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ITINERARY | PERJALANAN UMROH REGULER TAIF 13 HARI

Kasih ibu sepanjang jalan, kasih anak sepanjang galah. Begitu pepatah bilang. Kasih ibu memang tak terbantahkan. Peran wanita sebagai istri, terbukti memberi efek luar biasa kepada suami. Nabi Muhammad SAW sangat mencintai Khadijah, karena mendukung total kenabian Nabi Muhammad, baik dengan jiwa dan harta benda. Tokoh-tokoh nasional seperti Kihajar Dewantara, Dr Soetomo, dll memiliki para istri yang cakap mengurus keuangan keluarga, bahkan menjadi manajer usaha keluarga, agar idealisme para suaminya untuk perjuangan bisa terus berjalan. Berikut para ibu yang hebat versi Alquran dan Alhadits. Masyitoh Masyitoh mungkin bukan perempuan terkenal layaknya artis-artis dunia. Namun, Allah menyebut namanya dalam kisah Nabi Musa. Masyitoh dihukum Firaun karena mempertahankan aqidah: tak ada Tuhan selain Allah. Ia sempat gentar melihat anaknya dibunuh terlebih dahulu oleh algojo Firaun di hadapannya. Namun, Allah meyakinkan Masyitoh melalui roh bayinya, untuk menguatkan hatinya. Yuhanin binti Lawa ibunda Nabi Musa Ibu yang satu ini sangat menyayangi putra semata wayangnya yang merupakan calon nabi. Yuhanin saat itu melahirkan dalam teror: setiap bayi laki-laki yang dilahirkan harus dibunuh. Dan kebetulan, bayi yang dilahirkannya berjenis adalah laki-laki. Meski begitu, Yuhanin menyayangi bayi yang kemudian diberi nama Musa itu. Untuk menyelamatkan bayi Musa, maka Yuhanin menaruh Musa di dalam sebuah peti kemudian dihanyutkan ke sungai Nil. Tanpa disangka, peti itu justru hanyut ke arah istana Firaun dan ditemukan oleh Asiyah, istri Firaun. Asiyah membawa bayi Musa ke hadapan Firaun. Bukan untuk dibunuh, namun Asiyah meminta kepada Firaun untuk mengangkat Musa menjadi anak. Atas izin Allah, Yuhanin dipertemukan kembali dengan berpura-pura menjadi ibu susuan Musa. Hajar Siapa yang tak kenal dengan ketabahan dan ketegaran ibu yang satu ini? Perempuan yang rela ditinggal oleh suaminya dengan seorang bayi dan bekal yang hanya sedikit. Perjuangan Hajar mencari sumber air untuk putranya yang masih bayi dengan berlari dari bukit Shofaa ke bukit Marwaa. Tidak sia-sia, Allah justru memberi Hajar rezeki berupa sumber mata air melimpah di dekat bayinya, Ismail. Akhirnya, Hajar dan bayi Ismail terselamatkan dan dapat hidup layak dengan sumber air yang saat ini dikenal dengan nama "air zam-zam". Ibu yang berebut bayi di zaman Nabi Daus As Alkisah, terdapat dua orang perempuan yang mengadukan perkara merebutkan seorang bayi. Masing-masing mengakui dan bersikeras jika bayi tersebut adalah anak kandung mereka. Akhirnya, Nabi Daud AS memutuskan, agar anak tersebut dibagi dua. Kontan saja, salah satu perempuan tersebut tidak terima dan merelakan anaknya untuk diambil orang lain. Perempuan tersebut tidak rela jika anaknya harus menjadi korban. Akhirnya, Nabi Daud AS memberikan bayi tersebut kepada perempuan penyayang tadi karena perempuan tersebut adalah ibu kandung dari si bayi. Khadijah Khadijah sebelum kenabian Muhammad adalah pemeluk Nasrani. Dia adalah wanita mandiri dan saudagar. Tak banyak bangsawan Arab, yang tauhid sebelum kenabian Muhammad. Salah satu yang menonjol adalah Khadijah dan sepupunya Waraqah bin Naufal. Bahkan Khadijah yang melamar Muhammad, karena nasehat Waraqah bin Naufal. Khadijah menemani Nabi Muhammad sepanjang 26 tahun. 10 tahun di masa sebelum kenabian dan 16 tahun di masa kenabian. Dia istri tunggal Nabi Muhammad yang berpisah karena ajal. Dia wanita pertama yang beriman kepada Allah SWT dalam Islam, dan menyerahkan harta bendanya untuk keperluan agama. Putera-puteri Rasulullah SAW dari Khadijah RA sebanyak tujuh orang: tiga lelaki (kesemuanya meninggal di waktu kecil) dan empat wanita. Salah satu dari puterinya bernama Fatimah, yang dinikahkan dengan Syaidina Ali bin Abu Thalib. Fatimah binti Muhammad Fatimah dilahirkan beberapa saat sebelum Muhammad SAW diutus menjadi seorang Rasul. Ia mendapat gelar Albatuul, yang memusatkan perhatiannya pada ibadah atau tiada bandingnya dalam hal keutamaan, ilmu, akhlak, adab, hasab dan nasab. Ia juga mendapatkan julukan Azzahra, yang cemerlang. Fatimah adalah putri bungsu Rasulullah SAW—kakak-kakaknya adalah Ummu Kultsum, Ruqayyah dan Zainab—dan yang paling beliau cintai. Rasulullah pernah berkata tentang putri terkasihnya itu, "Fatimah adalah darah dagingku, apa yang menyusahkannya juga menyusahkan aku dan apa yang mengganggunya juga menggangguku." Ali bin Abi Thalib menikahinya setelah Perang Uhud. Kemudian Fatimah melahirkan Hasan dan Husein, Muhsinan, Ummi Kultsum, dan Zainab. Ali berkata, "Aku menikahi Fatimah, sementara kami tidak mempunyai alas tidur selain kulit domba untuk kami tiduri di waktu malam dan kami letakkan di atas unta untuk mengambil air di siang hari. Kami tidak mempunyai pembantu selain unta itu." Ketika Rasulullah SAW menikahkan Fatimah, beliau mengirimkan seekor unta, selembar kain, bantal kulit berisi ijuk, dua alat penggiling gandum, sebuah timba dan dua kendi. Fatimah menggunakan alat penggiling gandum itu hingga melecetkan tangannya dan memikul qirbah (tempat air dari kulit) berisi air hingga berbekas di dadanya. Walau menjadi putri nabi termulia, namun Fatimah tak memiliki seorang pelayan. Ia mengerjakan sendiri semua urusan rumah tangganya. Fatimah aktif di belakang garis pertempuran. Saat perang Uhud, dialah wanita yang merawat langsung Nabi Muhammad di dekat garis pertempuran. Juga membantu para prajurit muslim yang terluka dan memberi mereka minum. Fatimah Az-Zahra wafat sekitar 15 bulan setelah wafatnya Rasulullah SAW. Ia telah meriwayatkan 18 hadits dari Nabi SAW. Editor : Maulana Lee IBU TERBAIK SEPANJANG MASSA VERSI ALQURAN DAN ALHADITS
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United’s first-class and business fliers get Rhapsody, its high-minded in-flight magazine, seen here at its office in Brooklyn. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Last summer at a writers’ workshop in Oregon, the novelists Anthony Doerr, Karen Russell and Elissa Schappell were chatting over cocktails when they realized they had all published work in the same magazine. It wasn’t one of the usual literary outlets, like Tin House, The Paris Review or The New Yorker. It was Rhapsody, an in-flight magazine for United Airlines.

It seemed like a weird coincidence. Then again, considering Rhapsody’s growing roster of A-list fiction writers, maybe not. Since its first issue hit plane cabins a year and a half ago, Rhapsody has published original works by literary stars like Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, Amy Bloom, Emma Straub and Mr. Doerr, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction two weeks ago.

As airlines try to distinguish their high-end service with luxuries like private sleeping chambers, showers, butler service and meals from five-star chefs, United Airlines is offering a loftier, more cerebral amenity to its first-class and business-class passengers: elegant prose by prominent novelists. There are no airport maps or disheartening lists of in-flight meal and entertainment options in Rhapsody. Instead, the magazine has published ruminative first-person travel accounts, cultural dispatches and probing essays about flight by more than 30 literary fiction writers.

 

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Sean Manning, executive editor of Rhapsody, which publishes works by the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Bloom and Anthony Doerr, who won a Pulitzer Prize. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

 

An airline might seem like an odd literary patron. But as publishers and writers look for new ways to reach readers in a shaky retail climate, many have formed corporate alliances with transit companies, including American Airlines, JetBlue and Amtrak, that provide a captive audience.

Mark Krolick, United Airlines’ managing director of marketing and product development, said the quality of the writing in Rhapsody brings a patina of sophistication to its first-class service, along with other opulent touches like mood lighting, soft music and a branded scent.

“The high-end leisure or business-class traveler has higher expectations, even in the entertainment we provide,” he said.

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Some of Rhapsody’s contributing writers say they were lured by the promise of free airfare and luxury accommodations provided by United, as well as exposure to an elite audience of some two million first-class and business-class travelers.

“It’s not your normal Park Slope Community Bookstore types who read Rhapsody,” Mr. Moody, author of the 1994 novel “The Ice Storm,” who wrote an introspective, philosophical piece about traveling to the Aran Islands of Ireland for Rhapsody, said in an email. “I’m not sure I myself am in that Rhapsody demographic, but I would like them to buy my books one day.”

In addition to offering travel perks, the magazine pays well and gives writers freedom, within reason, to choose their subject matter and write with style. Certain genres of flight stories are off limits, naturally: no plane crashes or woeful tales of lost luggage or rude flight attendants, and nothing too risqué.

“We’re not going to have someone write about joining the mile-high club,” said Jordan Heller, the editor in chief of Rhapsody. “Despite those restrictions, we’ve managed to come up with a lot of high-minded literary content.”

Guiding writers toward the right idea occasionally requires some gentle prodding. When Rhapsody’s executive editor asked Ms. Russell to contribute an essay about a memorable flight experience, she first pitched a story about the time she was chaperoning a group of teenagers on a trip to Europe, and their delayed plane sat at the airport in New York for several hours while other passengers got progressively drunker.

“He pointed out that disaster flights are not what people want to read about when they’re in transit, and very diplomatically suggested that maybe people want to read something that casts air travel in a more positive light,” said Ms. Russell, whose novel “Swamplandia!” was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.

She turned in a nostalgia-tinged essay about her first flight on a trip to Disney World when she was 6. “The Magic Kingdom was an anticlimax,” she wrote. “What ride could compare to that first flight?”

Ms. Oates also wrote about her first flight, in a tiny yellow propeller plane piloted by her father. The novelist Joyce Maynard told of the constant disappointment of never seeing her books in airport bookstores and the thrill of finally spotting a fellow plane passenger reading her novel “Labor Day.” Emily St. John Mandel, who was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction last year, wrote about agonizing over which books to bring on a long flight.

“There’s nobody that’s looked down their noses at us as an in-flight magazine,” said Sean Manning, the magazine’s executive editor. “As big as these people are in the literary world, there’s still this untapped audience for them of luxury travelers.”

United is one of a handful of companies showcasing work by literary writers as a way to elevate their brands and engage customers. Chipotle has printed original work from writers like Toni Morrison, Jeffrey Eugenides and Barbara Kingsolver on its disposable cups and paper bags. The eyeglass company Warby Parker hosts parties for authors and sells books from 14 independent publishers in its stores.

JetBlue offers around 40 e-books from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House on its free wireless network, allowing passengers to read free samples and buy and download books. JetBlue will start offering 11 digital titles from Simon & Schuster soon. Amtrak recently forged an alliance with Penguin Random House to provide free digital samples from 28 popular titles, which passengers can buy and download over Amtrak’s admittedly spotty wireless service.

Amtrak is becoming an incubator for literary talent in its own right. Last year, it started a residency program, offering writers a free long-distance train trip and complimentary food. More than 16,000 writers applied and 24 made the cut.

Like Amtrak, Rhapsody has found that writers are eager to get onboard. On a rainy spring afternoon, Rhapsody’s editorial staff sat around a conference table discussing the June issue, which will feature an essay by the novelist Hannah Pittard and an unpublished short story by the late Elmore Leonard.

“Do you have that photo of Elmore Leonard? Can I see it?” Mr. Heller, the editor in chief, asked Rhapsody’s design director, Christos Hannides. Mr. Hannides slid it across the table and noted that they also had a photograph of cowboy spurs. “It’s very simple; it won’t take away from the literature,” he said.

Rhapsody’s office, an open space with exposed pipes and a vaulted brick ceiling, sits in Dumbo at the epicenter of literary Brooklyn, in the same converted tea warehouse as the literary journal N+1 and the digital publisher Atavist. Two of the magazine’s seven staff members hold graduate degrees in creative writing. Mr. Manning, the executive editor, has published a memoir and edited five literary anthologies.

Mr. Manning said Rhapsody was conceived from the start as a place for literary novelists to write with voice and style, and nobody had been put off that their work would live in plane cabins and airport lounges.

Still, some contributors say they wish the magazine were more widely circulated.

“I would love it if I could read it,” said Ms. Schappell, a Brooklyn-based novelist who wrote a feature story for Rhapsody’s inaugural issue. “But I never fly first class.”

Rhapsody, a Lofty Literary Journal, Perused at 39,000 Feet

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