Tag: Muslim

An Open Mind in Japan

Japan that I know today is different with Japan that I grew up in 12 years ago. The reason why I’m saying this is because Japan, along with the rest of the world, has come to learn that the world is bigger than it looks and is starting to become more open to all cultures, religion, and race.

Japanese has always been generally respectful, but something that happened recently was my first encounter with a Japanese that was right down excited to wear a hijab.

You see, we were in the farewell party of Hosei University’s short scholarship program. We were all chatting and mingling until the end of the event came, where we were all trading gifts and souvenirs to our Japanese friends, professors, and staff. There were three Cambodians who participated in the program who gave the Japanese a traditional scarf called Krama. 

And then this one lovely girl called Yuuko-san came up to me.

She was really enthusiastic as she spread the cloth wide and asked if I could teach her to wear the hijab. I remember feeling warm all over as I said yes just as excitedly. I asked if she could get on her knees as I wrap the Krama around her head, and I remember having a moment to myself where I was really awestruck with her genuine curiosity and excitement once I was done.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling

It was a lovely experience, one I won’t ever let myself forget. Yuuko-san did expressed her concern of offending Muslim by wearing hijab despite being a non-Muslim, and I think, in my limited knowledge, I’d like to assure all non-Muslim girls that it is completely fine, appreciated, even, if you want to wear hijab in the name of solidarity for all girls who do wear them,

Thank you for these lovely Japanese girls, Yuuko-san and Hitomi-san.

Here’s to them

A Love Message to All Muslim Ladies

Hopeless Fling: Islamic Book Fair’s Edition


So here’s a short story of the night that I need to just write before I forget.

As most of you know, I’m an eleventh grader high school student who is completely head over heals at the idea of teen marriage. While the notion might raise suspicious questions to the unknowing or ignorant, I can never find myself to see what’s wrong with it, but you know that.

So this is how it began.

Today, my mother and I went to Islamic Book Fair 2016 to see Humud on stage. There was Nasyid award of some sort, and he was the guest star. Since Kun Anta was hands down the best Arabic song I’ve ever known, we decided to check him out.

So we got there, and it was a book fair, right? People were selling Islamic books, Quran, novels, ISIS history, and all the sorts. While it wasn’t our intention to actually buy anything, it was only normal to look around after Humud finished his (short) performance.

While we were looking around, a little stand caught my attention. It was apparently a stand that sells Quran with adorable and elegant covers. They styled Quran into an entirely modern look, and I highly recommend those to you. Check out their Instagram @madinaalquran or go to their website. Now before I continue with this story, you have to understand that I still believe in childish fairy tale love story, capiche? I came into that book fair thinking, where else am I going to find a good young Muslim to become my husband candidate if not from that kind of place?

What written below are my honest thoughts that occurred  throughout the whole event, I give you full permission to mock the hell out of my childish behavior.

So I visited the stand and started asking the prize of each type of Quran they sell (there was Zhafira Quran!). The flowery bunch that I saw first was cute, but the one that really made me want to buy a new Quran was the elegant denim cover with carved wood attached to the cover.


How elegant is that? If I have a husband, I’d definitely buy matching ones.

When I bought it, I noticed the young salesman that served me was quite bit attractive. He looked like a typical college student with glasses, brace, and sleek edgy haircut. He wore a pair of skinny jeans and a top that is not double his size, and he was the closest to modern young Muslim that I can find in that place–and I’m guessing the only reason he was there was to sell Quran under his parents’ order. Islamic Book Fair seemed like the last place he’d rather be, but let’s not judge too far, shall we?

So I bought the denim Ar-Rayyan Quran, and I sure did chuckled when I saw their bright banner spelling out QURAN ZHAFIRA. The salesmen asked if that was my name, and I grinned, saying yes.

What made me think something was going to happen was when the guy asked, “University student?”

I silently thank God I didn’t come across as middle school student, but that might just be my  7 cm wedges.

I replied, “High school.”

“What grade?”


The other salesman handed me their flyer, and I took it. “Is there an instagram?”

“Yeah, written right there.”

With one last grin, I thanked them (him) and skipped my way to look for my mother. In that moment of adrenaline rush, I thought, maybe, just maybe, that was God’s answer to my prayer of  wanting to be introduced to a good Muslim. It only make sense since we were being met in a place like an Islamic Book Fair, right?

Well, wrong.

Guess what, mother fathers, my entire idea of him being the one disappeared the instant moment I saw him with a cigarette in between his fingers. It was like popping an innocent kid’s balloon, which in this scenario, I suppose I’d have to be the innocent kid.

But God, it was an unpleasant feeling. Like, why? Why does he think it’s okay to light a cigar right in that kind of place? Darn those sinful things, ruining the image of every men in my eyes.

Ta-ta, Mr. I’m-Here-Under-Order, I suppose. It was a good fifteen minutes of fling while it last. May the next encounter be much less unpleasant. May he find this, read it, and think about stopping.

Still, I recommend the Quran. It’s amazingly aesthetic.

Here’s to aesthetic Quran.

World Hijab Day

raise your glass 
to certain pride
a journey of
Muslim women

struggled, we have
for bravery
the hardship of
us believers

so here is to
the struggling us
the prideful us
all kinds of girls

to girls who laugh
in light-weight dress
who dance around
in the meadow

to girls who try
even in jeans
who do their best
to understand

to girls who wish
for said courage
but are not yet
ready to try

to those who can’t
see themselves change
you made your choice
no, we don’t judge

let’s honor this
in your comfort
to your belief
and your freedom

the first day of
I celebrate
World Hijab Day

In celebration to
World Hijab Day 2016

Picking the One

I spent 2015 thinking I could forget about love and chemistry and just find someone, anyone, to be my future husband. He could be five years older or two years younger, as long as he was ready for marriage, I didn’t care.

It was easier to think about marriage without doubts when you don’t care about the whole equation and just focus on the results.

Then we hit 2016, and uncertainty started crawling their ways through my current stone-cold heart.

Aside from religious, what if he’s not witty enough? What if he can’t understand how I think and see the world? What if he can’t follow my jokes and laugh at scandalous idioms? What if he’s shy and won’t be willing to make memorable vlogs of our marriage together? Oh–What if he can’t speak English?

The thoughts are never-ending, twisted things. It’s like sinking deeper and deeper into a never-ending ocean without finding ways of coming up for air.

It’s January 2016 and I’m horrified at the idea of finding the wrong one. Funny thing about love is you know exactly what you don’t want but have no single clue of what you want. It’s a cycle of let’s try and see if we click, and sometimes two are just not meant to click.

And gone is now the thoughts of anybody as thoughts of somebody specific reappears. Thoughts of man I crossed out from the calculation for being too distant and non existent–

–Oh, and there’s also thought of one other man too, smart enough to joke and have fun with, who is currently laying in hospital for being sick. If only that man is capable of English–

–and willing.

Look how pathetic I’m being.

I suppose even I can’t just say  yes to anybody breathing Islam. I just wish people who do aren’t so primitive and stuck in a different era completely.

Here’s to looking and finding.

Why I Wish I Didn’t Know Who Harris J Is

This time, I’m going to rant about how much I hated knowing Harris J. For those of you who don’t know, Harris J is a British Muslim musician signed to Awakening Records. He is only 18, have memorized 10 Juz of the Quran, and is the Muslim version of ‘Justin Bieber’ as they say.

Perfect kind of man, don’t you think? Especially for those of you Muslim girls out there. There is absolutely nothing to hate from the guy, nothing at all, and that is exactly why I hate knowing him.

Here’s how it went.

Just about an hour ago, my mother texted me despite being right in the next room. She asked me if I knew Harris J, and I texted her back saying no, I don’t know him. She replied to me and said that he is the it guy at the moment, and she asked me to come to her room and see. I immediately closed my laptop and made my way to my parents’ bedroom. She was sprawled in bed watching a video from YouTube of Harris J. I laid down next to her and saw the person she was talking about.

He was a work of art.

And then I didn’t want to know more. It’s childish how I acted, but it really is a bit painful watching a guy like Harris. Not only is he a charming and humble person, he also memorizes 10 Juz of the Quran. His intonation is great, his memorization is perfect, he is an Indian-Irish fusion living in England, a singer, a naturally charming person, and he really does exist.

Who knew.

The thing is, boys these days are idiots who care more for unimportant mundane things such as cars, partying, cigarettes, and girls. You don’t see a Muslim like Harris who spreads good message through songs very often, and when you do find one, you just can’t help but to fall a little bit for him, and that’s where the painful part comes from, because you know Allah is so fair, He created him for someone worthy, and it stings when you realize you’re definitely not that worthy person. You know he deserves way more, and you can’t be selfish wanting him all to yourself. It hurts when you know an amazing person like him is not created for you, and life would have been a lot easier when you don’t know a guy like Harris exist at all. It makes you imagine all sorts of things, and while it is a bit creepy, you can’t help but wonder how praying and building a household with him as the imam would be like, and suddenly you’ve arranged a hopelessly impossible life plan for the two of you, and it’s just pathetic.

Umi, can you imagine him performing the adzan right into my ears to wake me up for Subuh? That would be heaven on earth.

This is just pathetic, what are the chances of a hopeful High School student from Indonesia ending up (in a Marriage) with a teenage heart-throb such as Harris J? This ain’t a movie, and this sure as hell ain’t a fairy tale.

So thank you for getting certain hopes up, but no, haha, in all honesty, I’m kind of glad a person like you exist, Harris. As surprising as you are, I hope your good messages are heard by people across the globe. Good luck with your music, and don’t forget any of the stuff you’ve memorized. Your reading of Ar-Rahman both when you were just a chubby little kid and now is just as great, and there really should be more men like you in this Earth. Maybe then, I will be worthy of one someday.

Here’s to Harris J


I’m A Hijabi Woman, But I’m Not…

Buzzfeed is definitely a website or YouTube channel known for its open-mindedness to encourage people to see the beauty in every community, religion, lifestyle, and it certainly doesn’t discriminate nor bash any ethnics. This is one of the reason why I subscribe to Buzzfeed, I’m just so deeply in love with their idea of bringing pride to everyone to be whoever we want to be.

This time, I raise my glass to Buzzfeed for their recent video called, I’m A Hijabi Woman, But I’m Not…

It’s a very heart-warming thing to see when you find this kind of video up in your subscription box. It becomes even more heart-warming when you realize this video can show the ignorant that not being a hijabi doesn’t mean anything, and just like that one woman said in the video, there’s way more interesting things to talk about.

I’m a hijabi, and I’m not perfect

Hijab in H&M

Two months ago, H&M released a ‘Close the Loop’ commercial on YouTube that features a woman in Hijab. While this stirred a debate, I personally encourage more brand to follow after H&M’s footstep and represent the muslim community as we are one of the consumer of these types of brand as well.

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