Film Ayat Ayat Cinta

Mar 10th, 2008, in News, by

The Islamic romance film “Ayat Ayat Cinta”, political Islam, and pesantren prodigies.

The wildly popular novel by Habiburrahman El-Shirazy (download PDF), and now film, Ayat Ayat Cinta (Love Verses), tells the story of young handsome Fahri bin Abdullah Shiddiq (played by Fedi Nuril), an Indonesian student attending Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, who attracts beautiful young women left, right, and centre, four of them in fact:

  • Nurul (played by Melanie Putria), also an Indonesian in Egypt, the daughter of an important East Java kyai.
  • Noura (Zaskia Adya Mecca), an ungrateful Egyptian girl (Fahri saves her life but she betrays him later).
  • Maria (Carissa Putri) a Coptic Christian living next door to Fahri, who inexplicably converts to Islam at the end of the film.
  • Aisha (Rianti Cartwright), from a wealthy German-Arab family.

In the end Fahri plumps for the rich girl Aisha and they no doubt live happily ever after.

Ayat Ayat Cinta
Ayat Ayat Cinta.

The book and film have been taken up by some on the Islamist side of politics, including parliament chairman Hidayat Nur Wahid of the PKS, who on 7th March met with some of the cast and crew of the film. Hidayat said he hadn’t seen the film, and he hoped there was no violence or pornography in it, but he had read the book and liked it.

Ayat Ayat Cinta novel
Ayat Ayat Cinta novel.

Hidayat said the book’s author, Habiburrahman El-Shiraz, was a good example of a new generation of writers who had attended Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and who could bring Islamic teachings to the masses. l6

Separately Habiburrahman himself, usually called Kang Abik, 32 years old, says he wants people to know that pesantren schools don’t just teach religion but universal subjects as well.

Habiburrahman El-Shirazy
Habiburrahman El-Shirazy

He has three more Islamic novels due out soon, Langit Mekah Berwarna Merah (Red Sky of Mecca), Bidadari Bermata Bening (Radiant Eyed Angel), and Bulan Madu di Yerussalem (Honeymoon in Jerusalem). l6

Ayat-Ayat Cinta Trailer 1

Trailer 2

92 Comments on “Film Ayat Ayat Cinta”

  1. Takrir says:

    It’s Very Good……

  2. Surya Atmaja says:

    That’s great for this film, I come to medan from aceh to watch the ayat-ayat cinta movie. Now, I will starting understanding what is love? Not only love but more the sacrifice and ikhlas for the first.

  3. sumodirjo says:

    I just watched the film but not read the novel yet, but the film is so bad. The story happened on egypt but to much indonesian language used there. why not arabic. I didn’t get the sense of egypt. and the story itself is just an average story. everything could be easily guessed from the beginning.

  4. rima says:

    I have seen this movie and it was excruciatingly painful to watch. Bad, so bad it makes mariah carey’s glitter or briney’s crossroads bearable. I wrote a review in my blog, in indonesian, but it’s my honest to god opinion about this really bad movie.

  5. Jason says:

    For those who said that Ayat-ayat cinta movie uses Schindler’s list OST, …….you must have watched the pirated VCD/DVD version of Ayat-ayat cinta…

    Please, refrain from commenting if you only have watched the pirated movie.

  6. Murphy says:

    I watched the movie last week. I haven’t read the book. So this is a pure movie experience for me.

    Overall it’s a good movie. If not for the lack of outdoor shots, I would probably call it a great movie. Much better than those cheap horror and teenage romance movies. Frankly, it’s the story and the directing that hold the movie together. The story is unique and the directing is really tight. The rest of it is very much a sinetron on steroid; with expensive indoor sets and no outdoor scenes worth mentioning.

    Don’t expect anything we normally get from a typical Hollywood widescreen for the genre. No panoramic city shots or expansive market scene, very few long-shots, not much cultural references to Egypt (frequent pyramid shots doesn’t make Cairo) and for all I know the banks of Nile scene can be banks of Kali Porong. The art director is unlucky that in 2008 many Indonesian households already have access to Discovery Channel so we know the Nile and Cairo doesn’t look like that, thank you. The depiction of student’s life is quite believable, though.

    Also, lots of “acting” that makes Keanu Reeves looks like a serious contender for Academy Award. Fedi Nuril did absolutely nothing to make me believe he deserved the love of four beautiful women (well, part of it is true and most of it, of course, because I envy his luck). And yes, don’t forget to enjoy the usual vomit-inducing melodrama. It’s from the Punjabis after all.

    Again, it’s a good Indonesian movie and the unusual story really worths your ticket price. Really. Go and watch it. Just don’t come with a Hollywood blockbuster expectation.

  7. Yuma says:

    I’ve also watched this movie last week with my wife. I’ve read the novel and I felt a bit disappointed. The novel was great but the movie does not do justice. It’s a decent movie alright but somehow it has bits of sinetron here and there. I wonder if it has to do with that damn MD logo.

    But after I read Hanung Bramantyo’s blog (the director) I can see why it turned out that way.

    In short, the whole production has seen nothing but troubles and lack of fund:

    – No Egyptian shoot, it’s 3 times more expensive. India, here we come…!
    – No Egyptian actress fits to play as Maria alongside Fedi Nuril.
    – Most terrible of all, that Punjabi dude (the producer) tried to change the movie into Kuch kuch hota hai style (acha acha!!). Thank god Hanung stopped him.
    – Piracy!! Leaked half-finished movie spreads like fire even before the premiere.

    With so many expectation from those who’ve read the novel, Hanung still managed to come out with a decent movie, albeit with all of the troubles.

    So those of you who’ve read the novel, I say go see the movie. And for those of you who haven’t read the novel I still recommend the movie. It’s way much better that those pocong and teenage movies.

    And finally, for those of you who claim the movie uses Schindler List OST, be aware that you’ve watched the leaked half-finished product. There is no Schindler List OST on the final product. So, there.

  8. Bleki says:

    No wonder the makers of this rubbish felt the need to invite the vip of indonesian authorities to watch it. That explains and shows that this rubbish was hurriedly and instantly made in order to grab the momentum following the ‘marketable-success’ of the novel. And the quality of something that was produced roughly, hurriedly, and instantly is logically far from having aesthetic sense. That’s why the makers themselves knew that by inviting the authorities they hope it would boost the image of their rubbish in the eyes of common people.

  9. Jasmine says:

    This movie maybe isn’t the best, but I think it’s better than others.
    I could say it’s the most fenomenon movie ever in indonesia.

  10. Nazar says:

    Can anybody help me to see this movie in Australia,
    once I read abouth this movie in I wish to see this with english subtittle. does anybody have a cd or dvd??

    thanks very much

  11. Jullian says:

    I have to honestly say, I’m not a big fan of Indonesian Movies and I think most of them are “crap”. Those showcasing too much of a joke, those showcasing too much of a drama, those showcasing too much of a disturbing image will not make a mark on my mind. I’m okay if my friends ask me out to watch those movies with them, but if I have the chance to spend money on a better film, why should I bother watching stupid movies, right?

    Ayat Ayat Cinta is considered a Top Notch Indonesian Movie so far, according to me.
    The film brings us a good message and a great deal of Islamic culture.
    Unlike those romance, teenage drama and horror movies, Ayat Ayat Cinta is a way more educating Indonesian Film.
    With a nice setting, cast and cinematography, the film evokes our eyes with rich and vibrant colors and visually lead us to the core of Islamic culture.
    The drama inside the film was just okay and still acceptable to common sense. I don’t understand much about polygamy and other rules in Islamic culture, but to a general audience Ayat Ayat Cinta is still entertaining and understandable.

    A film which bears a strong islamic aspect into the story and indeed showing us how should all of us live in peace and harmony. One of those worth watching movies, spend some of your allowance to watch Ayat Ayat Cinta and get an entertaining education of Islamic Culture.


  12. Hani says:

    From Ross, March 12th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    It’s well-made, the cast are good, and it shows the reality of a Middle Eastern brutal and corrupt legal/prison system.

    Well, you cannot really say “middle-eastern brutal and corrupt legal/prison system” … coz, i’ve been working and living in Abu Dhabi for the past 2 years and i feel more secure and safe rather than back home in Indo, as a matter of fact. Check this website for reflection:

    Be careful not to generalize by saying ‘middle-eastern’ or ‘Arabs’ coz it will give the wrong ideas about it. Most of these countries – especially GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) – are rich and well developed, they are well-versed of the importance of good legal system since many of them ‘imported’ labours and/or engineers from other countries.

    From Pena Budaya, on March 17th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Please read the following, it was criticized that the movie has failed to adapt the situation in middle east so it looks silly and stupid..

    As far as i see, moviemakers should be careful about these facts also and to be more conscientious about the movie details. They should consider that not all of Indonesian are aware of Arabs countries. Movies are one way to deliver of these information. False facts will lead to confusion and even worse… misjudgment. We will not be pleased if Arabs tell that Indonesian are all poor and uneducated, why should we generalize them also?

  13. pirate_ahoy says:

    i just downloaded the pirated dvd version. free of charge. yey!!!

  14. Lauditta says:

    I really like the movie.
    I’m crying when I watch the movie.
    Clap my hands to ayat-ayat cinta !!!

  15. Dewi says:

    It is a great movie (by the sounds of it) and great song. Carissa Putri well done.

  16. mirza says:

    Generally speaking, the movie/novel is good, but I don’t really like the ending when Maria converts to Islam (although I am a Muslim). It’s like showing that in ideal Islamic themed novel/movie (of course we can’t blame the movie, it is based on novel), every good character should be a Muslim.

  17. Sammy says:

    I love the movie. I’ve watched it 4 times. I’m gonna watch it again and again. I’m actually fed up with those crap indonesian movies. NO quality whatsoever! AAC is the one I had been waiting for.

    Some here said that the soundtrack somewhat ripped off the one from schinder lists. Whic one? Which theme on spesific scenes, so I can compare it later. thanks.

  18. james Iha says:

    I watched it and wasn’t impressed. nothing more than a longer version of a sinetron set in the middle east. i was eagar to get out of the theatre when he wasn’t convicted of rape, but the story just kept going and going. the language was also confusing and didn’t make senese. but my favorite part when when he heard god through a mad man in jail. now that’s original. props to the guy who played the mad man.

  19. Gina says:

    “mirza Says:
    April 13th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Generally speaking, the movie/novel is good, but I don’t really like the ending when Maria converts to Islam (although I am a Muslim). It’s like showing that in ideal Islamic themed novel/movie (of course we can’t blame the movie, it is based on novel), every good character should be a Muslim.”

    Hey Mirza, I really support your point there. Well, overall, I think the context is OK. I like the fact that they made Islam and Christianity get along with each other; however, the fact that Maria changed her religion isn’t very necessary on the movie. If (maybe) Maria didn’t transformed to be a Muslim, I’m sure that all the people from different ethnics or religions or whatever will enjoy to watch this movie (without feeling offended because religion is a very sensitive topic to discuss).

    I was just wondering, why all the Islamic movies are very well promoted inside the country compare with movies from other religions (not to mention). But what I see so far is most of the movies from different religions other than Islam were being suspended or didn’t get any licensed to be publish on the media or public. Hopefully, this movie will be the starting point for other religion movies to be able to produce their own. In my opinion, all the religions are beautiful in their own ways. We just need to look at each one of them more deeply and try to understand and give some respect.


  20. Sammy says:

    I think why Maria converted into Islam was because of what she might have seen in the personality of a man she loved, i.e., Fahri. She then learned the Islam by herself, by reading the Quran (from the book, the fact that she knew the surah Maryam was due to the complete story told within about Siti Maryam, or Maria, hence to her name). She fell in love not only to Fahri but by general to Islam itself. This matter doesn’t mean to offend any other party at any point. It’s what she has choosen, it’s totally her right. So, by default, the idea that Mirza argued by thinking that every good character should be a Moslem is not what this movie tried to impose. Surely good characters can be from different religions, no doubt about it. Only I think it wasn’t either the book writer nor the director meant otherwise.

  21. Asif ibn Falahuddin says:

    Subhanallah, this was a beautiful movie. I don’t know a word of Bahasa Indonesian, but Alhamdulillah – I could understand through some of the shared Arabic words (i.e. ayaat, Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Selam) between Malay and Urdu, our shared deen (Islam’s benevolent position on woman’s rights; the story of Yusuf Alaihis-Salaam and Zulekha, as that majnooni was laughing in the prison) and that English newsreel certainly aided in the translation effort. Mashallah, Indonesian’s a beautiful language – I want to learn it. Does anyone have any tips on which books to buy, which software to get, or any websites. For now, I’ll listen to those Pimsleur’s tapes as a base of exploration of the Malaysian language. Inshallah, may Allah help us restore the Khilafah Rashidah and the shar’iah, not some corrupted secularised, nationalistic, kufr version of it. Egypt and Indonesia are both daulat ul-kufaree (disbelieving states). It’s treason to call for the khilafah in Indonesia, and Egypt’s jails are notorious for torturing the righteous scholars (making some of them shaheed like Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Banna Rahmatullah Alaiyhim) and bribing the baatil ones (Qaradawi, Tantawi). I would like to go to Azhar, some day, Inshallah. One day, Inshallah, I can visit Indonesia too. Parts of my country, India, were actually shown in the shooting – which I found amazing. It must have been to expensive to shoot in Egypt from cut to finish. Habeeb ur-Rahman Ash-Shiraazi is an amazing brother; may Allah reward him for making this work. I can actually feel happy that I watched this movie; it’s not some sleazy, decadent, pornographic Bollywood flick. It’s a real love story about real Muslims in real situations. Alhamdulillah, Maria converted to Islam, and died upon it (making ibaadat to Allah Subhana Ta’ala) at the end of the movie. This is the way we are supposed to marry Ahl-e-Kitab. In my language (Urdu), the word for love is mohabbat (taken from the Arabic muhabba). I’m surprised neither the word (pyaar – Hindi) nor the mohabbat was used in the title. I have another question, is Cinta pronounced Chinta in the title. Assalam Alaikum to all the Muslims, and peace to all the non-Muslim. It’s a wonderful experience to watch this movie; let me know when the DVD comes out so I can buy it – and watch it with English subtitles, Inshallah. Selamatagi.

  22. Rose Erna Adam says:

    I really enjoyed watching the movie and it really help us to realised that if we are sincere then everything will be ok.But SINCERIty from the HEART is never easy to achieve.

  23. Andra says:

    Another arab-isation..

  24. Ezatiey says:

    To be frank, I’m a person who hardly watch any malay/indonesian movies, but this movie totally makes me think twice, our movie is also great! Go and watch this movie, it is a must watch movie, I’m not lying to you, if you’re a real muslim, you’ll understand what I mean.

  25. hanigulamelaka says:

    Salam Alaikum All

    I was magneted to watch this movie after the BIG publicity by the media (Pres Yudhoyono watched it too). Previously I can’t be bothered about sinetrons like HIKMAHs, DIA, and stuff coz… I got better things to do…….I tagged my youngest doter & maid along…..RESULT??? it was soooo TOUCHINGGG dat we ACTUAL ENJOY watching it……leaving the cinema wif bundles of tissues in hand…sob sob…..

    Hv u seen this movie? Well, if u haven’t, I think YOU shld, worth even the wkend tickets….If u have…care to comment on my curiosities???

    1) Scene shows female American reporter & her nauseous mum given a seat by a gd deed Muslim – WHY DOES A FOREIGN REPORTER HAS TO BRING MUM ALONG ???

    2) After the Akad Nikah between Fahri & Aisha, joyous petals of flowers were strewn over them…… scene depicted Islam, IS THIS ISLAMIC ???

    3) The Akad Nikah between Fahri & Maria (Christian) was done when she’s still in semi coma, but HOW IS IT THAT SHE CONVERTED TO ISLAM AFTER THE AKAD ???

    4) After marrying the deeply religious Fahri, unlike Aisha, MARIA WAS NOT WEARING HEADSCARF EVEN IN PUBLIC ???

    5) After the conversion to Islam, WHY IS IT THAT MARIA’S CROSS TATOO WASN’T (OR ANY ATTEMPT TO) REMOVED ???

    6) A scene showing head to toe garb Muslimah wife Aisha leaving hse with her luggage despite Fahri’s objection, SHOULDN’T A WIFE ASK HUBBY’S PRIOR PERMISSION ???



  26. Tini says:

    I’ve watch the movie. Superb storyline. 10 out of 10!! Can I know where can I find the novel in SIngapore???

    I’m really keen in it. Do mail me @


  27. Masturah says:

    The language of love has finally exposed – I find it lovingly sexy- by the way how can I get the book in Singapore? Any idea which bookstore selling it?

  28. MoneyFan says:

    I hated this movie. Its so different from the book.. I didn’t like certain aspects of it.

    Firstly, about the incident in the train. In the book, it showed on how soft hearted the Arabs in Mesir are when things are explained to them in a proper manner and with suitable evidence and when they know their mistake. but in the movie, that Arab man actually walked off in anger and people may get the wrong idea and think that Arabs are hardheaded and won’t accept the facts.

    Secondly, after Fahri and Aisha married… there’s no intimacy at all! unlike the book.. the book shows how dedicated they both are to each other. they did not raise their voices at each other and Aisha was not easily jealous at unclear things like what is shown in the movie. but in the movie, they mostly raise their voice at each other due to Aisha’s jealousy of Maria. And in the book, Fahri does not get angry easily but the movie, he gets angry just because Aisha’s jealous.

    Thirdly, why is it that in the hospital when Aisha told Fahri to marry Maria, he said that Aisha is the only one.. and shows signs of being loyal to her when actually before that they mostly raise their voices at each other? In the book, Aisha supported Fahri from the start till the end unlike the movie which shows that Aisha did not believe Fahri at first. The book shows everything more clearly and what a pity that the movie did not show the scene where Aisha visited Fahri and they cried together and comfort each other while crying. That part was the most touching and showed their love for each other the most. The movie did not show much. It was as if there was less love was between them. Some people might even think that Aisha is actually a not-that-good woman at certain parts of this movie when she actually truly is the opposite.

    Overall, I was not satisfied with the movie at all especially as I have read the book and even though they changed a little bit of the storyline, they should not change the characteristics of the characters in the book.

  29. lintang says:

    Hi tini… you can actually download the novel from the internet.
    I did it, and it’s free…
    Anyway the movie was great, I watch it on the first day of it’s opening
    in singapore. And I’m gonna watch it again tomorrow. Insya Allah.

  30. Sammy says:

    To answer some of your questions:

    1) Scene shows female American reporter & her nauseous mum given a seat by a gd deed Muslim – WHY DOES A FOREIGN REPORTER HAS TO BRING MUM ALONG ???

    Maybe her mom was dying enough to see a foreign country like Egypt, so when her daughther had a chance to visit there, she asked her to bring her along…:)

    2) After the Akad Nikah between Fahri & Aisha, joyous petals of flowers were strewn over them…… scene depicted Islam, IS THIS ISLAMIC ???

    Ya, why not. What is your real argument for that matter?

    3) The Akad Nikah between Fahri & Maria (Christian) was done when she’s still in semi coma, but HOW IS IT THAT SHE CONVERTED TO ISLAM AFTER THE AKAD ???

    She hasn’t, yet. At least not until she almost died at the ending part. You should read the book, not just watch the movie.

    4) After marrying the deeply religious Fahri, unlike Aisha, MARIA WAS NOT WEARING HEADSCARF EVEN IN PUBLIC ???

    Again, she hasn’t been a moslem yet. So probably this answered the question number 5.

    6) A scene showing head to toe garb Muslimah wife Aisha leaving hse with her luggage despite Fahri’s objection, SHOULDN’T A WIFE ASK HUBBY’S PRIOR PERMISSION ???

    Probably should, but that’s not what supposed to be told in the story. In fact, Aisya was very loyal and accepted the condition of being polygamized by Fahri. She never had any intention to leave whatsoever. The scene was generated due to the director effort to show a more common thing that could be tolerated by our ppl, in this case, Indonesian. You would be supprised to notice some or in fact many moslem wives being almost totally acknowledged of polygamy thingy…

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