Mengkaji Perempuan: Mengkaji Perubahan Bangsa

“Kalau perempuan daerah sini mah lulus SMP langsung nikah neng, selain karena ndak punya uang buat nerusin, jaraknya juga jauh, harus ke luar kecamatan, toh nanti perempuan baliknya juga ke dapur”. Pernyataan di atas merupakan gambaran tetang kehidupan perempuan daerah tertinggal di salah satu daerah Jawa Barat. Karena pernikahan yang masih dalam usia premature, angka perceraian juga sangat tinggi. Tentu saja dalam kasus seperti ini, perempuan sendirilah yang akan menjadi korban pertama. Mengapa hal ini masih terjadi di saat sebagian aktifis perempuan sudah mendebatkan mengenai double burden, gaji perempuan yang didiskreditkan, dan berbagai masalah baru lainnya. Dalam tulisan ini penulis ingin berbagi cerita mengenai pengalaman refleksi penulis, sekaligus mencoba menganalisis penyebab, dan bagaimana cara untuk keluar dari masalah klasik ini.

Kehidupan masyarakat petani pedesaan sangat bergantung pada alam yang ada di sekitarnya.  Dalam masyarakat pegunungan misalnya, hasil tanam sawah dan ladang merupakan sumber perekonomian utama. Sawah di dataran tinggi bisa panen 2-3 kali dalam satu tahun, dan oleh masyarakat biasanya hasil panen digunakan sebagai pemenuhan kebutuhan sehari-hari. Jarang sekali masyarakat menjual hasil panen mereka pada tengkulak. Padi yang sudah menua dipanen, dijemur, dan disimpan di gudang masing-masing. Hasil jagung masyarakat bisa dipanen 2 kali dalam satu tahun. Jagung yang sudah siap panen diambil dari ladang, dipisahkan dari bonggolnya,  dan dikeringkan. Harga jualnya sangat rendah, apalagi saat panen melimpah. Hal ini belum termasuk saat babi hutan menyerang tanaman ladang mereka.

Dalam menggarap sawah maupun ladang, masyarakat pegunungan melakukan secara bersama-sama, baik laki-laki maupun perempuan. Perempuan tugas utama adalah urusan domestic, memasak, membersihkan rumah, dan merawat anak. Setelah tugas itu selesai, mereka akan bergegas ke ladang. Tidak hanya orang tua, saat musim panen tiba, sekolahan akan terlihat sangat sepi. Hal ini karena anak-anak memilih pergi ke ladang untuk membantu orang tua mereka. Secara sepintas tidak ada yang salah dari rotasi pekerjaan di atas, namun jika melihat lebih mendalam akan muncul permasalahan-permasalahan dari sana. Saat masyarakat telah memiliki kesibukan di ladang tentu konsentrasi dan perhatian untuk pendidikan anak akan terbagi, bahkan terabaikan. Anak-anak datang dari sekolah karena jarak tempuh yang jauh kadang sampai sore baru sampai. Tugas sekolah kadang tidak terselesaikan, karena tingkat pendidikan orang tuapun rendah. Mereka sering membolos sekolah saat panen akan mengurangi semangat belajar. Beberapa anak sering tidak berangkat karena malas. Ini adalah masalah pertama, sektor perekonomian.

Adanya berbagai program pendidikan seperti wajar 9 tahun sangat membantu masyarakat dalam mengakses pembelajaran formal. Dengan adanya pembangunan sekolah baru, dan gratis biaya pendidikan melalui BOS masyarakat tidak perlu khawatir dalam hal pendidikan. Secara kuantitas, hampir semua masyarakat bisa mengakses pendidikan sampai 9 tahun, lalu bagaimana dengan kualitas pendidikannya. Secara umum tenaga pendidik memiliki dedikasi tinggi untuk mencerdaskan generasi bangsa. Namun jika harus menempuh jarak yang sangat jauh dengan infsastruktur jalan yang sangat kurang memadai, tentu beberapa tenaga pendidik memilih daerah yang lain. Akibatnya, SDM tenaga pendidikpun masih sangat kurang. Selain itu rasio guru dan murid tidak seimbang. Dalam satu kelas bisa mencapai 60 anak dengan satu guru. Hal ini bukanlah jumlah ideal sebuah kelas. Beberapa kebijakan pemerintahan pusat yang sering berganti pada system pendidikan sangat membebani para pengajar. Kondisi daerah yang sangat minim fasilitas, dan jarak tempuh yang jauh menjadi kendala. Berbagai kebijakan kurikulum yang sering berganti membuat pengajar semakin mengalami beban. Salah satunya adalah kebijakan fullday untuk program sekolah. Hal ini tentu tidak sesuai dengan keadaan yang ada di daerah pedesaan.

Angka perceraian yang sangat besar bisa terjadi karena beberapa factor seperti SDM rendah, masalah perekonomian, dan budaya patriarkhi. Sumber Daya Manusia sangat terkait dengan tingkat pendidikan. Sebagaimana uraian sebelumnya ketersediaan pendidikan di Indonesia masih belum merata, terutama daerah-daerah tertinggal. Selain itu, posisi tawar perekonomian masyarakat pertanian belum bisa memberikan hasil yang baik. Hasil pertanian sebagian hanya bisa dijadikan sebagai usaha memenuhi kebutuhan pokok. Hal ini karena modal tenaga yang dikeluarkan sehari-hari tidak sebanding dengan hasil yang diperoleh saat musim panen tiba. Belum lagi adanya serangan hama seperti babi hutan.

Dalam masyarakat pertanian terutama masyarakat pedesaan budaya patriarkhi sangat kental. Jika dilihat dari struktur pola kerja, antara perempuan sebagai istri, dan laki-laki sebagai suami memiliki posisi yang sama dalam masalah perekonomian. Keduanya secara equel melakukan usaha untuk menopang perekonomian keluarga. Namun dalam hal pengambilan keputusan, sepenuhnya diserahkan kepada laki-laki. Prioritas yang diberikan kepada laki-laki lebih besar. Seperti halnya dalam pendidikan, jika dalam keluarga terdapat anak laki-laki dan perempuan, maka laki-lakilah yang akan menjadi prioritas utama. Padahal tingkat kualitas seorang perempuan dalam keluarga akan menentukan bagaimana kualitas keluarga tersebut. Dalam istilah agama islam disebutkan bahwa al-um madrosatul’ula,  ibu adalah sekolah pertama bagi anak-anaknya. Bagaimana generasi bisa terdidik dengan baik apabila ibunya tidak memiliki kualitas yang baikpula.

Hal ini diperburuk dengan adanya kesadaran yang patriarkhis dalam diri perempuan. Sehingga ketika seorang perempuan dihadapkan dengan sebuah pilihan yang memiliki tantangan besar dia memilih mundur, “ toh akhirnya kami akan kembali ke dapur” begitu ujar mereka. Sebagai sebuah gurauan, oleh seorang perempuan yang memiliki pengalaman dan berwawasan ketela bisa dijadikan tela-tela rasa yang lebih enak. Sedangkan di tangan perempuan yang kurang pengalaman mungkin akan jadi makanan ringan sebagaimana biasanya. Tahapan ini merupakan tantangan terbesar dalam melakukan perubahan, karena jika kesadaran untuk berubah belum ada, maka dorongan apapun tidak ada artinya. Hal ini bukan sesuatu yang baru, ideology ini bisa jadi karena  kebiasaan yang telah terjadi selama turun menurun dalam masyarakat yang telah membudaya, dan ditambah dengan pemahaman agama yang sering mengalami bias.

Lalu, apa yang bisa dilakukan untuk melakukan perbaikan pada masalah ini. Sinergi berbagai komponen sangat perlu dilakukan. Baik oleh masyarakat, tokoh masyarakat dan juga pemerintah. Sebagai payung dalam sebuah Negara, pemerintah memiliki kewajiban penuh untuk memberikan dorongan terciptanya kesejahteraan bagi semua masyarakat. Hal ini melalui kebijakan-kebijakan yang mempertimbangkan berbagai kondisi yang berbeda pada suatu daerah. Tokoh masyarakat menjadi actor penting dalam masyarakat pedesaan. Karena panutan  masyarakat biasanya terdapat pada tokoh masyarakat seperti orang yang dituakan ataupun tokoh agama setempat. Mereka merupakan titik strategis untuk memberikan pemahaman pada masyarakat. Selain itu, kesadaran dan kemauan masyarakat menjadi kunci pembuka perubahan. Saat masyarakat telah membuka diri, maka pengetahuan, wawasan, dan dorongan yang ada akan menjadi sangat berguna. Kebijakan Pemerintah, petuah para tetua, dan semangat berubah dari masyarakat akan menjadi tiga obor perubahan masyarakat pada kehidupan yang lebih baik.

Penulis: Nur Khoiriyah

Peserta Program Pendidikan Ulama Perempuan (PUP) Angkatan IV dan Pengamat Isu Perempuan| Mahasiswa Paskasarjana Pembangunan Sosial dan Kesejahteraan FISIPOL UGM

The stigmatisation of widows and divorcees (janda) in Indonesia, and the possibilities for agency

ABSTRACT
This article explores the discourses and practices of stigmatisation
that shape the experience of widows and divorced women
(janda) in Indonesia. The conceptualisation of stigma allows us to
see that the experience of being a janda is a gendered, moral
experience. The article examines the construction of ideal
marriage in Islam and in Indonesia, divorce, and the construction
of gender and sexuality. There is a dominant discourse that
divorced and widowed women are sexually available and
promiscuous; the result is often that men prey upon janda. In
turn, wives feel threatened by the competition that janda
represent. This article is based on ethnographic and interview
data from two field sites: Bandung, West Java, and Wawonii
island, off the coast of Southeast Sulawesi; both are Muslim
communities. It also explores the possibilities for women’s agency
and destigmatisation, through the mobilising of social networks
and the emphasising of their worth as good mothers to achieve
social respectability.



Introduction
Widows and divorcees (janda) suffer considerable stigma in Indonesian societies. This article uses the conceptualisation of stigma as a lens through which to view ethnographic data on the experience of janda-hood and the treatment of janda in Indonesia. The ethnographic data were collected during fieldwork in Bandung, West Java, and the island of Wawonii, off the southeast coast of Sulawesi, in 2012 and 2013.
The status of janda can lead to their subordination and marginalisation; as a result they often suffer social exclusion and economic deprivation. The janda is not just a person who is disadvantaged, frequently poor and a single parent, and discriminated against. She is also subject to suspicion and accusations of moral turpitude. In Indonesia, sex should be contained within heterosexual marriage. Women who have been married have already experienced sexual desire (nafsu) and as unaccompanied widows (janda mati) and divorcees (janda cerai) they are suspected of sexual autonomy, impropriety and loose-ness. We argue that janda are constructed as immoral women because they epitomise the opposite of constructions of ideal marriage, female sexuality and gender.

The anthropological conceptualisation of stigma allows us to see that the experience of being a janda is a gendered, moral experience. However, the ethnographic data also show some ways that janda manage their disadvantaged position, mobilising social networks and emphasising their virtuous motherhood to achieve social respectability. Janda in Indonesia do not always suffer stigmatisation and in the final section of this article we show how some are able to exercise agency to ameliorate their condition and (re)establish themselves as moral, respectable women.
Stigmatisation and de-stigmatisation Social researchers in various fields have used the conceptualisation of ‘stigma’ to analyse ‘the situation of the individual who is disqualified from full social acceptance’ (Goffman 1963: preface) by the ascription of some mark of disgrace. Often a physical attribute or obvious characteristic, such as leprosy, mental illness or a physical disability, is associated with pejorative meanings, such as inferiority, danger or threat. It is these pejorative meanings
that are the sociocultural construction of stigma. Thus, the individual with a ‘different’ condition is doubly burdened with physical difference and the shadow of stigma and becomes socially defined by their stigma. Because stigma is a sociocultural construct, a physical ‘mark’ or condition can have different meanings in different societies, and in the same society at different times.
For this article, the important point about stigma on a social scale is the construction of two groups: the ‘normals’ who are hegemonic and powerful, and ‘the stigmatised’ who are aminority (Goffman 1963). Goffman (1963: 5) noted that ‘We [normals] construct a stigmatheory, an ideology to explain his [sic] inferiority and account for the danger he represents, sometimes rationalizing an animosity based on other differences, such as those of social class.’ The ‘stigma-theory’ of janda-hood in Indonesia constructs the janda as disgraced and immoral, in contrast to the ‘normals’, who are married. The derogation of the janda is an expression of the power of the ‘normals’: it is the power to separate and classify, label and assign inferiority to those who are ‘different’ (Link and Phelan 2001). Researchers have
begun to examine the use of social, economic and political power in constructing stigma and in discriminating against the stigmatised. Corrigan et al. (2004), for instance, describe two types of structural discrimination that can amplify the effects of stigmatisation: institutional discrimination can intentionally restrict opportunities for stigmatised groups (e.g. when people with mental illness are not allowed to vote), and structural discrimination can also occur unintentionally. For instance, Indonesia has introduced policies that require birth and marriage certificates before children can enrol in school, and many janda find themselves disadvantaged as a result (Platt 2009).
Our interest is in the experience of janda, of living with stigma in a local, social world – how janda are regarded and vilified, how discrimination is manifest, and the extent to which they have internalised the marks of the stigma. It would not be surprising to find that janda feel ashamed: stigmatised people are just as socialised into the norms and values of society as are the stigmatisers, and self-stigmatisation indexes the strength of stigma attached to the condition of difference (Markowitz 2005).
We share the perspective of Yang et al. (2007: 1528), that stigma is ‘embedded in the moral life of sufferers’. They posit that ‘stigma exerts its core effects by threatening the loss or diminution of what is most at stake, or by actually diminishing or destroying that lived value’ (Yang et al. 2007: 1524). We suggest that what really matters, or what is threatened, in the stigmatisation of widowed and divorced women in Indonesia is a social order that depends upon marriage. Stigmatising a woman who is not married (but has been married) is a response that arises from ‘feelings of danger, uncertainty, and preservation’ (Yang et al. 2007: 1528). If a marriage breaks down, manifest in divorce or separation, what is most at stake for other married people is the certainty that marriage is the normal, moral and best way to live.
In the case of janda mati, or widows, the loss of a marriage partner does not send the same signal of social disorder and threat that is sent through divorce or separation. However, it does speak to other possible disorders and chaos, and above all, the fear of the unknown. In both cases, for widows and divorcees, stigma compounds suffering. What is also significant is that these feelings of threat, danger and fear that are expressed in stigma are focused on women, not men. For this reason, we say that the stigmatisation that attends divorce and the death of a marital partner is a gendered, moral experience.
The ethnographic data reveal some ways that widows and divorced women exercise agency to avoid or reject stigmatisation, ameliorate their position in society and restore their reputation. In saying that janda exercise agency we mean that they mobilise different sorts of capital (see below) and capacities that enable them to get by, to deal with the stigma, and, in some cases, to rebuild their identity as ‘normal’ and respectable members of society.1 Mostly we see that they mobilise support from their families and communities.
Bourdieu’s idea of different forms of capital – economic, social, cultural and symbolic – is useful here (1977, 1986). Social capital refers to the social resources and networks that a person can drawupon – families, friends, neighbours, colleagues, the larger community. Cultural capital refers to knowledge, skills and language, as well as embodied habits. Cultural capital is long-lasting and is acquired by individualsmainly fromthe family during childhood socialisation, in both conscious and unconscious ways (Bourdieu 1986). In Bourdieu’s work, ‘symbolic capital’ refers to honour and prestige attached to a family or individual (1977: 179); we extend it to encompass respectability for janda. The different forms of capital can be expended as well as accumulated, and converted into other forms of capital. In the final
section of the article, we see how janda draw upon and cultivate these different forms of capital in an exercise of agency that aims both to de-stigmatise their selves and ameliorate their sometimes difficult conditions of life. In Wawonii, the cultivation of social capital is particularly important as a method for mitigating the consequences of isolation and poverty.
In order to understand janda-hood as a gendered, moral experience, we first present an analysis of ideal marriage in Indonesia, according to state regulations and in Islam, to show the hegemonic norm of the married couple; and we present the dominant discourses on divorce. Then we outline our two field sites, where our ethnographic data were collected, and proceed to the ethnographic data that show how janda experience their ‘spoiled identity’ (Goffman 1963).
Ideal marriage in Indonesia The regulation and social practice of marriage in Indonesia received considerable attention in feminist work on women in Indonesia during the New Order under Suharto (1966–98) 1This interpretation of agency follows the work of Parker (2005) and Lister (2004: Chapter 6).

INDONESIA AND THE MALAY WORLD 3
State regulation of marriage
The 1974 Marriage Law states that husbands are the heads of families, and that wives are household managers or housewives (Hukum 1974, Article 31, point 3). Although the implementation of law is commonly weak in Indonesia, this statement, that husbands are the heads of families, is known and accepted throughout Indonesia, no doubt partly because it echoes the Islamic injunction noted below. In various ways, this equation causes problems. Individuals and government and non-government agencies that seek to improve the socio-economic well-being of janda who are effectively the heads of their household, face the problem that these women cannot be formally identified as such. Although well established in development discourse internationally, in Indonesia the Female-Headed Household eludes both definition and legal status (Akhmadi et al. 2011: ix).
The ideological base of the New Order Indonesian nation-state (1966–98) was the happy and harmonious family, in which the various family members had a ‘natural’
role: father as the head of the household was a figure of authority and the breadwinner; mother was subordinate to him and the housewife; and she and the children were to serve his interests, which were conflated with those of the family. These gender roles echo Islamic teachings about roles within marriage (below).
In 1991 the New Order government promulgated a state-sanctioned version of Islamic law, the Compilation of Islamic Laws (KHI, Kompilasi Hukum Indonesia), which reiterated many articles of the 1974 Marriage Law, drawing together state and religious discourses about marriage. It defined marriage as a religious observance (ibadah, see below), and stated that the aim of marriage is to create a peaceful, calm and loving household; the husband is the household head and the wife is the manager of the household; a husband must be a guide and mentor to his wife, protect her, provide nafkah (economic support) and education in religious matters.
The hegemony of the New Order gender ideology was partly deconstructed during Reformasi (post-1998), through democratisation. Presidential Decree No. 9/2000 on Gender Mainstreaming, which required that all government agencies consider gender perspectives in planning, implementing and evaluating policies, and the passing of Law No.23/2004 on The Abolition of Violence in the Household show remarkable progress in the dismantling of a patriarchal gender ideology. However, at the same time, fundamentalist Islam has blossomed, accompanied by a socially conservative agenda: the declaration of syariah in some districts and provinces and other measures such as the Anti-Pornography Law of 2008 have had the effect of restricting women’s mobility and dress; the discourse that women should be stay-at-home wives and mothers has gained new strength; and some reforms that more secular or liberal-minded people advocate (for instance, sex education
in schools, liberalisation of abortion laws, easier inter-religious marriage, a new marriage law to abolish the gendered roles of household head and housewife) have had
to be shelved.

Islamic teachings
Islam strongly recommends marriage (Q. 24:32), and this relates to guarding one’s chastity (Q. 4:25). It lies between ibadah (religious duty) and mu’amalah (social/private action). Marriage in Islam is called nikah, which means sexual intercourse (Arab. wath’, dlom’), but also refers to the marriage contract, ‘aqd, between the groom and the bride represented by her guardian (wali), with mahr (bride price or mas kawin in Indonesian) given to the bride as a gift (Q. 4:4, 20, 24, 25).2 This inextricable connection between marriage and licit sex is central to the construction of janda in  Indonesian society. The Shafi’i school of law is the dominant one in Indonesia (Feener 2007), and Shafi’i jurists define nikah as ‘a contract (‘aqd) that results in the permission of sexual enjoyment (milk wath’)’ (Al-Jaziry n.d.: 1). Many jurists consider this ‘aqd a contract of exchange: the bride price (mahr), which the wife receives, is exchanged for the husband’s sexual access to his wife.

A valid marriage, according to the Shafi’i school, should meet five requirements, namely: prospective husband, prospective wife, guardianship (wali), two witnesses, and the offer and acceptance (ijab and qabul) (Al-Jaziry n.d.: 32). A valid marriage contract assigns certain duties and rights to the husband and wife. The husband’s duties become the wife’s rights and vice versa. The allocation of rights and obligations to both partners varies from one jurist and school of law to another. However, two basic duties that are believed to be complementary have almost become the consensus  among the majority of jurists: financial support (nafaqa) for the husband, and obedience (ta’a) for the wife. Most Muslims agree that the husband is required to support his family financially (Q. 2:233 and 4:34). Obedience (ta’a) is considered a wife’s duty towards her husband as a consequence of him providing nafaqa (Zuhaily 1985). The Qur’an, however, describes marital duties and rights as mutually shared (Q. 4:19, 30:21, 66:6).

Polygyny is a ‘hot topic’ in discussions of Islamic marriage, and polygynous marriages appear all the time in the ethnographic data on janda. In contention is Q. 4:3 on polygyny, which some more contextual scholars argue suggests that polygyny should only be allowed in very strict circumstances, requiring care of orphans and man’s ability to act justly (e.g.Abu Zayd 2000; Nurmila 2009; Shahrur 1994). In relation to this verse, another verse in the Qur’an states that it is almost impossible for men to treat several wives justly,3 so it is best to only marry monogamously (Wadud 2006). In practice, however, Q. 4:3 is seen by many Muslim men as permission to practise polygyny and they tend to ignore the conditions
associated with polygyny mentioned in the verse. Many cases show that a husband’s high sexual desire can be used to permit polygyny in Indonesia (Nurlaelawati 2013).

Divorce in Indonesia
The Indonesian Marriage Law of 1974 states that following divorce, both parties have certain obligations: both parents are responsible for taking care of and providing education 2Much of the literature discussing mahr translates it as dowry, but it is best translated as bride price. The two terms, bride
price and dowry, are often confused. Bride price can be defined as ‘property or money presented by a bridegroom to his bride’s relatives in recognition of the marriage’ while dowry is ‘the money, goods, or estate which a woman brings to her husband at marriage’ (Macquarie Dictionary Online). Dowry is often familial property transferred from parents to the daughter upon her marriage, and is typical of South Asian societies (Goody 1973; Tambiah 1973).
3Q. 4:129: ‘You will never be able to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire to do so, but do not ignore one wife altogether, leaving her suspended [between marriage and divorce].’ for the children; and the father has financial responsibility for the support of his children and ex-wife (Hukum 1974, Article 41). The grounds for divorce include ‘irreconcilable differences’ and adultery, and it is not generally considered difficult to get a divorce in Indonesia.
Islam gives both parties (husband and wife) the right to report for divorce (Q. 2:229).
Dissolution of marriage in Islam, apart from death, can take three forms: thalaq (lit.release), khulu’ (lit. compensation), and fasakh (lit. annulment). Thalaq is terminating marriage from the husband’s side – it can be revocable (raj’i) or irrevocable (ba’in); khulu’ is dissolution of marriage from the wife’s side by either returning the mahr (bride price) or paying financial compensation as agreed by both parties (iwadh) (Q. 2:229); and fasakh is ending the marriage bond by the court. In Indonesia, the third category includes ta’lik talak, the conditions set for the wife to report for divorce: maltreatment, abandonment and insufficient financial support; these are the most commonly used ‘causes’ of divorce in the courts.
Divorce in Islam is considered normal and permissible, but it is discouraged. Reconciliation is a better approach (or aim) before deciding on divorce, and arbiters are recommended to avoid fights (Q. 65:2, 4:35). Islam emphasises mutual and peaceable reconciliation or separation, and aims to prevent the abandonment and ill-treatment of women (Q. 2:229). After divorce, a waiting period (‘iddah) is assigned to the wife and on the death of one spouse, to both parties (Q. 2:234). The idea of ‘iddah is to give time for both parties to consider reconciliation, and to ascertain that the woman is not pregnant so it is easier to recognise the child born (if applicable) for lineage and guardianship purposes. During the period of ‘iddah, divorced women and widows are entitled to maintenance (Q. 2:241): financial support, housing and kind treatment from the husband and/or husband’s family (Q. 2:240, 2:233, 65:6).
Indonesian statistics on divorce are unreliable, partly because divorce records are collected by two agencies: the Islamic and the civil courts, both of which are under state control. Divorce is most commonly dealt with in the Islamic courts. Hull (2011: 23) notes significant under-reporting due to shame. However, we know that Indonesia had very high rates of divorce in the 1950s and 1960s – as high as 50% in the 1950s (O’Shaughnessy
2009: 63 and 228, n.17 cites many authors) – followed by a steep decline from the mid 1970s and increases in the new millennium (BADILAG 2010).
The 1974 Marriage Law and associated regulations made early marriage, divorce and polygyny more difficult. O’Shaughnessy (2009: 199) has argued convincingly that the New Order state constructed divorce as shameful, and women who divorced were ‘placed in symbolic opposition to the state and the authority of male-headed families and nation’. Perhaps surprisingly, in Indonesia women are the ones who most commonly file for and are granted divorce (O’Shaughnessy 2009: 66ff). Conventional feminists might see this as positive. However, because the state’s ideal is the ‘happy and permanent family’ (Hukum, Marriage Law, 1974, Article 1), women who want to escape marriage are constructed as transgressive: if they initiate divorce, they are exhibiting impropriety.
Women who file for divorce are often rendered the perpetrators of marital conflict and separation. Many researchers of marriage and divorce in Indonesia, and particularly in West Java, up until the 1980s, concluded that divorce was common, culturally acceptable and that there was no stigma attached to it (Jones et al. 1994; McDonald and Abdurrahman 1974; Singarimbun and Manning 1974; Zuidberg and Hasyir 1988).4 We wonder if the
reported lack of stigma associated with divorce might be related to the lack of gender analysis in their research – much of it conducted by men. Also, traditionally, divorce was associated with the lower classes and with rurality, low education and a young age at marriage. Hirschman and Teerawichitchainan (2003: 244–5) suggest that divorce has become less acceptable and less common in recent times, with marriage at a later age, prolonged education for both genders and improved employment opportunities for women.
The stigma associated with divorce has overtones of ‘backwardness’ associated with low social and economic status.5 The practice of nikah siri in Indonesia Nikah siri is marriage conducted by a couple secretly and without government registration. Siri is taken from Arabic sirrun-sirri, meaning secret.6 Couples who decide to conduct nikah siri generally do so because they fail to fulfill one or several of the requirements for a valid marriage, like the requirement for a guardian or witness (wali), or for a first wife’s consent to a husband taking a second wife. This type of marriage is unregistered because they do not report it to the marriage registration office (KUA, Kantor Urusan Agama). Nikah siri is risky for women, both socially and
legally. Nikah siri is subject to gossip, and legally a woman cannot claim the rights she is entitled to within marriage, e.g. it will be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain documents such as birth certificates for the children born from this marriage (Akhmadi et al. 2010). This kind of marriage is officially considered never to have happened.
However, nikah siri is commonly practised by Indonesians, for various reasons (Idrus 2011). Surprisingly, many people consider it as nikah secara agama (religiously accepted). Secret marriage and unregistered marriage should be differentiated. Sometimes, couples from a lower economic background do not register their marriage due to the cost of registering it or the distance from the KUA, but it is not secret, and they may fulfill all the requirements needed for valid marriage according to Islam.
In many cases, the purpose of a secret and unregistered marriage is in order that no one knows about the marriage. Such cases usually violate the requirements stipulated by religion and the state and therefore cannot be said to be religiously accepted. One of the requirements of marriage in Islam is to make the relationship publicly known (walimah).
4H. Geertz’s study aligned with other studies in noting the primacy of conflict avoidance and the preservation of harmony in Javanese society (1961). However, attitudes towards divorce were class-inflected. Many poorer parents married off their daughters at a very tender age; when there was marital conflict, divorce was seen as an easy mechanism to restore communal balance. However, for high class priyayi (aristocratic) families, who had more at stake (both status and wealth), divorce was much more shameful and therefore rare.
5The extent of stigma associated with divorce is quite variable across the archipelago, e.g. as in 1960s Java, divorce appears quite acceptable in contemporary Lombok, but in Bali divorce is quite devastating for women because they must leave their children behind and this leaves them bereft of even the respectability of virtuous motherhood. This issue is surveyed in another article in this Indonesia and Malay World special issue, see Parker 2016). 6In Indonesia, many different terms are used to indicate ‘informal’ marriage, e.g. nikah kampung, nikah di bawah tangan, kawin liar and nikah syiri (see, e.g. Idrus 2011:107; Iswarini 2011: 74). Such marriages can be secret or known among the community, conducted by ‘wild imam’ (imam liar), celebrated with a wedding or not, have parental consent or not, and many other variations.
Field sites
The ethnographic data for this article were collected in 2012–13 by co-authors Irma
Riyani and Brooke Nolan in Bandung, the capital of West Java, and in North
Wawonii district, Wawonii island, in the province of Southeast Sulawesi, respectively.
For both authors the fieldwork comprised a major part of their doctoral study.
Although all the research participants are Muslim, the two field sites are quite different,
as sketched below. The respondents are very diverse in terms of age and life stage,
economic status, ethnicity, and class and educational backgrounds. While the Sundanese
and the Wawonii are distinct ethnic identities, in both societies, adat (custom)
is strongly influenced by Islam and vice versa, such that it is almost impossible to disentangle
them.7
In East Bandung, most people are Sundanese who speak Sundanese, but the community
is heterogeneous and there are many migrants from various districts in West Java and
Central Java, who have gone to Bandung to find jobs in the many factories, and to
study. Their occupations are various, and respondents included factory labourers, petty
traders, construction workers, academics and government officials. As the main topic of
research was sexuality, and this topic is quite sensitive, the main techniques of field
research were in-depth and open-ended interviews. Irma Riyani interviewed 42 women
from different economic and educational backgrounds. Five of the 42 women are divorced,
four are widowed and one is separated from her husband. Three of the women are remarried:
one remarried her former husband; the other two are married to other men and one
of them has been married five times.
Wawonii is approximately four hours by boat from the capital of Southeast Sulawesi,
Kendari. Brooke Nolan conducted fieldwork in several small villages in North Wawonii
district. In these rural, working class villages of between 200 and 500 people, the main
form of work is farming (rice, cloves, vegetables, fruit, coconuts). Both men and women
work as farmers. Men who own small boats fish in the afternoons and evenings. People
typically eat two meals a day, and sometimes, during the rainy season when it is too
dangerous to fish, only one. Older women advise their children and grandchildren to
drink a lot of tea to ward off hunger. If a man has an unusually large catch at sea,
it is shared around the village, usually in exchange for vegetables or bananas. Fish
and rice are the main year-round sources of food. There are only small differences
in the socio-economic status of the families in these villages. The families with the
highest economic status in these villages are generally Bugis migrants (or the families
of sons of Bugis migrants) who have married local women. They derive income from
building, operating and selling the boats which run between Kendari and Wawonii, and
from farming.
Participant observation was the primary research method but Brooke Nolan also conducted
over 200 interviews and recorded conversations with local people. Most of these
were done with individual women; some were group interviews and some also involved
men. Nolan interviewed seven divorced women and five widows (one had been
widowed twice). She also interviewed four women who had remarried and women
7As Geaves (2005: 217–40) indicates, there can be no absolute agreement as to what counts as culture and what as religion
in Islam.
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whose husbands had sailed to other islands and never returned. Their ages ranged from 35
to over 60 years. All of these women had children. She also interviewed women who had
been janda before remarrying. Other participants gave their views on the janda they knew
and janda in general during interviews.
Ethnography of stigmatisation
Avoiding divorce – projecting stigma and self-stigmatisation
Field research in Bandung shows that women avoid divorce as best they can because of the
stigma attached to it. The stigma attached to the divorced woman is not only associated
with her social and economic status but also with her sexuality. This finding confirms
van Bruinessen’s conclusions from field research in Bandung: that because of the social
stigma following divorce, women are likely to stay in a marriage even when their
marital experience is unhappy (1988).
Several women stated that they did not want to get a divorce from their husband even
when they knew that their husbands had had or were having an affair, have another wife or
are abusive. This avoidance of divorce can be traced both to the stigma of divorce for
women, such that the prospect of being divorced is not necessarily any better than an
unhappy or violent marriage, and to the women’s internalisation of failure, i.e. ‘self-stigmatisation’
(Markowitz 2005). Several women lamented (meratapi) and pitied their fate
(nasib), saying: ‘Why did this happen to me?’ or ‘Why can’t I have a happy marriage
like other people?’ Here we can see the gendered and moral nature of the stigma of divorce.
Nisa (37), whose husband insisted on marrying polygamously, said:
I do not want to get a divorce, but I also do not want my husband to practise polygamy. But
my husband forced me to agree to his decision. He gave me some time to think about it, but
as he said that if, at a certain time, I still could not give him permission, he might divorce me.
Being divorced would not guarantee me a better social and economic condition.
Ita (59), whose husband was physically violent, said:
I actually wouldn’t mind if my husband wants to have another wife, as long as he asks my
permission first. I do not want to get divorced, because I am concerned about the psychological
impact on my youngest daughter, her position at school and also our social and career
status. In fact, my husband has already taken another wife secretly (nikah siri) and his
new wife has insisted that he divorce me.
This divorce affected her husband’s career: he was transferred to a lower position in his
workplace. In this case, the woman projected the expected experience of the stigma of
divorce on to her young school-aged daughter, anticipating that she would experience
some negative social as well as psychological repercussions.
Shame and secrecy, sexuality and stigma
While the identity of the widow is less stigmatised than that of the divorcee, because there
is not the shame of a ‘failed’ marriage, the widow still has a reputation for sexual, and
hence, moral, impropriety. Both young and middle-aged widows are seen as attractive
and hence are stigmatised; it seems that it is only in old age – approximately over 60,
when they are considered as nenek (grandmothers) – that janda are safe from sexually
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predatory behaviour. Both Ani and Citra are middle-aged widows. Ani (45) preferred to
conceal her status as a widow:
Not many people in my workplace know that my husband has passed away. I only told my
closest friends. I don’t want to create gossip because of my status and I want to feel safe, with
people knowing that I am married. I don’t want to reveal my current status of being a widow.
Citra (50) was 22 when her first husband died two years after their wedding. Soon after her
husband died, she was accused of seducing one of the married men in her workplace, but
in fact it was he who had harassed her. She was forced to defend herself and challenge the
accusation. This situation concerned some of her senior male colleagues who suggested
she remarry soon to avoid further gossip. She agreed to this suggestion and with their
help arranged a meeting with her prospective husband. After this meeting and agreement
to marry, Citra still avoided walking with her prospective husband – as she said, because
she is a janda, she has to try and keep her good reputation and avoid gossip in her
neighbourhood.
Ethnographic research on men and women’s experiences of marriage shows that
divorced women and widows bear a much heavier burden of stigma than men of the
same status. This is related not only to their being sexually experienced but unattached,
but also to the gendered understanding of sexuality. As young, single women, gadis are
unattached, but their sexuality is under control, i.e. denied, because they must remain
virgins; as respectable wives and mothers, ibu put their sexuality into practice, but only
with their husbands; as janda, they have experienced the pleasures of sex, but are unattached
and under nobody’s control. Women are assumed to have developed sexual appetites
(nafsu) and once ‘single’ again, are theoretically free to express their nafsu. They are
assumed to be knowledgeable about contraception, and therefore able to have sex with
anyone without any repercussions.8 Young janda are typically targeted by ‘naughty’ husbands
and young males who want to experience sex.9 Many of them are teased or harassed
with sexual innuendo, to the extent that some give in to the constant pressure and have
affairs. They are feared by currently married women who are afraid that janda might
steal their husbands; in this discourse of threat, janda are cast as sexual predators.
These are the ‘feelings of danger’ that Yang et al. (2007: 1528) identified as typical of stigmatisers.
The threat of loss of marriage is very powerful when marriage is the ideal state in
society. However, men who are divorced or widowed are also sexually experienced and
unattached. They bear no stigmatisation – no labelling or stereotyping that says they
are a threat to other marriages or to society because of their sexual experience. There is
no expectation that they will be preyed upon by married women – this is the so-called
sexual double standard.
Uum (35), who had married secretly because her family did not consent to her marriage,
asked for a divorce from her abusive husband. It took a while for her to finally
declare herself divorced in public, because her husband, who had deserted her, did not
want to divorce her and she had no proof of her marriage. After divorce, her friends
became suspicious about her sexual life. She said:
8We thank Dr Aquarini Priyatna for her clarification of this section of the article.
9Research in West Java by Zuidberg and Hasyir (1978) shows that divorced women are desired as marriage partners, and
this is related to their sexual experience. However, there is a contradictory discourse that janda are ‘secondhand’ goods –
see below.
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I swear to God (demi Allah), I never have illicit sex. I never even have time to think about sex.
I am busy with my life. My focus right now is caring for my daughters and studying hard. I do
not want to make the same mistake again and experience failure again in my study and my
marriage. So, I am working hard to achieve a better life for my future.
Sofi (39), whose marriage only lasted for three months because of her husband’s unstable
behaviour, said:
Being a divorcee is uncomfortable. No matter how good my behaviour is, people always
suspect me, because I attract men. Married men often harass me and ask me to have
affairs. Even married women in my neighbourhood often make unpleasant comments
about me. Sometimes I just ignore them but sometimes I also feel sick and tired of all
these comments.
Many researchers have noted that the high rate of divorce in West Java was sustained by
a high rate of remarriage (Jones et al 1994;McDonald and Abdurrahman 1974). It is worth
suggesting that this high rate of remarriage could relate to the stigmatisation of the divorcee/
widow and the unfortunate position of the janda in society. Van Bruinessen (1988),
who did research among the poorest urban migrants in Bandung, suggested that the
demand for remarriage was more likely concern for a woman’s reputation than for economic
reasons. Remarriage would re-establish a woman’s position in the community as a
respectable woman. Further, van Bruinessen (1988: 29) mentioned that widowed and
divorced women were considered as ‘non persons’: they were excluded from certain
social activities and sometimes even classified with prostitutes.
Virginity and ‘used goods’: structural stigmatisation
In Wawonii, in Southeast Sulawesi, the most overt, socially sanctioned form of stigmatisation
against janda is the reduced amount of bride price (mas kawin) that janda receive.
According to Wawonii adat (customary law), bride price comprises betel leaf, areca nut, a
piece of white cloth, a gold ring and a number of coconut palms (depending on the social
rank of the bride) or an amount of money equivalent to the number of coconut palms.
One coconut palm given as bride price is worth Rp30,000. The whiteness of the areca
nut represents honesty and the roundness represents the common hopes of the two
families which are now united for the future happiness of the couple. Taken together,
these two components of bride price symbolise aspirations for harmony, not only
between the individuals but also between the two families. The families of most
grooms give 30 coconut palms to the prospective bride as part of the brideprice. Janda,
however, receive 10.
As a practice perpetuated according to social norms, which is indifferent to the individual
identity or circumstances of the janda in question, this is a form of structural stigmatisation.
Not only are forms of structural stigmatisation often more explicit than individual
cases of stigmatisation, they are also more entrenched. Fortified by a history which
stretches back years, decades and sometimes centuries, these forms of stigmatisation are
more difficult to overcome. They rely on an enduring consensus within the social group
for their efficacy. In societies such as Wawonii, where tradition and the wisdom of ancestors
are highly valued, forms of structural stigmatisation which depend on these values and
which marginalise only a small, relatively weak minority are particularly inflexible.
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A (male) descendant of the last Wawonii royal family justified the lower bride price for
janda by stating that this is explicitly a result of (presumed) loss of virginity. Unsurprisingly,
in this patriarchal Muslim society, female ‘value’ is directly and uncompromisingly
linked to virginity. This respondent connected the bride price practice to the norms and
rules of both religion and customary law. This practice, which is fundamentally based on
the commodification of female sexuality, suggests that since a janda’s body is ‘used goods’,
she is ‘worth less’. The female body is framed specifically as an instrument of sexuality
which becomes the ‘currency’. This is consistent with the idea of ‘aqd as a contract of
exchange, on which marriage is based: the bride price is awarded to a wife in exchange
for the husband’s sexual access to his wife (see above). In Wawonii, this practice was
accepted without resistance. Nor was there disagreement with the conceptualisation of
women’s bodies according to a scale which bestows a quantifiable value (expressed in
bride price) according to virginity.
Stigma and pity
In both field sites, there is also a dominant discourse of ‘pity’ (kasihan) for janda. This
expresses care and concern for the woman, especially for her presumed economic
plight, and also for her new, anomalous, single status in society. For instance, in
Wawonii, Sinta had been a widow for the past decade. She lived in a three-room house,
had seven children and no rice fields or other land. Other women in nearby villages
helped her by taking in her children for months at a time. Ririn and her husband, for
example, regularly had Sinta’s two youngest sons staying at their house for weeks or
months. Ririn and her husband said they pity Sinta because she has to rely on her
oldest son’s irregular income from fishing for economic support.
When asked how others in her community treated janda like herself, another widow,
Wulan, replied,
They treat us with love (disayang). The point is, they pity us because we’re janda and we don’t
have a man. If there’s men’s work or heavy work to be done, people help us women who don’t
have husbands…I have a relative, my first cousin helps me, my younger brother….
This was a sentiment echoed by other janda in North Wawonii. In Wawonii, almost every
time janda were brought up in conversation the kasihan discourse was deployed. Janda
mati in particular are likely to encounter the kasihan discourse, rather than suspicion.
However, while expressing empathy and altruism, the kasihan discourse also has discriminatory
discursive effects: it constructs the janda as Other to conventionally married
people, positions the speaker who has pity as superior, and reinforces the ideal of marriage.
Ethnography of agency
Social capital
In both Bandung and Wawonii, social capital is a vital element in the strategies deployed
by women once their husbands have left them through divorce or death. The agency displayed
by janda in Bandung and Wawonii is complex. The formation of new relationships
and the strengthening of existing ones are essential to struggles against stigma. These
relationships form the basis of women’s social capital and it is with this social capital
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that women are able to push back against the stigmatisation they encounter specifically as
a result of their janda status.
In Bandung, West Java, where the stigma of janda-hood seems stronger than in
Wawonii, women developed a range of different strategies to deal with nasty gossip and
accusations of sexual misconduct. Some of them said they just ignore the rumours and
behave in ways that are less likely to attract gossip. This strategy might seem very
minor, but when viewed against the alternative – flirting, being promiscuous, etc. – it
can be seen as exhibiting an understanding of social relations, and as building symbolic
capital. Indeed, women noted that people did stop gossiping when it became clear there
was no ‘fire’ behind the ‘smoke’. Most of them said that they have more important
things to do, such as managing their life and building their future, than listening to
rumours and gossip.
To re-establish their respectability in society, some of the women in Bandung,
especially older janda, actively involved themselves in religious gatherings (pengajian).
Many dedicate themselves to becoming devout Muslims. This strategy not only facilitates
networking and social support, but also improves religious knowledge and gives
them relief and strength after the loss of their partner or ‘failure’ of their marriage.
Through this religious network they can engage in social activities and good deeds
arranged by the group, like attending marriage ceremonies, visiting sick neighbours
and helping with charity events. Thus, the women are constructed as increasingly
pious, as well as good citizens, in the eyes of their community. This de-stigmatising
strategy involves the accumulation of both social and cultural capital, thereby also
raising symbolic capital.
We have seen that in Wawonii, the bride price awarded to janda upon remarriage is
one-third that awarded to new brides, a precise calibration of the value of virginity.
However, in Wawonii, janda refuse discourses of subordination, exercising agency
through their social networks in several ways.
Wulan’s husband abandoned her and her four children. Nine years earlier, he had
sailed to Sumbawa to work as a fisherman. He never returned. Wulan heard that he
had married another woman, so, in his absence, she divorced him. She explained, ‘I
divorced him. He didn’t support us financially, he didn’t return and he didn’t take care
of us.’ In the absence of her husband (both before and after the divorce), Wulan’s
younger brother stepped in to perform many of the difficult physical tasks, such as
fixing her roof and collecting firewood. Her younger brother often slept in the front
room of her house. Wulan benefited from her brother’s assistance in terms of practical
support and social respectability. Since her brother slept in her house, there was little
scope for gossip about sexual misdemeanour.
Thus, the first source of social capital these women draw upon is often their extended
families. Ayu’s uncle played a similar role to that of Wulan’s younger brother. Although
she was only in her mid 30s, Ayu had been widowed twice and had two daughters, a 19
year old and a 10 year old. In 1993, as a 15 year old, Ayu married her first husband.
The following year, her first daughter was born. Shortly after the birth, before his daughter
was a year old, Ayu’s husband died. At this point, Ayu went to live with her parents, who
she said supported her financially and emotionally. A few years later, Ayu’s father died.
Consequently, Ayu’s uncle, who had no children of his own, adopted her ( jadi anak
angkat). In 2002, Ayu remarried and in 2003 gave birth to her second daughter. After
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her second husband died in 2010, Ayu’s uncle built her a small wooden house and shop
beside his house. Since then, Ayu and her youngest daughter have lived and worked here.
Like Wulan, Ayu was not subjected to gossip regarding sexual behaviour or her behaviour
towards men in the village, quite likely because of the close proximity of a male relative.
As the families of Wulan and Ayu supported them, so too did Rizka’s. Rizka had been
married for 19 years and had three children when her husband, who had already married
other women secretly, left her for another woman in a neighbouring village. However,
when asked about difficulties or discrimination since becoming a janda, Rizka explained,
I rarely experience difficulties. In fact, when I became a janda, my family wanted to help me.
When I was not yet a janda, when I still had the status of being married, my family didn’t
look after me because I had a husband. Since I’ve been a janda, when I see my family they
always look after me.
When parts of the roof on Rizka’s house were destroyed during a storm, her uncle paid
approximately Rp2.5 million for those sections to be replaced. The same uncle paid for the
costs of schooling Rizka’s children when she did not have the money. On Rizka’s frequent
trips to Kendari, she stays with a cousin who is a civil servant at the local university and
who also lends her money from time to time. Far from being pressured by relatives to
return to the marriage, Rizka has the support of family members who are aware of her
janda status. She feels that she can therefore stand up to her ex-husband.
Almost every evening he comes to my house. Last night he came over, he left at 3 o’clock in
the morning, he just came to the house, wanted to sleep. I said, Don’t sleep here or my family
will beat you up, my family don’t like it….
Virtuous motherhood
Some janda become economically independent and focus on raising their children and
making sure that they have a proper education. Although the economically independent
single woman is not heroised in Indonesian society, the dedicated mother has an honourable
place. Many of the women in our study emphasised their hard work and sacrifice for
their children. Uum, cited above, said, to counter gossip and construct herself as the dedicated
mother: ‘I am busy with my life. My focus right now is caring for my daughters and
studying hard.’
After divorce, most women in the Bandung study did not have significant difficulty in
supporting themselves and their children.10 Not only do their families provide support but
also the women can support themselves economically. Most of them are hard workers and
were smart enough to find a job long before the divorce occurred. Both Uum (35) and
Nanda (36) expressed it this way: ‘When my husband abandoned me, I racked my
brains (memutar otak) to work out how to survive.’ Research by van Huis (2010: 16) in
Cianjur, West Java shows that 65% of divorced women perceive that they are no worse
off after divorce than before divorce. Research by Horikoshi (1976), in another region
of West Java, suggests that women have an advantage in receiving post-divorce support.
Since most couples resided matrilocally, women were usually the ones who received the
house, the alimony and the children and the husband the one who had to move out of
10This is not typical nationwide (Sumner 2010), or even in West Java (van Huis 2010).
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the house. Therefore, men tended to avoid divorce. However, van Huis (2010) documents
the ineffectiveness of court decisions about alimony and child support. After divorce,
several women in the Bandung study were able to regain their independence in making
decisions related to their activities. Two of them went back to their previous employment,
because there was no one to prevent them from doing so. Uum and Sofi had not been
allowed to work by their husbands since their wedding, and Uum had not been allowed
to go outside the house without her husband’s permission whenever he was at home.
Several women in the Bandung study reluctantly tried to maintain a good relationship
with their ex-husbands for the sake of their daughters’ guardianship when they are
married later on. Most janda in Bandung kept and supported their children. However,
Uum’s three daughters were taken care of by her mother and her sister’s family – again
we see the importance of social capital. The wellbeing of children is an important consideration
when remarrying – there is quite a well-worn belief that step-parents will
neglect or abuse children from previous marriages. Three of the women in the
Bandung study stated that they do not think about remarriage – this is especially
the widows. One of them has been a widow for 18 years. The widow’s decision not
to remarry was to show loyalty to her former husband (Zuidberg and Hasyir 1978;
cf. Idrus 2011). Women are concerned about their children’s wellbeing after remarriage.
Diah (45) said: ‘It is not easy to find a man who would accept me and my kids as a
package: love me and at the same time love my children.’ The decision not to remarry
should not necessarily be seen as women sacrificing their own desire; quite often the
women are older and wiser and are being more careful in finding new marriage partners,
in order that their next marriage will be more successful. Men, however, seem to
be in a hurry to remarry in both situations – whether widowered or divorced – and not
infrequently have secretly married or had affairs before divorce took place. The
divorces of three women in Bandung (Ita, Nanda and Uum) were triggered by the
husband’s secret marriage and infidelity.
As in Bandung, in Wawonii the discourse of the ‘good mother’ is a vital element in
efforts to fend off stigma and regain social respect. A salient part of the ‘good mother’ discourse
in Wawonii is that a janda should refuse to remarry or at least wait several years
before remarriage. This is framed as putting the interests of the children first, since stepparents
have a reputation (real or otherwise) of treating their stepchildren harshly.
Wawonii women who had grown up with step-parents reported being refused food and
forced to do hard physical labour from a young age. One janda, Wulan, argued that
janda who remarried without thinking were often responsible for their own difficulties
and the difficulties of their children.
Only those who remarry (have difficulties). Those (janda) who think, they rarely (have difficulties),
because they still think, they have pity on their children…Those who don’t think
remarry as soon as they’re divorced, but we (here) think about our children first, we love our
children.
Wulan expressed fears of stepfathers being cruel (kejam) to stepchildren. A woman who
‘thinks’ does not put herself and her children in such a situation. When asked about discrimination
against janda cerai (divorcees), once again Wulan located responsibility with
janda themselves:
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Usually there is that, yeah, it depends on us, if we play around anything could happen…
Hopefully that won’t happen…it depends on us. If we don’t think then anything could
happen…But those who think can relax.
In both cases, Wulan understands ‘thinking’ as a mechanism for behaviour regulation.
By ‘thinking’, not only is a woman regulating her behaviour but also she is attempting to
take control of the social consequences of her behaviour. Fundamentally, women such as
Wulan aspire to operate as best they can within the social structures and discourses (of
which stigmatisation is a part) within their community. Wawonii women work at regaining
social respectability by complying with, indeed emphasising, dominant discourses
of morality for women, i.e. as good mothers.
Like Wulan, Rizka was cautious about the idea of remarrying, primarily out of concern
for her children’s wellbeing. Furthermore, Rizka linked her ability to educate her children
with their future prosperity and with her own economic wellbeing (presumably dependence
upon them) when she is old.
I want to be single for now. I’ll take it easy first. If I marry again, it will be too stressful, poor
me. My poor children…Children are important, poor them. If we don’t look after them and
their future, they will be neglected. Poor them, they’re born because of us…We give birth to
them, then we make them miserable…That’s the responsibility and risk we take as people
…I’m a woman but I try my utmost to support my children…I hope my children’s future
will be good so that I will also have a good life when I’mold. That’smy principle. I try to work
hard so my children can be educated.
Wulan and Rizka take the view that to be moral, and therefore to avoid stigmatisation,
is not to quickly remarry, but to put the wellbeing of one’s children before one’s own desire
(or community pressure) to remarry. In Wawonii, the discourse of the good, selfless
mother appears to be a stronger determinant of morality than the discourse of the ideal
married woman. ‘Moral women’ use this discourse rather than immediate remarriage to
regain their social footing.
Concluding remarks
The strength of marriage as both the ideal way to live and the bedrock relationship in Indonesian
society means that the end of marriage, either by death or divorce, is traumatic. The
position of the single, once-married woman – single by virtue of death or divorce – is anomalous
in Indonesian society and constitutes a deviation from the norm of the ‘peaceful, calm
and loving’ family (KHI). The stigmatisation of janda compounds the difficult experience
that divorce and death of a spouse bring, but it is only women, not men, who experience this
stigma. Many janda have internalised the stigma discourse, and prefer to keep their marital
status secret – sometimes for the sake of their children, who will also be stigmatised.
Divorcees typically experience more shame and more sexual innuendo than widows, but
young and middle-aged janda of both types are subjected to frequent and remorseless
sexual harassment. Gossip about the sexual impropriety of divorced and widowed
women is often triggered by men’s assumption that sexually experienced women want to
have sex with anyone. Married women in turn see janda as a threat to their marriages.
Women develop strategies to avoid stigmatisation, drawing upon and deploying social,
cultural and symbolic capital in the exercise of agency. Perhaps most commonly they draw
16 L. PARKER ET AL.
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upon the support of extended families, a form of social capital that refutes the hegemony of
the New Order nuclear family. In joining religious study groups, and thus creating social
and cultural capital, and very deliberately avoiding gossip, they build respectability, a form
of symbolic capital.
In Wawonii, the lesser status of janda is made obvious in the sharply reduced amount
of bride price that janda receive when they remarry (10 coconut trees), compared to that
received upon first marriage (30 coconut trees). This starkly quantifies the value of virginity
and expresses the notion of janda as ‘used goods’. It also reinforces the idea of marriage
as an exchange: the bride price is awarded to a wife in exchange for the husband’s
sexual access. However, in Wawonii janda are not seen as a source of social destabilisation
which must be contained by a hasty remarriage, as in other parts of Indonesia. If women in
Wawonii are relegated to the fringes of their communities in social or economic terms following
divorce or the death of their husband, they are commonly re-integrated through
becoming, or taking on, an anak angkat (adopted child) or via the social and economic
support of their families and neighbours.
Janda re-frame the moral category of janda-hood by emphasising their status as
mothers rather than as sexual beings. Unlike in other parts of Indonesia, in the small villages
in Wawonii, this message appears to have gained acceptance as the dominant framework
through which janda are socially integrated. Perhaps this is because the socioeconomic
hierarchy in Wawonii is much less elaborate than in Bandung, and it is a
much ‘flatter’ society, with most people living at or near survival level. Certainly the isolation
of Wawonii means it is less influenced by government and popular culture messages;
and Bandung is much influenced by resurgent, fundamentalist and more puritan
strains of Islam, which have a very socially conservative tone.
The stigmatisation of janda in Indonesia can only be understood in relation to the norm
of marriage, the ideal of the ‘peaceful, calm and loving’ family, the construction of the ideal
woman, and the construction of female and male sexuality. Female sexuality must be contained
withinmarriage – if that norm is transgressed, or perceived to have the potential to be
transgressed, the woman is judged immoral. However, by emphasising their success in
playing women’s traditional role as mothers, by replicating ‘family’ through adoption,
through remarriage, and through religious service, janda can re-establish respectability.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank the UWA-UQ Bilateral Research Collaboration Awards which funded
the collaboration of researchers on this project.
Author biographies
Lyn Parker is a Professor and anthropologist in the School of Social Science, University of Western
Australia. Her most recent book is Adolescents in contemporary Indonesia (Routledge, 2013), coauthored
with Pam Nilan. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Irma Riyani is a PhD student in Asian Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of Western
Australia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Brooke Nolan is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and Asian Studies, in the School of Social
Sciences, University of Western Australia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
INDONESIA AND THE MALAY WORLD 17
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ORCID
Lyn Parker http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2218-9919
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Menjadi Pribadi Yang Bertanggung Jawab

Manusia sebagai khalifatul fil ardli mempunyai tanggung jawab yang penuh sebagai makhluk individu, makhluk sosial, sebagai makhluk yang beragama dan bernegara. Sebagai makhluk individu kita mempunyai kewajiban sepenuhnya untuk selalu beribadah kepada Allah. Seperti dalam firman Allah: wama khalaqtu al-jinna wa al-insa illa liya’buduun. [QS Adz Dzuriyat: 56] Artinya: “Dan Aku tidak menciptakan jin dan manusia melainkan supaya mereka beribadah kepadaKu.”

Dan pada setiap individu dalam hal ibadah oleh pelakunya ditujukan kepada Tuhannya secara langsung. Bila ia berdo’a kepada Tuhannya maka Tuhan itu dekat kepadanya. Firman Allah:  Kullu nafsin bimaa kasabat rahiinatun. [QS Al Muddasir: 38] Artinya: “Tiap-tiap diri bertanggungjawab atas apa yang telah diperbuatnya.”

Firman Allah yang ke 2 bahwa setiap orang bertanggung jawab tentang dirinya sendiri yaitu QS Fusilat: 46, yang berbunyi: Man amila shaalihan falinafsihii ;   aman asaa’a faalaihaa; wamaa rabbuka bidhallaamin li-al-‘abiid. Artinya: “Barang siapa yang mengerjakan amal yang saleh maka (pahalanya) untuk dirinya sendiri dan barang siapa yang berbuat jahat maka (dosanya) atas dirinya sendiri dan sekali-kali tidaklah Tuhanmu menganiaya hamba-hambaNya.”

Setiap manusia adalah individu khas karena manusia memiliki perasaan yang tidak sama satu dengan yang lain terhadap suatu hal atau lingkungan hal ini yang menjadi faktor terjadinya hubungan sosial yaitu adanya manusia yang selalu membutuhkan orang lain yang disebut makhluk sosial atau “homo socius”.

Menurut Drs. Mahjanis “bahwa hubungan sosial merupakan terjemahan dari kata, “social interrelation” yang artinya hubungan yang bersifat timbal balik antara manusia dengan lingkungan masyarakat untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya.” Karena senantiasa berhubungan dengan orang lain, maka terciptalah situasi dimana manusia  selalu menyelaraskan diri melalui pergaulannya sehari-hari dengan orang lain, baik itu seagama maupun antar umat beragama maupun hubungan dengan pemerintah yaitu hubungan bernegara.

Oleh karena manusia harus berhubungan dengan orang lain, maka muncullah sifat dari dalam diri kita sifat seperti: sifat penyabar, rendah hati, qana’ah, tawadlu’, setia kawan, dsb. Maka orang menilai bahwa pribadi kita mempunyai pribadi yang baik ber-akhlaqul karimah (berbudi pekerti mulia). Sebaliknya apabila yang dominan dalam diri kita itu sifat yang buruk seperti: sombong, bicara kasar, suka memukul, ujub, iri dengki, dsb. Maka muncullah dalam diri kita penilaian dari orang lain bahwa pribadi kita mempunyai pribadi yang jelek yaitu ber-akhlaqus-sayyiah. Padahal Islam mengajarkan kepada manusia hal-hal yang baik.

“Islam itu indah” seperti pada acara di sebuah stasiun TV swasta yang diasuh oleh ustadz Nur Maulana. Apa yang tertuang pada Islam sehingga dikatakan indah….? Ajaran Islam mewajibkan penganutnya apabila sudah baligh untuk melakukan sholat 5 waktu yang telah ditentukan waktunya.
Firman Allah QS. Al Baqoroh: 102, Inna al-shalaata kaanat ‘ala al-mu’miniina kitaabaa mauquutaa. Artinya: “Sesungguhnya shalat itu adalah fardlu yang telah diwaktu-waktukan atas segala orang yang beriman.”

Sholat itu wajib bagi orang mukallaf yaitu orang yang telah aqil baligh, berakal dan sampai umur. Disinilah keindahannya, meski shalat itu wajib hukumnya, namun terkecuali bagi orang yang termasuk di dalamnya yaitu:
a.    Orang yang tak sanggup mengerjakannya dengan isyarat lagi.
b.    Orang yang pingsan hingga keluar waktu.
c.    Orang perempuan yang sedang berhalangan yaitu haid dan bernifas.
d.    Orang yang hilang ingatan / gila sampai ia sembuh.

Kemudian, untuk orang yang sakit atau orang yang sedang bepergian ada rukhsah(keringanan)baginya:
a.    Orang sakit.
Masih diwajibkan untuk mengerjakan shalat namun sesuai kesanggupannya. Boleh dengan berdiri, duduk, atau berbaring.
b.    Orang yang bepergian.
Tetap diwajibkan untuk mengerjakan sholat namun ada rukhsoh untuknya yaitu boleh menjama’ dan meng-qashar shalat, dimana sholat yang bisa dijama’ dan di-qashar adalah shalat yang jumlah rekaatnya 4, yaitu sholat Zhuhur, ‘Ashar, ‘Isya. Shalat Maghrib boleh dijamak dengan sholat ‘Isya tetapi tidak boleh di-qashar karena jumlah rekaatnya 3.

Jadi betapa indahnya Islam. Lalu, mengapa kita tak mempelajarinya yang lebih mendalam? Hal di atas merupakan contoh kecil saja, banyak sekali contoh-contoh yang lain. Karena Islam bukanlah ajaran yang memberatkan untuk hambanya tetapi meringankannya sesuai keadaan yang mereka alami.
Dan sebagai makhluk sosial, makhluk beragama, dan bernegara kita pasti berhubungan dengan orang lain dalam hal ini Islam mengajarkan kepada kita bahwa kita tidak boleh menghina, menganggap rendah orang lain tetapi kita harus menghormati, menyayangi terhadap orang lain baik yang seagama atau dengan antar umat beragama.

Negarapun memberi kebebasan sepenuhnya kepada warganya untuk memilih agama yang mereka anut kemudian menghormati bagi yang lain baik dalam bertindak, berbicara, beribadah maupun yang lain. Apa yang menjadi urusan mereka kita tidak boleh mencampurinya. Seperti dalam firman Allah QS Al Baqarah : 139 yang berbunyi:

Artinya :
“Katakanlah apakah kamu memperdebatkan dengan Kami tentang Allah padahal Dia adalah Tuhan kamu? Bagi Kami amalan Kami, bagi kamu amalan kamu dan hanya kepadaNya kami mengikhlaskan diri.”

Apabila kita cermati dari firman Allah tersebut betapa indahnya Islam yang menunjukkan kepada kita untuk selalu menghormati orang lain, menghormati agama lain meskipun kita satu negara, satu daerah, ataupun satu keluarga. Toleransi beragama tetap dijunjung tinggi, ukhwah Islamiyah tetap dijaga. Agar kita bisa  hidup aman, damai, dan sejahtera. Amin. {} Siti Marfu’ah (peserta anggota PUP angkatan III Jawa Tengah, asal Pati).

AIDS Hantu Masa Depan Perempuan

IDS (Acquired Immune Deviciency Syndrome) merupakan kumpulan gejala penyakit yang disebabkan oleh menurunnya sistem kekebalan tubuh setelah seseorang terinveksi virus HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome Virus), HIV bekerja menyerang sistem kekebalan tubuh yang melindungi tubuh dari serangan penyakit. Setiap virus, kuman dan bakteri yang masuk ke dalam aliran darah akan dilawan oleh sel-sel darah putih yang ada di dalam tubuh kita hingga mati. Tetapi, virus HIV tidak bisa dilumpuhkan oleh sel-sel darah putih, karena virus HIV memproduksi sel sendiri yang dapat merusak sel darah putih dan sejenis retrovirus yaitu virus yang dapat berkembang biak dalam darah manusia. Virus HIV terdapat dalam aliran darah, cairan sperma dan vagina yang dapat menular melalui kontak darah atau cairan tersebut.1

Data dari UNAIDS menunjukkan bahwa jumlah perempuan yang terinfeksi HIV/AIDS terus meningkat tiap tahunnya. Saat ini di dunia terdapat 39,4 juta orang yang hidup dengan HIV/AIDS dan diperkirakan separuhnya adalah perempuan. Sementara di Asia 8,2 juta ODHA (Orang dengan HIV/AIDS)  dan 2,3 jutanya adalah perempuan. Di Indonesia sendiri diperkirakan jumlah perempuan pengidap HIV/AIDS mencapai 21% dari 5.701 kasus HIV/AIDS yang dilaporkan. Sangat mencengang melihat data korban ODHA kita, angka tersebut belum termasuk mereka yang belum terdata oleh UNAIDS. Bahkan, lebih akut lagi bahwa sampai hari ini belum ditemukannya obat penawar HIV/AIDS yang dapat menyembuhkan para ODHA dari ancaman maut yang selalu mengejar hari-harinya.

Dari data tersebut dapat diketahui, sebab terinfeksinya perempuan kerap bukan karena kurangnya pemahaman tentang penyakit tersebut, tapi lebih dikarenakan perempuan yang tidak memiliki kekuatan sosial dan ekonomi serta posisi tawar yang memadai untuk melindungi diri mereka. Perempuan yang berperan sebagai istri seringkali mengalami diskriminatif dalam hal seksual, dimana hak-hak kesehatan reproduksinya kerap diabaikan oleh pasangan mereka. Sedangkan perempuan yang berperan sebagai gadis juga rentan akan penyebaran virus HIV/AIDS lantaran maraknya pergaulan bebas yang terjadi pada zaman globalisasi ini, dengan dukungan mayoritas  media cetak dan elektronik yang dominan mengarahkan anak-anak dan remaja kita untuk mengenal prilaku seksual pranikah.


Ketimpangan Gender atas HIV

Perempuan memiliki sensitivitas yang tinggi dari penularan HIV/AIDS, mengingat peran perempuan sebagai istri dan ibu bagi bayi mereka yang akan melanjutkan dari segi keturunan. Ketika seorang istri memiliki pengetahuan yang minimalis atas hak-hak kesehatan reproduksi mereka, maka mulai saat itu pula perempuan tidak memiliki keberdayaan untuk melindungi diri mereka sendiri dari paksaan permintaan suami untuk dilayani yang tanpa pandang waktu dan situasi. Walaupun demikian, hal ini terus berlanjut disebabkan oleh pemikiran masyarakat kita yang terbudaya akan kewajiban ketaatan istri terhadap semua intruksi suami yang tak pandang kompromi, telah  diyakini mutlak kebenarannya. Oleh karena itu, budaya patriarki yang sudah mendarah daging di benak masyarakat Indonesia, menjadi faktor utama terabainya implementasi hak-hak kesehatan reproduksi yang selayaknya dimiliki oleh kaum perempuan.

Ketika hal ini terus berjalan tiada henti, maka jangan heran ketika perempuan yang berperan sebagai ibu rumah tangga saja dapat mengidap virus HIV/AIDS. Suatu hal yang kontroversial dengan teori, bahwa virus HIV/AIDS umumnya dapat tertular melalui pergaulan bebas, namun hal ini dapat terjadi sebaliknya. Bahkan, perempuan tersebut harus mendapat stigma negatif dari masyarakat atas penyakit yang dideritanya. Masyarakat tidak mau mengetahui tentang hakekat dari permasalahan ini, bahwa kondisi yang sebenarnya adalah perempuan tersebut tertular virus HIV dari suaminya maupun mengalami penularan lewat jarum suntik. Perempuan tersebut harus mengalami beban negatif ganda, yakni sebagai penderita HIV dan harus dikucilkan dari kehidupan sosial masyarakat.

Hal ini berbeda dengan laki-laki, bagi mereka yang mengidap HIV/AIDS tidak disikapi dengan terlalu diskriminatif di lingkungan masyarakat mereka. Dan laki-laki kerap tidak pernah mau disalahkan ketika perempuan terkena HIV/AIDS adalah lantaran dari penularan dari suaminya. Dan para suami juga enggan untuk diajak bekerjasama dengan  istri mereka untuk menggunakan kondom sebagai solusi alternatif bagi keamanan mereka seksual mereka.  Realitas ini cukup menunjukkan akan ketimpangan gender antara laki-laki dan perempuan atas isu HIV/AIDS yang akut bagi masa depan bangsa.

Fenomena ini sangat memilukan bagi kita, akutnya virus HIV ini menyerang masyarakat kita yang masih kuat menganut budaya patriarki. Hal yang lebih tragis lagi, bahwa perempuan yang berperan sebagai istri juga akan berperan sebagai ibu bagi bayi yang dikandungnya. Ketika seorang ibu hamil sudah divonis positif pengidap virus HIV/AIDS, maka  secara otomatis akan berpengaruh pada janin yang dikandungnya.  Bayi itu akan lahir cenderung otomatis menyandang ODHA tanpa salah dan dosa yang ia perbuat, namun harus ia terima dengan lapang dada sejak kehadirannya di dunia ini. Tak terbayangkan masa depan bayi tersebut dalam menatap masa depannya yang sudah diburamkan sejak kelahirannya sebagai ODHA.

Oleh karena itu, dibutuhkan langkah strategis sosialisasi kepada masyarakat kita mengenai cara penularan virus HIV/AIDS oleh pemerintah dan para pihak terkait mengenai cara-cara penularan virus HIV/AIDS. Yakni : 2)

Melalui hubungan seksual dengan seorang pengidap HIV tanpa perlindungan/kondom. Ini bisa terjadi karena saat berhubungan seksual sering terjadi lecet-lecet yang ukurannya sangat kecil, hanya bisa dilihat dengan mikroskop pada dinding vagina, kulit penis, dubur dan mulut  yang dapat menyebabkan virus HIV masuk ke dalam aliran darah pasangannya HIV/AIDS dapat menular melalui transfusi dengan darah yang sudah tercemar virus HIV Melalui ibu yang terinveksi HIV/AIDS kepada bayi yang dikandungnya, penularan ini terjadi saat darah atau cairan vagina ibu membuat kontak dengan darah atau cairan anaknya di saat proses melahirkan melalui pemakaian jarum suntik, akupunktur, jarim tindik, dan peralatan lainnya yang sudah dipakai oleh orang yang terinfeksi

Kerentanan Perempuan


Perempuan memiliki kerentanan yang cukup tinggi  terinfeksi HIV maupun Infeksi Menular Seksual (IMS). Secara reproduksi, organ reproduksi perempuan tersembunyi sehingga tidak muah terdeteksi bila ada keluhan. Selain itu juga organ reproduksi perempuan memiliki selaput mukosa yang luas, mudah luka/iritasi, sehingga bila terjadi penetrasi penis dengan kekerasan atau paksaan akan lebih memudahkan terjadinya penularan. Perlu diingat oleh kita semua, bahwa jumlah virus HIV di dalam sperma lebih banyak bila dibandingkan dengan jumlah virus HIV di dalam cairan vagina, sehingga perempuan sebagai pihak penampung sperma lebih besar kemungkinannya untuk terinfeksi.3)

Secara sosial perempuan juga mengalami kerentanan yang berupa:

Adanya pelecehan dan kekerasan seksual
Minimnya akses pendidikan dan pelayanan kesehatan
Menjadi korban  perdagangan perempuan
Menjadi korban perkosaan dan incest
Perempuan dituntut untuk menjalankan peran sebagai pengasuh dan perawat, ketika orang tua dan suami mereka sakit. Namun sebaliknya, ketika dirinya sendiri sakit dan butuh perawatan, dirinya seringkali terabaikan.

Di bidang ekonomi, perempuan  sering kali tidak memiliki penghasilan sendiri, sehingga memiliki ketergantungan yang cukup tinggi kepada orang lain, dalam hal ini suami atau pasangan dalam menafkahi hidupnya. Kalau pun bekerja, upahnya diberikan lebih rendah dari pekerja laki-laki walawpun ia memiliki kemapuan yang sama dalam mengerjakan tugas tersebut.

Untuk ke sekian kalinya perempuan diposisikan yang serba salah, ketika setiap kampanye dan konseling menyangkut penularan HIV/AIDS menyarankan beberapa langkah pencegahan, seperti: puasa seks, setia dengan satu pasangan dan pemakaian kondom untuk keamanan. Namun dalam kenyataannya di lapangan, perempuan kerap menjadi korban pemerkosaan, pemerasan dan trafficking, dimana hal tersebut sangat membahayakan kesehatan reproduksi mereka. Hal ini harus dipahami oleh semua pihak dalam menangani pencegahan virus HIV/AIDS harus ditekankan dengan pendekatan yang berkesetaraan gender antara laki-laki dan perempuan.

Islam Memandang AIDS
Islam sebagai agama yang diturunkan kepada Nabi Muhammad SAW diperuntukkan bagi seluruh umat manusia dan semesta alam (rahmatan lil’aalamiin), dengan seperangkat tata nilai yang dapat dijadikan sebagai pedoman hidup bagi umatnya untuk memperoleh keselamatan dan kebahagiaan, baik di dunia maupun di akhirat kelak. Salah satunya adalah mengenai etika dan moral yang mengajarkan bagaimana bersikap dan berperilaku terhadap sesama makhluk Tuhan, termasuk di dalamnya adalah bagaimana memperlakukan orang yang hidup dengan HIV/AIDS (ODHA). Mereka tidak boleh diperlakukan diskriminasi dalam hal apapun karena sama-sama memiliki derajat sebagai manusia yang dimuliakan Tuhan. Sebagaimana disebutkan dalam Al-Qur’an surat Al-Isra’ ayat 70: “Dan sesungguhnya telah Kami muliakan anak-anak Adam, kami angkut mereka di daratan dan di lautan, Kami beri mereka rizki dari yang baik-baik dan Kami lebihkan mereka dengan kelebihan yang sempurna atas kebanyakan makhluk yang telah Kami ciptakan”.

Namun ironisnya, hingga saat ini masih banyak kalangan agamawan (dari Islam) yang meyakini bahwa fenomena HIV/AIDS adalah penyakit kutukan Tuhan atau identik dengan kaum Luth yang menyukai homoseksual, sebagaimana yang dikisahkan Tuhan dalam Alquran Surat Al-A’raf ayat 80-84, Suarat An-Naml ayat 56. Begitu juga norma masyarakat masih banyak yang menganggap bahwa HIV/AIDS adalah penyakit menular seksual. Padahal bila dilihat dari cara penularan HIV/AIDS sesuangguhnya bukan merupakan penyakit seksual, karena orang yang tidak melakukan hubungan seks dengan penderita HIV/AIDS sesungguhnya bukan merupakan penyakit seksual, karena orang yang tidak melakukan hubungan seks dengan penderita HIV pun bisa tertular seperti penularan melalui transfusi darah, jarum suntik, pisau cukur, dan sebagainya. Pandangan tokoh agama dan masyarakat tersebut harus diluruskan dengan informasi yang benar mengenai HIV/AIDS supaya tidak dianggap sebagai melanggar norma masyarakat. Jika tidak, maka akan berbahaya karena terjebak pada lingkaran normatif yang tidak menguntungkan ODHA.4)

Begitu juga pandangan mengenai kondom sebagai salah satu cara pencegahan HIV/AIDS hingga saat ini masih kontroversial karena dikhawatirkan disalahgunakan oleh pasangan di luar nikah, dianggap melegalisir perzinahan dan sebagainya. Pandangan tersebut hendaknya dirubah dengan pendekatan solutif yang menggunakan kaidah fiqhiyyah yaitu: ”memilih bahaya yang lebih ringan di anatara dua bahaya untuk mencegah sesuatu yang lebih membahayakan”. Dalam hal ini mensosialisasikan pemakaian kondom sebagai salah satu cara pencegahan HIV/AIDS jauh lebih ringan bahayanya dibandingkan dengan melarang kondom disosialisasikan. Meskipun tidak menutup kemungkinan bisa saja disalahgunakan, tetapi tidak bisa digeneralisir dengan suatu kemungkinan yang belum terjadi. Sedangkan hubungan seks tanpa kondom dengan orang yang sudah terinfeksi pasti akan menyebabkan terjadinya penularan.

Penutup

Kita harus meyakini bahwa segala ketentuan Tuhan mengenai perintah dan larangan-Nya mempunyai maksud kebaikan bagi kehidupan manusia di dunia dan akhirat. Sama halnya dengan larangan Tuhan mengenai pergaulan bebas yang berindikasi pada terserangnya penularan virus HIV/AIDS. Maka, benar kiranya ketika Islam mengajarkan kepada umatnya untuk beretika dalam pergaulan antara sesama mereka, baik dalam hal sosial, ekonomi maupun budaya.

Perempuan dengan fungsi reproduksi mereka, memiliki peran yang sangat strategis dalam menentukan kwalitas regenerasi bangsa. Oleh karena itu, semua pihak harus bertanggungjawab untuk melindungi kesehatan reproduksi perempuan dari serangan virus HIV/AIDS yang tiap saat dan waktu menghantui hari-hari mereka. Untuk menangani isu HIV/AIDS ini harus dilandaskan pada perspektif kesetaraan gender, ketika semua pihak dari kita menginginkan dan meyakini keadilan akan menaburkan kebahagian yang hakiki di atas muka bumi ini. [] **Penulis adalah Peserta PUP II

Catatan Belakang:

1.        PPSW, Kesehatan Reproduksi, Jakarta, 2003.

2.       Syaiful W. Harahap, Pers Meliput AIDS, Jakarta, Pustaka Sinar Harapan, 2000

3.        www.thebody.com

4.       Maria Ulfah Anshor, Nalar Politik Perempuan, Fahmina Institute, Cirebon, 2006





















Mengapa Jalan Kekerasan Masih Menjadi Pilihan?

Konflik dan peristiwa keseharian bernuansa kekerasan masih mewarnai kehidupan kita. Di beberapa belahan dunia, terjadi kekerasan dengan isu SARA, seperti kelompok ISIS yang mengatasnamakan kepentingan “jihad” menghancurkan kelompok lain yang tidak sefaham dengan mereka. Juga konflik Israel dan Palestina yang mempertontonkan kekerasan dengan sangat nyata.  Di Myanmar, kasus pembantaian terhadap muslim Rohingnya juga dilandasi kebencian atas golongan lain.  Di Indonesia sendiri, menurut sumber  dari Lemhannas, secara umum, data kasus kekerasan yang diproses melalui jalur hukum, meningkat sejak 2011 hingga kini mencapai 5 juta kasus lebih. Tren kekerasan ini semakin meningkat setiap tahunnya.

Dalam lingkup yang paling kecil, yakni keluarga, sering kali juga terjadi kekerasan (KDRT) yang menyebabkan kelompok lemah, seperti anak-anak dan perempuan, rentan menjadi korban. Menurut data KPAI, Indonesia sudah memasuki darurat kekerasan pada anak. Laporan kasus kekerasan pada anak, tahun 2012, 2626 kasus. Pada tahun 2013, melonjak menjadi 3339 kasus. Pada Juni 2014 ini, mencapai 622 kasus. Itu baru kasus yang dilaporkan, belum lagi kasus yang  “terdiamkan”.

Tidak berbeda dengan kasus kekerasan terhadap anak, kekerasan terhadap perempuan setiap tahunnya juga meningkat. Data dari Kantor Pemberdayaan Masyarakat Perempuan dan Keluarga Berencana, pada tahun 2013, terdapat 391 kasus. Per Juni 2014 ini, kasus yang dilaporkan sudah mencapai 274 kasus. Sedangkan data menurut WCC Rifka Annisa, di DIY saja,pada tahun 2013, KDRT sudah mencapai 700 kasus. Bulan Januari-Maret 2014 mencapai 59 kasus yang dilaporkan.  Adapun data versi Komnas Perempuan, pada tahun 2012, kasus KDRT mencapai 8315 kasus, dan bahkan 60% korban kekerasan tersebut mengalami kriminalisasi.

Kekerasan Berbasis Agama?
Terkait dengan kekerasan, agama sering kali dijadikan komoditas untuk melegitimasi kepentingan di luar agama itu sendiri, seperti ekonomi, politik, dsb. Agama dijadikan alat provokasi, pemicu konflik, politisasi, objek kekuasaan, dan berbagai modus lainnya. Bahkan, dalam rumah tangga, tindak kekerasan pun dicari-cari pengesahannya dari dalil-dalil agama. Pola pikir kekerasan memang sudah mewarnai sejarah panjang umat manusia, termasuk dalam sejarah agama-agama. Perang salib salah satu representasi sejarah buram tentang “misi perang atas nama agama”.

Islam sendiri memiliki dua wajah yang bertentangan dalam masalah kekerasan; Pertama, menekankan kebebasan dalam beragama---tidak ada paksaan dalam agama---di samping menganjurkan sikap lembut dan memaafkan. Kedua, memerintahkan para pemeluknya untuk melakukan perang melawan orang-orang yang dilabeli kekuatan-kekuatan anti iman. (Machasin, 2011). Pada dasarnya, yang pertama merupakan seruan dalam keadaan normal. Sedangkan yang kedua, seruan dalam keadaan di luar kewajaran yang tidak memungkinkan perdamaian. Akan tetapi, dalam perjalanannya, sering kali terjadi penyelewengan dengan menggunakan cara-cara kasar dan keras dalam keadaan wajar dan normal sekalipun.

Lebih miris lagi, orang dengan mudah bertindak di luar kemanusiaan dan bertentangan dengan akal sehat atau nurani, seperti membunuh atau melakukan teror, dengan dalih “jihad” dan memperjuangkan agama. Seakan-akan demi surga pemeluk agama menggunakan berbagai cara, bahkan dengan menjatuhkan nilai kemanusiaan pada titik terendah. Benarkah surga yang indah dan damai itu harus ditebus dengan tetesan-tetesan darah manusia? Serendah itukah nilai  dan paradigma keberagamaan pemeluk agama? Mengapa muncul sikap ekstrim dalam beragama?

Menurut Yusuf Qardhawi (1981), ada beberapa indikator religious extremism. Pertama, fanatisme dan intoleransi, sebagai akibat dari prasangka (prejudice), kekakuan (rigidity), dan kepicikan pandangan (lack of insight). Ini kemudian menggiring pemeluk agama memaksa orang lain untuk mengikuti keyakinannya, baik dengan cara teror intelektual maupun teror fisik. Dalam tataran ini, orang mudah sekali membid’ahkan orang lain, mengkafirkan, menuduh murtad, memfitnah,dan lainnya. Pada puncaknya, orang akan mudah melakukan teror fisik, seperti pengeboman, pengrusakan, penganiayaan, dan pembunuhan.

Kedua, berlebih-lebihan atau melampaui batas. Pemeluk agama yang ekstrim cenderung menggunakan segala cara untuk mencapai tujuannya. Mereka menjadi “tuhan-tuhan” kecil yang merasa berhak menentukan nilai kebaikan dan keburukan, yang salah dan yang benar. Otoritas ini membuat mereka tak segan-segan menghukum orang atau kelompok yang tidak sama dalam garis keyakinan mereka karena dianggap melanggar nilai-nilai yang mereka tetapkan.

Ketiga, membebani orang lain tanpa mempertimbangkan situasi dan kondisi. Para ekstrimis cenderung saklek dalam memahami teks agama dan mempraktikkannya secara mentah-mentah tanpa melihat konteks. Penerapan Tadrijiy (bertahap) dalam mengembangkan dakwah hampir tidak dikenal dalam metode dakwah mereka. Situasi ini justru menciptakan beban dan tekanan tersendiri bagi pemeluk agama.

Keempat,keras dalam memperlakukan diri sendiri dan orang lain. Para ekstrimis cenderung melihat diri dan orang lain sebagai objek dari teks agama. Tidak ada bantahan dan alasan dalam menjalankan perintah agama. Tidak juga ada keringanan dan kemudahan dalam perintah agama. Semua harus berjalan sempurna dan ideal.

Secara empirik, pemeluk agama yang ekstrim jelas-jelas membahayakan hak-hak asasi manusia. Tindakan mereka menghilangkan rasa aman dan perlindungan, mengancam stabilitas dan perdamaian, mencabut kemerdekaan individu dan masyarakat.

Fenomena munculnya ekstrimis di antara pemeluk agama menunjukkan masih ada indikator ketertutupan (eksklusifitas) yang mengedepankan klaim kebenaran pada kelompoknya. Indikator inilah yang memicu tindak kekerasan, anarkis, permusuhan dan konflik yang mengatasnamakan agama. Selain itu, fanatisme buta juga turut menciptkan kecurigaan dan permusuhan, sehingga gampang sekali mengkafirkan, menghina agama atau kelompok lain, menghasut atas nama membela iman.

Pertanyaannya, benarkah agama menjadi sumber kekerasan? Bukankah kehadiran agama membawa misi perdamaian dan keselamatan umat manusia?? Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa konsepsi agama yang ideal, yakni agama yang membawa rahmat bagi seluruh alam, ternyata pada tataran praksisnya terjadi distorsi yang luar biasa. Dalam ruang dan waktu tertentu, agama justru bisa dijadikan alat untuk menebar konflik dan permusuhan yang melahirkan kekerasan berbasis agama.

Jarak (distingsi) antara idealita dan realita dalam agama ini bisa dijelaskan karena agama memiliki dua tingkatan. Pertama,  agama langit dengan A besar, yaitu agama yang asli yang tidak tersentuh ruang dan waktu. Agama yang demikian penuh kedamaian dan kasih sayang, karena bebas dari intervensi kemanusiaan, sehingga agama yang demikian tidak mungkin menganjurkan tindak kekerasan. Menurut Schuon, pada tingkat inilah cahaya-cahaya agama (semua agama di dunia) bisa bertemu pada satu titik, yaitu titik perdamaian. Inilah yang disebut dengan agama perennial. Kedua, agama bumi dengan a kecil, yaitu agama yang sudah tersentuh dengan realitas ruang dan waktu. Di sini agama terbentuk oleh realitas sosiologis dan historis, karena sudah diintervensi oleh manusia, maka agama pada tingkatan ini bisa jadi menjadi sumber kekerasan. (Frithjof Schuon, 1975)

Dari pemikiran Schuon, kita bisa melihat dari mana sebetulnya kekerasan yang berbasis agama itu lahir. Tidak lain dan tidak bukan, jawabannya terletak pada penafsiran terhadap teks-teks agama yang dilakukan oleh para tokoh agama yang memiliki otoritas untuk itu.Pada titik inilah distorsi nilai agama dan makna teks yang hakikat tergantikan oleh pengertian teks yang scriptural (apa adanya/lahirnya teks). Sebagai contoh, teks tentang “jihad” selalu diartikan dengan peperangan tanpa melihat konteks, dan makna-makna lain yang ada di baliknya.

Dengan demikian, agama bukanlah motif murni dan genuine dari kekerasan. Agama hanya dijadikan alat solidaritas menggalang massa dan disalahgunakan untuk kepentingan tertentu dengan menggunakan segala cara, termasuk kekerasan. Hal ini sebagaimana yang disampaikan Azyumardi Azra, agama bukan faktor genuine kerusuhan (baca: kekerasan). Agama hanya menjadi justifikasi dari tindakan anarki. Salah satu sisi agama yang menekankan unsur emosional sering disalahgunakan untuk kepentingan kekerasan. (Azyumardi Azra, 2000)
Perempuan dalam Pusaran Kekerasan

Hampir dalam setiap konflik, peperangan, dan kerusuhan, atau peristiwa kekerasan lainnya, kaum lemah, seperti anak-anak dan perempuan, selalu menjadi objek dan korban kekerasan. Sistem budaya dan agama yang melemahkan eksistensi mereka turut memperparah ketidakberdayaan mereka dalam lingkaran konflik. Di dunia internasional, masih lekat dalam ingatan kita, bagaimana ratusan pelajar putri yang disandera kelompok pemberontak Boko Haram. Ada juga perempuan yang dijadikan “budak seks” oleh tentara ISIS dengan dalih jihad nikah. Juga tidak sedikit perempuan dan anak-anak yang menjadi korban konflik antara Israel dan Palestina. Di dalam negeri, peristiwa kekerasan yang mengerikan, yakni Peristiwa Kerusuhan Mei 1998, berupa perkosaan massal terhadap perempuan keturunan Tionghoa dan sebagian bahkan dibunuh. Peristiwa ini meninggalkan trauma dan juga keprihatinan mendalam bagi kita sebagai bangsa.

Selain kekerasan yang menimpa perempuan di ruang publik, kekerasan juga terjadi di wilayah domestik. Kekerasan di ruang yang sering tidak terekspos karena dianggap privat ini, setiap tahunnya juga mengalami peningkatan. Kekerasan dalam Rumah Tangga (KDRT) inilah yang sering kali tidak terjangkau oleh hukum, karena jika korban tidak mengungkapkan atau melapor maka akan sulit muncul ke permukaan.Kekerasan yang terjadi, baik di ruang publik maupun domestik, diyakini tidak terjadi begitu saja. Tapi, di balik tindak kekerasan itu, diyakini pelaku mempunyai alasan yang didasarkan pada nilai-nilai yang dianutnya. Nilai-nilai itu dibentuk oleh konstruksi sosial budaya yang dilegitimasi oleh institusi agama maupun Negara.

Adapun bentuk-bentuk KDRT yang sering menggunakan Islam sebagai legitimasinya dan disebarkan melalui ajaran fikih klasik, di antaranya:
Pertama, Nusyuz: tindakan pembangkangan istri terhadap suami, seperti penolakan, ketidaktaatan, dan bentuk-bentuk lain yang bernada perlawanan. Ada tiga jenjang sanksi yang bisa diberikan kepada perempuan yang melakukan nusyuz, yakni menasihati, pisah ranjang, dan pemukulan (al-dharb). Hal ini didasarkan pada QS. An Nisa’ ayat 34. Dalil nash inilah yang sering kali digunakan suami untuk melakukan KDRT terhadap istrinya. Padahal, klo kita bertindak adil kepada istri hendaknya memperhatikan juga empat hal: 1) Semangat al- Quran adalah ajaran anti kekerasan yang mengajarkan damai, keharmonisan, dan keselamatan. Jadi, tindakan kekerasan tidak ditolerir dalam Islam. 2) Al –dharb tidak bisa diartikan secara serampangan, yakni memukul. Tapi, padanan kata  al-dharb bisa mendidik. 3)Asbabun nuzul ayat. Kalau kita pahami, maka sesungguhnya Allah tidak menghendaki pemukulan balas Habibah binti Zaid kepada suaminya, Saad, karena dikhawatirkan Saad akan melakukan pemukulan balik yang lebih keras. 4) Hadis-hadis Nabi Saw. yang anti kekerasan. Ditunjukkan sepanjang hidupnya, Rasulullah tidak pernah melakukan tindakan kekerasan terhadap istrinya

Kedua, Qiwamah: kepemimpinan laki-laki dalam rumah tangga. Anggapan bahwa laki-laki sebagai Kepala Rumah Tangga inilah yang sering dijadikan dasar suami berhak berlaku sewenang-wenang dalam keluarga. Padahal, dalam QS An Nisa 34, syarat suami bisa menjadi kepala rumah tangga bila mampu memenuhi dua syarat, pelindung dan pencari nafkah. Tapi, bila dua syarat itu tidak terpenuhi, maka qiwamah bisa beralih di pundak istri.

Ketiga, Poligami. Dalil agama yang biasa dipakai adalah QS.an Nisa ayat 3. Syarat adil yang ditekankan dalam al-Quran tidak pernah dijadikan pertimbangan untuk menghilangkan praktik poligami dalam Islam. Untuk itu, perlu diperhatikan dalil Alquran yang lain, seperti tentang suami  “tidak akan mampu berbuat adil” meskipun ia menghendaki sekalipun (QS.an Nisa ayat 129). Selain itu, penekanan monogami (fawaahidah) harusnya lebih dikedepankan karena suami tidak akan mampu berbuat adil. Persoalan adil bukan hanya kuantitatif, yakni materi semata. Tapi, adil mesti komprehensif yang meliputi kuantitatif dan kualitatif, yakni spirit, rasa,dan  jiwa (menjaga hati)

Keempat, Marital Rape: perkosaan dalam rumah tangga. Dalam fikih tradisional, akad perkawinan adalah akad tamlik, sehingga suami merasa memiliki istri fisik dan psikis. Inilah yang memicu terjadinya perkosaan oleh suami terhadap istri. Untuk itu, perlu dilakukan penafsiran ulang terhadap akad pernikahan. Kepemilikan dalam pernikahan adalah saling memiliki, yakni antara suami dan istri. Keduanya setara dalam kedudukan di dalam rumah tangga, tidak ada yang lebih tinggi atau sebaliknya.

Kelima, Pernikahan di bawah umur (pernikahan anak). Pernikahan anak ini sangat memberikan efek negatif kepada pelaku, karena belum siap secara mental, umur, juga fisik biologis (organ reproduksinya juga belum matang). Hal ini menimbulkan dampak tidak terpenuhinya kebutuhan ekonomi, stress yang tinggi, depresi, tidak terpenuhinya unsur kesehatan reproduksi bagi perempuan,yang akhirnya berujung pada perceraian.

Keenam, Kawin paksa. Konsep wali mujbir dalam fikih atau hak ijbar, yakni hak orang tua (bapak dan kakek) untuk memaksa anaknya untuk menikah. Sesungguhnya, syarat ijbar sangatlah berat, sehingga jika orang tua tidak bisa memenuhi syarat tersebut, maka gugurlah hak ijbar-nya. Adapun syarat tersebut: wali mujbir adalah bapak atau kakek, anak masih gadis, anak dan wali mujbir tidak ada perseteruan, calon suami harus kufu, mahar mitsil (mahar sesuai derajat perempuan), calon suami mampu menjamin nafkah, calon suami dijamin orang baik yang mampu membahagiakan istri.

Pada dasarnya, teks nash al-Quran dan hadits tidak mendorong terjadinya tindak kekerasan, tapi sangat dimungkinkan ditafsirkan untuk melegitimasi tindakan kekerasan. Jadi, persoalannya terletak pada hasil penafsiran sepihak yang menjadi basis legitimasi tindak kekerasan terhadap perempuan, pada ruang publik maupun ruang domestik. Untuk itu, perlu reinterpretasi pada sumber keagamaan dengan perspektif equality gender.
Islam rahmatan lil ‘alamin dan Anti Kekerasan

Agama mana pun melarang penggunaan kekerasan dalam menyelesaikan masalah, termasuk agama Islam. Dilihat dari akar katanya, “aslama, yuslimu, islaman”, Islam adalah agama yang mendambakan keselamatan dan kedamaian. Semangat perdamaian yang dikumandangkan Islam banyak tercantum dalam al-Qur’an dan Hadis Nabi Muhammad Saw.

Bahkan, dalam memperjuangkan misi Islam sekalipun, Islam menekankan tidak boleh dengan paksaan. Laa ikraaha fi ad-diin, tidak ada paksaan dalam agama. Artinya, dalam memperjuangkan Islam dianjurkan dengan cara persuasif, bi al-hikmah wa al-mau’izhati al-hasanah.
Rasulullah Muhammad Saw. pun diutus untuk menyebar rahmah berupa kebaikan, anugerah, kenikmatan bagi seluruh alam tanpa terkecuali. Nabi diutus untuk mengajak umatnya memberikan makna bagi kehidupannya dengan senantiasa berbuat kebaikan. Tugas untuk melanggengkan kebaikan dalam hidup inilah yang membuat manusia berguna bagi seluruh makhluk.

Islam menekankan sifat pemaaf dan menyantuni kepada orang yang berbuat aniaya atau dzalim sekalipun agar tidak berbuat yang merugikan orang lain kembali. Firman Allah dalam QS. Asy-Syura: 40):
“Balasan perbuatan buruk adalah perbuatan buruk yang serupa.Namun, barangsiapa yang memaafkan dan berbuat perdamaian, maka pahalanya pasti diberikan Allah. Sesungguhnya, Dia tidak menyukai orang yang lalim.”

Atas orang yang berbuat jahat kepada kita sekalipun, Allah menekankan untuk tidak membalasnya dengan kejahatan. Bagi orang yang tidak memiliki kebesaran jiwa akan sulit baginya untuk memberi maaf dan tidak membalas kejahatan orang lain. Allah berfirman, yang artinya:
“Tidaklah sama perbuatan baik dan perbuatan jahat. Balaslah perbuatan yang ditujukan kepadamu dengan yang lebih baik, sehingga orang yang bermusuhan denganmu, akan menjadi seolah-olah seorang sahabat karib. Sifat terpuji ini tidak dapat dilakukan, kecuali orang-orang yang sabar, dan yang mempunyai bagian (anugerah Allah) yang besar. (QS. Al Fushilat: 34-35)
Sebagai agama kasih sayang, Islam mesti disebarkan dengan cara kasih sayang pula. Kasih sayang bukan hanya kepada manusia, tapi bagi semua ciptaan Allah di alam ini. Perwujudan rahman dan rahim Allah inilah yang mesti dikedepankan dalam memperjuangkan Islam. Islam mengajarkan nilai-nilai kasih sayang dan anti kekerasan serta toleransi dalam keragaman yang dapat mengeliminir tindak kekerasan, di antaranya:
1)    Universalitas Islam
Universalitas Islam yang bersifat rahmat (kasih sayang) mencirikannya sebagai agama perdamaian. Sejak didakwahkan Nabi Muhammad Saw. hingga sekarang, Islam telah dianut oleh berbagai etnis manusia dari seluruh dunia. Perkembangan  Islam memang sangat pesat karena kehadirannya mampu memberikan penghargaan terhadap semua manusia. Islam tidak hadir hanya untuk kepentingan segolongan tertentu, sebagaimana ideologi buatan manusia. Islam adalah rahmat bagi seluruh alam.

2)    Titik temu antaragama
Konsep ahl al-kitab dalam Islam menegaskan pengakuan atas agama-agama Ibrahimik. Pengakuan ini mengindikasikan bahwa Islam mengakui agama selain Islam yang memiliki kitab suci. Islam menghargai perbedaan dan memberikan kebebasan bagi semua pemeluk agama untuk beribadah sesuai keyakinannya masing-masing.
Perlakuan adil terhadap ahl al-kitab disebutkan dalam al-Quran surat Ali Imran 113-115. Hal ini mengindikasikan bahwa Islam mengedepankan toleransi antar-pemeluk agama yang berbeda-beda.

3)    Agama hanif dan inklusif
Sabda Nabi Muhammad Saw. yang artinya: “Agama yang paling dicintai Allah adalah agama yang lurus dan toleran.” (HR. Bukhori)
Hadits tersebut menunjukkan bahwa Islam sebagai agama yang hanif merupakan rahmat bagi seluruh alam. Islam diturunkan untuk semua manusia tanpa membedakan kelamin, warna kulit, golongan, bangsa, dan lain-lain. Islam membawa misi perdamaian bagi seluruh umat manusia.

4)    Islam bukan agama sektarian
Islam sebagai agama yang diperuntukkan bagi seluruh umat manusia bertujuan untuk kemaslahatan manusia secara keseluruhan. Rahmat Islam selalu berada di pihak kaum tertindas karena Islam adalah agama pembebasan.

5)    Islam agama kasih sayang
Sabda Nabi Muhammad Saw. yang artinya: “Siapa tidak menyayangi manusia, Allah tidak akan menyayanginya.” (HR. Bukhori Muslim)
Hadits Rasulullah tersebut menunjukkan bahwa Islam adalah agama yang mengajarkan cinta kasih kepada penganutnya. Kasih sayang dan cinta merupakan media bagi sesama manusia untuk saling mengenal dan menjaga kelangsungan hidup manusia. Dengan cinta pula manusia memiliki gairah untuk memajukan peradaban.

6)    Pluralisme Islam
Sabda Nabi Muhammad saw. yang artinya: “Hei sekalian manusia, Tuhan kalian adalah satu, bapak kalian juga satu. Setiap kalian berasal dari Adam, dan Adam dari tanah. Tak ada kelebihan bagi seorang Arab atas yang selainnya atau sebaliknya. Juga tidak ada kelebihan bagi seorang berkulit merah atas orang berkulit putih atau sebaliknya, kecuali takwanya.” (HR. Ahmad)
Islam mengakui perbedaan sebagai sunnatullah. Hal ini sebagaimana firman Allah dalam surat al Hujurat: 13. Dalam mengakui kebhinekaan, Rasulullah sendiri telah memberikan keteladanan dalam kepemimpinannya di Madinah. Beliau berhasil mempersatukan berbagai golongan atau kelompok masyarakat yang sudah berpuluh tahun bermusuhan.Bahkan, beliau berhasil membangun solidaritas antar-warga Madinah.

7)    Egalitarianisme dan keadilan
Sabda Nabi Muhammad saw. yang artinya: “Nasab-nasab kalian tidak bisa dijadikan alasan untuk mencaci maki seseorang. Manusia itu setara (dalam hal nasab) bagai permukaan air di ember yang penuh, dan semuanya adalah keturunan Adam. Tidaklah seseorang lebih unggul dari yang lainnya, kecuali dalam hal agama dan ketakwaannya kepada Allah.” (HR. Ahmad)
Hadits tersebut menunjukkan bahwa prinsip musawah/kesetaraan dalam Islam adalah landasan dalam sistem hubungan sosial. Kesetaraan dan keadilan sosial diterapkan untuk menjamin dan mengangkat harkat dan martabat nilai-nilai kemanusiaan yang universal.

8)    Menghormati agama lain
Nabi Muhammad mencontohkan pada masa pemerintahannya dengan memperlakukan hukum yang sama atas muslim dan non-muslim. Pada saat yang bersamaan, Nabi menghormati keyakinan-keyakinan mereka. Nabi tidak menjatuhkan hukuman secara Islam atas non-muslim tentang apa yang tidak mereka haramkan, dan mereka tidak boleh dipanggil ke pengadilan pada hari-hari besar yang mereka yakini atau rayakan. (Khotimatul Husna, 2011)
Demikianlah Islam menganjurkan sikap toleransi dan hormat menghormati untuk menghindarkan ekstrimisme dalam beragama. Ekstrimisme sebuah tindakan yang membahayakan umat manusia. Ekstrimisme adalah awal perpecahan umat manusia yang menghalalkan tindakan kekerasan dalam mencapai tujuan. Ekstrimisme umat beragama membawa pada sikap fanatisme buta yang menjauhkan manusia dari sikap toleransi yang diperintahkan Islam.

Budaya Anti Kekerasan
Kalau agama mempunyai kemungkinan dipergunakan manusia untuk hal-hal positif dan negatif, maka solusinya bisa kembali kepada budaya. Budaya pada dasarnya merupakan ciri yang membedakan dan menaikkan derajat manusia di atas makhluk lainnya (baca: hewan). Spiritualitaslah sebenarnya pangkal dari budaya itu. Karena itu, kehalusan atau kerohanian budi manusia terus dijadikan tuntunan. Dengan kata lain, suatu tindakan atau sikap dapat dikatakan berbudaya manakala spiritualitas menjadi penuntunnya.(Machasin, 2011).

Meskipun agama tidak terlepas dari spiritualitas, tapi terkadang ritual keagamaan hanya sebatas ritual dan kosong dari unsur spiritualitasnya. Pemeluk agama cenderung terfokus dan asyik masyuk dengan rutinitas keberagamaan, sehingga terpisah jauh dari realitas sosialnya. Seyogianya kekhusyukan beribadah meningkatkan nilai spirit yang lebih mengasah kepada kepekaan dan kearifan sosial. Tapi, faktanya, terkadang pemeluk agama justru menjadi sangat individualis.

Untuk itu, pilihan dalam menghadapi berbagai tindak kekerasan adalah dengan membudayakan sikap anti kekerasan. Kita mesti kritis, bila pun terdapat provokasi yang mengatasnamakan agama untuk melakukan tindak kekerasan, maka kita mesti menggunakan budaya berupa kehalusan atau kerohanian budi manusia untuk menolaknya karena spirit agama pada dasarnya juga anti kekerasan. Kita tahu kekerasan telah merampas kemerdekaan orang-orang lemah dan tertindas serta melahirkan banyak penderitaan. Seyogianya kita semua memilih sikap anti kekerasan untuk perdamaian umat manusia di seluruh alam semesta.[] Penulis adalah Editor freelance Penerbit LKiS dan Peserta PUP Angkatan IV 2014.