Mencari Spiritualitas Otentik

Mengapa orang rela membayar mahal hanya untuk mengikuti spiritual training selama 1-3 hari? Mari kita tengok kelas-kelas Yoga, Meditasi, Emosional-Spiritual Training, zikir massal, serta berbagai gemblengan spiritual yang akhir-akhir ini menjamur di tanah air.

Program-progam “olah” spiritual tersebut ditawarkan oleh berbagai lembaga dengan beragam latar tradisi. Sebagian representasi dari sufisme dalam Islam, sebagian bersumber dari tradisi Tiongkok (Reiki, Fallun Ghong), sebagian dari tradisi India (Yoga, Meditasi), sebagian juga dari tradisi Jawa (ritual Ruwatan), dan sebagian lagi merupakan kombinasi antara Sufisme, managemen dan psikologi humanistik. Continue reading “Mencari Spiritualitas Otentik”

Sang Pengkhianat

Umumnya, orang merasa sakit bila dikhianti. Namun akhir-akhir ini banyak yang, tanpa mereka sadari, justru merasa senang dan bangga. Dengan suka cita mereka bahkan merayakan kehadiran ’sang pengkhianat’ itu.

Mau tahu siapa pengkhianat dan penyambut setia kehadirannya? Simak refleksi berikut ini.

Ketika sambungan telepon kabel belum menjangkau ke semua rumah, hand phone (HP) masih menjadi barang mewah yang hanya dimiliki segelintir orang, wartel adalah pilihan utama masyarakat untuk berkomunikasi jarak jauh dengan kolega dan keluarganya. Usaha wartel pada waktu itu betul-betul jadi primadona. Sayangnya, hanya mereka yang punya modal dan koneksi dengan otoritas perusahaan telekomunikasi lah yang bisa mengakses bisnis yang sangat menguntungkan waktu itu. Continue reading “Sang Pengkhianat”

Between Islam, the market and spiritual revolution

Ahmad Munjid’s article “Thick Islam and Deep Islam” (The Jakarta Post, Aug. 16, 2009) was responded to by Hilman Latief’s “Cosmopolitan Muslims: Urban vs. Rural Phenomenon” (the Post Aug. 29, 2009).

Although both Munjid and Hilman shared their ideas on the more obvious prevalence of Islamic identity among Indonesian Muslims, they differed in terms of categorization between urban and rural as well as “thick” and “deep” Islam.

Munjid noted that “Thick Islam” was an urban phenomenon, and that “Deep Islam” was a rural one, whereas Hilman argued that the thick and the deep could not be generalized based on urban and rural categories. Continue reading “Between Islam, the market and spiritual revolution”

Local Culture, Local Wisdom & Local Stupidity

Many people assume local culture is the symbol of backward, barriers for development and in contrast to modern culture. To be a modern (rational, engaged in secular institutions, and disenchanted with the world) one should drop all that connected to the local. Through their purified wings, world religions in fact involved in negating –or even destroying– local cultures, blaming them as unauthentic and source of heresy.

But it was in the twentieth century when modernity was the dominant narrative of cultural explanations. The Coming of a new millennium has been stimulating criticism to modernity and all derivative explanations about it. New perspectives, theories, paradigm or even ideology have been appearing such as post-modernism, multiple-modernities, and post-traditionalism, which are appreciative to local expressions. Having been tired by the aridity and linearity of modern life, people are now searching for alternatives that are softer, more spiritual, and more flexible than ever before. They find such things in local knowledge. For these purposes, local culture is now seen as a source of wisdom instead of obstacles. Continue reading “Local Culture, Local Wisdom & Local Stupidity”

Orang-orang Terancam

Feeling Threatened: Muslim-Christian Relations in Indonesia’s New Order (2006), itulah judul disertasi doktoral dosen IAIN Antasari di ISIM/Leiden, Belanda. Ia mengkaji hubungan Muslim-Kristen Indonesia pada masa Orde Baru, menggambarkan ketidaknyamanan hubungan keduanya karena dipenuhi kecurigaan dan rasa saling terancam yang bermuara pada problem politik. Secara tidak langsung, disertasi tersebut “menguatkan” dua thesis master saya, Wacana Kristenisasi di Indonesia dan Implikasinya pada Hubungan-Muslim Kristen (2002) di Program Pascasarjana IAIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, dan Christianization and Islamization Discourses in Modern Indonesia: A Struggle for Representing Power (2005) di Florida International University, Mimai, USA (2005).

Dalam thesis pertama saya mengkaji implikasi wacana Kristenasisasi terhadap hubungan Muslim-Kristen dan melihat respon pihak Kristiani terhadap wacana tersebut. Sedangkan di thesis kedua, sebagai pengembangan dari thesis pertama, saya mengungkap tidak hanya wacana Kristenisasi di media massa Muslim namun juga wacana Islamisasi yang muncul di media massa Kristiani, mulai dari sejarah kemunculnya, konteks sosial budaya dan politik, proses produksi dan agensinya, siklus kemunculannya, serta mindset di balik wacana tersebut. Continue reading “Orang-orang Terancam”

Muhammadiyah dan Sufisme

Di beberapa kesempatan, professor saya selalu bilang Sufisme tidak bakal mati. Meski puritanisme yang berkongsi dengan modernisme selalu berusaha memarginalkannya, ia selalu bisa hadir menerobos celah-celah kepenatan duniawi maupun ritual keagamaan yang terlalu formal dan “kering”.

Kelenturannya beradaptasi dengan berbagai kondisi dan daya tahannya melintasi sekat-sekat aliran, kelompok, kelas sosial bahkan juga zaman merupakan nilai lebih mystical experience dalam Islam itu. Continue reading “Muhammadiyah dan Sufisme”

Dicari: Iron-Chef Muslim

Sertifikasi halal ini, yang didesain sebagai bentuk kontrol dan pemberian jaminan keotentikan sebuah produk, sebenarnya berakar pada hilangnya kepercayaan atautrust konsumen terhadap produsen. Karena itu, selalin melalui nalar kuasa sertifikisai, kenapa tidak juga ditempuh jalan kultural dengan mencetak produsen2 jujur sebanyak-banyaknya? Sayangnya, sulit –atau memang belum ada– perguruan tinggi Islam yang punya program studi terkait permakanan seperti tata boga, hospitality, perhotelan, dll dan bereputasi cemerlang.

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Akhir-akhir ini dua institusi tengah “berebut” hak pemberian sertifikasi halal, MUI dan Depag. Rebutan tersebut dipicu oleh RUU Jaminan Produk halal dan Badan Penjaminan Produk Halal yang menyebutkan wewenang sertifikasi berada di Depag, bukan lagi di MUI sebagaimana yang selama ini sudah berjalan. Continue reading “Dicari: Iron-Chef Muslim”

Islamic Cleric among Indonesian “Modernist” Muslims

…it would be a problematic to generalize the norm of Islamic Clerics among Indonesian Modernist Muslims. The ‘faces’ of modernist Muslims are changing just as other institutions where polarization is one of the characteristics. The clerical authority among reformist Muslim in Indonesia is now, especially after reformation era, more multipolar and more plural than ever before.
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Muslims ScholarsMuhammadiyah did play important and significant role in establishing and maintaining clerical authorities among the modernist in the Old Order and the New Order, especially in the urban area as well as national political landscape. Muhammadiyah had special “relationship” with the two Presidents of Indonesia, Soekarno, and Soeharto. Both of them openly declared that they were Muhammadiyah cadres.

In the New Order era, almost all the minister of religious affairs are from the modernist Muslims wing, such as Mukti Ali, Munawarir Sadzali, Tarmidzi Tahir, and Malik Fadjar. The leader of MUI at the New Order era was also mostly from Muhammadiyah backgrounds, such as Hamka, E.Z. Muttaqin, and Hasan Basri. Muhammadiyah Bureaucrat also dominated in the Department of Religious Affairs (DEPAG). Continue reading “Islamic Cleric among Indonesian “Modernist” Muslims”

Academicals Slave

“Hi there…, another academicals slave.”

These cynical words are shouted by a Ph.D. student, a friend of mine when we meet each other. He is a very senior Australian, more than 60 years old. I and my Chinese friend always laugh hearing that “sarcastic” joke. Although it is just a joke, I think it reflects actual protest behind the words.

In an Australian context, Ph.D. students are doubting about government ability to provide a job that suitable for Ph.D. graduates. The amounts of scholarships are also questioned because they got a scholarship, according to them, is relatively low. In fact, a monthly stipend from the Australian government for Australian students is twice times more than that is provided for non-Australian. Let’s say AusAID scholarship gives about $20 thousand AUD per non-Australian students per year; its mean Australian students can receive about $40 thousand AUD a year. Nevertheless, they are still protesting because, as a comparison, a low-level air conditioning technician can earn more than $50 thousand AUD a year! They are questioning why the government do not appreciate Ph.D. students’ brain because they actually also work, developing new theories and inventories