“Islamic Laws of Governance and Citizenship”
“The Citizenship Status of Non-Muslims from the Perspective of Islamic Law”
(“Efforts to Contextualize the Concept of Citizenship in the Governance of Modern Nation States”)

Establishing a shari‘ah basis for the nation state and a rules-based international order, which guarantees the equal rights and dignity of all. The concept of fiqh al-hadarah was first articulated in the 2018 Nusantara Manifesto co-authored by then NU General Secretary KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, and formally adopted by Nahdlatul Ulama along with the foundational texts of the Humanitarian Islam movement at the 2019 National Conference of NU Religious Scholars. This historic gathering of over 20,000 ulama decreed that the modern nation state is theologically legitimate; that there is no legal category of infidel (kafir) within a modern nation state, only ‘fellow citizens’; that Muslims must obey the laws of any modern nation state in which they dwell; and that Muslims have a religious obligation to foster peace rather than automatically wage war on behalf of their co-religionists, whenever conflict erupts between Muslim and non-Muslim populations anywhere in the world.

The series of 231 halaqoh are a key element of KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf’s effort to socialize fiqh al-hadarah (Civilizational Fiqh) throughout Nahdlatul Ulama, following his election as NU General Chairman in December of 2021.

The halaqoh series was designed and executed under the supervision of Lakpesdam, the NU’s Institute for Study and Human Resource Development. The Chairman of Lakpesdam, KH. Ulil Abshar Abdalla, serves on the Board of Advisers of the R20 Permanent Secretariat, the Center for Shared Civilizational Values. He is also a member of R20 Working Group 3 on the recontextualization of obsolete and problematic tenets of religious orthodoxy.

“Through these discussions on Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) for a global civilization, NU is creating a future characterized by a strong and beneficent nationalism. For civilizational fiqh obliges all citizens to prevent their nation from being undermined, either from within or without.”
~ Senior Nahdlatul Ulama scholar Shaykh KH. Abdullah Kafabihi Mahrus

Forum participants (photos courtesy of Sofian J. Anom)

Towards an Islamic jurisprudence suitable to our emerging global civilization. Leading Muslim scholars encourage the reform of problematic tenets within Islamic orthodoxy: “shall we remain silent, or confront tyranny?”

On January 3, 2019, one of the most respected Islamic boarding schools in Southeast Asia — PP Raudlatut Thalibin — hosted an all-day forum to examine the necessity of recontextualizing (i.e., reforming) obsolete tenets of Islamic orthodoxy that constitute the center of gravity for a wide range of Islamist movements, including ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir. Entitled “GP Ansor’s Nusantara Manifesto: Towards an Islamic Jurisprudence [Suitable to Our] Emerging Global Civilization,” over 70 Islamic scholars from throughout Indonesia attended the event, co-sponsored by the 7-million-member Nahdlatul Ulama young adults movement, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, and its theological wing, Rijalul Ansor.

Panel members (in prayer, from left to right): KH. Aunullah Habib, Director of Rijalul Ansor; KH. Abu Yazid Bustomi, Deputy General Secretary of Rijalul Ansor; KH. A. Mustofa Bisri, scholar, painter, poet, and former Chairman of the NU Supreme Council; KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the NU Supreme Council; KH. Ahmad Nadhif Mujib, a prominent muballigh, or itinerant preacher

KH. Abu Yazid Bustomi—Deputy General Secretary of Rijalul Ansor—spoke of the need for Muslims to escape “religious tyranny, the tyranny of dogma, the tyranny of classical fiqh and the tyranny of thinking that we have the most correct understanding of religious truth. . . The only solution to the crisis facing Muslim communities worldwide is to construct a global fiqh that reflects our present reality. We [Nahdlatul Ulama theologians] have the requisite ability, courage and authority to conduct ijtihad!!!”