The 2.5 to 4 kilograms new baby born gets the weight up to twenty times when it becomes adult.  If we grow up without stopping, at our one year age, we will be 72.5 kilograms and we will be many millions times of the weight of earth when we are twenty.  Alhamdulillah, praise Allah who measures everything perfectly, “Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed.  Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion”  (Qur’an: Al Ra’d:8).  Read also Al Infitar:7, “Him Who created thee, fashioned thee in due proportion, …”

Looking back to the times we were helps us to think the wonderful creation of Allah.  The embryo itself passes difficult steps to exist.  Between millions of sperm scattered, only one cell of the sperm succeeded in passing an ovum. The sperm successfully fertilizing the ovum, thus the best strongest one between the millions.  So, our origin was one of the best to survive. 

Far before knowledge shows the fact, Qur’an has said this through Nuh:14, “Seeing that it is He that has created you in diverse stages?”  Allah, through His words in Qur’an says that we are created from fluid despised, one we call sperm as what we can read in Al Sajdah:8, “And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised.”  Allah arranges the next step by placing the sperm inside the womb and allow it to be a fully developed embryo, “Then we placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed” (Al Mu’minun:13) and read also Ali Imran:6 “He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases….”  The development of the embryo, as scientists find today, also has been clearly stated in Al-Qur’an.  Read Al Mu’minun:14: “Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot we made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the ones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature.  So blessed be Allah, the best to create!”   Finally, only Allah has power to bring the creature to life but most of us forget to thank Allah: “But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit.  And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding):  Little thanks do ye give!” (Al Sajdah:9).

This flashing back method of viewing ourselves should motivate us to survive, in order to be the best.  A consideration how we once survived to exist today, -a time call a future at that time-, should be an inspiration to survive for the better future.  Our survival started far before our coming to the world, and time we came to the world was the very first time we interact with the environment around us. 

We adapted ourselves to the new world by changing things of us.  Our first breath was five times more difficult than what we do today, since there were millions of small bubbles to release first from the lung.  The glow of the new world realized to be something new for the eyes to adapt, too.  When the navel came out, the flow of blood changed radically.  It was the first time we breathe to our lung and take oxygen from the way.  A big valve of heart must be closed to separate the used blood from the noble one.  We didn’t get provisions through the navel anymore; our mouths took their part when we got breast-feeding.

The time we were born was really a historical moment to remember.  It was the time we adapt ourselves to the environment of ours, after passing a sequence full of struggle.  Now when we come to the date of our birthday, we can get invaluable advantages we have not had before we contemplate our episodes of life.  Thanks to mom and dad through whom we were exist today.  Moreover, to Allah the greatest who bestows us life we should always praise.  Hopefully we are not ones Allah mentions as creatures give little thank.

Finally, I would like to express my happiness to the birth of the most admirable one ever created, Mohammad SAW to whom we would like to follow after.  I also want to present this writing to my beloved institution, Muhammadiyah University of Purwokerto for its 42 anniversary as well as for Kabupaten Banyumas on its 425 anniversary.  May Allah give us ability to adapt and guide us to survive to be the best.  Happy anniversary!!!

 

(it is also presented to my dear nephew: Tifa and dear nieces: Ryan and Vian.  Happy Birthday to you.  May Allah show and guide you to path the life)

 

(TITIK WAHYUNINGSIH)

Reading sources: Sembilan Bulan Pertama dalam Hidupku. 2003. Jakarta: Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka; ‘Abdullah Yusuf  ‘Ali. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an. 1989. USA: Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland.

 

* Dimuat di English Forum, Radar Banyumas

 

** the writer is a lecturer of Fakultas Sastra, UMP

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Shalat dan Dua Potensi Manusia: Sebuah Nasehat Petang

02 November 2017 by 0 Comment Artikel 456 Views
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Istianah, Lc., M.Hum.

Kota Malang. Pukul 16.05 kami memasuki halaman rumah yang juga menjadi bagian dari halaman masjid berwarna hijau. Suasana bising dari lalu lalang kendaraan di jalan yang berada tepat di depan kedua bangunan tersebut menjadi kesan pertama, tetapi ada nuansa tenang dan sejuk yang sudah sangat terasa di hati begitu saya dan 2 rekan lainnya turun dari kendaraan dan berjalan menuju gerbang rendah dari rumah yang kami tuju. Bel pintu rumah saya tekan satu kali. Tanpa menunggu lama terdengar suara pemilik rumah membukakan pintu, menghampiri kami dan langsung menyapa dengan sangat grapyak. Keramahannya menyenangkan, langsung membuat betah. Beliau adalah Prof. Imam Suprayogo.

Sore tersebut merupakan kesempatan ketiga bagi saya bertemu beliau secara langsung, tapi menjadi yang pertama kalinya berkunjung ke kediaman beliau. Selebihnya saya hanya bisa berjumpa dan mendengar kata-katanya melalui tulisan yang beliau unggah setiap hari. Untaian hikmah dan nasehat.

Obrolan dibuka dengan ringan, kami saling bertanya kabar, kesehatan, kesibukan, hingga yang cukup serius mengenai kegalauan atas akhlak, perilaku dan watak pendidik dan peserta didik saat ini.

Menurut beliau, karakter, perilaku, watak, adalah hal yang harus menjadi garapan utama kita terhadap generasi harapan, setelah itu baru bisa terjadi revolusi mental. “Kita memang harus memperbaiki akhlak bangsa. Tapi apakah bisa? Sampai saat ini saya belum putus asa, akan tetapi sepertinya dari dulu pembinaan akhlak tidak bisa dididik ditempuh melalui lembaga pendidikan.” Ujar beliau sembari terus mengajak kami bertiga untuk memperhatikan hal yang telah terjadi dalam dunia pendidikan di Indonesia. Salah satunya dengan melihat aspek kejujuran pada peserta didik, karena sikap jujur merupakan indikator dari akhlak yang baik. Kita bandingkan tingkat kejujuran anak bangsa dengan melihat dan membandingkan anak didik mulai dari PAUD, TK, SMP, SMA sampai dengan perguruan tinggi, yang memiliki akhlak paling jujur adalah anak PAUD. Sedangkan sebaliknya, yang paling nakal di antara mereka yaitu yang menempuh pendidikan di perguruan tinggi, ujian pun dijaga agar tidak nyontek. Belum lagi copy paste yang kerap dilakukan oleh mahasiswa.

Pertanyaan kemudian yaitu apakah kejujuran tersebut bisa didapat melalui kursus? Melalui membaca buku? Apakah bisa? Jawabannya tentu saja tidak! Karena akhlak hanya ada di dalam hati. Sedangkan hati merupakan ruh. Apakah ruh itu? Dalam Al-Qur’an disebutkan ruh adalah min amri Rabbi, ia merupakan wilayah Allah, bukan wilayah manusia. Akan tetapi untuk memasuki wilayah tersebut, Allah telah memberikan saluran dan jalurnya, yaitu melalui shalat. Allah mensyariatkan shalat sebagai tempat menempa akhlak.

Beliau kemudian membuka lembaran Al-Qur’an. Beberapa ayat dan terjemahnya dibacakan kepada kami. Kemudian Prof. Imam menyampaikan, pintu neraka amatlah banyak, “untuk memasukinya tidak perlu menjadi Yahudi, tak perlu juga menunggu Israel memasuki negara Indonesia. Hanya dengan menjadi seorang muslim pun kita sebenarnya sudah bisa memasukinya.” Kita sudah memiliki akses pintu-pintu tersebut.

Benar. Subhanallah. Dan dalam keadaan masih terkejut mendengarnya, saya mengamini ucapan beliau. Kejujuran dan ketidakjujuran. Pintu surga dan pintu neraka. Masing-masing dari kita sejak awal memang telah diciptakan berbekal dua potensi untuk mengakses baik pintu surga maupun pintu neraka. “Wa nafsiw wamaa sawwaahaa, fa alhamahaa fujurahaa wa taqwaahaa, demi jiwa serta penyempurnaan (ciptaan)nya, maka Dia mengilhamkan kepadanya (jalan) kejahatan dan ketakwaannya.” Demikian yang tercatat dalam firman-Nya, QS. Al-Syams: 91/8. Maka, manakah yang akan ditingkatkan dan manakah yang akan dipendam dan dihilangkan. Kita sendiri yang harus berusaha seraya memohon kepada hidayah-Nya, memohonnya melalui shalat. Wallahu a’lam.

Tepat ketika adzan maghrib berkumandang, kami bertiga pamit undur diri kemudian berlanjut menunaikan shalat Maghrib di masjid beliau. Seusai dari semua keperluan tersebut, sembari dalam perjalanan kembali ke penginapan, hati tersentak mensyukuri pertemuan sore ini. Berharap akan pertemuan pada kesempatan berikutnya.

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Today's Poem

The Pavement 

Straight—stony—stormy—
Windy—wavy—weary—
Heavy—foamy
Flowery—nasty
Blissful—tearful
Delightful—hateful

Though, I must reach the final lap.

"Alf"





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