Selasa, 01 Juli 2008

Anti-Aswaja movements tend to be more systematic

Nahdliyin (NU followers) should stand guard against any movements posing threats to the teachings of Ahlussunnah wal Jamaah (Aswaja) in Indonesia. To meet their goal, the movement allegedly financed by foreign donors have increasingly launched their more systematic approaches.

The remark was made by Secretary of Advisory Board of the National Awakening Party (PKB) Muhyidin Arubusman before some 200 ulemas at a meeting of the Ulema Forum of Aswaja in Pesisir Selatan regency, West Sumatra province on Monday (31/3).

"Their movements are conducted systematically including through such political party," Muhyidin said without naming a certain party. NU Online's Bagindo Armaidi Tanjung reported.

Muhyidin then called on ulema and Nahdliyin clrcles to keep preserving tradition and maintaining the line of thoughts of the Aswaja. NU young generation, he added, could be such a target rejecting the Aswaja.

"Many NU cadres studying in certain countries have viewpoints opposing to the Aswaja," he said, adding that the cadres were easily trapped into the viewpoints.

The former secretary general of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) was of view that the anti-Aswaja movements tended to take advantage of mushola or worship places founded by Nahdliyin.
At the same time Buya Sheikh H Ibnu Abbas Al Yaqieny, the initiator of the ulema forum said, "we won't allow the Ahlussunnah wal Jamaah to again and again be put aside. It's been long enough the Ahlussunnah wal Jamaah put aside."

Buya Ibnu Abbas, who is also the chairman of the PKB Advisory Board of West Sumatra expected ulema and religious figures to both preserve and maintain the Aswaja principles in their own community. All this, he said, was aimed at avoiding NU young generations from negative impacts enable to change their moderate religious thoughts.

The forum was held on the sidelines of the 24th anniversary of Buya Sheikh Abdul Munaf Bakrin being considered as one of prominent and outstanding ulemas in West Sumatra. He died on 31March 1984.

Health minister to dedicate Japanese funded polyclinic in Jombang

Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari on Wednesday (April 9) is scheduled to inaugurate a Japanese funded polyclinic of Tebuireng Islamic Boarding School in Jombang, East Java province, a spokesman said.

Arvil Syahadat, information officer at the Japanese Consulate General in Surabaya told Antara here on Tuesday (8/4) that the poly-clinic was funded under a Japanese government`s grant worth US$82,341, the equivalent of Rp 745 million.

The construction of the polyclinic was started in December 2007 and took four months to complete, he said.

The inaugural function will also be attended by Japanese Consul General in Surabaya Shoji Sato, and head of the Tebu Ireng Islamic Boarding School Solahuddin Wahid.

Arvil said the Tebu Ireng polyclinic is only one of several humanitarian projects realized with a Japanese government`s grant under the Grant Assistance for Human Security Projects program.

To date the Japanese government, in this case its Consulate General in Surabaya, has provided 32 grants for small scale projcts in the provinces of East Java, Nusa Tenggara and Kalimantan.

Aswaja should meet its social relevance

Any principles of Islamic teaching on ahlussunnah wal jamaah (Aswaja) adopted by NU followers (Nahdliyin) should experience the process of contextualization and meet its social relevance.

The concept of kulliyatul khoms (five Islamic universal principles), namely the protection of religious freedom, the protection of life, the protection of mind, the protection of property or property rights, the right to enter into marriage and the protection of reproductive rights.

The concept has so far been viewed in mere individual level without searching for its social relevance. Whereas any policies like fuel oil price hike, privatization, liberalization would, directly or indirectly, threaten the realization of the purposeful concept.

The issues was taken up at a workshop on strengthening the role of syuriyah (advisory council), held by Yorgakarta's NU Regional Board (PWNU) and participated by some 60 NU young clerics at the Istana Hotel, Tegalrejo, Yokyakarta on Monday-Tuesday (19-20/5).

The workshop was aimed at strengthening the teachings of Aswaja, social analysis, and mapping any contemporary social problems.

Secretary of the PWNU, Drs HA Zuhdi Muhdlor, M. Hum, said the materials discussed were conflict resolution, social analysis mapping, contemporary Islamic movement and other relevant themes.

"The forum (halaqah) of the NU young clerics has produced some social analysis and recommendation that ought to be followed up by NU board members in all levels," he said.

While Organizing Committee chief, KH Tamyiz Muharram, MA, said the forum raised such favorable expectations for all participants had enthusiastically formulated action plans that would be followed up in each NU branch board and even by involving clerics in villages.

The participants were divided into 8 small groups to deepen and discuss materials on social analysis, conflict resolution, food and energy crisis, human rights, social, economic, and political mapping, the kulliyyatul khoms, mabadi'ul khoirul ummah, fikrah nahdliyyah, and so on.

"This training tries to develop paradigm on thinking and organizing based on real problems in society so that any teachings of Aswaja would experience the process of contextualization and meet its social relevance and intellectual," Tamyiz said.

He further added that the forum was not only focusing merely on religious texts, but it also exploring in-depth and comprehensive social reality. Though the forum, Tamyiz said, the participants were optimistic syuriyah would systematically and organizationally function without basing on religious ritual functions.

In the meantime, one of the training facilitators, Mustafied, handling the topic of social analysis and the kulliyyatul khoms, said the dialectics of participants was very dynamic. The analysis on reality combining social analysis tools and (religious) texts, he added, had raised critical findings.

Mustafied gave an example in analyzing the government's plan to raise fuel oil prices that he viewed as instrument for extensively exploiting oil resources "in which 80 percent of Indonesia's oil companies has been managed by foreign companies."

In the perspective of the kulliyyatul khoms, he said, the fuel oil price hike must be rejected for increasingly impoverishing people and having potential to threaten the principle of khifdhul mal (the protection of property).

Concerning the Cash Assistance Program (BLT), Mustafied said that it would not educate people and have potential to degrade their dignity and self-respect. The program would again threaten the principle of khifdhul irdh (the protection of dignity).

Gus Dur: NU will never establish Islamic state

Former General Chairman of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) KH Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid recently said that the Indonesia's biggest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) would never establish an Islamic state in the country.

Gus Dur made the statement as meeting with a number of United States senators to convey the national and Islamic missions of the Nahdliyin-based organization.

Gus Dur who is also the chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Awakening Party (PKB) said since ten years before Indonesia's independence NU had again and again decided that Muslims had no such obligation to establish an Islamic state.

"In 1935 or ten years before Indonesia's independence the NU's 9th Congress held in Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan) decided that Muslims were not obliged to establish Islamic state. For that reason, we have seen many religions in Indonesia," Gus Dur told reporters in the PKB's headquarters, Jln. Kalibata Timur Jakarta on Wednesday.

He was of view that Indonesia's stand on religion was very clear as affirmed in the nation's ideology, Pancasila.

As reported scores of the US senators meeting with Gus Dur during his US visit were Robert Wexler, Suemyrick, Joe Rockefeller, Christopher Bone, the influential senator in making US foreign policies.

During his visit in the country, Gus Dur also received Medal of Valor for his struggle for world peace and tolerance. The medal was given by Simon Wiesenthal Foundation.

Other figure receiving the same medal is former bishop of Anglican Church of Canterburry, UK.

The Indonesian former president received the medal on Award Night in Los Angeles. In the meantime Gus Dur also held talks and had a dinner with Hollywood's producers like Rocky's Robert Chartoff.

The award night was attended by some 1000 people. Amongst the attendees were Hollywood actors such as, Will Smith, Ron Howard, and Jeffry Katzenberg.

Gus Dur on the sidelines of his US visit had a great time to hold talks with US Vice President Dick Cheney in the White House.

Gus Dur also explained his meeting with Temple University to immortalize his name as center for inter-religious dialogue studies.

The critic of holistic-transformative education

Title : Transformative Islamic Education
Writer: Dr Mahmud Arif
Publisher: LKiS Yogyakarta
Edition I: Februari 2008
Thick: xiv + 310 pages
Reviewer: Abdul Halim Fathani

Education is an important thing that would always be talked about, examined, and debatable. The purpose of education is basically to develop human in the frame of carrying out mandate as representative of Allah on earth. Nowadays there have been many talking more about the format of education that is appropriate with the era of ours. More over we have most of the time found those attaining high education whose no good morality. Instead many attaining poor educational standards have good attitude. Then the raising question is that is there such a mistake dealing with the implemented model of education or the education itself can not respond to any human difficulties? Apart from all this we have actually realized about the importance of education in developing human personality.

In terms of the importance of education, Malik Fadjar (2004) tries to place the education within the frame of human investment. Malik says there are three big challenges facing education in Indonesia. First is defending the results having been obtained; second is anticipating globalization era;and the third is conducting changes and adapting national education system that supports the process of more democratic education; paying more attention to various necessities/circumstances of regions and students; and encouraging the increasing of people's participation.

It is a must that most people have expected the existence of Islamic educational institutions whose quality in any kinds and educational levels. Even education has now been such an urgent necessity especially for those middle-class Muslim circles. While educational institutions having rapidly developed and professionally been managed have most of them belonged to public educational ones whose no religious background.

According to Muhaimin (2006:237) there are three paradigms in developing Islamic education, namely Dycotomic Paradigm, Mechanism Paradigm, and Organism or Systemic Paradigm. In dycotomic paradigm, the aspect of life is viewed very simple. Islamic education tends to merely deal with ritual and spiritual matters while economic, political, cultural, social, and scientific aspects are considered as mere worldly matters. The dycotomic paradigm would lead to dualism in education system.

Mechanism paradigm views that the life consists of many aspects and education is considerably to implant and develop a set of values of life leading to their own rhythm. While organism paradigm suggests that educational activity constitutes a system consisting of components that can work together to reach certain purpose, namely the realization of religious life inspired by religious values and tenets.

The book's writer says so far studies on thoughts and Islamic education have “idealistically” viewed the golden era of Islam. AS for him, culture and and tradition of Islamic thoughts in the golden era were such final reference. It is taboo to review and should be blindly (taklidiyah) followed. So it is not so strange if some standard literatures on Islamic studies have tended to elaborate the excellence of tradition of thought and Islamic education in the golden age of Islam without being followed with critical analysis to emerging weaknesses.


”Professor” for Indonesian astrologists

The calendar is a measuring means mostly understood by people to determine events surrounding them. For Indonesian people have just recognized two kinds of calendar, namely Qomariyah (lunar calendar) and Syamsiyah (solar calendar), so it is little bit difficult to synchronize the two calendars.

The difficulty is sometimes based on the fact that the lunar system has two methods of determining, namely hisab (astrological calculation) and rukyat (the sighting of the new moon/hilal). On account of the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar system, so most religious events can be determined based on the lunar system. Whereas the results of the two systems have some of the time been different.

When important events happen in social religious life with differing decision, the ummat (people) have always held firmly on their own decision based on reliable arguments and valid findings.

The dispute has in turn tended to increasingly be unstoppable as each of them holds firmly on their own viewpoints. The dispute would be vulnerable that potentially leads to such difference of creed. The scene has always come into existence in Indonesia as the world most populous Muslim country.

Amid the condition, people are of course in need of a figure whom they can follow, a man responsible for his arguments and leaving no any long dispute. In short the people need to have a figure enable him to protect them and play a mediating role to settle any social conflicts.

In this case Muslims in the archipelago has one of prominent and brilliant experts of astrology from Kudus, Central Java. The figure named KH Turaichan Adjhuri Asy-Syarofi that has even been mandated to be Chairman of Central Java’s Calendar Office.

The ulema born in Kudus on 10 March 1915 is the son of Kiai Adjhuri and Ibu Nyai Sukainah. He has lived in religious family and studied religion under local ulemas and continued his formal education at the Maddrasa Tasywiquth Thullab Salafiyah (TBS) in his town for two years only, namely when he was 13 years old in 1928s. On account of his outstanding intelligence, he was then appointed to involve in learning and teaching process.

When he involved in teaching at the maddrassa, Kiai Turaichan started to take part actively in social activities by, for instance, participating in preaching and any scholarly religious discussion locally and nationally.

Since then, he has actively involved in discussion forums, including NU’s Problems Deliberation (Bahtsul Masail) during its conferences. His intelligence and courage to express his arguments could be traced in the forums. He could convincingly express viewpoints with no doubts even before senior ulemas like KH Bisri Samsuri from Pati, who then established Pesantren Denanyar in Jombang East Java.

We can also trace his roles in national politics. He had some of the time been appointed to be Ad Hoc committee by the central board of NU party. While in his region, he had also been mandated to be Rais Syuriah (law making body) of NU branch board. He had ever served as judge of the government in 1955-1977.
Yet his broad interesting in the field of astrology has made him popular and charismatic due to his stand on his arguments. He has now involved in the Astrology Committee of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU). Though he has ever some of the time had different viewpoints with ulema majority, but he has still held firmly on his viewpoints. Even his views have always been in line with reality. He is the prominent man publicly recognized as both the expert and astrologist whose precise and accurate accounts. Many people have now studied astrology under his supervision.

Mbah Tur has never been absent in any NU conferences, except when he was sick. When NU based its ideology on Pancasila rather than Ahlussunnah wal Jamaah, Mbah Tur tended to isolate himself form the organization of NU.

What is interesting to note here is that, though he isolated himself with the Nahdliyin-based organization, but he has now mandated to be chairman of law making body (Rais Syuriah) of NU Regional Board of Kudus. Kiai Turaichan preferred to campaign “NU Locality” that means he would all of the time struggle for NU as jam’iyyah (organization) in local level, namely Kudus.


Running enterprises to finance pesantren

The north coast (pantura) of East Java is a coastal area which stretches from Tuban’s coastal line that borders on Central Java and ends at Surabaya’s coast. Next coastal line, from Surabaya to south ending at Banywangi’s coast is called as “Tapal Kuda” region. The two regions have similarly been inhabited by most Muslim communities.

Since the coming of Islam in Java island there have been many Islamic boarding schools (pesantren). Inhabitants have become accustomed to religious life and open-minded. The scene could be traced through social and psychological condition in Paciran, Lamongan East Java where his excellencies the caretaker of Pesantren Tarbiyatut Thalabah KH Muhammad Baqir Adelan was born.

Baqir was born in a sleepy village located in the north coast of East Java, exactly in Kranji village, Paciran district, Lamongan regency, East Java province, on 30 August 1934/19 Jumadil Ula 1353. He was the sixth son from twelve of the marriage of KH Adelan bin Abdul Qodir Kranji with Nyai Hj. Sofiyah binti KH Musthofa.

Baqir then grew up and spent his childhood and had intelligence much brighter than his fellow friends. On account of social and psychological condition of the free and independent people living in the north coast, Bagir had such courage and talent for entrepreneurship.

His first educational process was from his beloved mother Hj. Nyai Sofiyah, his grand mather Nyai Aminah Sholeh then his uncle KH Abdul Karim and his grand parent KH Musthofa Abdul Karim to focus more on religious knowledge. Since his seven years old Bagir had continued studying in formal educational institution, namely Madrasah Tarbiyatut Thalabah Kranji led by his own uncle KH Abdul Karim Musthofa for four years. He had then continued his study at Madrasah Muallimin in Tunggul village Paciran district from 1940-1944 under the supervision of an ulema KH Muhammad Amin Musthofa.

Due to his bright educational career so it is reasonable if since his 14-year-old age he was mandated by his teacher to help teach in pesantren and involve in any preaching in his community. Started from the Tunggul’s Madrasah Muallimin Baqir was to take part in sharing his knowledge with local people. He then continued his study in Pesantren Bahrul Ulum Tambak Beras Jombang in 1952 under the supervision of KH Abdul Jalil.

One of his achievements during his study in the pesantren was his talent for entrepreneurship. For being admitted in fifth class he could finish his two years of study in secondary (ibtidaiyah) level. Because of his willingness to be independent following his graduation from the ibtidaiyah he then moved from the pesantren’s dormitory to live in Bulak village while at the same time he also taught at the pesantren.

In the village he started fueling his entrepreneurship talent by running such small enterprises by both selling and purchasing agricultural products of local people. And even from his enterprises he could help his parents to finance his brothers’ education. A year later, he continued his study under the supervision of his excellencies KH Bisri Sansuri in Pesantren Mamba’ul Ma’arif Denanyar Jombang for four years. Similarly Baqir was also mandated to help teach in the pesantren.

Developing Family’s Pesantren

For Pesantren Tarbiyatut Thalabah that belongs to his family is in need of new teachers, Baqir then returned to his hometown. Following the death of his grand father KH Musthofa the leadership of pesantren was then taken over by his son in-law, KH Adelan Abdul Qodir (the father of Baqir) till he died in 1976. So KH Baqir Adelan continued the leadership of the Pesantren Tarbiyatut Thalabah.

Next KH Baqir started to devote himself to his society through religious educational channels, namely pesantren. Though he had responsibility to control the pesantren but in fact he could no longer ignore his initial purposeful talent for entrepreneurship. As a caretaker of pesantren, his personal independence could be seen through his all daily activities. It was said that KH Baqir was used to wash his clothes. His care of his santris’ (students) daily activities was for example by waking his santris up before dawn and paying more attention to each of his santris’ development and constantly visiting his offices. He did all this for the sake of his santris’ learning process.

He then tried to enhance his enterprises to bear and finance his pesantren by initiating the establishment of such a social gathering whose members contributing to and taking turns at winning an aggregate sum of money that is called as arisan. The gathering could also be aimed at cultivation the relationship between pesantren and social surroundings. The gathering was used to be participated by all fishermen living in the north coastal area of Lamongan. As for KH Baqir the gather had two functions; as the medium of preaching and the medium of enhancing business linkages between the fishermen and pesantren circles.

On account of his experience in running private enterprises, following his return to Paciran, he then stretched his enterprises by opening such an order service of books for religious schools (madrassa) affiliated with of Ma’arif educational institutions of Paciran in 1958-1975.

His talent for entrepreneurship could successfully be seen while he conducted trade expansion on hardwood trees. Formerly the trees were used only to make benches and many other school equipments. But his business tended to increasingly meet its expected target that leads to the establishment of a furniture workshop called as UD. Barokah Sejati. It was such a supplier of hardwood trees as raw materials for making boats.

Several years later he was so popular as an entrepreneur besides his capacity as the caretaker of pesantren especially following a controversial idea initiated by his father in law, H Mas’ud. As said H Mas’ud wanted KH Baqir Adelan to develop new kind of boat for local fishermen. A model of semi modern boats as new products of his running business.

The purposeful idea triggered disputes in his society for considering that so far the local fishermen had accustomed to traditional boats in earning their life necessities. His people regarded that the new model of boats would be useless. However the people’s opinion could no longer change his mind dealing with the making of the new boats. He still held firmly on continuing his ideal to come true. Most of fishermen in the north coast have now used the boats. The UD. Barokah Sejati that he initiated has increasingly been developing and of course its profit can be used to finance his pesantren. (to be continued)