Book Review: ‘Falsafah Hidup’ by Hamka

This is my first post on a book review. I write a review every time after I finish reading a book. 

For those who don’t know, Hamka is the most prominent Nusantara philosopher and novelist of it’s time- the 20th century. Lived under the Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia until it’s independence, his thoughts become an inspiration and reference that are still relevant now.

His book titled ‘Falsafah Hidup‘, which means ‘Philosophy of life’, mainly talks about the purpose of life, in accordance to human’s capability to reason (akal) and the fact that we live in a society, not as individuals. With the humans capability to reason, one should be able to judge between what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s rewarding and what will inflict a loss. Hence, for a greater good, one must sacrifice. That, in reality, is what is wanted by everybody. He then elaborates it more and into bigger aspects like social and politics. Continue reading

I Call Whoever I Want to Call a ‘Terrorist’

Something is real fishy about the modern understanding of the word ‘terrorism’. It looks like everyone who is against a government using violence will be viewed as a terrorist.

Many separatist groups are called terrorists like nationalists, the communists in Malaya, the various separatist groups in Indonesia and many more. The fact is that they are no different to those ‘righteous’ people who are in control. They are just trying to establish their political ambitions as to those people of predominant power. If history is the other way around, I mean if separatists were successful in overthrowing the predominant government, then the predominant loyalists will be viewed as ‘terrorists’. Terrorism is a big fat illusion, a term designed to deceive and create partisanship. Continue reading

The Righteous Way of Life

Let’s sit back, relax and think for a while about the creation of the universe and how we are actually meant to deal with it. Let’s venture through a unique point of view on it. I’m not asking that you should agree with what I’m saying, but I’m just hoping that this view may change the way we view things. In fact, a critical thinker should always look at things from many angles.

So, we were created on this Earth, and we spend our life here. We cannot spawn just by chance because that’s impossible. There must be someone or something that created us, and what created us is God. Continue reading

A Stereotype View on Nationalism

First of all, let’s get ourselves clear about the meaning of nationalism, which is the love or passionate feelings for one’s race, ethnics, or ancestry. Not to be confused with patriotism; the love or passionate feeling for one’s country, which is not limited to racial zeal. However, there’s no such kind of ‘sacred text’ that states the doctrines of nationalism, therefore nationalism is a very subjective ideology.

The Scottish National Party’s (SNP) support for Scottish independence has been an example to criticise the idea of nationalism. Nationalism is said to promote war and obstruct liberty. Is that really so? Continue reading

Islam As a Political Ideology?

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An Australian political candidate, Stephanie Banister, said in an interview by a news network that Islam is a country and apparently, she has a towering ignorance on what ‘haram’ is. Despite that, she is right if she meant that Islam is such a creed that can be fully established only if Muslims have a country of their own.

Through research of the Quran, Islam can be concluded as a political doctrine. Among the criticisms towards Islam is the claim that Islam is a political ideology disguised as a religion. I agree on the early part of the statement that Islam has political rules and laws, but to say that Islam is trying to put on a ‘religion’ label would be naive. Continue reading