Author : Habiburrahman El Shirazy
Published : December 2004, 406 pages
Genre : Fiction, Islamic, Indonesian
Lina recommended this book; she said it gave her mixed beautiful feelings. I peeked inside and I remember reading parts of this in a continuous story part in Republika newspaper about three years ago. Sadly, I did not know the ending because that was the time I went to Germany. I remember that it was beautifully written, especially for people who adores Islam or who wanted to learn and adore it and I was curious about the ending, so I bought the book.
The main character is an Indonesian student in Egypt. He was an exceptional student, with an exceptional akhlak (mentality?), a very kind person who always do the right thing according to the guidance of Islam, Al-Qur’an, and the Prophet Muhammad. He must be good looking as well (at least presentable enough), considering all the girls that was mentioned in this story fell in love with him (there are four of them, from different nationality and background).
It is a love story, but it was a love story written in a perspective of an Islamic scholar. True love between a man and a woman only comes after marriage. It is a guidance of how to love (and how to be loved) in ways that did not collide with the teachings of the Prophet. It is a book about Islam teaching, because it has explanations of Qur’an and Hadits. It is an idealistic portrayal of how a guy should react (and how a good moslem girl should act).
I kind of find it hard to swallow that the author made it that all the girls love the main character. But then again, it is a romance novel where everything is allowed to be over the top. The main character is totally flawless guy, a perfect person. A dream guy for a moslem woman.
In the end, I believe this book is only for those who love Islam or try to love it. For those who don’t it is probably too idealistic and unreal. The Qur’an and Hadits was a little bit too much and sometimes a bit forced upon. For me it is a bit boring to read all the quotes (*devil wink*)
9/10, if you’re a good moslem or would like to know/be one.
5/10, if you’re easily bored with preaching or you don’t believe in Islam that much.
(Bought: Gramedia Paris Van Java, Bandung on 1 February 2007, Read: 1-2 February 2007 (around 8 hours))