I still remember very much in my mind when I first set foot in this boarding school. Yes, Pondok Annuqayah is the boarding school that I dream of. Since I was very young, I have shown my friends that I want to go to Annuqayah. In the village where I live, Annuqayah is known as Pondok Guluk-Guluk (Ponduk Luk-Guluk). “After graduating from elementary school, I will go to Annuqayah,” I always show off to my friends at school.
And that moment came true. Wednesday, I don’t know what date I first set foot in this pesantren. There is a sense of pride that is absurd. Finally, I’ve got what I dreamed of: staying at the Annuqayah Islamic Boarding School in Guluk-Guluk, Sumenep, Madura, East Java. “The dream comes true, the dream comes true,” I thought at the time.
After the procession of handing over the santri to the Kiai, at that time Kiai A Warits Ilyas (late), I officially became a student at this pesantren. My friends who had previously been students at this boarding school welcomed and guided me in terms of novelty in the pesantren. For example, where is the place to take a bath, how to cook rice (when I went to bed almost all of the students cooked for themselves), when to pray in congregation, where to bathe and wash clothes, when I had to study, and other novelties? Gradually I was able to adapt to the atmosphere of the cottage and the needs I had to do.
One thing that always lingers in my memory is the first time I entered the mosque to pray in congregation. Especially at the congregational Maghrib prayer, the time before the call to prayer was sounded, that’s when the remembrance and reading of the Koran echoed. Until then, the experience was thrilling, as if there were thousands of angels who were echoing God’s name. Suddenly I shed tears, emotion and confession of sin raged in my mind at that time. I don’t know. That’s how it goes for the next few months. Although in the end, in the future, it has become commonplace and is no longer something extraordinary.
I entered a boarding school with mediocre religious knowledge. That is, knowledge related to nahu science, such as Arabic and other religious sciences, is new knowledge. So I have to try my best to be the same as my earlier friends in this pesantren. Even until I felt desperate to learn Arabic Grammar which at the beginning I entered the pesantren was very difficult.
“The important thing is that you learn little by little. There is no instant knowledge. But, it can be understood in an instant,” said my roommate giving me moral encouragement. And it’s true, gradually I was able to follow every lesson I got at this beloved Annuqayah cottage.
Then the number of times, running according to its nature, increased by days, weeks, months, to years. Without realizing it, I have been studying for several years. There are many things to experience at this proud pesantren. Both in terms of religion, social relations, to matters related to science. It was also the first time my writings were published in various media, such as Surabaya Pos, Amanah Magazine, and local pesantren journals.
In this boarding school, I also learned how to be patient. Late submissions, for example, until I have to fast (I have written about this on duniasantri.co). Or also when writing a paper (Wall Magazine) which was later reprimanded by the caretaker (Kiai A Warits Ilyas, late) because it seemed vulgar (also published in duniasantri.co). And there are many others related to the relationship between students in the boarding school.
I have some close friends at the Annuqayah Islamic Boarding School. Although, in fact, all of them are handai taulan which, of course, I should not ignore. But, nevertheless, they are all friends that I will never forget. But of the many friends, some have more experience. Generally, because they build organizational relationships. Then from the organization formed taklim majlis, discussions, or other positive activities.
After so many years, about 5 years I studied at the Annuqayah Islamic Boarding School, the time has come to leave the alma mater that has given me a lot of experience. I came home with a mission to spread the knowledge I got from this beloved cottage. So I promised myself to maintain the dignity of the pesantren. As much as possible, I will always be on the path of the vision of the pesantren itself. Upholding Allah’s religion and always maintaining good morals. Because ethics is the most essential thing when we have to be in the midst of social life.
I can’t share all my experiences at the Annuqayah pesantren. But this pesantren has been so attached to the bottom of my heart. So when there is time and opportunity to recite and study the books in Annuqayah, I try to make time for myself as much as possible. Just to stay in touch, to build an inner bond with the pesantren that has shaped my character as I am today. Actually, it is not enough just to say thank you. But Annuqayah is an eternal boarding school that does not expect anything in return. So maintaining the charisma of the pesantren is something that the Annuqayah pesantren hopes for.
The values of ukhuwah, the form of inner bonds, and efforts to build a spiritual relationship with this beloved pesantren can be a motivation to always be the best and be helpful in the community. This hope is a reminder for me personally to always be in line with Annuqayah’s vision and mission. Hopefully! Wallahu A’lam!