Me and My Pesantren (4): A Fruitful Wait

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I lived in a boarding school for 12 years. The first stayed at the Nurul Islam pesantren in Karangcempaka, Bluto, Sumenep, Madura from 1999 to 2006. The second attended the Nurul Qarnain pesatren Sukowono, Jember, East Java from 2006 to 2011).

Of course, during those 12 years, there were many stories in my life’s journey. One of them, the story of suffering, which when I remember it, I can’t hold back the tears.

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“If I have friends who are also from Jember, I will continue to madrasa aliyah. But, if not, maybe I just arrive at this madrasa tsanawiyah,” said Hafi to his father, Abdul Halim, by telephone during the seconds of receiving the sign. graduation of MTs Nurul Islam Karangcempaka Bluto Sumenep Madura, in June 1999.

Then the father was busy looking for children from several acquaintances who would be persuaded to comply with his son’s request. He called his friends. He visited the houses of his neighbours. He was looking for information about whose children wanted to continue their education to the junior high school or high school level in the new year’s school at that time.

After a few days, his efforts paid off. He found a child from his fellow organization in the community. And that child is none other than me. At that time, I had just graduated from elementary school. And my father, Khomsu, had been planning for a long time to send me home and to send me to the island of Madura. Turns out, tit for tat. It’s a relief.

On Tuesday afternoon, July 6, 1999, the stunning twilight testified that my father, Mr Halim and Mr Halim departed from Garahan to Tawang Alun, driving Mr Husen’s car, Mr Halim’s neighbour. Precisely at 19.05 WIB, we arrived at Tawang Alun and immediately looked for a bus to Madura.

A moment later, father and Mr Halim brought their belongings. Enter into the bus garage. Meanwhile, I carried a carrying bag containing some clothes and snacks from my mother for snacks on the bus.


It’s been a month since I’ve adapted to new friends and the pesantren environment. However, it is tough for him to change his usual behaviour at home. Moreover, my friends always speak Madurese, even their accents are different, according to their respective regions. Moreover, because I am in the al-Arabi area, it is clear that I am required to recite Arabic takallum at all times.

Must be full of struggle to master two languages ​​while at home never get used to it. I often hear the Madurese language when I go shopping with my mother to the market where most traders are Madurese. Arabic too, as I never got used to takallum, except reading it when reading the Koran in the prayer room. I also have to run to catch up on the language. I am more active in learning Arabic from Ustaz and seniors who have been studying for longer. I also asked Hafi a lot about the Madurese language.

Less than a month staying in Madura, I was left alone by Hafi. Due to illness, Hafi had to return to Jember for quite a long time, so it is unknown what happened next; to return to the lodge or stop. I had to accept the reality and be strong in living my life apart from my family, even without friends from Jember. No, I must be able to live alone on an island that I have never visited before. I was alone, a student from outside Madura at the Nurul Islam pesantren at that time.

Family doesn’t have. There is no family living and comes from the salt island. The days are always lonely. Quiet. Away from family and childhood playmates. Feelings of discomfort began to stab. When the situation was like that, I wanted to meet my family in Jember but was afraid to go home. Fear of not getting to the destination because they have not had the experience of riding the bus alone. The end has an end; I choose to concentrate and return to the original intention of coming to Madura; li thalibil ‘ilmi bi ridlallahi Ta’ala. Seek knowledge with the hope of the pleasure of Allah, the Highest Essence.

I often burst into tears when I realized how complicated life was and thought of my family. I’ve been sobbing many times because of the unbelievably stinging pain. I don’t like asking friends for help at the cottage. But, again, I remember my mother, who was always there to take care of me when I was sick.

As a student who is very far from home, I often experience late deliveries. Not just days, but months. I have been short of supplies for months. I called my family many times. I have repeatedly reported that the previous shipments are now gone. For months I waited for the shipment, but it never arrived.

Finally, I was determined to find a job. The work of watering Pak Hasim’s tobacco in the rice fields north of his house. Mr Hasim’s rice field is behind the son’s Aliyah Madrasah building. Every morning bakda after reciting the turats book, I istikamah every day watering the tobacco. My body, which was still small and weak, often staggered as if almost collapsing when carrying the weight of the water on a large tin made of zinc. And as usual, after watering the tobacco, Pak Hasim’s wife gave me a plate of rice with anchovies and a little dry chilli sauce. My stomach was blocked, and I could use it to do activities for one day. For about a month, I ate one meal a day and night.

I also remember that I couldn’t close my eyes one night because my stomach was growling all day; I didn’t eat a single grain of rice. Finally, forced to get up and walk to the kitchen students. At first glance, I found a familiar caster sitting on the stove. I immediately went to the next room to find and wake up my friend, the caster owner.

Akhi, yajuzu thing ‘alayya an asta’ira qidraka? (May I borrow your caster. Can I, right?)” I asked Buwanto Masaran Bluto.

Na’am, tafadlal! (Yes, please!).”

Aina satathbakh? (Where do you want to cook?).” he asked, rubbing his eyes.

Fil mathbakh, God willing (God willing, in the kitchen).”

At that time, it was raining on Nurul Islam Karangcempaka’s earth. I quickly returned to the kitchen. Up in the kitchen, it’s not cooking that I do. How to cook when I don’t have a single grain of rice. So, with the help of a rice spoon, I scooped up the remaining half charred rice belonging to Buwanto, which remained sticky in the caster. Really, while shedding tears, I ate it without side dishes. I braced myself. While stroking the chest, this heart whispers; be patient, Zi; you must be strong.

And what can’t also be forgotten is the seconds of a bursting desire to prostrate when praying with the forehead touching the prayer rug. I am the only student who does not have a prayer mat.

Right on Clean Friday, I happened to be assigned to burn trash in the trash can. Holding a match, outstretched hand ready to burn it. My eyes accidentally found a bundle of garbage lying in the middle of the abyss. I approached and opened it, and the pile was scattered. Apparently, I found a prayer rug with a slightly burnt end. What I’ve been waiting for has eventually reached. Pucuk dicinta ulam pun tiba, In an instant, a feeling arose within me to take advantage of it.

In order to avoid negative things, I tied the prayer rug into a ball, then I threw it on the street and pretended to kick it to a quiet place. Only then, stealthily, did I wash it off. Unstoppable, tears welled up. After drying, I used the prayer rug, prayed and shed tears to Allah on the ribs of the night.

Once, too, one night, I sat alone in the back of the dorm. I light a candle. The wax that I used to reattach the broken sandal strap. Usually, once the sandal strap is cut, I immediately throw it in the trash. But not so for me at the time. I reconnected it by heating it to the candle flame. A few days later, the connection was disconnected again. I want to connect again, but the connection overlaps, and there are too many connections; in the end, it can’t stick. But I’m not dry mind. I stuck a safety pin into the end of the flip-flops strap. Every day I wear sandals for all activities. Although sometimes the sidelines of the thumb and forefinger feel pain. And the rainy season comes, my feet are always muddy due to the holes in the front of the sandals that keep sucking in the wet and muddy soil.

I realized that the path to success is not sprinkled with beautiful flowers fragrant, with fragrance but driven by thorns, sharp pebbles, and sometimes mines that must be crossed. So I convinced myself that I could cross these sharp thorns and pebbles. I assure myself that it will not be weathered by heat and will not be weathered by rain.

I continue to live the days with a pulse of a smile and a pulse of patience. Because, first, I am sure that the test from Him will not exceed your own strength. Second, Allah never sleeps in managing one’s life. Third, a rainbow is painted after a rainstorm.

Now, when I have returned to live in society, I feel the wisdom is so great. The blessing of studying is really felt. The prayers of the Kiai and teachers are always accompanied by their students, even though they are alumni.

A few months after returning from the boarding school (2006), I went to college while being told to teach at one of the prominent Islamic boarding schools in Jember Regency. In fact, in the boarding school, I found my ribs (married in 2011). Then, I had the opportunity to complete postgraduate studies at the State Islamic University (UIN) KH Achmad Shiddiq Jember (this year; 2021) and while starting the Qarnul Islam Islamic Education Foundation in my place birth.


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