In the midst of the bustle of politics, economics, and culture clash in this global era, the boundaries of social identity are getting stronger. Communities are increasingly devoted to the hardening of the identity that just focuses on self-interest and group-interest. How Islamic philosophy responds to these challenges to be accepted by all parties?. Philosophy open horizons in the paradigm that Islam is not merely a ritual or spiritual aspect, but also intellectual. But not by normative approaches or religious tendencies, yet because epistemology is built on a scientific basis. From intellectualism, Islam finds its objective spiritual basis. Philosophy doesn’t start from a narrow discourse but of an inclusive discourse. Whereas can be accessed and accepted by all people because of its objectivity.
The substance of philosophy today is great importance because it seems there is a tendency of separation between the profane and the sacred. On the one hand, we are facing a principled liberalism that separation between the religious sphere and the social sphere and all that stuff. But on the other hand, we also confront extremism assumes that religion is everything, thus anti with science, liberty, and progression. And anti to the movements regarded as outside of religion. And philosophy able to bridge this. Especially in the books of Islamic philosophy, on the other side has adhered the principle that its permanent values such as monotheism and prophecy. Nonetheless, on the other hand also opens up space and renewal in our perspective view in religion. I.e. religions can talk about science, technology, social, humanism, state, and nation building.
Nevertheless, there are many assumptions that philosophy is exclusive and incoherence in the practical realm. First of all, Islamic philosophy has to be described precisely and straightened out that there is a view that a priori when philosophy was considered proprietary and are not related to the practical realm and all that stuff. Maybe people do not learn the history that all social theories rooted in philosophy. It’s a historical fact. Who can deny Aristotle and Plato made the social theories and are still read because they used philosophy as the foundation.
For example, when talking about the science of international relations with various paradigms approach, all using the paradigm of philosophy. IR’s Paradigm spoke of materialism, liberalism, socialism, Marxism; it’s all philosophical approach. So if some people think that philosophy is not important. They haven’t learned or haven’t philosophized philosophy. One of the critical discussions of philosophy in international relations is a problem about questioning western perspectives or paradigms are able to address universal problems? It turns out to have difficulty in addressing the problems of the post-colonial state, in Islamic countries, in Eastern countries, where these countries have their own perspectives of worldview.
So indeed there are urgent needs for alternative approaches besides Western hegemonic approaches. And the need for alternative approaches should be capable of being answered by Muslim intellectuals as an epistemology challenge. That there is an urgent need at this time, the needs of science. And Islam (especially Muslims) must go into that area and tackle this issue; because of that Islam could be a solution for the problems of the world. Marxism why is widely recognized in the world? Although has different religious backgrounds, races and different cultures? Because Marxism talks things very objectively. About against oppression, prevail justice, criticize unjust structures and others.
The Universal Values of Islam
Just imagine, if humanism that arises from the human ability to speak universally, why Islam ascribed from God who is universal, even still considered not being able to talk about it? It’s so big problem. Why Islam is considered rahmatan lil ‘Alamin in fact now even alienated. Along with Kuntowijoyo, Islam without mosques. In a sense, we see Islam not only in mosques but also in knowledge and science. Islam as a phenomenon of civilization and progression.
And great vision should be based on the movement of intellectualism, enlightenment, and science, despite the fact that it requires a long process, not a short time. Since this is built on the desire of contemplation and authenticity, not because imposed by the structure. Not because institutionalism where people are compelled to submit and obey. Conversely, people come and move due to self-consciousness.
And we must eliminate barriers that intellectual work is only in the classrooms. It’s so elitist. Then there must be intellectual movements that care the community directly, be it formal, informal and non-formal. Intellectuals in universities should open space for the community. If enlightened only at campus while the society does not accept, and not yet ready for their concept, there will get a new contention.
Then the scholars must come into contact with the public directly. In what way, many of the patterns that we can do. The first example is education, counseling, and social activities of the community are built on knowledge and epistemology. Because how we change the society, while we ourselves are in classrooms that are untouched with the public directly, we don’t know what is the problems of society? We need a real struggle that Antonio Gramsci told as organic intellectuals, or in terms of Ali Shariati, Rausyan Fikr, where people are enlightened and hold the vision and mission of intellectual, spiritual, and social.
And the role of youth today is expected to be very significant, even to touch the youth is indeed a tough job. Because we face hedonism, extremism, and pragmatism. Hence the role of teacher and scholar is very important. For instance, why students tend to extremism, to narrow minded in religion? Because the teachers are not able to provide enlightenment and enlightened spiritually and intellectually, and when they get into their college experience spirituality is very poor. Thus, that when they come out they are easily infiltrated by radical extremist ideologies.
To answer the rise of extremism in the younger generation now, first of all, they need to know themselves (man arofa nafsahu). They must be expected to be completed with themselves first. Arm yourself with a clear education, strong epistemology, so it doesn’t accept the pseudo-science. Also, provide the basis of logic so they can think properly. And also importantly reinforce soft spiritual foundation, tasawufism/mysticism. So youth able to broaden their mindset, not just sacred rituals and political aspects, but also aspects of love. So that the elements will influence youth not committed to violence.