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Professor Dr. Din Syamsuddin in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo Soure: G25 Malaysia Facebook)

Muslims Should Focus on Substance Rather than Formality

The former chairman of Muhammadiyah, Din Syamsuddin argues that Muslims should focus more on Islamic substantive ethical values, rather than the associated formal and legal forms.

Professor Dr. Din Syamsuddin in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo Soure: G25 Malaysia Facebook)

Professor Dr. Din Syamsuddin in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo Soure: G25 Malaysia Facebook)

Kuala Lumpur, GIVnews.com – Professor Dr. Din Syamsuddin has spoken in a Public Forum on Islam in Constitutional Democracy in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday (6/12). The former Chairman of Muhammadiyah began his keynote address by emphasizing that Indonesia is not a theocratic nation nor a secular state.

“Indonesia is a Pancasila state”, he told the forum. Indonesia is based on the five principles of Pancasila that is in accordance with the Islamic ethical values.

Indonesia’s Muhammadiyah, one of largest Islamic organisations in the world which Din led for 10 years from 2005 to 2015, has put forward the concept of Indonesia, a Pancasila state as Darul ‘Ahdi Was Syahadah. The term refers to a nation that is based on consensus and testimony. Din said that Muslims should implement Islamic values within the framework of the state.

Pak Din also told the forum that Muslims and Muslim countries should focus more on Islamic substantive ethical values, rather than the associated formal and legal forms. It is argued that the Islamic values of ‘adaalah (justice), amanah (trust), musyawarah (consultative) and others need to be brought in when interpreting and implementing the constitution regardless the type of the governmental structure.

The scholar who has set up the Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilisations (CDCC) in Jakarta also shared his impression when visiting Japan recently. Pak Din concluded that Japan is somehow more Islamic than some other Muslim nations.

The reason is because Japanese practiced the values of cleanliness, respect of time, discipline and honesty much more than other places.

“I found Islam in Japan, while I have only met Muslims in Indonesia,” he said.

The conference was organised by G25, a group of Malaysian retired high-ranking civil servants who have called for a rational discours on Islam in Malaysia and a return to the country’s constitutional provisions.

Before ending his speech, Pak Din proposed that G25, or any other group voicing moderation and progressiveness need to be organized so that it could win people’s minds and hearts and should not only be a group for elites in order to be effective.

Source: Global Indonesian Voices

http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/23887/din-syamsuddin-muslims-should-focus-on-substance-rather-than-formality/