THIS week, two largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia held a congress simultaneously. The congress, that always be held in every five years, is not only to picked a new management, but also to formulate new programs for the next five years. Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), established in 1926, held the congress on Saturday (1/8,15), in Jombang, East Java. Muhammadiyah, established in 1912, held the congress on Monday (3/8/15), in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
As an Islamic boarding school-based organization, NU’s congress was held in boarding schools. While Muhammadiyah who grows its strength in educational and medical institutions, held the congress in university. If in the congress, NU has “Islam Nusantara” as tagline, then Muhammadiyah has “Progressive Indonesia/Islam.” Muhammadiyah’s tagline was born first, when they arranged the white book of the existence of Muhammadiyah in their second 100 years. The book was published in 2012. Muhammadiyah’s congress this year is the first congress held in the second century. Meanwhile, NU’s tagline was used as a theme of the congress.
In public, these two taglines is considered as if it is contested. However, it must be recognized that the phrase “Islam Nusantara” has strength, powerful magnitude, and is more contextual. The tagline is able to trigger public dicussion, even a bit controversial. Because of that, public considered Muhammadiyah’s tagline, “Progressive Indonesia/Islam,” to be more flat, but it is beyond Islam.
Actually, the two taglines were simply confirmation. NU has consecrated themselves as Aswaja – ahlussunnah wal jama’ah. A movement that is based on four mahzab – Shafi’i, Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki – and the theology based on the Asy’ariyah. In short, NU is Sunni, not Syiah. In the time when KH Hasyim Muzadi became the chairman of NU, this organization has a tagline “Islam rahmatan lil ‘Alamin.” It is considered as appropriate when the world condition, especially in Indonesia, was gripped by terrorism and inter-religion conflict. The tagline shows Islam is peaceful and sheltered. Now, when the world condition was teased by salafi and ISIS, NU presents “Islam Nusantara” –an Indonesian typical of Islam. Conflicts that happen in the Middle East and South Asia are conflicts among Sunnis. NU is also Sunni, so that it is necessary to do the differentiation with other Sunnis. Even we can draw a firmer line on Walisongo’s propaganda –nine of them symbolized the nine stars on NU’s logo – as a form of successful propaganda of Islam Nusantara. The new tagline has two dimensions: differentiation with other Sunni and against Salafi waves.
Muhammadiyah is known as a movement that modernizes the people. Modern means advanced. Firstly, it is the war against three problems of people: superstition, heresy, and churafat. To against the three problems, the founders of Muhammadiyah focused on education, health care, and helped orphans. Therefore Muhammadiyah is very prominent oneducational institutions, hospitals and clinics, and orphanages. Now, Muhammadiyah no longer focuses on it. Even in the last five years, they focus only on the Jihad Constitution. They fought for all the rules and regulations to be back to the 1945 Constitution. Jihad this time is toward the economic fields. In these second hundred years, their focus is no longer only on the citizens’ territory. The citizens are part of the nation, Muhammadiyah is part of Indonesia, and the organization is a ‘part’ of the country. Therefore, the citizens should contribute to finish ‘the mansion’. The citizens will be peaceful and prosperous if Indonesia is also advanced, and vice versa. However this does not mean that Muhammadiyah will join the politics of power. Muhammadiyah will enter the dimension of values, spiritual, moral, vision, and influence. The progress of a nation and a society is very close to the ethics and spirit.Sociology of development – mainly initiated by Max Weber – are very close with this matter.
NU and Muhammadiyah are two main machines of the Islamic people, and also for the Indonesia. Those machines are driven. A nice car is not going to be nice if the driver is not good. Leadership recruitment process becomes so important. In this context, the electoral system of Muhammadiyah leaders is more developed. Besides collegial leadership, the process was also lengthy. Congress is just the beginning. A year before the congress, the Tanwir annual meeting be held with 200 delegates. Each delegate proposes three names. The names were then selected by the committee according to administrative requirements. At the Tanwir meeting, the participants select 39 names from the names that qualify. That selected names were brought to the congress to choose 13 names. Then the next 13 names is going to choose the chairman, that will be approved by the congress. This system has been running since 1937, when KH Mas Mansur was elected. It is difficult to play with power or money. Long and tired process will minimize the manipulative elections. However, there is an always strong candidate. This time there are two names: Haedar Nashir and Abdul Mu’ti, they were chairman and secretary of the editorial team of white book of Progressive Indonesia.
This year, NU tried to implement a new system for the election, namely Ahlul Halli Wal Aqdi (Ahwa). Musytasyar and Syuriah already have 39 names. The names were submitted to the NU branches. In congressregistration, the NU branches will pick nine names. The nine names will be Ahwa members. The Ahwa will choose Rais Aam Syuriah andcandidates of Tanfidziah chairman. However, the Tanfidziah chairman still will be chosen with one man one vote system. This system is potentially followed by money politics and fund raising. Sometimes, the focus of the congress is only in the election, not in formulation of the programs. There are three names that compete in Tanfidziah: KH Said Aqil Siradj, KH Asad Said Ali, and KH Salahuddin Wahid. Syuriah is as the higher institution, while Tanfidziah is as the executor of the policy.
Hopefully, NU and Muhammadiyah congress will create a visionary and responsive leader. A leader who not looks only at his members or a leader who sees anything a point of view.
Anyone who will lead these two religious organizations need to pay attention to the following norms. Sometimes, big can mean fat. That means inaction. Ination sometimes be limp. It can also mean great reliability. Indonesia is a country that is in a progress. Indonesia is also still so fragile. In that situation there is always sharp and volatile dynamics. The people need a quick and powerful response. We expects NU and Muhammadiyah greatness, just like an aircraft: strong, central, accommodating.
Congratulation for the congress! Indonesia is in your hands, as you should be in our hearts.
Wed, 5 Aug 2015