Sunday, 4 December 2011


Written by Syamsul Ma’arif, M. Ag

1. Islam and Pluralism

Islam is peaceful religion. In Islamic theology is inclusive by featuring the face of religion in polite and friendly highly recommended. Islam commands Muslims to even be able to interact primarily with Christianity and Judaism and to explore religious values ​​through discussion and debate of intellectual / theological together and with the best possible way (QS al-Ankabut/29: 46), course without having to cause prejudice or suspicion among them.

Because according to the Koran itself, as a normative source for an inclusive theology. Due to the Muslims, there is no other text that occupies a position of absolute and indisputable authority other than the Qur'an. So, Qur'an is the key to discovering and understanding the concept of Islamic brotherhood towards other religions --- is one of the plurality of objective reality community of mankind, a kind of law of Allah or the Sunnah of Allah, as Allah SWT says: "O mankind, indeed We created the you from a male and a female and made you a nation and tribes that ye may know each other. Verily the noblest among you in Allah's sight is the most pious among you. Allah is All-Knowing All-Knowing "(Al Hujurat 49: 13).

iF we read from verse, critically and full disclosure, we will surely find a conclusion that Allah alone has actually explicitly states that there is diversity on this earth. The differences of men and women, ethnic differences; there are Indonesia, Germany, America, the Javanese, Sundanese or Caucasians, is the reality of plurality which should be viewed positively and optimistically. The difference is, must be accepted as fact and do their best on the basis of that fact. In fact we were told to make a plurality of such, as an instrument to reach the glory of Allah SWT, by way of social interaction between individuals, whether in personal or national context.

Why are we commanded to know each other and do good as anyone else, though different religions, ethnicities and skin and banned for making fun of each other? The answer is that only God knows and can explain, in the hereafter, why humans differ from each other, and why different ways of man in religion: "For each one of you (mankind) we have set the Law ( Shariah) and way of life (Minhaj). If God wants, then he would have made you all a single people (monolitk). But He created you in respect of all the things that have been granted unto you. So berlombalah you all for a variety of virtues. Allah is the place where you all come back and he will explain to you all about the case that once you differed "(Surah Al Maaidah: 48).

Even the concept of unity in diversity, as peaceful religion in Islam has been recognized it legality in this life. To support this statement, we can track it's truth in the course of history that has been demonstrated by the Koran, that Islam has given a positive karaketer to non-Muslim communities, this can be seen, for example, from a variety of euphemisms terms, from ahl al- book, shabih ah bi al-kitab, din Ibrahim to Dinan hanifan. And specifically, Islam instead illustrate the character of the leaders of the Christian religion as a man with a humble nature (la yastakbirun) and Christian faiths as a group with a tangle of emotional (aqrabahum mawaddatan) closest to the Muslim community (Surah Al Maidah: 82).

In a direct relation with the principle to be able to respect other religions and to establish friendship and peace with 'them' this is God, in the Koran, the rebuke of the Prophet Muhammad when he showed a passionate desire and willingness to force men to accept and follow the teachings of the disampaikanya, as follows: "If thy Lord had willed, then surely the people in the face of this earth will believe. So whether you want to force people, outside of their own willingness? (Q. S. Yunus: 99).

From these verses clearly illustrated that the problem of freedom of religion and belief to be "responsible" God Almighty, which we are all prosecuted people who are not tolerant to one with our beliefs. Even the prophets themselves forbidden to force the unbelievers to Islam. So with that, is not justified "us" attitude of violence, coercion, terrorize and intimidate others in religion.

Especially if we are to understand correctly, that basically according to the Koran, the principal base of a universal truth that is understood The One Belief in God Almighty, or monotheism. The task is to convey the teachings of the Apostles about this monotheism, the doctrine of necessity as well as the human subject and obedient to Him alone (al-Ambiya ': 92) and this is precisely based on the understanding of monotheism, the Koran teaches understanding of religious pluralism. In view of Islamic theology, this attitude by Budy Munawar Rahman (2001: 15), can be interpreted as an expectation to all religions, that all religions are at first embraced the same principles, and precisely for this reason the Qur'an invites to the meeting point (kalimatun sawa '): "Say ye (O Muhammad): O People of the Book! Let's go to the meeting point (kalimatun sawa ') between us and you: that we do not worship besides Allah and not associate him to anything, and that some of us do not raise some of the others as "gods" other than God "( Sura al-Maidah: 64).

The implications of kalimatun sawa 'is according to Quran is: anyone can obtain "salvation" as long as he believes in Allah, to the day later, and do good ". So, in this perspective, the Qur'an does not deny the experience of transcendence kasahihan religion, such as the Christian right? Islam even know and even acknowledge the rescue of the others (including Christians) were in relation to the broader scope of monotheism: "Those who believe and who are Jewish, Christian, and Shabiin, whosoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day then and do good deeds, then they will be able to reward from their Lord, and there is no fear and no sorrow for them "(Surah 2: 62).

This was in line with the teachings of that monotheism is the preferred dogma in Islam. Monotheism, ie to believe in one God, viewed the road to human safety. In al-Quran verse 48 and 116 sura al-Nisa 'to explain that God does not forgive those who ascribe God forgives sins but selainya for whoever God wills. Both this verse means that God the sins can be forgiven except the sin sirk or polytheist. This is the only unpardonable sin is God.
Koran, therefore, as confirmed by Abdulaziz Sachedina in his book The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (2002: 59), is clearly sees itself as a critical link in the experience of mankind revelation-one universal way that is intended for all beings. In particular, Islam also has a biblical and Christian ethos, and Islam has a great attitude towards the People of the Book inclusive, that the Islam they are connected through the first man on earth.

2. Islam Ordered To Be 'Tolerant' To Other Religions

While in general, view of Islam to other religions (People of the Book-pen) is very positive and very constructive. It can be seen from the values ​​and teachings that provide opportunities and encourage the Muslims to be able to perform social interaction, cooperation with them. On this, Farid Asaeck (2000: 206-207)), have shown the evidence as follows: First, the Book, as the recipient of revelation, is recognized as part of the community. Addressed to all the prophets, the Koran says: "And indeed this is your nation, one people" (Surah al-Mu'miunun: 52). So that the Islamic concept of the followers of the Book of Scripture or the concept that gives specific recognition to the people of other faiths, who have the Scriptures by giving freedom of religion respectively.

Second, the two most important social areas, food and marriage, generous attitude of the Koran was clear, that the food "people who were given the Bible" is expressed as a legitimate (halal) for Muslims and Muslim food lawful for them ( Sura al-Maidah: 5). Likewise, Muslim men allowed to marry "the holy women of the Book" (Surah al-Maidah: 5). If Muslims are allowed to coexist with other sections of the intimate relationship of marriage relationship, this suggests that hostility is not explicitly considered the norm in the other-Muslim relations.

Third, in the field of religious law, norms and regulations of the Jews and Christians are recognized (Surah al-Maidah: 47) and even strengthened by the Prophet when he was called upon to settle disputes between them (Sura al-Maidah: 42-43). Fourth, the sanctity of the religious life of followers of other revealed religions is underscored by the fact that the first license ever granted to the armed struggle aimed at ensuring the maintenance of the sanctity of this, "And if Allah is not rejected (malignancy) as a man with some others, must have been pulled down monasteries Christians, churches and Jewish synagogues, and mosques, in which many call the name of Allah "(Sura al-Hajj: 40).

Islam commands his people to be tolerant, not only in Judaism and Christianity, but also to other religions. Verse 256 of al-Baqarah letter saying there is no compulsion in religion because the road was straight and true can be distinguished clearly from the road wrong and misguided. Terserahlan to man chose the way he wants. Has been described where the right path that will lead to misery. Human freedom to choose the way he wants. This independence is reinforced by paragraph 6 of surah al-Kafirun who said: For you your religion and to me my religion.

Thus some basic principles of the Koran relating to the issue of pluralism and the suggestion to be able to demonstrate mutual respect, friendly and friendly to Christianity, in particular. That way, far-distant day, the Koran actually has indicated will be the emergence of "truth claims" (Abdullah, 1999: 68). Whether it's in the area of ​​internal religious and inter-religious areas. Both, equally favorable and not conducive to efforts to build a social order of a healthy pluralistic society.

By al-Qur'an, the human tendency to pocket the "truth claims" the potential for ekplosif and destructive, then neutralized in the form of exhortation to always be alert to the dangers ektrimitas in its various forms. And Muslim men are required to keep himself humble and willing to "truth" (al-Haq) and patience (al-Shabar) in every step of the way of life (al-Ashr letter: 1-3).

At the very least, the conceptual role in the plains, the Qur'an has given a recipe or directions that is necessary for Muslim men to solve the problem of universal humanity, the human reality of religious plurality and demanded that tolerance to the fact that to achieve peace on earth . Since Islam considers that requirement to create a harmony is a recognition of the components that are naturally different.

That way, it can also be said conception of pluralism in Islam has been brought at the beginning of the mission of religion is revealed, ie, bring love to the whole universe without limits or conflicts of any dimension. All persons who claim Islam should show mutual "love" for fellow humans. Because a person can be called as a Muslim, according to The Prophet was Al-Muslimu man Salima al-wa yadihi lisanihi muslimuna min. The point is that a Muslim who always spread the attitude of peace, peaceful life,  and security of its people hearts.

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