Jumat, 17 Juni 2011

From Traditional Ulama to Modern Intellectuals

Al Makin, Heidelberg, Germany
Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni recently criticized Indonesia's kyai (Muslim clerics) for their deep involvement in politics at the cost of the quality of Islamic education. The minister voiced his criticism when opening a meeting of the Islamic Boarding Schools Association (RMI) in Jakarta.
""Some Muslim clerics prefer to be involved in politics rather than becoming educators ... and as a result, religion-based education in the pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) has become somewhat disorganized,"" The Jakarta Post reported the minister as saying in its May 19 edition.
The government and political parties often use Muslim clerics for political purposes as they have big followings at the grassroots level. For the clerics, such relationships benefit them politically and, quite often, financially also.
One may venture to say that the traditional role of the kyai in setting moral standards have lately been overshadowed by their political involvement. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that their fatwas are often no longer divorced from political interests.
In addition, some of them have spent enormous energy in supporting certain political figures. If this involvement in the head-to-head politics continues, it will leave them with less energy to think about the development of their pesantren in facing up to competitive education in an increasingly globalized world.
Interestingly enough, the above remarks by Basyuni recall the same concerns expressed a long time ago by a former religious affairs minister under Soeharto, Munawir Sjadzali.
Sjadzali, however, was more worried about the decline in the number of ulema, and their intellectual capacity in facing up to the modern world. Therefore, he encouraged the emergence of what he referred to as ulema plus.
At the practical level, he responded, up to 1988 at least, in two ways: his pilot project setting up five special Muslim high schools, or madrasah aliyah program khusus (MAPK), and his determined efforts to send young Muslim intellectuals to study abroad. The first project has been discontinued, while the second one continued until recently.
In Munawir's vision, ulema plus referred to those clerics who were prepared, or able, to shift from performing the traditional role of a cleric to performing that of a modern intellectual, or even to combine both roles.
By doing so, Munawir broadened the meaning of ulama to include those educated in religious tradition and who have also mastered modern knowledge and science. It was expected that this type of cleric would be better capable of addressing modern problems.
The recent satirical comments by leading Indonesian novelist Ahmad Tohari are also relevant in this regard. According to Tohari, the mass migration of clerics to the political arena is also the result of the lack of modern skills possessed by the graduates of Muslim religious schools. As a result, they are unable to compete in the ""real"" sectors, such as the economy or professions. Joining, or even establishing, political parties to be a quick fix for such people as they strive to improve their financial and economic positions.
When discussing the roles played by Muslim clerics, it is also worth remembering that the meaning of the word ulama in Arabic is not restricted to those who have mastered religious knowledge, but also the secular sciences and skills.
Thus, in so far as a person provides guidance and a valuable contribution to society, he can also be categorized as an ulema.
Unfortunately, it is rarely that we come across clerics with the intellectual capacity to be included in the ulama plus category.
As regards Basyuni's criticisms, it remains to be seen what he will do to address the problem, and reduce the involvement of clerics in head-to-head politics. Hopefully, steps will be taken by his ministry to prepare a phalanx of young, educated and dedicated ulemas.
The writer is a lecturer at the Sunan Kalijaga Islamic University of Yogyakarta, and a doctoral candidate at the Seminar fuer Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients at Heidelberg University in Germany. He can be reached at makin@stud.uni-heidelberg.de. 

Comment for Article Above
Ulama derived from the word alima that they contain the meaning of knowledge. Ulama are the plural of the word alim. In language, the scholar means the person who has extensive knowledge in the field of religious sciences or other science. The ulama have a very high position and have a very important role in the lives of people, religions, and nations. We must appreciate the role of the scholars and ulama in fostering the students both in the past and present. Suppose there were no scholars and ulama who continue to give its contribution in the world of education, especially religious education. Indeed, in this era and in the future, boarding schools and education has a big challenge, namely the form of information technology. This challenge must be observed and responded adequately. Through the era of global support, the information technology becomes an amazing instrument in the dissemination of information on a massive scale. Then, Pesantren also face the challenge of Western cultural products. Life style in the big cities are now likely to permissiveness, is part of the influence of western culture. If there is no ulama or religious scholars maintain that during this race with all his ability, it could be Islam Indonesia will tend to shrink its influence. If the present practice of Islam became increasingly stronger and Islamization also continues, then one of them is due to the influence of the scholars and clerics. Therefore, the role of ulama and religious scholars should be adequately appreciated. That is by giving pro-Islamic policies in the world. One way is through political bias to the boarding schools, through budget support and academic support, such as the recognition that there is no dichotomy of science.
Ulama as the successor to the Prophet preaching mission in the broad sense has a role not only to invite people to achieve a prosperous life in the hereafter, provide guidance problem is belief, worship, but also provide guidance regarding the procedure of humans to live a life that includes economic issues, social, political, cultural, relations between fellow human beings. Politically very strategic role to develop the mission so that the relationship between preaching and politics like the vehicle and passengers. According to the Islamic perspective, politics has a very broad scope, it does not just revolve around issues of power, the selection of heads of state, but also about issues relating to the legal determination based on religious law, governs the administration of state and the welfare of the people, until the issue of war and peace.
Education or politics, only part of the selection role can be scholars. The involvement of ulama in politics is an essential right of each scholar. The entry of ulama in politics should not only raise issues of religious within certain limits, merely used as a tool to legitimize political activity. Then do not get stuck in a moment of interest, then take pragmatic steps. But the fear and need concern us all is often one's position as a ulama or religious figures of any fact used as a bargaining tool to gain power and narrow political interests, especially if in an effort to achieve that goal done in ways that are not ethical and away from moral values that apply. Maybe even without the fatwa and realize their actions instead encourage people to take action against the ethical and legal norms in force.
Ulama and political parties have a noble goal to improve people's lives. Ulama refer to the intellectual and spiritual authority in which the people make it as a reference to his life. Meanwhile, political parties have a role and the authority to determine the existence of leadership to create order people's lives by carrying out its functions, such as implementing conflict management. In Islam, leadership is a necessity to ensure the integration and social cohesion.
Ulama as a politician now become common place because basically, the founder of the Indonesian people had many prominent scholars who hold that role in the political world into mere reasonableness. The unrest is that the clerics who failed to be its status as a cleric. Scholars who should have a religious character, even forgetting the values of religious morality. What's worse, sell the arguments holy book at a cheap price just for the sake of his political party. In fact, these arguments are purity in religious teaching, not something that is profane. Thus, bleed too purity religious texts that it becomes a cheap profanity.
Amid the various national problems and the difficulties of living squeeze Indonesian public, already we must provide support and appreciation to anyone and from any parties that are committed and aim to improve this difficult situation and conditions, including from among the ulama and religious figures. Of course, as long as the goal is really to attempt repairs according to the position, role and function in the community as described above. Or at least ulama and religious figures could give a positive example for his people. Being a unifying different groups, the conditioning for those who persevere, to be fair mediator for being in conflict and, more important is to be a pioneer or a driving force to synergize the interests of rulers and people, not even a role opposite. Moreover, making the role and their position as ulama or religious leaders as a means of (political) to gain power. Backwardness of Muslims should be the main focus of the scholars and leaders of any religion.
 In recent years, many scholars who do not want to go into politics. But strangely, the behavior shown to his people is the attitude that leads to politics. For example, when competition into the local, district, legislative candidates, or others, the scholars who should be role models even give support to one candidate. Of course this is a political game or even just looking for sheer popularity. It is not strange if the scholars who basically has had people (students) a lot, able to give effect to them as a people because of his charisma that his people are considered high, especially people who fanatically against the cleric. In addition, the ulama is a respected figure in the public eye, his charisma than headman, district head, or regents though. Because, no prospective headman, sub district, district, or village heads often do political or come to the scholars on the pretext of asking the blessing.
 The role of political parties in the process of determining the existence of leadership becomes a liability. Therefore, the expected is the role and authority of clerics and their respective political parties that can create life safe, orderly, regular, comfortable, and serene. Dilemma In recent role, the role of clerics faced with two choices dilemmatic between political parties and people development. In fact, the waterfall clerics into political parties generally cause no focus or even a neglect of attention to the scholars on the development of people. In fact, the development of the totality of the people requires the attention of the scholars for people not to lose referrals ideals in life. On the other hand, political parties are expected as a medium to further improve and empower the lives of the people would often be part of the problem that needs to be completed by the clergy. As a result, political parties rather than a media solution, but instead become part of the problem. In fact, the roles of scholars in political parties which are expected to give moral color to the political dynamics were not also materializing to the fullest. As a result, the impression that the dirty politics as a practice that remains embedded in the memory of society as deviant behavior shown by some politicians.  These conditions indicate anomalous role of the ulama. One foot rests on practical politics, but the other leg is still grounded in the realm of propaganda. As a result, the motion transformation that should be played by the most of the scholars walk slows, even at the expense both of them that is practical politics and propaganda. In such circumstances, scholars in political parties has been narrowing the role of space is so vast and universal. The role of the scholars who originally beyond political barriers to be focused on the procession of leadership succession in accordance with the interests of political parties. Therefore, when the ulama were involved in practical politics, in fact he has narrowed the space for the people of charity and devotion. He was messing-boxing itself in barriers of political parties and become part of partisan vision and mission of a particular party.
Empowerment is done by the scholars through preaching or social movements can give birth to a generation that is morally qualified for all activities of society at various levels of life, including in political life. The role of ulama has been proven in the history of this country. The presence of religious leaders (ulama) as the pioneer of the liberation struggle and the driving public from all forms of ignorance and backwardness is concrete evidence of the contribution of scholars to this country. This success is not independent of the existence of the scholars who bridge diverse interests in society, not just certain groups. And, it will continue to be maintained when the scholars are able to place itself as a nurturing figure, not a judge.
Actually, the focus is the role of ulama in performing the actualization in the presence of all his people. If a scholar is taking part in the political world, then nothing is to be a good figure and role model, whether it's for the leaders of other politicians or the public who viewed it. However, if the ulama does not want to engage in politics, then naturally become a real scholar. That is, scholars who really care for and guide the people to get washed in the spiritual in social life vertical and horizontal.
Related protect the interests of many people, while the judge focused on specific interests. The role of clergy as a moral guide for community activities has been recognized for this community. It will remain effective if the scholars can become role models for all people, not for a particular group. Responsibility of scholars in performing its function as a moral guide of society would be one that creates value for comfortable in life. For this reason, people will always miss and need her presence. Political parties and human development are two aspects that require the role of the ulama. It will be realized if the scholar can portray themselves proportionately and universal. Universality of the role of ulama took place when scholars do not insulate itself in the interests of certain groups, including political party interests. The involvement of scholars in political party in fact has made itself fragmented according to the interests of his party.
In fact, a scholar's vision and mission is so broad, noble, and universal. The universality of the role of clerics took place when scholars do not insulate itself in the interests of certain groups, including political party interests. When scholars insulate themselves in a particular political party, universal task by itself distorted. Moreover, the involvement of scholars in political parties is vulnerable to the politicization of race by making his people as the force mobilized to its interests by ignoring the universal ethics. Contributions of ulama role in empowering the people actually going to be a bounty for political parties when the clergy succeeded in giving the basis of political and moral guardians of the nation. The scholars are concerned in the empowerment of people to be prophetic power (transformative) for the dynamics of national life based on moral values and spiritual. Not vice versa, becomes a tool of legitimacy of the interests of certain groups.
Understanding and management of government bureaucracy is relative. The extent to which it is needed, the evidence is much in, among politicians who are not experts about it through formal education but they are capable of being a successful leader. Conversely there is also the leader of academics who have qualified with knowledge of management and bureaucracy in the formal education but cannot necessarily guarantee success in the lead. Moreover, recent scholars inclusive attitude towards science with politics helped send its cadres to continue their education in S2 S3 at various universities at home and abroad is a complementary requirement for ulama to engage in politics. Ulama are expected to take a strategic role to deliver direct aspiration through parliament and the executive.

Minggu, 12 Juni 2011

Karnaval MSAA

Hari ini sangat semarak, menjelang liburan semester, MSAA UIN Maliki Malang mengadakan karnaval yang diikuti oleh semua warga MSAA. Kalau di tempat aku tinggal dapat temanya tentang sport, jadi ya gitu deh dandan ala suporter sepak bola. Meskipun penat tapi tetap seru.

Sabtu, 11 Juni 2011

The Responsibility of Principal

A vision for a school should encompass broad agreement about the following: the nature and purpose of education, the nature of the school’s curriculum, the working relationships within school and the way the school relates to its community. Most principals have a vision in their own minds of how they see the school developing, but this vision needs not only to be widely shared but developed and owned by the staff and governors as a group.
As institutions of higher learning involved in the education of current and future manag¬ers we are voluntarily committed to engaging in a continuous process of improvement of the following principals and their application, reporting on progress to all our stakeholders and exchanging effective practices with other academic institutions.
In this article will be explained about the responsibility of principals in managing school.

Leaders have the main responsibility for generating and sustaining culture and communicating core values and beliefs both within the organization and to external stakeholders (Bush, 1998, p. 43). Principals have their own values and beliefs arising from many years of successful professional practice. They are also expected to embody the culture of the school or college. Schein (1997) argues that cultures spring primarily from the beliefs, values and assumptions of founders of organizations. However, it should be noted that cultural change is difficult and problematic. Hargreaves (1999) claims that most people’s beliefs, attitudes and values are far more resistant to change than leaders typically allow .
One factor contributing to the principal’s different vision is the responsibility for thinking about the future. Alexander (1992:149) found that the more successful principals were those who remained in close touch with classroom realities and teachers everyday concerns, who valued and developed individual staff potential and encouraged collective decision making. Playing a part in the actual teaching provides a good way of remaining in close touch with classroom realities. At the same time principals must leave enough time for other aspects of their work, for keeping in touch with what individual teachers are doing and providing the necessary support and encouragement for development work, careful evaluation of what is happening in the school, as well as maintaining a well organized approach to their administrative work .
Whitaker (1993:73) defines leadership as behavior that enables and assists others to achieve planned goals. It is dynamic and future oriented, concerned with improvement, development and excellence. He points out that leadership can occur at all levels in the school and it is important that others in the school share the leadership functions of the principle. Leadership involves inspiring others, supporting and helping them, helping them to analyze and solve problems, encouraging them and creating a situation of trust in which people feel they can safely try out new approaches. It also involves being critical in a supportive way where this is needed and taking a firm line when necessary. Examination of relevant literature indicates that the major approaches to principal assessment are based on the following aspects: (1) results (outcome based); (2) standards-based; (3) personal qualities; (4) role-based; (5) key behaviors of successful principals (6) principal efficiency; and (7) subordinates’ satisfaction .
The principal has a key role in leading change. He or she may be the change agent or may be implementing changes suggested by someone else or required by law. On many occasions it will be the task of the head to start people thinking about the possibility of change. The principal can also help to develop a climate in the school in which there is an interest in development, and some change is a normal part of the way the school operates. He or she must seek out the best starting points, spend time talking with teachers about the best way of proceeding, coordinate the plans for change, see that there is appropriate staff development activity and that the changes, when implemented, are monitored, followed up and maintained. Principals need to be conscious of the fact that it is tempting when first appointed to want to make changes too quickly. It is also easy when the initial changes are made successfully and the school is running on an even keel to feel that further changes are not needed. Even if external demands for change allow this, the developing school should be continually looking for ways to develop further.
A major problem for coordinators and for principals is the lack of time for the work. Primary schools are normally staffed on the basis of a full time teaching program for all teachers and it is difficult for a coordinator to observe or support the work of others if he or she has no time free during working hours to do this. Some principal provide an opportunity by taking over classes themselves and freeing a coordinator. Occasionally it may be possible, if finance is not too tight, to employ a supply teacher for half a day to free a teacher to support others. Classes may be put together to watch a television program with one teacher while the other fulfils his or her role as a coordinator. There may also be opportunities when students are in the school.
The principals should not be the only leader in the school. The deputy has an important role and there is also a place for leadership from coordinators and from any teacher who has something particular to offer. In a small school everyone is likely to be in a leadership role for some area of work. The opportunities and training the principle offers to other leaders in the school are crucial to their effective working. They should be acknowledged as leaders and enjoy sufficient delegated authority to be able to lead, other teachers must be encouraged to welcome advice. They may also need training in aspects of leadership, such as leading discussion, chairing meetings, observing other people teaching in a way that does not appear to be threatening, evaluating aspects of the work of the school, and so on. They may need help in encouraging colleagues to try new ways of working.

Leaders have the main responsibility for generating and sustaining culture and communicating core values and beliefs both within the organization and to external stakeholders. Principals have their own values and beliefs arising from many years of successful professional practice. They are also expected to embody the culture of the school or college. A major problem for coordinators and for principals is the lack of time for the work so the principals should not be the only leader in the school but also the deputy has an important role and there is also a place for leadership from coordinators and from any teacher who has something particular to offer.

Selasa, 07 Juni 2011

Good Student

A good student has two characteristics. First of all, they should prepare the subject before they come in the class. They will be easy to understand the subject that is given by their teacher if they prepare the subject. Therefore, they need to read a lot from many references and practice their knowledge in their daily life.
Another important factor is discipline. The responsibility of student not only come in the class to hear their teacher’s explanation but also they have to do their duty on time, they shall not often be absent in the class, and keep their motivation to study not only for examination but also every time.
In conclusion, students are respected not only for their capability but also for their responsibility to study.