Saturday, 3 December 2011

Islamic Peace Ethics in Global Discourse

Written by : A. Tajuddin Arafat
Islamic Ethics: Introduction Towards a Global Ethic

Islam is peaceful religion, initially in the form of text or revelation of God, fell into the reality of human life to guide them through life in accordance with the values, rules, and procedures outlined ethical God. The qur'an  became the fundamental ethics in conducting any human activity. According to Haidar Bagir, ethics, along with political and economic, in the treasury of Islamic thought usually inserted in the so-called practical philosophy (al-al-'amaliyah wisdom). Practical philosophy itself talked about of all things "as appropriate". Nonetheless, ethics must be based on theoretical philosophy (al-al-nazariyah wisdom), namely the discussion of everything "as is". [7]

Sometimes identified with the moral ethics (or morality) in matters related to the good-bad human behavior. However, both have a different understanding. According to Franz Magnis-Suseno, ethics is not an additional source for moral teaching, but rather a philosophy or critical thinking and the fundamental teachings and Padangan-moral views. Ethics is a science, not a doctrine. Ethics is the systematic thinking about morality. Thus, it can be said that ethics can be called also as Moral Philosophy. Namely ethics serves as a theoretical or philosophical reason of good and bad behavior ('ilm al-morality), and morals (morality) is the practice. Therefore, the ethical question of morality arises when a person or a society critically questioned again and depth. [8]

In the philosophical tradition of ethics, especially those developed in the West, many emerging diversity of views on the ethics of growing in this world. However, according to Haidar Bagir general these views can be grouped into three: ethical hedonistic, utilitarian, and deontological. Hedonism directing ethics to the need to produce as much fun for humans. Ethics utilitaristik correct it by adding that pleasure or happiness produced by a good ethics is happiness for many people as possible, and not individual pleasure or happiness-which on the other hand, may actually inflict more misery for many people. While deontological ethics (derived from the word Deon meaning obligation) considers that the source of ethical action is a sense of obligation. Correspondingly, the flow is believed that the ethical attitude is fitri and, at the same time, not (purely) rational. [9]

In addition, according to Komaruddin Hidayat, ethics as a branch of philosophical thought can be divided into two: objectivism and subjectivism. Objectivism holds that value is objective goodness of an action, lies in the substance of the act itself. This understanding gave birth to what is called the notion of rationalism in ethics. An action is good not because we are happy to do so or because the line with the will of the people, but merely making a universal rationalism which urges us to do so. While subjectivism holds that an action is called either when in line with the will or the consideration of a particular subject. Subjects here could have been a collective subjectivism, that is society, or could have been the subject of God. [10]

Furthermore, Haidar Bagir states that ethics in Islamic philosophy has characteristics as follows: first, Islam in favor of the theory of ethics that is fitri. That is, all men by nature, be it Muslim or not, has fitri knowledge of good and bad. Second, morality in Islam is based on justice, which puts everything on the portions. Without ethics itself relativizes, the value of an act believed to be relative to context and purpose of the act itself. Third, ethical action is believed to be at its peak at the same time will result in happiness for the culprit. Fourth, it is rational ethical actions. [11]

Meanwhile, according to Abdul Fattah Abdullah Barakah, as quoted by Muchlis Hanafi et al, stated that the determination of good and bad ethics in Islam based on subjective and objective ethics as well. That is, the determination of good and bad based on the revelation of God (al-Qur'an and al-Sunnah) and, at the same time, the human mind also has the capacity to know the good-bad, and distinguish it. Adultery, for instance, is what is bad, because the God revealed in the Qur'an that adultery is heinous act (al-Isra `/ 17: 32). However, at the same time, both before and after the Qur'an was revealed, human reason also admitted that adultery is a heinous act. [12] Thus, the Islamic ethics essentially teoantroposentris. Harmonization of ethical values ​​derived from the revelation of God as a starting point move (faith) with the values ​​derived from the human mind the end goal is the welfare and happiness to all living things.

After understanding the outline of Islamic ethics, then it should make the ethics of Islam as a universal principle in social life and as peaceful religion are  as varied as this implies God. [13] By placing ethics as a universal principle, then it will slowly find common ground or kalimatun sawa ` of religions, which is a universal ethic which essentially teaches kindness, compassion, honesty, justice, peace, and liberation against discrimination and injustice. Difference of religion is now no longer a barrier for a person to practice those values. [14]

Thus, whatever the name of religion, all stated that peace and mercy are part of a universal ethics. Ethics that still need to be practiced in the social life in order to achieve a better order of life and religious purposes in a humane and realistic.

Islam and Global Peace

In a sociological perspective, religion is seen as a belief system that is realized in a particular social behavior. He relates to human experience, both as individuals and groups. Thus portraying the attitude behavior would be associated with the belief system of teaching religion. Individual and social behavior is driven by forces from within, based on the value of previously internalized religious teachings. [15]

Discourse on religion, especially in the order of globalization, it will continue to pull for discussion. Some people argue that the role and function of religion in the modern world will experience a crisis. With this, the challenges of modernity to religion would become very complex. Religions are required to modernize itself by maintaining the values ​​that brought transcendental-universal. Religions in this position is still needed by his people as a place of contemplation in the face of social problems that occur around him. [16]

For the toughest test of religions today, one of them, is to realize world peace, because there are many incidents of conflict, violence and intimidation that plagued the global world. Just look at the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, the conflict in various countries in the African continent, the issue of terrorism, and many others. Rows of existing global problems that must be answered by the world religions as an attempt to make mankind more humanist and dialectical in the face of global problems.

Therefore, Pope John the Second Vatican Council had initiated a peace dialogue in a wider scale. The dialogue that determines the direction of realization of dialogue among world religions. Then the inter-religious dialogue efforts are continued by Cardinal Montini (Pope Paul VI) in his time and the fifth tercetuslah important text composed: Light of The Nations, In Our Time, On Divine Revelation, Joy and Hope to the Nations and the Dignity of the Human Person . Most of the texts contained about Christian relationships with other faiths, especially Islam. [17]

In addition, in 1893 in Chicago, the Parliament of World Religions appear to carry the spirit of peace to the world. Parliament was born in response to the paradigm of modernity has made religion a partial reality. Response was born after seeing the global crisis worldwide. Starting from the ecological crisis, such as global warming, environmental degradation, and natural disasters, to socio-political crises, such as violence and war, the conflict between religion and ethnicity, and so on. New 100 years later, namely on 28 August to 4 September 1993 the parliament to work together and develop a "Declaration Towards a Global Ethic", attended by no less than 6500 people from each religion. [18]

As one of the contents of the text content contained in the Declaration Towards a Global Ethic which speaks of peace and nonviolence are:

"But in the great ancient religious and ethical traditions of Humankind, We find the teaching: You shall not kill! Or in positive terms: Have respect for life! That Concretely That means no one has the right to torture, injure, and Certainly not to kill, any other human being ... ... "


"... .... Every peoples, every race, every religion must show tolerance, respect, indeed, high appreciation for every other. They are-whether Minorities Racial, ethnic or religious-need our protection and our support ". [19]

From this, the world's religions to contribute actively in the effort to parse and seek solutions to problems of a globalized world. Universal values ​​of each of the foundation of the world religions together to achieve consensus on global ethics. Ethics is expected to be the solution to the problem of global world, especially to bring peace between humanity and religious people.

In such a global era, the peace of the world's religions is absolutely necessary. So the presence of religious dialogues, expected to find a common vision to look to the future of religious tolerance, harmony, and peace. According to Salah Abdul Qadir, a global interfaith dialogue works in three areas: first, the praxis in which we collaborate to help humanity. Second, the inner or spiritual experience in which we seek a dialogue partner of the (dialogue from within). Third, cognitive areas in which we seek understanding and truth. From the dialogue, then at least the practice of violence can be reduced. Due to the awareness that other religions is also a religion that requires the existence of a humanist, then the process towards peace will be easily achieved. [20]

There is a very popular series of expression revealed by Hans Kung, a man instrumental in meeting the Parliament of World Religions, as quoted by Salih Abdul Qadir, which states that:

"No peace Among the nations without peace Among the Religions; No. Among the Religions peace without dialogue the between the Religions; No dialogue without the between the Religions of research into theological foundations" [21]

Thus, the ontological level, religion does not teach any intrinsically violent, and violence itself is not an integral part of religion. Religion teaches the attitude of love and harmony in life. Religion prioritize peaceful ways of behaving and of humanity as mandated by the universal values ​​of religion itself.

Islam, for example, is the attitude penegasian violence. Islam, on the one hand, it means obedience / submission itself (submission) to the will of God and on the other hand, bring about peace. Thus, Islam means peace, while Muslim means someone who creates peace through action and deeds. Similarly, faith is a manifestation of a belief in God which will also be an impact socially for the provision of security and comfort for others. Did not the Prophet Muhammad once said:

"True Muslims are Muslims who can provide salvation for others of oral and hands, and the true believer is the believer who can provide security on the other for their lives and property". [22]

The values ​​of peace in essence a lot contained in the Qur'an and also clearly indicated in the various history of Hadith of the Prophet. There is no single verse in the Koran, Hadith and no one ever rekindle the spirit of hatred, hostility, opposition, or any form of negative and repressive behavior that threatens the stability and quality of life of peace. [23] Al-Quran asserted that the Prophet Muhammad was sent by God to spread the love: "We have not sent you except for (a) mercy to the worlds". (Q. S. Al-Anbiya: 10). Zuhairi Misrawi stated that there are two main things to note from the verse. First, the meaning rahmatan. In linguistics, rahmatun means tenderness and concern (al-wa al-ta'aththuf riqqah). Second, the meaning lil'alamin. The scholars differed in understanding this verse. Some say that love is the Messenger of Allah. only for Muslims only. But other scholars argue that the Prophet's love for all mankind. This refers to the preceding paragraph which states that the Messenger of Allah sent to all mankind (kaffatan li an-nas). [24] A hadith narrated by Imam Muslim mentioned also that "I really do not sent as a curse giver, but I was sent to member of grace ". [25]

Furthermore, Jaudat Sa'id stated that the principles of nonviolence and peace as well as its relationship with Islam has taken hold since the days of old the son of Adam, Cain and Abel. The Qur'an records the story of Cain and Abel as follow :

"Tell them the story of two sons of Adam (Abel and Cain) according to the truth, when they offered sacrifice, then received from one of them both (Abel) and not received from the other (Cain). he said (Cain): "I must kill you". Abel said: "Verily Allah only accepts (the victim) from those who fear Allah". Really if you move your hand to me to kill me, I would never move my hand to you to kill you. Surely I fear Allah, Lord of the universe. Actually I want you to go back to (bring) sin (murder) and my own sins, then you will be the Fire, and that is the reward for those who do wrong. So lust Cain killed his brother made it easy to assume, therefore dibunuhnyalah, he then become one among the losers. Then Allah sent a crow digging in the earth to show him (Cain) how should bury their dead brother. Cain said: "Ah woe I, why am I not able to do as this raven, and then I can bury the corpse of my brother?" Because it's become He is one among those who repent ". (Q.S. al-Ma `idah: 27-31)

According Jawdat Sa'id, the story of Cain and Abel gave a deep meaning. First, there are aspects of total submission to God. Secondly, there is the ability to make sacrifices to the spirit even to allow others to find the path of righteousness. Third, an example how to break the cycle of violence. Abel as a symbol of goodness and piety, refused to dirty their hands with blood. While Cain represents violence, savagery, and mild upper hand to kill any pretext. [26]

In addition to the values ​​derived from the Qur'anic discourse of peace is also found in the Sunnah Nabawiyah. There are about twenty thousand hadith of the Prophet and Hadith including supporting anti-violence ethics or ethics of peace. Hadith-Hadith has a double significance for the study of peace in the Islamic tradition. First, it offers additional facts about anti-violence in Islamic culture; Second, include a more interesting explanation about the different traditions of Islam as presented by the Qur'an. [27]

Mohammed Abu-Nimer also added that the Hadith is a rich source for the values ​​of peace-building and if applied in the daily lives of Muslims, it will only lead to peace and nirkekersan. [28] For example, the following Hadith-Hadith:

1. "O Aisha slowly, because God always loves gentleness in all things" (Bukhari & Muslim) [29]
2. "God will show mercy to those who generously. Be generous to the people of the earth, the ruler of heaven will be merciful unto you "(Reported by al-Turmudzi) [30]
3. "Allah loves gentleness, God gave the blessing of gentleness, and not for the violence" (Muslim) [31]
4. And there are many other Hadiths history.

Another fact which is a key significance for the realization of peace and nonviolence tradition is followed and mensuri-tauladani what the Prophet did. Al-Quran the Prophet Muhammad recommended to us as a good role-models (Surat al-Ahzab: 21), and ordered him (the Prophet) to say to his people: "If you (really) love Allah, follow me, undoubtedly God love you and forgive your sins ". Q.S. `Ali 'Imran: 31. Consequently, as written by Schimmel:

In war and peace, at home and in the world (outside), in the religious field as in every form of work and action / practice, Prophet Muhammad is an exemplary example of moral perfection (moral). What did he do leave / give an example to his companions. [32]

Because it can not be separated from the attitudes and behavior of Prophet Muhammad in spreading Islam in his time. The Prophet SAW did da'wah in ways that are peaceful and full of love. So this historical fact has a double significance to assess the ethics of peace in the early Islamic tradition.

Departing from this belief, peace is one of the main hallmark of Islam. Islam regards the meaning of meaning (peace / safety) to invite to always be harmonious in interacting with others. Peace is not merely the absence of war or violence. True peace is the peace that manifested through universal human values ​​and the values ​​of social justice. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said that peace in general is the antithesis of the absence of war. However, this definition is only in a small scope. True peace is the peace that all matters relating to human life. peace is a complex ideology. Ideology which became the main door to success in life. [33]

However, what about the concept of jihad in Islam that is generally misunderstood as a form of negation of the values ​​of peace. The word jihad does not mean holy war. Jihad means struggle (hard work) or business. Based on a famous Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, that jihad is traditionally divided into the al-Jihad al-Akbar (big fight), an inner effort in the face of our basic nature of the lower (lust), and al-Jihad al-Ashgar (small struggle), a business was born in the face of social injustice. This small struggle is not in all respects, but only a few. al-Jihad al-Ashgar active search will also incorporate a culture of peace, and resistance to oppression. The Prophet taught us that justice requires a continuous activity. The name of this activity is jihad. The work of the anti-violence is the last root / base of the jihad. [34]

Furthermore, Jaudat Sa'id has another interpretation of the meaning of jihad. He asserted that there are two forms of jihad in this case namely Jihad and Islamic Jihad Kharijites. Khawarij Jihad is jihad based on their understanding and try to practice it according to their levels of understanding. This raises the understanding of jihad as the attitude of fundamentalism, radicalism, or extremism is synonymous with violence and coercion. While Islamic Jihad is the struggle to prevent coercion and violence in a particular religion or thought.

Therefore, jihad in the context of war is a form of defense for the absence of coercion in religion. So the war is allowed to fight against those who impose the religion to others. For Jawdat Sa'id, defamation of religion, as in QS al-Baqarah: 193, is forcing people to embrace a particular religion or torturing people to leave a particular religion or even to kill him. Thus, the Islamic Jihad is the struggle to use all our strength to prevent coercion in religion even if coercion is not through war or violence. [35]

Furthermore, the messages of peace that exist in Islam is not just a mere normative values. Historical facts have proved the existence of an attempt to embody these values ​​in the level of reality. Medina Charter, for example, is a concrete example of efforts to bring peace to the Holy Prophet. The main purpose of the Charter which amounts to 47 chapters that, in essence, is to realize the principle of peace and restore harmony to the people of Medina at that time. Explicitly, the provisions of this principle is also recorded in several articles in the Charter. Among others, in article 17 which states that all Muslims should unite and take the same role when to make peace with others. In addition, the article 45 also stated that in order for the believers in active and likes to receive and initiate peace. [36]

Finally, to quote what was said by al-Khattabi, as quoted by Wahiduddin Khan, which reads: "God is the Being from Whom all people feel safe and secure. From Whom the people have experience only of peace, not of violence ", the Lord is from anyone who feels safe and secure. From anyone who only has a peaceful soul, not of violence. [37]

IV. Cover

As rahmatan lil alamin Islam is the embodiment of universal values ​​contained in the basic teachings of Islam, namely the Qur'an and Sunnah Nabawi. Values ​​that promote harmony, peace, and benefit for all. So that the values ​​that should be taken, understood, and then attempt practiced by mankind in general, and Muslims in particular.

Peace must be in full force for building the human civilization, especially in this era of globalization. Peace is a very important heritage, attractive, and exemplary than the legacy of war. For in the tradition of peace that there is happiness, harmony, and a sweet and wonderful memories between various communities and religions. [38]

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