The Prophetic Mission of Reform Movement, a Campus Discussion Report in Bandung
oleh Saidiman Ahmad

The idea of Islamic reform is still relevant. This discourse was discussed in a discussion by the title "The Reform without Apology" in Wisma Bina Marga, Bandung, 21/08/2010. The discussion was organized by the Muslim Students Association (HMI) of Bandung Branch in cooperation with the Liberal Islam Network (JIL) and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung (FNS). This discussion was intended to discuss the renewal idea of Ahmad Wahib, one of the leaders of HMI in 1960s.

The idea of Islamic reform is still relevant. This discourse was discussed in a discussion by the title "The Reform without Apology" in Wisma Bina Marga, Bandung, 21/08/2010. The discussion was organized by the Muslim Students Association (HMI) of Bandung Branch in cooperation with the Liberal Islam Network (JIL) and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung (FNS). This discussion was intended to discuss the renewal idea of Ahmad Wahib, one of the leaders of HMI in 1960s.

Novriantoni Kahar (Liberal Islam Network) started the discussion by describing some results of the study on the phenomenon of Islamic society today. Novri quoted a jargon "al-Islam wahidan muta'addidan" (Islam is one and numerable). According to Novri, currently, the Islamic discourse dominated by the Islamic elite (as-Saasah Islam). Muslim elite is also called a stage muslim (al-Islam al-masrahi). The stage Muslims are those who use Islam as a political goal. Actually they are not happy with all the strict religious rules. They just use religion as an imaging tool.

The phenomenon of muslim stage is so rampant in Indonesia recently. The fact that the elites often do the politicization of religion in the form of support to a number of laws and the nuances of Sharia law but discriminative, is a sign of the phenomenon of Islamic stage.

The Muslim elites are different from the Islamic reformers. Islamic reformers are the Islamists who continuously discuss a renewal progressive religion movement. Their numbers tend to be small. Novri mentioned the big numbers of HMI members, but only a few of them who are like Cak Nur (Nurcholish Madjid) and Ahmad Wahib.

However, there are two kinds of the real reformer groups. There is a group of reformers who oriented backward and do the revivalism movement. They are the adherents of Wahhabism, Taqiyuddin Nabhani, Ahmad Dahlan, Natsir, and Cak Nur. The real reformer group actually is who really want to be a catalyst in the reform movement. Ahmad Wahib is the pure reformer who represents this group.

There are at least three goals renewal, according to Novri. First, making the religion more spiritual than political. Today Islam is the only religion that is still very obsessive about politics. Second, to make religion more humanist than the terrorists. And third, religion must make reconciliation with the world.

Dr. Fauzan Ali Rashid, M. Si (UIN Jakarta Islamic political lecturer) has denied the claims of Ahmad Wahib’s thought. According to him, what was uttered by Ahmad Wahib was not a thought , but the chatter. Ahmad Wahib did not publish a book that compiled the whole idea. The books which mostly read by people about Wahib is a collection his diary which was published in 1981.

Such as chatter , what is revealed by Wahib often true, insulting, and entertaining. But, according to Fauzan, that’s the religion. Religion is an entertainment. It presents as a consolation when people are in trouble and grief. Fauzan criticized the phenomenon of Indonesian Islam is currently controlled by Habib. It is a fact of politicization of religion. Actually, religion has no importance, they are the rulers that have. If this politicization of religion run continuously, then "in the future, religion may be a mere chatter only," said Fauzan.

Fauzan stated that Wahib actually wanted to show that Islam is a mix of cultures. Religions that originated from the Middle East, for example, always require veil. Veil is not just for Muslims, but also Jews and Christians. Veil is not only for women but also for Arabian men. This suggests that the compulsory veil is strongly associated with the local context of Arabian cultural desert. "If Muhammad was born in Ciampelas, perhaps a robe is not recommended, but jeans," joked Fauzan.

Prof. Dr. Mohammed Najib (The Rector’s Assistant 4 of UIN Jakarta) talked more about how to deal with and critiquing a discourse. The primaryof prophetic mission is to conduct critique and deconstruction toward the order of community establishment . Wahib, in this case,do the prophetic mission to critique on the reliability of the Indonesian Muslim community.

According to Najib, the tradition of criticism must continue to be done and cannot be stopped. Fruit of thought which is the result of criticism of the establishment should also be criticized. In this case, Najib assumed that the stagnation of Indonesian Muslims should be criticized, but at the same time, liberalism must also be criticized.

Critical thinking in Islam is already happened for long.It is known in Islamic world Mu'tazila groups who were very rational. A group of Shi'ah even criticized the general perception of Muslims today. For a group of the Shi’ah followers, actually the revelations which were received by Muhammad was at the wrong person. According to them, they should be received by Ali ibn Abi Thalib.

The criticism that lives in the Islamic world is also evidenced by the fact of the diversity in the Muslim societies. Thus, the deconstruction of thought was common in religious life. Najib quoted a hadith, which states that in every hundred years will always appear a figure that does deconstruction and reconstruction (reformer) of the establishment. Changes will continue to happen. "The only thing certain is uncertainty itself," said Najib.

Deconstruction will eventually bring relativism discourse. Each group has their own rationality for what they believe. Against this idea, a participant asked, "Is it meant that Muhammad's idea is relative?" Najib answered indirectly that question by reaffirming the pattern of deconstruction and relativism in each idea. []
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