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!!!”