Month: January 2017

Are we closed-minded?

It’s tough now if you want to defend Islam. They’ll say we’re not open-minded, stubborn, not catching up with modern civilization. Although even their claims are not strong enough, lets focus on this accusation.

just hold that thought for a minute. Are we really that closed-minded?

Look at the current state of this world. We’re living in a world where islamic values are being scrutinized, both by the media, public figures, and scholars. 

Content on the news and social media are all celebrating freedom and all sorts of secular values, framing it with humanist jargons.

Also take a look at the public school and universities where we are encouraged to be critical whilst there still remains minimum content of religion in our education system.

by that depiction, I think it’s fair to say that we’re the ones that are open-minded. We’re the ones that are reluctant to follow the mass opinion. We’re the ones who are open to other values and principals beside what the media tells us to believe. We’re the ones who are open to learn other things besides what out education system has given us. If anything, they’re the ones that are closed-minded, following what they’ve been hearing and learning all along.

Just think about it.

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Kebaikan Tak Pernah Samar

Pada saat yang benar menjadi samar, dan yang salah menjadi wajar, kita kadang kembali bertanya dimana garis batas kebaikan dan keburukan.

Jika argumentasi relativisme kembali berdengung, semua menjadi kabur, yang awam menjadi bingung, seolah semua bisa di justifikasi, asal ada alasan kuat.

Sayangnya, alasan kuat dibenarkan dengan banyaknya pihak luar yang meng-iya-kan, walau pihak dalam, hati, memberontak penuh kekesalan. 

Padahal Rasulullah sudah menjelaskan, bagaimana cara kita mengidentifikasi kebaikan, juga keburukan.

Dari an-Nawas bin Saman radhiyallahu anhu dari Nabi shallallahu alaihi wa sallam, beliau bersabda, Segala kebaikan adalah akhlak luhur, sedangkan dosa adalah segala yang meragukan dirimu dan kamu tidak suka jika orang lain mengetahuinya. (HR. Muslim) 

Serta dari Wabishah bin Mabad radhiyallahu anhu, ia berkata, Aku telah datang kepada Rasulullah shallallahu alaihi wa sallam, lalu beliau bersabda, Apakah engkau datang untuk bertanya tentang kebajikan dan dosa? Aku menjawab, Benar. Beliau bersabda, Mintalah pendapat hatimu. Kebaikan adalah segala yang menenteramkan jiwa dan menenangkan hati, sedangkan dosa adalah segala yang meragukan jiwa dan meresahkan hati, meskipun orang-orang memberikan fatwa yang lain kepadamu . (HR. Imam Ahmad bin Hambal dan ad-Darimi; hadits hasan)

Islam tak pernah samar, selalu memberi kejelasan. Bahwa apa saja yang meresahkan hati dan meragukan jiwa, biarpun manusia mewajarkan, adalah dosa. Sebaliknya, segala yang menentramkan jiwa dan menenangkan hati, maka dekatilah, karena disitu letak kebaikan.

Di kala manusia membuat standar nya sendiri, disitulah kita harus kembali, tanya kepada hati, untuk mengetahui kebenaran yang hakiki.

Al-Qur’an and Cultural Bias

Have you ever stumbled upon people that questioned the interpretation of Al-Qur’an? I think this is a quite common issue right now, and muslims, especially muslim youth, are struggling to answer this question, some even might be the ones that are questioning this kind of issue.

There is an urgency to explain these kind of issues towards muslim youth. Questions like, What if there is a misinterpretation of the Qur’an? What if the interpretation from these Imams and Ulama were influenced by other things such as culture or even gender?

These questions should be answered, but answered in a right way. We’re in a time where we are pushed to be more critical, but at the same time we’re being pushed to put religion aside. The current youth right now does not want dogmatic answers, they want logical answers, answers that they can fathom, that they can make sense with.

Fortunately, Alhamdulillah, i found a very logical and reasonable answer regarding this issue, from brother Daniel Haqiqatjou. Here’s what he had to say:

“Some “reformists” are quick to dismiss the great jurists of Islam, claiming that these imams were but a product of their culture and hence blindfolded by their biases. If only such people would look in the mirror and realize that they too “might” be a product of their culture, and that they could be the ones superimposing their biases on the revealed. And if we want to be fair, the degree of their culture’s conformity to Islam, and the degree they were intellectually cultured by the Qur’an and Sunnah, is much greater than ours.” -Dr Hatem al-Haj

Is it possible to understand Allah’s message as it was meant to be understood? If everyone is biased, then clearly not. Everyone’s understanding would be merely a reflection of their own biases as opposed to Allah’s intended meaning. In reality, sunniIslam has answered precisely this question. The correct and authoritative understanding of Allah’s message is first and foremost that of the Prophet peace be upon him, and then that of the Sahaba. Why the Sahaba? Because they were the most knowledgeable and observant of the Prophet’s sunna. And then their followers, i.e., the Tabi’in and so on. When we see certain ideas and positions predominant across the khalaf, who lived across hundreds of different cultures and geographies over the centuries, it is also not plausible to say that they were suffering from bias,.especially given that they too were much closer to the sunna than we are in the modern age.

Furthermore, there is the process of ijtihad. People who comment like this usual have no idea about how it or the Arabic language works. They just assume bias as if its inevitable.

There is a process, principles, that guide interpretation. And the Arabic is not able to be interpreted however one wishes. And if this does happen, there are other scholars to refute their mistakes.