Minggu, 20 Januari 2013

Religious Potluck

One of the prominent figures of Liberal Islam Network (JIL), Ulil Absar Abdalla in his tweet once said that people should be pickup in embracing their religion. This shows how liberalists feature their bungling mindset rather than their sagacity.

The freedom of religion that is blown from the liberalits inevitably has successfully been consumed by the public because of massive propaganda, disseminated mainly through mainstream media in Indonesia. This freedom of course yield multi-interpretation as it does not demarcate any scope of which area we are considered to be free and which area are not in manufacturing any new concepts of religion. When one religious sect appear and be embraced by particular group, liberalists tend to justify their existence no matter how scholars of one religion have firmly said if that religious sect is a blasphemy.

Ironically, many liberalists in religion are too cowardly to be the true liberalists. Ok, we know if liberalists always have an issue in term of making definition. To make the definition of “true liberalists” clear (and to make it clear if I am not a liberalist), then we can say if the true liberalists are those who completely allow people to do their beliefs or their rituals as they want. This is based on the definition of liberal itself: allowing changes, not exact, and so forth. While they labeled themselves as liberalists, they somehow push aside the basic principle of liberal. Liberalists also embrace certain values and react if other particular groups perform their faiths. Thus, liberal in nature as what they demonstrate is also stick with particular values or views which definitely betray their beliefs. If liberalists tolerate every changes and appreciate whatever people do, so they also must do the same thing to all groups justly without discriminating the groups in which they think conflict with their ideas. In brief, liberal is an ideology full with delimitations.

In in Indonesia, we can see the peculiarities of liberalists’ thought through social media twitter. In many occasions, many liberalists who involved in JIL publicly dare to mock and play with the teachings of ulama Ahlussunnah. What they do essentially reflect the ways of which how most western people view their religion; deify their reasoning, question almost all existing teachings and principles, believe if everything should change and rely too much on their capabilities. It has become a public consumption if the activists of JIL once questioning about the finalization of of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), likening kissing between non-muhrim man and woman as an alms, supporting LGBT, promoting muslim and non-muslim marriage and many other ignorant statements.

If Ulil advocated people to perform religious potluck in his twitter, accordingly, he violated one of the fundamental things of liberalism—respecting the right of others. If liberalists do not mind and even support the existence of particular religion harraser in the name of freedom of expression or human rights or freedom of speech or the like, so it won’t really make sense if they instigate people not to be devout in practicing the teachings of their religion. For what reason they accept one idea and reject others if their basis—as what they always exaggerate—is upholding invidual freedom. What is wrong of being obedient? being devout? or being pious? It is obvious if they will confront those who are not compatible with their beliefs. Making clear if their liberal ideology is not manifested within their practice as well as their theoretical concepts.

Allah Azza wa Jalla has explained ushul (roots of jurisprudence) and furu’ (branches of jurisprudence) in Islam. Islam has rules of etiquette and an ethical code involving every aspect of life. Muslims refer to Adab as good manners, courtesy, respect, and appropriateness, covering acts such as entering or exiting a washroom, posture when sitting, and cleansing oneself and so on so forth. Islam has also rules in Akhlaq, referring to the practice of virtue, morality and manners in Islamic theology and falsafah (philosophy). Therefore, there is nothing that humans need—impinging the life in the world and hereafter, but has been explained explicitly and implicitly in Quran. If one questions: “is there any explanation about performing shalah 5 times a day in Quran?” the answer is, Allah Azza wa Jalla has explained in Alquran if we must follow all teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) both his statements as well as his modelings [An-Nisaa’: 80]. We must take everything the Prophet (PBUH) has offered, and leave everything He has forbidden [Al-Hasyr: 7]. So it is clear if Sunnah from the Prophet (PBUH) have been shown by the Quran, because Sunnah belongs to the revelations, taught to the Prophet (PBUH) from Allah Azza wa Jalla [Hadist Narrated by Abu Dawud]. Islam is perfect, no more increments as wells as decrements, Muslims are obligated to follow [Al-Maa-Idah: 3].

The isolation between religion and mundane matters are not necessarily proposed by anyone include Ulil, because Muslims have never had traumatic experiences in their religions. Muslims now are being seduced to leave their religion from many parties and it comes from many angles. Muslims have no history as regards tortures in religion unlike any other religion. The idea of liberalism, pluralism and secularism which are not originated from Islam are forced inserted to the teachings of Islam.

A devout Muslim is considered to be extremist, stick-in-the-mud, stodgy, conservative or whatsoever you name it. These beliefs are propagated through giant mass media. The liberal or progressive people, who are not pious, are pictured like sweet candies. The popular incitement is we are no longer live in the past so we need to move on. Use your religion, but not being too much. This concept of religious potluck is not obviously in line with the teaching of Islam. Islam has regulated everything so every Muslim should take it as a whole, not merely take the pieces of what he likes. No overdose in islam, and now it is the time to be proud as a Muslim.

Wallahu a’lam Bishshawab.

Minggu, 06 Januari 2013

Share The Gravy of Your Soup to Your Neighbor

Once I had a Pre Departure Orientation (PDO) for the English short course scholarship in the USA in 2009. One of the speakers was Mr.Agoes, the husband of the director of the foundation which provided the scholarship. One of his statements that I noticed in my mind up to now is when he said: many people in developed countries now are advanced in almost all apects of life. From education, technology, entertainment and so forth. But they miss one aspect, the collectivism. That statement suddenly alarmed the memory of my family. I was in a sudden remembered my mother.

I grew up in a humble family. I could study, all my siblings could study, but none of us lived in opulence. My father is only an ordinary civil servant who made money less than 2 millions in a month. In Indonesia, It was really hard to bear 8 childern with that sum of money. Therefore, we used to have a stall to support our financial condition. Every child has his/her own job. I did not play much with the children in my neighborhood because I and my other siblings had to help my mother.

Inspite of living in such condition, my mother always taught us to be thankful and also to be openhanded. I really remember when one time in a fasting month (the month when all moslems fast for the entire month in Ramadhan), my mother made a traditional food called ‘kolak’. It’s made from steamed banana with sugar palm gravy. We would eat that as a break fast meal. She only made it in a medium pan and I thought if it was enough for us. Taking into account if many of us were fasting at the time, I never thought if my mother would share that kolak to our neighbors. I saw her put the kolak into two bowls and she asked me to bring them. I saw if my mother put much gravy into those bowls, but not much banana in there.

At first, I said in my mind if my mother was not necessary to give it to my neighbors because we did not make much of it. Moreover, I thought that my mother just gave them 2 bowls of kolak gravy instead of kolak itself. But next I realized if the core point of it is all about ‘giving’. My mother did not try to satisfy them, but my mother tried to share her joyness no matter how little she could share. Then a beautiful proverb resounded in my mind: giving gifts to the people who you know will erase spite among you.

Nowadays, people are like living in their own lives. The life is mine. Not yours, not his, not theirs and not ours. That we are connected each other, is the important principle in this life. Since what we have gained would be impossible without the involvement of others, we should have realized that we need to live together. I crave a future where someone will share even only the gravy of his soup to his neighbors. I believe if poor people have a bit rights from our wealthy. Let us imagine a world where every neighbor pass out a bit of what they have, to other neighbors. There will be no hunger and war. There will be no resentment and envy. People will no longer make any prejudice with other believers, other races and other tribes, that are different from them.

I am afraid that all sophisticated stuff today has been dehumanizing the society of the world. Education apparently can not satisfy morality in one of the cavities in the human’s heart. People are probably going too far for searching happiness and do not realize if they can make a start from the nearest place namely ‘neighbor.’ Better future of the world is not far from us.

Having seen my mother’s sincerity to share what she has to the others, I decided to do my own. I started to create a better future by giving out all that I can share to the people in my surroundings. I become a regular donor in one orphanage in my vicinity. On the other occasion, I always become a speaker regarding my experince living in USA with university students and guide them in pursuing any scholarships as well. For I am an English teacher, I always give an extra time to my students to improve their skills in English freely. Currently, I also become one of the volunteers for vision impaired people in one foundation in my city. I has to pass out this remarkable value that has been modelled by my mother. If one day I have nothing left, I do not mind to only share the gravy of my last soup.