Center For Indigenous Psychology (Pusat Pengembangan Psikologi Islam) is led by Prof. DR Achmad Mubarok MA, a Professor of Indigenous Psychology at University of Indonesia (UI), Jakarta State Islamic University (UIN Jakarta), and Assyafiiyah Islamic University (UIA)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Paradigm of Movement Dakwah
In the beginning of 20th century, the phenomenon of dakwah focusing on movements emerged. This kind of dakwah is known as “dakwah harakah” (movement dakwah), implemented by Ikhwanul Muslimin in Egypt, Jamaat Islamiah in Pakistan, and Nur Khuluq or Harakah Nuriyah in Turkey, countries in which symbols of Islamic glory had been broken by western colonialism. In its time, dakwah of movement was really a new paradigm. If conventional dakwah in general are “tabligh” (submitting) and partial, then as said by al Qahtahi, dakwah of movement focuses on developing Islamic society systematically from individual improvement (“ishlah al fard”), family improvement (“ishlah al usrah”), society improvement (“ishlah al mujtamaâ”), and government and state improvements (“ishlah ad daulah”).

Characteristics of Movement Dakwah
According to Mustafa Masyhur, “dakwah harakah” is based on three powers at the same time, which are (1) power of aqidah and iman (faith), (2) power of unity and associations of Muslims (“quwwat al wahdah wa at tarabbuth”), and (3) power of jihad (“quwwat al jihad”).

According to Fathi Yakan, there are four very prominent characteristics of “dakwah harakah”, which are: (1) pure and authentic (“dzatiyyah”), which are authentic as calls of God, (2) encouraging advancements (“taqaddumiyah”), which are advancement that still uphold values of morality, (3) universal (“syamilah”), including all aspects of life, integrating three life systems (“manhaj al hayat”) that consist of Din (religion), Dunya (world), and Daulah (state government), (4) Emphasizing supreme religious principles and avoiding mazhab differences.

According to Sayyid Qutub, an activist and architect of dakwah harakah in Egypt, there are three characteristics of dakwah harakah, which are (1) putting more stress on actions than on theories, discourses, and rethorics, just like dakwah of Prophet Muhammad that didn’t build discourses (“la yuqim falsafatan”) but built ummah (“lakin yubni ummah”), (2) allowing usage of physical forces in form of jihad fisabilillah if the situation compels it. Jihad is required to guard dakwah and to defend from physical disturbances that hinder dakwah, (3) using organizations and networks (networking) at national, regional, and international levels. According to Sayyid Qutub, dakwah is not an individual task but instead is a collective obligation of all Muslims. Organizations of dakwah harakah should be open and built based on “aqidah tauhid” and brotherhood of Islam regardless ethnics, races, and skin colors.

Da’is of dakwah harakah
Any movement certainly requires cadres’ support. Cadres of dakwah harakah are da’is, but da’is (Islamic missionaries) here are da’is in paradigm of movement, which are dakwah strugglers (mujahid ad dakwah). Here, a da’i is a fighter and activist of Islamic movement that had equipped himself with certain knowledges, insights, and “ghirrah diniyyah” so that he will be able to be endured in facing scorns, physical tortures, and ready to die as a syahid. Slogan of mujahid dakwah is “Allahu maqshaduna” (Allah is our aim), “al Qurân imamuna” (al Quran is our imam), was sunnah sabiluna (sunnah of the Prophet is our way), and wa al mautu fi sabililah amanuna (die as a syahid is our hope).

Why dakwah harakah is required?
Dakwah harakah isn’t implemented all the time, but only when the situation compels it, which are when (1) dakwah is hindered by physical power, so that there’s no chance to spread Islam (do dakwah) peacefully, (2) no readiness on Muslims, including mental, moral, and power readinessess, (3) usage of physical power on dakwah harakah is an emergency. If the situation becomes conducive again to do dakwah peacefully, then usage of physical power should be stopped.

Problems of Muslims in the various parts on the earth are different, and to make decisions in responding difficult situations in those places deep thinkings and careful ijtihad are required. For Chechnya Muslims which had been overpowered by Soviet Communism, dakwah harakah is a must. Mujahidin dakwah in Chechnya, however, should be ready to be accused as terrorists by Soviet Union (and USA), since differences between strugglers and terrorists are indeed subtle. All of our strugglers for independence were also labeled as terrorists and extremist by the Colonialist Dutch. According to Palestinians, Hamas strugglers are mujahidin and Israel are a terrorist, but according to President Bush, Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister is regarded as a peace figure and former president Arafat is regarded as a terrorist. Similar problems had been faced by other Muslims colleagues in South Philippines, Kashmir, Afghanistan, and other countries. Wallahu alam.

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posted by : Mubarok institute
Life Pattern
In the life of mankind, we can observe various life patterns, in scope of usual groups, ethnics, nations, and ummahs. This variety emerges since life patterns are products of life views. Life view growing and developing from aqidah creates a certain life pattern usually called “shariah”.

Shariah teachings are highly realistic in viewing man life in universal way. Hence, five components of life are introduced, to be referred to in manifesting a quality life (“hayatan thayyibah”) that guarantees honor and benefits of decent life for man.
Five components of life (“al kulliyyat al khoms”) introduced in Islamic shariah are (1) Intact-self of man, including his soul, body, and dignity, (2) His mind, (3) his properties, (4) His nasab/lineage, and (5) His faith/religion.

Safety of those five life components should be protected through legal devices that guarantee their welfare and safety justly.

That is the real form of Islamic law as a manifestation of shariah. Efforts to understand more of shariah are usually handled in Fiqh. Certain matters specifically in connection with politics are discussed in Fiqh as Siyasah. There we can see a study system that introduces us four main fields in describing the five man’s life components mentioned above. In this connection, we should pay attention to following things:

1. Faith to God and efforts to manifest it through rituals of ibadah, these are included in the main and first study of science of Fiqh.

2. Interactions between people, in this connection we will be introduced to studies of “munakahat” and “mualamat”.

3. Social order, in this connection legal enforcement and legal certainty implementation are required. These are in the latest part of study of fiqh.

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posted by : Mubarok institute

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reupholding Morality of the Nation
In the current crossroad of nation and state’s development, reconfirming national commitment is required, through effective communications by the state’s leaders. The national commitment is building a modern nation-state in form of republic, which is the concept of state built for public benefits—welfare is for all citizens without exception—not personal glories of rulers and officers like in monarchy systems.

Idea of building a nation-state had been proposed by founders of this nation since more than a half century ago. As we know together, however, nothing is free in this world, and nothing can be gain without efforts and sacrifices. The brilliant idea of nation-state are not automatically manifested although it had been proposed since Proclamation of Independence 1945, since manifesting it had been provenly very difficult due to lack of required of social and cultural infrastructures. A long trials and errors in the history of this Republic couldn’t be avoided.

Mistakes in history of this nation like those happened in 1965 and 1998 become bitter experiences and contain hikmah (wisdom) if they are learned from and not repeated. If mistakes fail to be lessons and we let them continues, let alone mistakes intentionally done by us since they are seemingly beneficial, then those errors or mistakes wouldn’t contain hikmah; on the contrary those mistakes or errors would be slanders and disasters. Intentional mistakes would be history’s crime.

To those who think that they can get anything without any costs, that they can be rich without efforts, we should remind that those beliefs are a kind of naked egoism, an anti-social life attitude that force others to be victims and cause a great loss on the society. The idea of getting something without any efforts certainly will lead us to immoral ideas, short-cut ideas, and selfish ideas. Glory of a nation is determined by its morality. If a nation’s morality crumbles down, then the nation itself will crumble down too (“innama umamu al akhlaqu ma baqiyat, fa in dzahabat akhlaquhum dzahabu”). This is a “sunnatullah” we can’t bargain; this will happen to any nation regardless religions of their people. As a religious nation, let alone oath of office’s text contain the words “with taqwa”, we should uphold moral of our nation ourselves, since the meaning of taqwa includes integral moral actions, harmonization between words and behaviours, and behaviours’ consistence with commitments.

Don’t think that advancement of the West is without any moral commitment. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Leave money, leave fame, leave science, and leave this earth itself with all of its contents.” Those will be better than we do immoral actions. Don’t ever think that we may do something dishonorable, however small it may be in our eyes”

Whenever we do something, although no one see us, just imagine if all eyes in this world see us, paying attention to what we do. If we cheat in the state’s general affairs, imagine the loss that will be suffered by common people, imagine all people’s eyes see us (direct their sights on us). Just contemplate that various international institutions has placed us into category of one of the lowest countries, worst countries, most messy countries, most uninteresting countries, etc. Can we still proud ourselves as a big nation and a country with the most Muslims majority?

Above all, as a religious nation, whose state is based in belief on One and only God, we know terms “kafir” and “fasiq”. Cheating is a form of fasiq attitude. Fasiq people are people whose behaviours ignore values of etiquette and moral since those values had been subordinated to greediness and lust.

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Fridays and Jama’ah
Friday prayers are done together (collectively by jama’ah/congregation) by people of the same village or environment in a public mosque, every Fridays. What is the meaning of the Friday prayers actually? Allah says that man and genie are created to worship (doing ibadah to) Allah. “Wama khalaqtu al jinna wa al insa illa liya`budun” (Q: 51:56). Making Allah the only one to be worshipped (“la ilaha illa Allah”) is called tauhid, meaning making Allah the only one God. Salat is the most complete ibadat rituals, consisting of movements, readings, and prayers. As one of religious shariahs, salat doesn’t only indicate tauhid but also symbolize the ideal order of man’s society.

Man is created by God from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and is made into nations and tribes, that they may know each other “lita`arafu” (Q: 49:13). Prayers’ order also symbolizes how man society achieves the goals, knowing and benefiting each others. All people in their prayers should face the same kiblat (direction), with the same reading and the same language (Arabic). To build togetherness, it is a shariah that prayers should be done in jama’ah, doing them together led by an imam.

Like in a social leadership, an imam is required to meet three requirements: (1) fluent in his readings, (2) having the most religious knowledges compared to the others, and (3) oldest among the others. These requirements symbolize requirements of a common leader or even a president: (1) able to communicate with his people, (2) achieving relevant scientific standards, (3) senior. If a person is acting as an imam then the makmums behind him should totally obey him, they shouldn’t do something (a movement etc required) in the prayer before the imam doing it and they shouldn’t do it lately. If the imam does a mistake, however, then the makmums may remind him by reading “subhanallah” loudly. If the imam is failed since he had broken wind, for example, then he should immediately resign, replaced by a person exactly behind him.

Similarly, in society order, if a person had been elected to be a leader (president, for example), then the people should respect and obey his/her leadership. If the leader does a mistake, then his people may warn and criticize him, and if the Leader violates his/her oath of office then he/she should resign to avoid social turbulence, not waiting till his/her people dethrone him, since dethroning a leader requires big (economic and social) costs.

Societal order has grades, and so collective shariah (“syari`at berjama’ah”) also has grades. In every household there should be collective prayers, the father becomes the imam and his wife’s and children become his makmums. On five-times prayers there should be congregational prayers (salat jama’ah) in every mosque and mushalla. Once a week a wider community holds Friday prayer in a big mosque, called masjid jami’ (public mosque). Twice a year in a wider area, collective prayers are held in a grand mosque or alun-alun (town square), which are Idul Fitr and Idul Adha prayers. Geographically, it is a shariah that once a year representatives of nations should be together in a same place, doing hajj in Makkah al Mukarramah. Be together; be in jama’ah, since in a jama’ah there is a lot of grace. Wallahu a`lamu bissawab.

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Nature and Life
A man whose mind is well-functioned can recognize himself and his surroundings. People around him and things and occasions he can see and feel create a concept of nature and living in his mind. The concepts later develop toward perfection through a belief or religion held by his people, mainly his parents and through education and teachings given to him later.

At present, man’s knowledge on nature is already well-developed. Science and technology has developed so well, so as if man can conquer this universe through his success in breaking through the outer space and in breaking atoms, if only no heavy earthquake shaking Armenia, heavy typhoon sweeping beaches of America and Japan, heavy floods striking parts of India and other natural disasters and strange diseases such as AIDS, all of which show weaknesses of man’s power and limitations of man’s knowledge. With such an advanced development, however, human life is still as mysterious as previous

This universe whose width is hard to describe and the man that is very prominent among all other creatures in this universe had passed a very long life process so that it can hardly be described by using century as the parameter but instead it is measured by using light year

People that have a high ability to reason using his mind has known the process of life, although they are not able to understand nature of the life itself. In the very wide and still-developing knowledge of man, the interest to understand the beginning and the end (“mabda” and “maad”) is not comparable to the interest and efforts to understand the life process. Therefore, in general man’s knowledge becomes cripple and not intact. Efforts to understand life process during the history had led man to understand exact and accurate laws controlling this universe.

Real description of this knowledge can clearly be seen in physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. Those sciences reveal how this nature is created regularly and controlled so accurately through exact laws. Astronomy introduces to us on how regularly stars move through their orbits.

The earth we live on rotates on its axes and circulates on its orbit around the sun during certain periods certainly leading to nights and days coming alternately and seasons changing regularly. All of these mechanisms run accurately and can be calculated mathematically. Natural sciences introduce us laws of physics, chemistry, and biology, such as proportion law, conservation law, movement law, gravitation law, relativity law, Pascal law, genetics law, laws of reproduction and embryology.

Various findings of natural laws as mentioned above give us clear information that all parts of this universe—from smallest particles in atomic nuclei whose smallness can hardly be imagined to galaxies whose largeness and width can’t be imagined—move according to the natural laws controlling them. Furthermore, things that can be observed closely are our bodies. Science reveals that human body consists of 50 millions of cells, length of all of its blood vessels is 100, 000 kms and more than 500 chemical processes happen in our livers.

Human body is more complicated and more amazing than a computer. Functions of body that can’t be seen are more impressing. Without we realize it, our bodies control our temperatures, our blood pressures, digestions, and do a very lot of other tasks. The body controlling centre, the brain, is able to record and store more information than any other devices. Those body organs work automatically beyond our control and knowledge. Blood circulations, lungs, hearts, kidneys, and respirations work routinely and accurately, without any command from human themselves. Even they very probably don’t know how busy body organs do their tasks for their lives.

Latest developments of sciences, marked by the emergence of social sciences, had led to a same conclusion, that man and society are also controlled by accurate and exact laws, like nature outside the man. These sciences reveal that life and behaviours of man are controlled by certain rules beyond the man’s wish, like ecology laws (environment’s influence), instinctive drives, genetic heritages, supernatural powers, and laws of history.

Behind those findings, a new scientific theory called scientific determinism (“al-jabriyah al- ilmiyah”) had emerged, which describe human beings as pawns of fate (things that had been determined before). Stoicism views that man and even the whole universe had been rationally determined by the universal mind (this is a philosophical terms meaning power that is the source that controls the universe). According this theory, man’s task are only understanding and placing himself within the frame of mind.

Exact rules acting as laws regulating all creations and movements in the universe are generally called natural laws. In language of Al Quran, sometimes it is called “sunnatullah” like mentioned in surah al-Fathir: 43 “But no change wilt thou find in sunnatullah; no turning off wilt thou find in sunnatullah”.

In perspective of theology, such a thing is categorized into “qadha” and “qadar” (fate). However, this term (scientific determinism) is more dominant in things having something to do with human behaviours, and often carelessly regarded as identical to concept of Jabariah (theory of determinism).

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Nature of Dakwah
Talking about nature or “hakikat” is talking about something fundamentally. A “dangdut” singer with erotic body movement was singing a song on a stage inviting people to dedicate to God. Was she a “da’i” (Islamic missionary)? The reply is clear, that the singer was singing the lyrics of dakwah, but basically she wasn’t submitting a dakwah. Dakwah is not only words spoken but also a psychological invitation coming from soul of the da’i. We often seen dakwah activities but basically those activities are not necessarily dakwah, in the contrary those may be contra-productive to dakwah itself. Then what is dakwah? The nature of dakwah can be seen from the da’i or from the meanings perceived by the people receiving the dakwah.

1. Dakwah as a “tabligh”. Tabligh means submitting, the person is called “muballigh”. Dakwah as tabligh has a form of a muballigh submitting a dakwah material (preach) to people. Dakwah material may consist of statements, informations, teachings, invitations, or ideas. Tabligh is usually done on a podium in a mosque, a “majelis taklim” (a kind of gathering to gain knowledge), or other place. Dakwah material may consist of statements, informations, teachings, invitations, or ideas.

Focus of attention in tabligh is on submitting, “illa al balagh”. After it, people’s response will not be responsibility of the muballigh. To people, unclear tablighs will merely be sounds, tabligh in form of information will cause understanding, tabligh in form of contemplation will become comprehension, and dakwah in form of ideas will encourage people to think continuously. A muballigh submitting an Islamic material he himself doesn’t really understand is like a soulless cassette. Tabligh’s power exists if the muballigh really becomes the “fail” (subject), becoming the actor feeling responsible to do the tabligh. A lot of muballigh don’t become “fail” but become the “maul” (object). He doesn’t have a program but he’s been programmed by other person. He only works to meet market’s demands, waiting for invitation to do tabligh. A “fail” has clear achievements, but a “maul” has achievements difficult to measure.

2. Dakwah as an invitation. People will be interested to an invitation, if the aims are interesting them. Therefore, da’i should formulate aims to which people can be invited. There are two aims, macro and micro ones. Macro aims is already clear, inviting people to happiness here in the world and in the day after. Da’is and mubalighs in general are not able to formulate micro aims, short-time aims that are easily achieved and interesting.

3. Dakwah as a planting activity. Dakwah also means educating people so they will act in accordance with Islamic values. Educating is planting values to the souls of the people. Values planted in dakwah are faith, honesty, justice, discipline, affection, modesty, and other values of noble akhlaqs. Like in other planting activities, the seeds should be excellent, the land should be fertile, watered, and prevented from pests and it will take a long time for the seeds to grow into beautiful green grass or into fruity and shady high trees. Teachers at schools (and the educational institutions) are da’is giving dakwah in form of planting activities. Certainly not all teachers are da'is. Teachers who are also da'i are teachers who had became educators not merely teachers or teaching people. Teachers only transfer knowledge; meanwhile educator transfers behaviour patterns or culture.

4. Dakwah is an acculturation. Dakwah by Wali Songo (Nine Holy Peoples) in Java is a concrete example of acculturation. Those wali didn’t change various form of Javanese traditions but they changed the contents. Traditions of thanksgivings (“selamatan”) for three days, seven days, and 100 days previously were traditions carried out by Javanese people when members of their families had passed way. Such an event was filled by staying awake the whole night, eating, gambling, and eating drugs. The form was maintained by the walis, the eating was maintained but the wrongdoings were replaced with Islamic things, such as reading sentences of tahlil. The foods were replaced with rice of “tumpeng” indicating tauhid, and everyone coming back from the tahlilan would bring “brekat” (blessing or “berkah”). Thanks to acculturation, Javanese people became Muslims. The weakness was that syncretism couldn’t be avoided.

5. Dakwah is a developing activity. In a macro way, dakwah also means to develop. Developing what? As has been exemplified in history, dakwah also means to develop an Islamic world order (“daulah Islamiyah”), an Islamic nation, or Islamic society or society of Islam, or merely Islamic community. While developing, demolishing the old building sometime is unavoidable, and this often means conflict. Like in an activity of erecting a building, dakwah in form of developing something should pass its stages. First, there should be a design or mock-up for the building to be erected. Second, examination on land use should be done; in this case, local culture should be referred to for erecting a building. The first and second activities are interchangeable, meaning that the concept is may be made first and then the location is seek, or the concept is made based on condition of the “soil”.

Third, experts should be involved from architects to assistant stone workers, and four, availability of building materials. Developing an Islamic country without any proven concept will only cause “mudlarrat” (uselessness), like building a thing without experts and fund. For Indonesian Muslims, the most appropriate method is building Islamic community, Islamic society, or society of Islam, since Indonesia has a culture conducive to such a method, we need only improve the concept, and it can be said that we have the human resources, and the cost will not be too high. Wallahu ‘alam.

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Life View of Indonesian Nation
Cultural variety of Indonesian nation is expressed in the sentence “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” meaning that although Indonesian nation consists of various ethnics, cultures, and languages, essentially Indonesian nation is one as a nation. Conceptionally, cultural variety is a national asset, so that those differences shouldn’t be debated, as long as those differences are in the framework of unity.

Pancasila is often mentioned to be the life view of Indonesian nation. This means that values of silas (moral principles) in Pancasila are indeed explored from the khazanah (treasure) of national culture. Therefore, existence of each people’s life view is guaranteed. Each citizen is guaranteed by Constitution to implement their religion based on their faith and belief. During history of this nation, even Communism was once accommodated in Nasakom axis (Nationalism, Religion, and Communism). Only mistake of PKI using violence in the incident of 30 September Movement caused communism to be forbidden later by the constitution in Indonesia.

Data of national history shows that Islamic aspiration as a way of life never ceases to be involved in ideological struggle, including in the processes of formulating Constitution 1945 and all of those struggles are normal since majority of Indonesian citizens adhere Islam. Therefore, it can’t be denied that Pancasila as a life view of the nation actually contains items of Islamic way of living.
Islam as a way of life can be revealed if we understand matters on LIFE that essentially consists of three matters, which are (a) Life View, (b) Life Pattern, and (c) Life Etiquette.

Life View
Mankind during their history note various life views, both those known as philosophies and ancestor’s teachings, and those known as religion/God’s teachings. In Islam, life view is called “aqidah” (a belief binding man’s spiritual part). Since it binds the spiritual part, then aqidah becomes a guidance. Aqidah of Islam introduces God, universe, and man, including each individual, to man
All people instinctively know themselves, the environment surrounding them, and the universe.

Instinctively people also know God (although in various perceptions) and when their knowledge becomes a belief, this belief will give a certain life view to be life guidance for them. The life view taught by Islam explains to man that Living is something highly noble and highly precious. The life bestowed by God on man is a basic capital to fulfill their functions and to determine their own values and dignities Therefore, messages in Al Quran and hadith give a lot of warnings on man to use the basic capital as careful as possible and not to make it useless, since it is very limited in terms of space and time. Furthermore, it is mentioned that there are two kinds of life, one of them is man’s life on earth, which is highly limited in terms of space and time and, due to the limitations, is not eternal but real so everyone can recognize and feel it.

Basically, this life is pleasurable to man, since earth and nature had been prepared in such a way by Allah to support man’s life. The pleasurable nature later dominates the life view of most of people so they identify with life itself. This view is noted in surah Al Hadid in which it is described that the so-called life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among people, riches and children (Q: 57: 20). This is further explained in surah Ali ‘Imran in which it is mentioned than people becomes interested in loving all charming things, among others are women, children, piled golds and silvers, selected vehicles, cattle, and rice fields. All of them are a reality highly familiar to all people and some of them have the chance to enjoy the pleasure.

Basically, all those things shouldn’t be hated or neglected; since all of those things are parts of the enjoyment had been prepared by Allah to support man’s life. But their usage should be in accordance with the guidance and this has something to do with life pattern.
Further, another kind of life introduced in Islam is life in the day after whose quality is higher since it will be unlimited and eternal. All pleasures in the day after will be very perfect. Those lives are not independent from each other; on the contrary, the second life will be continuation and perfection from the first. The day after will be the time and place for the final calculation and determination of permanent values for each person who experiences life in the world. The day after will no longer be the time and place to work and do, but only will be the time and place for receiving results of working and behaviours done while we are living in this earth. Therefore, it is clear that the previous life (in this life) is very important. The opportunity to work and do is only given in the life in this world. Hence, life in this world is really the basic capital for man.

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posted by : Mubarok institute

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tips to be used at Work (Business Ethic)
Among things inherent in man as a representative (khalifah) of Allah are obligation to enforce to the truth (rules of Allah) on the earth and right to manage/use nature as a living facility. From those obligation and right, some rules of living (sunnatullah) follow, that are; (a) To obtain things needed, man has to use an accountable procedure, which is working, (b) Man deserves to obtain (results of) what he has done correctly, (c) Man has to take the risks of what he has done wrongly. If animals only can enjoy facilities in the nature provided by God, then man is demanded to maintain environment against damage and to do efforts (“engineering”) so that those natural facilities are used optimally. Basically, working is a combination of maintaining environment and doing such efforts.

Theologically, universe is a manifestation of Allah’s grace to man, and in this perspective working and doing business aren’t efforts to seek wealth but are efforts to seek rahmah (grace). Value of a property (as a result of working) depends on how much it brings rahmah to the life of its owner. This is called barakah (blessing). Instead of becoming rahmah, a property can change its function into burden and torment unbearable by its owner. Therefore, religion of Islam teaches working or business ethics to man. Business ethics among others consist of:

1. Have a correct intention (niyyat) that working or doing business is aimed at seeking willingness (rida) of Allah. If you’re a trader, have an intention to help consumers obtain his necessities. If you’re doing business in a large scale, have an intention to improve the society’s welfare. If you’re a professional, adhere to professional principles firmly.

2. Create a balance of attention between worldly interests and the-day-after interests

3. Orient/arrange all business/working affairs for long term interests (old days, children, grandchildren, future generation, ibadat/investation for the day after)

4. If you’re faced with difficult choices in making decisions regarding a job or project with wide impacts, then before making decisions, perform salat istikharat, asking for God’s guidance in selecting the best choice.

5. If you’re an employee, be discipline and honest at work, since those will lead you to rida of Allah, insha Allah.

6. If you’re an employer, then you shouldn’t exploit your employees. Instead, give them sufficient wages and pay the wages immediately. Rasulullah ordered us to pay wages to labours before their sweats are getting dried and forbade us to hire labours before there’s a certainty about amount of their wages.

7. If you’re a freelancer, be a diligent/persistent person. Rasulullah once said that working diligently will create a blessing in life (al harakatu barakah).

8. Don’t do business in fields forbidden by God. A forbidden business may cause big and fast benefits, but eventually it will cause misery (at least spiritual/inner misery) since the grace is missing. Likewise, forbidden practices such as briberies, corruptions, manipulations, evil conspirations may make it easier for you to achieve your goals, but those eventually will eliminate blessing (rahmah) and mercy (barakah) of Allah. Such practices are not only sinful but also damaging business system.

9. Fulfill your obligations as an entrepreneur to the right parties, for example regarding labours’ right (wages), the state’s right (tax), God’s right (zakat), community’s right (living environment).

10. Business with barakah is a business benefiting people and giving halal (allowed) benefit.

11. If you’re about to begin a business or project, read the prayer below:
Allahumma ij`al awwala hadza al amro solaha wausatohu falaha wa akhirohu najaha
Meaning: “O Allah, please make beginning of this business a proper thing, the process is an enjoyable process, and the end is a success.”
Rabbi auzi`ni an asykuro ni`mataka allati an`amta `alayya wa `ala wa lidayya wa an a`mala so lihan tardo hu wa adkhilni fi `iba dika as solihin
Meaning: "O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants." (Q: An Naml: 19)

The consequence of working or doing business by mentioning name of Allah is that you should remember Allah in each process of business and working, so that you won’t do things forbidden by Him.

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posted by : Mubarok institute
Tasawuf as a Part of Islamic Body of Knowledge
The term “tasawuf” hadn’t been known in the period of Prophet Muhammad, but substance of tasawuf teachings are taken from behaviours of Prophet Muhammad himself. The word “tasawuf” is estimated to be coming from the word “shafa” meaning “clean” or from the word “suf” meaning “wool”, referring to simple clothes used by ancient Sufis. Islam’s teachings can be divided into Aqidah, Shariah, and Akhlaq, or into Islam, Faith (Iman), and Ihsan. In this perspective, tasawuf is in Akhlaq or Ihsan.

In Islamic Body of Knowledge, philosophy develops rapidly but psychology doesn’t develop. It doesn’t mean that ulamas haven’t been interested to psychological matters. Al Quran and hadith themselves talk a lot about nafs (soul), but psychological experiences of Islamic society are different from those of Western society. Modern Western society have been growing in a disappointment to the Church that oppose modern thinking so that religion (the Church) was later separated from worldly affairs and as a result western civilization and science developed without guidance of religion, and later a secular civilization was formed.

Meanwhile, in history of Islam, science developed along with religion, and Islam’s teachings even encourage its ummah to develop science. Therefore, developments of Muslims’ science and civilization have been under guidance of religion. Even development of Islamic philosophy—although firstly was inspired by Greek thinking—has been still within limits set by Al Quran.

Regarding soul (nafs), for example, in Islamic body of knowledge, science of soul/psychology (ilm an nafs) doesn’t develop as a science examining behaviour as phenomena of soul, but nafs is discussed in the context of a spiritual system having vertical relations with God, since Al Quran and Sunnah directly mention term “nafs” and indirectly mention it through terms such as “qalb”, “aql”, “ruh”, and “bashirah”, all of them, in the perspective of lughawi and because of munasahah with other verses or with Prophet’s hadith, have a lot of meanings so that ulamas have been busy exploring definitions of nafs and its system in the perspective of Al Quran and sunnah. One of sciences discussing “nafs” in Islamic body of knowledge is tasawuf .

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Sciences of Man
Al Quran often reminds man to use his mind to think and to tafakkur, afala tatafakkarun, afala ta`qilun, awala yatadabbarun. Man is indeed a thinking animal (al insanu hayawanun nathiqun). In man, thinking is the fourth process after sensing, perceiving, and memorizing that influences interpretation to a stimulus. While thinking, a man involves sensation, perception, and memory at the same time. In this living, thinking is required to/for (a) to solve problems (problem solving), (b) to make decisions (decision making), and (c) create new things (creativity).
The more knowledge/science one has, the more complex his way of thinking is. Some people only can daydream, some others think but unrealistically, while still some others think realistically. Furthermore, some people always think, some people only think when they need it, and still some others think only occasionally.

Smart people think systematically, for example in a deductive way (taking a particular conclusion from general premises) or on the contrary in an inductive way (taking a generalized conclusion from particular premises/instances). However, there are problems that can’t be solved through general ways of thinking, so in this case a very smart person will usually use a method called creative thinking.

Thinking creative is thinking using a new method, a new concept, a new finding, a new paradigm, and a new art. The importance of creative thinking is not for its novelty but for its relevance to problem solving. Since it’s new and not conventional, creative people are often misunderstood by people in general, they are often regarded as weird or even crazy (thinking crazily). There are five steps in the process of creative thinking: (1) orientation, formulating and identifying problems, (2) preparation, gathering information as much as possible, (3) incubation, taking a rest or sleeping for while—cooling down, (4) illumination, seeking inspirations, and (5) verification, testing and evaluating critically.
Science can be obtained by a man through: (1) his intellectual capacity (mind), through learning process, (2) feeling, through his heart, using it to comprehend reality, (3) direct gift from God, and the science is called “science of ladunni”. For man, science is used to find out truth regarding realities. Considering various methods, it is known that parameter of truth is not one but there are levels of truth: (1) scientific truth, (2) mathematical truth, (3) social truth, (4) philosophical truth, logical truth, and sufistic truth.

According Al Quran, there are following truths: (1) `ilm al yaqin, (2) `ain al yaqin, and (3) haqq al yaqin. The truth of `ilm al yaqin can be tested through scientific theories, the truth of `ain al yaqin can be tested through laboratories and similar means, while truth of haqq al yaqin can only be proved later in the day after. A philosopher can explain the truth, while a sufi can feel the truth. To a sufi, a philosopher says, “I can imagine what you feel.” The sufi replies, “and I can feel what you imagine.” Those are the scopes of man’s sciences.

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posted by : Mubarok institute
Role of Muballighs in Responding and Overcoming Islamopobhia
Role of Muballighs in Responding and Overcoming Islamopobhia
29 April 2008
By : Prof. Dr. Achmad Mubarok, MA
General Lecture submitted in Graduation Ceremony for Students of Muballigh Cadres Education KODI DKI Jaya XIV Generation and Opening Lecture for XV Generation
Jakarta, 24 April 2008

Muballighs (preachers) are at the most front dakwah level using irregular communication media with the audience. Therefore, dakwah materials submitted are generally not deep and easily understood. Muballighs popular in the society are not necessarily the ones who have deepest understanding on Islamic sciences, they are often asked to give dakwah due to their ability to communicate popularly. Furthermore, people attending tablighs don’t necessarily want to study Islamic sciences. A lot of them regard tabligh programs as means for having fun after facing rutinities and life difficulties. Therefore, a lot of celebrities-muballighs are liked by people although weight of their speeches is only moderate. Muballigh aren’t important, but it should be realized that muballighs seem to play more role on building dakwah spectaculars than on building religious awareness. Therefore, the merriness of these spectacular tablighs doesn’t indicate growth of ummah quality.

Levels of Dakwah
Dakwah means an effort to influence others (people) so that they have attitudes and behaviours as wanted by the da’is. Intensity of efforts and goals of dakwah can be seen from the da’i levels.

There are at least five levels of da’is in Indonesia now:

1. Muballighs level. They are those who are giving dakwah to the public, without any schedule, with pupils that are changing from time to time, without curriculum and without target. Therefore, charisma of a muballigh highly depends on the muballigh himself. There are muballigh fa’il and muballigh maf’ul. Muballigh fa’il is a muballigh who has a program or special attention, for example, certain society or field. Meanwhile, muballligh maf’ul is a muballigh who doesn’t have a program but waiting to be “programmed” or invited by his public. If muballigh fa’il’s success can be measured in certain ways, then a muballigh maf’ul’s success only can be measured through amount of invitations he had received.

2. Teachers level. A teacher who is aware that he/she is a da’i actually is a da’i who gives dakwah to audience (mad’u) with measured goals. Therefore, if a teacher is success in carrying out his tasks of dakwah, he will really able to make his mad’u (pupils) to be the persons he wants.

3. Professionals level. A professional’s character is working in accordance with his education, having access to decision makings, and having wage standards. For example, doctor, engineer and architect. If a professional has a dakwah spirit then he will be a da’i with power and his actions will cause a positive perception on Islam.

4. Political level. PKS (Justice and Welfare Party), for example, openly call themselves a dakwah party. It means that PKS gives dakwah politically. Political parties usually manipulate people’s interest to achieve power. If a party can do politics (involve themselves in politics) in a clean way then the dakwah will be highly effective. If the power has been achieved (their representatives become governors, ministers, or presidents) and they are consistent with their dakwah concepts, then the dakwah will be powerful and the results can be enjoyed by the society economically and socially. Some people give dakwah openly through Islamic Party, while some others give dakwah through parties without religious identity.

Dakwah as a Communication Event
As an event, dakwah is a communication, so that elements of dakwah are same as elements of communication that are da’i, mad’u, material/message, method, and media. The material submitted by muballigh or da’i can be information, invitation, teachings, and even nonsense. Success of communication by a muballigh to his public highly depends on what he communicates. If a muballigh only submit voices, then his dakwah will only be heard by the ears. If a muballigh submit his dakwah in form of thinking then it will be responded using mind, if the dakwah is a voice of his heart, then it will be absorbed by heart.

Characteristics of A Successful Dakwah
As a communication event, dakwah will be regarded as successful if having following characteristics:
1. The messages are understood by people.
2. The dakwah is amusing people.
3. The relations between muballigh and people (that are his mad’us) are increasingly getting better.
4. The dakwah changes the negative attitudes into negative ones toward values submitted in it.
5. The dakwah successfully encourages mad’u to act relevantly.
In Communication Psychology and terms “Intrapersonal communication system” and “interpersonal communication system” are known.

Intrapersonal communication system is a process in which a person receives a stimulus, perceives it, puts it into his memory, thinks about it, and responds it. For people not adhering Islam, Islam is a perception. Majority western people perceive Islam as a religion teaching violence, not obeying Human Rights, and disrespecting women. Perception is mostly influenced by attention. Things that highly draw attention are novelties, movements, contrasts, repetitions. Western mass media repetitively broadcast subjective (and wrong) news from Islamic world without the Islamic world themselves are able to counter them with same media. As a result, negative perceptions on Islam had been built in western people’s minds and even are believed by Muslims having superficial knowledge.

Interpersonal communication system is a process in which a person (or society) builds his image. Building a good image requires a long time through good behaviours done repetitively. Meanwhile, a bad image is immediately built on a person once the person does a bad behaviour.

Apart from negative perception of western people, it should be admitted that sometimes some people among us (da’is and mubalighs) build a self-image as an undignified class. For example, fighting sexual immoral behaviours by coming to prostitution places and shouting takbir, carrying bludgeons, breaking glasses, and wearing white robes. When this act of fighting wrongdoings is broadcasted in western media, then what built will be a bad image of Islam in the eyes of western people. Another example, a muballigh in a tabligh akbar on Ahmadiyyah sometimes ago stated that blood of Ahmadiyyah people is “halal”. When this statement is translated and broadcasted, then perception built in the mind of western people will be that Islam is an intolerant and cruel religion. Likewise, the case of Amrozy cs also built a negative image on Islam. Therefore, we shouldn’t be too emotional when facing Islamopobhia or anti-Islam attitude.

How to respond and overcome Islamophobia?
Perception can only be changed through communication, not through long distance response. The most effective way of overcoming islamopobhia is by proposing Islam as rahmatan lil’alami, grace for the universe. Characteristics of rahmat are (a) full of attention, (b) wanting to give, (c) understanding limitations, and (d) forgiving. Dakwah community should hold dialogs with the West since they who are anti-Islam really don’t know a lot about it and have a bad perception built on Islam. Remember that when Rasulullah had stones thrown away at him by Taif people, he didn’t condemn them, instead he prayed, “Allhummaghfirlahum fainnahum la ya`lamun” (O Allah, forgive them, they were throwing stones at me since they didn’t know that I’m really Your messenger).

After 11 September incident in USA, amount of Muslims there increased 500%. Why? Since after Islam had been publicized as a religion of terror, Americans got interested to find out what Islamic teachings are. Mushafs of Al Quran and Islamic books are always sold-out. After they reading directly Islamic sources and communicating directly with Islamic people, their perception had changed, later they even had sympathy for Islam and were given God’s guidance (hidayah). Allahu Akbar.

Therefore, PKM students should increase their insights, by reading a lot, listening a lot, and interact with others a lot. Insya Allah, their knowledge, comprehension, flexibility will increase.
Wallahu a`lamu bissawab

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posted by : Mubarok institute
Philosophy of Divinity
Philosophy is a science who tries to find out the truth of everything (al `ilmu fi al maujudat ma hiya al maujudat). What meant by everything is realities and there are three essences of realities: God, man, and nature. Therefore, three main philosophies are philosophy of divinity, philosophy of man, and philosophy of nature. In philosophy of religion, those three aspects are discussed and studied. The science that studies philosophy of divinity is called Science of Kalam, since the frame of the philosophy of divinity is Kalamullah, divine revelation, not mind.

Therefore, arguments in Science of Kalam always propose Al Quran’s verses. What inquired in this science among others what are essences of attributes (characters) of Rabb al ‘alamin, ar Rahman, ar Rahim, al Jabbar, and al Khaliq, what are essences of meanings of Subhanallah (Allah the Most Holy), Allahu Ahad (Allah the Most One), what is meant by Allah resides in arasy, what is meant by the sky, and so on. If laypeople are deemed sufficient to study science of Tauhid, then educated people should study philosophy of tauhid that is Science of Kalam.

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posted by : Mubarok institute
Balance between Science, Faith, and Good Deeds in Living
Balance between Science, Faith, and Good Deeds in Living
28 April 2008
By: Prof. Dr. Achmad Mubarok, MA,
Submitted in Workshop of Supervision with Religious Approach
Held by General Inspectorate of Religious Affairs Department,
Jakarta 6 May 2008

Man is a creation who knows meaning. A cow is valued based on quantity of its meat, but a fat person is not necessarily more meaningful than a thin one, a big person is not necessarily more meaningful than a small one, superordinate is not necessarily more meaningful than subordinate. Highness or lowness of meaning is called prestige. A prestigious person is a person whose presence in the stage of life gives meaning, although may be his presence is only for a moment. On the contrary, a person whose presence doesn’t give meaning, although he has a long life or a position held for a long time is not a prestigious person. His presence influences nothing, his absence causes nothing. The concept of meaning is influenced by science, faith, and good deeds. A person with science has his steps guided by theories; steps of a person with faith are guided by belief, while steps of a person with a lot of good deeds are guided by spirit.

Concept of Supervision in Living
Some people feel that they are free unlimitedly in life. They decide what they want and what they do, since they feel than man is the only one who is determining in living. They think that goodness or badness, necessary or not, important or not important, proper or not proper, all is determined by man.

Meanwhile, some people feel that this life has a kind of scenario and that people have to follow the scenario. Otherwise, they will be rebuked by the director and laughed at by the spectators since they do something deviating from the scenario. Where the scenario comes from? Some people think it is the society who makes the scenario, so that a person whose behaviours are deviant will be alienated by the society. Others believe that the scenario comes from above, from the Creator of Living, through holy books, prophets’ teachings, and through conscience in form of universal morals and local wisdom. Deviating from scenario is believed to cause calamity
The questions are: Who feels that he/she is supervised and who is supervising? Who commands people to obey the scenario and who seduces people to deviate? And who reprimands?
Al Quran surah Qaf 16 states:
And certainly We created man, and We know what his mind suggests to him, and We are (watching him and) nearer to him than his life-vein.
From the verse quoted above, there are things should be explained in detail, that are (1) man (2) nafs (3) whisper, (4) God’s supervision
Al Quran mentions man by referring him “basyar” and “insan”. “Basyar” is the physical man, while “insane” is man as a psychological creature. The word “insan” comes from the word “nasiya yansa” meaning “forgetting”, from word “uns” means “tender or gentle” and from the word “nasa yanusu” means “turbulence/turbulent”. Therefore, insan’s psychological characters is between forget and aware, tender and hate, and between calm and turbulent.
Some people are always aware, calm, full of affection, while there are some people who are forgetful, hateful, and restless. Some other people are calm but hateful and aware of his hate and still many other psychological characters of people. What might interest us is definition of insan: al insane hayaman nathiq, man is a thinking animal. Therefore, the distinguishing factor is the thinking ability. If a person can’t think any longer, then the thing left in him is his animal aspect.

Nafs, is the inner side of man, soul. Nafs or soul is a system working systematically with its subsystems; mind, heart, conscience, syahwah, and lust. Mind= problem solving capacity, its duty is to think, its product is logic, it can find truth but can’t determine it. The truth of mind is relative. Mind is man intellectual potency.

Heart is the device to understand reality. Things can’t be understood by mind can be understood by heart.

Heart contains a lot of things, hate, love, courage, fear, restlessness and so on. Heart can be wide, narrow and even closed. Heart dominates the psychological system but it is not consistent, it can be honest and it also can lie.
Nurani (conscience) comes from the word “nur” meaning light. Nurani is God’s light located within the heart, so that it is consistent and can’t compromise with lies. Nurani is always honest. Nurani is like a black box located in the heart. As a light, nurani can’t emanate light if it is closed. Things often close light of nurani are greediness and wrongdoings. A person whose nurani is dead is like a person walking in a dark place, stepping wrongly, taking wrongly, entering wrong places, and putting things wrongly. The Arabic word of dark is zhulm, the person is called zalim (despotic).

Syahwah is a desire to something or in psychology is called motive. God adorned man with syahwah to the opposite sex, proudness of chidren, liking for valuable things, good vehicles, gardens, and cattle. Syahwah is neutral, following it correctly would be an ibadah (religious service), and followng it by ignoring moral and religious values would be a sin.

Lust is the drive to low syahwah. Characteristic of one’s lust is to want to get what one wants by ignoring the results for oneself and for others.
Man receives stimuli, he perceives them and puts them into his memory, and then he thinks before he acts. All subsystems in his soul give inputs or whispers, for example:
Mind provides logical considerations.
Heart tries to understand any reality to come.
Conscience reminds the consequences if taking wrong steps.
Syahwah urges to make decisions and take actions by which it will gain satisfaction.
Lust whispers to immediately take opportunities in troubles, to be opportunistic, not to become hesitant, not to think deeply, just do it.

Qalb (heart) Management
Man can think, feel, and have wants. His wants are influenced by his way of thinking and feeling, his mind is also influenced by what he wants, his feeling is also influenced by what he thinks and he wants. All psychological devices can be used to choose which one is the best for himself, for the country, for now, for later, or even for his children and grandchildren. However, all of them needs appropriate management, which one should be encouraged, which one should be repressed, which one should be considered, and which one should be followed.
If one tends to follow his mind, then he will tend to be rational, but sometimes “dry”
If one tends to follow his heart, then he will able be calm or restless, depending on his mood.
If one tends to follow his conscience, then it is guaranteed that his choices will be correct and his steps will be appropriate.
If one tends to follow his syahwah, then he will tend to being led to glamourism and hedonism
If one tends to follow his lust, then it is guaranteed that he will go astray and damage himself (and others).

Roles of Science, Faith, and Good Deeds in Supervision
Theoretically, a person with science and faith who often do good deeds surely has a proportional and correct life. However, in practice, smart people sometimes do things incorrectly; his faith is not guaranteed to be stable, but it fluctuates. Sometimes it gets thicker, sometimes thinner. Therefore, sometimes people are failing in supervising themselves. Man is a social being. What a person will become depends with whom he interacts. Just take loot at behaviours of members of house representative and career officials. Sometime how they dress and walk and their tastes are adjusted to “social scenario’.

According to a psychological research, 83% of man behaviour is influenced what he had seen, 11% by what he had heard, and the rest by various stimuli. Therefore, honesty can’t be trusted to heart of each own person. Officials of Religious Affairs Ministry and officials of other ministry socially and psychologically are more and less the same. Preventing deviant behaviours of state officials of any ministry can’t be done only through religious advices (its influence is 11%), here we need a system narrowing possibilities for officials to deviant.

Science (or knowledge) is required not for “heart endurance” but for designing a logical, comprehensive, effective, and efficient supervising system
Faith is required mainly to enable example of clean life by echelon officials, since for paternalistic Indonesian society, example or model is effective and cheap in supervising state officials.

Good deeds should be maximized to create an ethos of giving priority to others (itsar), so that officials will get obsessed to give and not to take. Money from corruption is usually used up for useless things excessively not for good deeds. Devil money will come back to devil.

Built-in Supervision
In the last part of the Al Quran’s verse above it is mentioned that God is closer to man than his life-vein, supervising whispers of the soul. He knows not only what man does and says but He also knows what comes up in man’s heart. This verse’s text is information for man that everything done by man, good or bad, is surely known by God. Nothing can be missed from God’s supervision.

However, information in this verse is received differently by people, depending on their levels of understanding. Some people can only think, while others can also tafakkur and others can also tadabbur.

By thinking we absorb information, but the result is cognitive.

By tafakkur, we can imagine or comprehend the scope of information, the result may be affective.

By tadabbur, we can feel power of the information, so that the results are not merely cognitive and affective, but also psychomotoric.

A person who can do tadabbur to the holy verses of Al Quran already has a built-in supervision system. He never wonders, calculates, or images doing a deviation with of hope of not being caught in the act. A person like this has already been allergic to deviances. I’m sure that in this country those who are supervising and those who are supervised are mostly still at the level of thinking ability. Only a very few who can do tafakkur and only some people who already can do tadabbur. Therefore, only a tight and appropriate system can minimize deviant behaviours of state apparatus, including those of apparatus who are in charge of supervision.
Wallahu a’lam bissawab.

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posted by : Mubarok institute
Philosophy of Shariah
Shariah of syara’ means wide road. Islamic shariah is the infrastructure in form of a road built by Allah (thariqah Ilahiyyah) and provided for mankind so that they will not go astray in their journey and will always in accordance with the living scenario made by Him. With shariah, (a) living signals will be clearly seen, (b) requirements to interact with various parties will be clear. With shariah, then man is given freedom by God to choose his ways, each with their own consequences; halal (allowed) way, haram (forbidden) way, makruh way, wajib (obligatory) way. With shariah, patterns of interactions among parties are regulated; the strong rules the weak, the weak must follow the strong but all in order to achieve common goals. People have to obey their leaders, but leaders essentially are servants of people (sayyid al qaumi khadimuhum). Poor people need income while rich people need manpower; interactions between them are regulated by shariah.

Meanwhile, goals of shariah (Maqashid as Syari’ah) is to protect five aspects (al kulliyat al khams): (1) to protect man’s soul, khifdz an nadfs, (2) to protect mind, khifdz al `aql, (3) to protect religion, khifdz addin, (4) to protect properties, khifdz al `aql, and (5) to protect offspring, khifdz annals. All regulations in Islam shariah are meant to protect those rights: right to live, intellectual right, faith right, property rights, and right of having pure/good offspring, those are called human rights in this present modern time.

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Religion: between Form and Substance
The religion of Islam is meant to guide man to achieve happiness in this world and at the day after, outer and inner happiness, prosperous in this world and enter the heaven at the day after. Religion is indeed set up for people who have inner and outer (lahir dan batin) dimensions, physical and spiritual dimensions, syahwah and nurani dimensions. Therefore, Islam also has a shariah dimension regulating external aspects of people’s living and a value (essence) dimension stressing on substance of religious’ teachings.

Laypeople almost always busy with external shariah, active in doing religious activities, but they very seldom basically understand the philosophy of what they do. Meanwhile, khawash people stress on essential dimension of religious teachings, and fulfilling the external dimension only as required by the universal (minimum) standards. Laypeople often occupy themselves with formal aspects of religion, ignoring substantial aspects of it, while khawash people occupy themselves by not putting stress on formal aspects. The comparison can be seen in terms of fasting

1. Laypeople fast by not eating, drinking, and doing sexual interactions (only)

2. “Special” people fast not only by not eating and drinking but also by avoiding inappropriate words, their hands fast by avoiding wrongdoings, their feet fast by avoiding unnecessary trips, their ears fast by avoiding to listen gossips and slanders, their eyes fast by not seeing aurat, and so on.

3. Meanwhile, khawash people (prophets and Islamic saints/ “walis”), in addition to doing those kinds of fasts mentioned above, their hearts also fast by not remembering anything except God. While fasting, in their hearts nothing moves across except Allah.

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Salat as a Miraj
The view that salat or prayer is the mikraj for mukminin (believers) refers to the second opinion, doing miraj spiritually (not physically). A concentrated (khusyu) prayer is enabled to interact with, to muwajahah, muhawarah, to munajat, to communicate intensively with Allah SWT. How?

Imam Ghazali in Ihya ‘Ulumuddin mentioned six “inner meanings (aspects)” that can perfect salats, that are (1) presence of qalb (heart) or hudur al qalb, (2) understanding, (3) ta’zim, glorifying Allah, (4) afraid, haibah, (5) hopeful, raja, and (6) ashamed

1. Presence of the qalb (hudur al qalb) in prayer is the cleanness of the qalb from things shouldn’t be thought about while doing salat.

2. Tafanhum is understanding meanings of the words and sentences uttered in salat. Understanding those meanings will able to help in presenting the qalb.

3. Ta’zim is glorifying God. Ta’zim is result of two knowledges: comprehending greatness of Allah and realizing one’s abjection and limitation as a God’s creature.

4. Haibah is one’s feeling toward Allah resulted from the awareness that power of Allah is very big and effective and from realization that law of Allah or sunnatullah will surely happen. Therefore, he or she is very afraid of breaking His rules, since the impacts will be a certainty.

5. Raja’ is hopeful; always thinking positively that Allah is the Most Compassionate and His Affection is very wide. In salat, feelings of hopeful and worried emerge alternately, worrying about breaking His rules, and hoping for His Mercy.

6. Meanwhile, ashamed feeling (hayaa’) to God resulted from one’s awareness of his limitations in doing religious services (ibadah) for Him.

According to Imam Ghazali, if those six things are in a person doing salat, then his heart will be concentrated (khusyu’) since all of his senses and awareness will focus on The Most, One God, The Most Great that is respected and afraid of but becomes his pillar of hope. Aisyah once told that while not in praying, Prophet Muhammad talked intimately to anyone, but while praying, he seems as if he didn’t know anyone else, and Aisyah acted like she didn’t know (him) too.

Khusyu will be easily reached by people with correct views of life, since wrong views of life will make hard concentration in doing religious services (ibadats). Delightment of munajat will only felt by people who don’t love worldly properties, since, like mentioned by Al Ghazali, one who is still be happy with his properties, what more mixing goodness with badness, will not be happy in requesting God (munajat). Love of properties and love of the day after can’t be united in one same place.

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Bida’h and Islamic Culture
In the perspective of language, bid’ah (heresy) means creation. Bid’ah in religion means creating new things in religion. A hadith of Prophet Muhammad says that all bid’ah is misleading and all misleading things will go into the hell (kullu bid`atin dholalah wa kullu dhalalah fin nar). However, another hadith mentions that whoever has a good creativity will have a double reward from the creativity itself and from people following the creativity (man sanna sunnatan hasanatan falahu ajruha wa ajru man `amila biha). Regarding planting method, Prophet Muhammad also said once that you know this worldly matter better (antum a`lamu bi umuri dunyakum).
From those explanations, it may be concluded that forbidden bid’ah is bid’ah in religious affairs; it means creating things previously not exist in religion.

Then, which matters that are within the scope of religion, and where the creativity may manifest itself? Here we’re sorting matters. For example, shalat (salat) is within the scope of religion and not allowed to be changed, added, or reduced, but mosque buildings, prayer rugs, water reservoirs for wudhu, towers, clothes for salat and others are parts of culture in which people may express their creativity.

Is anniversary of the Prophet’s birthday part of religion or is it part of culture? It is clear that anniversary of the Prophet’s birthday is a part of Islamic culture; it is created by people based on religious inspiration, encouraged by love to the prophet and by goals of dakwah. Due to the love expressions, forms of the celebrations are different: religious speeches, torch parades, sekatenan (a festival held in Yogya and Solo in honor of Muhammad’s birthday), religious story (Rawi) readings, and so on.

The Book of Rawi (Barzanji) itself is a literature book containing epic of the Prophet’s history, written as a manifestation of a man of letters’ love to Prophet Muhammad. To understand culture’s position in religious affairs, we should know first the society’s understanding on the religion itself.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Religious Counselors and Problems of Modern Society
In this current globalization area, values disorder in Indonesian society have been happening so fast and we can’t really sure about its direction since people have different absorbing power toward various stimuli in the global area. Modernization can be marked through progresses in science and technology, while globalization itself can be marked through the using of information technology that makes this world “shrinks” to a village. We can watch an occasion happening in America or Africa at the same day or even the same minute through television or the Internet. They also can watch what happen in our country in the same way. The world looks as if it is naked, can be seen by all peoples of the earth. The problem for developing countries such as Indonesia is that their people have knowledge levels and social strata that may be very different from each other so that their abilities to absorb information are not same or similar.

In Indonesia now, there are at least five social strata in the society: ultra modern stratum/people, modern people, urban people, traditional people, and backward people, even in Papua there are still communities living like those who lived in stone era a very long time ago, they don’t wear clothes. Those five kinds of people or societies receive the same stimuli from global culture, such as freedom, luxury, pornography, and violence that are different from traditional and cultural societies in Indonesia. The impacts are extraordinary. Local culture and religion’s norms are up side down in family livings, social-political living, economy, fashion, food taste, music, and other life styles. These are difficult problems for religious counselors, since they themselves are also victims of the wave of globalization culture. A lot of religious counselors belong to modern stratum, not yet urban stratum. Extra intensive efforts are required to prepare those religious counselors to be able to play a significant role in helping to relieve modern society’s problems.

Illnesses of Modern Man
Illnesses of Modern Man discussed in this writing are psychological disturbances suffered by people living in modern civilization environment. Modern area has two characteristics: (1) usage of technology in various aspects of human livings, (2) development of science as manifestation of human intellectual progress. Modern man is a man that is thinking logically and is able to use various technologies to enhance qualities of human living. With their intelligence and technology support, modern man should be wiser than ever, but in fact, there is a lot of people whose humane qualities are lower than thinking progress and technology they have achieved. Wisely, the usage of modern communication and transportation tools had caused man to live under global influence and controlled by global information wave, whereas mental readiness of people individually and even ethnically are not same.

Consequences of this imbalance can be found in living reality in which a lot of people had lived in a modern civilization using technology—high technology—as their living facilities but in their lives they suffer distortions in humane values. Dehumanization happens due to their intellectual, mental, and spiritual capacities are not prepared to cross the sea or jungle of modern civilization. They have Mercy cars but their insight is still insight of “becak” (a non-motored three wheeled vehicle). They have communications tools in forms of cell phones and internet connections, but they still often use language of hand signs, they choose pizzas and Kentucky chickens for their menus, but their nutrition insight is still of “tempe bongkrek” class. Their wealthy, positions, and weapons symbolize their progress, but their souls are empty and brittle. They use all symbols of modern man but its substances—logical thinking and sophisticated technology mastering are still far to achieve.

1. Cage of Modern Man
The powerlessness of modern man to play a significant role in the stage of modern civilization unstoppably in progress causes most of the “modern man” to be trapped in a situation called “Man in a Cage”, a term founded by a famous humanist psychologist, Rollo May. This is a term indicating one of modern man’s sufferings.
Such a modern man is actually a man who has lost this meaning of life, a hollow man. He is restless every time he has to make decisions. He doesn’t really know what he wants, and he is not able to choose a way of life he wants. Sociologists call it symptoms of alienation that are caused by (a) very rapid social changes, (b) warm human interactions that had changed into barren human interactions, (c) traditional institutions that had changed into rational institutions, (d) homogenous communities that had changed into heterogeneous communities, and (e) social stability had changed into social mobility.

The psychological situation in the social system shackling the modern man is like a very strong cage, causing the occupants within can’t think to try to find the way out from the cage. People feel too powerless to try to make changes, the power of political system is felt like a ghost whose working standards are difficult to follow, the economy is felt controlled by a few people who can manipulate it at their own disposal, not based on people interest, and cultural supreme values have changed into some kinds of market commodities whose fluctuations are difficult to predict.
Like a person who had been confined in a cage for a long time, modern man are frustrated and in powerlessness. They can’t plan their futures any longer; they are submitted to the fate since they feel powerless. People pay no attention to political developments; civil servants feel that they only work routinely and only do things ordered to them and supervised by their superordinates or bosses.

Another cage that is no less in its strength is social living. Modern people are confined by social demands. They feel that they are restricted to follow social scenario determining various criteria and arranging “musts” in social living. An official’s wife feels that she has to adapt to his husband’s position in terms of clothes, vehicles, accessories and even how to smile and laugh. An official also has to replace his homes, vehicles, clothes, friends, drinks, cigarettes, and habits to conform social scenario regarding officials. Women are also occupied with changing their cosmetics, clothes’ fashion, dressing, food tables and dishes in their homes to conform current trends

Modern man is very busy and trying hard to adapt himself with modern trends. He feels that he has been trying hard to meet his own wishes, but in fact he has been enslaved by others’ wishes, by social wishes. He is actually pursuing things others expect he pursues. He always measure his behaviours based on things he thinks are expected by others. He might be satisfied but the satisfaction is only for a moment, satisfaction in showing behaviours “commissioned” by others. He acts like a play actor on the stage that has to perform excellently based on his director’s commands, although he himself may be not healthy.

That’s the modern man; he does something not because he wants to do it, but because he thinks others want him to do it. He is so busy meeting others’ wishes that he forgets what he himself wants. He has hundreds social masks ready to use in various events in accordance with social scenario, and he uses those mask very often so that he forgets his own original face. Modern man is a man who has lost his identity; his behaviours are like robotic movements, without any feeling. His smiles are no longer as sweet as holy smiles of a baby, but are artificial. His laughs are not longer artificial like a child or teenager’s cheerful laughs, bus are controlled as a kind of face powder to mask his personality. His cries are not longer moans of his soul but are mask to hide his rotten characters, and it is has been programmed when to laugh and when to cry.

2. Psychological Disturbances of Modern Man
Because of the prolonged hypocrisy, modern man suffers various psychological disturbances such as (a) Anxiousness, (b) Loneliness, (c) Boredom , (d) Deviant behaviours; (e) Psychosomatic illness.

a) Anxiety
Anxiety suffered by the modern man caused by losing of meaning of life. Naturally, man needs meaning of life. Meaning of life is owned by one when he has honesty and feels that his life is required by others and feels that he is able to and has done things meaningful to others. Meaning of life is usually fully comprehended by strugglers—in any field—since focus of attention of those strugglers is how to contribute something to others. A struggler usually has a high dedication, and for what he struggles for he is ready to victimize himself and even his life.
Although things done for a struggler is for others’ interest, but the motivation to struggle comes from his own, not for satisfying others. A struggler does something in accordance with the principles he embraces, not with principles others embrace. A struggler will be satisfied if he is able to firmly stick to his struggling principles, although his struggle itself is possibly failed. Meanwhile, a modern man doesn’t have a meaning of life, since he doesn’t have principle of life. He only follows trends, follows social demands, whereas the social demands themselves are not necessarily based on noble principles. One whose life only follows others’ wishes, will only feel satisfied for a moment, and will feel disappointed and ashamed if he is failed. Since social demands are always changing and never end, modern man is demanded to always anticipate changes, whereas changes always happen and are difficult to anticipate and he himself doesn’t have a principle of life, so that he is enslaved to serve changes. Due to these imbalances and mainly because he feels that his life is meaningless, no dedication in his actions, he feels prolonged restlessness and anxiety. Only occasionally he feels temporary enjoyment, false enjoyments, whenever he is performing well on stage of life drama.

b. Loneliness
Loneliness if a psychological disturbance caused by personal interactions within modern society that are no longer sincere and warm. The barrenness of human interactions happens since modern man wears social masks to hide personality face. In interpersonal communications, modern man doesn’t introduce his own self, but instead introducing a person who is actually not himself. As a result, every time a modern man looks at another person, the person he looks at is not a true person but a masked person. Furthermore, personal interactions are no longer interactions among personalities, but interactions among masks, whereas every person needs another person, not another mask.

Because of the barren personal interactions, modern man suffers loneliness, even when he is in a crowd. As a man, he is really alone, since there are only mask around him. He can’t enjoy others’ smiles, since he himself perceives those smiles as masks, like his own smiles to others that are also masks. He regards others’ compliments as “programmed” lip services, even love expression from his lover sounds insipid since he also regard his lover as a person wearing a mask of love. How poor the modern man is!

c. Boredom
Because of meaningless life, insipid interactions with other persons, anxiety always disturbing his soul, and prolonged loneliness, the modern man suffers another psychological disturbance, boredom. When he is on the stage of falseness, the masked man indeed gets delight for a while, but when he gets home, alone again with his true identity, then he is again haunted by anxiety and loneliness. Prolonged anxiety and loneliness makes him getting sick of pretence and falseness, but he doesn’t what to do to eliminate the boredom.

Different from a struggler who feels living in a crowd of struggle even when he sits alone in his room or even in his prison cell, a modern man feels lonely in a crowd, gets frustrated among various facilities, and feels boredom in a party’s seducing merriness.

d. Deviant Behaviours
Anxiety, loneliness, boredom suffered continuously cause one doesn’t know exactly what to do. He can’t make any decision and doesn’t know which way to go through. With his empty and brittle soul, when one can’t think deeply, his tendency to satisfying motives to low things gets very stronger, since satisfying motives to low things will provide a bit of amusement.

A person with this level of psychology disturbance is very easily persuaded or affected to do amusing things although those deeds are deviant from moral norms. His psychological condition is like that of a person influenced by drugs. When one is not able to think almost anything, he is wiling to do anything to get liquor. The emptiness of soul may lead such a person to rob others, although he doesn’t need money, rape someone he doesn’t know, kill another without any clear reason. Principally, the person can do any deviant behaviour that can seemingly amuse him.

e. Psychosomatic disturbances
Psychosomatic disturbances are physical disturbances caused by psychological and social factors. One’s cumulative and peaking emotion may cause shock and disorder in his mind. If those factors causing emotion to peak continuously can’t be kept at a long distance or controlled, then he will always be forced to struggle to press his feelings. Those prolonged stressed, anxious, lonely, bored feelings may influence his physical health. Therefore, pyschomatic disturbances can be viewed as a combination of physical and mental illnesses, which is in Arabic called nafsajasadiyyah or nafsabiolojiyyah. The sick part is actually his soul but the illness manifests in form of physical illnesses

Psychomatic sufferers usually complain that they feel unwell, their hearts pitter-patter, they feel weak and can’t concentrate. The psychosomatic forms may consist of syndrome, trauma, stress, dependence on tranquilizer/drugs/alcohol, or deviant behaviours.

A modern man suffering psychomatic disturbances is like an occupant of a cage that does not realize any longer that the cage had confined him. He thinks that living within the cage is as normal as it should be. He can’t imagine how things outside the cage look any longer.

3. Psychological Therapy for Modern Man
Because modern man’s sufferings come from the cage confining him, the way out of the problem is trying to get out from the cage. The cage confining the modern man actually has something to do with emptiness of values. Emptiness of modern man’s values happens since he can’t recognize himself in constellation of God’s creatures. He is occupied with his belief that he is only a stand-alone creature, so that his world gets narrow, his sky gets low.

To be dared to get out of his cage, firstly a modern man should recognize again his identity, what a creature is, what a man really is, who he really is, for what he exists in this world and where to go after this life?

A modern man with not so serious illness can be asked to discuss, to think, contemplating what had happened and how much the rest of his life will possibly be. He is asked to recognize himself in the context of Allah’s creature, since like the Prophet Muhammad said “he who knows himself knows his God. However, dialogue or discussion won’t help a sufferer with a very serious condition. Such a person is recommended to be taken into a situation that gives no opportunity else than thinking and feeling being in a religion condition, for example invited to join a forum of “dzikir jahr” like that of “tarekat of Naqsyabandiyaah” community. The dzikir jahr environment will force him to follow reading of thayyibah sentences, and repeated readings will help to slowly enter a situation that is not easily comprehended but beautiful and delighting.

In this perspective, tassawuf or religious spirituality is actually highly relevant for modern people, for healthy ones, and especially for sick ones.

4. Muslims’ Views of Life
People are trapped in a modern cage because they have wrong views of life. They have wrong views of life so that they create further mistakes preventing them from getting the meaning of modernization and instead becoming merely consumers of modernization wastes. A Muslim having a correct view of life will be still exist and strong in every era, traditional era and modern era, since the correct view of live will throw wastes out of the essence.

Muslim views of life can be measured at least from following things:
a. Goal of Life. Religion of Islam teaches us that goal of man’s life is seeking for ridla of Allah, ibtigha'a mardatillah, so that his principle of life is whether things he chooses are in accordance with God’s will or not. This view of life will make one strong in his convictions, not afraid of being abused verbally and even not afraid of being alienated from his social system. If one has decided that God’s will (ridla of Allah) is his goal of life, then he will prevent from having to meet social demands in contradiction with his goal of life.

b. Function of Life. Islam teaches us that man’s function on earth is as a khalifah or representative of Allah. As a khalifah of Allah, man is given responsibility to uphold truth and law of Allah on earth. For that purpose, man is also given right to manage and make use of nature. This view of life makes one can’t come to a standstill seeing the arbitrary behaviours of people in damaging living or environment. As a khalifah, he feels invited to do good deeds and to prevent bad deeds (ama ma’ruf and nahi mungkar). In this perspective, man is a subject, not merely an object.

c. Duty of Life. Islam teaches us that man is created to worship God. Therefore, worship or ibadah is a duty to do, not a goal. To achieve the goal of achieving will of God (ridla of Allah), man should do his worshipful duty. Those who are disciplined in doing their duty will be given promotion, while lazy ones will stay behind.

d. Instruments of Life. To achieve the goal and to do the duty, man is given
instruments that are his own self (his physics, intellectuality, and soul), properties, and nature. Properties and belongings are instruments of life, not a goal. Therefore, the amount of properties a man needs is the amount he needs for the purposes of doing his religious duty and achieving will of Allah as his goal of life. To achieve his goal and to do his duty, man needs nutrition for his body’s health, clothes for social interactions, feet or vehicles to travel, hands or power to carry out decisions, and science to improve his qualities of work.

e. Model (Exemplar) of Life. Man tends to imitate and identify. Man needs a figure to imitate, since merely sciences and skills don’t guarantee one to achieve values of work primacy. For that purpose, teachings of Islam determine that the figure that should be referred by man in his life is Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad is uswatun hasanah (excellent model) for mukmins (believers). Muhammad as an exemplar is unrivalled by anyone, since Prophet Muhammad is the concrete manifestation of Quranic values. “Kana khuluquhu al Qur'an”, Aisyah r.a. said once.

f. Friends and Foes in Life. In living his life, struggling in doing the duty, and achieving the goal, man needs friends and often meets foes. Islam teaches us that all mukmins are brothers and sisters, and devil is a consistent foe or enemy. A mukmin has to prioritize other mukmins as his partners over other people. Dealing with devil provides nothing except a loss.

Functioning Religious Counselors
A religious counselor actually is different from a muballigh or teacher of Majils Ta’lim. A muballigh should talk a lot, while a counselor should be able to listen a lot. A muballigh deals with healthy people at once, while a counselor deals with troubled people, one by one. A muballigh acts as a subject in dealing with a mad’u as an object, while a counselor only helps a troubled person so that the person can be a subject to solve his own problems as his objects.

Therefore, religious counselor should comprehend his position when dealing with troubled people that he is a counselor not a mubaligh. A troubled person may have his problem disappears only by telling it to the right person (counselor). On the contrary, a trouble person may be getting more confused when he listens to long advices submitted by a muballigh.

It is not easy to change self-concept of a muballigh to become a counselor. Science, field experiences, and comprehension on people’s problems in life are required here. We meet various people problems in modern living but not everyone is able to analyze those problems to find their solutions. Preparing programs for religious counselors in capital areas is easier since they live close to cases and there are a lot of information source. To change the muballighs into religious counselors in solving modern man, periodical programs can be held, for example once a week. The programs consist of:
1. Inviting information sources to provide insights on problems of modern society (psychology)

2. Guided by an instructor, every counselor is given task of observing society problems in his area and reporting them in form of paper

3. Also guided by an instructor, on every day of common programs, every counselor candidate reports his findings.

4. The instructor guides them in comprehending existing problems.

5. Instructor guides them in finding appropriate problem solving format

6. Publishing counseling journal for internal purpose whose materials taken from cases founded by those counselor.

7. A kind of seminar is held every certain period to discuss those problems.
In Jakarta area, those tasks can be carried out by PMTI in cooperation with Ministry of Religious Affairs and other sponsor institutions. Wallahu a`lamu bi as sawab.

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Educational Problems in Indonesia
Quality of a nation is determined among others by its culture. Culture is the concepts, ideas, thoughts, and beliefs held by a society for a long time so those things guide them in fulfilling their needs of life. Different concepts will lead to different behaviours. Wrong concepts will lead to wrong behaviours. Concept of Indonesia’s nationhood among others can be found in the constitution (Pancasila, 1945 Constitution, and so on) formulated by Indonesia’s founding fathers and developed by further generations. A culture is built mainly through education. Therefore, it is astonishing that in our (Indonesia’s) existing ministerial cabinet, culture is only “clung to” tourism so that culture is distorted into cultural things processed into tourist objects, while no one handles the spirit/essence. Actually, if not handled in one separate ministry, cultural affairs are more appropriate if handled under education ministry or education and cultural ministry (department), since it is education that builds the concept of Indonesian culture on generations from basic level to high level, while education for early age children (PAUD) and kindergarten can be handled over to local communities as a effort to form local cultural and local wisdom.

We often hear that members of our Indonesian society mock each other. Actually quality of people is determined by two things.

First, heredity. Indonesian people at present are direct descendants of 1945 Indonesian generation and are grandchildren of 1929, and are great grandchildren of 1912 generation. According to Ibn Khaldun, ups and downs of a nation are marked by emergence of three generations. First, Pioneering/battering generation, second, Developing generation, and, third, Enjoying generation. If in a country there are too much groups that are members of enjoying generation, which is generation that is only enjoying results of development without thinking how to develop, then it is one indicator that the nation will experience decline. The process of comes and goes of those generations happen within one century according to Ibn Khaldun. What makes us sad is that in our country, only a little bit more than 50 years of age, when few of pioneering generation are still alive, and the developing generation are still in the process of developing, a lot of members of enjoying generation are emerging, mostly even from educated groups. What’s wrong?

Second, education. It is education that can develop the spirit of Indonesia nation. Then, what are wrong in education for this young generation?
There are at least nine mistakes in our nation education so far (during New Order):

[a] Education management in the past overstressed cognitive aspects, ignoring other aspect so that it gives rise to a generation suffering split personality.

[b] Over-centralistic education that generated a generation of people that is only able to regard Jakarta (the capital) as the only hope without recognizing opportunities and big potentials in their own local areas.

[c] Education failed to build bases for developing a disciplined society

[d] Education failed to provide human resources that are ready to compete globally.

[e] Education management ignored democratization and human right. For example, during the new order, teachers/students ratio for schools under Education and Culture Ministry was 1: 14, while in madrasahs (under Ministry of Foreign Affairs) the ratio was only 1: 2000. Another example, educational budget of the government in State Senior High School was Rp 400, 000 while in Madrasah Aliyah was only Rp 4, 000/child/year.

[f] People empowerment in human resources and educational development affairs was subordinated through very centralistic uniformity. Therefore, people creativity in developing education wasn’t developing.

[g] Centralization of national education caused bluntness of local autonomous ideas.

[h] National education didn’t sufficiently respect cultural plurality so that it was in contradiction with the spirit of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity).

[i] Enforced contents of nationalism and patriotism through P4 (Guidance for Comprehending and Practicing Pancasila) and PMP (Pancasila Moral Education) were too dry so that they are contra productive.

Those nine mistakes in national educational management have provided their following bitter fruits:

1. Young generation whose insight is low and who doesn’t have idealistic imagination ability.

2. Labor force that is unable to compete in global employment market.

3. Pokey, corrupt, and uncreative bureaucracy.

4. Economic players who are not ready act fairly

5. People who are easily act anarchically.

6. Heavily damaged natural resources (mainly forests)

7. Hypocrite intellectuals.

8. Foreign debts that is not repayable

9. Dominance of morally low leaders

10. Confused local leaders. Regent of minus areas still hope for funds coming from the central government, while regents of plus areas spend too much money for unimportant things

Education in the Reform Era
1. Reform era gives rise to cultural shock, like the feeling experienced by a person who has been imprisoned for so many years but then suddenly see the prison’s wall crumbles down. People experience a very different situation with almost unlimited freedom and openness. Because of this euphoric condition, people are not able to think clearly, demanding rights but ignoring duties, criticizing but not providing solutions.

2. Education society realizes that our human resources as products of our national educational are not able to compete globally so that we are only able to “export” servants, while at home our skilled workers have to compete with foreign skilled workers. The problem is that output of quality education can only be enjoyed after 20-25 years. Our uncompetitive human resources at present are products of education system implemented since 20-30 years ago. We have another problem in connection with radically changing education system: teacher we have now are products of inappropriate education system. In the concept used by IKIP, teachers are educational instruments, not figures that are able to transfer culture to their students. It is this vicious circle that is hard to break.

3. Unfortunately, our education experts have a tendency to mostly refer to textbooks and are lack in doing systemic tests in the field. SD (elementary schools) teachers are still merely “instructors”, not teachers who are followed like in our national education philosophy since a long time ago. Doctors and professors of education should still teach in elementary and junior high schools so that they are able to create culture-based education system, find realities that can be comprehended and formulated into theories, and then meet at bureaucracy level to manage education based on western theories. As long as education in elementary schools is only handled by “instructors”, it will be more difficult to develop the students at higher education strata.

4. Quality education is indeed expensive, but the increase of education budget in APBN (State Budget0 to 20% will not help a lot if National Education Ministry only focuses on certain educational projects, not educational development as a whole.

5. Private institutions have opportunity to create educational innovations without restricted by complex bureaucracy’s regulations, but it is very making us sad that there are a lot of private educational institutions that are merely business-oriented.

6. International schools are required as a response to globalization, but opening of international schools by foreign parties is very risky in terms of culture since they have different educational philosophies.

To accelerate and widen culture of learning national, educational budget should not only aim for formal schools but also informal and non-formal schools. At one point in the future, employment market will not merely consider certificates given by formal schools but also employees’ skills and these skills can be developed in informal and formal schools. Academic titles also won’t be relevant in a point in the future.

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posted by : Mubarok institute
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