Recently (In June, please bear with the system I use to update blog, which is always about a month late) I've watched the Indonesian da'wah movie Ayat-Ayat Cinta (Sentences of Love) after quite a few recommendations from those who have watched it or better yet, have read the novel.
The great novel written by Indonesian author, Habiburrahman El Shirazy. Ya Akhi you're a genius!
I THANK ALLAH FOR GIVING ME THE CONSCIENCE TO WATCH IT.
I am not exagerrating, I truly mean it. By the way I was really glad that I never had the chance to read the novel first, so the movie experience was not spoilt by any previous knowledge about the synopsis. Coming back to the movie, from my perspective, I discovered that the movie was beautifully made, artistic cinematography which mesmerized me and yes definitely effective acting by the actors especially the main character Fahri (played by Fedi Nuril), which touched my emotions bigtime.
An image of my Fahri and I in the future? Wallahua'lam bil sawab :)
Knowing Fahri made me wept profusely in the cinema (in fact, I EVEN CONTINUED WEEPING AT HOME). After knowing Fahri, I just could not help feeling filthy and hideous. Fahri was the portrayal of a very noble Muslim who's so afraid of committing sins. From what I've learnt about the Prophet Muhammad SAW, Fahri resembles many qualities of him and of course as Muslims know our Holy Prophet SAW is the reflection of the Holy Book al-Qur'anul Kareem. Nobody is perfect except The Prophet Muhammad SAW, and yes Fahri portrays a personality which is almost perfect as a human being and more importantly as the servant of Allah SWT.
The gorgeous Fahri (more beautiful on the inside) looking hot in his aviator sunglasses.
The story in the movie (there are many differences comparing to the novel, yes of course I think the filmakers have had done an almost flawless job adapting the novel since it is impossible to squeeze in the whole novel into the normal duration of a movie) is about an Indonesian post-graduate student in the Al-Azhar University, Egypt. Basically the movie revolves around his life as a student, facing all the challenges as an Indonesian in a foreign country. Secretly, he is admired by many gorgeous women, both physically and internally but they all kept their love buried within their hearts without ever telling Fahri. It's just not mere admiration, but all of them has the greatest desire for no other man than Fahri to be their husband. Fahri on the other hand, only knew that he will get married one day insya Allah, but never attempted to commit into any out of marriage relationships or better known as coupling. As a good Muslim he is, he even asked his closest lecturer to keep all the love letters he received from his admirers because he was so afraid to be defeated by temptation and the deceiving whispers of the Satan or Syaitan.
One day as Allah has fated, he married a woman which was introduced by his closest lecturer. Aisya, a pious Muslimah who's from a Turkish+German+Palestinian mixture, extremely beautiful and wealthy as well. When he tied the knot, many of his admirers felt tortured for their loss. An Indonesian student, Nurul; his Christian (but perhaps more Islamic in character than most Muslim girls by birth) neighbour, Maria Girgis and a neighbour whom was abused by her family, Noura. However Noura could not control her feelings of sorrow took the wrong step by accusing Fahri for raping her when he had rescued her from her abusive family.
Now the movie comes into a twist when Maria, who was in a comma due to her ultimate breakdown knowing about Fahri's marriage, would be the only person who could save Fahri from a heavy sanction from the Courts. Aisha, as a wife who loves her husband more than herself perhaps, sacrificed her soul as a woman by requesting Fahri to wed Maria as his second wife in order to wake her up from her comma. Fahri definitely refused but he knew he had no other choice and wed Maria. As the movie goes on, Fahri was acquitted from the accusation and more conflict begun when it revolves around the issue of polygamous marriage in Islam.
I love the movie because it's actually like reading a da'wah book, but it gives it a splash of entertainment by creating these noble characters making us feel that we could relate with these people. The movie highlighted the issues of proper relationship among non-mahram man and woman, bribery, the proper treatment towards non-Muslims who respect Islam, polygamous marriage and how Fahri's love towards Allah exceeds his love towards anyone else. Many times in the novel it is mentioned that Fahri confesses " My first love is Allah, second is The Prophet Muhammad SAW, then my mother, my mother and my mother and finally my father," indeed this is a Sunnah of The Prophet. The issue of Noura slandering Fahri also reminds us of the history of Prophet Yusuf A.S being falsely accused of sexually harrassing Zulaikha, when the truth is Zulaikha wanted the stunning Prophet Yusuf to be hers.
Fahri sobbing in prison while his cellmate told Fahri that he might have been arrogant before this so he shall repent to Allah.
If you read the novel, every statement written by the author about the reality of Islam was consolidated with the verses of Al-Qur'an, Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet) and many opinions of Islamic jurists as his authority. He also narrated his story by including many mesmerizing poems be it from Indonesian poets and Western poets as well. Indeed reading the novel too, makes me smile and cry with Fahri and without doubt makes me fall in love deeper with him.
As to how the novel changed me into the better I guess, well I just feel more confident that I can survive without committing into any relationship out of wedlock with any guy. I am not against coupling no, because heck I was in many relationships before the last one, but now I am feeling strongly that I don’t have to practice dating and coupling. The current Suraya feels she doesn’t have to be in a relationship with any man till the day she marries insya Allah.
Aisha was heartbroken witnessing the intimacy between both Maria and Fahri, and decided to leave home to attain some tranquility of mind.
Take Fahri for example, he as a man, when he feels strongly that it's the right time for him to get married, by Allah's wonderful ways he discovered an angel to be his wife. So he just proposed her, get married and they started to taste the pleasure of love after being lawful man and wife. They did not risk themselves of committing many sins which most couples would do because the temptation of Syaitan is always there, and most importantly to me they didn't fear the fear of losing the person they love, you know all those what ifs eg. What if I'm not going to marry him/her? What if something bad happen and I am going to lose him/her?
Maria on her last days realizing that by being Fahri's wife, not necessarily mean that she is the one fated by Allah to win Fahri's love.
So as a conclusion, I am trying to make myself busy with my 21.5 credit hours this semester (phew!) and make-up jobs on almost everyday on every weekend (alhamdulillah). Actually there's another role model (I prefer to keep his identity as a secret) besides Fahri that motivates me not to be in a relationship especially while being a student. He's graduated with flying colours and currently busy with his job as well as preparing for his PhD. He's incredibly goodlooking, intelligent, energetic, funny and religious from my observation, and since the days he was pursuing his law degree till now he never had a girlfriend, but I believe this kind of people, they would just get married when they feel that they have found the perfect candidate.
Insya Allah, by praying to Allah constantly my Fahri will one day discover me, he will come to me, propose my hand for marriage from my parents and we'll get married.
As a du'a (prayer) of the Qur'an states in Al-Furqan (The Criterion) verse 74 & 75 go:
And those who pray " Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous." Those are the ones who will be rewarded with the highest place in heaven, because of their patient constancy; therein shall they be met with salutations and peace.
Amin ya rabbal al-amin.