M. Saekan Muchith : Da’wah For Understanding Islam
Da’wah in general definition meant “to invite or to deliver”. People who invite or deliver are called preachers (muballigh). There are lot of misunderstanding (wrong but understood) that da’wah will be conducted only by religious leaders, speakers, preachers and religious educational institutions who had the duties and responsibilities to explain and teach Islam (da’wah Islam). Allah through his passage is clear said that every individual, group or part of ummah has the duties and responsibilities to deliver the goodness. “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah…” (Ali Imran:110). It means every people has the main task of Islamic da’wah. In another verse is explained not only individual, but also in group, ” And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.” (Ali Imran:104).
Dakwah absolutely invites to goodness, not to despotism, damage and badness. A good thing must be done by good way, as well as preventing bad or munkar should also be conducted in a good way. Why it should be like that? Because Islam is a great religion, complex, and concerning various aspects of community life. Islam is a religion of peace and prosperity.
Mohamad Daud Ali (1998: 49-50) said that Islam came from the word of submission, obedience to the will of Allah Swt. Islam also comes from the word salama means obedience or acceptance. Islam comes from the word salima means not blameworthy, not deformed become saved. From the origin of the word, Islam contains the meaning of peace, obedience, safety and prosperity.
Mahmud Syalthout (1967, 25) stated that Islam was the God religion would invite people to obey the principles and rules and to assign people for conveying the religion and to embrace and obey it. While Harun Nasution (1974; 16) explained Islam was a religion that brings the teachings not only one aspect but various aspects of life.
Islamic da’wah should be contextual meant the materials and patterns were adapted to the situations, conditions and characteristics of location. Da’wah in Indonesia must be in accordance with da’wah ways made by Walisongo. Islam came to Indonesia through different way with various countries in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Islam came to Africa and Europe by conquest or war. Islam entered in Egypt led by Amru Bin Ash by war or conquest Roman power. Islam into Turkey by war to Roman power thus it was divided into two lands western and eastern Romans. Islam also came to Spain by the conquest of the Roman power and Christian kingdom.
Islam was entered Indonesia by three ways: trade, marriage and peace. these three forms indicate that Islam entered Indonesia not through violence or war. According to the historical version of Saudi Arabia, Islam entered Indonesia was estimated in the IX century brought by traders from Arab. According to the historical version of Persia, Islam entered Indonesia in the XI century brought by traders from Iran or Persia. According to the historical version of gujarat, Islam entered Indonesia brought by merchants from Gujarat, Pakistan, and India. Islam was spread by cultural approach with peaceful ways and acculturate the local culture with Islam, so that the immigrants and what were brought including Islam could be accepted by the local community intact. They embraced Islam on the basis of self-consciousness without coercion and any fear. Islam was considered a religion that provide solutions to various problems of society at that time. Islam was understood as a religion that appreciate humanity values, opposed various forms of mistake by not making mistakes. Islam did not accept injustice and opposed it but was conducted not with injustice. Islam had strongly opposed various forms of badness with polite and peaceful ways. With this approach, Islam quickly developed throughout the archipelago (Indonesia).
At the time when the Indonesia had not been developed as now and Indonesians had not complex problems, da’wah has been done in an intelligent way and readily accepted. If at this time the Indonesian has been smart, already familiar with technology with high complexity of the nation, da’wah should be more intelligent than the past when entered to Indonesia for the first time.
Da’wah has to conducted in contextual way which accordance with the situation and conditions encountered. Contextual da’wah at least concerns about the material and tools or facilities. Contextual matters meant preachers should be able to provide information in accordance with the society needs. If the main needs of the Indonesian nowadays are integrity of Republic Indonesia (NKRI), peace, unity, brotherhood and welfare then the material delivered by the propagators must have implications for these needs.
Contextual of tools meant da’wah must be conveyed through the media favored by the community. Now is digital era. All information are delivered through digital or online media. In ancient times during the Walisongo era, people loved the gamelan instruments, gending and puppet shows, so they conveyed the message through these media. Gending, gamelan and puppets have been less desirable by the public at the present. The popular media are social media like facebook, twitter, instagram and other digital media. Consequently, the preachers should be able to utilize or empower social media as means of da’wah.
Material contextualization will be easily realized if the preachers have cross-sectional insight, analyze the religious issues through various approaches (multi approach), understand the verses or texts seen from asbabun nuzul meaning (cause of descend) and give meaning to the religious texts with comprehensive meaning. Verses in the Qur’an are general or global, which have to understood in accordance with the understanding and the social situation. Ijtihad or attempts to find or innovate should always be conducted. This has been exemplified by Umar Bin Khattab as a caliph by performing legal ijtihad (legal reform).
During his leadership, Umar bin Khattab made some policies or renewal in facing the problems of society, much different from textual norms of verses. In Al-Maidah verse 38 Allah said that “[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” This verse clearly commands whoever male or female who steal should be cut off hands. For Umar bin Khattab this verse is understood contextually meant this commandment must be understood from the social or human aspects. Law of hand cut formally becomes not mandatory. Cutting hands can be interpreted as limiting freedom, creating a deterrent for thieves and also meaningfully eliminating the nature or character to violate or steal.
During his governance, Umar bin Khattab at least three times made verdicts differed with the normative message of Qur’an. One day shahabat Nabi (friends of prophet) brought the thief from baitul maal to the presence of Umar. He requested that thief should be released without any sanctions. He argued that the baitul maal belonged together which also belonged to the thief so that he was considered innocent.
One time, Umar was given a report of someone who steals in the famine season – difficult time to find food. Umar also did not sanction the thief, but gave him money to eat. He reasoned that the thief had adversity for finding food because the season. Third, when Umar got a report about a store thief who caught the public. Umar made the review first. He concluded that the thief was forced not for pleasure or hobby. So the thief was not given any punishment.
Viewed from these three phenomenas, Sayyidina Umar from formal perspective does not implement the provisions in the al qur’an which requires every thief to be cut off his hand. These are proofs of propagation in contextual way so that people really understand whole of Islam.