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The Bushido Jihad

OurIndonesia – Few times ago, fourteen Indonesian Islamic organizations, two of them Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, called out every Muslim to perform jihad (fight) against the fugitive corruptors of BLBI (Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance) funds, until they retrieve the state’s financial loss they caused. Despite of the controversy which raised afterward following the advertisement, this was an excellent measure which deserved high appreciation.

On the one hand, this appreciation is based on the fact that the government and its legal institutions have not been serious in its efforts to combat corruption and the lack of law enforcement in this country. The half-hearted efforts of the government to fight corruption were also evident in the reluctance of authorities to arrest high-profile suspects.

On the other hand, such statement indicates Muslim leaders’ condemnation toward heavy moral violation, namely stealing state’s wealth which had to be used for the people’s interest and welfare, as a part of amr ma’ruf nahi munkar (Islamic teaching of commanding good and forbidding evil deeds).

Usually, Muslim leaders were in the front line to criticize the narrowly defined moral violation. Some of them eagerly destroyed the so-called maksiat sites which they presumed as the source of amoral deeds such as night clubs, casinos and brothels etc. The attacks that were mainly performed to safeguard the purity of the Holy month of Ramadhan had often been anarchist.

On the other hand, they have no objection toward the problem of corruption which has been deeply rooted both in local and national level. Since corruption has often been tolerated, no wonder that a religious figure was trapped in corruption circle and eventually detained in prison.

It is excruciating to compare the corruption rate between religious state and the secular one. According to Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2006 the religious (for some extend) countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sudan and Iraq were perceived to be the most corrupt countries.

While the (somewhat) secular countries are the world’s least corrupt, such as Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Holland and other ‘infidel’ states. They were absolutely aware that corruption is a serious disease which will consume the social foundation of the country and impede the economic growth of a nation.

In our big brother’s country Japan, Minister of Agriculture Toshikatsu Matsuoka committed suicide on May 28, 2007, hours before being due for questioning in connection to allegations of misappropriation of government funds. He was replaced by Norihiko Akagi, who himself resigned on August 1, 2007 due to suspicions of similar conduct.

Serial of corruptions made Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to end his term which was very short. Indeed, the Japanese uphold the Samurai ethical code known as Bushido, which uphold morality, kindness, courage and honesty. Even in modern Japan, bushido values are still alive.

Normatively, Quran speaks many times about the establishment of justice ( ‘adl), poverty alleviation ( zakat) and negation to the abuse of power ( amanah). Regarding the ill-gotten money, just as narrated by Bukhari and Muslim from Aisha, the Prophet Muhammad refused to compromise with a Makhzoomi woman (she belonged to a respected clan) who stole.

In this case, he delivered a speech saying:“ The people (or nations) before you were destroyed due to the fact that when a noble person among them would steal, they let him go unpunished, but if a poor, weak and gullible person among them steals they will apply the Corpal punishment to him. By Allah! If Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, stole I shall cut her hand”.

Nowadays, Muslims seemed to reduce their religious comprehension, and started to emphasize more on ritual piety rather than social piety. Muslims have been drowned in the calculation of individual reward and sin, and have not been aware upon social problems such as poverty, corruption, flood and unemployment that directly affected people’s benefit ( maslahat). This is a big irony since Islam was initially emerged to reform the imbalance social system in the primordial Arabic society.

I think that Muslims had better to deeply contemplate and review about why Quran often associated the faith ( iman) with good deeds ( amal shalih). Since the testimony of faith would never be sufficient without real action in the real life.