Learning from KH AR Fakhruddin

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By: M. Husnaini

Muhammadiyah has a charismatic scholar, KH Abdul Rozak Fakhruddin. Pak AR, he usually called, was a cleric with persona. In the hands of Pak AR, the teachings of Islam look so beautiful.

His cool personality make anyone easily accepted Islam. A simple example, when Pak AR give a religious lecture on  Saturday and Tuesday in RRI Nusantara II Radio Yogyakarta, there are among the non-Muslims who participated enthusiastically listened to the descriptions about Islam.

His persona is a trade mark of the scholar who has served as the longest Chairman of the Muhammadiyah (1968-1990). The creed that always adopted by Pak AR, the teaching of Islam must be bil hikmah (with wisdom) and biqadri uqulihim (corresponding to people sense).

AR-fachruddinSee the sentence Pak AR when parsing issues of Islamic law;

“This argument is base on the Qur’an and authentic Hadith. Therefore, if there is a mistake, I hope it should be corrected on the basis of Qur’an and valid Hadits anyway. In addition, I do not dare to set up something with certain laws, such as mandatory, sunnah, and so on. About it, I leave it entirely to the people [to decide].”

That attitude is far from being a high profile scholar. In preaching, Pak AR never accused others of heresy (bid’ah), heretic (sesat), infidel (kafir), and similar words.

Each of his word diction is polite; his sentence is pleasant to hear. When asked about the law of glorifying graves with tombstones building, Pak AR openly answer, “Indeed, I find it hard to answer this question. The heaviness of my heart is due to possible accusation: Well presumably the one who knows about religion, traditions, as if only Pak AR alone.”

Similarly, when responding to law of sedekahan and tahlilan, Pak AR said, “If I may say the truth, holding a sedekahan ceremony when a person dies, and then periodically on the third, seventh, 40th, 100th, 1.000th, it is not derived from the law of religion. Obviously, Allah [SWT] did not command, nor did the Prophet [PBUH].”

In the course of a century-old mission of Muhammadiyah, we need preachers or scholars as caliber as Pak AR. It’s an appropriate for preachers, teachers or Kiyai of Muhammadiyah even able to overcome all the problems of ummah with smart but discreet ways, using plain language, not patronizing, let alone all-round judging and blaming.

Challenges that must be answered by Muhammadiyah, given the appearance of rigidity of preaching, black and white, and illiquidity, it’s not infrequently even preachers of  Muhammadiyah modeled the fierce propaganda.

Of course this is dangerous, because, beside its not in accordance with the identity of Muhammadiyah, such preaching will never be able to produce anything, besides disunity.

Muhammadiyah propagation model is clearly different from any faction, despite it looks similar.

It is true that Muhammadiyah was steadfast to fight for tawhid (monotheism) and scrape all superstitious practices and heresy. But remember, Muhammadiyah also not anti-modernist.

For Muhammadiyah, in the field of worship, Muslims must tajrid (sufficing the things you have), but also tajdid (renewal) in the field of muamalah, it’s mandatory.

Thus, Muhammadiyah mission was enlightening, not handcuffing.

KH Ahmad Dahlan is himself a westernized scholar but with Mecca brain.

That’s why Muhammadiyah is rich in charitable efforts.

No organization anywhere in the world that is able to outperform the charitable efforts of Muhammadiyah.

Therefore, comparing the Muhammadiyah with new organizations that as old as corn is an unfair comparison.

It’s not worth for preachers and leaders of Muhammadiyah modeled with the look alike Muhammadiyah preaching when in fact deviated from khittah (lines) of Muhammadiyah missionary.

If that happens, Muhammadiyah will be injured. The entire missionary endeavors, especially all the leaders, must read and studied the official guide books or magazines of Muhammadiyah publication.

In addition, no less important, is to follow the model of early missionary of Muhammadiyah figures. Pak AR is one of them.

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Footnote: This opinion article has been displayed in an online newspaper, REPUBLIKA, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday, 10 November 2013. The original and full article is also able to be visited at: http://www.republika.co.id/berita/en/islam-in-archipelago/13/11/10/mw0d23-learning-from-kh-ar-fakhruddin [accessed in Vijaya Kusuma, Cipadung, Bandung: 13 November 2013].

M. Husnaini is an Executive Board of Muhammadiyah Sub Branch of Takerharjo, Solokuro, Lamongan, East Java, Indonesia.

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