Opinion: Indonesian new ‘Islamic’ laws a ‘divine punishment’, outcome of takfir, ignorance

Fresh criminal code demonstrates country on a trajectory toward radicalization, social collapse

A model wearing an outfit from Indonesian designer Ernie Kosasih at the Indonesia Modest Fashion Week 2018 held at the Jakarta Convention Centre. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

by Ahmed Khan, Founder, The Rahnuma Daily
Editor-In-Chief (therahnuma.com)

(RAHNUMA) Unlike Christianity, in Islam, intimate relations between males and females are categorised as a fundamental human need, and therefore Islam has not simply prohibited intimacy rather provided a legal framework wherein they can be fairly engaged in without exploitation of either parties.

Among those solutions Islamic law offers are Nikah Misyar recognized by the four major legal Sunni schools and its Ja’fari jurisprudence equivalent Nikah Mutah.

Misyar and Muta essentially refer to a verbal and renewable contract between two consenting male and female adults to engage in consenting relations to fulfill their biological need. The later form is defined as a valid constitutional right, protected by law, and recognized by the Supreme Court of India.

Models line up on the runway on the third day of Indonesia Modest Fashion Week at the Jakarta Convention Centre. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/ The Scoop

Legally, such verbal contracts make cohabitation between the consenting parties as lawful, any children born from it as legitimate and grants children rights to inherit properties from both the parents, while restricting the parties ability to claim maintenance from one another.

Further, in such contracts, there is no such concept of divorce, and the parties only need to verbally renew their contracts to continue and like in Maliki jurisprudence, privacy of both parties is also upheld and there are no requirements for witnesses outside the two explicitly consenting parties to deem it valid.

Aspects of the new criminal code in Indonesia, touted as somehow a reflection of Islam, a civilization whose holy book speaks of the anatomy of the playmates of Paradise, are in fact against Islam.

Instead, they demonstrates a failure of Indonesia’s bigoted Sunni religious establishment, not its judiciary, which is simply a reflection of its people and their norms, values and customs.

Designer Lesye Asyifa was inspired by Korean traditional hanbok which she combined with Indonesian woven fabric. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

In my opinion, instead of attempting to prohibit a fundamental human need in the name of our religion, to prevent a blackmarket for sexual exploitation from being created and to prevent a sudden collapse in tourism, Indonesia will need to explore more Islamic schools of jurisprudence and their solutions.

Irrespective of the past, thanks to the vast knowledge of Islam His Majesty Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has, and his proximity to the historical records and jurisprudence perserved by the citadel of Sunni interpretation Azhar University, KSA outlawed takfir against fellow Muslims, particularly those who follow the Ja’fari school thanks to His Majesty Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, and Prime Minister Muhammad Bin Salman stated on record to The Atlantic, “…in Saudi Arabia it’s clear that our laws are coming from Islam and the Quran, but we have the four schools—Hanbali, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki—and they argue about interpretation. And you will [also] find a Shiite in the cabinet, you will find Shiites in government, [and] the most important university in Saudi Arabia is headed by a Shiite. So we believe that we are a mix of Muslim schools…”

Saudi Arabia’s leading clerics like Adel al-Kalbani, former imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah also retracted takfir against the Ja’fari school in line with Al Azhar’s position stating, “I no longer declare apostasy on those who believe in one God, eat our meat and prostrate toward our Qibla.”

Ida Royani at the Indonesia Fashion Week 2017 (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Hence, it seems the only way out for Indonesians who do not want their country to become a ‘Zakir Naik superstate’ based on ignorance of Islam, is for Indonesia to actually embrace Islam and all of it’s rich traditions equally even further, and wholeheartedly, without discrimination, like Saudi Arabia has also done of recent.

Abolishing takfir is the first step needed in Indonesia, and will enable Indonesians to access jurisprudence and religious rulings to stay within the framework of these new laws, while at the same time, being able to fulfill their needs in a religiously permissible way.

Not doing so, will only further radicalize and destroy Indonesia, plunging it downward it into becoming a major hub for hatred of Islam, reversion and apostasy from Islam to previous religions and culture, a rise in extremist expressions of homosexuality as we saw in the build up to Fifa, and a gravitation towards the narratives of unlimited genders and subsequently their ‘pronouns’, not to mention more blue hair toxic feminism.

Not addressing this elephant in the room, despite the world knowing thanks to Google what Indonesia is interested in intimately, will only force Indonesians to band-aid by embracing all sorts of artificial lifestyles instead, lifestyles which are inconsistent with Indonesia’s own rich culture, identity, and belief systems – both new and old.

Indonesia Fashion Week (IFW), Indonesia’s largest fashion show event, at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta.

Ahmed Khan is the Founder of The Rahnuma Daily (theRahnuma.com), the online global English daily edition of The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper established in 1921. More than 81.1 million Indians identify Urdu as their language, and as per the annual INA (Indian Newspapers Association) report, ReDD ranks among the top 5 most widely circulated and read Urdu daily print newspapers throughout India. Ahmed resides in Hyderabad at his maternal ancestral home and can be contacted at, editor@therahnuma.com

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