The story begins in a suburb of an Egyptian street where Fahri, the post-graduate Islamic studies student from Indonesia were studying at Al-Azhar and his friendship with Maria, a Christian Coptic girl living upstairs.
It is interesting how the author portray the amicable relationship between a religious and pious Muslim and a devoted Christian Coptic family. Despite having different faith, their love for The Holy Lord unites them in the name of humanity and compassion. Something that really like was the part where Fahri asked Maria
for help, when another Muslim girl downstairs, Noura was being brutally tortured by her ‘father’. Fahri SMS Maria and plead her help for the sake of Isa al-Masih (Jesus Christ) hehehe... as Maria was reluctant to get involved and Fahri couldn’t attend to the girl as he observed a stringent religious code of conduct that prohibits him for touching the non-Mahram. There is also a part when Fahri went for a dinner with Maria’s family in a posh restaurant and Maria asked him to dance with her. Strongly upholding his faith, he explained to Maria graciously why he could not accept her offer to dance together and Marie politely understand. Another memorable part for is the first encounter between Fahri and Aisha, a Turkish-German lady who eventually asked for a marriage proposal via her uncle that happened to know Fahri personally. They first met in a public transport, when Fahri defended an American lady; Alicia who was being mocked by the Egyptians for she was an American (another Arab anti-American rhetoric). Aisha who was happened to be there joined to protect Alicia from being harmed by the emotionally-naive Egyptians. They managed to exchange contacts and Aisha made friend with Alicia, as she was eager to learn more about Islam from her. She contacted Fahri to arrange for a meet- up as Alicia wanted to ask him questions about Islam. Fahri had also seek Maria’s help to translate an Arabic book on Islam to English so Alicia can have a copy of it and read it herself. To cut the story short, Fahri and Aisha finally get married in a moderately-lavish wedding, all arranged by Aisha. When Fahri was first proposed by Aisha’s guardian in Egypt, he had no idea how Aisha look like. He thought it was Nurul, (an Indonesia undergraduate that he likes and she in return also silently likes him) that had sent someone for a marriage proposal; instead he was shocked when it was Aisha, the lady barely met twice. As Aisha is wearing a ‘niqab’, he had no idea how she looked like. During the marriage proposal or in Syariah known as ‘khitbah’, Aisha revealed her face to Fahri, where he was mesmerized by her exceptional beauty, SubhanALLAH…”Fa bi ayyi alaai rabbikuma tukazziban” (And which bounty of your Lord that you want to refuse- Surah Al-Rahman) Without knowing that Aisha is a wealthy heir of her millionaire mum who married a Muslim convert while doing some ‘dakwah’, Fahri was shocked that Aisha brought him to a luxurious apartment facing the Nile River of Egypt. He was even given two ATM cards with hundred thousands worth of money inside. Aisha was determined and had full faith that these money and all her assets will be used for greater good by her beloved husband. Aisha loves Fahri very much. Nevertheless, not used to luxurious life requested that they sell the luxurious apartment and live moderately. He even told his wife that he wanted to return to Indonesia and continue his ‘dakwah’ work. Being a diligent wife, she willingly agrees. Here, I personally see some resemblance to sacrifices of the very first Ummul Mukminin, Sayyidatina Khadijah r.a.
Anyway, coming back to this story, the apex of the story is when Fahri was accused of raping Noura (the girl that he helped). Noura had filed charges against him purposely as she was upset and disappointed with Fahri for rejecting her love (She once gave a love letter to Fahri and Fahri entrusted the letter to his teacher so no one knows about the love letter axcept Fahri , and his teacher but unfortunately died and the deceased was very strict in maintaining trust , even he never told his wife where he kept things people entrusted to him so Aisha couldn't find a way to help Fahri free from a fault accusation of rape ), On the other part Fahri was in prison and received the announcement letter that he expelled from Al Azhar. Fahri cried even couldn't hold to stand, his fellow mate in the jail told him to get up and listen to him " this is not the end of the world Fahri " he said . He told Fahri that this time is actually Allah is speaking to him, Allah is reminding him not to be arrogant, but Fahri didn't listen and cried " what have I done? Why Allah did this to me? " . The man told him to remember who was he? What had he done this time? " Haven't you been arrogant Fahri?" asked the man in high tune. "You think you are the most righteous, you think you are the holiest. Even in front of your own wife!" continue the man. He reminded him of the tale about Joseph and Zulaika (Prophet's tale), Zulaika accused Joseph of raping her. But actually it was she herself couldn't resist Joseph's charm . Slander is all slander. Zulaika accused Joseph of raping her so that Joseph would be imprisoned. " Did he revolt?" Continued the man "NO. Fahri!'' "Because Joseph knew that Allah was talking to him. Do you want to know what has Joseph said? Do you know what he said?" The man repeatedly. Joseph said " Ya Allah , if my life would have more meaning for me here in jail than in the outside world then I would choose here in jail but close to you. Rather than living together with liars. The man told Fahri that this time Allah is telling him to be patient and sincere, Patience and sincerity that's Islam. Fahri cried loudly and prayed. Now The only alibi that can testify of Fahri’s innocence is Maria. However, she was in a coma. Her illness is unknown but it was said that her health begun to get worst after Fahri’s marriage. Finally AIsha went to see Maria's family, at first Maria's mother didn't let her in, but yes at last. Maria's mother told everything and handed Maria's diary to her. Inside Maria's diary that Aisha read : I thought Moslem is close minded and self-righteous, but after meeting Fahri I saw peace. I could feel that Islam is truly a religion that brings peace, From his attitude Fahri has opened my eyes to so many things , about honesty, straight fowardness, modesty without cowardice. Fahri also taught me that everyone is equal, be it man or woman. Christ, Fahri has dragged me. Oh my Egypt I want to be forever yours. But Fahri has found his Nile and it isn't me because Fahri and me is different , but I still love him GOD, I love him !! Aisha close the diary and couldn't resist her tears. Her diary revealed that she had secretly fallen in love with him and upon knowing of his marriage, she had no desire to continue living. In order to regain her consciousness, Maria’s mother approach Aisha and ask her a favor which many women will object to – asking her to let Fahri’s marry Maria. Aisha, already troubled to find solutions to free her husband from the unjust court ruling in Egypt, without much hesitation agreed and told Fahri to marry Aisha. Maria came to see Fahri in jail and told everything, she asked him to say something to Maria and she recorded it , hoping Fahri's voice can wake Maria up. Fahri refused till finally he agreed after Aisha pleaded him to do so. Fahri started recording his voice " When the first time I met you, I know you are a kind woman , you are honest and straight forward , to be honest I was amazed by you. Fahri was shocked after Aisha asked him to say that He loves Maria, Time's up and Aisha had to go. She said " Think properly Fahri, this is for us" then she left, Fahri said " Aisha I love you. " In the hospital Maria was getting worse. Aisha came to see her. She put the recorder beside Maria's ear and turned it on " There Fahri voice , At the hot and congested Metro, there's a christ's girl tha amazed me, confessing for the greatness of Al-qur'an the bounching Surah Maryam. ) The nurse said that Maria really getting worse and hoped that Fahri himself comes here and talks to Maria. The lawyer asked a permission for Fahri to get out of the jail for at least three hours to meet Maria by using Aisha's right as a German citizen. After given a permission Fahri came to see Maria, The nurse asked Fahri to talk to Maria , By holding Maria's hand Fahri began to say " You remember the mango juice often you made for me? Or how often you asked me to buy you CDs? Or your Basket which is often fell down. because it was to heavy to carry my books that you borrowed , Wake up Maria! Fahri recalled. The nurse said that her eyes have begun active but she still to weak. Aisha moved closer to Fahri and said " Tell her that you will marry her!" Despite knowing the permissibility of polygamy, Fahri refused as it was his principle that he has not wish to marry more than one (Fahri said "Aisha , I was chosen you for the name of Allah and you are my soul mate." / " Soul mate is Allah's secret , Fahri. A part of Maria is muslimah , she needs you and the baby inside my womb needs it's father). Previously, Nurul had even written a letter suggesting polygamy for him as she had also fallen in love with him. However, after being persuaded. Fahri finally agreed and Aisha took out her wedding ring and pass it to Fahri. Although she had initiated it, El- Shirazy’s managed to show her humane side when she felt jealous witnessing the marriage took place. Finally, Maria woke up after Fahri said that he loved her. " Have you remember when we talked about soul mates by the Nile ? You have found your soul mate Maria, " Fahri kissed her forehead (on the other hand Aisha went off the room and cried her heart out :( ) Maria woke up and said " Fahri , don't ever leave me again! " Maria's mother cried overjoyed went out the room to find Aisha and she kissed Aisha's hand and hugged her. In the next day in the court room the justice asked " Does defender have new witnesses? And Maria managed to testify Fahri’s innocence. Noura was shocked after they mentioned about Maria. She said " I boldly testify in the name of God who knows all ..At that time when I helped Noura to hide from his step father she borrowed my cell phone and called her friend , Khadija.. she said that Her father willing to sell her, Khadija asked where she was ad she told her that she was in my place and told her friend that I, the one who saved her from her father." Before Maria continue , Noura got up and interrupted " It was Bahadur's fault , it was he who raped me, he has despised me for a long time. That day I purposely passed in front of Fahri's flat because he hadn't answered my love letter, I love Fahri . When I knew Fahri was already married, My heart broke " She cried. " So you chose to lie? " The lawyer asked , and she said that she was afraid to lose her both parents again , And fahri exclaimed " Your parents will forgive you Noura". So after that Fahri was declared to be free from all charges. Fahri went out thankfully of the court with his both wifes . Maria moved in and lived with Aisha and fahri . At night Fahri can't decide with whom he will sleep, everytime Aisha asked " where do you want to sleep?" But he just stay quiet. He finally sleep in the sofa. The same when time for breakfast , Fahri tried to break the ice and asked both of them, what should they do today, but they just looked at each other without saying a thing . When Fahri helped Maria to walk and get up from her wheel chair, Aisha seemed to be a little jealous, also when everytime each of them call Fahri to their room, It's too complicated for Fahri's mind . One time Aisha saw Fahri and Maria kissing and she wasn't prepare for it yet. and she finally decided to move for a short time. Fahri asked " where are you going Aisha? She anwered " I want to visit the grave of mother in Turkey with uncle Iqbal" " Why is it so sudden, why with uncle iqbal? I can accompany you!' continued Fahri. But Aisha said that He has to take care of Maria . " But your womb Aisha, Our baby?" / " Please Fahri, I need time to be a lone, For the sake of all of us , Fahri!! Aisha went off , Maria looked from behind the door. On the other day, Fahri told his problem to his friend " I am confused, How to unite Aisha and Maria? " / " I don't even have one wife yet , RI. How will I know to handle two? replied his friend jokingly. /" I'm tired Ful " . / " Now this what I know. You will never be able to unite them, all you can do is just try to be fair , But remember It's difficult to be fair to one wife, how about two? It's all back to your faith , surrender everything to Allah." advised his Friend. Aisha didn't go to Turkey because her uncle didn't want to accompany her to turkey , it's too fast. Aisha told his uncle that she needed time to understand all this . " Accept sincerely Aisha! " A sudden voice by Fahri.He came without anyone realise " That's what I am trying to do, I can't sincerely accept that you are wealthier than me. I can't sincerely accept the condition the three of us with Maria. And I don't know what is fair and how to be. I will learn more . But in order to do that, I need you !!" Aisha moved closer and kissed Fahri's hands . She finally came back home , welcomed by Maria's warm smile . Maria hugged her. The next day they begun like the real family who love each other, laughing together. everywhere together . In the garden Maria was sitting next to Fahri talking to each other, when Fahri asked her what does she want to be , she said that she want to a famous novelist. and she asked AIsha " what are you doing Aisha? " Aisha replied that she just taking a walk " Your mom said if I want to give birth smoothly I need to walk often, you will also have to do it when you get pregnant later " Suddenly Aisha cried in pain seemed she wanted to give birth. Fahri ran AIsha to the hospital. At the same moment Maria's nose started bleeding. She was in pain and had taken to hospital too. At that time Aisha just a little tired, She is not going to give birth yet. Aisha told Fahri if the baby is boy she will named him Yusuf (Joseph). Then Fahri continue asked " If a girl?" Aisha thinking for long " If a girl?.......?? Eh Honey, have you visited Maria? " Fahri smiled " I just did, I will buy you some food " Aisha answered " Buy some for Maria too, okay?! " . Fahri nodded and left. " For three of us " . In the dark night outside Maria was sitting on her wheelchair opening her diary, She opened page by page and cried. The nurse came and took her in to her room. Aisha kept waiting for Fahri to come back from buying food, But she waited for quite long and Fahri did't appear. She went out and walked to Maria's room. There Maria sit alone. And AIsha drew herself to sit next to her . " WHere 's Fahri Aisha? Can you please help me ask Fahri to come over! " Her voice trembling . Aisha get quickly up and went to call Fahri. Again Maria's nose was bleeding. Not for so long Fahri came to the room and found out Maria was lying helplessly on the bed. " Maria! Maria! Maria! " "Get the nurse, quick! " He asked AIsha. But Maria quickly hold Aisha's hand asked her not to go. " Forgive me, Fahri, Aisha! " Her eyes was tearing, her nose was bleeding. " Maria, you have done nothing wrong, why you should apologize? " / " I ...I apologize not for my faults... Now I realize..to love and to posses are two different things...Forgive me Fahri, Aisha..forgive me! " . Aisha cared Maria's back asked to cool down. Maria grabbed Fahri and Aisha's hands " Fahri, teach me how to perform sholat! I would like to pray with two of you " Aisha and fahri Got ready to perform Sholat with Maria. Maria cleaned her body by Tayamum (clean using dust by touching the wall because she couldn't get up and use water). She recite Shahadah " La illah Ha illalah, muhammadur rasullalah (There is absolutely no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Mohammad (saws) is the Messenger of Allah.), Allahu akbar " Maria close her eyes and smile, she passed away. Aisha was crying in her prayer, and Fahri leaded to perform sholat. After finished performing sholat. AIsha got up and looked Maria " Maria! Maria! Fahri....Maria! " Fahri called Maria " Maria...Maria.....Get the nurse " But he knew Maria was already gone "Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun / surely we belong to GOd and to HIM shall we return!" Aisha hugged Fahri and Cried sadly, Maria has gone. Fahri remember long time ago when he was standing by the Nile with Maria " Do you believe in soul mates Fahri? " / " Yes, everyone has..." / " their own soulmate , that's what you always say right? , I think The nile and Egypt are soulmates, If there was no river nile, there would surely be no Egypt, there would be surely no civilization, only desert , Praise Allah you have found your soulmate , Fahri". The end.
Here the movie :)
The movie ( Ayat ayat Cinta )
Here the movie :)
The movie ( Ayat ayat Cinta )