Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Bank Dunia
Perempuan adalah kekuatan utama dalam sebuah perubahan. Negara-negara yang telah menginvestasikan diri dalam pendidikan anak-anak perempuan dan menghilangkan hambatan hukum bagi perempuan untuk memaksimalkan potensinya, sekarang telah melihat hasil kemajuan itu.
Mari kita lihat Amerika Latin. Lebih dari 70 juta perempuan masuk dalam angkatan kerja pada dekade belakangan. Dua pertiga dari kenaikan tersebut pada dua dekade terakhir disebabkan oleh pendidikan yang diterima perempuan dan bahwa perempuan menikah pada usia lebih matang serta memiliki sedikit anak. Sebagai hasilnya, antara tahun 2000 sd 2010, penghasilan perempuan berkontribusi pada 30% atas reduksi kemiskinan di daerah tersebut.
Pada kenyataannya, bagi Negara-negara yang telah mengentaskan diri dari kemiskinan, baik perempuan dan laki-laki perlu mendapatkan kesetaraan kesempatan. Tetapi sebelum sampai pada titik ini, kita perlu menyelesaikan tiga isu berikut ini: Pertama, kekerasan terhadap perempuan harus berakhir. Lebih dari 700 juta perempuan di seluruh dunia mengalami kekerasan dari suami atau pasangannya. Kekerasan domestik merugikan perempuan dan keluarga, komunitas dan juga ekonomi. Dampak negatif dari kekerasan ini adalah biaya produktivitas di Chili naik menjadi 2% dalam GDP, dan 1.2% di Brazil.
Banyak anak perempuan dan perempuan memiliki sedikit kontrol atas kesehatan seksual dan reproduktif mereka. Jika tren ini terus ada, akan ada lebih dari 142 juta anak-anak perempuan dinikahkan pada dekade mendatang tatkala mereka masih anak-anak. Kadang melindungi perempuan dari kekerasan membutuhkan inovasi. Di Rio de Janeiro, Bank Dunia bekerja bersama dengan pemerintah untuk memperbaiki kualitas transportasi kota dan desa dan membuatnya aman untuk perempuan dengan menambah lebih banyak lampu, toilet dalam stasiun kereta, dan pelayanan untuk perempuan, misalnya stasiun polisi, klinik, dan ruang keluarga dalam setiap terminalnya. Inisiatif sama juga sedang dilakukan di Ekuador. Di Bendungan Besar Afrika, kami menyediakan bantuan untuk para penyintas dari kekerasan seksual untuk mendapatkan dukungan kesehatan yang baik.
Kedua, perempuan dan anak-anak perempuan masih belum mendapatkan kesempatan yang sama dalam kesempatan dan dalam memutuskan perihal kehidupannya. Dari perempuan petani di Kawasan Timur Kongo—yang mengerjakan tanahnya dan harus berhadapan dengan para milisi—sampai dengan perempuan buruh di Rio—yang tidak mendapatkan gaji yang sama bagi pekerjaan yang setara dengan laki-laki. Kesenjangan masih banyak ada. Perempuan masih dibayar lebih sedikit dari laki-laki, ketika perempuan mengerjakan hampir semua pekerjaan tak-berbayar di rumah. Secara global, mereka tidak hanya mendapatkan bayaran lebih sedikit, tetapi juga memiliki lebih sedikit properti dan kurang sekali aksesnya terhadap dukungan finansial dan sumber daya lain yang dapat meningkatkan produktivitasnya. Jika perempuan memiliki akses sama atas pupuk dan sistem pertanian modern, maka Negara-negara berkembang akan memproduksi antara 2.5%-4% lebih banyak makanan. Di Negara-negara berkembang, lebih dari sepertiga perempuan tidak bekerja, dan banyak yang dikecewakan oleh sistem karena mereka tidak bisa memulai bisnis atau mendapatkan kredit. Ini sangat beda dengan Kolumbia, contohnya, dimana lebih dari 1.300 perempuan di daerah itu dengan tingkat kekerasan yang tinggi, mereka mendapatkan training dan dukungan untuk memulai usaha-usaha baru.
Akhirnya, kepemimpinan dan role-model akan membuat perbedaan. Saya masih ingat pada pertemuan pertama dengan tim manajemen ketika saya menjadi Menteri Keuangan di Indonesia. Saya adalah yang termuda dan perempuan pertama yang mendapatkan pekerjaan itu. Setiap orang di kantor itu adalah laki-laki. Kemudian saya tahu bahwa saya telah bekerja lebih keras untuk membuktikan pada mereka bahwa saya mampu. Saya yakin bahwa banyak perempuan telah bekerja keras hendak memecahkan atap-kaca, pasti juga memiliki pengalaman yang sama.
Tetapi perempuan di seluruh dunia masih secara kritis tak terwakili dalam meja-perundingan, setidaknya kurang dari 22% perempuan di parlemen dan kurang dari 5% sebagai walikota. Pada Januari 2015 lalu, hanya 10 perempuan tercatat sebagai kepala Negara, dan 15 perempuan sebagai kepala pemerintahan.
Kita bisa menjadi lebih baik. Dan kita harus, karena ketika perempuan sukses, mereka akan membawa kekayaan dalam inklusivitas kebijakan. Ketika para ibu mendapatkan pendidikan, mereka akan memiliki lebih sedikit anak, dan anak-anak yang juga lebih sehat. Kajian di seluruh dunia menunjukkan—dari Bangladesh, Brazil, sampai Cina dan Inggris—bahwa ketika perempuan memiliki penghasilan dan kontrol atas pengeluaran rumah tangga, mereka akan mengutamakan kehidupan anak-anaknya. Mereka adalah kekuatan atas pertumbuhan dan pemangkas kemiskinan. Dalam kata lain, mereka adalah kekuatan bagi Negara, masyarakat, perusahaan dan keluarga, yang tak boleh dihalang-halangi.
Diterjemahkan oleh Dewi Candraningrum (Pemred JP) dari Huffington Post
Posted: 03/05/2015 11:21 am EST
Prof. Dr Hj Siti Musdah Mulia
Ketua Umum ICRP (Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace)
Baru-baru ini sebuah perhelatan agung diselenggarakan di Teheran, ibu kota Republik Islam Iran. Kegiatan berskala dunia ini bernama Konferensi Internasional ke-12 Perempuan Peneliti Qur’an (12th International Congress of Women Qur’an Researches). Telah 12 kali konferensi ini diadakan dan mengundang para perempuan ilmuwan dari berbagai negara Islam dan negara yang mayoritas penduduknya beragama Islam, seperti Indonesia.
Acara berlangsung pada tanggal 12 Maret 2015, bertempat di Tehran Milad Tower International Convention Center, letaknya di tengah kota Teheran, di samping menara Teheran yang terkenal itu. Tepatnya di atas sebuah bukit sehingga terlihat pemandangan indah di sekitarnya. Hadir sekitar dua ribuan undangan, umumnya perempuan intelektual, mahasiswa dan kaum terpelajar dari berbagai perguruan tinggi di Iran. Selain itu, juga dihadiri sekitar 30 perempuan cendekiawan dari berbagai wilayah Islam.
Konferensi perempuan ini diprakarsai dan didukung sepenuhnya oleh pemerintah Iran. Penyelenggaraan acara sangat apik dan profesional, sungguh well organized, dihadiri para pejabat tinggi dan tertinggi negara Iran serta para mullah atau pemuka agama ternama. Mereka semua memberikan sambutan dengan antusias dan menyimak seluruh rangkaian acara dengan tertib. Presiden Iran dan Mullah tertinggi biasanya hadir, namun kali ini absen, tetapi mengirimkan pesan-pesan dukungan, ditayangkan melalui video. Hanya di Republik Islam Iran, perempuan bisa tampil dan berbicara lantang di hadapan para mullah dan petinggi negara yang umumnya laki-laki. Kondisi demikian masih sulit dibayangkan terjadi di Saudi Arabia dan negara-negara Arab lainnya. Hanya di Iran, dijumpai institusi negara yang menghimpun perempuan peneliti Qur’an dan setiap tahun mengadakan konferensi internasional mengundang tokoh-tokoh intelektual dari berbagai negara Islam. Hanya di Iran, para perempuan diberikan akses penuh dan difasilitasi secara resmi oleh negara untuk mengkaji Qur’an dan menggalinya semata untuk kepentingan kemajuan kebudayaan dan peradaban Islam.
Dari Indonesia saya mendapat kehormatan menghadiri moment penting ini. Saya tiba di bandara Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) tanggal 11 Maret 2015, pukul 02.35 pagi. Begitu melangkah keluar pintu pesawat terasa betul udara dingin menusuk, dan dari kejauhan samar-samar terlihat tumpukan salju memutih di mana-mana. Melewati pemeriksaan imigrasi dengan lancar, dan dalam waktu sekejap saya sudah berada di area kedatangan, serta bertemu petugas penjemput yang ramah. Sangat mudah mengenalinya karena membawa selembar kertas bertuliskan nama dan negara saya dalam bahasa Arab. Semuanya berjalan cepat dan tanpa halangan sedikit pun, saya sudah berada di mobil yang mengantar ke tempat penginapan.
Rasa lelah setelah penerbangan jauh ditambah lagi udara sangat dingin membuatku tertidur sepanjang perjalanan menuju penginapan, semacam guess house pemerintah. Perjalanan hampir 11/2 jam karena derasnya hujan salju. Sebagai perempuan, tentu ada rasa takut dan khawatir bepergian di tengah malam dan hanya ditemani sopir yang baru kukenal, apalagi di negara orang. Namun, saya yakin jika sistem keamanan masyarakat telah dibangun sedemikian rupa dan juga terutama mindset masyarakat terhadap perempuan telah dikembangkan dengan benar, tidak lagi menganggap perempuan sebagai obyek seksual, maka perempuan akan dihormati dan dimuliakan dalam kondisi apa pun. Perempuan dapat bepergian dengan aman dan selamat, di mana pun dan kapan pun, baik sendiri maupun bersama orang lain. Sayangnya tidak banyak disosialisasikan secara luas bahwa memuliakan perempuan dan menempatkannya setara dengan laki-laki sebagai manusia merdeka adalah ajaran hakiki Islam, seperti terbaca dalam hadis Rasul saw, dan kitab suci Al-Qur’an.
Karena cuaca gelap dan salju turun amat derasnya, sopir sedikit kesulitan menemukan alamat penginapan, untungnya selalu ada orang menolong dan menunjukkan arah yang benar. Sampai di depan penginapan, panitia sudah menunggu dan segera membuka pintu mobil dan mengajak saya masuk. Salju tebal membuat kaki saya sulit melangkah masuk penginapan karena begitu licin. Panitia menuntun masuk dan menunjukkan kamar saya. Bangunan guess house sudah berumur, tapi terawat dengan baik dan bersih. Tak ubahnya hotel berbintang, semua sudah tersedia di dalam kamar, termasuk minuman dingin dan panas.
Saya menyalakan TV dan terdengar azan Subuh dikumandangkan. Setiap kali ke Iran, saya selalu tertarik menyimak lafaz azan, secara redaksional sedikit berbeda dengan azan di Indonesia. Terus terang, kalimat hayya ala khayril amal terasa lebih dinamis dari kalimat As-Shalat khayrun min an-naum. Tambahan kalimat asyhadu anna aliyyan waliyyullah dan asyhadu anna aliyyan hujjatullah, sama sekali tidak terasa janggal di telinga saya karena merupakan pujian terhadap Ali ibn Abi Thalib, sahabat terdekat dan menantu Rasul saw. Bagi saya, perbedaan itu justru menambah keindahan dan kekayaan Islam, karenanya mari menghargai kebhinekaan dalam beragama.
Saya tertidur pulas sejak Subuh dan terbangun ketika mata hari sudah sangat tinggi. Ketika makan siang tiba kami para undangan bertemu di ruang makan dan jumlah kami 8 perempuan, adapun undangan lain menginap di tempat berbeda. Kami 8 orang mewakili Tunisia, Syria, Senegal, Tajikistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Indonesia dan Bahrain. Semuanya adalah intelektual yang mengajar di perguruan tinggi dan masing-masing mewakili negara dan budaya berbeda, meski sama-sama menganut Islam.
Busana kami berbeda satu sama lain. Wakil Tunisia menggunakan tutup kepala yang dibuat seperti topi, lalu lehernya dililit dengan syal sutera berwarna cerah. Wakil Syria menggunakan jas panjang dengan kerudung yang ujungnya dimasukkan ke dalam leher baju. Tamu dari Senegal, seperti umumnya orang-orang Afrika, senang memakai pakaian berwarna terang, berlapis-lapis sehingga terlihat kontras dengan tubuhnya yang besar-tinggi. Adapun dari Tajikistan dan lainnya memakai busana warna hitam menyesuaikan diri dengan busana perempuan Iran. Tidak ada yang memakai cadar (penutup wajah). Saya suka mengamati busana perempuan Iran, meski memakai selimut, tapi sesekali tertiup angin dan tersibaklah pakaian dalamnya yang sangat modis. Umumnya memakai celana panjang dan blus dengan model modern dan warna-warna indah.
Sungguh menarik karena meskipun kami beragama Islam yang sama, namun berbeda dalam cara berbusana, berbeda dalam bahasa dan budaya. Ekspresi Islam sangat berwarna-warni. Saya percaya bahwa upaya penyeragaman busana bagi perempuan selalu berujung pada lahirnya kemunafikan. Bukan hanya itu, juga membuat hancurnya daya inovasi dan kreativitas yang justru diperlukan dalam hidup bermasyarakat. Itulah mengapa saya amat menentang semua bentuk peraturan dan perundang-undangan yang mengatur dan menyeragamkan busana perempuan. Biarkanlah perempuan memilih busana yang terbaik untuk diri mereka. Yang penting adalah mengedukasi mereka untuk dapat memilih busana sesuai kepribadian Islam. Dan perempuan terdidik pasti akan memilih busana yang wajar dan sopan, tidak menyolok mata dan tidak mahal sehingga mempersubur kapitalisme.
Keesokan harinya, pagi-pagi sekali kami dijemput dengan bus menuju tempat konferensi. Suasana konferensi terasa sangat khidmat. Kondisi ruangan berbentuk teater memungkinkan untuk menampung ribuan orang. Acara dimulai dengan sambutan dari para mullah dan pejabat pemerintah. Selanjutnya, pemaparan dari para perempuan peneliti Qur’an. Umumnya, mereka menjelaskan betapa pentingnya menjaga eksistensi Qur’an, mengembangkan seni kaligrafi Qur’an, mendalami seni tilawah Qur’an, mengajarkan isinya dan menggali nilai-nilai dan hikmahnya karena selalu relevan dengan kemajuan zaman dan dinamika masyarakat. Bagi saya, hal yang baru dalam kajian Qur’an oleh perempuan Iran adalah pemanfaatan kecanggihan teknologi digital. Saya sungguh memetik banyak pelajaran dari konferensi ini.
Walau demikian, menurut saya kajian para perempuan peneliti Qur’an tersebut belum sampai menyentuh hal yang paling esensial dalam Qur’an yaitu mengungkapkan nilai-nilai keadilan dan kesetaraan hakiki bagi semua manusia, termasuk kesetaraan perempuan dan laki-laki. Qur’an diturunkan untuk menjelaskan visi penciptaan manusia (perempuan dan laki-laki) sebagai khalifah fil ardh (pengelola kehidupan di bumi) dengan misi utama menegakkan ajaran tauhid, membebaskan manusia dari semua belenggu kemusyrikan, perbudakan, dominasi, diskriminasi, eksploitasi dan kekerasan yang dalam Qur’an diistilahkan dengan thagut. Itulah sebabnya, mengapa pada masa awal Islam, pesan-pesan Qur’an begitu memukau kalangan marjinal dan tertindas yang dikenal dengan istilah musthad’afin, termasuk di dalamnya semua kelompok rentan, seperti hamba sahaya, fakir-miskin, perempuan dan kelompok minoritas. Tidak heran jika mereka yang tertarik masuk Islam pada masa awal umumnya terdiri dari kelompok tersebut.
Pesan-pesan Qur’an yang begitu radikal dan liberal menyuarakan prinsip kebebasan dan kesetaraan manusia justru tidak menarik, bahkan dirasa mengganggu hegemoni kelompok bangsawan dan kaum elit yang mapan di masa itu. Mereka tentu mati-matian menolak Qur’an, membela budaya Jahiliyah yang melanggengkan thagut. Bahkan, harus diakui secara jujur, sampai sekarang pun, pesan-pesan Qur’an yang fundamental tersebut masih sulit diwujudkan secara komprehensif dalam kehidupan nyata karena masyarakat Muslim masih banyak terbelenggu dalam budaya Jahiliyah.
Terpikir juga olehku, mungkin para perempuan peneliti itu memang sengaja diarahkan oleh pemerintah untuk tidak kritis menyentuh wilayah sensitif dalam kajian Qur’an dengan maksud menjaga stabilitas masyarakat sehingga tidak ada kontroversi, konflik dan pergolakan dalam masyarakat. Sebab hal-hal tersebut amat ditakuti oleh pemerintah yang tidak demokratis. Semoga saja pikiranku itu tidak benar adanya.
Meskipun konferensi ini hanya berlangsung sehari, namun kami para undangan memiliki banyak waktu berdiskusi tentang berbagai topik. Diskusi intensif terjadi pada waktu makan siang dan terutama pada waktu makan malam. Kami berdiskusi sampai larut malam. Dari diskusi panjang tersebut saya menyimpulkan bahwa tantangan perempuan Muslim di berbagai wilayah Islam intinya tidak banyak berbeda. Kami para perempuan menghadapi persoalan budaya patriarki yang masih mendomestifikasi dan menyudutkan kaum perempuan, serta memandang perempuan cukup berkiprah di dunia domestik saja. Kami menghadapi persoalan yang sama dalam bentuk kemiskinan, iliterasi dan keterbelakangan akibat kurangnya akses dalam pengembangan ilmu dan keterampilan. Kurangnya pemenuhan hak-hak perempuan dalam kesehatan reproduksi. Kami semua masih menyebut perkawinan anak-anak, perkawinan paksa, perceraian, dekadensi moral, bahaya HIV/Aids, narkoba dan trafficking serta aksi-aksi kekerasan fundamentalisme agama sebagai musuh nyata yang harus dieliminasi bersama.
Akhirnya, saya tetap mengapresiasi kegiatan para perempuan Iran yang fokus mengkaji Qur’an secara ilmiah dan menggunakan pendekatan sains dan teknologi, seperti metode digital. Terlebih lagi, saya amat salut terhadap pemerintah Iran yang dengan nyata memberikan dukungan dan memfasilitasi kaum perempuannya untuk aktif dan terlibat dalam dunia penelitian, khususnya dalam bidang agama dengan melakukan penelitian Qur’an. Saya sangat yakin, bahwa dengan mengembangkan kajian Qur’an berbasis sains dan teknologi, serta memberikan akses penuh kepada kaum perempuan yang nota-bene merupakan setengah dari warga masyarakat, maka kebudayaan dan peradaban Islam akan maju dan berkembang. Selamat untuk perempuan Iran!!
Presented in ASEAN LITERARY FEST
Sunday 22 March 2015 at 13-15 pm, Selasar TIM, Jakarta
Chief Editor Jurnal Perempuan & Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta
Introduction: Empty Justice for Sexuality
Just like the rain forest and the ozone layer, girls’ hair has been disappearing in almost all Islamic-based schools and universities. The young, fertile, and desiring bodies as the body grows aged are obligated to be hidden from the public gaze. Girls’ hair which was still visible in the 1980s is being cleared; anybody could see how the world has changed. Its disappearance tells this study something about womanhood, the state of love, the human and the relation of body and soul. Hair construct who the woman to be. When it is being concealed under a piece of cloth, then she gives particular meaning to the body, whether she loves her own body, celebrate it or simply reject it. She can love and celebrate the body as well as veil it. Any possible body construction is always possible. Ample ways of defining the self. The informal school law on girls uniform has morphed into removing all the hair. To be not veiled will certainly ruin your reputation (Abu-Lughod, 1986). Hair is a metaphor of sin and concealment of sensuality and intimacy. Hairlessness and Jilbab marks the post-girlhood. Yet it is also marks the divide between the demonic and angelic. The bare-headed and the hair are closer to demonic selling sensuality and intimacy in a cheap way. Femininity was located in the observance of veil. Rambut (the hair) signals women’s capacity to make life, the way women knows they are no longer girls and boys. It is an evolutionary relic. It also informs female genetic qualities: whether straight or curly—a magical garden where one can live forever, sign of fertility. The image of high-end Islamic fashion with no show of women hair has increasingly shaped the sexual imagination of legions of young men. A sign of safety! Meaning girls are not engaged in extra-marital sexual relationship. New definition of erotic desirability is embedded into the veil instead. Novel meaning of sensuality is now being defined by a piece of cloth.
The sexual imagination are being frozen by camera, widely tagged in Facebook. It is a visual excess of jilbab with a minimum of tradition sentiment. It is not a love story, a celebration of high-end Islamic fashion and novel sensuality validated by the religion. As hair disappeared on screen, phantasm of sensuality is changing and being newly reconstructed. Girls are being asked to wear Jilbab and girls struck the specter pose. A contemporary Islamic body is not a body that loves and celebrates, a body to which love adheres to the literal script. It is a uniform for heaven fantasy. That fantasy has a history. The timing of hairlessness photos tell a shriveling tale. Reduced and shrinking narrative of sensuality which is valid and legitimate in its own way. In the 2000s the female teen Islamic body becomes an erotic fetish. Sensual pose embedded into the Jilbab. The female teen fetish wearing jilbab went mainstreaming at present. The Jilbab might not feminist but feminine instead. They could challenge male predominance though not a feminist or understanding feminism. A mingling and fusion of horizon is vivid in those leaking categories.
It is what happened before this that is significant. It was the make-up and sophisticated hair-do on the head—specifically covering the hair. This recalls the pleasures of womanhood with high-end cosmetics and luxurious branded bags and shoes. Feminism did something to say: It sought to reproduce the sexual binary norm, the public, pleasure-seeking man versus the private, love-seeking woman. The paradox is that the young women is looking for spasmic flash on photos displaying sensuality and deploy in the vanguard of high-end Jilbab. Muslimah magazine such as Annida or other secular long-existed magazine have frequently displayed jilbab iconic fashion shows that signaled the erotic repertoire, a perpetual reminder that you are Muslimah, and Jilbab is your absolute definition. Not until the 2000s that the question of ‘You are Muslim woman right? Why don’t you wear Jilbab”? A question never existed before 1990s.
High-End Religiosity and Leaking Categories
The high-end Jilbab has also signaled new sexual readiness, not unlike lip gloss used to signal a girls' availability for kissing. Jilbab offer a pure ready sexual phantasm that is legitimate and halal to be seen. The history witnesses the showing of women legs, hair, and curves are normal. Yet history curtails and reduces those into a mere “liberal demonic appearance”. The same is now happening with the hair. Even women who are about to deliver babies still put on the head veil (Mernissi, 1991.). "Everybody is going to be in that room," one explained, "and I don't want they see my hair." Private space is becoming public space. Because women could now forthrightly demand their freedom wearing Jilbab—if she got hers, she should be acknowledged fully as dignified and they expected their community to grant her reciprocal mutual respect. In a society that has disclosed all women hair such as in Aceh Province, it is no wonders that the smell of a woman’ hair has also been erased as a baseline experience. Hairlessness, like wearing Jilbab, advertises that a Muslimah has been purified for male taste and religious favor.
Reading a visual narration of high-end Jilbab fashion show is a dynamic observation and observance. I think the disappearance of female hair marks both a nature disdain for womanly fertility—its complete look, its smell, its very nature, but also a women’s desire to look “religious”, the implication being that their natural bodies are “dirty” with the uncovering of the head. It is about becoming an instrument of pure religious pleasure—an active forgetting that one’s body is built to birth and to love basic part of it. There is a deep historical irony here: Muslimah women are pursuing sexual pleasures that were made possible by a feminism that also asserted the beauty of the natural feminine body. For these women, their sex is no longer dirty, but their hair and skin are. It is a discourse of gaze. When public gaze is not allowed, what can women do to celebrate the body if not the high-end make-up and fashion items. Secure website specialized on selling Eastern and Islamic fashion are mushrooming since 2005. Store reference jilbab for all season collections, the long jacket and rigor of cotton for the tropical Indonesia. Elegant and prestigious caftans and Indian women apparel are also available with the motto “Our broad to cover your body will look and style”.
This study has been surveying Muslimah student eroticism for several years now and one thing is clear: young women who don't love and don't feel loved tend not to wear make-up. The Jilbab contributes as gateway to academic success and holy path to Allah. Even though they have to fight the uncomfortable capitulation to Islamic fashion market as a portal to fuller affection, it is a mark of female sexual availability to men on masculine terms, a regular rite of submission in the similar mode; “secular” women may show the affection. It is conditioned by the fact that just as women are achieving academic predominance and breaking into field after field as the economic order increasingly seeks the verbal, social and emotional skills they have to offer, the terms of trade are turning against them in their own expression of bodily expressions. Educated Muslim women must increasingly submit to the sexual demands of a shrinking pool of suitable men for whom the bedroom is one of the last domains outside of a football stadium where men can be men. And reciprocally for women, it is increasingly only their bodies that set them apart. Religious look is feminine. Religious is acceptable code for pretty, like the smooth cheeks on their faces. Religious body is a form of historical forgetting on the lust sensuous function of body—a corporeal denial to be precise. Novel corporeal religiosity is at work and unconsciously channeling the libido. The disappearance of women’s corporal unit says something about the way the conservative community construct humanness, how they compose their bodies and souls. The disappearing of femaleness, of skin, of hair is a hot issue in the changing meaning of sensuality and sexuality in contemporary Muslim civilization.
Disharmony, dissonance, of skin exposure is here and there. Given by many Jilbab wearer who showed their neck yet cover their hair; or exposing their arms and legs but close the hair; it is always impossible to define static inches how women should cover their bodies. It is at all times diverse in expression with Jilbab permanently embedded skin deep into their daily lives. Cohort of mothers, Ibu-Ibu, usually mocking and humming like chirping birds, any women, who they consider not conforming the “syar’i” normative. In turn they Jilbaber who show a bit of their neck, arm and leg turned to the social media. Social media is also prone to peer bullying, being targeted and taunted as not Islamic with their corporeal photos. They set up imaginary character who flashes a world in which they cannot materialize in real world. Sometimes, they also expose their bare-headed photos, even photos with mini-skirt! It is telling us that a particular sensuality could not be invented in the real world.
Don’t judge me wrong, even commercial sexual workers wear Jilbab—a thought that is familiar in the middle east where this cloth came from yet not for the Indonesia who still considered it as a piece of sacredness. In an unprecedented move jilbab moves a bit powerless as pressure and enforcement have made women put their own meaning to the cloth they wear. Jilbab gave up the notion after being questioned by its user, but invited everyone to gather on the discourse to debate, discuss, deconstruct the corporeal reminiscence that they able to grapple on the reach of their own horizon. Musing and fusion of horizons are received and posted in the imagery of religiosity and womenhood. Instigator of action and a turning point drove solidarity of an extraordinary sisterhood under the banner of Islam. It drove them and kept them all nights at their computers, posting images of Jilbab and their corporeal self--rejuvenating the virtual mosques. The brutal attachment of Korean style into Jilbab fashion celebrates the echoing spirit of another cultural invasion. It is being bended, twisted and adapted into the Islamic normativity.
With hindsight, this was the moment when a community of women united, and then crumbled. Arrival of Korean fever was celebrated in a surge of religious unity but it also marked the return of divisions. Without their common enemy, the Korean fashionista became political rivals. Relations were undermined by suspicion, copy-paste and defamation: “How they could copy our dress in such a cheap way,” said Danti, who has a big media profile among the youth in Solo. “We are divided now. Some girls by each other, others don’t. They blame us because we used a style which cannot being verified by Islamic codes”, continued her. She is also disillusioned: “Since Korean sinetron were being bombarded by Indosir, one of major leading national TV in Indonesia, there is such a hubbub on the social media of how are being mesmerized by those styles. It is difficult to make ourselves heard for this new passion.” Girls have had a huge influx of adapting Korean-Islamic jilbab including many new followers who understand false information and being tampered with online shopping. The result is cacophony.
A cacophony of enthusiasm in using social media, they can befriended and shop at the same time. Girls’ helplessness and confusion should be heeded; even though it contradicts with what the world they should live. They have legitimate voices of progressive forces that define the future of Indonesian Islam. Enthusiasm among the girls for the role of social media in Indonesia has overshadowed the experience of their apprehension of Islam-ness. On pilgrimigae to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, many Indonesian artists are not only carrying out haj rituals but also a pack of fashion-style paraded on television that is ready to be copied by their fans. The white satin beauty being shown with a Bilqis layered dress with a sequined high waist jacket is paraded on the airport approaching their departure to Mecca. Every TVs aired them! They have also unintentionally become real life models of Indonesian Islamic fashion, girls enthusiastically reported. In an interview with Jetti R. Hadi, editor in chief of NooR, a magazine specializing in Muslim fashion, explained that the allure of Indonesian created Islamic fashion have attracted many women in Middle East, especially in Mecca and Medina. They commented that Indonesian Muslimah is wearing such a sophisticated and up-to-dated Islamic fashion. “They are so attractive and pious at the same time. A price that we could not buy here since creativity is so being limited and restricted”. Things that Indonesia are now beginning to corrupt the legitimate freedom of expression and creativity by themselves.
There are always a growing number of Muslim women adhering to Jilbab, observing the Islamic principles of covering the skin and hair. And the blooming of the fashion industries brings with it a vibrant economic dynamic. Indonesia is stated as the “Mecca” of Islamic fashion. With imported contemporary Islamic fashion are mostly streamed from Pasar Klewer, Solo, Central Java. Muslimah wear and accessories is becoming the 20 percent of total Indonesian fashion industry which worth approximately US$ 1.7 trillion in 2008 alone, said Jetti in NooR Magazine. Compared to the Middle Eastern who are dominated by Morocco and Turkey, Indonesian Muslimah fashion styles are dominated by the intermingling of Batik and Kain Ikat. Batik and Kain Ikat is being newly reconstructed from traditional Javanese code into Islamic fashion. Transfer of intimacy and sensuality are re-imprinted into the new Islamic code of fashion. Taboo sensual more is intact in the portrait of Batik motives. The exuberance picture of animals and flowers and other perplex traditional pakem/design. Top designs are Up2date and Bilqis that promote traditional motives under the Islamic mores. Indonesia has beautified herself as the Islamic wear fashion destination for Malaysia and Brunei.
Scary image of Islam is now being downturned by such a vibrant colorful fashion wear. In the pretext of national stability on freedom of expression, Muslimah fashion show are held in an escalating numbers. Myriad of exuberant images and portrayals are displacing narrative of suicide-bombs and remorseful death of it. Islam is still at the top of selling point. The growing market and the many fashion shows that include Islamic categories have so far influenced Indonesia mainstream fashion designer who never design Muslim wear previously. Itang Yunasz, Ghea Panggabean, and Sebastian Gunawan are among the few established national designer who have produced the Muslim fashion concept. It brings lots of money, they said. From a tight Jilbab and those loose one covering the chest, vibrant diverse concepts are being created anew every year. Artists are usually the leading concepts produce who then followed, copied, re-copied by freaky fans! They could still abide the law and being fashionable at the same time. A rigorous promotion of Bandung-based Up2date and Solo-based Bilqis have an international reputation, least at the south east Asia, like Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand where Muslim resided. Bilqis is predominantly defined by elegant Batik pieces from Solo. Up2date choose a mix-match of Paris and Korea styles concepts. The communicating transfer of styles concept being exported from traditional codes to being imported from Western-Korean style is a hybrid denomination establishing Islamic fashion. A place where sensuality, intimacy, corporeality of women-ness are being transfixed and being reproduced.
Price of Banality
Of super-market, mega business, Carrefour, bank, insurance offices and other departments stores, being Muslim-friendly is cheap and good for business. In little Jakarta, a woman staff of a bank who are rejected because of her veil, who insists on wearing jilbab, tries to expose the Islamophobia of her fellow Indonesian money owner, usually Tionghoa ethnicity. A case involving BCA (Bank Central Asia) in the 1990 were notorious. But now, all banks are competing to establish Bank Syariah. They are all either tolerant or giving more spaces for expressing the Muslim wear. It is a must for all women staffs at the Bank Syariah to wear Jilbab. A force that never happens before the 1990s. This era marked the dominating discourse of establishing right wearing Jilbab which were previously being banned by Soeharto. The 2000s marked the mushrooming birth of Bank Syariah which last up to now. BNI Syariah Bank, BPD Syariah Bank, Mandiri Syariah Bank and other national banks. The corporate world is never Muslim-friendly before 2000s. Yet attitudes have changed dramatically. Some 90% of national television now ban discrimination on the basis of Jilbab, which previously banned jilbab wearer presenters, and only one TV station which does not let jilbab wearer, the famous Metro TV. Commission of Human Rights has urged any offices to accept jilbab wearer unconditionally. Progress has taken place in a wide range of textile industries which profited from jilbab wearers—women labors are required to cover their hair. Jilbab wearers who were facing difficulties in applying jobs during the Soeharto era, are now leaving a history of victory to their predecessor.
Plenty of talent-driven Jilbab wearer filled the necessary jobs in banks and high echelon at the governmental ranks. Industrial giants have accepted them as well based on their professionalism. Department stores and malls are competing with each other to produce the most imaginative Muslim-friendly policies. What caused this corporate revolution? How about the film and entertainment industries? Islamic concept has usurped there as well. Artists faithful to Jilbab such as Inneke Koesherawati, Aminah Cendrawasih, Nani Wijaya, Desy Ratnasari, and an increasing number in the year to come are never stop stripping Islamic sinetron crowded the TVs. Mostly it happened because changing attitudes in society at large have reduced the cost of Muslim-friendly, and raised the rewards. A generation ago in the New Order Era, creating Muslim-friendly workplace might have upset the regime. Now it probably won’t. But failing to treat Jilbab wearer equally is very likely to drive them to seek employment elsewhere. Since they are perhaps 80% of the national talent pool, bigotry makes a firm less competitive. Nothing can never stop economic power and growth of women wearing Jilbab no matter the professions she opts.
Cacophony of skin among jilbab wearers is scandalous. The more women opting for the Muslim wear, the more women leak the way they contradict and speak against the iron law of covering. More skin are shown at the offices. Exposing branded-shoes with an original women skin instead of socks is always tempting, they said, as well as official outfit following women curves. Being fair to Jilbaber is arguably simpler than being fair to terrorist, they stated (Jones, 2002). Jilbab wearers really do not differ from other women in the amount of time, on average, that they take off to raise children. And there is no obvious answer to question such as: “How much paid maternity leave should a small firm offer?” So basically women’s access and right to it is far from being certain and secure, be she jilbaber or not. Being Jilbab-friendly can attract Muslim customers, too. The 2000s had witnessed how a secular bank created a private-banking team called Syariah Bank that focused exclusively on the Muslim market, courting Muslim non-profits and providing seminars on financial planning for domestic partners. Until now Bank Syariah had brought in more than trillions US$ of business.
The Islamic revolution is far from over. Nearly half of national film production is embedded with Islamic-theme such as Sang Pencerah, Ayat-Ayat Cinta, Mata Tertutup, etc, with established Director Hanung Bramantya as leader in this business. And even the most enlightened film production cannot make up for intolerance in Islam toward sexuality and intimacy in Islam-branded movies. Yet it reaches the box-offices. A genre of movie containing no sexuality or intimacy is at its top selling point. Sensuality, intimacy and sexuality is instead being wrapped gracefully with Jilbab. Indeed it works well as the market still buys it. Still, the Islam revolution in the workplace is remarkable. In most places, companies are more liberal than governments. In the coming years, the revolution is likely to gather pace. Younger businessmen those owning money are far more relaxed about Jilbab than their parents were. Indeed, many young businessmen whether Muslim or Tionghoa or Christian would feel uncomfortable working if failed to treat Jilbab wearer decently. Companies vying to recruit them will bear this in mind. They changed their mind that Jilbaber is connected to bigotry. They have been out from cubicle realizing the potentials jilbab wearers have compared to those who do not wear. And the jilbab wearers are out of the cubicle as well pursuing their career as jilbab is not identical with domesticity. A sensuous Jilbab wearer is absolutely legitimate. And it could be sold through movies for certain. Viewers love to see a constrained love with a jailed and restricted sexuality and intimacy (Epstein, 1967; Turner, 1989).
Fashion designer serving the Film Industries has tried to make clothes that not only serve the function to cover the body yet having sense of art and sensitivity in it. Sensuality, intimacy, and sexuality have been converted into another form of expression. Not the showing too much of the skin, the concealment of women skin instead. It is an intricate business anyhow, to provide conservativeness and sensuality at the same time. Sometimes they have to turn to be an oxymoron: a dissonance and a contradiction of needs, roles, and responsibilities when it deals with sacredness and banality. Not a simple task, anyhow. The visualization of elasticity, suppleness, and femininity are at maxim point. Representation of sensuality is put forward on the quietness and gentleness of the artists wearing Jilbab. It is basically a hard task to juxtapose the idea of sexuality on the basis of skin exposure and women curve into the contradiction of it, total bodily concealment.
Indonesia is now becoming the hub of Islamic Film production that not only sell religiosity but also sensuality which is defined by a dash of conservativeness. With the strongly buffeted personal publication of head-veiled girls onto the screen of their social media, and the changing attitude toward private life as public display instead, there is also a mounting increase of a strongly skeptical attitude toward Jilbab—formerly acknowledged as religious signature now turns to a mere meaningless piece of cloth which any woman could take on and off politically. A political iconic deed is in demand, wearing it on when entering the schools and universities and wearing it off while entering a different space. A space in-between in which they politically employed is a place where they could exercise power which they do not have in classes. It recommends strategies that included breaking the religious myth. To advocate peers to do so, they protect peers and form alignment of “click”. Click of girls in this discourse of Jilbab is strengthened with the arrival many Islamic-based militant organization that recruits students (Abuza, 2003). A vicarious yet muddy public understanding about this discourses has enliven the lurid significance of contemporary Jilbab. Militants can never allow a display of sensual Jilbab. It never comes across their mind that Jilbab wearer could show such an intimacy and sensuality. It contributes to the changing meaning of sexuality.
Given the potential impact however, Jilbab attempted to confirm the accuracy of the altered and varying meanings that are documented via the websites or personal blogs. A sterile and a serious lapse of rigid orthodoxy cannot simply be solicited based on Islamic judgment and ethics. It is a torrential force that Islam shall accommodate and confirms. The girls made changes or alterations of any kind to Quranic interpretations regarding Jilbab that was imposed on them since a child, yet the practice of sensual display simply takes place and made into public. It marks the personal room of intimacy exported into public room. A public room that is all in one is transparent and visible to their parents and teacher. Their photos leave a trail on the history of women bodies. The problem for the girls is that suspicion will only grow among peers with their brevity in displaying skin. Sakinah has admitted using deception or false names to get a space where she could post their picture without the head veil. This is simply not a deception, a practice which is very well-known by the girls of how to stay “existed”.
Sensual deception under the rite of head veil will not destroyed Islam’s credibility and harmed others—so to delve into girls’ perspective. Those documents have bearings of religious battle, and certainly not either a personal tragedy or shame, though it might be devastating representation for her colleagues, friends and family. Worst of all it will almost certainly produce a backlash against religious conservativeness that has advocated it at a politically sensitive moment. Until now, a woman has been required to observe Jilbab when entering the mosques and religious congregation—a moment that was rare during Soeharto era. It is the entire stranger given that particular feminists are speaking against it. "Everywhere we are asked to observe Jilbab. This is not imposed on men." Lies Marcoes Natsir, leading feminist of Indonesia based in Jakarta (Bush, 2002; Candraningrum, 2008). Still, proponents of Jilbab said they were wary that the movement rejecting Jilbab was only aimed at secularizing the nation. "We are not stupid; we know that Jilbab is now at a political top-selling level. Many politicians and civil servants are now observing Jilbab. So we will be vigilant to see that it is in fact been misused and abused for none of religious objectives. We have angst that our girls are corrupted by the West”, they warned.
Their group and sister movement, such as Aisyiyah and Fatayat Nadhdlatul Ulama pledge to the televisions to reduce sensual advertising using women of veil. Existing advertisement using Jilbab is The Sari Wangi by Inneke Koesherawaty and Hair Shampoo product—which strangely did not show women hair. Television has sought to reduce the use of sensual Jilbab on ads in recent years, but to little avail. Kelompok Pengajian Ibu-Ibu (Religious Congregation by Mothers) notes the persistence of terms referring to Jilbab, without justification or need, to women's pious situation. It asks parents and school administrations to eliminate as much as possible such images. Young women shout loud protest in the Facebook to mark her liberty from the parents’ and school’s curb. It is once again at battle over the meaning of a piece of cloth, between the older generation and the young one. The faith, family and fundamental rights of girls are basically being contested as well. Over the past few decades, as most of the Moms and Daughters have embraced Jilbab, the majority-Muslim Family has waged war against pornography and free-sex. There, abortion is strictly prohibited and crackdown on dating are common—media and polices are adversely catching illicit lovers staying in motels or hotels, actions that did not touch any contemporary Western countries (Lewis, 2002). Abandonment of contraception and condoms are becoming widespread among militant religious groups, such as LDII (Lembaga Dakwah Islam Indonesia). Mosque officials promote what they call “natural” family planning: women are advised to track their cycle and abstain from sex on all but their least fertile days. They cast artificial contraception as an affront to God’s will, a gateway to abortion and a threat to public health. In their minds, condoms are “abortifacients” and family-planning campaigners are propagandists of a culture death”.
This type of thinking has led several Ulama and Ustadz to try to curb the use of modern contraception. It gives rise in maternal mortality, a slew of unwanted pregnancies and evidence of injury caused by clandestine abortions. The mosques’ campaign against modern contraception has led to an epidemic of unsafe abortions in the religious circle as well as over population; many PKS politicians have a group of minimally 7 children in a family like Yoyoh Kusroh (Ramage, 1996). It is obvious for the public and placid-docile for the women that a restrictive approach to reproductive rights can and has hurt women. Behind the Manichaean religious rhetoric espoused by some conservative Muslims hides plain truths about public health: access to contraception decreases maternal mortality and lowers the number of abortions. Program on birth control is becoming a vicious battle field—that was never happened during the Soeharto era (Mujani, 2003). A comprehensive study of World Health Organization confirmed that abortion rates in countries that prohibit or restrict legal abortion are no different than abortion rates in countries with liberal abortion laws; the only reliable way to reduce abortion is through the provision of affordable, accessible contraception. To cap off Muslims’ debate on contraception there has been a surge in births outside marriage, the fastest growth being among poor girls in their 18s with some high-school education. More than quarter of births to women under 30 now occur outside of marriage. Is this really a time to try to limit contraception? What about the reckoning of the reality of human lives? And there it is: reckoning with the reality of human lives, and saving them too. Even Jilbab is powerless before the raising death of mothers giving birth and the numbers of girls being sold in prostitutions (Abbot, 1974). Girls wearing Jilbab sold as prostitute!
100,000 children—predominantly girls; and women are trafficked in Indonesia per year (UNICEF, 2012). The United Nations defines child trafficking as the recruitment, transportation or receipt of children with the purpose of exploiting them. Poverty, lack of economic opportunities, poor level of social status, high demand of cheap labors and commercial sex, weak law enforcement, conflict and discrimination are prime trigger to child trafficking. Girl is sold of Rp.100,000.00 into servitude in private homes, street beggars, and factory labors, as much as prostitution. Besides drug and gun trades, trading the girls are lucrative business in many tourism hub such as Bali, Batam, and Jakarta. Girls from rural poor areas are sold in those places and other big cities in Indonesia such as Surabaya, Medan, Makassar and Semarang. Child prostitution is a clandestine if not translucent business in Bali, where many tourists secretly consumed this forbidden sex in their home-countries. There is always a underlined highlighted statement among Indonesian traditional conservatives Mothers of “the dangers of being female”—reason why girls are kept, guarded, and limited despite enjoying formal education. Girls hang-out at night are still a taboo words among Indonesian families. There is always news on the objectification of women.
The last decade was big on bad news for women. First, a family in Jakarta was convicted for killing four female relatives, then a woman was allegedly strangled by her husband in Kediri, and then a high-profile charity decides to withdraw funds to screen women for cervix cancer. There are two things that struck this study as noticeable about these events and their news coverage. The first is that in all of these cases, different as they may be, women are being punished for being women. The Jakarta killings were allegedly motivated by the girls' dating and wearing girly clothes. The woman in Kediri was supposedly killed because she had slept with her neighbors and apparently having affairs with him. And it is hard to think of a gesture that more clearly targets women for just being women than defunding screenings for cervix cancer. The second thing that is noticeable about coverage of these recent events is that many people have expressed their outrage over them, making this study feel tentatively optimistic about the future for women's rights. With that in mind, people will start caring and expressing outrage about these three very common ways in which women are being punished for being female. It justifies assumptions about female weakness that at the end should be saved by her Guardian.
Despite the fact that many women are the sole or main providers for their families, and despite women's advances as middle managers, women continue to be underrepresented in top leadership roles. A repeatedly points to assumptions about women's "nature" as key barriers to promotion has worsen the myth that women are not thought to be as assertive as men, and are seen to lack vision and strength. It is telling that many job adverts suggest that qualified women are encouraged to apply. Men, this seems to imply, are qualified just by being male. What makes situation worsens are the punitive laws related to women’s sexuality. Sexuality is succumbed to satanic and demonic allure that should be concealed, obscured and curbed. Societies have viewed and regulated women's sexuality differently than men's for as long back as we can dig up evidence about. Semitic religions, whether Christianity or Islam, expect women to be chaste and demure; and punished or ridiculed those who were not (Hitti, 1940; Epstein, 1967; Brenner, 1996; Hasyim, 2006). Today, laws to punish women for having sex with the wrong persons at the wrong time for the wrong reasons persist in almost all countries in the world, ranging from the criminalization of female adultery and of abortion over laws that punish drug use during pregnancy to social services provisions that punish poor unmarried women with more than one child. At the basis of all of these laws is one main thought: Women should not really want to have sex. As long as women are undervalued, expected to bear the entire price of reproduction, and at the same time required to be outwardly asexual, the world will see more women and girls killed, maimed and their health needs discarded. Feminists have continued to muster outrage and actually generate change. It is always a long stony tricky and deathly road to cross. And Indonesia was one of the most anticipated destinations for the objectification of asexual women because it is still rife with child trafficking issues. Heavy tourism regions such as Bali, Batam, and Jakarta are among the areas most vulnerable to child exploitation. Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali are included in the heavily import of trafficked girls from poor rural areas of Java. There is still always a tremendous drive, energy, self-assurance and a genuinely big heart being combated by many organizations to help these girls. Child trafficking is one of humanity’s most terrible crimes and Islam probably is still in its deep slumber. The discourse of Jilbab and the changing meaning of sensuality, intimacy, and sexuality have put a milestone to the history of Islamic civilization in Indonesia.
Gender-Bending Social Media
Gender-bending photos in the social media is not a very vague idea that at its core the mixing of gender stereotypes was something that made a stab on every teachers’ perception of the meaning of the self—selfhood of their students in the class which are potentially directed toward a more decent imagery of Muslimah. A teacher, Ibu Atiqa, one day just struck by a sensual photo of her student, of what she expected simple poses of classis pin-up imagery of a head-veiled student which is Islam culturally recognizable, especially in terms of her immediate association with the guise of femininity instead of adulation of the self. From the portrayal Ibu Atiqa began to construct characters against a twist that could both allure and confound. A societal brainwashing has drawn the question of “why is it considered sexy for a girl to pose in such ways”—a jarring nature of the unfamiliar called “too sexy and demonic”. A question that never expounded for boys posing similar photos on facebook. Sensuality and sexiness in Indonesia is not belong to man unfortunately. And this myth has curbed women and girls from restraining the self to judged in that way. As society implies and community dictates, gender is not naturally born for it is a naturally continuum-based materialization (Ahmed, 1992.). It is thus not a matter of black and white—shunned from suggesting feminine versus masculine. Girls and boys expression cannot be so rigidly defined, into which particular cubicle is belong to certain gender, because those definitions built on a frozen myth that enliven the discrimination and misunderstanding. A freer, open-minded approach can allow such an untainted gender-bending conception of the complexity of sexuality— tampering with and re-inserting the sexual-minority into the black-and-white phenomenon.
Meanwhile a protest against pressure on women’s expression is getting excessively reproduced in the social media, where sense of liberation has driven women to wage war against male’s control. Such an apocryphal story has upset and many are cringed and deleted the email shunning away from war on words. A never-ending barrage of fear is mongering and over-the-top rhetoric being blasted from both militant groups—those by religious militants and its counterparts. Actually there is no need to be anti-men to be pro-women. There are millions of good people among the conservative who simply have genuine differences of opinion about what is best for their daughters. Demonizing girls’ sexuality is not helpful in finding solutions to vexing problems of trafficking and prostitution. Hating the opposite sex and hating the religious script only breeds more hate. Speaking the language of war or participating in war-like gatherings whether in its conservative circle or its enemies are also propagating more hostilities and repugnance. The sexual snag exhibit a severely repressed desire on groups of young schoolgirls. Dressed in white blouses over long blue skirt with matching white scarves covering their heads, the girls looked like a flocks of lovely little blue birds flitting from one part of the class to another. Each class was monochromatic—a flock in robin's egg blue outfits, another flock in flamingo pink, still another in canary yellow—so sweet and pretty, talking quietly among themselves as they took notes. The visual anachronism of these young, innocent girls touring the schools is an exhibit of pressure youth sexual nature in which dating or sitting next to boys is forbidden.
The history of school uniform for girls represents a terrific well-researched timeline, an archaeological artifacts, artistic renderings and scientific contribution to the history of sexual desire among the youth that has gain no attention from even school curriculum. It should be hidden! Throughout human history, men have always had a vested interest in controlling women's sexuality. Many are exhibiting such a frozen yet living account—from mechanical devices such as metal chastity belts, to modesty clothing like burqas, hijabs and abayas, to laws proscribing what women were allowed to do, be and have. In myriad ways men have exercised control over women's sexuality and reproduction throughout the entire course of human history. This study surmise that part of the answer can be found in biology: perpetuating his genes, the human male wants to sire his own children, and he is worried about unwittingly raising any offspring sired by someone else. His biological imperative is to perpetuate his own genes in the human species. This instinct is hardwired into the human animal. Another part of the answer can be found in sociology and psychology: a misfortune that can befall a human male is to be cuckolded by an unfaithful mate. What men want and need most is respect. And an unfaithful wife means that the man is pitied, ridiculed, disrespected and diminished in the eyes of society. Such a threat to his masculinity and self-esteem must be prevented at all costs. It produces many men who are hyper-vigilant in protecting their women and their self-respect from potential foes. Beside that economic dimension is fueling men urging to control women’s sexuality. A control toward the economical investment he has made in the family embedded into the control toward his daughters’ sexuality—protecting his own breed—granddaughters/sons. As a primary breadwinner recorded in the history, women are still regarded the contributing and supplement to major role played by her husband. A family is a relation and investment of money, time and energy—so to say, despite major psychological trigger such as the name of “love”. Indeed under the rite of love, sexuality is interpreted as a vested interest on another form of psychological possessions.
Schoolgirls’ uniforms and their Jilbab validate a complex and multi-faceted human sexuality, instead of war between the sexes. A more thoughtful, rational, contextual look at gender differences has established the why and how sexual control taken place. Ethnobiology, zoology, sociology, history, psychology, economics, anthropology, political science, theology, and the arts have helped human sexual behavior. It expounded a comprehensive answer to the world most vexing sexual problem on trafficking, abortion, and child prostitution. A more thoughtful approach has diminished that no one is waging war on women. Men are probably simply acting out an instinctive biological imperative that was being reinforced by thousands of years of history and tradition that led to any lengths to control women's sexuality (Stowasser, 1994). The bottom line is that men feel the need to exert control over women’s sexuality due to dreadful outlook of his sexual existence. Facebook page has justified previous myth. And a full search of anatomically-accurate maleness is not as exuberant as girls. Google recognizes a female face more frequent than male’s. Men are just shown brief stats and simple photos, if not football, or sport, or vehicles. Thus females’ photos are vulnerable being abused that men’s. Facial recognition intensifies the process of abuses as well as violence. Click of photos download in FB has added as well to the dramatic of missing girls in Jakarta—which are apparently being landed in the Bordil house—into the thousands rapes in the prostitution industries.
The question in my mind that I wanted to answer here in Indonesia was “What does sexuality look like to young Muslim women wearing head veil?” In order to answer previous question, I retour and am doing virtual travelling through photos displayed in students’ FB and twitter. This was to further understand the relationship between these girls’ own perception of sexuality. Interviews are becoming major output despite their photos. They are going to reflect the messages through society, school, media, and fore mostly family. Education on sexuality and reproductive health is of prime importance globally, yet is still frozen under the taboo word of traditional Indonesia. A family ethos which usually based on traditional female and male segregate roles, punctuated by conservative attitudes, toward gender sexuality, are reinforced through religious education and thus characterizing the very patriarchal base Indonesia has to inherit. It is a dominant conception. Of these that influence how sexuality is viewed the role of Masjid is primary. During the 2000’s there were revivals of ethnonational Muslimah identities. Islam as historic national religion is one of the core ingredients of ethnonational identity. It is a marker and vehicles of social mobilization. The raise of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono regime directly served to strengthen the role of Masjid in the society. Gentrification and localization of the norms and mores from the community into the mosques implicated the rise of religiosity among Indonesian since 2000’s. The influence of the Masjid as the ultimate moral authority strengthened conservative viewpoints and policy initiatives on abortion, sex education, homosexuality, gender roles, woman leadership and violence against women. Interviews and photos with jilbab have consolidated these forces beyond their control. With the installation of a more liberal medias at the same time as the rise of conservatives Pengajian and news on medias. Indonesia never comes to attitudes about tolerance on sexual freedom until now. And thus the adulation of the self through social media becomes the sole sources for expressions.
What does this mean for young woman in Indonesia? Does the influence of Masjid act as lens through which they view sexuality? Or does the more global trend of freedom on sexuality? Does women who are chaste and under the command of absolute male Imam is sexy? Findings are leading me to acknowledge that there is no such of general or one answer on sexuality. The notion of sexuality within this broader idea of conservativeness and the pretext of religion is playing vital roles. The hyper-sexualization of media industries are both influential forces in forming the sexual scripts for both male and female adolescent in Muslim families in Indonesia. Yet the lack of sexual education has resulted in an incomplete understanding of sexual behavior, underdeveloped communication skills and fragmented knowledge on sexual issues. It means greater exposure to abortion, risky sexual behavior, sexual infectious diseases, as well as unrealistic expectations and distorted view of one’s own sexuality and to sexuality itself. Photography and social media has given these young men and women the opportunity to express their worldviews on their own fractured understanding.
Youth have been thinking a lot about marriage when it comes to sexuality. It is a huge unthinkable issue the western scientists could take consideration. All Indonesians need to finish high school or university and then get married. Indonesia is no different, however, when it comes to the images and portrayals that bombard the young with hyper-sexualized movies. Perspective of male is major click in the photography system. Female sexuality is defined and reproduced to sell and manipulate viewers on the meaning of “sexuality, beauty, and sexiness”. Those three are reconstructed and reframed within private photo display in FB and Twitter that honor particular histories, cultures, and individual psyches of the owner. Indeed, their photos have deepened their own way of seeing the body and the meaning of self-image in front of the public. Body images and self-adulations are widespread. Human sexuality is a conception going with life stages, and it continually influences human experiences: sensuality, intimacy, and the more economic dimension of body sexualization, as well as the latest commoditization of hyper-sexualized media. Self-discovery is always genuine within the concept of human instinct. Questions of: Who am I? How my body is seen? How powerful is the act of seeing? The act of being seen? How naked I am? Am I going beyond the boundaries? Or within the normative mores? How the environments react to my body? How I act upon my own body? What are the functions of eyes? All those questions are hovering across every girl’s mind when they would like to display their photos!
They have all the control yet the subversive latent underground norms are still calling for more polite expressions. Ghosts of control are ubiquitous. The superego, ego and id are working very well in controlling the body, in particular women’s bodies. Sense of insecurity is also being felt and disclosed when they have to pose in a sexy way. It is simply inappropriate, they acclaimed. Re-evaluating the self and notion of sexuality are walking hand in hand with the pre-text of religion. A dwindling echo on sexual education has worsened the cases on abortion and spread of HIV-Aids. The most obvious challenge was language to converse, the signposting of the genitalia, and the experience they have. It is almost impossible to unveil. The cultural significance of the context of talking sexuality brings with it connotations of huge difference in meanings variations. The masculine and feminine archetype of sexuality and intimacy are intact. The Kantian golden rule of sexual segregation is there very much unreformed and unreconstructed. Question of “are you the man or the woman in sexuality” is a question being extrapolated most of the time. A socially defined gender role has constructed the very sexual identity.
The lack and loss of its cultural significance is laid basically not on its cultural practices instead on the openness and the breaking myth of sexual taboos. Very few of reflection upon the model has begged an exploration of the role of feminine and masculine archetypes and how it construct complement and conflict in the terrestrial meaning of sexuality. So when it comes to the notion of man, then man is physical, a formulation of physical creature, hunter and associated with muscles, measure and proximity of sensual male body. It is translucent, vibrant, and tangible with no real magic or mystery. Vice versa women are depicted as contemplative creatures, mysterious figures, and embedded with ghostly beauty. Masculine and feminine beauty is the thread that holds the fabric of society together. Feminine sexuality should be invisible, timid and not exaggerate while at the same time hyper-sexualized female’s body has driven girls into the media market in an unprecedented ways. Too much exposure, too much money, too much skin, too much beauty product, too much fashion, all is contributing to cultural relocation of the novel meaning of sexuality.
The gender roles and the manifestation of the masculine and feminine archetypes in terms of sexuality negotiate social presentation of girlhood and boyhood. This study found a grey area. It is no longer that men are linear and women are circular or that women are contemplative and men physical. What arises is an awareness of the delicate balance of social roles, gender roles and archetypal tendencies strongly influenced by the economic and political dimensions that entrenched into meaning formation. To put it into term and a better idiom under the rite of heteronormativity, androgynous. Feminine qualities are gendered constructed as formulation of compassion, creativity, sensitivity, a manner that is both gentle and gentile. Diminution of emotional investment has a fragile subtle consequences a girl could possibly be affected. Female’s frustration does this in a psycho-energetic attempt to balance her own meta-personality structure. Very much a woman, the depth and breadth of her masculine archetype and its evidence and manifestation prompts her to be the "man" in a relationship. She is roundly emotionally unavailable, greatly lacks an understanding of intimacy and intimate expression, generally unexpressive and her sex play is very "male", genitally focused and narcissistic. Consequently, she will maintain a relationship and investment in that relationship despite her frustration with what she perceives to be her sexual possession. There is a distinct and demonstrable difference in the way that men and women approach issues of intimacy, sexuality and emotionality that is clearly the engine for much of the conflict and tension in transgender interpersonal relationship. Previous phenomenon is not so cut and dried as it seems on the surface. Indeed it lubricates a much complex subtle understanding.
Girls with a lot of really flamboyant things they utter on intimacy are cute. Linguistic significance celebrating sexuality are being employed in some kind of interactional and stylistic intimacy end. The language of sensuality emerge from the culture gained from a hyper-sexualized media in which male are doing all the potential click—decision making. A burst of public recognition and economic ratings are decided based on the measure of skin and curviness. It is a linguistic curiosity of the parents and teachers indeed!—a guttural fluttering of the vocal cords they called vocal sexual intimate fry. A classic example of vocal fry expression is best described as Jilbab and Arabic language embedded into a raspy or croaking sound injected. A sensual picture is displayed with a “bismillah, alhamdulillah, and other Arabic expressions” captions. It makes all those photos legitimate, they expressed.
Re-Narrating Lust and Disgust
The conservative notions about restricting body expressions and limiting sex education are the way to bolster Indonesian values. The causalities of marriage and the ways in which Muslim capture its economic benefits are as it turns out not as as complex as the relationship itself. Marriage is indeed becoming a luxury ticket to sexuality: not necessarily well-educated or well-off people are more likely than others to be getting and staying married, the poor are getting married even much younger (Stern, 1939.). Meanwhile, divorce rates for much of the rest of the population have increased in the past five years nearly doubled 500 percent. The point about volatility of sexuality is very important because there is increasing evidence showing that sexuality is just as correlated with marriage volatility from the perspective of the conservative. The correlation between volatility and sexuality, say that pushing young people who are not ready into marriage is not the solution. There is one other crucial point about the sexuality of the youth that is not getting enough play in the primary debates in school curriculum. It is being tabooed and denied all the time. Reopening the debate of sexuality is never possible, less in school curricula.
Girl’s body is representing a monstrous symbol as a moral corruption, whose embezzlement of Indonesian values could flame the revolution of free-sex. It is the curbing of girls’ sexuality rather than boys to keep the so-called Indonesian values. In rape crime, girl was being investigated and scrutinized and judged unfairly by performing zina—illegal sexual intercourse deemed to be sinful lee she was married to the rapist. Indeed it is a tale of woe! While grassroots feminist democracy campaigners saw government’s corruption caused all the miseries among the poor, the poor saw that it is women bodies has caused all the troubles. Wives, mothers and girls were then being heavily repressed sexually. Younger finer girls generation of glossy magazine-style, however, are freely walking on the economic base of sexuality—having a total different fate with their fellow girls in schools in which the new cold and calculating conservative girls are emerged.
Interlacing religion and sexuality will always end up in the locked-terminology of taboo. Gender hierarchy is long created to control a mother to a daughter to a sister to a friend. Intra-sexual hierarchy are created to prison the power-leveling advised by legion forces of age, race and ethnicity, as well as class of social, political and economy. Religious tradition, in this sketch is precisely Islam, has been mediated through physical aspect of our bodies. A personal discovery is always in the intersection of the spiritual and the physical. Physical journey of orgasm blamed by purified spiritual ritual. As small children, girls learn about who they are in the physical world by discovering the boundaries between their bodies and the sacredness of religion. Thus to proclaim very briefly, talk of none of it. It is taboo. Anyone teaching in any Indonesian schools will hardly find any sex education since it is overtly valued as dangerous! Angst is everywhere then. Narratives of sexual intercourses or abortions are whispered. Many sayings are in metaphors. Girls are silenced. She cannot tell her abortion. She cannot tell her divorce, her slavery, her fight for freedom. She can hardly remember, and she speaks in whispers. As girl becomes socialized, she is raised on the understandings and critiques of gender, and physical relationships with others form women identities, a vessel for relating to the world, and also a spiritual puzzle: which is body, which is spirit, and how does her faith inform the understanding of both. Though they are still educated under the popular media, from style magazine to newspaper articles extolling advances in understanding sexuality and intimacy—deal in corporeality and sexuality are religion which has a great deal to say, to dictate, to ordain, to be precise.
Sacred images of womanhood are now widely disseminated to pronounce how to dress properly allowing no space for engagement, less criticism. Aspects of sexuality, gender and corporeality are never a dialogue. Girls’ perspective and conversation are shared online via socmed. Secret erotic oases are recreated and reproduced under disguise and in a subversive ways since visibility is impossible, otherwise it will be promptly banned by conservative religious officials. Thrashed condoms on the beach are to be burned, and the illicit lovers, depraved and as shameless sinners, will be roasted in hell! Couple with Jilbab could even steal a few clandestine kisses with lust and angst. Jepara coast, every morning, will be the stage of such drama. A hidden little dead-end street in Solo Balapan railway station, cars begin arriving at sunset, some evenings bringing as many as teens amorous couples. Quarter of the girls wear Jilbab, but that does not prevent them from wearing skin-tight, long-sleeved tops and heavy make-up, as well as bright cherry-red lipstick. Boys are like boys everywhere, placing their arms around their girlfriends’ shoulders and even sliding hands into girls’ blouses. Much lust are displayed, road to visibility.
Suggested strategy is to wear a fake wedding ring, an approach that believed not to be deceitful, paternalistic and preachy—bending the angst and a lie is sometimes good safety technique for unmarried couple under such a repressive regime of taboo legion. Public scrutiny is never less in disseminating angst in Aceh. The way youth are being sexually curbed and physically abandoned. Homosexuality is verboten. Yet their lives are tolerated. Stoning and lashing are being introduced in 2010s, but are massively rejected. It is too tangible to be called as barbarous under the banner of Islam stoning a person’s sexual orientation based on hetero-normativity. Much debate still goes on in the legislative level—and a law passing on stoning gays or lesbians to death might possible in the future. The radar is sensitive and they should conceal their activities from public inspection. The plight to be homosexual could be overcome by fake marriage, and sometimes the hetero couple misunderstood the message.
Lust and passion are being performed in prudence and discretion. That is the sole option when tangibility viewed endangering pillars of religious beliefs. Tons of anger are expressed via socmed. Secret spots are everywhere when state hypes and hides corruption under the vessel of woman body. Prohibitions have been successful at suppressing everyday sexuality. Religious censors in Aceh are desperately trying to put a stop on what they call as corrupted morality. Little is being done to curb corruption. Corruption is halal! Any failures government performed are trashed away into the dust-bin of western excess and woman body. A counterforce to feminism is said to be legitimate. And those cohort of women are said to be whores! Any illegal illicit sexual intercourse end up in the hail, and they are forced to get married in a few months. It is a sexually frustrating zone, an interviewee reported. How they denied they own bodies under the banner of politicians’ extreme bully. Many youth are suffered from a disabled broken heart if not frigidity—living in a perfect angst to intimacy. Even for sitting girl next to boy is being failed (separation of sexes in classes!), less holding hand in hand. Eyes to eyes, stiff inspection, those are the task of Sharia polices—being much hated.
It then creates sort of sexual frustration. Sins for sins are visibly avoided, if not being displaced from the community, labeled as degraded sinner. While for the middle-east tourists living for a couple of month in Indonesia could enjoy nikah sirri, a temporary and pleasure marriage based on short-contract. Everyone knows it is an intimate sins being labeled as halal, and feminists are speaking boldly against it since it appears lurking the doom and fate of the temporary wives. Anything smells Arab though related to sexuality is given permission, while anything Western is verboten, such as the banning of Valentine Day. Though Allah has been described in Quran as al Wadud (the Loving) in Surah Al Buruf, Muslim youth are verboten to celebrate so called pagan satanic celebration. They associated it with illicit lovers performing affection between sexes mostly unmarried and fornicator who will be burned in hell. The western is Christian, it an enough credo to ban it. The innocent and harmless celebration is regarded as too dangerous as well as too satanic. It is understood to be a festival of sexual license harming the youth morality. So to speak “do not celebrate that pagan festival!” Everyone will agree that now a woman wearing a headscarf is not a symbol of oppression but to proclaim female self-confidence. They wear scarf to celebrate their independence, and no wonder, I am witnessing many women wearing Jilbab celebrating Valentine Day independently out of the Ulama’s sights! It is the tainted soul, they valued.
Those behind the veil, the cloth, the scarves, is lust, a feeling of intense desire which stands in contradiction with purification. Lust is heavily tightened up with sins that need to be pleased, to be delighted with full of vigor and compassion. The body is used in performing Sholat, and part of it also used in sexual intercourse, in the middle, everyone shall perform the wudlu, to purify the body with holy water. Intense unbridled sexual desire shall be controlled while performing fasting as well. Enthusiasm and eagerness for sex and for food shall be heavily controlled. Thus the body is a battle field where problematic question in philosophy always arisen, from pain to pleasure, from redemption to purification. Sentiments of shame and sadness are being reproduced by sinners. Human existence shall be described with the value of purity instead of sinned-body. A Muslim shall consider culmination of lust as last wall of avoidance. Orgasm is the horror of every drama in ritual, and shall be washed out by water. That is why woman shall dress modestly and not to be attractive because it is endangering the faith, so to speak, male’s eyes will be haunted and hurt most of the time. Libido is excessive and it is the domain of Lucifer, the Satan. And women bodies resemble that perilous libido. Do not talk of male body; it is woman body which is chosen to represent the harmful part. Girls shall be taught to decrease their attractiveness as well as sexual desire. Sort of lust shall be demeaning to create a balance society—putting the lies to girls, solely. Bodies are degraded, not both sexes, yet a mere sex: femaleness. It is a medieval angst ever reborn in the 21st century, hatred to the sight of female corporeal. The corporal hatred turns to mental angst, among girls.
“I cover my hair, yes, but I maintained the curve, to be well-versed in fashion, well, I shall not be out-mode, at least”, a student of Universitas Paramadina told me in an interview. Karina has a boyfriend, and clandestine kisses are visible, yet not sexual intercourse. The limit is on the vaginal penetration. She believed herself not to be sanctified or polluted or tainted or even sinned to hell. That is the way she bends religious values and modernity at the similar pace. Discourse of lust and angst are driven competitively in a unfair race where she and her boyfriend shall control any penetration. They create the limit of the hell, limit of the sin. A creative hybridity of authority toward lust, intimacy and sexuality—not necessarily informing this to the consent of their parent, less teachers! That is how the youth in Indonesia are now dealing with love and lust under the banner of religious affirmation they received from dogmas. They did not consider it as sinful longing, less the inward sin which leads to the falling away from Allah, nor lust as the origin of sin. Though the dogma has place lust in the heart, because it is the centre of all moral forces and impulses and of spiritual activity, so lust must be wiped out and erased. Karina unmask her tabooed femaleness in confidence while still embracing Islam passionately—performing five times Sholat in discipline.
The memory explores the tabooed body in social media photos display as a performative medium capable of penetrating the public sphere. It is a form of writing against. Representation and expressions of the body, of the lust, of the love, have swept away the conservativeness with conflictive results. Historical experiences and cultural production are crucial to consider, a reflection of continual thread allowing more space for visible sexuality. Internet has been used to resist power structure, to explore the individual body’s claiming in popular culture and observance of Islam and Jilbab. By violating traditional taboos such as sexuality, lust, cross-dressing, intimacy, and adulation of self, women’s voices often empower the sexed body while redefining family structure and values, as well as conceptualization of angst inside the gender hierarchy—angst of a daughter to her mother or her peers. The abundance of intimate and sensual photos wearing Jilbab weave a connective thread throughout cultural production of recent decades as a legitimate part of cultural Indonesian Islam in the 21st century.
Aspects of taboos and euphemisms in cultural production are still leading the way on the most outer layer, yet inside the fabric; everyone will find the rich, radiant and lustrous expressions of lust and love being expressed without fear. Apprehension and trepidation are tangible among faces in schools, but they will change soon after reaching the internet. Panic room is staying in-between when parents or teachers are catching it, but out of these all business, they are safe upon the cloud. The linguistic devices that women employ to express lust and love are usually euphemisms. Euphemisms are exploring the motives of intimacy, lust and freedom, yet should undercover them all from perceptible torment. Angst is becoming fertile ground where euphemisms and metaphor of intimacy and sexuality being reproduced and rejoiced. Undoubtedly it represents a wealth of vocabulary in oral culture, as well as, the waning power of religiosity.
Women’s bodies have been reproduced as source of leisure, pleasure as well as disgust. Women’s fats in literature, art and popular culture have been seen as monstrous and defiled and disgusting. Vulnerable to stigma is closely related to femaleness, either thin or fat, both are disadvantageous. This framing has led to the stigmatization of aspects of women’s bodies: lines in the skin that indicate aging, lumps of fat, fairness of skin, and shape of nose. Those are considered as threatening for women themselves which then being reproduced, and forcibly stigmatized in later phases. Ways of resisting, reframing, and coping the stigmas are rarely discussed. Debunking stigma and demystifying physical beauty are ways to be honest to femaleness. Air-brushed femaleness onto the bill-board—mostly cosmetic and fashion products—is being debunked to satisfy lurid and vivid honesty of being female. This study rejects the way women stigmatized other women using the weapon of body proportion. It is massive and ubiquitous in the public.
The stigma attached to lust and sexuality by the dogmas has created suffering indeed. The pervasiveness of morality views toward lust and sexuality are undeniable in mainstream Indonesian Muslim society, situated both institutionally and interpersonally. The youth perceives it as torture. It creates angst. Previous angst has amplified the personal experience of stigma, and that is why the youth should ameliorate their expression of lust: either hetero or homo relationship shall remodel its sensitivity and interactions under public gaze. The cultural bubble simply could not let they go. While much of the discussion surrounding body image and appearance revolved around the current orthodoxy, this study wants to take a moment to reflect on how this double-standard often creates certain stigma for women. How they are being sold, and then being nullified as amoral, almost happens at the same time. Vagina is sold in the porno industry, functioned as cash-cow, while at the same time, being cursed for tainting morality. It is the community double-standard putting such a multi-burden to femaleness. How horrified and petrified having breast or vagina then! Beauty is then of over-burdened consequence, since happiness is denied woman. Women’s tales of woes are narrative of anguish, despair, and misery—lurking from marriage, divorce, abortion and plastic surgery. Thus, the moral of the story is tale of petrified body—unhappy narrative. How women negotiate Jilbab, interpret body and access to justice is no longer stand equally. Women’s bodies are devalued, revived and reread as part of the religious memory. Speaking of women’s special responsibility, their duty and their obligation as a woman to retain high standard of appearance, of one’s femininity, self-respect and pride; while at the same time sanctioned by religion not to reveal the skin and the hair to emit signal of sexual interest and availability since the sole right is in the hand of patriarch. All those burdens are pathetic.
Femaleness is valued as commodities and stigmatized heavily at the arena of religiosity. Corporeality finds it suffocating and wretched in dismal. Stigma on lust attached solely to femaleness has undermined possible causes of the ample diverse experiences facing by women around the globe to hail against. Women shall define beauty based on their own horizon, one which fair and equal—sweeping away derogating stigma. Fantasy of love, of lust, of intimacy, and of sexuality are legitimate in its own way—being experienced and undergone by women of bare-headed or women of Jilbab. It is a source of liberation in which memory of religiosity is no longer suffocating, petrifying, or killing.
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Gender, the Problem of Patriarchy and Maṣlaḥa in Indonesian Islam: From Fiqh al-Abawī to Fiqh al-Nisā’
Dr.Phil. Syafiq Hasyim
Director of International Center for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP), Jakarta
Generally speaking, the term gender remains often misunderstood in Indonesia even by its committed adherents like me. The misinterpretations of gender range from making a joke to serious matters of our daily behavior, attitude and discourse on it. The people of Indonesia often identify gender with female or feminine gesture and behavior. You can feel more misconstruction and misunderstanding of this concept when attending Islamic forums and discussions, meetings of state officials and many other occasions in Indonesia. In short, gender is simply translated into all things physically and mentally related to women. All these reflect that the notion of gender remains discursively contested and to some extent misguided. The lack of proper understanding on the discourse and practice of gender in Indonesia is a result of complex intermingling between social, cultural and legal factors on the one hand and male-biased interpretation of religion on the other hand. The religion-based patriarchy becomes more apparent due to the literal fanaticism of Indonesians regarding their religion’s views on the rights of women. For the literalist groups of Indonesian Muslims, the legal status of women in Islam is very clear as the subordinate of husbands and men both in the public and domestic sphere. This is seen as non-debatable because it is literally mentioned in the Qur’an, or qaṭʿī al-dilāla (cogent indication). From the perspective of the groups, following this role strictly is part of being pious and respecting the teachings of Islam. Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI, Party of Liberation, Indonesia) and also the women’s wings of Partai Keadilan Sejehtera (PKS, Justice Prosperity Party) believe all efforts to liberate women in Islam are part of an international conspiracy to de-legitamitize Islam. Both organizations seem to hold the understanding that Islam determines the position of men as leaders for women both at the public and private sphere. This is one example of how Indonesian Muslims implement “patriarchal” perspectives, which are based on religion. This paper seeks to shed light on the problems of patriarchy, particularly those which are related to the preference of Indonesian Muslims in adhering a particular discourse of Islamic legal theory and jurisprudence that creates ambiguity and tension with gender issues internationally. In doing so, I will depict the various Islamic interpretations used by Indonesian Muslims to publicly discuss the problem of patriarchy. This paper also highlights the dynamics of Muslim scholars and activists locally and globally in striving for this issue through their new method of interpretation such as maṣlaḥa or maqāṣid theory. A discursive shift from male-to female oriented Islamic jurisprudence is also taken into account in this piece.
Indonesian Islam and the State of Patriarchy
Historically speaking, Indonesian Muslims have long been recognized as open and respectful of the diversity and plurality of beliefs and religions (Saskia 2006, p. 1; Azra 2013). Indonesian Islam is also often claimed as the best model of religious tolerance in the world. All these assumptions are based on factual cases of the religious life of Indonesian Muslims, including their preference to have non-Islamic theocratic state although Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation in the world. Most importantly, historical narratives on the coming of Islam to the archipelago serve as further evidence in support of this argument. It is, for instance, agreed among historians on Indonesia that Islam was not disseminated in this region through violence or war, but it came peacefully through trade and cultural means. Both ways have enabled Islam to spread wide and negotiate smoothly with the myriad localities of Indonesia. With regard to this fact, many experts conclude that Indonesian Islam has its own characteristics which are different from Islam in other places of the world especially the Middle East. The distinctiveness is mostly associated with more flexible and accommodative nature of Indonesian Islam to various local values and cultures of the country. Therefore, finally, it is believed that the Indonesian Islam gives more space and tolerance for innovation and reinterpretation of issues posed by modernity.
With regard to the given historical facts, Indonesian Islam is also comfortable with the rights of women because its inclusive character will also create room for respecting the equality of men and women. Judging the conformity of Indonesian Islam to the rights of women is not a simple matter. When the Queen of Aceh (1641-1699) led that kingdom, Islamic legal polemics pertaining to the legality of a woman leading the state arose there. The local ulama of Aceh seemed to be fine with the leadership of Sultana (queen) but a fatwā by Sherriff of Mecca stating that women were not allowed to lead the kingdom had more resonance (Riddell 2007, p. 42; Kathirithamby-Wells 1976, p. 71). Raden Ajeng Kartini, often credited as a modern female liberator in Indonesia, also suffered from the classical dictum of polygamy in Islamic legal jurisprudence (Taylor 1976). So the inclusiveness of Indonesian Islam regarding the local values of Indonesia does not always mean it accepts the equal rights of women and men. It can be said that Indonesian Islam is comfortable with the diverse localities of the country, but has trouble dealing with women. This is kind of patriarchal portrayal of Indonesian knowledge including Islam in which all matters related to the body of women is not part of public-ness.
The cases above paint a different picture than what the oral history of Indonesia often tells us, which is that Indonesia is a nation of mothers (Ibu Pertiwi). For example we can see positive historical examples of female queens, heroes, Muslim female scholars and many others, which are often cited to support this idea. Fatima Mernissi for instance discusses the leadership of the four sultana in Aceh (1993) whose roles are often forgotten by the Muslim world especially by Indonesian Muslims. Female figures such as Kartini in Central Java, Dewi Sartika in West Java, Rohana Kudus in West Sumatera are celebrated by Indonesians regardless of their religion and gender. Although historical and sociological cases can be used as modality to construct “comprehensive values,” to borrow John Rawls’ term, of the modern political and legal structure of Indonesia, to enhance the position of women, but our indigenous values instead often remain dominated by “patriarchal discourse of Islam” (Rawls 2011; Weithman 2011, p. 305).
Politically speaking, since the era of independence, it is a telling fact that Indonesia has not yet ensured equal rights for its male and female citizens. Indonesia has not yet issued strong state policies that ensure men and women have equal rights and status in the public sphere. In addition, the modern state of Indonesia has conformed to unwritten legal and cultural rules and bureaucratic patterns which discriminate against women. The role of women is institutionalized and limited within domestic matters of the public sphere, such as the association of civil servant’s wives (Darma Wanita) and many other similar groups. All these arrangements place women in a subordinate status. From the perspective of Marx and Engels, the state policy of the New Order era can be seen as a patriarchal state as all modes of production were made on the basis of “bondsmen” (Murray 1995, p. 6). It is important to mention here that this discrimination is implemented through the state’s laws, which do not grant equal justice, fairness and protection for both men and women. Although the state for instance does not specifically differentiate between men and women in its laws, this does not mean that the state has fulfilled justice either for men or women. In the perspective of gender studies, taking a neutral stance can be regarded as disempowering or excluding women. When the situation of men and women are not equal because of the dominance of one sex and the state maintains silence on this issue, it can also be understood as discriminating against women.
Furthermore, Indonesian lawmakers have codified some patriarchal elements of Islamic law into the state law. Their crowning achievement was the codification of Islamic personal laws into a Presidential Instruction Presidential Instruction No. 1/1991 on Kompilasi Hukum Islam. Many Muslim scholars claim that the KHI is a strong example of Indonesian fiqh due to its accommodation of some concepts of Indonesian culture like harta gono gini, but in general, this compilation does not promote the equal status and rights of women with men. Starting from this deficiency, an attempt to deconstruct the KHI was taken by a collaborative team consisting of the sub section of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Muslim (MORA) academia and Islamic NGOs. This project was led by a senior officer of MORA, Musdah Mulia (b. 1958). Mulia herself is an activist and Muslim feminist who started her career as a civil servant at the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Now, Mulia is one of the very brave Indonesian feminists who passionately struggle for not only women rights but also pluralism and religious tolerance in Indonesia. Mulia has become the target of stigmatization and victimization by radical Islamic groups in Indonesia for her role in attempting to promote women’s rights. The project was intended to revise and make the content of the KHI more sensitive and empowering to the rights of women. But, the final document of this project was rejected by the MORA, which said the content was widely divergent from the mainstream fiqh of Indonesian Islam. A side effect of this rejection was that it was capitalized on by certain groups to brand all attempts at reforming Islam as part of a Western-designed plot to denigrate Islam.
Progressive Efforts of Indonesian Islam
Since the reform era in 1998, there have been some legal improvements regarding the advancement of gender equality and equity in Indonesia. Abdurrahman Wahid (known by his nickname, Gus Dur) published an INPRES (Presidential Instruction) No. 9/2000 on gender mainstreaming (Schech and Mustafa 2010). Although as a legal instrument, the INPRES does not have strong legal basis as law, but it provided a further means to promote women rights. This can be seen, for instance, in the quota if women’s representation which was required in the state law on general elections in 2009. This law demanded all political parties achieve a 30 % quota for women candidates in the parliament. However, although some progress was made in gender policy, at the same time, new patriarchal tendencies have emerged since the fall of Suharto (Day 2006, p. 149). This can be seen from some Muslim’s support for polygamous marriages, domesticating women’s roles, endorsing female circumcision and many others. Islamic organizations such as the HTI, Forum Umat Islam (FUI, Islamic Society Forum), Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI, Mujahidin Defenders of Indonesia) and also Islamic parties such as the PKS are fighting for polygamy.
They are very active in running media campaigns that polygamy is part of Muhammad’s tradition (sunna). PKS has many similar ideas and agenda with these groups. Many prominent leaders of this party have more than one wife. Even when some members of the party advocates for the importance of having only one wife, this idea is rejected by the majority of the party. This can be seen, for instance, in Bahagiakan Diri Dengan Satu Istri, written by Cahyadi Takariawan. This book is intended to internally persuade PKS cadres and activists to be monogamous and externally show that not all PKS members support polygamy (Takariawan 2011; Nurmila 2009).
Puspowardoyo, an entrepreneur, advocates polygamy by providing a national prize for successful polygamous relationships. The HTI also mobilizes its followers to protest against the role of women in the public sphere because it is against women’s responsibility in Islam as the mother of household. Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI, Council of Indonesian Ulama) published a specific fatwā in 2008 declaring it unlawful to argue for the prohibition of female circumcision. The fatwā is called Hukum Pelarangan Khitan Terhadap Perempuan (Legal Judgment for Prohibiting Female Circumcision) (MUI 2011, p. 236). The fatwā states “pelarangan khitan terhadap perempuan adalah bertentangan dengan ketentuan syari’ah karena khitan, baik bagi laki-laki maupun perempuan, termasuk fitrah (aturan) dan syiar Islam,” prohibiting female circumcision is against the regulations of sharia because it is order and part of religious sentiment for males and females (ibid).
This fatwā was in response to a circular distributed by the General Director of HealthMinistry regarding on the Prohibition of Medicalisation of Female Circumcission. According to MUI, the letter indicates what in Arabic is called “tahrīm al-ḥalāl,” disallowing the lawful, which is doing that is now prohibited in Islam. Human beings are not allowed to declare something haram which is actually halal. Therefore, besides countering the circular from the Ministry of Health, this fatwā was also aimed at countering the argument of feminist groups promoting the prohibition of circumcision on health grounds.
In the broader context, the increasing tendency of radicalism in Indonesia is affirmed by national surveys that show Indonesian Muslims are adhering more strictly to their religion over the last decade since the reform era (Burhanudin and van Dijk 2013, p. 7). This represents a strong challenge to long-established perception of the benign characteristic of Indonesian Islam mentioned above, which ultimately also influence perceptions on the status of women in Islam. Based on this, I would like to provide some examples of the model of Islamic thought constructed by Indonesian Muslim scholars and clerics in understanding the position of women in Islam. Hamka (b. 1908), Munawar Khalil (b. 1908) Jusuf Wibisono (b. 1909)and others are examples of early Indonesian Muslim scholars who sought to offer Islamic arguments to protect the position of women from the proliferation of Western liberation discourses that swept across Indonesia during their era. Their works mostly argue for the supremacy of Islamic teachings over Judeo-Christian notions in particular and Western traditions including women’s rights in general. All Islamic teachings on women are, in their perception, intended to value and respect the dignity of women (martabat perempuan). Many Indonesian intellectuals such as Jusuf Wibisono, for instance, argued that polygyny is prescribed in Islam in order to prevent Muslim society from falling into the danger of extramarital sexual relations (Steenbrink 2006, p. 137). By allowing or permitting a husband to have second, third, and fourth wife, Muslim males have contributed to establishing Islamic civilization by commanding rights and forbidding wrong. In short, the era of these Muslim scholars can be regarded as the early establishment of “post-colonial Islamic patriarchy” in Indonesia.
In the 1980s to the 1990s, the discourse on women’s rights in Indonesia was enlightened by Muslim thinkers who had both national and international traditions as the basis of their knowledge and experience. This group is often referred to as the Neo-Modernist Movement because most of them have a strong basis in the studies of both Islamic tradition (classical Islamic literature) and Western tradition. Usually, their scholarship begins from traditional or modern Islamic boarding schools – studying the exegesis of the Qur’an, Sunna, fiqh, Islamic legal theory and many others- before moving on to university degrees in Western countries and in the Middle East. Nurcholish Madjid (d. 2006),Abdurrahman Wahid (d.2009)and Jalaluddin Rahmat are some of the key figures in this movement.
Their model of Islamic thought is characterized by creative efforts in negotiating and amalgamating the spirit of high Islam with localities on one hand and new evelopments facing the life of Indonesian Muslim communities – low Islam — on the other (Gellner 1983; Lessnoff 2007). They strongly rely on classical Islamic texts as the foundation of their thinking, and a have a robust anticipation of modernity as their orientation in actualizing religion for the future.
In the 1990s, Abdurrahman Wahid paved the way for a new discourse of Indonesian fiqh which was generally outlined in his tenet of pribumisasi Islam (indigenization of Islam) (Wahid 1986). This concept emphasized the need to embed Islam within Indonesia’s local characteristics (Wahid 1989). The leitmotif of this discourse was twofold: the increased ability of this religion in adopting local values on the one hand and the strong grip in the tradition of Islam on the other hand. In this way, they apply the concept of maṣlaḥa (public interest) in contextualizing Islam within existing civilization (Mujiburrahman 1999, p. 342). With this framework, the crucial issues of Indonesia including gender issues are expected to be solved. Viewed from the perspective of post-modernism, Wahid’s pribumisasi Islam can be understood as arguing that in order to become inclusive, Islam should be based on local characteristics and the diversity of justice and truth (Murray 1995, p. 2). The pribumisasi Islam should be formulated in order to invent a multifaceted Indonesian Islam . When it is successfully formulated, the way forward towards reformism of religious thought – new interpretation — becomes predictable and effective.
Another effort to step down the path of Islamic reformism has been signaled, for instance, by Munawir Sjadzali (b. 1925) who introduced the “reactualisation of Islam” (reaktualisasi Islam). Sjadzali was the Minister of Religious Affairs, 1983-1993, and had a solid background in the field of Islamic studies as well as political sciences. What he means by this concept is to give attention to the needs of the Muslim community for reform of Islamic thought, using women rights in inheritance as a starting point. With regard to this case, Sjadzali suggests Islam has to be re-actualized, especially regarding the allocation of inheritance, which traditionally has women receiving only half the inheritance of men. The reactualisation of Islam here is the reactualisation of fiqh, not of Islam itself, because Islam as religion is immutable and unchangeable, but fiqh as a result of interpretation to Islam mutable and changeable. This is generally what Muslim scholars understand about Islam.
The idea of the reactualization of Islam was also underpinned by the situation in which many women are the main source of income for families but do not hold a strong social and cultural position within the family. As breadwinners, women share and contribute the family income, but the rights of execution in the affairs of household do not belong to women, but rather to men as husbands and heads of family, even though the husband may well be unemployed. Based on this reality, Sjadzali suggests the “reinterpretation of inheritance-sharing formula” for men and women, which the Qur’an textually states as being two for man and one for woman, to become equal. In the modern context, wherein the division of labor and family responsibility is not strictly separated and divided, the 2:1 formula is no longer justifiable. The formula has to be reinterpreted in the lights of current social justice. In dong so, the 2:1 formula is understood as the application of sharia (Arabic: taṭbīq al-shariʿa), not the utmost objective of sharia which is justice. As the form of sharia application, the formula 2:1 is mutable, as the heart of sharia, the value of justice is absolute and unchangeable. Both Wahid’s pribumisasi Islam and Sjadzali’s reaktualisasi Islam are examples of efforts to bring maqāṣid concept down to earth to the local nature of Indonesia.
The reactualisation of Islam is more understandable when it is also viewed from a specific notion in Islamic discourse that differentiates religious knowledge from religion (Soroush 2002, p. 32). From this perspective, the formula 2:1 can be understood as the invention of fiqh, science of religion, while what religion seeks is justice for humankind.
Apart from individuals, institutional efforts to create Indonesian fiqh have also been initiated by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Council of Indonesian Ulama). Both drafted and proposed Kompilasi Hukum Islam (KHI, Compilation of Islamic Law) to the government of Indonesia during the Suharto era. According to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and MUI, the KHI is the result of collective ijtihād of Indonesian ulama in formulating a fiqh that accommodates and includes the numerous local characteristics of Indonesia. They therefore claim that the KHI is Indonesian fiqh. One of Indonesia’s characteristics transferred into the KHI is provision on harta gono-gini (an equal sharing of properties for men and women). Gono gini means fifty-fifty division for men and women in with regards to inheritance (Lev 1972, p. 180). However, if we look at the content of KHI as a whole, we can sense that traditional fiqh, which has patriarchal biases, remains prominent. As alluded to above, these efforts so far have been ineffective in solving injustices and unfairness affecting women. This is because all ideas promoted by neo-modernist Muslim scholars remain unable to provide a conclusive solution regarding the contradiction that exists between the religious texts and social reality.
Generally speaking, Indonesian Muslims place more emphasis on fiqh in their daily life than other disciplines of Islam. This can be seen, for instance, from how they institutionalize the issues of fiqh in the form of fatwā bodies within their respective Islamic organizations, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU: Awakening of Ulama) with its Bahsul Masa’il  (fatwā [non binding Islamic legal edict], Muhammadiyyah (Followers of Muhammad) with its Lembaga Tarjih (fatwā institution of Muhammadiyah), and Persatun Islam (Persis: Union of Islam) with its Dewan Hisbah (fatwā institution of Persis). Although the fatwā bodies above can also respond to questions outside fiqh, the fatwā requests from their communities are generally related to the issues of fiqh. As a consequence, these organizations answer questions using the method of fiqh (al-isṭinbāt alfiqhiyya). The Bahsul Masa’il, is an obvious example of how the consideration of fiqh is widely used in Indonesia. Similar to NU, the Lembaga Tarjih of Muhammadiyah also considers the importance of fiqh. However, in 1997, for instance, NU, through its National Congress (Munas) in Lombok, issued a fatwā about the legality of women becoming vicpresident of Indonesia. This fatwā was quite influential in paving the way for the Nahdlatul Ulama community to accommodate gender issues in their social and religious activities.
With regard to the current reality, the religious devotion of Indonesian Muslims is highly inferred by the notion of fiqh and my concern here is to link up this phenomenon with the patriarchal practice of Indonesian Muslims in their daily life. Such practices can be seen in daily attitudes and behavior where certain Islamic injunctions on women are used to justify the subjugation of women in Islam. For instance, the discourse of fiqh that states that the status of woman is a half that of man is generally used to cover the totality of women’s position in Islam.
In this paper, I suggest that fiqh al-abawī (patriarchal fiqh) is actually like other fiqhs, but there are clear patriarchal tendencies within its discourse. Patriarchal fiqh can simply be seen as a discourse of Islamic jurisprudence that does not support equality and justice between men and women and also discriminates and subordinates women’s rights to the interests of men. There are many examples of this, such as the ruling on man’s leadership (imāma) both in the domestic and public space – al-imāma al-ṣughrā wa al-imāma aluẓmā, domestic leadership and public leadership. The Qur’anic injunction used by Indonesian Muslim jurists is usually al-Nisā’: 34 saying:
The leadership of men in this verse is actually open to interpretation. But they usually underline this verse as an Islamic legal foundation to prevent women from leading prayers(imām al-salāt), not for the public sphere. This is one of many examples where an interpretation of a specific verse of the Qur’an is addressed to one gender. However, I should say here that awareness about patriarchy in the discourse of Islamic jurisprudence is a relatively new phenomenon among Muslim legal jurists and people in Indonesia, only really coming in to the public consciousness in the 2000s.
Generally, Muslim jurists think of fiqh as a neutral discipline, not favoring either men or women. This predisposition accords to historical narratives developed by the scholars of this discipline that the establishment of fiqh was, initially, stipulated by the need of Muslim human beings to understand the will of God (tafaqqu fī al-dīn). Therefore, the creation of fiqh was originally absent from the interest of marginalizing and subordinating the position of women. However, patriarchal affinities can occur in specific circumstances, including when books of fiqh were written down by their authors. The fiqh of the Islamic middle ages was the conceptualization of a male-dominated religious discipline. There is no information regarding the presence of female authors of fiqh, or even the term faqīha (female Muslim jurist), a feminine of faqīh (Muslim jurist). Viewed from the perspective of Michel Foucault, the genealogy of fiqh as a knowledge discipline should be critically investigated in order to discern the subjectivity of their authors (Foucault 2012).
Modern social sciences have stimulated the emergence of self-discourse criticism among Muslim scholars including in re-assessing the development of fiqh in positioning women. Illuminated by this perspective, Qāsim Amīn (b. 1863), for instance, sees a direct relationship between the interpretation of Islam and the backwardness of women. Qāsim Amīn was arguably the most vocal Muslim intellectual in the struggle for the empowerment of women’s rights in all aspects of life. Qāsim Amīn elaborated his thoughts and ideas in his two seminal books, Taḥrīr al-Mar’a and Mar’atun Jadīdatun.
The cultural-encounter between Islam and modernity has made the new generation of Muslim scholars conscious that, as a monotheistic religion, Islam, which claims to be as religion of both justice and equality, should be implemented not only at the rhetorical but also at the practical level. Islam has to be a totality of theory and practice or discourse and praxis. It is not to rhetorically say that Islam brings justice, but it should be practically implemented in daily life. So this religion rejects slavery and the subordination of women to men. Women are human beings, just like men; men are human beings, just like women (alnisā’ shaqā’iq al-rijāl). Muḥammad ʿAbdu (b. 1849) and Rashīd Riḍā (b. 1865) have propagated the justice of Islam through al-Manār. Both introduced a new interpretation of some important verses of the Qur’an related to rights and the position of women in Islam and these served as their answer to the challenge of modernity. The most outstanding progressive interpretation of the Qur’an carried out by ʿAbdu is that regarding the verse of al-Nisā’, 1:
This verse explains the creation (genesis) of human beings. ʿAbdu states that this verse implies that the creation of human beings did not begin from Adam. The content of the term nafs wāḥida is not Adam, but a single source. Most importantly, ʿAbdu argued the interpretation that nafs wāḥida, which has been understood by prominent ulama in the past as Adam, is an influence from within isrā’īliyyāt (Judeo-Christian) tradition, not from within the Islamic tradition. Muhammad ʿAbdu is also very clear in reexamining the literal pronouncement of the Qur’an regarding polygamous marriage by revealing that the Qur’an intends monogamy, not polygamy as the Islamic marriage system (Esposito 1994, p. 52; Saeed 2005, pp. 183-4).
As previously stated, although the establishment of fiqh is not intended to construct patriarchy within fiqh, this tendency is apparent in vast array of Islamic jurisprudence texts. There are several reasons why fiqh has a patriarchal tendency. First, fiqh is a discipline of Islamic knowledge derived (isṭinbāṭ) from the Qur’an and Sunna in which the language (Arabic) of both Islamic primary sources whose patriarchal lexicography is part of this language. The understanding and interpretation of al-Nisā’: 34, al-rijālu qawwamūna ʿalā a-nisā’…, ‘men are leaders of women…’ introduced by traditional fuqahā’, lucidly indicates how the dimension of fatherness is strongly rooted within the texts. The majority of jurists interpret and use this verse as justification (dalīl) that women cannot lead the prayer for men, while this verse is nothing to do with men’s leadership in prayer. With reference to this verse, some fiqh books disallow women to become the imam for male congregants in ṣalāt al-jamāʿa (communal prayer). However, Abdu’s interpretation as mentioned above is not popularly used by traditionalist Muslim scholars in Indonesia. Still, the rib story of Adam is well-known among Indonesian Muslims.
With regard to the given example, it seems that Indonesian ulama of fiqh in general did not consider the case of Ummi Waraqa binti Nawfal (a great female companion of the Prophet Muḥammad), who led a prayer (imām) while some adult men were her followers (ma’mūm). It seems that Indonesian Islamic jurists just adhere to a saying of the Prophet Muhammad, “la ta’umanna rajulun imra’atan” (men do not really follow women in a prayer) (Hadzami, p. 453; Ghazzi 2009). Another example is that regarding nushūz (Arabic, meaning wife’s disobedience of her husband). The ulama of fiqh act on the assumption that nushūz is only specific for women, while in fact the Qur’an mentions that men can also be judged as nushūz. Although al-Nisā’: 128 speaks about the possibility of men being disobedient to their wives, but many books of fiqh dismiss this topic. Ibn Rushd’s Bidāya al-Mujtahid is often claimed as the prototype of modern fiqh, but it does not pay attention to any discourse on men’s nushūz (obedience. So perhaps the tradition surrounding the process of writing this book favored the supremacy of men. We can find many other examples of the patriarchal tendencies of fiqh which go against the principle content of both the Qur’an and Sunna; namely justice and equality. These two examples illustrate that contemporary fuqāhā’’s way of understanding such cases mostly relies on previous generations of fuqahā’, despite the fact that there have been many changes since those previous generations of fuqahā’ lived. Literal interpretations of Islamic religious texts reign supreme, even when they stand opposite to public interest (maṣlaḥa). This is a general discourse of Islam related to women’s issues.
Further, the founders of fiqh are mostly male. It is evident that male subjectivity has an influential role in the process of creating fiqh narratives. For instance, many previously mentioned maqāla (statements) of Islamic jurisprudence serve as evidence of this. To date, female scholars of fiqh are recognized, but their roles and thoughts are not extensively elaborated upon in works of fiqh. This remains the case, despite the fact that some prominent ulama of fiqh in the past, such as al-Shāfiʿī and Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, recognized the teaching and guidance of their female teachers. In addition, they learned and studied Islam from these female teachers, but they did not seek to acknowledge their role. If we go back to the first generation of Islam, ‘Ā’sha was the teacher of many of the Prophet’s companions, but her capabilities as a female ulama are not expounded as prominently as other male companions of the Prophet. In addition, many of ʿĀ’isha’s narrations of the sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad are considered doubtful by Abū Hurayra. Abū Hurayra, as said by Fatima Mernissi (one of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions) was one of the contenders to the position of women which are represented a lot in the sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad narrated by ʿĀ’isa (Mernissi 1987, p. 56).
Although patriarchal trends are not solely the domain of male ulama, it is nonetheless very much evident in the content of fiqh books written by them. Sayyid Abd al-Raḥman b. Muḥammad, in Bughya al-Mustarshidīn, for instance, uttered “wa man jalasa maʿa alnisā’ zāda l-lāhu al-jahla wa al-shahwa”, “anyone who sits down together with women, God will give him/her more stupidity and uncontrolled desire.” This avowal is indicative of the unambiguous patriarchal content in fiqh and very much against the unbiased principle of the Qur’an and Sunna that grants men and women equal rights and positions as human beings. Another opinion declares that women are not given the duty of, and are even prohibited from, seeking knowledge other than specific knowledge related to “religious obligations” (al-wājibāt) such as knowledge on five daily prayers (ṣalāt), pilgrimage (ḥajj) and fasting (ṣaum). This is also not in compliance with the Qur’an and Sunna. The Qur’an and Sunna endorse women as being similar to men in their freedom to seek knowledge. The Prophet Muhammad said that “ṭalab al-ʿilm farīḍa ‘alā kulli muslimīn wa muslimātin, seeking knowledge is a duty for Muslim men and women.” We can find many other examples of patriarchal affinities within works on Islamic jurisprudence which are widely circulated and read in Indonesia (Manshur, p. 45).
The patriarchal predisposition of fiqh can be seen in the model of transmission and dissemination of this discipline, both of which are controlled by male ulama. In Indonesia, pesantrens, Islamic learning education centers, and Islamic forums, which serve as venues for the formulation and spread of Islamic discourse remain the domain of male ulama. Leaders, teachers and preachers are mostly males. In the co-educational pesantrens or Islamic study groups, male teachers can lecture both male and female students, but the same cannot be said for female teachers. Male teachers can work in learning centers dominated by female students, but women rarely teach in male-dominated forums, unless certain conditions are fulfilled such as they have specific expertise which are not found among their male colleagues or their presence must be demarked with a dividing cover (ḥijāb or sātir). They are also given of the opportunity to teach during ḍarūra (religious emergency). This tendency becomes stronger in Indonesia now especially among the students and activist of Salafi groups. Islamic learning circles managed by PKS (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, Prosperous Justice Party) for instance at many state universities implement this model. In their perspective, segregation between males and females in teaching and learning process are not only part of morality, but fulfill religious demands in seeking knowledge.
In Indonesia’s electronic media, the presence of female preachers in the last decade has been quite an impressive phenomenon. On the one hand, it suggests a growing involvement of women in the public sphere, but on the other hand, their presence seems to extend Islamic patriarchy. Indonesian TV stations broadcast preaching programs hosted by female mubilligha (preachers), including Lutfiah Sungkar (female preacher from Jakartan native), Neno Warisman (former pop singer, b. 1964), Mamah Dedeh, Teh Ninih (Abdullah Gymnastiar’s wife) and many others. These figures are female preachers who preach for women, but their perspectives in understanding the issues of women remain grounded in the perspective of men. The content of their preaching is similar to that of male preachers, which promote the interpretation of male jurists. When Mamah Dedeh was asked by an audience member about the legal status of pregnant women, and whether they can get married or not during her pregnancy, Mamah Dedeh answered by quoting two opinions among Islamic jurists; first it is allowed and second it is not allowed. For the first fatwā, Islam does not recognise extra marital intercourse therefore the status of the child resulting from such a relationship is illegal. Another example was when Mamah Dedeh was asked about the legal validity of interfaith marriages. Dedeh answered that this marriage is not allowed. She seems to be very sure about her answer, although interfaith marriages remain a highly contested issue in Islamic legal jurisprudence. Dedeh does not try to go throughout the various opinions of this discourse. The two examples reflect the strong influence of male ulama, although Islamic jurists remain divided on the latter case.
All the circumstances discussed above represent the dissemination of Islamic knowledge that further contributes to the formulation of more patriarchal tendencies within fiqh (Hasyim 2001, p. 133).
The socio-political and cultural structures of society in the past when the fiqh was created were also very male-dominated. As an Islamic science, the development of fiqh began in the Arab peninsula from the third generation after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. The socio-political and cultural structures of society in the region at that time and afterwards in general favored men. This also contributed to the establishment of patriarchal tendencies within fiqh, as it is very difficult to detach Indonesian ulama’s understanding of fiqh from Arab customs. This is understandable because most of the early fiqh discourse was constructed within the milieu of Arab culture. When the teaching of Islam and Arab culture mix in fiqh, many Indonesian ulama consider this as the totality of Islam including in women’s issues. For instance, all marriage-related issues, such as the leadership of men in the household, seem to be interpreted as part of religious discourse. However, when we read al-Nisā’: 34, the Qur’an outlines social and cultural issues regarding male leadership when they fulfills two capacities: cultural and political leadership ability as well as the ability to provide for his family. If he does not have these two capacities, then leadership can be offered to others who have these capacities.
With regard to this issue, Indonesian male and female Muslim scholars and activists such as Husein Muhammad (b. 1953), Nasarudin Umar (b. 1959), Mahasin, Badriyah Fayumi, Maria Ulfa, Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, Hamim Ilyas and many others have tried to offer a reinterpretation of gender issues, but their works are generally not recognized by most Indonesian Muslims. In addition, those who think of new ideas and reinterpretations on relations between men and women by utilizing gender frameworks are often stigmatized as devotees of liberal and Western ideology. Stigmatization like this becomes a real challenge in eradicating patriarchy in Indonesia. As a consequence of this, eradicating fiqh al-abawī and proposing fiqh al-nisāʿ is not only a scientific endeavor, but also an ideological endeavor to shape a gender bias-free Islamic discipline.
Maqāṣid and its use for gender equality
Literally speaking, fiqh means fahm gharḍ al-mutakallim, understanding the objectives of God. The mutakallim here is God, the Speaker. In legal Islamic theory, any attempt to understand the intention of God is called ‘ilm al-maqāṣid (science of God’s goals). For those who are familiar with the study of fiqh and uṣūl fiqh, although it is rarely used in the Indonesian context, maqāṣid has been extensively discussed among Indonesian Muslim scholars over the last two decades. Maqāṣid literally means objectives, intentions, and goals. The scholars of fiqh and uṣūl al-fiqh define that the creation of sharia (God’s law) is to enforce al-maṣlaḥa (beneficence) and to avoid al-mafāsid (harms) by providing protection for the five essential needs of human beings; al-ḍīn (religion), al-ḥayāt (life), al-‘aql (reason), al-māl (property) and al-nasl (generations). Yūsuf Qaradāwī adds one more objective: ḥifẓ al-‘irḍ (protection of human dignity). This kind of definition is clearly evident in a statement made by al-Ghazālī, “lakinnanā naʿnī bi al-maṣlaḥa al-muḥāfaẓa ‘alā maqṣūd al-shār‘i wa maqṣūd al-shār‘i khamsa wa huwa an yuḥfiẓa ʿalayhim dīnuhum, wa nafsuhum, wa ʿaqluhum, wa nasluhum, wa māluhum, fakullun ma yataḍammanu ḥifẓa hādhihi al-uṣūl al-khamsa, fahuwa maslaḥa, wa kullu ma yafūtu ḥādhihi al-uṣūl fahuwa mafsada wa daf‘uhā maslaḥa” [what we mean by goodness here is to protect the original objective of the Law Maker, and that the objectives of the Law Makers are five, that: is to protect the religion (belief) of human beings, the life of human beings, human reason, the future generations of human beings, and the property of human beings. Everything that maintains the protection of these five foundations is categorized as maṣlaḥa, and everything that rejects the protection of the five foundations is categorised as evil; to avoid the evil is goodness]. In the discourse of Islamic legal theory, the protection of five basic needs of human beings is called al-ḍarūriyyā al-khamsa (the five necessities) or maqāṣid al-sharīʿa (F. Opwis 2005; F. M. M. Opwis 2010).
Historically speaking, the early development of the maqāṣid concept can be traced through, for instance, al-Juwaynī (478 AH). He was the first ulama to emphasize the importance of understanding this notion behind the establishment of sharia (F. Opwis 2005). Al-Ghazālī (505 AH) developed a more complete concept of maqāṣid as the foundation of creating maṣlaḥa (public interest) and avoiding mafsada (badness, uselessness). After al-Ghazālī, the maqasid concept was further developed by others, such as Faḥr al-Dīn al-Rāzi (606 AH), Sayf al-Dīn al-‘Āmidī (631 AH), al-‘Izz b. ʿAbd al-Salām (660 AH), Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī (685 AH), Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfī (716 AH), Ibn Taymiyya (728 AH), Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (751 H), and Abū Isḥāq al-Shāṭibī (790 AH). Among theoreticians of the maqāṣid concept, al-Shāṭibī through his masterpiece, al-Muwaqāt fī Usūl al-Shārīʿa, is cited as among the greatest innovators in the discipline of uṣūl al-fiqh. Ali Shāmi’ al-Nishār describes al- Shāṭibī’s work as the most systematic and complete book of Islamic legal theory (Al-Nishār 1978, p. 82). Many Indonesian ulama accept the importance of al-Shāṭibī as a legal foundation for developing new interpretations of Islamic teachings.
Many Indonesian Muslim jurists have employed the concept of maqāṣid for different issues and interests. Progressive Muslim groups use the concept as a primary analytical tool to discover solutions for the modern problems faced by Indonesian Muslims (Rachman and Shofan 2010, pp. 133-4). This group regards maṣlaḥa as the important concept in classical Islamic theory because of the idea promoted by this notion that God has intention behind the creation of sharia. Within this theory, it can be said that sharia is not only what is textually stated in the source of sharia (naṣ ẓāhir), namely the Qur’an and Sunnah. Religious texts are a means for God to reveal His message and goals, but they have limitations – space and time — and the intention of God is not. From this point, therefore, progressive Muslims try to think of Islam as not only being based on texts, but primarily upon context. Indonesian progressive Muslims favour this approach because it creates space for open reasoning and also protecting religion from manipulation at the hands of its interpreters and users (ibid).
However, progressive Muslim groups are not alone in using this theory. Those who are wrestling with the formal application of sharia, such as MUI, in Indonesia also employ maqāṣid in different sense. MUI’s objective in using maqāṣid is to protect the application of this concept from being misunderstood and misused by the progressive Muslim groups. In this regard, MUI in 2005 introduced a specific fatwā on the definition of public interest. This fatwā was issued in order to counter liberal streams of thinking promoted by Muslim intellectuals and activists such as Ulil Abshar Abdalla, Lutfi Assyaukani. Among these socalled liberal groups are those who adopt gender perspectives in their approach to Islamic teachings. MUI’s criticism related to the misuse of maqāṣid can be seen in the organization’s fatwā on maṣlaḥa. In this fatwā, MUI argued that the concept of public interest is often employed by such groups to determine an Islamic legal opinion without following the consensus of classical ulama of uṣūl al-fiqh (bilā ḥudūdin wa ḍawābiṭin) on how to properly apply this concept. MUI also states that the misuse of this tenet by some groups has led to mistakes in the formulation of fatwā and to confusion in the Muslim community. MUI felt obliged to set out the proper use of Islamic law by issuing a set of criteria for maṣlaḥa. The general content of this fatwā is concerned with three points. First, the tenet of maṣlaḥa in the perspective of Islamic law is to implement the aims of purposive sharia (maqāṣid al-sharīʿa) that implies a full protection of al-ḍarūriyyāt al-khamsa (the five necessities) as mentioned above. Second, MUI argues that the notion of public interest must be applied in accordance with the main textual sources of Islam (the Qur’an and Sunna). The use of this concept in a way which contradicts the Qur’an and Sunna cannot be justified as maṣlaḥa. Third, a body that has the authority to rule on the criteria of public interest is an institution that has competency in this field, namely ulama (Hasyim 2014).
Why does contestation occur between so-called progressive and retrogressive groups of Indonesian Muslim scholars and activists using the concept of maṣlaḥa? The contestation takes place because the theory of maqāṣid itself offers the possibility of producing a new interpretation of Islam. Here, sharia is no longer read and interpreted in the light of textual and inter-textual boundaries of meaning, but also in social, cultural and political realms. Here, the maqāṣid differs from other methodologies of Islamic legal theory such as qiyās that can only accommodate the judgments of textual and inter-textual interpretations.
However, the use of maqāṣid as a methodology of ijtihād (istinbāṭ al-ḥukm) is not common in the Indonesian context. Muslim scholars of Islamic legal theory and jurisprudence, tend to refute the use of maqāṣid because this concept is not part of the main works of the four schools of Islamic law. The maqāṣid is relatively new compared to the other foundations of isṭinbāt such as ijmāʿ (collective agreement) and qiyās (analogy). In Indonesian context, the use of maqāṣid in the fatwā process became popular during the 1990s. Nahdlatul Ulama only discussed this issue in the Cipasung National Conference of 1994. This organization allowed the use of maqāṣid as the method for producing fatwa as long as it does not contradict the Qur’an and Sunnah. However, since this decision, it has been rare for NU fatwas to use the concept of maqāṣid in drawing up Islamic legal opinion.
Toward Fiqh al-Nisā’
As mentioned above, the use of maqāsīd or maṣlaḥa (purposive-fiqh) to solve the problems of rereading gender issues in Islam began with the emergence of Muslim feminists (Indonesian: feminis baru) in the 1990s. Husein Muhammad, Wardah Hafidz, Masdar F. Mas’udi, Lies Marcoes, Dawam Rahardjo, Muslim Abdurrahman and many others are examples of Muslim scholars who use the perspective of gender in fighting for women rights in Islam.
This emerging group attempted to develop maqāṣid as a methodological lens for identifying the compatibility between the discourse and practice of human rights in Islam, and Islam and gender rights in particular. They argued that the essence of the five necessities (Arabic: al-ḍarūriyyat al-khamsa) of sharia or maṣlaḥa is to establish the principles of justice and equality, which is very similar to the objectives of universal human rights. Those who use this concept believe that gender justice and equality in Islamic discourse and practice can be implemented through the use of maqāṣid. In their view, the five necessities are a basic foundation that enables a dialogue process between the message of the sacred text and the social reality. For these feminists, the failure of previous attempts in resolving gender problems within fiqh is due to the use of incorrect methods for rereading Islam, including the use of the maqāṣid theory.
However, it is worth noting that the concept of maqāṣid used and referred to by Indonesian Muslim scholars ist still influenced by al-Shāṭibī. Al-Shāṭibi’s maqāṣid has been widely employed by both Muslim scholars and gender advocates, but has not yet effectively offered a solution to gender-related issues in Islam that need an approach which goes beyond al- Shāṭibī’s view on maṣlaha. In addition, the concept of al-Shāṭibī’s maqāṣid can be used to establish male-oriented interpretations of Islam due to its limitedness in providing a way out of delicate issues, such as the contradiction between text and context that has long served as a source of gender injustice and discrimination within Islamic legal theory and jurisprudence. Some elements which contribute to the continuation of patriarchy within Islamic texts cannot be resolved by using al-Shāṭibī’s concept. In general, al-Shātibī’s maqāṣid does not a clear understand of how to proceed when Islamic texts apparently contradict public interest. It is true that al-Shāṭibī constructs the theory of kulliyāt and juz’iyyāt —the former being related to the universal principles of Islam and the latter related to the particular principles of Islam — to solve some contradictions, but the supremacy of the text is still primary (Opwis 2010). Prioritizing the supremacy of texts makes finding solutions to contemporary issues difficult, because the texts do not provide clear guidance or otherwise remain silent on issues, while the context always develops, over time and place.
So, the development of fiqh al-nisā’ needs a new conceptualization of maqāṣid, which differs from Shāṭibī’s concept that prioritizes the supremacy of the text. The approach of Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfī (b. 1276/7 d. 1316) is highly recommended in this regard, specifically because he provides a concrete solution on how to avoid contradictions between text and context. Before discussing al-Tūfī’s thought further, however, it is worth first defining first what is meant by fiqh al-nisā’ in the context of this paper. This term gained notoriety since International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held Cairo in 1994, which introduced women’s reproductive health (rights). Many Indonesian Muslim scholars and activists participated in this conference, including Masdar F. Mas’udi, Lies Marcoes, Husein Muhammad. In response to this international event, academia, civil society groups and women organizations in Indonesia conducted activities ranging from research to advocacyrelated to women’s reproductive rights in particular and Islam in general. Indonesian Islamic organizations and NGOs tackled the issue of reproductive rights through programs on Islamic jurisprudence and in programs for the Muslim community in pesantren. P3M (Perhimpunan Pengembangan Pesantren dan Masyarakat, Indonesian Society for Society and Pesantren), the Women’s Youth Wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, the Centre of Women’s Studies at the State Islamic University, Yogyakarta and many others worked together with male and female theologians to provide solid arguments in support of gender justice and equality.
Fiqh al-nisā’ is defined here as fiqh which is (1) focused on matters pertaining to women (fiqh fī al-nisā’), (2) from the perspective of women (fiqh min al-nisā’), and (3) for the dignity of women (fiqh fī al-nisā’). This definition is taken from the grammatical understanding of the term fiqh al-nisā’, the construction of whcih contains the meaning of fīmin and lī. Both Masdar F. Mas’udi and Husein Muhammad from Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, take this approach. From this simple definition, fiqh al-nisā’ is then further broadened and developed into important topics regarding the position of women in fiqh. But the understanding of maqāṣid or maṣlaḥa used by Indonesian Muslim scholars remains strongly influenced by Shāṭibī and mainstream scholars, who are not able to consistently solve crucial issues such as polygamy, women’s leadership in the household and of course some issues regarding sexuality. The argument that kulliyāt must be prioritized over juz’iyyāt remains inadequate, because the former prioritizes textual evidence from the Qur’an or Sunna. When maṣlaḥa contradicts the textual evidence in these two foundational sources of Islam, the maṣlaḥa should be rejected. This is what I was referring to by the term inter-textual approach, as mentioned above.
Al-Ṭūfī’s approach is best placed to resolve the issues around use of maṣlaḥa for the conceptual improvement of fiqh al-nisā’ (1993). Al-Tūfī is well-known in Indonesia, but deeper study and use of his concept in the public sphere of Islamic debate is relatively rare. Al-Ṭūfī was a Muslim jurist from Ibn Ḥanbal’s school of Islamic law. Al-Ṭūfī’s conception of maṣlaḥa was compiled in a small treatise called al-Risāla fī Riʿāya al-Maṣlaḥa. The main thrust of his thought is that maṣlaḥa should be prioritized when it contradicts the textual evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah and the consensus of scholars. Al-Ṭūfī states that the naṣṣ –the Qur’an and Sunna—and the consensus of ulama — ijmāʿ — sit atop the hierarchy of the nineteen sources of Islam (p. 23). These two foundational sources can either be in accordance or dissonance with maṣlaḥa. When the maṣlaḥa contradicts textual evidence from the Qur’an and Sunna and also ijmāʿ, al-Ṭūfī states that the maṣlaḥa should be selected in the first instance. The position of maṣlaḥa can be regarded as takhṣīṣ (emphasizing) or bayān (explaining) the naṣṣ and ijmāʿ (in al-Ṭūfī’s Arabic statement, wa in khālafahā wajaba taqdīm al-maṣlaḥa ʿalayhimā biṭarīq al-takhṣīṣ wa al-bayān lahumā... kamā taqaddama al-sunna ‘alā al-Qur’ān biṭarīq al-bayān) (ibid). This approach can contribute to solving the longstanding problem of the contradictions between naṣṣ and maṣlaḥa.
When responding to an opinion that maṣlaḥa is not equal to consensus, because the former is based on the qaṭʿī (cogent) textual evidence, while the latter is not, al-Ṭūfī stated that “inna riʿāya al-maslaha aqwā min al-ijmāʿ, wa yalzamu min dhālika annahā min adilla al-sharʿi, li anna al-aqwā min al-aqwā aqwā,..” surely the public interest is stronger than consensus therefore the strongest of the strongest is strongest (p. 25).
In more radical terms, al-Ṭūfī provides three arguments as to why maṣlaḥa should be prioritized over the naṣṣ and consensus. First, maṣlaḥa is a place of agreement and ijmāʿ is a place of disagreement and upholding that which is agreed is better than upholding that which is disagreed. Second, there are various nuṣūṣ (plural of naṣṣ, textual evidences of the Qur’an and Sunna) which contradict one another. They are the sources of dissenting opinions which are not accepted by sharia. Maṣlaha is the source of agreement which is praised by sharia and therefore adhering to the public interest is the better option. Third, there are many cases in which the Qur’an the Sunna is prioritized over the Qur’an, where the two contradict with one another.
With regard to the explanation above, al-Ṭūfī’s conception of maṣlaḥa can be used as principal interpretive foundation to construct fiqh al-nisā.’ Al-Tūfī’s prioritization of maṣlaḥa is very helpful in resolving important gender-related issues in Islam such as polygamy, inheritance, leadership, violence against women and so forth. Polygamy for instance, can be declared prohibited by using the logic of al-Ṭūfī, as maṣlaḥa is prioritized above the textual evidence of the Qur’an.
especially because his treatise on this matter is very brief and is not discussed in other works. It is common in classical fiqh and uṣūl al-fiqh that some works receive more attention and are elaborated on more extensively than other works. Sharḥ literally meaning explanation is performed when the work is tiny and mukhtaṣar is performed when the work is thick. Those who undertake both sharḥ and mukhtaṣar can be similar or different author. Both sharḥ and mukhtaṣar are often composed by the students of the author. In the case of al-Ṭūfī’s treatise, Rashīd Riḍa commented that al-Ṭūfī’s Al-Risāla fī riʿaya al-maṣlaḥa offers an understanding on the concept of maṣlaḥa not found in other works (Al-Tūfī 1993).
In the context of fiqh development in Indonesia, Munawir Sjadzali uses al-Ṭūfī’s concept on maṣlaḥa for his work on the reactualisation of Islam (Nafis 1995). Using the supremacy of maṣlaḥa over consensus (ijmāʿ) introduced by al-Ṭūfī, Sjadzali comes to the conclusion that inheritance can be divided equally between men and women in order to fulfill the objective of sharia (maqāṣid). Sjadzali refers to the objectives of sharia first introduced by al-Ṭūfī. Munawir’s attempt can be seen as an example of how Indonesian Muslim scholars have tried to use al-Ṭūfī’s ideas to solve the problems of Islamic law in Indonesia. However, Indonesian Muslim scholars since Sjadzali have not referred to the concept of the supremacy of maṣlaḥa over consensus.
The robust tendency of patriarchal fiqh in Indonesia has marginalized alternative discourse empowering the rights of women Although Indonesian Muslims adhere to national laws, which recognize the equality of men and women, religion still has a significant influence on their daily lives. This is reflected in their appreciation of fiqh as one of most powerful elements of Islam that shapes the religiosity of Indonesian Muslims. Therefore, genderbased injustices and discrimination in the Muslim community are also often influenced by fiqh. As a result, the establishment of a new fiqh supportive of the rights of women — fiqh al-nisā’ — can help address these injustices. The concept of maqāṣid or maṣlaḥa introduced by Muslim legal theorists provides a potential starting point for the introduction of this fiqh.
As a concept, fiqh al-nisā’ remains superficial and needs further elaboration and explanation in order to serve as the foundation of women’s empowerment. So far, the challenge for Indonesian Muslim scholars is to formulate fiqh al-nisā’ at both the theoretical and practical levels. At the theoretical level, the prioritization of maṣlaḥa, such as introduced by al-Ṭūfī, serves as a promising platform for the conceptualization of fiqh alnisā’. But at the practical level, it remains difficult for most ulama in Indonesia to accept this approach. Nevertheless, factual experiences of gender-based injustices and discrimination will serve as modalities for constructing a robust conceptualization of fiqh al-nisā’. This further supports the need of Indonesian Muslims to have their own fiqh —Indonesian fiqh.
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 Personally got involved in this project.
 http://nasional.inilah.com/read/detail/1336592/poligami-buku-bahagiakan-diri-dengan-satu-istri#.U5qjGBZm3dk, viewed on 13 June 2014.
 Fatwā Majelis Ulama Indonesia No. 9A/2008.
 Hamka has a complete name Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah. He is renown as a Muslim reformist from Muhammadiyah.
 Munawar Chalil is a respected scholar of Muhammadiyah and wrote many books on Qur’an, history of Islam, women in Islam and other Islamic disciplines.
 Jusuf Wibisono is a Muslim politician and member of Jong Islamieten Bond (JIB) who wrote Monogami atau Poligami: Masalah Sepanjang Masa?
 Nurcholish Madjid is a Muslim scholar who promotes the importance of Indonesian Muslim to adopt the tradition of secularism, dividing the domain of mundane life and the domain of sacred life. Madjid established University of Paramadina located in Jakarta.
 Abdurrahman Wahid was the General Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, 1984-199 and President of Indonesia, 1999-2001. Wachid is renown with his contribution for the indigenization of Islam in Indonesia.
 Jalaluddin Rahmat is renowned as a Muslim scholar who inclines to Shia. In the 1990s, Rahmat is recognized for his idea on the actualization of Islam in the modern day of Indonesia.
 Bahsul Masa’il (Indonesian way of in saying baḥth al-masāʿil) is the official forum of Nahdlatul Ulama to discuss and decide a fatwā. This forum operates from the level of the central board of NU to the level of district and sub-district chapters of NU. Interestingly, the bahsul masa’il within NU is not only held by the organization (jamʿiyya), but also by the community of NU (jamaʿa), therefore we can see this forum is practiced in various pesantrens of NU in whole Indonesia.
 See Muhammad Imara, Qasim Amin, al-A’mal al-Kamila, Cairo: Dar al-Sharuq, 1989. This is a very complete account on the thought of Qasim Amin. See also http://www.aljadid.com/content/century-after-qasim-amin-fictive-kinship-and-historical-uses-tahrir-al-mara.
 Al-Manār was written by Muḥammad ʿAbduh and Rashīd Riḍā.
 “Wa inim ra’atun khafat min ba’liha nushuzan au I’radlan fa la junaha ‘alaihima au yusliha bainahuma sulhan wa sulhu khair.”
 This is quoted by Sayyid Abdurrahman from Bujayrimī ʿalā al-Iqnā’, one of most highly-considered fiqh books among ulamas in Indonesia. The Bughya al-Mustarshidin has become a famous reference for pesantren ulamas and students in Indonesia (Ḥusayn b. ʿUmar, n.d).
 This talkshow was broadcasted by Indonesiar TV station on 31 March 2011. It can be see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSD6oQfEHpE&list=PL0DACC36F8C958D10, viewed on 2 May 2013.
 See al-Ghazālī in book al-Mustashfa, Vol. I. p. 286
 These figures organized special workshop on Islam and feminism by inviting Riffat Hasan in Bogor, West Java.
 More elaboration on the history of al-Ṭūfī, see http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopaedia-of-islam-2/al-tufi-COM_1244?s.num=53&s.rows=100&s., viewed on 10 June 2014.
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