Saturday, January 07, 2006

Novel Review: Ayat-ayat Cinta

Ayat-ayat Cinta: The Value of Love in Islam
By: Yunita Ramadhana

The novel, Ayat-ayat Cinta, is a 411 pages novel written by a young novelist from Indonesia Habiburrahman El-Shirazy who was born on 30th September 1976. He is a post-graduate scholar from Al-Azhar University, Mesir, Cairo. In the first sight, it seems like an usual Islamic novel which tries to spread religous value through art as the medium. But, when we go it more further, we will know that it's not just an Islamic novel! It is a colaboration between Islamic Novel, Cultural Novel, and love story novel which young people like very much. In other word, this novel is the right choice for distributing religous value, for those who are curious in Islam, especially for the young people who will be the next generations in the world.

This novel told about the love story between two human beings who differs in background and culture; one of them is a male student from Indonesia who was studying in Al-Azhar University Mesir-Cairo, and the other one is a female student from Germany who was studying in Mesir also. This story began when they met on a great debate in a metro unintentionally (such kind of trem).

Mein Neim Ist Aisha
In that time, the man Fahri bin Abdullah Shiddiq, is on the way to Masjid Abu Bakar Ash-Shiddiq in Shubra El-Kaima, the north side of Cairo, for talaqqi (study to Syaikh in face to face) to Syaikh Utsman Abdul Fattah, a famous Syaikh in Mesir. From him, Fahri learnt about qiraah sab'ah (reading Al-Qur'an with story of seven Imam) and ushul tafsir (the major principle of tafsir Al-Qur'an). Fahri always do it twice in a week, on Sunday and Wednesday. He never passed it in any kind of condition whether the weather is so hot or even the dust stream facing him. It is a compulsory for him as not every people can study to Syaikh Utsman who are very selective in choosing his student, and Fahri is very lucky to be the one of them.

In Metro, Fahri couldn't get a seat so that he must stand for some times until there's an availabled seat. And then, he was acquainted to an Egyptian named Ashraf who is also a moslem. They talked about everything including about Ashraf's hateness to American. In a while, there are three American (two of them are women, and the other is a man) got in to metro. One of the American women is an old lady who seemed very tired. Usually, the Egyptians always give their seat if there's a woman who needs it. But not this time. It's maybe because of their great hateness to America. Finally, when the American old lady wanted to sit on the floor, there's a woman weared a white clean veil called her and gave her seat to the old lady and apologized for what that has been done by the other Egyptians. Here is the cause of the great debate. The Egyptians who understood English well, felt offended with her saying. They threw out many cruel words to the woman, and she could do nothing except crying. Seeing that, Fahri tried to cooling down the hot situation by asking them to read Shalawat Nabi as most of Egyptians will less their angry after reading shalawat Nabi. And he is success. He then explained that what the woman did is right, and the abusive words didn't need to say. Suddenly, the Egyptians' angry was rise again. They ask fahri to be not interfering their business and not teaching them about religion as it's not sure whether Fahri can memorize Juz Amma or not (the thirtieth juz in Al-Qur'an). Their angry was cool down again when Ashraf who also got angry to the woman told them that Fahri is a student of Al-Azhar University and memorize Al-Qur'an, and he was also a follower of the well-known Syaikh Utsman. Hearing it, they were apologized to Fahri. And then, Fahri explained that they should not do that to the American as the Prophet Muhammad Saw didn't teach his followers to be like that. Fahri told them about the way how to behave to our guests or visitors of our country. They thanked to Fahri as had reminded them.

On the other hand, the young American woman, Alicia, was listening the explanation about what has happened which was conveyed in fluent English by the veiled woman. And then Alicia thanked to Fahri and gave her name card to him. Not for a long time, the metro stopped and the veiled woman was ready to get off. But firstly, she thanked to Fahri for his help. Finally, they were acquainted to each other. In fact, she was not an Egyptian but a German who was studying in Mesir. Her name is Aisha.

Maria, the uncustomed Christian Girl
In Egypt, Fahri lives with his four friends who also come from Indonesia, namely Saiful, Rudi, Hamdi dan Misbah. He has already stayed there for seven years. They live in an two stairs apartment in which Fahri and all his friends staye in the down stair, while in the upstair it's stayed by a Christian family who becomes their neighbour. This family has four members, namely Mr. Boutros, Madame Nahed, and their two children - Maria and Yousef. Though they have different religion, they are still keeping a good relationship to each other. In Egypt, it's not a new thing if Christian family and Moslem family has a good relationship and can live side by side in peace in society. Maria, their only one daughter, makes a good relation with Fahri and his friends, especially with Fahri. She is a very good woman either in performance or in attitude. In spite of that, Fahri calls her as au uncustomed Christian girl, as though shi is a non-moslem she is able to memorize two surah in Al-Qur'an fluently in which it's not sure a moslem itself can do it. She keeps in her mind Surah Al-Maidah and Surah Maryam. Fahri has just known it when he met her in a metro accidentally. All the members of Boutros family are kind to Fahri. Even when he was ill, they took him to the hospital and took care about him besides his friends, especially Maria who gave all of her cares to him. They also easily take Fahri and his friend to have a dinner in starred restourant at the bank of Nile river, Egpyt's trademark, as a reply for a gift that they gave to Madame Nahed in her birthday. Fahri gave her a gift is only for making her pleasure as for him it's a must for pleasuring someone. After the dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Boutros wanted to dance for a while. Madame Nahed asked Fahri to dance with Maria for usually Maria did want to dance with anybody. After the husband-wife down to the dance floor, Maria asked him to dance with her, but Fahri objected it and said that she is not his muhrim and then he explained his reason in detail. That's Fahri, he is always to apply his religion rule in his daily life.

The Ice-Face Bahadur and the Poor Noura
Besides Boutros Family, Fahri also has another neighbour which has black skin who has a different manner with Boutros Family. The leader in this family is Bahadur who is usually called as the ice-face as he always show a bad attitude to everyone even with his wife, Madame Syaime, and his youngest daughter, Noura. They have three daughters - Mona, Suzanna, and Noura. Mona and Suzanna has black skin similar with their parents, but not with Noura. She is white and has blonde hair. This is a cause why her family hate her and at last it makes herself very suffering. Bahadur speaks so cruel, and Noura becomes the only one target for his anger. Het two sisters who also don't like her, take this chance. Until a tragic night where Bahadur dragged Noura to the street with so many pains at her back. This is often happened but that night is thw worst one. Nobody wants to help her. Finally, as he can't see that tragic event, Fahri askes Maria to help Noura through sms. At first, Maria refuses it, as she doesn't want her family involving in that case. But, when Fahri begs to her for her love to Al-Masih, she accepts it. As the result, Noura stayed at Boutros's house at that night. This night is also becomes a cause which almost take him to the worst suffering and almost make him lost his chance to live in this beautiful world.

(To be continued...)

Related link in Indonesian Style: Resensi Ayat-ayat Cinta

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At 11:43 PM, Blogger Edward Ott said...

This book sounds very interesting i will try to find a copy for myself.

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Yunita Ramadhana said...

Thanks for giving your comment in my blog. You're right. This novel is very interesting especially for those who wants to know more about Islam. I don't know whether this novel had already translated into English, but as far as I know, it's only availabe in Idonesian.

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Edward Ott said...

So I will have to get My daughter's babysitter to translate it for me. You asked about a link. you can link to my page , do you mind if i put a link to yours on my blog?

At 3:00 AM, Blogger Yunita Ramadhana said...

Of course, i don't mind. You can link my page to your blog, I'll be very happy with that. Thanks a lot. It's a pleasure for me if you link my blog to yours.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very interesting novel, thanks for sharing this with us.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Yunita Ramadhana said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Actually, it's a really interesting novel. I'm not feel boring whether I've already read it for many times. I'll suggest you to read this novel.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment.
Yes you may link to my blog from here. pleas also view the other excellent islamic blogs i have linked on my main page.

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Nita , I read the novel, it is really great!!!
I think, you also have a talent to write a good long as you have strong motive to be a writer....

Best regard,

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sister...iv read it too and just like u, i feel like it is so close to's also translated into bahasa malaysia's version. so i hv both collection(malaysia's--pink; indo's--yellow).im sending a book to my sis in japan too.maybe you can be the one who gonna translate it into english sis. i'll be giving u my full support.

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assalammualaikum .. & salam from Moscow.

Friends of mine really recommend me to read this novel.Your review indeed really attracts me.and i think i should have one as well.yes.its also translated into Bahasa Malaysia as what sister marina musfirah said.looking forward anybody from Malaysia who could post the BM version to me.;)
Nice review anyway..!

At 1:14 AM, Blogger Yunita Ramadhana said...

Wa'alaikum salam...
To: Marina n Khairil Idham,
Thank you very much for your comments. For Marina, thanks for giving me your support in translating this novel. Maybe one day I'll do it, so, everybody in this world can read this novel, and change their mind that Islam is not as bad as blowing up by the mass media nowadays.
And for Khairil, maybe you can ask Marina to post this novel for you.

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sister yunita,
I've read the book and it is very nive and valuable...this is the book/novel that suppose to be written by all Muslim novelist in this world...a noevel that can inspire our iman (faith) to I'm waiting for his next book to come..

regard,ukhtuki fillah
Kamilah W

At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yaAllah.. khairil idham.. if u still want me to help sending the novel to u.. inshaAllah i can make it. pls do email me at give me ur address n i'll post it asap. sooo sorry since i didnt notice ur request.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Sekalung hijab said...

i'm just knew about this book from my friend.. i want to know whether the story from this blog has been continued or not..because when i saw that date it was about 1 years ago and i really wish nita could gave me the link to the next story of this book as i dont think i can find the book in this place(united kingdom)

At 1:59 AM, Blogger elindasari said...

Assalamualaikum Yunita,

It's very nice novel. I am very interesting to watch the film,too.

Thanks a lot for your story about it.

Best Regard,

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

erm.. this book sound interesting..full of complete..
i hear there was a movie base on this i make some research..and i really feel sad..smuanya btopeng...
In the real world, aisha the main character..she got tatoo..and make me more suprises.. she a this keep me wonder.. are indonesia really a islamic country..coz what i see.. there more -ve actions than islamic action..

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Ayat Ayat Cinta Novel in English ?

Verses of Love. Where people can find it ?

May be ... at ...

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished watching AAC. I am appalled that a movie with such a stupid storyline which projects women as either a liar (Noora), a compromising housewife (Aisha), a weak-hearted fool who would rather die than live when her love chooses to marry for money (Maria), and a wishful student who would rather stare at a picture than bloom as a woman (Nurul) can be so popular in Indonesia. Aisha actually has more heroic qualities than Fahri, yet she consented to share the love of that mediocre man with someone else. Maria is actually more intelligent than Fahri, yet she wanted to die when such a mediocre man decides to marry for money. And I don't want to bother with Nurul and Noora as the two "N's" represent women in a state of poor spiritual development and not very interesting. At least, Nurul's character wasn't fully developed in the film. And what is so special about this Fahri? He marries for money, tells another woman that he loves her after his loving wife rescued him from prison, needs help from a woman to fix his computer, uses his wife's money for his apartment and brought another woman to live there with them, started crying when Al-Azhar decided to throw him out (as if his worth depends on a stupid university degree as opposed to the depth of his own heart). In fact being in that prison was a blessing for him because he actually met a fellow prisoner who knew more about Islam's teaching of faith, patience, and egolessness than the sought-after, weak-hearted Fahri. INDONESIAN WOMEN - WAKE UP!!! Don't you know you are being brainwashed?

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Umer Gilani said...


I live in Pakistan and I have a deep interest in modern Islamic culture. Therefore, while surfing the net on that subject, I just chanced across this novel. Since then, I've read a lot about it and greatly fascinate by its story-line and concept.

But the problem is that I can't read Indonesian or Malay and I can't find any English or Arabic (or Urdu)translation.

Can someone please tell me where I can find a translation in English, Arabic or Urdu?
please reply to

Thank you.

At 1:25 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Assalamualaikum..I'd read this novel.I enjoy it very much.This novel makes me thing further about Islam.I hope you can create move novel like this one that based on the syariah of Islam.Thanks to Habiburrahman..May god bless you..I hope there's lots of muslim will realise thier mistakes and turn to the right path..InsyaAllah..From me,Rusydi..Malaysia

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the novel and I love it.

To Anonymous:
Indonesian women is not being brainwash. and Habiburrahman did not potrayed women as liar(Noora), a compromising housewife (Aisha), a weak-hearted fool who would rather die than live when her love chooses to marry for money (Maria), and a wishful student who would rather stare at a picture than bloom as a woman (Nurul) . This is a true islamic value story. Fahri did not marry aisha 4 money, their marriage is arranged by someone Fahri trust. (if you read the book, it is by his teacher, if I am not mistaken). I know a lot of my muslim friend who married before falling in love. Yet, they live happily for the rest of their life. Aisha is not fool to let Fahri married another woman. She has a reason. Polygamy is not as disgusting as you think.

The way I see it, your comment is full of hatred. May god lead you to the right path.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Madame Butterfly said...

This is the third Malay book I have read in my life - and I am still blown away by it.

It depicts exactly how I imagine Al-Azhar students to be - gentle and full of hikmah.

I DEFINITELY prefer the book to the movie. In the book Nurul is portrayed as a wise, mature leader of the ladies' dorm, but in the movie she came across as needy for Fahri's attention. I found in some parts of the movie Aisyah spoke quite harshly to her husband - when he wanted to work. She wasn't like that in the book.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another great novel from indonesian writter..still remember the 1st time i had read indonesian novel was written by promedya anantateour...since then i never read any indonesian novel 'till my friend suggested this novel.....yeah its really great but i still prefer promedya's novel...yunita pls tell me how can i get promedya's collections..really hope that u can help...reply to

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Aisyan said...

Salam kunjung dar Malaysia, KL

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At 8:38 AM, Anonymous nadthlee said...

Assalamu alaykum
My husband just married my best friend on my request and as a gift to me , my Imam gave me a copy of Ayat Ayat Cinta. I have probably watch the movie 5 times. I would really like to read the book, but cannot read Indonesian. Where can I find an English copy or a indonesian word text for Google to translate. I am in South Africa. Can someone please help.

yours in Islam

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum

I, too, am looking for an english translation of the book

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Ms Masa said...

Cinta itu sememangnya indah
P/s : kedai cenderahati

At 9:17 PM, Blogger a片 said...


At 9:26 PM, Blogger 日本美女寫真集 said...


At 11:41 PM, Blogger 面具 said...



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