InsightJuly August 2005

Shari‘ah Implementation in South Sulawesi: An Analysis of the KPPSI Movement

Wahyuddin Halim

Introduction

The aspiration for formal implementation of Shari‘ah in Indonesia is by no means a new issue. In fact, such an attempt has a deep-rooted history, since the time of Indonesian Muslim kingdoms. Anthony Reid has indicated that as early as the seventeenth century, strict Islamic law has in part been applied in Banten (West java) and Aceh; for example, thieves were punished with amputations.[1] Obviously, these severe punishment were taken from Islamic penal law (hudud). The existence of these practices evidently contradicts the predominant view among many observers who argue that no Islamic laws were practiced by the early Islam in Indonesia.

The struggle to implement Shari‘ah in modern Indonesia involves a long and bitter debate particularly because the struggle is directed to obtain formal legislation from the state power. At the earlier stage of Indonesian independence, Muslim leaders who became members of the Preparatory Committee for the Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI) had struggled to introduce in the preamble of the 1945 Constitution a phrase that would politically obligate all Indonesian Muslims to practice their religious duties. The preamble, later known as the Jakarta Charter, which includes the “seven words” (that is, dengan kewajiban melaksanakan syariat Islam bagi pemeluknya [with the obligation to carry out Shari‘ah for its followers]), is believed can give a constitutional basis for the upholding of Shari‘ah in Indonesia.

However, the inclusion of these seven magic words into the Constitution was unsuccessful, mainly because it was strongly opposed by the minority non-Muslim politicians and the secular nationalists, most of whom were also Muslims. Within the Constituent Assembly in 1959, the debates on the Jakarta Charter also arose. From 1959 onward the Jakarta Charter continued to become, as Boland puts it, “a divisive issue between two main streams [the nationalists and Islamic groups] within Indonesian societies.”[2]

Another attempt to implement Shari‘ah was carried out earlier in 1940s, when the leader of Darul Islam rebellion movement, S. M. Kartosuwiryo, declared an independent Islamic state in West Java in 1948, in which Islamic law would be strictly implemented. The state had a rudimentary bureaucracy and government and established a legal system based entirely on the Shari‘ah.[3] By the early 1950s, Muslim regionalists in five other provinces, including Aceh, South Sulawesi, and South Kalimantan, had joined the Darul Islam cause. However, these struggles never succeeded to achieve their aim.

The dispute on the Jakarta Charter continued in the early years of the New Order era, particularly when Islamic parties again demanded the government to revive the Jakarta Charter as an integral part of the preamble to the 1945 Constitution. But again, this attempt failed to achieve its end simply because the army, who during the New Order government also functioned as a strong political body for Soeharto, could not tolerate such an agenda to be discussed in the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) session of 1966-67.[4]

It is interesting to note, however, that although the Jakarta Charter was never accepted by the Soeharto government to be included in the 1954 Constitution, which would have given Shari‘ah a constitutional status, a number of aspects relating to Shari‘ah have later on been legislated in Soeharto’s New Order era. These include the marriage law, waqf (charitable foundation) regulation, religious court law, the law that allow the operation of Islamic Bank, and the codification of Islamic family law that includes the rules of inheritance. Later on, Soeharto’s successor, President Habibie added during his short period of administration (1998-99) two other laws which covered the administration of hajj pilgrimage and zakat.[5] All these laws that accommodate some elements of Shari‘ah have been enacted without any reference to the Jakarta Charter.

With Soeharto’s downfall in May 1998, the struggle for the implementation of Shari‘ah began even to mushroom. Political change in the post-Soeharto era has offered a greater opportunity (or freedom) for incorporating more Shari‘ah elements into Indonesian legislation and has opened the gate for the increasing demands for the local implementation of Shari‘ah in several regions of the country. It cannot be denied that the drive leading to the appearance of a sort of euphoria for the formal legislation of Shari‘ah is indeed inseparable from what happened at the 2002 Annual Session of the MPR. At that time, several parties again hoped that the Jakarta Charter would be included in Article 29 clause 1 of the Constitution, the clause which stipulates the theological foundation of the nation. The grounds were very simple. With the inclusion of the seven words, cited earlier, they hoped that Shari‘ah could be formally applied in this country through the state power.[6]

As within two previous consecutive annual sessions of the MPR in 2000 and 2001, this latest constitutional struggle to reinsert the seven words into the amended 1945 Constitution during the 2002 Annual Session failed either.[7] Nevertheless, the urging from those on the ground was very strong. This is evident from the fact that nowadays many provinces have proposed to the central government and the House of Representative (DPR) that they be given a status of special autonomy in order that Shari‘ah can be implemented in their respective regions. The first province to be given such special autonomy was Aceh in Western part of Sumatra, including an authority to stipulate necessary regulations in the province based on Shari‘ah. [8]

It is worthwhile to note that, in response to political reform agendas, Habibie’s government passed in 1999 two essential laws to promote regional autonomy. The most important one is Law No. 22/1999 on Regional Government. This law emphasizes that there are two basic levels of governance, that is, the central government headed by the President and autonomous local governments at the kabupaten (districts) or kotamadya (municipalities) level, headed respectively by the Bupati (regent) or Walikota (mayor).[9] Implementation of regional autonomy was launched in January 2001, but many problems had since arisen. One of these problems is the growing aspiration for the full implementation of Shari‘ah in particular region by using the local regulation indicated in the Law on Regional Government as its legal basis. Besides Aceh, today the persisted regions to implement Shari‘ah in their own areas include South Sulawesi, two districts in West Java (Cianjur and Tasikmalaya), Banten, West Sumatra, and South Kalimantan.[10]

South Sulawesi was probably the most determined one where the aspiration to implement Shari‘ah for the Muslims in the province has been increasingly finding their momentum. Abdul Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar, chief of The Preparatory Committee for the Implementation of Shari‘ah (KPPSI), a committee that we shall discuss further below, argues that the special autonomy granted to Aceh, including the implementation of Shari‘ah, has paved the way for other Indonesian provinces to demand the same status.[11] Moreover, it has been known that at least twenty out of twenty-four heads of districts (kotamadya/kabupaten) in that province have expressed their willingness to apply Shari‘ah in their own areas.[12]

This paper will focus on the struggle for the implementation of Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi as notably represented by the Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syariat Islam Sulawesi Selatan or best known as KPPSI [the Preparatory Committee for the Implementation of Shari‘ah –henceforth KPPSI]. The main objective is to examine the ideological basis as well as the socio-religious and political dimensions of this movement.

KPPSI: Between Abdul Qahhar Mudzakkar’s Darul Islam
Romanticism and a New Political Agenda

Before we examine its ideology from legal perspectives, it seems very important to begin this section by a brief discussion of the socio-political and historical background of KPPSI as apparently the most determined institution that is calling for Shari‘ah implementation in South Sulawesi since the last three years.

KPPSI was founded after a series of meetings and conferences starting in 2000. In August 2000, the first Mujahidin (Arabic for ‘fighters of jihad’) congress on “Movement to Implement Shari‘ah in Indonesia” was conducted in Yogyakarta with the purpose of ‘integrating the aims and actions of all Mujahidin to Shari‘ah.’[13] The participants of the congress comprised hundreds of activist from Islamic organizations, Islamic parties and scholars from all over Indonesia. The participants from South Sulawesi included Abdurrahman A. Basalamah, former rector of the Indonesian Muslim University in Makassar, the university from which many of KPPSI activists came from, and Agus Dwikarna, who were elected to positions on the Mujahidin Council.

As a follow-up to an informal meeting at the Hotel Berlian in Makassar in May 2002, in October the same year a three-day Islamic Congress was held in Makassar. The congress committee declared the congress’ participants to have represented all major Muslim groups, organizations and institutions throughout the province of South Sulawesi.[14] The congress was convened with the special objective to discuss ‘Special Autonomy for the Implementation of Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi.”[15]

The congress was opened by the Deputy Governor of South Sulawesi. Diverse groups participated, including student activists, quasi-paramilitary groups from all over South Sulawesi, and romantics from the Qahhar Mudzakkar era, along with active participants from the Yogyakarta congress, like Habib Husain Al-Habsyi and Abubakar Baasyir, the allegedly leader of the Jamaah Islamiah “terrorist network.”[16] Hundreds more participated from all over South Sulawesi. Abdul Hadi Awang, a charismatic figure from the Malaysian opposition Islamic party PAS, also attended; probably one of the reasons why the congress committee occasionally claimed the congress to be an international one.

It is surprising to note that the congress was tightly guarded, not by the police or the army, but by a quasi-paramilitary group known as the Lasykar Jundullah (The Army of God, see below), allegedly to prevent ‘infiltration’. The Lasykar not only guarded the toilets, they even limited access to the musholla (small mosque/praying space) during the supposedly open and public Friday noon prayers. It is easily to understand if some participants later professed that the tight security made them feel awkward and ‘controlled’.[17] However, Lasykar Jundullah was established not only for this purpose but also more importantly to enforce KPPSI’s political movement. Its leader, Agus Dwikarna, is currently serving a ten-year jail sentence in the Philippines because he was accused of carrying explosives in his suitcase during his visit to the country in 2002.

After the first Makassar congress, several results were announced, the most important one being the establishment of the KPPSI, a formal body mandated and authorized to regulate and organize the preparation for Shari‘ah implementation in South Sulawesi. The aspiration to implement Shari‘ah would be realized using the regional autonomy laws already enacted by the Habibie government in 1999. Therefore, KPPSI is making all necessary efforts to obtain special autonomy for the province of South Sulawesi, similar to that granted to Aceh in order that the former province could enforce Shari‘ah under the same legal status. As Azwar Hasan, the current general secretary of KPPSI, stated, "We strive for Shari‘ah implementation constitutionally and in reference to the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia."[18]

The KPPSI was comprised of two main bodies, the Majelis Syuro (a largely advisory council) and the Majelis Lajnah Tanfidziyah (the executive council). Members of Majelis Syuro were mostly university intellectuals and ‘ulama’ (religious scholars). Included in this category not only local intellectuals and scholars from a state-owned public University of Hasanuddin and a private University of Indonesian Muslim (UMI) as well as Islamic scholars from Alauddin State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN), but also the executive members of the local branch of the New Order-created Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Indonesian Council of Islamic Scholars). The executive council is led by Abdul Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar —one of the many sons of the legendary Abdul Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar, who led a loosely organised rebellion, the Darul Islam, in South Sulawesi from 1950 to 1965. Due to this family connection, it is hard for the movement to deflect accusations of ‘nostalgia’. As we shall show in due time, the historical relationship and association between KPPSI and this movement are even more evident.

Apparently, with the purpose of strengthening the spirit of the pro-Shari‘ah groups, the second Islamic Congress was conducted in Makassar in December 2001. The organizing committee of this congress claimed even wider support both for their congress and hence for the struggle. The name of individuals listed as members of the various committees for the congress represented almost all notable social, political and religious figures of South Sulawesi in such a way that it reads like a (male) Who’s Who of the province. The governor of South Sulawesi, chair of the house of people’s representatives of South Sulawesi (DPRD-I), and mayor of Makassar Municipality were all listed as members of the Advisory Committee for the second congress, as were Muhammad Jusuf Kalla (one of the most respected figures among the South Sulawesi people, a coordinating minister for social welfare during President Megawati’s administration and an elected Vice President in the 2004 election) and Tamsil Linrung, a Jakarta politician, who was later arrested together with Agus Dwikarna in the Philippines. The steering committee included all the rectors of Makassar’s major universities, as well as the chairpersons of the local Muhammadiyah and Nahdhatul Ulama branches, the two biggest Islamic organisations in Indonesia.[19]

However, it is unclear to what extent these notables shared or support KPPSI’s ideology or political agendas.[20] As at most public events in South Sulawesi, many of these identities appeared at the congress only long enough to give presentation during the allotted time. Some, like the governor, sent a representative; others did not bother to attend. Nevertheless, as Pradadimara and Juneddin note, “list of notables presented a conservative image of the movement, as the congress was organised in accordance with the existing political scene in South Sulawesi.”[21]

Although numerous groups of the South Sulawesi Muslims can be considered in moderate stand with respect to the implementation of strict Shari‘ah in their region, KPPSI was insisted in announcing a pre-prepared draft of a law which would grant special status to South Sulawesi and allow the local government to impose comprehensive Shari‘ah.[22] As mentioned earlier, the draft law was clearly inspired by similar legislation enacted in Aceh.[23] However, this announcement was overshadowed by a bomb blast on the third day of the congress. The organisers blamed a ‘third party’ of trying to disrupt the congress, but police suspected that the incident was a cheap self-publicity act. The second congress is now remembered primarily by this incident.

In addition, KPPSI also maintains a close connection with several anti-maksiat or anti-kejahatan (‘anti-immorality’ or ‘anti-crime’) groups. These groups have burgeoned in various regions in the interior areas of South Sulawesi since 1999. Lasykar Jundullah (not yet led by Agus Dwikarna) appears to have become an umbrella organisation for these bands. Subsequently, the Lasykar Jundullah (from Arabic, literally means “God’s soldier”) was to become an integrated part of the KPPSI. KPPSI claims that currently the Lasykar Jundullah has 10,000 members, but many people are doubtful that this claim is proofable. This civilian militia is also expected to become a Shari‘ah police force if Shari‘ah starts to be implemented. However, according to Greg Fealy’s investigation, Lasykar Jundullah has actually acted as a semi-criminal and vigilante group, usually armed with sticks and machetes. Many of its members have backgrounds in local gangs and it is a feared presence in South Sulawesi, where it regularly intimidates parliamentarians, officials and the media into supporting its moves to implement Shari‘ah in the province.[24]

From the religious point of view, to a certain degree the South Sulawesi Muslim people tend to retain fanatic, rigid and orthodox Islamic beliefs and practices.[25] Historically, it can be said that attempts to implement Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi has a deep-rooted history since the penetration of Islam in the region in the early seventeenth century.[26] When the Darul Islam rebellion led by Abdul Qahhar Mudzakkar was in power in this region in the 1950s, strict Islamic rules had already been applied in some parts.

According to C. Pelras, the principle underlying Qahhar Mudzakkar’s Darul Islam movement tended towards a kind of Islamic socialism, to be expressed in measures including a moderate degree of land reform; the suppression of social inequality and of all ostentation in dress and behavior, such as the wearing of gold, jewels and silks or sumptuous feasting at weddings; the eradication of all traces of ‘feudalism’, such as traditional political offices and aristocratic titles, and of ‘paganism’, such as pilgrimage to sacred places and the performance of pre-Islamic rituals; and the implementation of Islamic Shari‘ah in its strictest form, that is, stoning for adulterers to death before the public and the amputation of a hand for thieves.[27]

The impact of this movement is still felt and observable within population and Abdul Qahhar Mudzakkar has, to some extent, become a legendary figure and patriot among the older people in South Sulawesi, even after more than fifty years since he died.[28] KPPSI is probably the best example for this influence. In many occasions, KPPSI activists cannot conceal their respect and admiration when it comes to the history of this movement. Of particular importance to note, KPPSI considers that the pioneering attempt made by the Darul Islam to implement some elements of Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi in 1950s is one of the undeniable historical and cultural foundations for its movement today.[29] Furthermore, in an interview with the International Crisis Group (ICG), the secretary general of KPPSI asserted that for many of its members, KPSI was a way of continuing the Darul Islam struggle through constitutional means.[30]

KPPSI Activists:Between Activism and Intellectualism

With a fairly better economic condition that the average South Sulawesi people enjoyed after the rebellion era, beginning in the 1970s graduates from pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) and regular schools from all over South Sulawesi have flocked to Makassar, the capital of the province, for higher education. They enter universities in the city and become active in Islamic student associations. Most students enroll at either the state-owned Hasanuddin University or the private Muslim University of Indonesia (UMI).

These educational processes have created a new social class that is quite religious in character or maintain its religious upbringing, yet without a regular or formal learning in traditional Islamic knowledge nor a group consciousness oriented around one of ‘ulama’. This social class instead enthusiastically embraces the New Order’s image and ideology of modernity.[31] It is from within this class that KPPSI draws most of its supporters.

As demonstrated by Pradadimara and Juneddin’s research on this organisation, KPPSI’s support comes mostly from urban-based university-educated males. Most KPPSI activists and hardliners come from UMI, where Abdurrahman Basalamah was once rector. For example, Agus Dwikarna who leads the KPPSI’s wing Lasykar Jundullah, attended UMI, but never graduated. KPPSI ideologues who occupy most position in its advisory council and who generally have more moderate stands, are mostly professors and lecturers at the “Alauddin” State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) in Makassar. Meanwhile, chairs of KPPSI branches in the regions in the interior are mostly university graduates with engineering, medical, or social science degrees.[32] In relation to this phenomenon, it can be argued that different degree of one’s knowledge and understanding of Islamic teaching obtained from regular Islamic education institutions among the Muslims may determine his or her attitude toward how Islam should be implemented in the society.

Despite KPPSI’s attempt to employ an image of intellectualism, there has been very little open and intellectual debate on what actually “Syari’at Islam” (Indonesian term for Shari‘ah) means and implies. Statements in local newspapers relating to Shari‘ah have been mostly dogmatic, as if what Shari‘ah means has been for all Muslims something to be taken for granted. As Azwar Hasan again stated, “What more urgent to carry out first is to be granted a status of special autonomy from the central government as ‘political home’ for our struggle to implement Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi.” With regard to what model of Shari‘ah that would be implemented, he continued, “that can be formulated afterward when the special status has been given [to us] by taking advantage of our rich human resources in the field of Shari‘ah.”[33]

Therefore, it is necessary that the following sections of this paper explore the meaning and scope of Shari‘ah (Islamic law) in the perspective of KPPSI activists and analyze their ideological and political agenda within the context of modern Indonesian Islam. There are several questions to be investigated. Firstly, what “Syariat Islam” (Shari‘ah) is for KPPSI. Secondly, in what ways KPPSI will apply the Shari‘ah to the South Sulawesi Muslim people. Finally, to what extent the implementation of Shari‘ah through the state power is acceptable among the Muslim in South Sulawesi and possible to achieve.[34]

The Characteristics of the Implemented Shari‘ah:Problem of Definition

As described earlier, it is difficult to find uniformity in the elements of Shari‘ah being –or proposed to be– implemented in several regions in Indonesia. The same phenomenon is evident at the national level. While there is a visible support from a small group of Muslims in several regions of Indonesia for the implementation of Shari‘ah in general, particularly due to the failure of the Indonesian government in enforcing law and eliminating crimes, there seems to be a sharp disagreement over what Shari‘ah means. The implicit statement in this lack of debate is that every good Muslim should know what Shari‘ah means and implies. Therefore, like all members of KPPSI, it is advisable that every good Muslim should support its implementation whole-heartedly. With this assumption in mind, there is little need for the pro-Shari‘ah groups to explain what they actually mean by it, or for others, they assume, to ask them what it means.

Even in Aceh, for instance, where the application of Shari‘ah has been formally legalized based on the Article 4 of Law No. 44/1999 cited earlier, the vague conception of how the Shari‘ah would be implemented still arises. In other words, it remains very unclear on what model this Shari‘ah law is to be based. Unfortunately, President Abdurrahman Wahid who granted Aceh special autonomy in the year 2000 to implement Shari‘ah gave no clear, comprehensive explanation to the Acehnese about what Shari‘ah he is legalizing. Although Indonesian Muslims generally follow Shafi’s jurisprudence, it would remain a difficult task for President Wahid to simply take Shafi’s jurisprudence as an official mazhab to follow in legal matters concerning criminal law. This is because of the fact that Indonesian Muslims understand and follow Syafi’s jurisprudence mainly in relation to Islamic rituals and practices, not to Islamic criminal law.

Partly due to this problem of conceptualization, some have argued that the application of Shari‘ah in Aceh is more or less ceremonial;[35] and, at the same time, it has become a political project. Therefore, it is understandable if various Muslim groups have been very skeptical about the possibility and efficacy of complete Shari‘ah implementation in Indonesia through the state power, and hence give precaution that other regions should learn from Aceh’s experiment (or lack of success) before they continue on pursuing the same direction.[36]

As generally perceived by many observers, the implicit meaning of Shari‘ah for most of the pro-Shari‘ah groups in Indonesia is the practice of Islamic penal law (hudud). The same impression may also be eventually caught when we begin studying papers, booklets and pamphlets published and distributed by KPPSI with the aim at explaining their conception about Shari‘ah. The following quotation from one of these documents clearly demonstrates what KPPSI means by “the implementation of Shari‘ah”:

This is actually what is meant to be the implementation of Shari‘ah, that is, the involvement of the state in applying Shari‘ah on matters related to the prevention of al-munkarat (evils) and performing the sanction for hudud and ta’zir punishments.[37]

Even more interesting to note, a number of KPPSI activists and sympathizers, to a certain degree, appear to be very much inspired –if not impressed– by the application of some elements of Islamic criminal law, for example, in Saudi Arabia where thieves will have their hands amputated, adulterers will be stoned to death, and other harsh punishment perceived by this group as definitely or truly Shari‘ah elements. [38]

KPPSI seems to have been relatively conscious about the complex issue around definition of Shari‘ah. Therefore, KPPSI begins to collect papers, written statements and excerpts by which they hope their conception of Shari’ah will be better understood. However, it can be said that documents of this kind are relatively few; none of them exceed a hundred pages of letter-size paper. Of these three appear to be the most important. The first one is called “Dasar Historis, Kultur, Hukum dan Politik Tuntutan Pemberlakukan Otonomi Khusus Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam bagi Propinsi Sulawesi Selatan” (Historical, Cultural and Political Foundations for Granting Special Autonomy to the South Sulawesi Province in Implementing Shari‘ah)(henceforth, “Dasar Historis”). It seems that the text was originally an extraction of papers presented during the second Muslim congress in Makassar, in December 29-31, 2001. The second text is “Mengenal Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syariat Islam Sulawesi Selatan” [Introduction to the Preparatory Committee for the Implementation of Shari‘ah of South Sulawesi](henceforth, “Mengenal KPPSI”). The third and probably the most important text with regard to KPPSI’s definition of Shari‘ah is entitled “Intisari Syariat Islam” [the kernel or essence of Shari‘ah](henceforth, “Intisari”).[39] The following passages will briefly discuss and analyze these texts in order to answer the questions put forward earlier.

For KPPSI there are at least six verses from the Qur’an which can be considered as explicitly ordering the Muslims to implement Shari‘ah in their societal life.[40] These verses are:

“He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein; (Al-Shura/42:13);

And now have We set thee (O Muhammad) on a clear road of (Our) commandment; so follow it, and follow not the whims of those who know not” (Al-Jathiyah/45:18)

“Is it a judgment of the time of (pagan) ignorance that they are seeking ? Who is better than Allah for judgment to a people who have certainty (in their belief)? (Al-Maidah/5: 50)

 “Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.” (5:50)

“Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers.” (5:45), and“Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers.” (50:47)[41]

In the brochure, “Mengenal KPPSI”, a brief explanation about definition of Shari‘ah is given. The text describes the etymological meaning of the term Shari‘ah as being ‘the clear path to be followed’ (al-thariq al-mustaqim) and ‘the road to the watering place’ (mawrid al-ma’ li al-istisqa). This is followed by its terminological meaning as “God’s laws which are revealed to His prophets and messengers for their communities.” The text also cites a definition given by Mahmud Shaltut, the prominent twentieth century Muslim thinker from Egypt, that Shari‘ah is the name that refers to various rules and laws that God has stipulated or has enacted their principles to the Muslims as an obligatory for them to follow in their daily activities in order to maintain their relationship with God and their fellow men. Regrettably, there is no mention about which of Shaltut’s works they are referring to.[42]

What is perhaps worth discussing is KPPSI’s major division of Shari‘ah. For KPPSI, being originated from the divine revelation, Shari‘ah can be divided into two categories. First, Shari‘ah that was revealed to God’s prophets and messengers before the Prophet Muhammad. Second, Shari‘ah that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad only, all of which are contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah. KPPSI argues that, based on the Qur’anic verse 42: 13, it is to Shari‘ah in the second category every Muslim is obliged to apply.

KPPSI also try to deal with the issue of the difference between Shari‘ah and fiqh. They argue that definition of Shari‘ah is different from fiqh, although the two are “Islamic law” (hukum Islam). The two are different because fiqh has employed process of reasoning to draw principles of law; hence the result could be various. Because fiqh means understanding, the law of fiqh (hukum fikih) is therefore the law which is based on the understanding of those qualified to exercise ijtihad (individual reasoning). Therefore, from the lexical stand point, the law of fiqh is practical in character which is produced by scholars of Islamic law through their serious attempt to understand Shari‘ah. Accordingly, if there occurs questions such as ‘which shari’ah’ (to be implemented)’, what this question means, KPPSI argue, is probably ‘which fiqh’ or ‘which school (of law)’ (mazhab). Why? Because, as KPPSI explain further, in its broader sense Shari‘ah is essentially din al-Islam (the religion of Islam) which regulates the total aspects of human life originated from divine revelation (the Qur’an) and Sunnah. The purpose of Shari‘ah is to liberate human beings from inclination to their carnal desire, to command them to submit to and obey the divine laws, and to protect their soul, intellect, generation, dignity, self esteem, and property in order to improve morality. [43]

What can be learned from this rather unusual definition of Shari‘ah is that for KPPSI there should be no different understanding of the real meaning of Shari‘ah because it is not a product of human understanding or ijtihad as fiqh is. However, KPPSI believe that Shari‘ah, like fiqh, is the “Islamic law” in the sense that both constitute a set of laws that bound the Muslims to apply. As will be discussed further below, although KPPSI clearly believes that Shari‘ah is a divine guidance that includes all aspects of Islamic believe and practices, it tends to give important emphasis on the application of Shari‘ah in its narrow sense as Islamic law, especially Islamic criminal law.

KPPSI argues that, in principle, Shari‘ah regulates two major issues. First, all kind of actions performed by the Muslims in order to come close to God. Action in this category, which KPPSI calls ‘ibadah mahdah, includes prayer, fasting, zakat, and hajj pilgrimage. Second, all actions performed by the Muslims in enjoining the righteousness and preventing immorality (al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar) in order to maintain peace and harmony in life. This category of action, which is called mu‘amalah, includes laws that regulate the ways in which human being are performing their societal life, such as economic transaction, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other social interactions.[44]

According to KPPSI, the first aspect of Shari‘ah, ‘ibadah mahdah, together with the enjoining of righteousness (al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf), does not require formal legislation from the state to be realized. On the contrary, the second aspect, mu‘amalah, necessitates the state authority to implement it in societal life. As the text itself describes it:

There are those (Shari‘ah elements) which can be realized only if the state, by virtue of its authority and power, is taking responsibility to implement them within the society concerned, (these shari’ah elements are) such as preventing the immorality (al-nahy ‘an al-munkar) and the application of the law punishment of hudud and ta’zir or penal law.[45]

As the quotation shows, for KPPSI the implementation of Shari‘ah will be something very much to do with Islamic penal law. It is interesting that here the popular Qur’anic phrase al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar (enjoining the righteousness and preventing the immoral acts) are divided into two parts in accordance to the condition for their applicability: the former can be applied without the state intervention, while the latter requires its imposition from state power.

It seems that in the perspective of KPPSI, to create a Muslim society within the unitary state of Indonesia in which law could be firmly enforced and the level of corruption, adultery, gambling and other criminal actions could be drastically eliminated, it is not enough for the Indonesian Muslims to merely enjoin what is good according to the Islamic doctrines through lenient dakwah (preaching) but also, and more importantly, to combat crimes and any immoral action by means of a state power. As Azyumardi Azra has observed, one of the reasons for the growing aspiration in numerous regions of Indonesia to implement more formalistic Shari‘ah as the most plausible solution for the socio-political problems in Indonesia is the failure of Indonesian Government in enforcing law and eliminating crimes.[46] The same reason can also be observed from certain groups of Muslims who articulated their actions in the form of attacking nightclubs, discotheques, and houses allegedly used for prostitutions.[47]

Now let us take a careful look at the content of the most important text that KPPSI has so far been widely distributing with the aim at explaining its conception about Shari‘ah. This 82 page text is entitled “Intisari Syariat Islam” (the essence of Shari‘ah). In accordance with their division of Shari‘ah into two categories, ‘ibadah mahdah and mu’amalah, the text discusses these two important aspects. It is interesting that the text deals with elements identified as ibadah mahdah in only two pages, which includes very brief explanation of prayer, zakat, shaum and hajj pilgrimage based on some quotation from the Qur’an. This may be understandable since for KPPSI, this aspect of Shari‘ah could be implemented without formal legislation from the state, and in fact, has been long practiced by the Muslims in their life without any difficulty.

The rest of the text comprises sections dedicated to mu’amalah. This section is divided into six subsections and the titles of each subsection are given both in ‘Arabic and its Indonesian parallel. The six sections are: 1) nizamul ‘usrah wa al-mawarith (family and inheritance); 2) al-amwal wa al-mubadalah (property and trade); 3) al-‘uqubat (penal law); 4) al-masuliyah al-madaniyah wa al-jinayah (civil and criminal law); 5) al-‘ummah fi al-Islam (Muslim community); and 6) akhlaq al-Islam (Islamic morality).

It is worth noting that among the issues the text is trying to outline, ta‘zir  (punishment other than hudud and qisas) is given special treatment by being discussed in 14 pages long. On the other hand, two forms of punishment known in Islamic criminal law as hudud and qisas are discussed only briefly. Although KPPSI seems to agree to apply severe punishment for crimes classified under the term hudud and qisas, as observable from the text being discussed, it tends to elaborate more on the concept of ta‘zir in their attempt to implement Shari‘ah. This is probably because of the fact that, in KPPSI’s view, ta‘zir punishment proceeds from the discretionary authority of the state (waliyul amri) as delegated to the judge.[48] As stated in the previous section, KPPSI’s main purpose is actually to involve the state (in this case the South Sulawesi government) in exercising its authority and power to combat crimes according to Islamic criminal law.

However, a question deserves asking here. Besides its pressure to implement Shari‘ah, is KPPSI basically striving to establish an Islamic state in the long run? Obviously, it is not going to be, because, as frequently stated earlier, its struggle for Shari‘ah implementation is to be channeled through constitutional means and under the unitary state of Indonesia. However, KPPSI believes that the Muslims could only reach their potential in a society guided by Shari‘ah and that adherence to it would be the best solution for Indonesia to elevate from the severe crisis encountered in many aspects of life of its people. In other words, KPPSI, like many other Islamist groups in Indonesia today, believe that Islam is the solution once for all problems faced not only by the Muslims but also by all human beings.

It may be useful to use Daniel Price’s elaboration on five legal spheres in which Shari‘ah is used in various Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa to guide us in assessing the scope of Shari‘ah that KPPSI is trying to implement. These legal spheres are: 1) issues of personal status such as marriage and divorce; 2) the regulation of economic matters such as banking and business practices; 3) prescribed religious practice such as restrictions on women’s clothing, alcohol, and other practices that are considered against Islam; 4) the use of Islamic criminal law and punishment; and 5) the use of Islam as a guide for governance.[49]

Based on the texts being discussed on Shari‘ah, it seems that KPPSI believes no state apparatus is needed to involve in imposing the first and the second spheres on Muslim citizens. This is probably because KPPSI has been fully aware that with regard to matters concerning marriage, inheritance, waqf, zakat, hajj pilgrimage and Islamic banking system, the central government, as discussed in the previous sections, has already enacted laws and regulations.[50] It is for the next three spheres KPPSI are now striving for their formal legislation through regional regulation/by-law. For example, KPPSI has recommended that legislative board of South Sulawesi (DPRD-I) should begin enacting regional regulations according to Shari‘ah, such as, the strict prohibition of alcohol and ecstasy pill consumption, pornography, prostitution, discotheques, gambling and the like.[51]

Moreover, KPPSI also strongly recommends the wearing of Islamic dress both for men and women as well as the performance of five congregational (jama‘ah) prayers in mosques. With regard to the fourth sphere in Price’s classification (Islamic law and punishment), KPPSI in particular strongly believes it is impossible to be imposed without the role of the state. Meanwhile, KPPSI’s perseverance to implement the fifth sphere –the use of Islam as a guide for governance– can be undoubtedly seen in its recommendation to the local government of South Sulawesi included in “Dasar Historis.”[52]

Muslims’ Responses in South Sulawesi

What is the response of the South Sulawesi Muslim people to the issue of a complete Shari‘ah implementation in their region? Will KPPSI be successful in achieving their goal(s)? These are among the intriguing questions that we will try to answer very briefly in the following paragraphs.

The first problem that KPPSI activists have created within diverse Muslim groups in South Sulawesi is its claim that all major Muslim groups in South Sulawesi have been in agreement with and even supported its cause. KPPSI easily referred to the two congresses it has organized as having represented all Muslim groups, organizations, and institutions in the province. In the three texts discussed earlier, KPPSI frequently states that it has “acquired such a strong support from the people of South Sulawesi.”[53] In fact, this is not always the case. It is true that for all Muslims groups in South Sulawesi, as perhaps in other parts of the Muslim world, Shari‘ah has been commonly understood and accepted as a comprehensive set of norms and values regulating human life down to the smallest details and, hence, they would all agree that Shari‘ah should be implemented in their life. But when it comes to the ways in which Shari‘ah has to be implemented, these diverse Muslim groups would demonstrate diverse opinion as well. In fact, a number of Muslim groups in the province have sounded their objections.[54]

Another problem deals with the media coverage. It is interesting that although the Muslim groups who support the KPPSI agenda are undoubtedly small minorities among the total number of Muslim groups, organizations and institution exist in South Sulawesi, KPPSI’s appearance on the local media, especially in the newspaper, could be misleading. The statements or press release regarding almost all KPPSI activities will immediately appear on the local media, frequently as headlines or captions.

For certain uncritical observers, this phenomenon could be perceived as the best representation of the Islamic stance held by the majority of Muslims in South Sulawesi. In other words, since the issue of Shari‘ah implementation frequently appear as the most important coverage on the local media, one may be tempted to think that most of the South Sulawesi Muslim people are pro-Shari‘ah (implementation). In fact, this again does not seem to be true. A journalist from Fajar, the most widely distributed daily in the region, told me in an interview with him that KPPSI media coverage, including those granted by his daily, is partly due to the psychological pressures of this group on local publishing companies to support its moves.[55] On the other hand, many activities organised by other Muslim groups who do not support the formal implementation of Shari‘ah, or openly challenge such an effort, and with the purpose of balancing the image of Islam and the Muslims in South Sulawesi, have passed uncovered by the local media.

The same treatment is, to a certain degree, also experienced by members of the legislative board (DPRD-I) of South Sulawesi province, government officials, and leaders of major Muslim organizations in the province. Based on its claim as the legitimate representation of the Muslim aspiration throughout South Sulawesi, –allegedly by employing political pressure and coercion as well— KPPSI was then able to influence members of the DPRD-I to declare their official agreement and stamp on KPPSI’s legislation drafts and passed them on to the central government in Jakarta for a final legislation.

In addition to this, in response to the regular pressure from KPPSI to follow up its aspiration for Shari‘ah implementation, the governor of South Sulawesi has also sent a team to visit Malaysia’s states of Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Trengganu from June 29 to July 3, 2002. The purpose of this short visit was to recearch or conduct a comparative study of the implementation of (some elements of) Shari‘ah in these states since the last five years and, in turn, to obtain some possible lessons and experiences which may be compatible with or adaptable to the context of Shari‘ah implementation in South Sulawesi. The research team consisted of eight persons who were members of DPRD-I and KPPSI’s advisory council. [56]

In the beginning of January 2004, another team was again created by the governor of South Sulawesi to visit Egypt with the same objective. There the team took the opportunity to meet even the grand Shaykh of al-Azhar, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Sayyid Tantawi, to have his advice and recommendation concerning Shari‘ah implementation in South Sulawesi in particular, and in Indonesian in general. KPPSI’s secretary general also informs the media that another team with the same mission will also visit Pakistan and Iran.[57] But the next groups with the same mission were instead sent to Jordan in mid 2004. Some observer have actually questioned the affectivity of this short visit to these countries. Others have doubted it as merely one way for certain members of DPRD-I, staffs of the governor office, and members of KPPSI advisory council to have an opportunity to travel abroad by justifiably using the regional government budget, hence a kind of mutual-benefit between KPPSI and the local government and legislative. Despite this skepticism, for one thing this effort indicates the growing interest (or concern, not to say fear) of the South Sulawesi government towards the issue of Shari‘ah implementation in that province.

Epilogue

Some Muslim groups would argue that if what is meant as Shari‘ah is the idea about the way of life –as indicated by the term Shari‘ah in the Qur’anic usage (45:18 cf. 5:48; 42:13; and 7:163) and in the Hadith-– then wherever and whenever the Muslims are living in, even in the countries where they are only minorities, they have actually implemented Shari‘ah, although in its “minimal” forms. Moreover, if the term “Shari‘ah” designates legal structure, as it is understood today, the debate over the Shari‘ah would become an endless controversy. This is because the diversity of legal traditions in Islam, as reflected in the variety of the schools of Islamic law and thought, from classical era down to the modern age, is enough to show that it is impossible to achieve a common ground on which an exact and comprehensive definition and formulation of Shari‘ah can be indisputably produced.[58]

Some other Muslim groups, instead of trying to formalize, prefer to de-formalize Shari‘ah by giving a more substantive meaning to the concept. For them Shari‘ah is a developing concept and it should be always interpreted and reinterpreted in accordance to the changing socio-cultural situation encountered by the Muslims in different ages. What they think to be the most crucial issues that the Indonesian Muslims in particular, and all Indonesian people in general, should instead strive to resolve today are issues pertaining to law enforcement, education, economic crisis, environmental deterioration, human rights, good governance, democracy and the like.[59]

Other argument is that because of its repressive character the state should not intervene in defining and imposing Shari‘ah to the Muslim citizens. Doing so would be like giving much more power and authority to the state in perpetuating its repression and intervention upon the right of its citizens, including their personal affairs. Some also have contended that what the pro-Shari‘ah groups such as KPPSI are trying to achieve is political position in order to fulfill the interest of their own group.[60] From legal point of view, they believe that since Shari‘ah has been actually practiced by every good Muslim on individual level, and, to a significant degree, on social and political levels, its formalization through the 1945 Constitution has no longer a convincing political foundation.

Meanwhile, pro-Shari‘ah groups such as KPPSI consider other Muslim groups who are trying to impede their effort as having actually misunderstood the concept of Shari‘ah and unwilling to implement it wholeheartedly in their actual lives. On the other hand, KPPSI and a number of other similar Muslim groups in Indonesia tend to focus their understanding of Shari‘ah on its punitive aspects which for many, even among the Muslims, would surely appear terrifying and ruthless if they are not reinterpreted and implemented according to different social and cultural contexts of the Muslim communities. In my opinion, such controversy would have had a clear direction if those groups struggling for Shari‘ah implementation in Indonesia could establish a well-defined conceptualization about the related terminologies being disputed and at the same time were able to show their willingness to seat on the same discussion table with their adversary groups in order that the two parties are able to understand and learn from one another.

From the information presented throughout this study, it can be clearly seen that the challenges that the KPPSI is encountering are coming from many directions, both internally and externally. Internally, the KPPSI is confronted with the fact that, apparently, they do not have enough intellectual bases and resources to support their project when it comes to the questions of what type of Shari‘ah they are striving to introduce or implement or strengthen within the already religious people of South Sulawesi and how they are going to do it. Externally, being a late comer in the contesting, pluralistic South Sulawesi Muslim communities, the KPPSI obviously have to realize that their claim of having obtained a significant support from the majority of Muslim groups, associations and organizations in the province, most prominently NU and Muhammadiyah, is a fragile one.

The last argument is based on the fact that the support of these organizations for Shari‘ah implementation in South Sulawesi is apparently directed toward different means, outcomes and purposes. Muhammadiyah and NU (or more accurately, in the context of South Sulawesi, local Muslim organizations associated with NU, particularly the Darul Dakwah wal Irsyad [DDI] and As’adiyah), in particular, being the main actors in Indonesian socio-religious and cultural lives since the beginning of the twentieth century, and hence the most deeply rooted Islamic organizations throughout  Indonesia, have determined themselves to strengthen the Islamic ummah through their cultural, social and education programs. Even if they sometimes feel it deemed necessary to achieve their mission through real political means –which they actually quite frequently did in one way or another— the would not do that in pretentious and radical fashions. Meanwhile, without the wholehearted support from such Muslim “grass-root” organizations, any attempt –including political one– for a “dramatic” socio-religious transformation in Indonesia would be destined to fail, at least not during the present point of Indonesian history.

Bibliography

“Cita-cita menegakan syariat Islam ada pada mereka yang ingin berkuasa” [Aspiration to implement Islamic law only found among those who pursue political position], Fajar  (a local daily newspaper), January 22, 2002.

“Gairah Syariat Islam di Berbagai Daerah” [Calls for Shari‘ah in various regions], Suara Hidayatullah, July 2000.

“Martapura Enforces Ban on Eating in Public Places”, Jakarta Post, 4 December 2001.

“Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Aceh Hanya Seremonial” [the enactment of shari’ah in Aceh is only ceremonial], Kompas, 13 December 2000.

“Syari'at Islam di Sulsel, di Ambang Pintu” [Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi has been at the doorstep] Majalah Suara Hidayatullah. November 2000.

Amal, Taufiq Adnan, “Pelajaran Berharga dari Pakistan” [A valuable lesson from Pakistan] published in Liberal Islam Network site (JIL), available at: www.islamlib.com, 16 September 2001. Accessed in February 15, 2004.

Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Daerah Prop. Sulawesi Selatan. “Survei Pendapat Tentang Wacana Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Sulawesi Selatan.” [Survey of opinion concerning the idea of implementing Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi]. Research Report conducted by Tim Pengkajian Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Sulawesi Selatan, Makassar, 2001.

Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Daerah Prop. Sulawesi Selatan. “Laporan Perjalanan Studi Banding ke Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur,  Melaka, dan Trengganu) tentang Pelaksanaan Syariat Islam.” [Report on Comparative Study Tour in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Trengganu] Comparative research report conducted by Tim Pengkajian Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Sulawesi Selatan, Makassar, August 2002.

Boland, B.J. The Struggle of Islam in Modern Indonesia. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971.

Burhanuddin, ed. Syariat Islam Pandangan Muslim Liberal [Shari‘ah: the view of Liberal Muslim] Jakarta: Jaringan Islam Liberal and The Asia Foundation, 2003.

Dijk, Cornelis van. Rebellion under the Banner of Islam: the Darul Islam in Indonesia. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981.

Fatwa, A.M. “Landasan Politik Pelaksanaan Syari’at Islam di Sulawesi Selatan” [Political Basis for the Shari‘ah Implementation in South Sulawesi] Paper presented in the second Islamic congress conducted by KPPSI in Makassar, December 29-31, 2001, p. 1-2.

Fealy, Greg. “Radical Islam in Indonesia.” Paper presented at the Conference “From Terrorism to Revolution – The Jihadist Threat to Regime Survival in Societies: Historical Cases and Current Prospects’ in Washington DC, November 22, 2002.

Gongong, Anhar. Qahhar Mudzakkar: Dari Patriot Sampai Pemberontak. [Qahhar Mudzakkar: from a patriot to a rebel] Jakarta: Gramedia, 1992.

Hasan, Aswar. “Pokok-pokok Pikiran yang Menjadi Dasar/Alasan Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Sulawesi Selatan Melalui Otonomi Khusus.” [Important points which become the bases for Shari‘ah implementation in South Sulawesi through special autonomy regulation] Paper presented in Seminar “Jajak Pendapat Konsep Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Sulawesi Selatan,” in Makassar, November 8, 2001.

Hooker, M.B. Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003.

International Crisis Group-ICG, “Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: The Case of the “Ngruki Network” in Indonesia” Jakarta/Brussels, 8 Augusts 2002. Also available online at http://www.indonesia-house.org/archive/ICG-ngruki.pdf. Accessed in January 25, 2004.

Jackson, Karl D. Traditional Authority, Islam, and Rebellion : A Study of Indonesian Political Behavior. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

Qahhar Mudzakkar, Abdul Aziz.  “Otonomi Khusus Aceh and Sulsel” [Special autonomy for Aceh and South Sulawesi], Fajar, 2 June 2000.

Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syariat Islam (KPPSI) Sulawesi Selatan. “Mengenal Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syariat Islam (KPPSI) Sulawesi Selatan.” [Introduction to the Preparatory Committee for Shari‘ah Implementation in South Sulawesi]. Makassar, 2003.

“Dasar Historis, Kultur, Hukum dan Politik Tuntutan Pemberlakuan Otonomi Khusus Pemberlakuan Syari’at Islam Bagi Propinsi Sulawesi Selatan.” [Historical, Cultural, Legal, and Political Foundations for Granting Special Autonomy to South Sulawesi to Implement Shari‘ah] Official Report of The Second Congress of South Sulawesi Muslims in Makassar, December 14-16, 2001.

“Inti Sari Syariat Islam.” [the kernel of Shari‘ah] Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syariat Islam (KPPSI) Sulawesi Selatan, Makassar, 2003.

Madjid, Nurcholish. Islam Kemodernan dan Keindonesiaan. Bandung: Mizan, 1987.

Majelis Ulama Indonesia Sulawesi Selatan [Indonesian Council of Islamic Scholars]. “Fatwa tentang Penerapan Syariat Islam” [A religious Opinion regarding the Implementation of Shari‘ah] Makassar, 18 November 2000.

Pelras, Christian. The Bugis. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, Ltd., 1996.

“Religion, Tradition and the Dynamics of Islamization in South Sulawesi” Archipel 29 (1985).

Pradadimara, Dias and Burhaman Juneddin. “Who is Calling for Islamic Law? The Struggle to Implement Islamic Law in South Sulawesi.” Inside Indonesia. October-December 2002. Online edition accessible at:
http://www.insideindonesia.org/edit72/Politics%20Dias.htm. Accessed in January 15, 2005.

Price, Daniel E. Islamic Political Culture, Democracy, and Human Rights: A Comparative Study. Westport: Praeger, 1999.

Reid, Anthony. Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680. Volume 1: The Lands Below the Winds. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.

Salim, Arskal and Azyumardi Azra, “Introduction: The State and Shari’a in the Perspective of Indonesian Legal Politics,” in Arskal Salim and Azyumardi Azra, eds. Shari’a and Politics in Modern Indonesia. Singapore: ISEAS, 2003.

Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. H.A.R. Gibb and J.H. Kramers. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1953. s.v. “Shari’ah”

Zein, Kurniawan and Sarifuddin HA (ed.), Syariat Islam yes Syariat Islam no: Dilema Piagam Jakarta dalam Amandemen UUD 1945 [Shari‘ah yes, Shari‘ah no: The Jakarta Charter Dilemma in the Amended 1945 Constitution] Jakarta: Paramadina, 2001.

 

[1] Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680. Volume 1: The Lands Below the Winds (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), p. 143.
[2] B.J. Boland, The Struggle of Islam in Modern Indonesia (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971), p. 101. The most current analysis on this issue is given by M.B. Hooker, Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003, pp. 17-20. Cf. Saiful Mujani, “Politik Tujuh Kata”, Koran Tempo, Wednesday, July 31, 2002.
[3] For further account pertaining to this movement, see, Karl D. Jackson,  Traditional Authority, Islam, and Rebellion : A Study of Indonesian Political Behavior. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980).
[4]Boland, op. cit., pp. 100-1, 159.
[5] Regarding laws legislated during the Soeharto era, see Arskal Salim and Azyumardi Azra, op. cit., whose appendices include the official English translation of the Law on Marriage (1974), the Law on the Religious Judicature (1989), the Presidential Instruction on the Compilation of Islamic Laws (1991), and Government Regulation on Waqf of Lands with the Right of Ownership (1977). See also, M.B. Hooker, op. cit., pp. 20-5, et passim.
[6] Tempo, December 10, 2002.
[7] See, Kurniawan Zein and Sarifuddin HA (ed.), Syariat Islam yes Syariat Islam no: Dilema Piagam Jakarta dalam Amandemen UUD 1945 [Shari‘ah yes, Shari‘ah no: The Jakarta Charter Dilemma in the Amended 1945 Constitution] (Jakarta: Paramadina, 2001).
[8] Shari‘ah is widely understood as the totality of God’s commandments that include the whole of the religious, political, social, domestic and private life of Muslims, and the activities of the tolerated members of other faiths so far as they may not detrimental to Islam. See, Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. H.A.R. Gibb and J.H. Kramers (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1953), s. v. “Shari’ah”, p. 525.
[9] See, Arskal Salim and Azyumardi Azra, “Introduction: The State and Shari’a in the Perspective of Indonesian Legal Politics,” in Arskal Salim and Azyumardi Azra (eds.), Shari’a and Politics in Modern Indonesia. (Singapore: ISEAS, 2003), p. 222.
[10] “Gairah Syariat Islam di Berbagai Daerah” [Calls for shari’ah in various regions], Suara Hidayatullah, July 2000.
[11] See his article “Otonomi Khusus Aceh and Sulsel” [Special autonomy for Aceh and South Sulawesi], Fajar, 2 June 2000.
[12] See, “91,11 Persen Setuju Syariat Islam- Hasil Jajak Pendapat Pemprov Sulsel,” [91,11 percent (of the South Sulawesi Muslims) agree with Shari‘ah: the result of a survey conducted by the South Sulawesi government] Fajar, 27-Jan-2003. See also, A. Salim and A. Azra, op. cit., p. 2. It must be noted here that despite this growing aspiration to Shari‘ah implementation, one should not be tempted to think that the Shari‘ah elements being implemented in these areas are all uniform. There are some that can be considered "light," if they can at all be properly considered as elements of Shari‘ah. For example, in Indramayu, West Java, in every Friday citizens and local government employees are obliged to wear Muslim-style high collar shirts (baju koko) and women to wear traditional garb (jilbab). In several government offices, they are obliged to recite the Qur’an for half an hour before they begin working. Different example is found in the district of Martapura, the capital of Banjar regency in South Kalimantan. Here the local government enacted the by-law that placed bans on eating and drinking in public places during the fasting month of Ramadan. Therefore, in this district fines are imposed on anyone caught eating and drinking in public places during the day of Ramadan.[12] However, there are also those that are "heavy" such as in South Sulawesi regencies of Gowa and Jeneponto where the law of amputation of hands (qishas) for those who commit crimes has been sporadically practiced, though not without causing legal and political consequences in the region.
[13] See, Dias Pradadimara and Burhaman Juneddin. “Who is Calling for Islamic Law? The Struggle to Implement Islamic Law in South Sulawesi.” Inside Indonesia. October-December 2002. This article is the extract from an extensive research conducted by the Research Center of Hasanuddin University on KPPSI from social-political perspective. The online edition is accessible at: http://www.insideindonesia.org/edit72/Politics%20Dias.htm. Accessed in January 15, 2004.
[14] “Syari'at Islam di Sulsel, di Ambang Pintu” [Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi has been at the doorstep] Majalah Suara Hidayatullah. November 2000.
[15] See, “Dasar Historis, Kultur, Hukum dan Politik Tuntutan Pemberlakuan Otonomi Khusus Pemberlakuan Syari’at Islam Bagi Propinsi Sulawesi Selatan.” [Historical, Cultural, Legal, and Political Foundations for Granting Special Autonomy to South Sulawesi to Implement Shari‘ah] Distributed by KPPSI as an official report of the second Islamic Congress in Makassar, December 14-16, 2001. p. 36.
[16] See, International Crisis Group-ICG, “Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: The Case of the “Ngruki Network” in Indonesia” Jakarta/Brussels, August 8, 2002. Also available online at: http://www.indonesia-house.org/archive/ICG-ngruki.pdf. Accessed on January 25, 2004.
[17] D. Pradadimara and B. Juneddin, loc. cit.
[18] Interview with Drs. H. Azwar Hasan in Makassar, Augustus 5, 2003. Emphasis is mine.
[19] See, “Mengenal Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syariat Islam (KPPSI) Sulawesi Selatan,” [Introduction to KPPSI] A booklet distributed by KPPSI which, as the title indicated, is intended as a general introduction to the committee, Makassar, 2003 (henceforth “Mengenal KPPSI”).
[20] Dr. M. Qasim Mathar, a professor in “Alauddin” State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) and one of the prominent Muslim intellectuals in Makassar who is one of the most outspoken opponents of the idea to formalize Shari’ah in South Sulawesi held by KPPSI, told me in an interview with him in July 2003 that he also doubted that these notables really support KPPSI’s agenda.
[21] D. Pradadimara and B. Juneddin, loc. cit.
[22] The draft under discussion contains six pages, entitled: “Dasar Historis, Kultur, Hukum dan Politik Tuntutan Pemberlakuan Otonomi Khusus Pemberlakuan Syari’at Islam Bagi Propinsi Sulawesi Selatan” [Historical, Cultural, Legal, and Political Foundations for Granting Special Autonomy to South Sulawesi to Implement Shari‘ah] [23] Pertaining to this association, Abdurrahman Basalamah, for instance, has clearly indicated in an interview with Suara Hidayatullah (a monthly) that the struggle for the implementation of Islamic law in South Sulawesi should learn from Aceh. He argued, “A number of reasons that justified [the implementation of Islamic law in] Aceh is, in fact, applicable to South Sulawesi context. So, why it is not implemented here.” See, “Syari'at Islam di Sulsel, di Ambang Pintu” [Shari‘ah in South Sulawesi has been at the doorstep] Suara Hidayatullah. November 2000. In the interview with the same magazine, Abdul Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar, chair of KPPSI’s executive council, argued that the minimum objective of the second congress would be that South Sulawesi province is to be granted a special autonomy by the central government like that granted to Aceh.  “If Aceh can (obtain the special autonomy status), why not South Sulawesi?” asked Aziz. See, ibid; See also, “Mengenal KPPSI”. To give historical and political bases for the Shari’ah implementation in South Sulawesi using the regional autonomy legislation similar to that granted to Aceh, A. M. Fatwa, a South Sulawesi-born Jakarta politician who supports KPPSI cause, argues that Aceh and South Sulawesi have three similarities in regard to their Islamicity. Firstly, both have the same heritage of Islamic kingdoms in the past which were very influential upon the archipelago at their own times. Secondly, during the national revolution to defend the Independence around the second-half of the 1940s, both regions became the headquarters of the struggle for the establishment of Indonesian Islamic state. Finally, if Aceh is recognized as “the veranda of Mecca” by the Muslims travelers from the archipelago due to the strong influence of Islam there, it should be also acceptable that South Sulawesi is to be called “the veranda of Medina” for the same reason. See, A.M. Fatwa, “Landasan Politik Pelaksanaan Syari’at Islam di Sulawesi Selatan” [Political Basis for Shari‘ah Implementation in South Sulawesi] Paper presented at the second Islamic congress conducted by KPPSI in Makassar, December 29-31, 2001, p. 1-2.
[24] See Greg Fealy, “Radical Islam in Indonesia.” Paper presented at the Conference “From Terrorism to Revolution – The Jihadist Threat to Regime Survival in Societies: Historical Cases and Current Prospects’ in Washington DC, November 22, 2002, p. 10.
[25] Pelras, The Bugis (Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, Ltd., 1996), p. 187.
[26] For a more detailed study on the Islamization in South Sulawesi, see e.g. Christian Pelras, “Religion, Tradition and the Dynamics of Islamization in South Sulawesi” Archipel 29 (1985).
[27] Pelras, The Bugis, p. 284. For broader analysis on Abdul Qahhar Mudzakkar’s Darul Islam movement see, Cornelis van Dijk, Rebellion under the Banner of Islam: the Darul Islam in Indonesia (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981).
[28] With regard to this influence, see, Anhar Gongong, Qahhar Mudzakkar: Dari Patriot Sampai Pemberontak [Qahhar Mudzakkar: From a Patriot to a Rebel] (Jakarta: Gramedia, 1992).
[29] See particularly “Dasar Historis, Kultur, Hukum dan Politik Tuntutan Pemberlakuan Otonomi Khusus Pemberlakuan Syari’at Islam Bagi Propinsi Sulawesi Selatan.” [Historical, Cultural, Legal and Political Foundations for Granting Special Autonomy to South Sulawesi Province to Implement Shari‘ah] Official Report of the Second Islamic Congress in Makassar, December 14-16, 2001, p. 4; See also, “Mengenal KPPSI” p. 3.
[30] International Crisis Group (ICG), “Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia,” op. cit., p. 17.
[31] The emergence of this new modern educated Muslim class in 1970s is not only phenomenal in South Sulawesi but also in Indonesian major cities such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Medan. As Nurcholish Madjid has observed, Indonesian Muslim groups who strictly adhere the precepts of Islam (best known as santri as opposed to those groups considered to be Muslims only by name in the sense that they are not constantly follow Islamic precepts, or known as abangan) could begin to have a large number of intellectuals with modern education only in the 1970s. Before this decade, modern educations were mainly dominated by the Muslim abangan groups. This is particularly due to the education policies implemented by the Dutch colonial rules. See, Nurcholish Madjid, Islam Kemodernan dan Keindonesiaan. (Bandung: Mizan, 1987), p. 84-86.
[32] D. Pradadimara and B. Juneddin, loc. cit.
[33] Interview with him in Makassar, August 5, 2003.
[34] To do this, the analysis will primarily rely upon official documents distributed in print by KPPSI (which are actually few in number). Other sources, such as statements, press release and pamphlets, would be considered as secondary on this matter. Also to be considered is the result of interviews I conducted with some of KPPSI activists, its sympathizers and opponents during my short return to Makassar around June and July 2003.
[35] Cf. “Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Aceh Hanya Seremonial” [the enactment of shari’ah in Aceh is only ceremonial], Kompas, 13 December 2000.
[36] Cf. Burhanuddin (ed.), Shariat Islam Pandangan Muslim Liberal. (Jakarta: JIL, 2003).
[37] “Dasar Historis”, p. 11. Emphasis added.
[38] This can be observed, for example, in a seminar about “Islamic law implementation in South Sulawesi: challenges and opportunities” conducted by KPPSI in Makassar on January 18, 2002 in which I also participated. In question and answer session, a number of participants (mostly KPPSI activists), seemed frustrated and disappointed with Dr. Jalaluddin Rakhmat’s presentation which clearly was not supportive to their cause, pointed out to the type of Islamic law practiced in Saudi Arabia as the ideal example to be followed by South Sulawesi. They argued, because Shari‘ah is consistently implemented there, for instance, the thief’s hand is cut off, the case for stealing and robbery are hardly found. See, press release of this seminar entitled “Cita-cita menegakan syariat Islam ada pada mereka yang ingin berkuasa” [the ideal to implement Islamic law only held by those who pursue political position], Fajar (a local daily newspaper), January 22, 2002.
[39] “Dasar Historis” came out at the year when the second Islamic congress was conducted (2001), whilst “Mengenal KPPSI” and “Intisari” were both distributed in 2003.
[40] “Dasar Historis”, p. 1.
[41] This translation and all subsequent citations of the Qur’an are from The Meaning of the Glorious Koran: An Explanatory Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (New York: Everyman’s Library, 1992).
[42] It should be noted, the three texts discussed here seem to demonstrate poor references from scholarly point of view. “Intisari Syariat Islam”, for example., being the most important and the longest text about KPPSI’s conception of shari’ah, listed only 27 references, some of them are merely papers presented in the congress conducted by KPPSI alone. Books listed are authored by both Indonesian and international authors (mostly from the Middle East, such as Yusuf Qardawi [four of his books are listed], al-Sharqawi, al-Ghazali, Ibn Hajar al-Athqalani, Nashiruddin al-Albani, Sa‘Id Ramadan al-Buti, Muhammad Jawad Mughniya, and Kamil Muh{ammad Uwaydah). However, all of the books written by these international authors are referred to in their Indonesian translation.
[43] “Intisari,” p. 1. and “Mengenal KPPSI”, p. 7.
[44] Ibid. pp. 1-2.
[45] Ibid., p. 3.
[46] Azyumardi Azra, “Islamic Perspective on the Nation-State: Political Islam in Post-Soeharto Indonesia” unpublished paper, quoted from Arskal Salim and Azyumardi Azra, op. cit., p. 14.
[47] The groups of this category in the post-Soeharto Indonesian era includes Front of Islamic Defenders (FPI), Laskar Jihad (Holy War Fighters), Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (Indonesian Holy Warriors’ Council), and Himpunan Mahasiswa Muslim Antrarkampus (HAMMAS, Association of Intercampus Muslim Students). For further analysis of these “radical” Muslim groups, see, Fealy, op. cit.; See also, “Radikalisme Agama dan Perubahan Sosial di DKI Jakarta” A research report conducted by the Research Team of the Language and Culture Center, “Syarif Hidayatullah” State University of Indonesia, Jakarta, 1999/2000.
[48] “Intisari”, p. 25.
[49] Daniel E. Price, Islamic Political Culture, Democracy, and Human Rights: A Comparative Study. (Westport: Praeger, 1999), p. 145
[50] As A. Salim and A. Azra observe, it is worth noting that so far Indonesian government enacted only elements of Islamic law pertaining to two characteristics. First, Islamic law whose application is limited only to those aspects perceived as ‘private Islamic law’ such as marriage, inheritance, waqf, hajj and Islamic banking system. Second, those elements viewed as ‘optional’, meaning that the state should not be involved in imposing it on Muslim citizens to perform their religious duties. For example, zakat. See, A. Salim and A. Azra, op. cit., p. 12.
[51] “Dasar Historis”, p. 37.
[52] See especially pp. 36-39.
[53] “Dasar Historis”, pp. 4 & 6.
[54] For example, Dr. Abd Muiz Kabri, chief of Darul Dakwah wal Irshad (DDI), one of major traditional Muslim organizations in South Sulawesi, told me in an interview with him in Makassar in September 2002 his objection to KPPSI. He said that the organization he is currently leading does not actually share KPPSI cause. But it is upsetting, he continued, that KPPSI activists have also claimed the support from DDI simply because one or two members of DDI attended the second Islamic congress held by KPPSI. I have also heard the same complaint from some leaders of the South Sulawesi branch of Muhammadiyah and NU regarding KPPSI’s claim of Muslim representation in their movement.
[55] Interview with him (anonymed at request) in Makassar in December 2001.
[56] See, Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Daerah Prop. Sulawesi Selatan. “Laporan Perjalanan Studi Banding ke Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, dan Trengganu) tentang Pelaksanaan Syariat Islam.” [A Report of the Comparative Study Tour in Malaysia’s states of Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Trengganu]. A Research report distributed by Tim Pengkajian Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Sulawesi Selatan, Makassar, August 2002.
[57] For further report of this team’s visit to Egypt, see “Pelajari Syariat Islam, Pejabat Sulsel ke Timteng” [South Sulawesi Officials visited the Middle East for Comparative Study on Shari‘ah] Gatra, 5 January 2004, online edition available at: http://www.gatra.com/2004-01-05/artikel.php?id=32960. Accessed in February 15, 2004.
[58] Interview with Taufiq Adnan Amal, a lecturer in Alauddin State Institute for Islamic Studies in Makassar, member of a young liberal Muslim thinkers’ association, Jaringan Islam Liberal (Liberal Islam Network) in Jakarta, and author of three books on Shari’ah and the Qur’an, in Makassar in July 2003. See also his article “Pelajaran Berharga dari Pakistan” [A valuable lesson from Pakistan] published online at Liberal Islam Network (JIL) at: www.islamlib.com, dated: 16 September 2001. Accessed in February 14, 2004.
[59] For this and other different opinions regarding Shari‘ah implementation from contemporary Indonesian Muslim thinkers, see Burhanuddin (ed.), Syariat Islam: Pandangan Muslim Liberal. [Shari‘ah: Perspective of Liberal Islam] (Jakarta: Jaringan Islam Liberal dan The Asia Foundation, 2003).
[60] See, “Cita-cita menegakan syariat Islam ada pada mereka yang ingin berkuasa” [the aspiration for Shari‘ah implementation only found among those who pursue political position], Fajar (a local daily newspaper), January 22, 2002.

 

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close