Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hamka Revisited: A Comparative Study

I have always hold the view that Hamka's Tafsir Al Azhar has been a much underated work by all and sundry, especially from scholars and students of tafsir in this Nusantara. They in the main would not want to be caught reading , let alone cross'referencing' their scholarly thoughts and argument based on Hamka but would rather paraphrase what they read from Ibnu Katsir.

A scholarly friend of mine reminded me once that he opted for Ibnu Katsir because this represent a 'salafi' attitude which may be lacking in contemporary works. Another thought contemporary works may lack the necessary spirituality required. Both of them I can presume have not read Hamka. It is below their 'maqam'!

In this years and age when 'brothers and brothers' could be dragged to court over 'family heirloom',when people would rather draw 'lines in the sand' rather than look for commonalities, when churches and mosques could be burned down to indicate a point of view, the universal Message from the only Book of God available to mankind become more succinctly relevant.The Quran is not a book of science , neither is it a compendium of rules and regulation.It is a collection of Divine Letters directed to man via His messenger, Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]in Arabic, but aimed for all mankind,transcending time and space, be he Malay, Indian,Australian aborigine, American, Finnish or even Eskimo!

For the Malays in this Nusantara, I would like humbly to advance a 'thesis' that in Hamka's Tafsir Al Azhar, we have a gem that need to be rediscovered and cherished as one book that need to be read and reread and reread. Let us just look at a comparative treatment of just 3 Ayats from Surah Al Anfal from Ibnu Katsir and Hamka's. Then you can decide for yourself the unpolished gem, buried in the sand of time:



Surah Al Anfal , 8 : 67 :
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67. It is not (fitting) for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has fought (his enemies thoroughly) in the land. You desire the goods of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) (68. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.) (69. So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good, and have Taqwa of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said, "The Prophet asked the people for their opinion about the prisoners of war of Badr, saying,

«إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَمْكَنَكُمْ مِنْهُم»


(Allah has made you prevail above them.) `Umar bin Al-Khattab stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Cut off their necks,' but the Prophet turned away from him. The Messenger of Allah again asked,

«يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَمْكَنَكُمْ مِنْهُمْ وَإِنَّمَا هُمْ إِخْوَانُكُمْ بِالْأَمْس»


(O people! Allah has made you prevail over them, and only yesterday, they were your brothers.) `Umar again stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Cut off their necks.' The Prophet ignored him and asked the same question again and he repeated the same answer. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! I think you should pardon them and set them free in return for ransom.' Thereupon the grief on the face of Allah's Messenger vanished. He pardoned them and accepted ransom for their release. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, revealed this verse,

[لَّوْلاَ كِتَـبٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَآ أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ]




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Now let us look at how Prof Hamka treated Al Anfal, Ayat 67-69:


67.Tidaklah patut bagi seorang Nabi, bahawa ada baginya beberapa orang tawanan, sampai dia porak perandakan[ musuh ] di bumi. Kamu menginginkan harta benda dunia, sedang Allah menghendaki akhirat. Dan Allah adalah Maha Gagah, lagi Bijaksana.
68. Jikalau tidaklah keputusan dari Allah yang telah terdahulu, niscaya akanmengenalilah kepada kamu, dari sebab apa yang talah kamu ambil itu, azab yang besar.
69. Maka makanlah dari apa yang tealah kamu rampas itu, sebagai barang yang halal lagi baik. Dan takwalah kepada Allah, sesunggohnya Allah adalah Maha Pengampun, Maha Penyayang.

Setelah selesai peperangan dengan kemenengan yang gemilang pada peperangan Badar itu, timbul suatu persoalan lagi disamping soal harta rampasan. Yaitu soal orang orang tawanan. Di dalam peperangan Badar itu telah mati terbunuh 70 orang musyrikin dan tertawan 70 orang pula. Di antara yang tertawan itu paman Nabi s.a.w sendiri, iaitu Abbas bin Abdul Muthalib. Terdapat juga saudara kandung dari Ali bin Abi Thalib, saudara sepupu dari nabi, iaitu Aqil bin Abi Thalib, dan terdapat juga Abul Ash menantu Rasulullah, suami dari Zainab,puteri beliau. Maka diajaklah sahabat2 bermusyawarah olih Rasulullah s.a.w akan diapakankah orang2 tawanan itu. Yang terutama diajak olih Rasul ialah dua sahabat yang amat utama, Abu Bakar dan Umar. Kita simpulkan kisah permusyawaratan itu dari berbagai Hadis. Abu balar menyatakan pendapat bahawa orang2 tawanan itu sebaik baiknya disuruhmenebus diri mereka dari tawanan dengan wang. Sebab menurut Abu bakar, seluruh tawanan itu adalah keluarga bertali-darah saja semua dari kaum Muhajirin. Moga moga dengan kesempatan tebusan yang diberikan itu, masih terbuka jalan bagi mereka buat kelaknya insaf, lalu memeluk Islam. Sebab itu kita tidak perlu berlaku keras terhadap mereka.

Tetapi Umar menyatakan pendapat yang sangat berbeda dengan pendapat Abu bakar. Katanya seluruh tawanan itu hendaklah dibunuh. Meskipun ada pertalian keluarga di antara kita dengan mereka, yang terang ialah bahawa mereka telah mengusir Rasilullah, mereka telah memerangi Islam. Sebab itu mereka tidak boleh diberi hati.. Biar masing2 Muslim membunuh keluarganya sendiri. Biar Ali bin Abi Thalib membunuh Aqil, dan dia sendiri, Unar bin Khatab membunuh saudaranya yang ikut didalam peperangan itu. Kerana meskipun ada pertalian, namun mereka terang terang musuh kita.

Abdullah bin Rawahah, anak muda dari golongan Anshar cenderong kepada pendapat Umar. Katanya lebih baik diikat seluruh tawanan itu, dibawa ke sebuah tempat yang banyak semak semak dekat situ, lalu di bakar semua. Saad bin Muaz dari Anshar pun condong kepada pendapat Umar.

Tetapi golongan yang terbesar dari Muhajirin itu condong kepada pendapat Abu Bakar. Cuma dasar fikiran sangat berbeda. Abu bakar merasakan lebih baik tawanan itu disuruh menebuskan diri, ialah kerana hubungan keluarga. Tetapi golongan yang banyak yang menumpangusulnya itu bukanlah mengingatkan kekeluargaan, melainkan mengingat hartabenda tebusan itu. Dengan alasan bahawa mereka yang pergi berperang umumnya miskin, kurang harta dan persiapan.

Menurut riwayat Ibnu Abu Syaibah dan At-Termidzi, yang mengatakan bahawa Hadis yang di-rawikannya itu adalah Hasan[baik] dan Ibnul Mundzir, dan Ibnu Hatim dan At- Thabarani dan al-Hakim, yang menyatakan Hadis ini shahih dan Ibnu Mardhawaihi dan al-Baihaqi didalam "Dalailun Nubuwwah" diterima dari Ibnu Mas'ud, katanya:" Setelah tawanan tawanan Badar itu dibawa kehadapan Rasulullah, beliau ajaklah sahabat2 bermusyawarah. Abu bakar berkata: " Ya Rasullullah,Semua adalah kaum engkau, semua adalah keluarga engkau, biarlah mereka tinggal hidup, mudah mudahan Tuhan memberi taubat kepada mereka." Berkata Umar: Ya Rasulullah! Lereka telah mendustakan engkau dan mereka telah memerangi engkau. Bawa mereka kehadapan engkau dan potong leher mereka. " Berkata pula Abdullah bin Rawahah: " Cari satu lembah yang banyak kayu api disana dan bakar mereka semua."

Abbas yang turut tertawan dan mendengar usul usul yang keras itu, berkata" " Apakah engkau hendak memutuskan silaturrahim?"

Setelah mendengar pertimbangan pertimbangan itu Nabi pun masuk kedalam khemahnya, sebelum memutuskan pertimbangan dan pendapat mana yang belaiu akan pegang.

Kemudian beliau keluar. lalu beliau berkata:" Tuhan Allah telah membuat lembut hati setengah manusia selembut susu, dan Tuhan pun membuat keras hati setengah manusia sekeras batu. Engkau hai Abu bakar adalah laksana Ibrahim alaihisalam yang berkata:

"Sesiapa yang mengikuti aku, maka dia itu adalah dari golongan ku. Dan barangsiapa yang mengdsurhakai aku, maka Engkau- ya Tuhan- adalah Maha Pengampun, lagi Penyayang."

Dan engkau hai Umar, adalah laksana Nuh. Tatkala dia berkata:

" Ya Tuhanku! Janganlah Engkau biarkan diatas bumi ini, dari orang-orang kafir itu, seorang pun penduduk."

Aku tahu kamu ini miskin. Sebab itu salah satu dari dua, iaitu tebusan atau potong leher.

Kemudian dari itu,tersebutlah bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w mengambil keputusan, ia itu menyetujui Abu bakar, ia itu segala orang tawanan diberi kesempatan menebuskan diri..........

Maka dengan keputusan yang diambil olih Rasulullah dan telah dijalankan itu, puaslah Abu bakar sebab hubungan keluarga terpelihara dan puas pula penyokong penyokong usulnya, sebab mendapat harta tebusan yang menybabkan mereka jadi kaya. Sebab selain dari harta rampasan mereka juga dapat harta tebusa. Umar tunduk kepada keputusan itu.

Tetapi besok paginya terjadi suatu hal yang mrngharukan bagi Umar bin Khatab. Dia datang ke khemah Rasulullah; didapatinya beliau menangis dan Abu Bakar yang duduk disisibeliau pun turut menangis.[ Menurut riwayat Imam Ahmad dan Muslim dari Ibnu a Abbas ]. Melihat mereka menangis, berkatalah aku[ kata Umar ]:" Mengapakah engkau menangis Ya Rasulullah? Mengapa engkau menangis Ya Abu Bakar? Khabarilah aku, apa sebab kamu berdua menangis. kalau aku diberitahu sebabnya supaya aku menangis juga bersama mu dan jika aku pandang tidak ada apa yang harus ditangiskan,, aku pun akan menangis juga bersam tangismu."Maka menjawablah Rasulullah s.a.w: " Aku menangisi kawan akwanmu, yang mengusulkan supaya tawanan itu menebus diri. Tuahan telah mengancam mereka dengan siksaanNya, lebih dekat dari pohon ini."[ Pohon itu tunbuh didekat situ]. Dan telah turun ayat; "Tidaklah patut bagi Nabi bahawa ada baginya tawanan tawanan, sebelum dia memporak perandakan musuh di bumi."

Maka jelaslah bahawa ayat ini turun menyatakan bahawa keputusan yang dianbil olih Rasul s.a.w itu adalah satu kekhilafan. kerana maksud ayat ialah bahawa seorang Nabi tidak boleh mengadakan tawanan dan meminta tebusan rawanan pada langkah pertama perang.

Kalau bertemu musuh hendaklah bunuh terus, tidak ada tawanan, sebelum seluruh kekuatan musuh itu dipatahkan, sebelum pihak Islam mencapai kedudukan yang kuat kukuh. Artinya lagi , bahawasanya peperangan Badar belumlah berarti apa-apa, sebab kedudukan Islam belum kuat. Kalau tawanan tawanan itu dibiarkan menebuskan didri, mereka akan kembali lagi ketempat asal untuk menyusunkan diri.. Maka sehendaknya mana yabg telah ditawan itu di bunuh terus. Kalau Islam sudah kuat, barulah boleh bicara hal tawanan yang ingin menebus diri. Apatah lagi walaupun usul Abu Bakar diterima, demi mengingatkan hubungan darah dan kekelurgaan, namun golongan yang terbesar yang menyokong usul Abu Bakar bukanlah mengingatkan tali kekeluargaan tapi memikirkan keuntungan dari tebusan dan hartabenda.

...............Ahli2 hukum dan sejarah dalam Islam memperkatakan soal ini. Disinilah pangkal jalan fikiran para ahli bahawasanya dalam hal yang tidak ada Nash dari Wahyu, Nabi boleh berijtihad sendiri. Dan ijtihadnya itu kadang2 nya tidak tepat, meskipun maksud beliau tetap baik. Ingatlah ,didalam peperangan Badar juga, bahawa ijtihad beliau memilih khemah tentera Isalm berkhemah juga kurang tepat dari segi strategi peperangan[ sebelum 'wadi', bukan selepas....thus controlling and depriving precious water supply from enemy... Author's note ].

Ada lagi Hadis yang dirawikan oleh an- Nasa'i dan Termidzi dan Ibnu Hibban dan al-Hakim yang diterima dari Ali Abi Thalib, bahawa setelah Rasulullah mengambil keputusan menerima tebusan itu, Jibrail datang. Lalu dia berkata kepada Rasulullah s.a.w.:" Sahabat sahabat engkau disuruh memilih di antara menerima tebusan atau membunuh tawanan itu! Mereka memilih menerima tebusan; tetapi untuk itu mereka menebuskan pula di tahun depan."

Apa yang terjadi di tahun depan? 70 kaum Muslimin tewas di dalam peperangan Uhud!

Melihat rentetan kejadian selanjutnya itu, beranilah kita menyatakan bahawa apa yang ditakuti memang kejadian. Meskipun kaum Muslimin menang di badar, namun salah satu sebab kaum musyirikin menuntut bela dan membalas dendam dalam perang Uhud, ia lah kerana sebahagian besar orang2 yang menebuskan diri dari tawanan menysun kekuatan kemba;li. Dan pihak Muslimin di waktu Perang Uhud, ada yang tidak teguh memegang disiplin taat setia kepada rasul, sehingga mendapat kekalahan.

Ayat yang selanjutnya memberi kejelasan lagi bahawa meskipun keputusan itu tidak tepat, tidaklah perlu dibatalkan kembali sebab kalau dibatalkan juga, bahayanya akan lebih besar lagi. Dan diakui dalam soal kenegaraan dan peperangan, suatu yang telah di putuskan mesti dijalankan terus, dengan bertawakkal kepada Allah. Akibat apa yang akan terjadi akan di tanggungkan bersama. kalau tidak begitu niscaya hilang wibawa pemerintahan.

.......

It took me 2 years to complete my 1st read of this voluminous work by Hamka some 25 years ago. He tend to repeat himself, but through Hamka , you get an Islamic worldview of World history, all the relevant Hadis related to any one ayat, and the 'salafi' as well as the contemporary view.I have tried Ibnu Katsir and I am afraid even with my previous back geound on tafsir I find the treatment of each ayat too 'superficial' and lacking in the required detail.I have to concede Hamka is a long, long read but then undersatnding The Glorious Quran is a life journey, so why hurry? I am on my third read now of Hamka and I never get tired of him.

We need to make a major paradigm shift in our life. And the shift is in understanding the Quran more than what we collectively think we understand before. Only by this way could The Quran empowers our life in the right direction negating all the ...ism and false ideology, false philosophical stance, egotism and false beliefs.We as an ummah has been in a state of stupour for too long. Materially ,morally and spiritually we Muslims currently are the living dead of this world:impoverished by poverty, ignorance, bigotry, and at the 'official governmental level' guilty of beggary ,waiting for 'crumbs' to fall from 'the High Table' of superpowers.

At the personal and collective level, we have gone very far astray from the spirit and dictates of the Message and yet,like the Israelites of Prophet Mosses' time, still think we are the new God's Chosen People!

Islam is about excellence. Excellence in the 'here' and in the 'hereafter'.
"Rabbana Atina fiddunya hasanah wa fil akhiratihasanatan wakina Azabannar."
God, Give us excellence in this world and excellence in your Hereafter and keep us away from your Hellfire.


Dr Nik Howk

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Salam Doc, I see you are reserving your tirades over the use of 'Allah" in the non Muslim context! I know you have been boiling over on this issue so lets hear it and quit procrastinating.
Ha! Hope you are doing well and all the best to you and yours
Sam

Pearls & Gem said...

Well Sam, how can one ever be so angry with the gross hypocrisy going on here.....
There are over 3 billion Catholics in this whole wide world. Only 1 million Malaysian ones want 'God' to be known as 'Allah'.Does not matter He , to them, ARE three in one, and one in three....5 years down the lane , we have Churches known as Rumah Allah and Bibles known as Kalimah Allah...Legally it is alright but if we Malaysians just let ourselves been runned and controlled by all this HINDRAF- lawyer- types, we will end up worse off than pre May 13th.

Especially with our leaders now 'playing to the gallery'.We all thought Najib is going to be stronger than Pak Lah.Wisdom must prevail...You need a few more churches burned down, then a surau or two razed to the ground, then what????

We talk about National Unity and understanding, but must maintain the 3 vernacular school system.We talk about bridging the education gap but the Education Ministry is further enhancing the gap by increasing subsidy to 'elite' schools in rich neighbourhoods,and we talk about '1Malaysia' but refuse to recognise sensitivities....How much more do 'you guys' want us to give....

I am digressing Sam...You disturb a 'bees' nest there...

Pearls & Gem said...

On second thought , no tirade Sam, just a statement of fact:

Say: Lo! As for me, my Lord hath guided me unto a straight path, a right religion, the community of Abraham, the upright, who was no idolater. (161)
Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. (162)
HE HAD NO PARTNER.
This am I commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him). (163) Say: Shall I seek another than Allah for Lord, when He is Lord of all things? Each soul earneth only on its own account, nor doth any laden bear another's load. Then unto your Lord is your return and He will tell you that wherein ye differed. (164) He it is Who hath placed you as viceroys of the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you. Lo! Thy Lord is swift in prosecution, and Lo! He verily is Forgiving, Merciful. (165)

[ Surah Al Anaam, 6 :161-165 ]

Anonymous said...

Geeze Doc! take it easy dont go getting no catatonic on me, am just wondering when you are going to leave the quotes be and come out with you ories on these issues as I am for sure in a confused and numb state of mind with regards to all these religious wayngs.
I believe Allah created it all and only He is is truth existent the is all Wayang! I believe man is only dancing to His tune and playing to His games according His rules and regulations.
No matter who you are what you are or even where you are it is Him you answer to and to Him will you return when all is said and done.
I have the feeling tha Allah is too big to sweat the little things that we drum up and to caring to allow for all the pride and prejudeice we shower ourselves with in His name.
Chill out Doc! Dont loose your sleeep or your sense of humor in the effort to enlighten our fellow Muslims or you will only end up with a cardiac arrest and quoting Pink Floyd..." why bang your head against some mad bugger's wall?
All in humor Doc all in humor.. at our age what else do we have but...

Pearls & Gem said...

A rose, by any name, still smells a rose.....agreed! The purists however would not agree though that you call a rose , a hibiscus.....What will happen to the original hibiscus?