Regarding the lunar calendar in Indonesia, 25th October 2014 is noted as the new year of Islam (from 1435 H to 1436 H). As a natural process, there is nothing special dealing with changing of the year but it is very important for Muslims particularly viewed from cultural and contextual aspect. Culturally, the new calendar of Islam was connected with the process of Prophet Muhammad emigration (hijra) from Mecca to Media. This event is then celebrated by Moslems in different ways and interpreted its spirit in various perspectives. Like any other culture, there are many activities done to commemorate the hijra and its teaching values. For instance, Islamic students usually go to an orphanage to give donation and have meal together. Meanwhile mostly Muslims spent their time as a means of doing contemplation and reflection what they had done for one year previously.
Contextually, hijra’s celebration of this year has similar time that Indonesia will be governed by a new president, Mr. Joko Widodo. The writer thinks that the two events are very important to be related and discussed. The questions rise then whether the hijra has a positive impact toward Moslems in Indonesia and how the hijra’s spirit is actualized in the modern Indonesia where Islam’s adherent is the most population. Similarly there are many other religious adherents which are growing significantly. Besides, there are still many humanity and violence problems in foreign countries such as in South Asia, Middle East, and Europe. Hopefully by re-internalizing the value of hijra, Indonesian Moslems are able to improve the social and political life for the humanity’s good (all people) not only in national level but also the international one.
Hijra and Its Teaching
The term hijra (emigrate) is very popular among Moslems all over the world including Indonesia. Particularly in Indonesia, this term was usually introduced by Islamic teachers to their students since they were in the fourth class of Islamic primary school. Hijra event is also known as the ‘epoch’ of the Islamic era when Muhammad and his followers emigrated from Mecca to Medina on Muharram month. That day was calculated in astronomical chronology to be on the 15th July 622 AD. The process of hijra ended on 21st September 622 indicated by the arrival of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Medina. In this crucial moment, the first Islamic community was set up in Medina. In other words, Islamic teaching is established both as a legal and political institution. In Medina, prophet also gives a model how to live and interact harmoniously both Moslems and Muslims (exclusive way of life) and Moslems and non-Moslems (inclusive way of life).
The main purpose of migration is to obey the God’s instruction and purely for the shake of God’s path obedience. This is as narrated by Ummar ibn al-Khattab, the prophet Muhammad says, ‘indeed, action only go by intentions. Everyone gets what they intend. Anyone, therefore, who emigrates to Allah and his messenger. But anyone who emigrates to gain something of this world or to marry a woman, his emigration is to that to which he emigrated,’ (Shahih al-Bukhari, Iman:41). Besides, it is to find better place to worship to God and to implement Islamic values in social life. This is also to prove that the emigration from Mecca to Medina is not caused by eviction of non-believers in Mecca. The story is explained in the Qur’an Al-Isra’ (17:76), Allah says, ‘and verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land. But in that case, they would not have stayed (therein) after you, except for a little while’.
Based on the above description, the main teaching of hijra is to obey the God’s commandments only and struggle to find better life for all human being. This leads Muslims to be aware that their life is not for the pride of communal, wealth, and powerful. Their life is dedicated to worship God only in wide dimension of life.
Hijra as non-violence jihad
The word hijra and jihad have close relation. It seems that when a Moslem is doing hijra, they must also do jihad at the same time. Hijra will not happen if there is no jihad. Let take look how close the word hijra and jihad is as as stated by the prophet Muhammad PBUH that ‘there is no more hijra after the conquest (of Mecca), but there is jihad (striving in Allah’s cause and for humanity’s good) and intention. When you are called to it then go (Shahih al-Bukhari, Jihad: 1). The hadith informs that hijra as the process to emigrate from Mecca to Medina is a kind of jihad, to strive, exert for anything good including striving for peace or for welfare of humanity as a symbol of obedience to God. Another thing is that in modern life, hijra is not necessary any more for Moslems but they are requested to do jihad.
According to Gullen (2004:171), there are two kinds of jihad, external struggle (lesser jihad) and internal struggle (greater jihad). Firstly, lesser jihad is the process to enabling someone else to attain his or her essence. This also means go to battlefront and dealing with human material aspects but lesser jihad as going to battlefront narrows its horizon considerably. Secondly, greater jihad is to attain one’s essence. If the lesser jihad involves human material front, the greater jihad is human spiritual one, a struggle with inner world and carnal soul (nafs). Finding one’s essence and helping someone else’s essence are called as a form of non-violence jihad (Nomani, 2011:119). It is due to the purpose of jihad is not only just to defend the communal of Muslims life and properties but, rather, to gain God’s acceptance, to protect His faith, to guide humanity, to promote its welfare, and to save it from oppression and strife. Therefore, the new year of Islam can be a momentum for Mr. Jokowi and other Moslems to work better than before in order to improve the life all people in Indonesia as manifestation of jihad both lesser and greater.