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)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Balance between Science, Faith, and Good Deeds in Living
at 10:38 PM 
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

Introduction
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
Insan
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
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.
“Whispers”
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.
posted by : Mubarok institute

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