In the beginning of last September, I bought books from Gramedia Bookstore. I was enticed to buy because Gramedia launched a 20% discount using Gramedia Flazz Card. Beside the price cut, I wanted to use my new Flazz Card. Finally I brought 3 books home: “9 Summers 10 Autumns”, “99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa” and “Ketika Mas Gagah Pergi.” I’ve just read the first two books. The first one didn’t make me satisfied. I was confused by its flow. Also the author seems too sensitive and melancholy. I knew he want to make a good motivational story from his personal experience (just like Andrea Hirata’s or Ahmad Fuadi’s work), but it seems he didn’t make it. Instead, I felt gloomy and ‘too much’. The second book, which I want to review here, was better.
99 Lights Over The Europe
I think 99 Lights (99 Cahaya) is refer to the name Allah. This book tells about the influence of Islamic Civilization in Europe. The Author takes an advantage of her current stay in Europe to make a journey to trace Islamic Civilization in Europe.
I have already known about Islamic Civilization in Cordoba and Granada from history book that I love to read in my childhood. It started from the request of South Spaniard folks to the Moslem Ruler in North Africa to protect them from their cruel leader. Then Musa Ibn Nusair sent his officer Tariq Ibn Ziyad across the strait to Gibraltar. The Visigoth Kingdom was conquered and Islamic Civilization era began in Spain. The Author also told about that story, in addition she also inform us that the Islamic remnants not only can be found in Spain, but also in France, Austria and Sicily.
In this book, there is a story about the conqueror of Vienna, Kara Mustafa Pasha, whom descendant is the author’s friend. The Turk conquest on Vienna was a fault; it was just a human ego, because Islam doesn’t spread with sword. But, Kara Mustafa did it. It was the vice versa of Andalusia Dynasty. The Islamic governor in that southern Spain region spread Islam with peace. They introduced that science and belief were supposed to be together. That’s what Islam taught. That principle also different from European atmosphere at that time. The Church, at that time, will punish those who against Church’s law. The enacted law, sometimes irrational and opposed to science development. Galileo Galilei was an example of victim from this circumstance. The effect from this belief-science clash in the past is the rise of secularism and atheism today. The secularist and atheist is trauma for what was happening in the past.
The Author also revealed several surprising facts about Islam and Europe. Axe Historique
in Paris, that consist of Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Champs-Elysees, Arch de Triomphe de l’Etoile and Obelix Luxor, was directed to Mecca! Whether it is true or not, I haven’t checked it yet. Also, there was a rumor that Napoleon Bonaparte converts to Islam after conquering Egypt. The Axe Historique and the Napoleon Code (which most of its content are same with Islamic law) were some proofs about it. One of his general, Jean Francois Menou, also converted to Islam. So It was not impossible that Napoleon also did it. Wallahualam (only the God knows it).
Overall this book stimulates my passion again to re-read Islamic history and deepens my Islamic knowledge. Hanum Salsabiela
, the author, and her spouse also showing an exhilarating journeys that everyone will envy on it.
I hope someday I can feel this kind of journey. Flying around the world and reveals its histories and lessons.