My First Experience to The War Zone

Before deciding to read this article further, I just wants to make sure that this is just a story. But true story. People recently call this a storytelling. And the main point for this story is a wisdom. Some of the advice and prayer quotes contained in this article, have been widely literate and studied. 

Through this story, the reader only needs to examine themselves through the current internet facilities, which are already extraordinarily complete. Because I, with all my humility, doesn't want to be like someone who teaches people. Just wanted to tell a story. Just that.

This was occurred in early 2005. At that time I was in Aceh for a main task: covering the transition conditions, from war to peace in the Aceh region. I left with mixed feelings. There is a sense of confusion, fear, challenge, sadness and optimism, all mix in one. Because any journalist assigned to a war zone, it is likely that they will face a battlefield.

Now let's cut the rambling thing and shortening the story. The first blessing I had to get was from my mother. Asking for prayers from her, so that her son can be successful in reporting his journalistic duties in Aceh and return home safe and sound. 

Because even though they were able to survive physically, there were also many journalists who returned home like people who were psychologically shaken, after experiencing lively the cruelty of war.  That's why the blessing of the mother is needed, to help prevent things that are not expectable. And as a result from my mother, this is the message.

"Son, I allow your office to assign you there. What can you do? Because work is work. Your life must present works for people, for your country, whatever the form is. Is it in the form of information, finished goods, food, or whatever. And what is clear for you is, "work is dedication". What can you do son, you're a big boy now and it's time to work. Work with the intention of "fi sabilillah", so that whatever happens later, in God willing, you can catch up with the martyrdom."

Sounds like my heart is trembling at my mother's words. Then she continued talking.

"To be sure, I give weapon that is only one thing: a prayer. You must have memorized this prayer, because I taught you to remember this prayer since you were in elementary school. Why should you read that prayer? Not only when you will be on duty, but you must read it every day. When you want to lift your feet and move from where you are sitting, always read the prayer. Because every second and every inch of our steps, only Allah can give blessing. So then read the prayer. I don't even know a few minutes after this, it could be you or me who died. Isn't that right? Don't forget to read that prayer, son."

With tears already around my eyelids, and a moved heart, I could only nod and bow in front of my mother. Then what prayer did she mean? It turns out these two prayers:

"Bismillahi tawakkaltu ‘alallahi, walaa haula wala quwwata illa billah." 

Means, in the name of Allah, I submit to Him, and there is no power and strength except with His help. (from Annas bin Malik, HR. At Tarmizi)


"...bismillāhi majrehā wa mursāhā, inna rabbī lagafụrur raḥīm."

Means, ...get all of you into it (the ship) by (mentioning) the name of Allah at the time of sailing and anchoring. Verily, my Lord is Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Q.S Hud verse 41). 

That's my mother's message. So that I always say those two prayers when I leave. According to her, live and life is like an ark that will take us wherever we go. 

Whatever will take us, from our thoughts, our steps, to the vehicle to be boarded, whether it be buses, trains, ships, and planes, everything is in the hands of Allah.

So we must remember Him with prayer and dhikr. The two prayers, according to my mother, are enough to represent me to Him to always hope for protection, only from Him. With tears in my eyes, I went to Aceh with my mother's advice..

To be continue.

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