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Islamic Worldview, Norma Universal, dan Kebahagiaan sebagai Tujuan Hidup

Universitas Riau - Azhari Setiawan Alumni International Relations University of Riau -  What is worldview? And how it sees norm as the formulations of values? From the last century and many years from it, human as the core subject of civilizations has try to produce norms as the spirit of values that guide humans how to think and act. Based on its history, we can divide the civilizations in two core worldview it is west and east. From some researcher and philosopher, they also seperate Islam as one worldview.
Some thinkers also call worldview as “the nature of mind”, this term is an usual word to refer what occur in human’s head, those are, a number of faith and stance, thoughts, imaginations, and asumptions about the transcendent and decendent, god and humans, world order, that whole of them, direct or indirectly form and influence manner, decision, behaviour, and even characteristics.

So how it correlated to norms? What is norms actually? In this paper, I would describe some thinkers and/or theorist who has formulated about norms and what to do about it. We know that, international system as a social system has been constructed by an universal norms(or consensus-norms that has been universalized). For what has been said, we can understand the United Nations as the formal institutions which has the authority to form the norms. What is norms, and which one is a norm, or which one is not, all things about norms nowadays has been universalized by certain methods.

Problems then come to the surface when norms nowadays (in postmodernism age) has cause numbers of cases about deconstruction on values and norms itself. Postmodernism has alienate humans from values and norms, civilizations from civilized matters, and so on. Double standard politics humans transnational crime, identity refractions, stereotyping on certain ethnicity, and so on. Humans act as if there is no more full fledged norms, so humans can “do what they wanna do, think what they wanna think” because postmodernism provides “relativism” as the core spirit of its way thinking and “deconstuction” as its method.

Different methods come from different worldview which produce different thought about norms and values. Each worldview has its own view on norms. In this short paper, I try to elaborate some theorist who concern with norms issues such as Jacques Derrida, Immanuel Kant, Marx, and Nietzsche. All of these theorist imaginary will be confronted to Syed Naquib Al-Attas that provides “Adab” as a distinctive concept of norms in Islamic Worldview.

Brief History of Values and Norms
Fransesco Petrach (1304-1374), firstly announced and introduced, west history beheading; ancient age, dark age (middle age), and the modern age. What we can understand on these beheading, the west believed that, humans experienced the crisis of norms on the middle age. The pressure from church authority had suppressed the knowledge and its development. So that, they called the age after dark age as “The Renaissance”. Renaissance means enlightment. They then seperate the “dun ya” from religion because the west had faced a massive trauma of religion (incuisition). Norms according to The West don’t have to be formulated by religions influence. The West prefer to choose a “consensus methods” on formulating the values and norms.

Dark ages for Islam, is just like an illness or ephidemi or desease that has never been had for them since the Islam itself ‘came’. The pressure since its history always came from the leader, ‘the dzalim leader’. We can see from every single literature of ‘tarikh islam’ or the history of the east civilizations that have never been ruled by an institutions of ‘priest+king’ institutions. So how can we cure the ephidemi that is actually never exist? Our civilizations through the norms universalization even until now acting as if west illness is also ours. And finally, we use the wrong recipes. Wrong recipes only cause more illness, more ephidemy. But West, in some cases always determine this, expand this ‘intelectual illness’ to all over the world with ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’, and ‘equality’ and even ‘relativism’ faces.

We can start from Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), who had provided “deconstuction” as his primary thought about norms and values. Derrida’s best work is “Deconstruction in a Nutshell” (1997). Derrida’s postulates about deconstruction reflected on his thought that West Civilizations has been built by dicotomy and X is formed by Non-X. Another work of Derrida is the notion about ‘pure presence’ is impossible. So, presence itself comes from ‘general absence’.

What we can critize to this are, first, dicotomi is not same with contradictions. “Believing that X is formed by Non-X” is not always formulating a dicotomi at all. We may agree that “delicious is formed by not delicious”. You know how is delicous because you have taste the ‘not delicious’ before it.  But, in some cases, Derrida theories could create a contradiction. Look at this phrase, “Democracy is formed by Non-Democracy (Sosialists and/or Communists)?” how would you define this?  Democracy and  Non-democracy are not a dicotomi. It is a contradiction, and mind can not accept the contradictions. There are many country that been a democratic country without any feeling of non-democratic matters before, and so on. For example the Socialists Republic of North Korea has never taste the Democracy before it since its history. This case can be a proof that west experienced on norms can not due to the East civilizations.

Second theorist in this paper, Antonio Gramsci. From his writings, we can recognize him as a marxist. Gramsci talked many postulates about historical materialism. In Gramsci’s interpretation of Marxian materialism, human beings are who they are, and do kinds of things that they do, by virtue of their situation in a particular historical social context. Gramsci ‘believe’ that the way humans work determine how they think. So if you want to understand their thought, you just need to see what they do, or they produce.

The political-educational process he envisions should be distinguished from indoctrination insofar as the former entails reciprocal development and seeks to enable the student to produce new truths independent of his teacher and, in the process, to teach the teacher, thereby transforming their relation.

Immanuel Kant, is one of theorist that has influenced some contemporary scholars on international relations with his masterpiece “On Perpetual Peace”. Kant’s theory about knowledge was all about acknowledging human limitation, in contrast to his moral theory, which argued for the potential of humanity to transcend our limitations. For Kant, giving money to a beggar because you feel sorry for him is not a moral act, giving money to a beggar because charity is a universalizably good thing is a moral act. About norms, Kant also stated that humans can not be treated as an ‘instrument’ , humans have to be treated as the destination. Humans as destinations can be formulated by humanity and the objectivity of norms.

Talking about Kants, I can understand that morality for Kants is the destinations, not the instrument. We can see that on the beggar cases. Humans is not created to influenced the humanity because for me, humans is not a destination, it is a subject, Humanity is the destination because humanity that leads humans to the humanity itself. So giving the beggar is not the final steps to enter the humanity and/or the morality, but morality does entering you, bringing you to some moralized act, humanists act, and giving the beggar is a simple example.
We can say that Karl Marx has huge influence on constructing the ‘international norms’ with his philosophical, sociological, economic, and political writings. About norms, Marx on his writings has provided “the class conflict” as the method in formulating norms in human habitate. On of the most famous concept from Marx is ‘The Historical Materialism’. For Marx, norms is not something that would harmonize the lifelihood, because norms is not a material. People has to forget the norms if they want to get a proper life.

Marx’s works on norms also has some contradictions. First, the postulate that states, “people has to forget the norms if they want to get a proper life”. So how can people have the ability on getting the proper life if they must loose all of their “understandings about proper it self?”, how can we build proper law if we never got the authority or even rights to understand what law is? And what proper law is?. Marx emphasized on state/government roles on fullfilling this missing point. But again, how can we trust the government that we never understand since we have no right to know them? How can we guarantee that government can be ‘just’ government? by losing  the definitions of proper government it self? “you’ve been told that sugar is sweet without tasting the sugar itself”

Nietzsche and ‘Nihilism’. is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the negation of one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. The Greek philosopher and Sophist, Gorgias (C. 485 BCE-380 BCE), is perhaps the first to consider the Nihilistic belief. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or ontological/metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist.

Nietzshce’s nihilism is just like ‘utopian poet’. Why I say this? Because when we believe the Nietzshce thought that reality does not actually exist, so does the nihilism itself. And if nihilisme is a reality for Nietzshce, and reality itself does not exist. What does? Of course the “presence”. And the god that has died for Nietszhce, is his god, Nietzsche god. Not the All humandkind god. Because, until now, god is still alive on people faiths. It just died in Nietszhce ‘head’. And you can formulate this again and again until we get mad, just like Nietzshce himself, who died with mental illness of his own thoughts.

“Adab” as Distinct Concept of Norms
Syed Naquib Al Attas on his works and his writings has said that, the most crucial issues in the world civilizations is the losing of ‘adab’. May the West call this as norms and values, but, Naquib Al Attas stated that Islam as a worldview has its own concept about morality spirits in humans interactions. It is called as ‘adab’.

Different with the West theorist about norms, alomst of them have no consolidated meanings about values and norms. The Wests tend to emphasize values and norms on “how to do about it” not on “how to understand it”. And its implications, international systems nowadays have no consensus about norms and values. This case always convey us to double standard as the crucial problem of humans civilizations.

What is ‘adab’? Adab is the reflection of wisdom. And what is wisdom? Naquib Al Attas stated that wisdom is the knowledge that tells you about proper place of everyting. Islamic worldview states that adab is not something comesfrom university or even from the knowledge itself. And wisdom is the knowledge of the prophet. So that, we also call the prophet as the messenger who convey humans ‘how to civilized the civilizations’ and of course by the wisdom.

An-Nisa 58:
Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.

There are four concepts which constitute the ‘adab’; commands, ahliha, hakam, and justice. Command is talk about prohibitions which bring us to the law and law enforcement. The second concept is ahliha (the people who are due), this is refer to “The Ahli” or The Professional/expert and on the highest level, this term comes to “Government”. All of these concept is aimed to constitute the ideal condition, which called as “Justice”.

The proper place in Islam, is predicate term which differ all things between Haq and Bathil. What is Haqq? Haqq is not same with truth, because Haqq is a reality and truth, some people also call it as “The True Real” because in some case the truth is not always become real. It is not also the property of sentences, it has ontological body that things already established in reality, and they have proper places.

The final aspects of Islamic Worldview about values and norms is, The Concept of Happiness as the purpose of humans life. How to define happiness can be done by defining the opposite meaning of happiness. It is misery. What is misery? Syed Naquib Al Attas states that negative emotional feelings is not the culmination of misery because it can’t be universal. Naquib Al-Attas said that “ultimately doubt” is the definition about misery. So, the opposite of (Ultimately) Doubt is (Ultimately) Belive (Yaqin). This is what we usually call as “Haqqul Yaqiin” as the concep of happiness in Islam.

From what I’ve learned about west thought on values and norms, They have no concensus about the consolidated norms. This anomali has caused some cases like double standard, stereotyping, radicalism, and so on. This paper has explain that, Islamic Worldview as a comprehensive thoughts has a distinct concept about values and norms. Islam does not use morality as a concept. Yet, Islam uses its own and pure concept, Adab. Adab is the reflections of knowledge that tells you about the proper place of everything, about the proper place of state, politics, economy, social life, and also the norms itself.


About the Author
Azhari Setiawan is academician at Postgraduate Program of International Relations Department, Universitas Indonesia. He is also a researcher at Center of ASEAN Community Studies, Universitas Riau.


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