Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kontestasi Islam Indonesia Kontemporer (3)

Kamis, 18 Februari 2016, 06:00 WIB

Azyumardi Azra

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer sedikit banyak memiliki kontinuitas dengan intelektualisme masa sebelumnya. Pemikiran Islam Indonesia yang pernah disebut sebagai "tradisional"--sering juga disebut sebagai "tradisionalisme Islam"--dalam batas tertentu kian memudar. Pada saat yang sama, corak pemikiran ini juga mengadopsi aspek intelektualisme yang lazim dinisbahkan pada pemikiran "modernis".

Pada sisi lain, pemikiran Islam yang disebut sebagai "modernisme Islam" juga mengalami perubahan. Perubahan itu banyak terkait dengan kegagalan proyek modernisme di lingkungan masyarakat Muslim tertentu, dan juga dengan kebangkitan agama (religious revival) di berbagai lingkungan komunitas di dalam dan luar negeri. Karena itu, "modernisme Islam" kian memberikan apresiasi lebih besar pada warisan Islam (al-turats al-Islamiyyah) dalam aspek pemikiran ataupun kelembagaan.

Dalam konteks itu, jelas dinamika pemikiran Islam Indonesia sangat terkait dengan dinamika masyarakat di ranah domestik ataupun global. Kontekstualisasi dan indigenisasi Islam, seperti pernah dianjurkan para pemikir sebelumnya, semacam Cak Nur, Gus Dur, atau Munawir Sjadzali, terus menjadi paradigma pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer.

Namun, pada saat yang sama, konteks transregional dan internasional--dari dunia Muslim sendiri dan dunia internasional lebih luas terus pula kian meningkat memasuki ranah pemikiran Islam Indonesia. Globalisasi memberi dampak lebih luas daripada masa sebelumnya karena kemajuan telekomunikasi instan melalui berbagai media dan jaringan yang tidak pernah ada presedennya di masa silam.

Karena itu, seperti disarankan Carol Kersten dalam karyanya, Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values (London; 2015), pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer dapat disebut sebagai berada pada tahap post-modernism. Namun, dia menegaskan tahap-tahap sejarah pemikiran Islam tidak harus selalu bersifat sekuensial atau sambung menyambung (successive), seperti tradisional, modern, dan pascamodernisme.

Kontestasi pemikiran Islam kontemporer, menurut dia, jika dikategorisasikan, terutama menyangkut pemahaman berbeda tentang sekularisme, pluralisme, dan liberalisme. Ketiga subjek yang menjadi perdebatan dan kontestasi muncul sebagai motif pokok dalam uji daya tahan Indonesia dalam proses demokratisasi yang kini sudah memasuki tahap konsolidasi.

Perdebatan mengenai subjek-subjek ini selain terjadi di antara intelektual dan lembaga Muslim, juga melibatkan kalangan non-Muslim. Hal ini tidak lain karena subjek pluralisme, misalnya, memiliki reperkusi dan konsekuensi terhadap kebebasan beragama, toleransi, dan selanjutnya juga hak asasi manusia (HAM).

Sebab itu, kontestasi pemikiran Islam kontemporer untuk hegemoni terhadap masyarakat, gagasan, dan nilai terlihat jelas dalam banyak tulisan para pemikir Islam masa ini. Mereka berusaha mengonseptualisasi dan merumuskan berbagai wacana. Sementara itu, para aktivis mencoba mencarikan jalan untuk artikulasi dan implementasi konkret gagasan yang ada.

Pemikiran dan langkah berbeda membuat kontestasi di antara para pemikir beserta aktivis yang mewakili kecenderungan pemikiran berbeda menghasilkan perdebatan hangat dan bahkan diwarnai "konfrontasi". Di sini, Kersten meminjam ungkapan mantan menhan AS Donald Rumsfeld tentang "perang gagasan" atau apa yang disebut kalangan Islamis sebagai ghazwul fikri atau "invasi intelektual".

Sekali lagi, intelektualisme Islam Indonesia tidak bisa dibahas dan dipahami secara isolasi tanpa mempertimbangkan berbagai faktor domestik dan konteks internasional sehingga membentuk apa yang disebut sebagai "formasi diskursif". Hasilnya, seperti dikemukakan John Bowen, antropolog-cum-Indonesianis-Islamisis, "menjadikan Indonesia sebagai salah satu situs utama di muka bumi ini untuk mengkaji keragaman sosial, gagasan politik, dan komitmen keagamaan".

Kersten mengikuti kerangka Bowen. Ia melihat "Indonesia sebagai situs yang secara khas ditandai pergumulan untuk menyatukan norma-norma dan nilai-nilai yang bersumber dari Islam, budaya lokal, dan kehidupan publik internasional".

Menurut Kersten, lingkungan Indonesia ditandai keragaman yang sangat bergairah (vibrant). Karena itulah, lanskap intelektual yang berkembang memunculkan berbagai figur dan lembaga dengan pemikiran Islam Indonesia yang progresif. Pada pihak lain, juga ada figur atau lembaga yang memunculkan "kontrawacana" yang oleh kalangan Indonesianis lain semacam Martin van Bruinessen disebut sebagai "gelombang konservatif" (conservative tide).

Tarik menarik, pergumulan, dan kontestasi dalam pemikiran Islam Indonesia pasti terus berlanjut pada masa depan. Merupakan tradisi yang sehat jika pergumulan tidak didasari prasangka dan permusuhan, tetapi sebaliknya tetap dengan saling menghargai--meski tidak setuju dengan suatu corak pemikiran tertentu.

http://republika.co.id/berita/kolom/resonansi/16/02/18/o2p2dd319-kontestasi-islam-indonesia-kontemporer-3

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kontestasi Islam Indonesia Kontemporer (2)

Kamis, 11 Februari 2016, 06:00 WIB

Azyumardi Azra

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Sejarah dan dinamika pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer--masa yang tengah berlangsung sekarang--jelas terkait erat dan mengandung kontinuitas sekaligus perubahan dengan intelektualisme yang bertumbuh dalam masa-masa sebelumnya. Kenyataan ini bisa dilihat dari subjek dan tema yang menjadi wacana dan perdebatan di antara para pemikir dan intelektual Islam Indonesia.

Jika disederhanakan, setidaknya ada tiga periodisasi intelektualisme Islam sejak awal abad ke-20. Pertama, periode prakemerdekaan dengan tokoh intelektual, seperti Mohammad Natsir, Agus Salim, dan generasinya yang banyak bergulat tentang tema seputar hubungan Islam dengan nasionalisme atau Islam dan negara.

Kedua, generasi pertama pascakemerdekaan yang mencakup tokoh pemikir dan intelektual semacam Nurcholish Madjid, Abdurrahman Wahid, Ahmad Syafii Maarif dengan generasinya; sebagian sudah almarhum dan ada pula yang masih aktif. Mereka juga masih terlibat dalam subjek tentang Islam dan negara, Islam dan politik, juga Islam dan modernisasi.

Ketiga, generasi yang betul-betul kontemporer yang aktif berkiprah dan mencapai prominensi sejak masa pasca-Soeharto. Generasi ini hidup di masa pasca-Nurcholish Madjid dan Abdurahman Wahid yang ditandai dengan liberalisasi politik dan demokrasi yang memberikan peluang besar bagi setiap orang atau kelompok mengembangkan aspirasi, gagasan, dan nilai yang sering bertolak belakang dan terlibat kontestasi satu sama lain.

Kontestasi gagasan dan nilai untuk memenangkan pengaruh dalam masyarakat yang menampilkan kecenderungan intelektual berbeda disuarakan beragam individu yang terkait dengan lembaga, organisasi, atau kelompok tertentu. Carool Kersten dalam karyanya, Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values (London; 2015), berusaha memetakan berbagai kecenderungan pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer.

Salah satu kecenderungan intelektualisme Islam Indonesia kontemporer, menurut Kersten, adalah absennya figur intelektual yang benar-benar menjadi primadona untuk generasinya. Figur-figur intelektual terpencar ke dalam berbagai lembaga dan kelompok--tidak lagi terpusat pada figur-figur tertentu.

Kersten mengkaji dinamika pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer dengan meneliti kelompok-kelompok yang terlibat dalam berbagai bentuk aktivisme intelektual. Pendekatan dia ini berbeda dengan Robert Hefner dalam Civil Islam: Muslim and Democratization in Indonesia (2000) yang menekankan pentingnya peran individu dalam dinamika intelektualisme Islam Indonesia pada masa generasi Cak Nur.

Penekanan pada peran figur intelektual daripada lembaga sebagai aktor intelektualisme Islam Indonesia kontemporer mendapat kritik dari sarjana lain semacam John T Sidel (2001). Yang terakhir ini justru menekankan peran madrasah sebagai sumber awal dinamika pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer.

Namun, Johan Meuleman, guru besar asal Belanda yang lama bertugas di IAIN/UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, mengkritik penekanan Siedel yang ia pandang berlebihan tentang peran madrasah dalam masyarakat Indonesia umumnya dan dalam perkembangan pemikiran reformis atau kelas menengah Muslim khususnya.

Sebaliknya, Meuleman mengingatkan agar orang tidak mengabaikan atau meremehkan peran dan kontribusi pesantren dan IAIN (juga UIN dan STAIN) beserta banyak institusi yang menyertainya, seperti lembaga riset, kelompok diskusi dan belajar. Mereka ini berperan besar dalam emansipasi kelompok besar Muslim dan juga dalam perkembangan gagasan pluralis dan demokratis.

Kersten tampaknya mengikuti Meuleman dengan menekankan peran lembaga dan kelompok intelektual melalui pendekatan jaringan (network approach). Pertumbuhan lembaga dan kelompok intelektual terkait banyak dengan pertumbuhan eksplosif kelas menengah terdidik Muslim--baik dalam jumlah absolut maupun proporsi dengan jumlah penduduk Indonesia secara keseluruhan.

Dengan tetap mempertimbangkan relevansi konteks dimensi struktural politik, sosial, dan kultural, kajian Kersten memiliki ambisi menjadikan investigasinya sebagai kajian pertama tentang sejarah intelektual substantif. Kajiannya adalah sejarah gagasan dengan mengungkapkan riwayat mereka yang mengonseptualisasi dan memformulasi cara baru berpikir tentang agama dan menerjemahkannya menjadi agenda pembaruan guna merespons tantangan serius yang dihadapi Indonesia dewasa ini.

Masalahnya kemudian sudah banyak diketahui. Dalam ungkapan Kersten, tantangan berat dalam upaya mengungkapkan pemikiran Islam Indonesia kontemporer adalah absennya meta-narrative yang sistematis. Para intelektual Indonesia jarang menulis buku utuh; sebaliknya lebih banyak menulis makalah, esai, dan kolom--dan kemudian juga blog di dunia maya. Karena itu, peneliti harus meneliti banyak literatur yang tentu saja menghabiskan banyak waktu dan tenaga.

http://www.republika.co.id/berita/kolom/resonansi/16/02/11/o2c5tv319-kontestasi-islam-indonesia-kontemporer-2

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Kontestasi Islam Indonesia Kontemporer (1)

Kamis, 04 Februari 2016, 06:00 WIB
Kontestasi Islam Indonesia Kontemporer (1)

Azyumardi Azra

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Sejarah Islam Indonesia kontemporer yang komprehensif masih cukup langka ditemukan. Memang ada beberapa kajian tentang subjek ini, tapi lazimnya terbatas pada aspek tertentu Islam Indonesia kontemporer. Hasilnya, orang sulit mendapat gambaran lengkap, utuh, dan komprehensif tentang dinamika Islam Indonesia secara keseluruhan.

Hal ini juga benar dalam konteks buku karya Carool Kersten, Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values. Karya cukup substantif (xx+373 halaman) yang terbit pada akhir 2015 (London: Hurst & Company) membahas sejarah Islam Indonesia kontemporer dalam bidang pemikiran Islam. Dalam pengantarnya, Kersten menyebutnya sebagai "an intellectual history of contemporary Indonesian Islam".

Karena itu, sejarah Islam Indonesia kontemporer karya Kersten tidak mencakup dinamika dan perkembangan pranata dan lembaga Islam Indonesia yang juga sangat signifikan dalam masa setidaknya tiga dasawarsa terakhir. Peminat sejarah Islam Indonesia kontemporer dalam bidang terakhir ini harus mencari dalam karya-karya lain. Sayang, belum ada pula karya dalam bahasa internasional yang secara ekstensif dan komprehensif mengkaji pertumbuhan pranata dan lembaga Islam Indonesia pada masa kontemporer.

Kersten, dosen senior Kajian Islam dan Dunia Muslim di King’s College London dan sekaligus peneliti pada Pusat Kajian Asia Tenggara, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), memusatkan banyak perhatian pada sejarah intelektual Islam Indonesia. Ia sendiri menyebut karya terakhirnya sebagai sekuel dari bukunya yang terbit sebelumnya, Cosmopolitanism and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study  of Islam (2011).

Dalam Cosmopolitan and Heretics, Kersten membahas panjang lebar sejarah intelektual Islam Indonesia, seperti diwakili Nurcholish Madjid (17/3/1939-29/8/2005). Di antara hal menarik dalam kajian terdahulu ini, intelektualisme Nurcholish Madjid dibahas Kersten dalam perspektif perbandingan dengan Muhammad Arkoun (1/2/1938-14/9/2010), pemikir asal Aljazair yang bermukim di Prancis dan Hassan Hanafi (lahir di Kairo 13/2/1935), pemikir Mesir yang merupakan guru besar filsafat Universitas Kairo. Dengan pembahasan mencakup ketiga intelektual—Nurcholish Madjid, Arkoun, dan Hanafi—Kersten menempatkan sejarah intelektual Islam Indonesia ke dalam konteks global Dunia Muslim.

Kontekstualisasi pemikiran Islam Indonesia ke Dunia Muslim global merupakan gejala dan fenomena baru dalam Kajian Islam Indonesia dan Kajian Islam global secara keseluruhan. Sampai akhir 1980-an, Kajian Islam Indonesia di kalangan Orientalis yang kemudian lebih senang disebut Islamisis tidak tercakup dalam Kajian Islam global. Islam Indonesia mereka anggap 'periferal’ vis-à-vis Islam Timur Tengah atau persisnya Islam Dunia Arab yang mereka pandang sebagai ‘pusat’ (center) Islam. Hasilnya, Islam mereka buat identik dengan Arab—tidak dengan Muslim di wilayah-wilayah lain, seperti Indonesia.

Namun, gejala dan fenomena itu mulai memudar dengan kritik Edward Said dalam karyanya, Orientalism (1978), yang antara lain, mencakup identifikasi Islam dengan Arab. Dalam karya monumentalnya yang sudah klasik dalam bidangnya, Said mengkritik keras penggambaran stereotipikal Orientalisme tentang Islam dengan Arab yang eksotis, terbelakang, tidak berbudaya, dan berbahaya.

Hasilnya, sejak akhir 1980-an, teori dan argumen tentang ‘center’ dan ‘periferi’ juga mulai ditinggalkan. Kajian Islam Indonesia kian menjadi bagian integral Kajian Islam global. Islam Indonesia boleh saja dianggap ‘feriferi’ secara geografis karena jauh dari Dunia Arab, tetapi tidak dalam pemahaman dan praksis keislaman; dan tidak juga dalam dinamika intelektual dan kelembagaan.

Namun, pada saat yang hampir berbarengan, paradigma Orientalisme yang dikritik Said masih bertahan dan bahkan terus meningkat kembali berikutan peristiwa semacam ‘Nine-Eleven’/9 September 2001 di New York, Washington DC dan Philadelphia, yang kemudian diikuti pengeboman di Bali (12/10/2002 dan 1/10/2005), Madrid (11/3/2004), London (7/7/2005), dan terakhir di Paris (13/10/2015). Pandangan stereotipikal Islam dengan Arab dan kekerasan kian meningkat—membangkitkan kembali gelombang Islamofobia, baik dalam hal agama, budaya, maupun politik di kalangan masyarakat Eropa, Amerika, dan Australia.

Peristiwa kekerasan tersebut lebih tercakup dalam sejarah politik Islam kontemporer—tentang kelompok kecil Muslim yang ingin mewujudkan agenda politik tertentu atas nama Islam secara kekerasan. Aspek sejarah intelektual dalam gerakan kelompok kekerasan ini lebih menyangkut wacana dan konsep tentang jihad yang dirumuskan secara ad hoc dan parsial vis a-vis ajaran dan konsep Islam komprehensif.

Sejarah intelektual Islam Indonesia kontemporer dalam pembahasan Kersten sejak dasawarsa awal abad ke-20 juga memiliki kaitan dan ramifikasi global. Akan tetapi, dengan posisi geografis strategis, sebagai negara Muslim terbesar di dunia, negara berpenduduk keempat terbesar, dan negara demokrasi terbesar ketiga di dunia, Indonesia dapat memberi jalan ketiga alternatif bagi Dunia Muslim lain.

http://www.republika.co.id/berita/kolom/resonansi/16/02/04/o1z4mh319-kontestasi-islam-indonesia-kontemporer-1

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

An escapist view of extremism

Photo: Andris Randling on flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrenggo/
Yes, Indonesia’s mass Islamic organisations are tolerant and democrats. But no, that doesn’t mean their culture can be exported to counter extremism.

Can the solution to Islamic extremism be found in the importation of a more tolerant and democratic culture to the Middle East? This is the question at the heart of recent discussions in the pages of The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Boston Globe about Islam Nusantara (Islam of the archipelago).

Islam Nusantara is the name given to the theology of the world’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) of Indonesia. NU supports democracy, is largely tolerant of religious minorities, and does not seek state implementation of Islamic law. Promoters of Islam Nusantara argue that exporting this aspect of Indonesian Islamic culture can provide the antidote to the disease of Islamic extremism and militant jihadism plaguing the Muslim world.

It’s an instinctively appealing idea. It’s also wrong. The idea that Indonesian culture can be exported is a fiction born of a threefold misunderstanding about NU, the barriers to strengthening democratic values in the Middle East, and the origins of Islamic State (IS).

The term Islam Nusantara was coined in the early 2000s to refer to NU’s theological mix of Sunni Islam, Sufism, and local religious practices like the veneration of the nine saints of Java (the Walisongo). These practices are born out of the structure of NU.

NU is a coalition of Islamic preachers and prominent Javanese families that came together in 1926 to oppose the influence of Islamic modernism, the movement from Egypt launched by Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad Abduh and Muhammad Rasyid Ridha to strengthen Muslims through the promotion of science and a return to the foundational sources of Islam. Instead of reforming Islam, NU seeks to retain its mix of classical Islamic jurisprudence, Sufism, and local traditions rooted in the pilgrimage sites of Java.

Today NU’s opponent is still Islamic modernism as well as its distant cousin, Salafi jihadism. And despite what proponents of Islam Nusantara say, NU’s tolerance is selective.

Its tolerance of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Confucians stands in stark contrast to its longstanding intolerance of Ahmadi Muslims and communists. The reason for this discrepancy is that Christians and the other accepted minorities have been important allies for NU in its struggle against Islamic modernism, while communists and Ahmadis are seen as a threat to NU and the Indonesian nation.

Certainly it is important to counter the idea that Islam and IS are the same. And it is true that NU’s tolerant culture has been crucial for the success of Indonesian democracy. But exporting a partial aspect of Javanese traditionalist Islam without the institutional, familiar, or local structure that supports it is unlikely to have much influence. This is indeed why NU has not spread beyond Indonesia in the 90 years since it was founded.
wayang-arab-480

NU’s beliefs are compatible with democracy. But as survey researchers have long known (and reported repeatedly here, here and here), so are the views of most of the world’s Muslims. The barriers to democracy in the Muslim world are political and economic, not cultural.

IS was born in the same conditions in which the Taliban and Hamas were born, in places where there is no meaningful political representation or political order. The prolonged civil war in Syria and failed reconstruction of Iraq created a power vacuum that IS filled.

By contrast to the situation in Iraq and Syria, an environment of sustained political engagement provided the context in which the political aspects of Islam Nusantara were developed.

In the 1920s NU’s religious theology was accompanied by a political vision for an international Caliphate and Islamic state. But Indonesia provides strong evidence that if you allow Islamic organisations to participate in the political process they will moderate their demands and become part of the system rather than seek to overthrow it.

Over the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries, Indonesian Islamic organisations like NU that have participated in crafting the policies of the state have implicitly or explicitly moderated their views.

Their leaders have shifted from being pan-Islamists who seek a global Caliphate, to Indonesian Islamists who aim to create an Indonesian Islamic State, to Indonesian Muslim pluralists who actively work with other religious and ideological groups and promise to safeguard their rights, to post-Islamists who view Islam as complementary to other ways of organising politics and society. They have moderated through participation.

While there are exceptions to this trend, most notably the “new Islamists” who generate dramatic headlines but possess little electoral or social influence, the overall trend toward moderation is clear — include Islamists in the political process, and over time their ideologies and tactics will moderate toward support for democracy. This is the opposite of what has happened in Iraq and Syria, where despots with foreign backing have coopted Islamists or actively oppressed them.

The idea of exporting a more tolerant culture is a prime example of what the anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani calls “culture talk”; the predilection to define Islamic cultures according to their ‘essential’ characteristics in order to sort good Muslims from bad Muslims rather than discussing the specific conditions under which extremist movements emerge. It is a shallow and escapist way of thinking about the problem of Islamic extremism.

An example may help illustrate the problem of culture talk. What if we turned the logic of exporting culture around? Since Britain has almost zero gun violence, and the United States has an epidemic of gun violence, perhaps the problem could be solved by importing British culture to the United States?
Such a solution may be appealing at first glance, but it’s a fanciful way of thinking about a problem that would be better addressed through normal policies. In the case of IS, that means supporting more representative political institutions and equitable economies, and reducing support for militarism in the Middle East.

Jeremy Menchik is assistant professor in the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. His book Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without Liberalism, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2016/01/14/an-escapist-view-of-extremism/

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Indonesia’s Islam Nusantara: A challenge to Islamic State?

Azis Anwar Fachrudin

, Yogyakarta | December 18 2015 | 4:43 PM

The 90-minute film Rahmat Islam Nusantara (promoted in English as The Divine Grace of East Indies Islam) has attracted international attention, along with the idea of Islam Nusantara, after a piece about it appeared in The New York Times. Sharing the theme of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) national congress several months ago, the film always intended to share the idea of Islam Nusantara, Indonesia’s unique style of Islam, with a global audience.

The filmmaker wants the international community to see that there are traditional interpretations of Islam that are friendly to local cultures, which are not found in any of the other Muslim-majority countries.

Indeed, being home to the world’s largest Muslim population, the concept of Islam Nusantara basically conveys the message that Indonesian Islam, despite being miles away from the birthplace of Islam, should not be treated as a peripheral tradition while “Arabic Islam” is at the center of the Muslim world.

This is one of the problems of today’s international discourse on Islam.

Instead, particularly in today’s context where the international image of Islam is tarnished by the bombings and beheadings committed by the Islamic State (IS) movement and political chaos in the Middle East, Islam Nusantara has the power to change people’s perceptions.

Islam has been a major force in the democratization process since the Reform era in Indonesia, and
in this respect Indonesia is an answer to the classic question of whether democracy is compatible with Islam (or, to be more precise, Muslims).

The report in The New York Times, along with positive responses from other international media, were right in their the premise that Islam Nusantara is a challenge to the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam.

Indeed, NU was initially founded as a response to Wahhabism: it tried to preserve local Islamic cultures that are legitimate under NU’s Sunni Islam, but considered degradations or violations of the tauhid principle according to the Wahhabists.

In this respect, Islam Nusantara is indeed a challenge to IS, as the group’s theology exemplifies Wahhabism.

The radical group’s destruction of the tombs of respectable Muslim scholars and saints, its rigid interpretation of tauhid/monotheism, its narrow definition of what a real Muslim is and should be, the ease with which it declares other Muslims infidels — these are all manifestations of Wahhabism.

Thus, Islam Nusantara can lead the theological battle against IS. What Indonesian Muslims perhaps need is more confidence that now is a good time for Islam Nusantara to be further exposed to a global audience via stepping up institutional initiatives.

A critical factor that should be taken into consideration is that some violent acts of IS are not ramifications of, or unique to Wahhabism; they have precedence in the canonical books of fiqh the opinions of classical Muslim jurists.

In this regard, good examples are the death penalty for apostasy and homosexual acts (some add heresy and blasphemy as capital offenses), cutting off the hands of thieves, stoning adulterers, killing or enslaving captives of war and other Islamic laws regarding crime and punishment (hudud wal-jinaya).

These punishments are not unique to Wahhabism. Some of them are even stated explicitly in Islamic scripture; and have been deemed permissible by many Muslim jurists in the pre-modern era.

This is why for many Muslims, it is sometimes not easy to say that some of the violent acts of IS are un-Islamic.
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One could propose a reform of Islamic teachings, particularly in regard to legal issues.

I myself was engaged in a discussion of Islamic issues with some young NU intellectuals and activists a few weeks ago, and we found it difficult to claim that the aforementioned punishments were un-Islamic, simply because they have precedence in classical Islamic law.

Therefore, to delegitimize them would require a relatively new and sophisticated approach to the Islamic philosophy of law.

Just take the example of slavery Muslims can say whatever they want about Islam’s good treatment of slaves or Islam’s gradual movement toward the abolition of slavery. Yet one cannot find any explicit statement both in Islamic scripture and the classical books of fiqh that prohibits slavery. Even the “Open Letter to Baghdadi” signed by hundreds of the world’s leading Muslim scholars (which seems to have received less exposure in the international media) could not provide explicit scriptural support for the prohibition of slavery.

What we can see in these Islamic jurisprudential issues is that, at least on a practical level, some of the stipulations of Islamic law that were normal in the pre-modern era are no longer considered so in the 21st century, even by many Muslims themselves.

And on a theoretical level, these stipulations can still be found in the books of fiqh that are studied by most Muslims around the globe, including in the Indonesian archipelago.

The theological and legal schools of thought embraced by NU’s followers are basically similar to the majority of Sunni Muslims around the globe: Ashariyah/Maturidiyah theology and the four Sunni jurisprudential schools of Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

This is why we have Muslim modernists or reformists who are attempting to reinterpret some Islamic teachings that are in opposition with the zeitgeist of the 21st century.

So, the primary question is: how does one delegitimize the violent acts of IS and say that they are un-Islamic? I do not think that the ideas of Islam Nusantara are enough to combat IS on this point.

There must be something more than a theological battle.

One could propose a reform of Islamic teachings, particularly in regard to legal issues. Others could propose a revision or even abrogation of some Islamic teachings.

At the end of the day, if we are to carry out an ideological fight against IS based in Islamic theology, a reinterpretation of some Islamic teachings grounded in a well-developed philosophy is a must.
_______________________________________

The writer is a graduate student at the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and contributor to the book Islam Nusantara (2015) published by Mizan. The views expressed are his own.

- See more at: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/18/indonesia-s-islam-nusantara-a-challenge-islamic-state.html#sthash.dF69eiuJ.dpuf

Indonesia’s Islam Nusantara: A challenge to Islamic State?

The 90-minute film Rahmat Islam Nusantara (promoted in English as The Divine Grace of East Indies Islam) has attracted international attention, along with the idea of Islam Nusantara, after a piece about it appeared in The New York Times. Sharing the theme of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) national congress several months ago, the film always intended to share the idea of Islam Nusantara, Indonesia’s unique style of Islam, with a global audience.

The filmmaker wants the international community to see that there are traditional interpretations of Islam that are friendly to local cultures, which are not found in any of the other Muslim-majority countries.

Indeed, being home to the world’s largest Muslim population, the concept of Islam Nusantara basically conveys the message that Indonesian Islam, despite being miles away from the birthplace of Islam, should not be treated as a peripheral tradition while “Arabic Islam” is at the center of the Muslim world.

This is one of the problems of today’s international discourse on Islam.

Instead, particularly in today’s context where the international image of Islam is tarnished by the bombings and beheadings committed by the Islamic State (IS) movement and political chaos in the Middle East, Islam Nusantara has the power to change people’s perceptions.

Islam has been a major force in the democratization process since the Reform era in Indonesia, and
in this respect Indonesia is an answer to the classic question of whether democracy is compatible with Islam (or, to be more precise, Muslims).

The report in The New York Times, along with positive responses from other international media, were right in their the premise that Islam Nusantara is a challenge to the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam.

Indeed, NU was initially founded as a response to Wahhabism: it tried to preserve local Islamic cultures that are legitimate under NU’s Sunni Islam, but considered degradations or violations of the tauhid principle according to the Wahhabists.

In this respect, Islam Nusantara is indeed a challenge to IS, as the group’s theology exemplifies Wahhabism.

The radical group’s destruction of the tombs of respectable Muslim scholars and saints, its rigid interpretation of tauhid/monotheism, its narrow definition of what a real Muslim is and should be, the ease with which it declares other Muslims infidels — these are all manifestations of Wahhabism.

Thus, Islam Nusantara can lead the theological battle against IS. What Indonesian Muslims perhaps need is more confidence that now is a good time for Islam Nusantara to be further exposed to a global audience via stepping up institutional initiatives.

A critical factor that should be taken into consideration is that some violent acts of IS are not ramifications of, or unique to Wahhabism; they have precedence in the canonical books of fiqh the opinions of classical Muslim jurists.

In this regard, good examples are the death penalty for apostasy and homosexual acts (some add heresy and blasphemy as capital offenses), cutting off the hands of thieves, stoning adulterers, killing or enslaving captives of war and other Islamic laws regarding crime and punishment (hudud wal-jinaya).

These punishments are not unique to Wahhabism. Some of them are even stated explicitly in Islamic scripture; and have been deemed permissible by many Muslim jurists in the pre-modern era.

This is why for many Muslims, it is sometimes not easy to say that some of the violent acts of IS are un-Islamic.
____________________________________

One could propose a reform of Islamic teachings, particularly in regard to legal issues.

I myself was engaged in a discussion of Islamic issues with some young NU intellectuals and activists a few weeks ago, and we found it difficult to claim that the aforementioned punishments were un-Islamic, simply because they have precedence in classical Islamic law.

Therefore, to delegitimize them would require a relatively new and sophisticated approach to the Islamic philosophy of law.

Just take the example of slavery Muslims can say whatever they want about Islam’s good treatment of slaves or Islam’s gradual movement toward the abolition of slavery. Yet one cannot find any explicit statement both in Islamic scripture and the classical books of fiqh that prohibits slavery. Even the “Open Letter to Baghdadi” signed by hundreds of the world’s leading Muslim scholars (which seems to have received less exposure in the international media) could not provide explicit scriptural support for the prohibition of slavery.

What we can see in these Islamic jurisprudential issues is that, at least on a practical level, some of the stipulations of Islamic law that were normal in the pre-modern era are no longer considered so in the 21st century, even by many Muslims themselves.

And on a theoretical level, these stipulations can still be found in the books of fiqh that are studied by most Muslims around the globe, including in the Indonesian archipelago.

The theological and legal schools of thought embraced by NU’s followers are basically similar to the majority of Sunni Muslims around the globe: Ashariyah/Maturidiyah theology and the four Sunni jurisprudential schools of Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

This is why we have Muslim modernists or reformists who are attempting to reinterpret some Islamic teachings that are in opposition with the zeitgeist of the 21st century.

So, the primary question is: how does one delegitimize the violent acts of IS and say that they are un-Islamic? I do not think that the ideas of Islam Nusantara are enough to combat IS on this point.

There must be something more than a theological battle.

One could propose a reform of Islamic teachings, particularly in regard to legal issues. Others could propose a revision or even abrogation of some Islamic teachings.

At the end of the day, if we are to carry out an ideological fight against IS based in Islamic theology, a reinterpretation of some Islamic teachings grounded in a well-developed philosophy is a must.
_______________________________________

The writer is a graduate student at the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and contributor to the book Islam Nusantara (2015) published by Mizan. The views expressed are his own.
- See more at: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/18/indonesia-s-islam-nusantara-a-challenge-islamic-state.html#sthash.dF69eiuJ.dpuf

Indonesia’s Islam Nusantara: A challenge to Islamic State?

The 90-minute film Rahmat Islam Nusantara (promoted in English as The Divine Grace of East Indies Islam) has attracted international attention, along with the idea of Islam Nusantara, after a piece about it appeared in The New York Times. Sharing the theme of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) national congress several months ago, the film always intended to share the idea of Islam Nusantara, Indonesia’s unique style of Islam, with a global audience.

The filmmaker wants the international community to see that there are traditional interpretations of Islam that are friendly to local cultures, which are not found in any of the other Muslim-majority countries.

Indeed, being home to the world’s largest Muslim population, the concept of Islam Nusantara basically conveys the message that Indonesian Islam, despite being miles away from the birthplace of Islam, should not be treated as a peripheral tradition while “Arabic Islam” is at the center of the Muslim world.

This is one of the problems of today’s international discourse on Islam.

Instead, particularly in today’s context where the international image of Islam is tarnished by the bombings and beheadings committed by the Islamic State (IS) movement and political chaos in the Middle East, Islam Nusantara has the power to change people’s perceptions.

Islam has been a major force in the democratization process since the Reform era in Indonesia, and
in this respect Indonesia is an answer to the classic question of whether democracy is compatible with Islam (or, to be more precise, Muslims).

The report in The New York Times, along with positive responses from other international media, were right in their the premise that Islam Nusantara is a challenge to the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam.

Indeed, NU was initially founded as a response to Wahhabism: it tried to preserve local Islamic cultures that are legitimate under NU’s Sunni Islam, but considered degradations or violations of the tauhid principle according to the Wahhabists.

In this respect, Islam Nusantara is indeed a challenge to IS, as the group’s theology exemplifies Wahhabism.

The radical group’s destruction of the tombs of respectable Muslim scholars and saints, its rigid interpretation of tauhid/monotheism, its narrow definition of what a real Muslim is and should be, the ease with which it declares other Muslims infidels — these are all manifestations of Wahhabism.

Thus, Islam Nusantara can lead the theological battle against IS. What Indonesian Muslims perhaps need is more confidence that now is a good time for Islam Nusantara to be further exposed to a global audience via stepping up institutional initiatives.

A critical factor that should be taken into consideration is that some violent acts of IS are not ramifications of, or unique to Wahhabism; they have precedence in the canonical books of fiqh the opinions of classical Muslim jurists.

In this regard, good examples are the death penalty for apostasy and homosexual acts (some add heresy and blasphemy as capital offenses), cutting off the hands of thieves, stoning adulterers, killing or enslaving captives of war and other Islamic laws regarding crime and punishment (hudud wal-jinaya).

These punishments are not unique to Wahhabism. Some of them are even stated explicitly in Islamic scripture; and have been deemed permissible by many Muslim jurists in the pre-modern era.

This is why for many Muslims, it is sometimes not easy to say that some of the violent acts of IS are un-Islamic.
____________________________________

One could propose a reform of Islamic teachings, particularly in regard to legal issues.

I myself was engaged in a discussion of Islamic issues with some young NU intellectuals and activists a few weeks ago, and we found it difficult to claim that the aforementioned punishments were un-Islamic, simply because they have precedence in classical Islamic law.

Therefore, to delegitimize them would require a relatively new and sophisticated approach to the Islamic philosophy of law.

Just take the example of slavery Muslims can say whatever they want about Islam’s good treatment of slaves or Islam’s gradual movement toward the abolition of slavery. Yet one cannot find any explicit statement both in Islamic scripture and the classical books of fiqh that prohibits slavery. Even the “Open Letter to Baghdadi” signed by hundreds of the world’s leading Muslim scholars (which seems to have received less exposure in the international media) could not provide explicit scriptural support for the prohibition of slavery.

What we can see in these Islamic jurisprudential issues is that, at least on a practical level, some of the stipulations of Islamic law that were normal in the pre-modern era are no longer considered so in the 21st century, even by many Muslims themselves.

And on a theoretical level, these stipulations can still be found in the books of fiqh that are studied by most Muslims around the globe, including in the Indonesian archipelago.

The theological and legal schools of thought embraced by NU’s followers are basically similar to the majority of Sunni Muslims around the globe: Ashariyah/Maturidiyah theology and the four Sunni jurisprudential schools of Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

This is why we have Muslim modernists or reformists who are attempting to reinterpret some Islamic teachings that are in opposition with the zeitgeist of the 21st century.

So, the primary question is: how does one delegitimize the violent acts of IS and say that they are un-Islamic? I do not think that the ideas of Islam Nusantara are enough to combat IS on this point.

There must be something more than a theological battle.

One could propose a reform of Islamic teachings, particularly in regard to legal issues. Others could propose a revision or even abrogation of some Islamic teachings.

At the end of the day, if we are to carry out an ideological fight against IS based in Islamic theology, a reinterpretation of some Islamic teachings grounded in a well-developed philosophy is a must.
_______________________________________

The writer is a graduate student at the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and contributor to the book Islam Nusantara (2015) published by Mizan. The views expressed are his own.
- See more at: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/18/indonesia-s-islam-nusantara-a-challenge-islamic-state.html#sthash.dF69eiuJ.dpuf

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Islam Nusantara: Dari Ushul Fiqih Hingga Pemahaman Kebangsaan

Bedah buku Islam Nusantara: Dari Ushul Fiqih Hingga Pemahaman Kebangsaan. Puslitbang Kehidupan Keagamaan Badan Litbang dan Diklat Kemenag, Selasa 13 Oktober 2015.




Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Khitah Islam Nusantara


Oleh Ma’ruf Amin

Akhir-akhir ini Islam Nusantara jadi wacana publik. Tak hanya di kalangan warga Nahdlatul Ulama (nahdliyin), tetapi seluruh masyarakat Indonesia ikut memperbincangkannya.

Seolah-olah ada anggapan bahwa Islam Nusantara adalah hal baru. Hal ini wajar karena Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) adalah ormas terbesar bangsa ini. Jika terjadi perubahan di dalam organisasi ini, pengaruhnya segera dirasakan oleh seluruh negeri. Karena itu, bentuk apresiasi publik seperti ini sangatlah positif, baik bagi NU maupun bagi negeri ini.

Sebagai tema Muktamar NU 2015 di Jombang yang digelar beberapa waktu lalu, Islam Nusantara memang baru dideklarasikan. Namun, sebagai pemikiran, gerakan, dan tindakan, Islam Nusantara bukanlah hal baru bagi kita. Islam Nusantara adalah Islam Ahlussunnah Waljamaah al-Nadliyyah. Mengapa di sini perlu penyifatan al-Nahdliyyah? Jawabnya adalah karena banyak kalangan lain di luar NU yang juga mengklaim sebagai pengikut Ahlussunnah Waljamaah (disingkat Aswaja), tetapi memiliki cara pikir, gerakan, dan amalan yang berbeda dengan NU.

Negara Islam di Irak dan Suriah (NIIS) pun mengaku sebagai pengikut Ahlussunnah Waljamaah, tetapi sepak terjang mereka selama ini sangat ditentang NU. Karena itu, Islam Nusantara adalah cara dan sekaligus identitas Aswaja yang dipahami dan dipraktikkan para mua’sis (pendiri) dan ulama NU. Islam Nusantara adalah cara proaktif warga NU dalam mengidentifikasi kekhususan-kekhususan yang ada pada diri mereka guna mengiktibarkan karakteristik-karakteristik ke-NU-an. Karakteristik-karakteristik ini bersifat peneguhan identitas yang distingtif, tetapi demokratis, toleran, dan moderat.

Tiga pilar

Pada dasarnya ada tiga pilar atau rukun penting di dalam Islam Nusantara. Pertama, pemikiran (fikrah); kedua, gerakan (harakah); dan ketiga, tindakan nyata (amaliyyah/amaliah).

Pilar pertama, pemikiran, meliputi cara berpikir yang moderat (tawassuth). Artinya, Islam Nusantara berada dalam posisi yang tidak tekstualis, tetapi juga tidak liberal. Tekstualis dimaksud adalah berpikir secara kaku pada nash (al-jumûd al-manqûlãt) sebagaimana yang terjadi pada kaum Wahabi di dalam memahami teks-teks Al Quran. Salah satu pernyataan Imam al-Qarafi, ulama ahli usul fikih, menyatakan jika ”al-jumûd ‘alã al-manqûlãt abadan dalãl fi al-din wa jahl bi maqasidihi”, pembacaan yang statis (tanpa tafsir) penafsiran pada hal-hal yang dalil-dalil yang selamanya adalah kesesatan di dalam agama dan kebodohan tentang maksud-maksud agama. Liberal dimaksud adalah cara berpikir yang bebas tanpa mengindahkan metodologi yang disepakati di kalangan ulama yang dijadikan pegangan berpikir di kalangan NU.

Pilar kedua adalah gerakan. Artinya, semangat yang mengendalikan Islam Nusantara itu ditujukan pada perbaikan-perbaikan. Tugas Islam Nusantara adalah melakukan perbaikan-perbaikan (reformasi) untuk jamiah (perkumpulan) dan jemaah (warga) yang tak hanya didasarkan pada tradisi, tetapi juga inovasi. Reformasi Islam Nusantara adalah reformasi menuju tahapan yang lebih baik dan secara terus-menerus. Jadi, posisi Islam Nusantara bukan hanya mengambil hal yang baik saja (al-akhdh bi al-jadid al-aslah), karena istilah mengambil itu pasif, tetapi juga melakukan inovasi, mencipta yang terbaik dan terbaik. Prosesnya terus-menerus. Inovasi pun tak cukup, juga harus dibarengi dengan sikap aktif dan kritis.

Pilar ketiga adalah amaliah. Islam Nusantara sebagai identitas Aswaja NU menekankan bahwa segala hal yang dilakukan nahdliyin harus lahir dari dasar pemikiran yang berlandaskan pada fikih dan usul fikih; disiplin yang menjadi dasar kita untuk menyambungkan amaliah yang diperintah Al Quran dan Sunah Nabi. Dengan cara demikian, amaliah Islam Nusantara itu sangat menghormati pada tradisi-tradisi serta budaya yang telah berlangsung sejak lama di tengah masyarakat. Tradisi atau budaya yang di dalam usul fikih disebut dengan ’urf atau ‘ãdat tidak begitu saja diberangus, tetapi dirawat sepanjang tidak menyimpang dari nilai-nilai ajaran Islam. Praktik keagamaan demikian inilah pada dasarnya yang dilakukan Wali Songo dan kemudian diwariskan para pendiri NU kepada kita semua.

Penanda Islam Nusantara
Ada lima penanda Islam Nusantara. Pertama, reformasi (islahiyyah). Artinya, pemikiran, gerakan, dan amalan yang dilakukan para nahdliyin selalu berorientasi pada perbaikan. Pada aspek pemikiran, misalnya, selalu ada perkembangan di sana (tatwir al-fikrah), dan karena itu, pemikiran Islam Nusantara adalah pemikiran yang ditujukan untuk perbaikan terus. Cara berpikirnya adalah tidak statis dan juga tidak kelewat batas.

Kedua, tawazuniyyah, yang berarti seimbang di segala bidang. Jika sebuah gerakan diimplementasikan, maka aspek keseimbangan juga harus dijadikan pertimbangan. Tawazunniyyah ini menimbang dengan keadilan.

Ketiga, tatawwu’iyyah, yang berarti sukarela (volunterisme). Satu hal yang harus dipegang dalam kesukarelaan ini adalah dalam menjalankan pemikiran, gerakan dan amalan, nahdliyin tidak boleh memaksakan pada pihak lain (lã ijbãriyyah). Artinya, orang NU harus memperhatikan hak-hak orang di luar NU. Secara internal, warga NU juga tak boleh bersikap fatalistik (jabbãriyyah), harus senantiasa berusaha dan berinovasi menegakkan tiga pilar Islam Nusantara di atas. Dengan kata lain, tidak ada pemaksaan, tetapi bukan tidak berbuat apa-apa.

Keempat, santun (akhlaqiyyah), yaitu segala bentuk pemikiran, gerakan, dan amalan warga Islam Nusantara dilaksanakan dengan santun. Santun di sini berlaku sesuai dengan etika kemasyarakatan dan kenegaraan serta keagamaan.

Kelima, tasamuh, yang berarti bersikap toleran, respek kepada pihak lain. Sikap toleran ini tidak pasif, tetapi kritis dan inovatif. Dalam bahasa keseharian warga NU adalah sepakat untuk tidak sepakat.

Secara konseptual, kelima penanda Islam Nusantara tersebut mudah diucapkan, tetapi sulit direalisasikan. Sulit di sini berbeda dengan tidak bisa melaksanakan. Misalnya, sikap Islam Nusantara dalam menyikapi dua arus formalisme keagamaan dan substansialisasi keagamaan berada di tengah. Kedua arus boleh diperjuangkan selama tidak menimbulkan konflik. Prinsip yang harus dipegang dalam hal ini adalah kesepakatan (konsensus), demokratis, dan konstitusional.

Ijtihad

Hal penting lain yang ingin penulis sampaikan adalah persoalan ijtihad. Apakah model ijtihad Islam Nusantara? Ijtihad Islam Nusantara adalah ijtihad yang selama ini dipraktikkan oleh NU. Prinsipnya, Islam tak hanya terdiri pada aspek yang bersifat tekstual, tetapi juga aspek yang bersifat ijtihadiyah. Ketika kita menghadapi masalah yang tak ada di dalam teks, maka kita menganggap masalah selesai, artinya tidak dicarikan jawaban.

Islam Nusantara tidak berhenti di sini, tetapi melihat dan mengkajinya lebih dulu lewat mekanisme-mekanisme pengambilan hukum yang disepakati di kalangan nahdliyin. Hasil dari mekanisme metodologi hukum ini (proses istinbãt al-hukm) harus dibaca lagi dari perspektif Al Quran dan Sunah. Mekanisme metodologi hukum yang biasa dipakai nahdliyin di sini misalnya adalah maãlahah (kebaikan).

Ilustrasinya, jika sebuah amalan tak ada di rujukan tekstualnya, tetapi ia membawa kebaikan di tengah masyarakat, hal itu justru harus dilestarikan: ”idhã wujida nasssS fathamma masslahah, idhã wujida al-maslahah fathamma shar’ al-Lãh—jika ditemukan teks, maka di sana ada kebaikan, dan jika ditemukan kebaikan, maka di sana adalah hukum Allah”. Ini uraian singkat dan pokoknya saja. Pembahasan lebih lanjut akan dilakukan di ruang yang lebih luas.

Pada akhir tulisan pendek ini saya ingin mengatakan Islam Nusantara harus lebih digali lagi sebagai perilaku bangsa agar tidak ada lagi hal-hal yang tidak kita inginkan justru terjadi.

MA’RUF AMIN,

RAIS AAM NAHDLATUL ULAMA

Tulisan ini dimuat di Kompas Cetak, 29 Agustus 2015 –

http://www.arrahmah.co.id/opini/khittah-islam-nusantara-oleh-kh-maruf-amin-13378