The Representation of Majlis ta’lim, Madrasah and Pesantren in Traditional Society

Majlis ta’lim, madrasah and pesantren have been most influential informal educational institution in Indonesia, particularly in Java (Bruinessen, 2004 available online at http://let.uu.nl/~martin.vanbruinessen/personal/publications/.htm, accessed at May, 7th 2009). They have been reflected and shaped social institutions in most of Javanese and Sundanese. Their existence has crucial part in liberating community from colonialism and had become the agent of social change.

The role of Wali Sanga in Islamic education institution was important factor in changing the society. The struggle to liberate society from atheism and polytheism into monotheism, Islam was the ultimate goal of those Islamic scholars. The way of Wali Sanga spread Islamic teaching to society was very unique. Cultural based approach was conducted in order to persuade society to learn and have faith in Islam. That was one of reason the society accepted Islam easily. Moreover, beside Wali Sanga were the Islamic scholars who learnt Islam from the central of Islamic movement, Mecca, they were the noble and respected person in community. They were from honorable, aristocracy and good family. Society had already respected them before they became Islamic scholars. So, this was another reason, Islam became popular in Indonesia.

In early history of education in Indonesia, Islamic education institution was regarded as reformist agent (Djumhur & Danasuparta 1969; Haningsih 2008). K.H. Ahmad Dahlan, M. Natsir, K.H Hasyim Asyari and many more were Islamic scholars who teach Islam in modern way. They protested systems of education of colonialism which burdened the students and limited the students thought, jumud. The movement of Islam enlightenment in Saudi Arabia by Muhamad Abduh influenced the way they thought. Therefore, Islamic education institutions became one of valuable institution in changing and shaping the society.

Pesantren, Majlis
ta’lim and madrasah now are available in every village in Indonesia. Kiayi and ustad, as role of wali sanga, are crucial in managing those institutions. Most of pesantren and majlis’ta’lim are figure centric. Their development, progress and influence in society are much more depend on their leader, kiayi. In traditional community, they are still most influenced person.

In practice, Uqudulizain is read and retold by Kiayi or Ustad to be listened to mustami’ or santri. Dhofier (1985) claims that the word kiyayi derived from Javanese language which is given to individual regarded as sacral, parents and scholar Islam who lead Pesantren and teach Islamic classic text (in Welsh 2002).

In addition, kiayi and ustad are usually men whose internal intention as men is hardly to avoid when they explain the content of the text. The reader, here kiayai or ustad, is almost placed himself as a person which has fully authority as the writer has. Patriarchy culture can be avoided. The writer as well as the reader are influenced by patriarchy culture and finally create man domination to society.

The Representation of Society in Discourse

Language and society can not be separated. Kress in 1989 articulated some basic assumptions of language and society. He underlines language as a social phenomenon. Moreover, all society members have specifics meanings and value expressed in language in systematic ways. In relation to text, readers and hearers are not passive recipients.

As social phenomena, most of Critical discourse analysts prefer used term ‘discourse’ than language (see Fairclough 1989, Wodak 2004, van Dijk 2002). Language is much more concerns with the science of language, while discourse relates to language in particular context of social (Wodak 2002; McCharty 1990). The emergence of discourse is influenced by the work of Hymes (1964), Austin (1962), Searl (1969) and Grice (1975) as long as the pragmatist such as Levinson (1983) and Leech (1983). In further, Foucoult, Fairclough, Wodak, and van Dijk work discourse as having hidden power burdened with social values of the writer/speakers which finally shapes and influences ideas of the hearer or reader (Worf 1976 cited in Bagshaw 2000, et. al).

Linguistics and grammatical forms of discourse is the representation the power and manipulation of the speakers or the writers (Wodak 2007). The Halliday’s work of systemic functional grammar provides how grammatical forms signify the power of the discourse in society. Halliday distinguishes three metafunctions of language, firstly ideational in which clause function as representation of social structure, secondly interpersonal in which clauses function as messages conveyed and thirdly interpersonal function whereas clauses function as social exchanges (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004).

Action and process are social events (Fairclough available online at www.ling.lanc.ac.uk/staff/norman/paper3.doc.) In representation of social structure, there are three semantics categories; circumstances, process and participants (Gerot & Wignell, 1994). The role of participants is highly depended on the process. Moreover Halliday identifies seven different process; material, behavioral, mental, verbal, relational, existential and meteorological. Meanwhile, the participants in each process are, respectively, actor and goal, behaver, senser and phenomenon, sayer, receiver and target, carrier and token, existent (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004; Gerot and Wignell 1994). Therefore, Fairclough underlines that the order of discourse and their semantics categories reflects the social condition of the discourse creates (Fairclough 1989).

Methodology

The methodology of this research is described below. Basically, it deals with research design, subject of study and data analysis which it is finally used to interpret the data.

Research Design

This research uses a critical discourse analysis. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is used as the analytical framework of studying connections between language, power and ideology (Fairclough 1995: 23). This methodology arises in post-structural era. CDA tries to reveals all ideology behind discourse regarded as ‘social practices’ (Fairchlough 1989) and free human from domination of superpower (Eriyanto, 2001).

However, this research also has a similar characteristic to case study. First, it focuses on one case in ‘microscopic’ setting which is identical with natural setting (Travers 2001; Connole, Smith &Wiseman, 1993; Wallace, 1998: Hakim 1987; Silverman 2005). Second, it employs multi sources of evidence to allow for in depth- study (Wiseman 1993, Marshlall & Rosman 2006; Silverman 2005; Denzin & Lincoln 2003).

Subject of study

This research is to analyze Islamic textbooks entitle Uqudulizaeni. This kitab is
written by Syeh Muhammad ibn Umar Nawawi, well-known as Syeh Nawawi Albantani, in Arabic language at Rajab 1375 hijraa or similar at 1954. He is a Javanese which lived in Mecca for many years. It is regarded as ‘obligation book’ which is studied for adult learners, santri in Pesantren or Madrasah. This kitab also is used by Kiyayi and Ustad as a major reference of their da’wah to mustami in Majlis
tai’lim.

This kitab discusses the obligation between husband and wife. It consist of four chapter, mainly the rights of wife, the rights of husband, the decency of prayer for woman and the way of man staring at woman.

For the research site, the first and the second chapters are chosen, analyzed and compared. As Islamic textbook, this kitab contains three sections, respectively some verses of Qur’an, Hadits, and the writer’s point of view. Therefore this research only analyzes the writer’s point of view to avoid bias and to investigate the writer’s ideology which bears out the text.

Data Analysis

This research employs systemic functional grammar (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004). It is intended to analyze the ideational meaning of language as representation of social structure in which in line with the questions “what is the status of women in traditional Muslim society?

The steps of data analysis are as follow: Firstly, transitivity, mood and theme of each chapter are analyzed, based on participants and process. Secondly, the processes of each clause are categorized into seven kind of process as mentioned in theoretical review. Thirdly, the participants of each process are analyzed and categorized. Finally those entities are interpreted in depth-study to reveal status of women as mention in text.

Finding and Discussion

The previous section has mentioned the methodology which underlines this research. In this section, the researcher will discuss finding and discussion based on methodology described above as follow:

The Status of women

In each chapter, men and women are as behaver of the process, for instance in chapter I: Yanbagi li ar-rijali an yushoo imraatahu (It is important for a man to admonish his wife) and in chapter II: Wa yajibu ala al-imraati dawamu al-hayai min zaujiha (It is obligation to woman to respect her husband continually). However, the range of behavioral process always refers to women for instance in chapter I: imraatahu (his wife), alaiha (the life of his wife), ha sabila al-khoer (his wife to the way of goodness) and in chapter II: thorfaha (her sight), nafsaha (her self), ha al-famu (her mouth), nafsaha (her body).

In chapter I, the words, arrijal (=man), qadri (=as you can), sabillil khoir (right way), at-toharoh (=way of cleanse) and al-haidh (=menstruation) are used. Meanwhile chapter II uses the words al-haya (shy/humble), thorfaha (her sight), an-naum (sleeping), al-misqi (fragrant), firashih (bad), and ‘idnihi (permission). Those words show that wife is as a place for man to channel his biological desire not more than that.

Moreover, In chapter I, the mood of the clause is in the case of nasb (subjunctive mood) with (أن ) following fi’lul mudhore (imperfect verbs). In English translation, the world ‘should’ which indicates ‘expected to do or to be something’ is appropriate. However, in chapter II, the mood of the clause is in the case of rafa (Indicative mood) for six clauses and in the case of jazem (jussive) with () for three clauses An la tam’n (Don’t refuse), An la tashum, (Don’t have a fast) and La takhruj (Don’t go out).

In addition, in chapter II, the writer uses most of fiil madhi, perfect verb. These verbs indicate past activities and general truth (see Ibnu Aqil in Bakar 2005; Al-Hasyim 2003). In this chapter, the verbs are derived from roots fa’ala, tafa’ala and afa’la. Ibnu Aqil states that most of the verbs are derived from wazan: fa’ala, tafa’ala and afa’la which mean tawajjah (to face), shalab (to
force), takalluf (to push), thalab (to ask), and mana’a (to prohibit). In English translation, those clauses are in the imperative speech act. Imperative indicates the obligation from higher authority to the lowest class group in which likes or dislike must be done (Levinson, 1983).

In the textuality meaning, the world yanbagi (it is important)
and yajibu (it is obligation)
become the theme of each chapter. Yanbagi (important) is the theme in chapter I which discusses the rights of women or the obligation of a husband to a wife. Meanwhile, the word yajibu (it is obligation) is the theme of the chapter II which discusses the rights of men/ the obligations of a wife to his husband. Those themes indicate that there are inequality between the rights of husband and wife. The wife has more obligations than husband.

Conclusion

This research reveals that status of woman, particularly in the traditional society who learns this Uqudulizain is generally constructed with the words representation in the textbooks. The text dogmatically set woman as member of lower class. The culture of patriarchy influences the choice of words and construction of utterance. In addition, a wife is regarded as the men’s properties which her ultimate obligation is do what the husband say and order. A woman, particularly a wife has no right to do she wants to do. A woman has no right to express their belief. Therefore, the husband’s order should be obeyed and if it is not the hell waits for her.

The textbook seems represent that Islam has put and describes women as (1) properties of husband (2) no right to do as their wants. Men are described as individuals that have full authority to restrain and control their wives. And men also indentifies as having free to do anything they intend. However, this condition is basically contradicted with Islamic teaching. Allah clearly states in al-Qur’an that a man are forbidden to inherit women against their will, should not threat them harshness and live with them honorably (Q.V 4: 19). In other verses Allah states that there is no difference between men and women, unless their faith. Therefore, the clear image of Islam, particularly in viewing women, is our responsibility, as Muslim who believes in Allah and His messenger.

Wa Allahu A’lamu

Neng Elis Aisah (Cianjur)

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About RA Miftahul falah

Membangun Negeri dengan membina generasi islami
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