Bismillah. In the name of Allah. Peace to be upon you. I hope you are blessed with the barakah of health and iman (faith). For a week, I was away and did not manage to access the internet. Alhamdulillah. I am at my hometown and managed to write an entry.
For those who are seeking to read good books this summer, I would suggest you to read this entry because I just finished read an Indonesian novel entitled “Ayat-ayat cinta” or literally means “verses of love”. The cover itself already interests me. I am not familiar with the author actually (Habiburrahman El Shirazy). So, somehow, I have judged the book by its’ cover. Ops! I wonder who is the owner of the beautiful eyes. Subhanallah! (All praises to Allah). Many have written reviews for this great novel looks like I’m the latecomer!, but still, I insist to write it so that I can find calm in my heart. Heheh. I have finished read other books but this is the one that makes me feel uneasy if I don’t write a book review about it.
Firstly, alhamdulillah (all thanks to Allah), I managed to understand it as I already had experience reading a few Indonesian literature novels when I was in secondary school, like HAMKA and Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and alhamdulillah can still can grasp the gist of the language. Moreover, the edition that I read is simplified, dedicated for Malaysian readers although there are hundred words that are not yet translated to Bahasa Melayu Malaysia (I have to use the term here, so that it is linguistically and culturally correct and do forgive me). So, I bet you can as well. Insha Allah. So, I write in English as many had wrote review of this book in Indonesia or Malay language.
The theme is “love and life”. Not only between two people but much greater than that. It is between an Egyptian girl named Maria (a Catholic or Koptik) and Fahri (an Indonesian Muslim who is studying in Egypt). Although the setting is in Egypt, still it has description and compare Egypt of Germany, Indonesia, Turkey and America. I would honestly salute the author for having a very wide experience and knowledge of geography, sociology and anthropology. One of the commentary claims that “little HAMKA” has born, but I would say that Habiburrahman is much better than HAMKA. The plot is much diverse, the characters’ sacrifice is much worth it, for the sake of deen. There are much more global issues discussed, the novel rating simply beat Harry Potter. So, what makes you not read it? Even A. Samad Said said “Maka itu, tidak membacanya seperti sengaja melepaskan peluang untuk mencium bau, merasa iklim dan memahami gerak hidup insan Indonesia baru di iuar dan di dalam negaranya”. In simple English it means “Therefore, not reading it means one deliberately miss the chance to smell, experience the weather and understanding Indonesian lifestyle in overseas and in Indonesia itself”. Well, feel the heat of Cairo with tempe! (Indonesian delicacy made of soya). Please pardon me if I made mistake for translating it and do leave your comment so that it will improve my language.
Well, I would say that I will spoil the entire novel if I try to write a summary or synopsis in here. I want to challenge you to read this because it received plenty recommendations and awards. If you are insist to have a sneak, you can read the synopsis and summary from the links I listed below of this page.
The climax was unexpected. It touches many aspects like human rights, boundless love, kinship and brotherhood, interfaith, global politic relationship, jihad, crime, legislation and justice. Thus, it is not merely lovey dovey novel. It is more than that. It makes you grey matter gets going. Unlike novels from Alaf 21 (well, not all of them actually). Plus, it makes you feel like reading an Indonesian anthology, Papyrus, because Habiburahman inserted and altered, quite a number of beautiful prose taken from it. Overall, it is worth my time. I took less than 6 hours to read it. I am even inspired to do my dissertation and feel like there are so many things to be done in this world. Rating for this book: 5/5. Just grab a copy guy. It doesn’t take more than a day to read it because you are aroused to read it till the end. Heheh. I hope so.
I was smiling alone when I reached at the romantic part. Never imagine a guy could do such thing to a woman. Go on and read it. If newlyweds read this book, I am sure it can be a motivation for them. Quickfact, I managed to pass my pre-marital course test last week. LOL. It was so impulsive and spontaneous. I even didn’t get a good rest after coming back from Selangor and KL. Well, insha Allah after you read this book, marriage problems that by-hook-or-by-crook-must come, can be encountered steadily.
Insha Allah if no ones do the job of translating it to English, allow me. 😀
Interesting excerpts that leave impacts:
Salah satu keindahan hidup di mesir adalah penduduknya yang lembut hatinya. Jika sudah tersentuh pasti mereka akan memperlakukan kita seumpama raja. Mereka terkadang keras kepala, tapi jika sudah jinak dan luluh, mereka boleh melakukan kebaikan seperti malaikat. Kalau mereka marah meledak-ledak, tapi kalau sudah hilang reda benar kemarahannya, hilang tanpa bekas. Tak ada dendam di belakang yang diingat sampai tujuh keturunan seperti orang Jawa. Mereka mudah menerima kebenaran dari sesiapa saja. (Chapter 3: Kejadian di dalam metro, page 47).
Yang ada di depanku ini seorang bidadari atakah manusia biasa. Maha Suci Allah, yang menciptakan wajah seindah itu. Jika seluruh pemahat paling hebat di seluruh dunia bersatu untuk mengukir wajah seindah itu tak akan mampu. Pelukis paling hebat pun tak akan dapat menciptakan lukisan dari imaginasinya seindah wajah Aisha. Keindahan Aisha adalah seni maha agung dari Dia yang Maha Kuasa. Aku benar-benar merasakan saat-saat yang istimewa. Saat-saat untuk pertama kali melihat wajah Aisha.(Chapter 18: Pertemuan, page 251)
Ah, sebenarnya gelaran itu tidaklah segalanya. Yang palig penting adalah kemampuan kita. Meskipun kau dikeluarkan dan gelaranmu dilucut tapi ilmu yang telah melekat dalam otakmu tidak bisa mereka lucut. (Chapter 29, page 428).
“… Az-Zuhruf, ayat 67: Orang-orang yang saling kasih mengasihi, pada hari itu sebahagiannya menjadi musuh bagi sebahagian yang lain, kecuali orang-orang yang bertaqwa.” Isteriku, aku tak ingin kita yang sekarang ini saling menyayangi dan saling mencintai di akhirat kelak di akhirat justeru menjadi musuh dan seteru. Aku ingin kelak di akhirat kita tetap menjadi sepasang kekasih yang dimuliakan oleh Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. Aku tidak menginginkan yang lain kecuali itu, isteriku. Hidup dan mati sudah ada ajalnya. (Chapter 30: Ayat-ayat cinta, page 437).
For those who wish to download the e-book (but Indonesian version), please do so from this link:
If you wish to read similar review in different language, do visit these blogs:
- Jiwarasa (Famous writer for book review, Malaysia)
- Goresan Pena Yunita (Contains synopsis, Indonesia)
- Mohd Hafiz Abd Hamid (Malaysia, bentuk simple, puisi)