Yusuf: From Theocentric to Anthropocentric, Millennial Religion Portrait

Initial Narrative

Shia plans to make Indonesia becoming a Shia country within 2015-2020. These Shia people have prepared weapons to carry out a revolution to take over the leadership. Maybe we feel all is fine today. However, when that will happen, we can only regret what we have kept quiet so far. So, while there was still time, we must prepare ourselves with i’dad (physical preparation) to face whatever will happen. People who have been apathetic and ignorant will be the people who would feel the most sorry when their families are slaughtered by Shia people with their own eyes.

The MUI (Indonesian Clerics Council) has clearly issued a fatwa (policy) on the Shia’s apostasy. In the booklet published by MUI, it is explained about their wrong-doing, along with the activities they have carried out to this day. This book has spread so massively, especially among Islamic activists.

While anticipating a revolution in Indonesia, we are also faced with problems in Syria that never end. Abdullah Azzam, in his book Tarbiyah Jihadiyah, said that it is obligatory for all Muslims who are capable to join jihad in Afghanistan. This is because Abdullah Azzam lived during the Russian expansion in Afghanistan. With this opinion, we can conclude that it is obligatory for us to go to Syria. Defending our brothers who are slaughtered by Shia.

For all Muslims who is financially, linguistically and physically capable, but does not go to Syria, then they are judged as the sama as adulterers and drinkers, even if he is a religious teacher, a cleric who just sits without joining a war, shares in the sins of every soul killed in Syria.

In addition, we also have problems in the state system. Amman Abdurrahman, for example, stated that Pancasila was indeed a thagut, and was forbidden to be followed. So we as Muslims do not have to accept Pancasila as the state philosophy. That Islam is diin wa daulah, religion as well as government. Islam regulates the government system using the khilafah system. We certainly still remember the hadith of the Muslim Imam who said “Whoever dies, while on his neck there is no Bai’ah/promise (to the Imam/Chalifah), then he died in a state of dullness”.

So far there have always been Western imitators and devotees who turned the teachings of religion around their own stomachs. These liberals are very vulgar in promoting democracy, freedom of expression, gender equality, and religious pluralism shamelessly. These degrees have reached disbelief (kufr), even though they are called Clerics, their blood is halal (to be killed).

The momentum of the emergence of ISIS which declared itself as the Islamic Chilapha became a fresh air for us to breath. So previously we could not migrate because there was no place to migrate, now there is an ISIS that can be a place of migration. Get out of this kufr state of democracy. Meanwhile, for our brothers who do not agree with ISIS, and say that ISIS is a splinter that comes out of the congregation of Al-Qaeda, still needs to be patient because Al-Qaeda has not been able to establish a Chilafah. And unfortunately, we will point our weapon to anyone who againts the Islamic Calipha.

Increasingly, the misleading claims against ISIS becoming more and more from other Jihadi Clerics. Alright, this time we have to compromise a bit. At a minimum, we remain as the follower of Al-Qaeda who continue to fight for the freedom of Muslims. We must continue to support these struggles to destroy the contemporary Pharaoh regime, and eliminate Neo–Dullness on this earth. As the command of Allah in the Al-Anfal verse 39 which means: “And fight them until there is no more slander, and religion is only for Allah” Allahu Akbar!

Paradigm Shift

I took my education from junior high school to high school in a Pesantren. I was a person who was quite and fond of books in the library. The books that I read also varied, as long as they were available on the library shelves, I would love to read them. I once completed a number of volumes of Abdullah Azzam’s Tarbiyah Jihadiyah. Also Abdullah Azzam’s other books such as Ayat ar-Rohman fii Jihadi Afghan, and others. In addition, the book Ma’alim fii Ath-thoriq by the Muslim Brotherhood ideologist Sayyid Quthb, books by Al-Qaeda scholars such as Abu Mush’ab As-Suri. And the books of their followers in Indonesia such as Amman Abdurrahman, Imam Samudra, and others.

The entry point of its understanding through the literatures was supported by the environment with a fairly high of Islamic spirit and low access to social diversity. This supported to the ideology of Jihadists quite well. However, the more activities in Pesantren, the more it needs to be studied more deeply.

When I got involved in Muhammadiyah environment through Muhammadiyah Student Association, I questioned Muhammadiyah’s acceptance on Pancasila. Muhammadiyah termed Pancasila with Daar al-‘ahdi wa as-shahadah (A state of consensus and testimony). This is where the ideological equality in my head began to emerge. Questions like “what is wrong with Muhammadiyah?”, “Why did Muhammadiyah accept Pancasila?”, “Is that Muhammadiyah still Islam?”

I also had the opportunity to continue my study to a higher level. It’s still the same in a Pesantren, but this time the pesantren was somehow different. This Pesantren is owned by one of Muhammadiyah Universities, the literatures available were varied. The main library provided all variants of reading from various types. However, the books that were well distributed to the seniors and friends in my Pesantren were the contradictory discourses from the previous authors.

Ahmad Syafii Maarif began with the idea of anti-Chilafah with the knife of historical analysis was so deep. Mun’im Sirry’s articles that were widely distributed in the media also served as an effective contradictory narrative. Both of these figures gave an illustration of how naive the idea of the Islamic Chilafah is merely a romanticism of history and at the same time promoting the idea of moderate Islam in Indonesia. That Indonesia is expected to be able to present a peaceful face of Islam, so that will make a different from the chaos of the Middle East today. This was discussed details by Buya Syafii in his book The Arab Crisis and the Future of the Islamic World.

The idea of the reconstruction of the sharia maqashid Jasser Auda also contributed to an effective contradictory discourse. Previously, in the first Pesantren, it was taught that the first level of the maqasid of sharia was hifz ad-din, (guarding religion). Hifz ad-din is meant by fighting against other religions to defend aqidah (belief). Muslims must protect themselves from other religions, so they are not contaminated from it.

Jasser Auda changed that understanding. He said that the Hifz ad-din is maintaining the religious freedom of all humanity, and creating peace in the midst of religious differences. Because Islam is a blessing for all natures, not merely a blessing for Muslims. That Islam is a religion of peace, love, and frees others to adhere to any religion. There is no compulsory in religion. That we are no longer defending our respective Gods, but we are thinking of how we can live side by side safely without any conflict. From theocentric spirit to the anthropocentric spirit. 

Haedar Baghir is one of the leaders claimed to be as a Shia and is hiding his Shia by taqiyyah. His book, “Islam, God, Islam for Humanity” is a book that is prohibited to be read in my old perspective. However, as explained above, I am the type of a person who love reading all books. All books must be read, as long as they are available on the library shelf. In this book, “Islam, God, Islam for Humanity”, there is a sentence that is very beautiful and impressed me a lot:

“I am sure that basically this creature named human can be invited to interact persuasively, as long as we are persistent in submitting our convincing arguments to them. And also because I realize that perhaps a huge difference between my self and them is also greatly contributed by the lack of a productive dialogue and a sincere of friendship relationship between us. I am convinced that the impatience to listen to the opinions of others is a product of arrogance, self-righteousness, abusive to others, which are basically the enemies of openness, pluralism and democracy.”

The conflicts had risen, the Sunni-Shia tensions, the tensions of conservatives and liberals, etc., may only be caused by the poor dialogue we have created or perhaps there is absolutely no dialogue, including inter-religious tensions. In Solo, some time ago, a Tawheed Parade was held as a contadictory discourse of the Salib Parade that was held a few days earlier. Muslims in Solo feel the need to show themselves and appear on the stage to assert that they are still in the majority. I think this is as an indication of the lack of a sincere relationship and connection between us.

The spirit to create religious harmony in our public space is less important to the interest of defending our respective Gods and less in need to the desire to be recognized as the majority, the strongest, and the only trueness. The rejection of certain preachers and religious teachers is also the act of selfish and feeling they are the only one trueness.

One of the ways to end all this tensions is with a healthy interaction, productive dialogue, and sincere and honest relationship and aiming at achieving a condition of sawa’, mutual trust, agreement, common understanding and truth. If it can’t be found anyway, then at least we respect each other in each others’ ways. To empathize with others without looking at primordial other identities which are temporary, whereas our humanity-based is eternal.

Peace Generation

Along with the paradigm shift that I experienced, I met with a community that made me even more convinced that Islam is a religion of peace. I met Peace Generation in early 2018 when Peace Generation Indonesia held its first Boardgame for Peace in Solo. With God’s permission, I got the opportunity to become an official and learning partner in this program. In the midst of a tiring paradigm transition in myself, the Peace Generation narrative becomes a very important determining pendulum in my life.

Peace Generation reminds me that peace is one of the parameters of the success of life in the world. In addition, the peace teachings also become the core teachings in Islam as well as other religions. Through Peace Generation, I met people who are committed to mantaining the conscience, the pure inner voice that cares about human values, committed to make peace happen, committed to sincerely respecting the lives of others. No mask, no drama.

I believe that Peace Generation is a powerful media to spread the values of peace to the wider community. Moreover, I have a problem having difficulty conveying narratives to a wide audience due to the language differences. With PeaceGen, I learned more simple language of peace so that they could be disseminated and campaigned more broadly. Thank you Peace Generation!


Writer: Yusuf R Yanuri (Program Division, Peace Generation Solo)

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