The Universality In Islam

Ditulis Oleh : Octalyna Puspa Wardany - 23 Agustus 2019

Judul Buku : The Qur’an, Morality And Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur & The Qur’an On The Exclusi
Penulis : Muhammad Shahrur & Sahiron Sya
Penerbit : Brill & The Lutheran World Federation
Halaman : 0

Comparing two reading materials which are explained about the interpretation of certain words in Qur’an explained the methodology of each writer. Muhammad Sharour described the interpretation of Al-Islam and Al-Iman. First, the interpretation is based on the traditional understanding of these two words. Means, how mostly Moslem understand about these words; five pillars in Islam; and their relation with certain terms; five tenets of belief related to Al-Iman. He dismantles those traditional understanding in order to proof that those understanding are false. Then, he disassembles these two words according to The Book. In this step, he related to the history of the prophets; Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jesus; to construct the true pillars. Finally, the meaning of these words can be described clearly.

Al-Islam is the more general type of faith, universal, human religion of all people on earth. While, Al-Iman is contrasted, a very specific term for those who follow Muhammad. Al-Islam is consistent with human nature that is believing God and do what is righteous are naturally human’s disposition (2009: 56). As the conclusion, the top priority must always be al-Islam; belief in God, the Hereafter, and doing what is righteous (2009: 65). Doing what is righteous and doing what is fair and just are fundamental pillars of al-Islam and al-Iman (2009: 66). As the implication of al-Iman, there are religious obligations of al-Iman (prayer, alms tax, fasting, pilgrimage) as the second priorities (2009: 66). By this understanding, innovations have different values for those two words. In the realm of al-Iman, innovations are impudent and reprehensible (2009: 66). While in al-Islam, those are good and laudable (2009: 66).

Sahiron Syamsuddin disassemble religious exclusivism by interpreting Q 2: 111 – 113. He uses the ma’na-cum-maghza approach where the interpreter tries to grasp the original historical meaning of a text as it was understood by its first audience and then to develop its significance for the contemporary situation, called ma’na, (2017: 100). The original historical meaning becomes important because factually every language has synchronic and diachronic aspects so the interpreter should be aware of the development of the meaning of a word, idiom, phrase and structure (2017: 100). The understanding of the original historical meaning constitutes a starting point for further, deeper interpretation, which is relevant for the time in which such is conducted (2017: 101-2). Means, the interpreter should find out what the text means or main message of a verse which is called magza or significance (2017: 102).

By using this approach, Sahiron interprets the Q 2: 111-113. He explains the main message of the verses clearly prohibit any exclusivist religious truth claims at every religious community, including Muslims (2017: 106). The rightly guided people are those who submit to the One and Only God (2017: 107). Means, Q 2:111-113 which can be an Islamic theological foundation for the prevention of any exclusivist religious truth claim give the main message that all people who submit themselves to the One and Only God and conduct good deeds will be saved and no believer hold onto an exclusivist claim to the truth (2017: 109).

So, Sharour explains that al-Islam is a universal religion which has parameter as explained as the top priority. While, al-Iman is specific for the people followed Muhammad. Sahiron explains the exclusivism religious truth claim in Quran verses. However, there are some terms in Sahiron explanations which has different meaning with Sharour explanations. Islam in Sahiron’s has the same meaning as the people who follow Muhammad and have certain religious obligations in Sharour’s. Qur’an in Sahiron’s has the same meaning for The Book in Sharour’s not Qur’an in Sharour’s which means certain verses in The Book.

However, Sharour and Sahiron explain the universality religion concept based on verses in The Book so thus become Muslim perspective which unknown widely even in the Muslim themselves. Does this understanding can be described merely by using certain approach, as ma’na-cum-maghza in Sahiron’s, or certain steps which is implemented by Sharour? Does widely knowledge (common understanding, history, contextuality) about religion, especially Islam and Muslim in this case, have certain influence so the interpreter able to get broadly understanding in interpreting certain words or verses from The Book? Moreover, does the openly perspective actually play the important role in getting this interpretation model?


  • Shahrur, Muhammad The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur edited by Andreas Christmann, Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2009
  • Syamsuddin, Sahiron The Qur’an on the Exclusivist Religious Truth Claim: A Ma’n?-cum-Maghz? Approach and its Application to Q 2: 111-113 in Transformative Readings of Sacred Scriptures: Christians and Muslims in Dialogue pp. 99-109, Germany: The Lutheran World Federation

John Doe
Octalyna Puspa Wardany
Aktif dalam seni dan budaya sebagai kurator maupun peneliti/penulis yang gemar membaca.

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