The history of violence and radicalism in all religions always presents the name of God. The power of “in the name of God” can exceed all claims of the existing political authority, given that the ideology of religion can be sacred and transcendental, thus further influencing one’s religious emotions. The concept “in the name of God” can be a spirit of radicalism, even justification for all human actions. As an example of the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001 in New York, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing, Bali bombings, JW Marriot Hotel Jakarta bombings, Brussels Airport bombing, chain attacks in France November 2015, and other terror events have fostered the perception in most circles of government leaders and political figures in the world that all these events were carried out and backed up by Islamic fundamentalist and terrorist groups.. Why not, the terrorist act is almost always associated with radical Islamic groups, there are those who commit acts of terror in the name of jihad but on the contrary, there is also jihad which is considered underestimated as acts of terror. So there is speculation that Islam is a terrorist. The call for jihad is indeed a very sensitive issue because it is often associated with terrorism. Jihad is one of the most misunderstood Islamic teachings, even jihad is often referred to as the cause of violence or terrorism. Understanding jihad requires a deep and comprehensive meaning. Because the concept of jihad still causes various controversies. Today, jihad is often debated in the mass media and academic literature, both in the East and in the West. Term jihad is always in a continuous debate and never ends, this is an indicator that indicates that jihad is a theme that has a very high appeal and will never dry out and be studied.
Indeed, one of the principles of the teachings of Islam is peace and the bearer of grace for all nature. Islamic teachings are manifested in an act of believers in the field community which is carried out regularly, to be able to feel, think, behave and act on the level of individual and social reality in order to seek the realization of Islam which is “ra?matan li al-‘âlamîn” in all aspects of the life of mankind. Seeing the existing reality, many Muslims interpret the verses of the Qur’an only in a textual way, as if negating the current context. Although Textual understanding can be used, sometimes it can give birth to anarchic behavior if only understanding without context the verse came down. In many cases, Al-Quran verses and sacred words in Islam are often used to legitimize violence in the name of religion. This fact is very worrying because it has come out far from the goal of the al-Qur’?n which is to create a just and peaceful social order on earth.
Basically, the application of anarchic attitudes such as suicide bombings and so on if applied to this conflict area becomes an exception. However, there are some parties that carry out these actions outside the conflict and in the name of the religion to justify all their actions. This wrong understanding makes a person anarchic and becomes radical. As stated by Mohammed Merah, the brutal shooter of several soldiers and Jews in France in 2012, in a transcript during negotiations with the police, which was distributed by the liberation newspaper, in essence Merah claimed that his evil actions to kill Jews and other Muslims of different views were carried out because command from God. This radical view does not in the least give a sense of empathy to human lives and other physical and non-physical damage. In other words, the expression of religious radicalism has a terrible impact. Radical circles are very easy to accuse people of different streams and views with themselves. This situation raises questions about the truth of Islam as ummatan wasatan (a moderate people) and loaded with the values ??of peace. The justification for acts of violence and radicalism is a reduction of religious interpretations which causes the mission to be trapped in truth claims and to generate reactionary-destructive attitudes towards all differences. The most severe impact of this pattern is the destruction of religious harmony, both internally and externally.
Departing from the anxiety above, I think that the concept of Jihad and fighting in the name of God in the wrong context due to misinterpretation of the verses of the Qur’an, can be used as a spirit of radicalism and justification of all acts of violence committed by a group of people. This paper wants to unravel the perspectives of radical circles in interpreting Al-Qur’an verses that they often use as a justification for violence in the name of religion. We will review from the historical aspect, the misinterpretation of “Jihad” and the erroneous understanding of the verses of violence as a justification for violence in the name of religion.
Religious Radicalism: Historical Records.
From the beginning, Islam has proclaimed itself as a religion loaded with moderate content or teachings in all matters. Fair teaching, in the middle. Islamic teachings also teach peace and humanity, not the least teach hostility, hatred and acts of violence in this world Islam is a straight teaching as stated in Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 143. “And so we have made you Muslims a just and elect people …”. These are the values ??of universal Islamic teachings. Unfortunately, Islam as a religion has texts that can be viewed from various angles. Therefore, heterogeneity of interpretation is inevitable. Unfortunately, lately, there has been an attempt to “subordinate” the type of interpretation that has caused fanaticism. Certain interpretations are thus regarded as irrefutable realities of truth. This is a problem because not infrequently various interests are behind that interpretation.
In the history of Islam, for example, it is clear that historical records of the phenomenon of religious texts are being erected for political purposes that ultimately trigger acts of religious radicalism. The events of mihnah during the reign of the Caliph al-Ma’unun (813-833). In this incident, there was a coercion of opinion by the Mu’tazilah sect, a sect in Islam that actually claimed to be a rationalist sect. Islamic leaders and community leaders who disagreed with the sect were imprisoned, tortured and even sentenced to death. The phenomenon of the emergence of religious radicalism can be seen from the perspective of Islamic fundamentalism almost and ironically never ceases in the span of the history of Muslims until now.
The Khawarij movement which emerged at the end of the reign ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib with radical and extreme principles can be seen as a classic fundamentalism movement in Islamic history. Their radical step was validated with the slogan “there is no law except for Allah” and “there are no judges other than Allah” who are elaborated on the basis of Surah Al-Ma’idah 5: 44 which reads: “whoever does not determine the law with what Allah has revealed, then they are unbelievers”. For this reason, the Khawarij group does not want to submit to Ali and Mu’awiyah. Islam is thought to teach fanatic adherents to commit acts of violence as a manifestation of faith. In talking about this sect, people then imagine the existence of a group of believers who may mistakenly believe that God has told him to just do what might be done to defend his religion. This radical theological view is followed by extreme and radical political attitudes as well. They are of the view that people who disagree with them are considered polytheists and may be killed. In pre-modern times, radical fundamentalist movements emerged on the Arabian Peninsula under the leadership of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792). By carrying out the platform and mission of purifying (purification) Islam, this movement committed violence by killing people who were considered heretics, superstition and superstition and destroyed historical monuments in Mecca and Medina.
Thus the appearance of classical and pre-modern radical fundamentalism is strongly influenced by the foundation of fundamental theology based on the spirit of Islamic revival. Whereas radical fundamentalism movements in Islam today, are more influenced by Islamic responses to the West, although themes related to inward oriented remain their concerns and ideological choices. There are at least two big problems that concern this group. First, they reject Western secularism that separates religion from politics. Western success in secularization is considered dangerous because it can threaten Islam as a religion that is not only concerned with ukhrawi, but worldly. Second, many Muslims want their society to be ordered by using the Qur’an and Islamic Shari’a as a statute. Not surprisingly, underground movements will emerge today with the ideals of building an Islamic Caliphate and accompanied by themes of divine sovereignty, jihad, Islamic revolution, social justice and so on. These themes are oriented to the past, the early generation of Islam as practiced by the Messenger of Allah and the Companions. Because they assume that Islamic society is now experiencing a setback further away from Islamic practice. Therefore the agendas above must be done to fight Western hegemony while imagining the romanticism of the history of the glory of Islam in order to materialize in modern times.
From the brief history above, it can be said that Islamic fundamentalism, as well as fundamentalism in other religions, has several characteristics that distinguish it from other sects. First, scripturalism; that is, the literal belief in the scriptures which is the word of God and is considered to contain no errors. Second, the Qur’anic text in the view of this sect must be understood literally as it sounds. The reason is seen as not being able to provide a proper interpretation of the text, even against texts that are contrary to each other. Third, the rejection of pluralism and relativism that are considered to undermine the sanctity of the text. Fourth, the rejection of historical and sociological developments which are considered to bring people further away from the literal doctrine of the scriptures. Fifth, monopoly on the truth of religious interpretation. Radical fundamentalists usually tend to think of themselves as the most valid and correct interpreters, so they tend to look astray to other groups that are not as harmonious.
Misinterpretation In The Meaning Of Jihad
Before deciphering the verses relating to the acquisition of war in the Qur’an, it is necessary to explain in advance the concept of jihad in Islam. This is important because acts of radicalism and terrorism in the name of religion are often indented by jihad in the way of Allah. Not a few Al-Qur’an verses and Hadith are vulnerable to misuse of understanding or interpretation, especially texts relating to other religions. For example, Al-Qur’an and Hadith verses about jihad fi sabilillah and shahidism. Jihad is a central theme related to the Muslim point of view of religion and communities outside of Islam. In general, radicals interpret jihad as a holy war against people of other religions. They believe in the jihad creed as a sacred commandment to fight people of other religions that are considered infidels, as well as a noble obligation for every Muslim in order to uphold God’s law. They assume, because the Prophet Muhammad spent his life in war, then Muslims must follow his example by forcing people of other religions to be Islamized even though it was done by using sword/war. This jihad (holy war) is very interesting for many radicals because of their belief in the holy war that they do not know defeat, and there is a guarantee of entering heaven for martyrs or mujahids. Their view if traced one of them refers to literal understanding and interpretation of Surah Al-Baqarah: 154 and Surah Ali Imran: 169-171.
As a religious doctrine, jihad is a doctrinal ammunition that functions as a tool of religious struggle in answering the challenges of the times. The thing that needs to be realized is that jihad is not a product of individual authority or interpretation of certain organizations. Rather it is the product of various individuals and authorities who interpret and apply the principles of sacred texts in specific historical and political contexts. For that we must read and understand the verses of the Qur’an historically. We can see Al-Qur’an verses that discuss jihad in Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29: 69 which means: “And those who struggle in our way, and indeed God is with those who do good” and is also in Surah Al-Hajj 22: 78 which means: “And strive for Allah earnestly” and in Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 190 which means: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, (but) do not transgress, because Allah does not like those who transgress”.
The content of the verses above emphasizes jihad as an inert struggle with difficulties and complexity towards a better life. Striving against self-indulgence in order to achieve virtue, make genuine efforts to do good and help improve people’s lives.
From the above verse, it can be understood that jihad in Islam is not synonymous with violence and radicalism. Distortion of the meaning of jihad is carried out by a group of people who are radical in their understanding that jihad is interpreted as a holy war in the name of religion. This kind of understanding then develops and becomes the legal basis for jihad is war in the way of Allah and legalizes the way of violence. Whereas if it is explored more deeply in the word “jihad” derived from the word jahada and its various derivations, no one can explain that jihad is closely associated with radicalism or war.
Like the word jihad contained in the Surah At-Taubah 9 :24 which means: “Say,” if your fathers, your children, your brothers and sisters, your wives, your family, the assets you are trying to trade, you trade worry about the loss, and the houses where you like, the more you love than Allah and His Messenger and strive in His way, so wait until Allah gives a decision. And Allah does not guide the wicked “. The word” jihad “in the verse has the meaning of fighting for Allah at the expense of wealth (property) to achieve the noble and noble goal, namely the pleasure of Allah. So, jihad here has a universal meaning associated with horizontal worship in order to realize shared prosperity in society. That is, when a servant invests wealth in the way of Allah for zakat, infaq and alms will get the highest meaningfulness in human life. So jihad here is forms of philanthropism not anarchism.
The word “jihad” is also contained in Surah Al-Hajj 22: 78 which means: “And strive in the way of Allah with true jihad. He has chosen you and He has made trouble for you in religion, follow the religion of your ancestors Ibrahim “. From the above verse it can be clearly understood that this verse has nothing to do and cannot be used as a basis that jihad is fighting and drawing a sword. If indeed this is related to war, of course, the words of jihad in the verse above are not followed by the sentence: “He (Allah) has made trouble for you in religion”. So it is clear that the jihad here is very broad in meaning and is closely related to human life in devoting to God Almighty.
Furthermore, the word ‘jihad’ is also found in Surah Al-Mumtahanah 60: 1 which means: “If you really go out to strive in My way and seek My pleasure (do not do so) you tell in secret ( the news of Muhammad) to them, because of compassion and I know more about what you are hiding and what you declare … “Judging from the reasons and background of the descent, this verse was revealed shortly before the Prophet left Medina for Mecca to enter into the Hudaibiyyah agreement. Although when he entered the city of Mecca the Prophet carried a number of strengths, the opposite happened, precisely the Prophet’s entourage entered the city of Mecca with a peace mission and not until there was bloodshed that was often identified with jihad. It was also clear that jihad had nothing to do with war orders.
It is increasingly clear that from the verses that have a connection with jihad there is no one who connotes to fight and legalize acts of violence in solving every problem. On the contrary, jihad is merely emphasized to improve both vertical and horizontal worship which is only intended to reach the pleasure of Allah Almighty. Thus, interpreting jihad only in terms of physical struggle or resistance to weapons is wrong. Jihad in Islam is a comprehensive activity that accompanies all other activities. Because, there is no single activity, let alone religious activity, which does not require jihad. At the very least, jihad is needed to inhibit the seduction of lust which always invites evil and ignorance of religious guidance.
The extent of the meaning of jihad as shown in the verses of the Qur’an above is what makes Islamic teachings a powerful symbol of perseverance, hard work, and success in Islamic history. Jihad is what leads Muslims to become Allah’s caliphs who fill all aspects of their lives with great civilization. In other words, Islamic civilization from time to time is a manifestation of jihad. By interpreting such jihad, Muslims reach the pinnacle of achievement in the development of science, as well as its grounding in life throughout history. In the context of the nation or state at this time, the problem of the people and the nation which is quite challenging to be used as a land of jihad is the problem of corruption, plunder of state wealth, poverty and backwardness, and other issues.
However, according to Esposito, jihad in some cases is ambivalent. Used and misused throughout Islamic history. Although jihad has always been an important part of the Islamic tradition, in recent years some Muslims have argued that jihad is a universal religious obligation for all people who truly claim to be true Islam to join in jihad in the context of holding an Islamic revolution in a global scale. This is the starting point for misinterpretation of jihad which in turn is used as a justification by some interpreters to express religious radicalism. So the main factor for the emergence of a radical attitude in religion is the lack of a true and deep understanding of the essence of the teachings of Islam itself. Islam is only understood superficially and partially.
The Erroneous Understanding Of The Verses Of Violence
In reality, some Muslims who commit acts of violence often refer to the verses of the Qur’an and hadith of the Prophet which are used as legitimacy and basis for their actions. In fact, Islam is a universal and moderate religion (wasatiyah) which teaches the values ??of tolerance (tasamuh) which is one of the core teachings of Islam that is parallel to other teachings, such as justice (‘adl), compassion (mercy), and wisdom. As a blessing for the universe, the Qur’an recognizes the diversity of beliefs and diversity. However, unfortunately, acts of violence often occur. And, once again, it is validated by the arguments of the verses of war in the Qur’an. In fact, if examined, in the war verses there are no verses that command war or violence that justifies all means.
In addition to jihad verses, verses that are often used as the basis for the development of stereotypes to identify Islam as a religion of pro-violence and support acts of terrorism are war verses. Therefore, in the following explanation, these verses will be examined according to the context and their meaning in the Qur’anic perspective. Indeed, in the Qur’an, many verses discuss and allow acts of war by using the words qatala, qital and various kinds of derivatives. The first is in Surah Al-Hajj (22): 39-40 which means: “It has been permitted to fight those who are fought, because they are actually persecuted, and indeed Allah is powerful to help them. That is, those who were driven out of their villages with no proper reason, except they said: Our Lord is God.” This is the first verse that comes down related to the doctrine of war and violence in Islam. But if the verse will see that Islam actually does not want war. In this verse, it appears to be limited to giving permission for those who are tyrannized with the words “bi annahum zulimu” (because they are actually persecuted). This means that war is the last option to defend yourself or if other methods such as deliberation cannot solve the problem.
Therefore, then Allah Almighty. bring down another verse which confirms the permissibility of war as a reinforcement of the above verse. This is found in Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 190 which means: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress (transgress humanity), because Allah does not like those who transgress. The granting of permission to fight in this verse is not absolute, but it is conditional that the war must be due to a factor of self-defense and even then on condition that it does not exceed the limits of humanity which can cause the anger of Allah Almighty. So that in the context of warfare, if viewed from its history Islam provides the basics in self-defense, honor, guarantees the smoothness of da’wah and guarantees the opportunity to adhere to Islam and to maintain and maintain the Muslims from the attack of the enemy of Islam at that time. Thus, despite war (qital) obtaining legitimacy, verses concerning the necessity of Muslims to hold on to noble ethics and jihad in the broadest sense remain valid. In fact, through the association of qital with jihad, Muslims are required to stick with moral virtue despite the physical resistance.
The next verse which is often used as a justification for acts of violence in the name of religion is verse 5 of the Surah At-Taubah (9), which means: “If the months of Haram are finished, then kill those who live wherever you find them, and catch them , hang them and see them at the reconnaissance. If they repent, establish prayers and pay zakat, then give them freedom”. If seen from the historical and grasping theories of the verses above, then the command to kill, capture and stalk is not something that is obligatory. This is more than just permission from God and its nature is permissible, because the order came after the prohibition (ie prohibited from killing in the Haram month) contained in the previous verses. Therefore, this form of order does not have a “mandatory” value, unless they are indeed very dangerous and tend not to repent. Another verse which is also suspected as a source of religious radicalism is in the Surah At-Taubah 9 verse 29 which means: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the day after, and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger forbid and not religious with the true religion, that is, the person who is given the Book to them, until they pay jizyah, while they are obedient and submissive. ”
In the Tafsir Al-Maraghi it is told that this verse is the first verse to come down concerning the war against the People of the Book (Mushrik), because there were a group of Christians who were worried about the teachings of Muhammad, then they gathered troops from the Arab tribes who were Christians and joined Roman rule to attack Muslims, so that Muslims feel anxious especially after they hear that the troops have arrived near Jordan. Muslim anxiety is answered by Allah by lowering the verse.
The next verse of “violence” is Surah Al-Anfal 8 : 61 which means: “If they are inclined to peace, then lean on it and bow to Allah”. Judging from the written text, at first glance, this verse can be used as a justification that Muslims should not take the initiative to make peace unless the polytheists start first or take the initiative. However, if studied in a correlative manner, this verse is actually a suggestion of the attitude of Muslims when invited to make peace. This verse relates to the previous verse which tells the attitude of polytheists who are always hostile to Muslims who are as if Muslims are afraid if one day the Mushrikites invite peace. Feelings of fear are ignored by the verse because they are afraid to be only allowed to Allah, not understood otherwise (just want to make peace when they start).
Thus, the war in its fierce figure cannot be sacralized with any religious argument. According to the Qur’an, war is the last alternative to the various choices that must be pursued in realizing peace which is the essential message of the Qur’an. When this peace is disturbing and unappreciated and when Muslims are tyrannized, God allows Muslims to fight it. It is a kind of emergency door that is only permitted under certain conditions. As conveyed by Maulana Maudoodi about the essence of Jihad Fi Sabilillah that the War that can be given a holy detective is only a war against crime, against poverty, hunger, backwardness and the fight against corruption. And the method of warfare has also been regulated that is not arbitrary and not carried out brutally. It is this type of war that must be encouraged and developed in any time space. Instead of burning places of worship, detonating bombs and killing others. The meaning of jihad and war (qital) in the Qur’an, as already explained, is much distorted by Western scholars and even by some Muslim writers. This arises one of them as a result of a misunderstanding of the terminology, or most often, the use of quotations that are out of context.
From the description above, it can be concluded that the meaning of Jihad and the war verses that are mistaken becomes the legitimacy of a person or group in carrying out acts of radicalism and violence in the name of religion. Indeed, peace is something fundamental in Islam and every Muslim must strive for it. The true jihad is to struggle with all the power and mental power to bring peace and justice in the midst of society. Thus it is not true that Islam is a religion loaded with violence and radicalism. Radical views and actions in the name of God in Islam are in sharp contrast to the true concept of Islam. Jihad movements that are currently developing in some Muslim communities which end in radicalism cannot be justified. Therefore returning to the roots with the comprehensive methodology of interpreting religious texts is a necessity in order to create a peaceful Islam.
As a final note, once again it must be emphasized that the Qur’an is a universal book. So, the verses must be understood holistically-comprehensively, not atomically. Therefore, offered an approach to understanding in a mass way between verses, another approach offered is to look at the historical background (azbab nuzul) against the decline of certain verses. Therefore, with these theories, it is expected that the Qur’an will become a “reference book” in all places and all the time to achieve peace and benefit. So that in the end the Al-Qur’an will become rahmatan lil a’alamin all the time.
Furthermore, regarding the issue of the interpretation of the Al-Qur’an verse which is a justification for violence by radical groups, it is necessary to conduct intensive efforts by the muballigh, ulama, religious leaders, religious teachers, religious lecturers, chaplains in Islamic boarding schools and the media to socialize interpretations pure and complete based on scientific interpretation methodology. This is done to provide the right knowledge and understanding to students, students, students, and students so that they are not caught up in the misinterpretation of verses related to the term “jihad”. Because in Islam do not know the ways of violence in achieving goals.