M. Syahrul Zaky Romadloni
Siliwangi University, Indonesia
“When will you marry your girlfriend, Rul? Do you have one?”
“What did your younger sister give to you in charge of overleaping you?”
“Be patient, Rul. Your time will come soon…”
“When will you follow your sister, Rul?”
These sentences were the common opening expressions from the guests attending my younger sister’s wedding when they talked to me. I knew that they tried to console me as I was overleapt by my sister in marriage. In sundanese tradition, it seems to be a taboo if a younger sister or brother overleaps his/her elder brother or sister in marriage.
What did I react? I just could smile hearing these expressions as they had consoled the wrong man. They thought I was sad being overleapt by my sister, but I wasn’t. They guessed I needed compensation due to what my sister did, but I didn’t. They predicted I would marry my beloved girl soon, but I won’t. Yup, they really did the wrong thing to me.
Many thought I was sad being overleapt by my sister in marriage. This thought was greatly influenced by a belief, a sundanese’s one, that the elder brother or sister should marry earlier than the younger. The younger brother or sister who overleapt his or her brother or sister in marriage was considered trespassing this tradition, and of course the latter will be considered a victim of the first’s conduct.
Was I sad? Not at all. I even felt very happy as my beloved little sister finally found her dream man who will accompany her till she dies. Who wasn’t happy watching his little sister married by a man who would throw over all coming threats she probably gets? It also meant that my task of taking care of her has finished as her boy handed over it. Despite of that, I sometimes felt jealous as a ‘strange’ man came to my family and loved my little sister as I did.
Many asked me what my little sister gave to me in charge of being overleapt. I couldn’t answer it at once, as I didn’t know that I deserved that. I even came to know that a sister or brother overleaping his or her brother or sister in marriage should give a ‘gift’ in charge of that. Because it didn’t matter to me what my sister did I didn’t ask anything to her. To me, what she got that day was a beautiful gift given by God. So, what should make me ask anything to her?
Furthermore, many people questioned me, “When will you marry your beloved girl?” This question was a silly one to me, but it’s what most of my relatives asked. I just could smile and say ‘still so long’. A simple answer but had a deep meaning to me. It showed my belief that I still had many things to reach in this life. If only the lust to marry my beloved girl made me mad, it will stop my journey to get the success.
Then I will ask you; give me the best reason for a 23 year-old-boy to marry sooner, and give me a good reason of marriage for a man who couldn’t support himself alone yet! And you’d known that Prophet Muhammad married Khadijah in his 25 years’ age, so did my father. Besides, Prophet Muhammad was a successful businessman when he got married and he gave Khodijah more than 100 camels. What will I, a ‘nothing’ guy, give to my wife to-be? Despite of that, I haven’t found a beautiful girl who will accompany me whether in sadness or happiness, so whom will I marry? He…he…
So, it’s no reason for me to be sad on the day when my family feels very happy for this wedding. Besides, I should be very pleased as I would be my parent’s first priority in financial support’s affairs. My younger brother had a full scholarship to study medicine at Padjadjaran University so my parent will pay nothing for his academic life. And now, my sister’s husband hands over the task of supporting my sister’s financial support from my parent. It means that I’m the luckiest man on the day of my younger sister’s wedding. Right?
No, I don’t blame those who ask me these questions due to a belief that they care me so much and I appreciate them for this. To me, achieving the dreams I’ve sketched is very important for my self and the betterment of this ummah. I believe that my life is not only mine but ummah have their right to benefit from it as well.
Garden of Knowledge
Wednesday, September, 15, 2010