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syahrinSalah satu daya tarik buku ini sebagai buku standar teologi Islam modern adalah penjelasannya yang sangat mengesankan tentang kaitan Islam dengan modernitas (Prof.Dr.Arndt Graf, Goethe University Frankfurt-Germany).

Atas jasa penterjemah yang baik Bur Rasuanto, dulu saya membaca sebuah buku “Islam yang Saya Amati“, karya Clifford Geertz, seorang antropolog Amerika. Buku aslinya berjudul “Islam Observed“.

Karya seperti itu sangat banyak membantu memperkenalkan Islam di kalangan intelektual Barat yang kemudian merubah persepsi mereka tentang Islam. Studi mereka yang intensif banyak melahirkan karya-karya terkemuka yang kemudian bahkan membimbing para terpelajar di kalangan Islam.

Dalam hal kecamuk caci-maki dan sikap politik kebencian terhadap dunia Islam pasca perang dingin (cold war), pasang surut selalu terjadi. Pada umumnya orang kurang menyadari bahwa akibat sikap antipati resmi pemerintahan negara-negara Barat terhadap Islam telah melahirkan reaksi berbeda di negara mereka sendiri. Kini banyak konversi ke Islam terjadi di Barat, dan bukan diawali di kalangan awam. Ini sesuatu yang berbeda dengan di negara terbelakang.

Pew Reserach Centre dari Amerika telah memprediksi tanda-tanda baru pertumbuhan populasi penganut agama ini justru tidak di daerah tradisionalnya (Timur). Semua itu seperti keniscayaan saja berkat iptek. Saya ingin mengutip ekspresi mereka saat mengungkapkan kesadaran mereka atas fakta-fakta yang terjadi secara menduia:

“Moslems are the world’s fastest-growing group…”
USA TODAY, The population referance bureau, Feb. 17, 1989, p.4A

“Already more than a billion-people strong, Islam is the  world’s fastest-growing religion.”
ABCNEWS, Abcnews.com

“The religion of Islam is growing faster than any other religion in the world.”
Mike Wallace, 60 MINUTES

“Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States…”
NEW YORK TIMES, Feb 21, 1989, p.1

“Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the country.”
NEWSDAY, March 7, 1989, p.4

“There are more Muslims in North America then Jews Now.”
Dan Rathers, ABCNEWS

“Islam is the fastest growing religion in North America.”
TIMES MAGAZINE

“Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people…” 
Hillary Rodman Clinton, LOS ANGELES TIMES, May 31, 1996, p.3

“Islam continues to grow in America, and no one can doubt that!”
CNN,  December 15, 1995

“Five to six million strong, Muslims in America already outnumber Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Mormons, and they are more numerous than Quakers, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Scientists, combined. Many demographers say Islam has overtaken Judaism as the country’s second-most commonly practiced religion; others say it is in the passing lane.”
Johan Blank, USNEWS (7/20/98)

“In fact, religion experts say Islam is the second-largest religion in the United  States… Islam has 5 million to 6 million members, followed by Judaism, with approximately 4.5 million….. And Islam is believed to be fastest-growing religion in the country, with half its expansion coming from new immigrants and the other half from conversions.”
Elsa C. Arnett, KNIGHT-RIDDER News Service

“But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation.  No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind . . . Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition.  If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition.  In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East.  If they unite, the hope of a  peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced.  But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both.”
H. A. R. Gibb, WHITHER ISLAM, London, 1932, p. 379.

“It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness.  It gives hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the fundamental facts of human nature.”
Canon Taylor, Paper read before the Church Congress at Walverhamton, Oct. 7, 1887; Quoted by Arnoud in THE PREACHING OF ISLAM, pp. 71-72.

“How, for instance, can any other appeal stand against that of the Moslem who, in approaching the pagan, says to him, however obscure or degraded he may be ‘Embrace the faith, and you are at once equal and a brother.’ Islam knows no color line.”
S. S. Leeder, VEILED MYSTERIES OF EGYPT

“Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Qur’an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.”
Lectures on “The Ideals of Islam;”  SPEECHES AND WRITINGS OF SAROJINI NAIDU, Madras, 1918, p. 167.

“History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”
De Lacy  O’Leary, ISLAM AT THE CROSSROADS, London, 1923, p. 8.

“The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.”
A. J. Toynbee,  CIVILIZATION ON TRIAL, New York, 1948, p. 205.

“I am not a Muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a “Muslim” as “one surrendered to God,” but I believe that embedded in the Quran and other expressions of the Islamic vision are vast stores of divine truth from which I and other occidentals have still much to learn, and ‘Islam is certainly a strong contender for the supplying of the basic framework of the one religion of the future.'”
W. Montgomery Watt, ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY TODAY, London, 1983, p.ix.

‘I believe in One God and Mohammed the Apostle of God,’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam.  The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.”
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRE, London, 1870, p. 54.

“The doctrine of brotherhood of Islam extends to all human beings, no matter what color, race or creed. Islam is the only religion which has been able to realize this doctrine in practice. Muslims wherever on the world they are will recognize each other as brothers.”
R. L. Mellema, Holland, Anthropologist, Writer and Scholar.

“Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe;it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies.  It invented windmills ,trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500’s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse.”
Jared Diamond, UCLA sociologist, and physiologist who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book: “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”

Bagaimana hal itu bisa terjadi? Para terpelajar itu menggali informasi terdalam dari hasanah kekitaban awal dan modern, dan juga langsung “berdialog” dengan sumber aslinya Al-Qur’an. Akhirnya mereka tak mau didikte oleh informasi yang dibingkai oleh pemerintah mereka yang nakal atau malah jahat dan bertujuan penguasaan imperialis.

Teman saya Prof Dr Syahrin Harahap, MA kemaren mengundang saya untuk sebuah perbincangan tentang buku baru beliau. Buku ini lebih dari sekadar studi Islam normatif, tetapi sebagaimana kebiasaan teman saya ini, ia selalu berusaha melampaui konsep keilmuan yang menjadi paradigma umum pada zamannya. Bukunya cukup konprehensif.

Ketika dibaca oleh Prof.Dr.Arndt Graf dari Goethe University Frankfurt Germany, ia melihat dari sisi ulasan teologinya dan berkata “Salah satu daya tarik buku ini sebagai buku standar teologi Islam modern adalah penjelasannya yang sangat mengesankan tentang kajian Islam dengan modernitas.

Dr Johan Hendrik Meuleman dari Hogeschool Holland, Amsterdam menyebut asa kuat dalam buku ini untuk merealisasikan Islam ideal sesuai ajaran Al-Qur’an yang demikian dinamis.

Jangankan di ranah asing, di Indonesia masih sangat banyak kalangan yang tak faham Islam. Ia boleh saja beragama Islam, atau bukan Islam. Buku ini cocok bagi mereka semua.

Hormat saya kepada sahabat Prof.Dr.Syahrin Harahap, MA yang tak pernah berhenti berkarya.Jangan pernah loja.

sas


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