Alhamdulillah, I have finish reading Negeri 5 Menara. Since my friend borrowed it to me in the end of November last year, I only managed to complete it yesterday; a highly unusual long period of time for me who is a book worm.The reason: MY JEDI MASTER TRAINING! I'll share my experiences later in another post, insyALLAH.
Negeri 5 Menara tells of a story about Alif Fikri. Alif dreamed of going to SMA, a school that can realised his ambition of becoming a pilot. However, his mother wants him to go to a pondok school, a school that teaches knowledge about Islam. Alif's mother said that she wishes that her son can learn about the Islamic knowledge for at present, Islamic scholars does not practice Islam as it supposed to be. He rebelled against this but in the end, Alif agreed; although he wants to be schooled at Pondok Madani, a very far place from his hometown, Danau Maninjau. According to his uncle, Pondok Madani has produced many excellent individual who are currently studying in Mesir.
Never underestimate a mother's wishes for her children. After all, paradise lies underneath a mother's feet. Alif soon found out that he really enjoys learning there. Pondok Madani translates Islamic application in all forms; beginning from studies, sports, theater performances, journalism to becoming a leader and preparing to be a follower. The Arabic saying, 'man jadda wa jadda', basically meaning you sow what you reap, coursed through him, acting like a powerful medicine that makes him study harder and harder in order to achieve his dream.
When I read this novel, I felt jealous of Alif. I've never learned about the journey of Ibnu Batutta. How can I not know when I too would want to be a traveler one day? The knowledge of Arabic language too was made so interesting (I did took the Arabic subject when I was in Matriculation but I only learn in order to pass :D). The Arabic sayings. Photography, writing.. I think this is one of the reason that I had chosen to take MSc Finance instead of pursuing a more 'truer' branch of Mathematics; and also why I love to read, hehe. I also admire the teachers' spirit in teaching the Pondok Madani students. They are very sincere in delivering knowledge.
All in all, I give this book a 4/5. Although I must say here, I didn't give 4.5 or a 5 because I tend to compare writers. Like now, I'm comparing A. Fuadi with Andrea Hirata, hehe.
Do view the Negeri 5 Menara website. And Nuurraihan, you MUST read this novel. Everyone MUST read this novel. And Andrea Hirata's too, hehe :D
I will end this post with a profound quote that I found from this book:
Jangan pernah takut dan tunduk kepada sesiapa pun.Takutlah hanya kepada ALLAH. Sebab yang membatasi kita atas dan bawah hanyalah tanah dan langit
Never be afraid nor bow to anyone. Fear only ALLAH. Because the only thing that limit us above and below are only soil and sky.