Lessons drawn from “Surga yang tak dirindukan”

By Muhammad Qamarul Ikhwan

I had just finished watching an Indonesian movie titled “Surga yang tak dirindukan”. For those who have not watched it yet, this film is about the life of a man named Pras who married a Muslim girl named Arini. They were blessed with a daughter named Nadia. The journey of their marriage did not go that well when Pras had to save a pregnant woman named Meirose from attempting suicide after giving birth to a son. To save Meirose’s life, Pras made a promise to Meirose that he would marry her and take care of her and the child if she were to stop from attempting a suicide.

There are a lot of good lessons in this movie and I would like to highlight a few which I found interesting. The main lesson that I learnt is that life itself is a process. It is a process which is full of obstacles. It requires us to keep on being patient and sincere. Do not forget that how far we want our life to be the same as faced by those characters in the fairytale storybooks, we still have God who will constantly test our faith towards Him. How far will we be patient? How far will we be sincere in each of the tests given by Him?

Let us talk about sincerity. From my point of view, sincerity is rather subjective. Even we ourselves are not sure how sincere we are in doing certain things. How could we know? How could we measure sincerity? Again sincerity is a never ending process. To gain it one must always place it in their heart even though there are times we will feel different. As an example, one episode in this movie shows how Arini tried to be sincere when she knew that her husband had married another woman without informing her. But what caught my attention is when Meirose said to Pras, “There is no women who will be fully sincere when something like this were to happen to them”. This shows that we are all normal when it comes to getting angry and feeling jealous. Sincerity itself requires time and acceptance on what had happened to us.

A great experience to share. Back in this year’s Ramadan, one of my co-workers was a religious person (tabligh). He always asked me about my views regarding polygamy in Islam. I simply told him that I believe that polygamy is like a medicine where not all patients should or must consume it. Only a few of them should consume. Being fair and just in polygamy is not measured in terms of allowance equality only. But it is also measured in terms of being fair in giving love towards one another. It is unfair to love the younger wife more than the older wife. Even though I am not yet married (Pray for my happiness), I believe that I will not be able to treat my wives fairly in the future. In simple conclusion, we ourselves know very well how fair and just we could be in this matter.

But what seems to catch my attention is when my co-worker said this, “But if God wills that you were to practise polygamy in the future, you would not be able to escape from His fate”. This exact words reminds me about an episode in the movie. Pras is a husband who never thinks of getting married to another wife. He loves his wife whole-heartedly, he promised to Arini’s father that he will never hurt Arini’s heart. But things did not go in their way.

The fate from God that has destined Pras to marry Meirose has changed his life. God has tested Pras’s faith by sending Meirose who is lost and not sure of the future she will have. Pras is the one who has been destined to take good care of Meirose and to bring her back to His way. Pras shows that polygamy could be something that is not just based on lust.

“His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is” (Ayat 82, Surah Yassin). Remember also God’s promises in another ayat, “Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom; and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom. And ever is Allah, overall things, a Keeper” (Ayat 85, Surah An-Nisa).***

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