Abdul Mu’ti: Muhammad SAW a Friend and Hero of the Grassroots

Author : Pimpinan Pusat Muhammadiyah | Saturday, January 03, 2015 15:41 WIB

Jakarta – Nabi Muhammad was a friend and the hero of the underprivilaged, commoners, and grassroots people. Based on tauhid, Nabi Muhammad defended women, slaves, and the poor who were oppressed and crushed by the hegemony of the Quraisy bourgeois.

This was as delivered by the Secretary of Muhammadiyah Central Executive, Abdul Mu’ti, within his speech that was delivered in the National Celebration for Maulid Nabi Muhammad, in The National Palace of Jakarta, which brought the theme of Membangun Mental Kerja Melalui Spirit Peringatan Maulid Nabi Muhammad (Building Work Ethics through Spirit of Celebrating Maulid Nabi Muhammad) held on Friday (1/2). In his speech in front of the President, Vice President, the Ministers and the Ambassador of the neighboring countries, Abdul Mu’ti explained that Nabi Muhammad held firm the tauhid mission, which was the one God and encouraging people to worship only to Allah that was also the reflection of teaching unity, egalitarianism, and humans’ liberation. These were the basic teaching that made Nabi Muhammad was always close to his followers especially the slaves.

Besides on the tauhid teaching, according to Abdul Mu’ti, Nabi Muhammad also gave the best example of a character in his relations with the public.“ Although Nabi Muhammad had high position in the society, he was humble and shy. Nabi Muhammad stitched his own clothes. His attitudes and personalities were a counter culture and a social criticism for the life of the bourgeois,” he explained. (mac)

The following was the complete speech of the Secretary of Muhammadiyah Central Executive, Abdul Mu’ti.


Assalamu’alaikum Wr. Wb

The President and the First Lady, Hj. Iriana Joko Widodo

The Vice-President and Madam Hj. Mufidah Jusuf Kalla

The Head of State Institutions

The Ambassador of the neighboring countries

The Ministers of Kabinet Kerja

The Alim Ulama (Religious Scholars), and ladies and gentlemen.

ALHAMDULILLAH, by the hidayah, inayah, and taufiq granted by Allah subhanahu wata’ala, The Compassionate and Merciful God, tonight we can meet to celebrate Maulid Nabi Muhammad SAW in a healthy and fine condition. We should be thankful to Allah, The Almighty God, had given us the rahmat, qudrat, and iradat for granting us the freedom, sovereignty, peace, and safety to the people of Indonesia. Alhamdulillah, Allah The Richest, makes Indonesia as a country for overflowing natural resources, beautiful panorama, and the diverse ethnic tribes.

The President, ladies and gentlemen I respected.

The Celebration of Maulid Nabi Muhammad held by the government is a national tradition, which is important and deeply meaningful. First, the celebration of Maulid is the accommodation for the nation towards the Islamic tradition and identity in Indonesia. Second, the celebration of Maulid is the concrete proof of the Nation’s commitment in building mental-spiritual life as the religious capital of the people of Indonesia in realizing the goal of becoming a developed, strong, and dignified country. Third, the celebration of Maulid shows the devotion of Indonesian Muslims towards Nabi Muhammad SAW and the education tool to be able to follow his moral virtues. K.H. Mas Mansur, a National hero and the head of Muhammadiyah explained that although there are some differences in the law of celebrating Maulid Nabi, the celebration that is held with good intention is a beneficial event and is not against any law in Islamic teaching.

Reflecting from the life of Nabi Muhammad and other Messenger of Allah is a part of Islamic teaching and moral. As it was stated in the word of Allah in Surah Al-Ahzab (33): 21:

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”

In the Al Quran, uswatun hasanah is mentioned three times, Al-Ahzab (33): 21, Al-Mumtahanah (60): 4 and 6. According to Zamakhsyari in Tafsir al-Kasysyaf, the verses can be read “uswat oriswat.” The word “uswat” means the virtue of Rasulullah or a role model (qudwah). In the dimension of basyariah, insaniah, and nubuwah Muhammad is the role model who could arouse the virtue of his followers. On the other hand, iswat means following (iqtida’) or the name for someone who is being followed. Iswat comes from the root word alif-sin-waw which means to heal, to fix, or to make peace. The Messenger of Allah who are the role model due to their moral virtues could heal the social disease, solve many problems, fix the condition, and create a peaceful in social structure.

The President, ladies and gentlemen I respected.

Nabi Muhammad was born in Mecca. In the Al Quran, Mecca is called Bakkah, al-Balad, al-Qaryah, and Umm al-Qura. Mecca is called Bakkah because in topographical aspect, it is located in a barren valley. In this area, Nabi Ibrahim and his families started their new life. Even though they had to go through hard impediments, with hard work and the help of Allah, Nabi Ibrahim could successfully change a country lacking of natural resources into a prosperous, safe, and peaceful country.

Mecca is located in a strategically area for the development of trade. Supported by the work ethic and a strong trade tradition, Mecca grew into a prosperous business center. The Arabian merchants were hardworking businessmen who worked in every season to various countries. For Arabians, business was not merely to fulfill the life needs and to gather money, but it was more to a tool to power and social status. Due to the absence of religious teaching, work ethic and tradition made them into capitalistic, materialistic, hedonistic, and feudalistic people. In order to gather the most profit, they would do anything. Cheating, lying, harshness, and fraud were institutionalized cultures. For the sake of perpetuating powers, they enslaved, exploited, and did human trafficking. They loved to have fun excessively, spent their money, and boastful of their own lives in the midst of suffering of the poor.

It was the condition of nature and social-culture of the young Muhammad. As he was born in Bani Hasyim, one of the clan in Quraisy Tribe, young Muhammad grew up into a hardworking person. The Young Muhammad did some shepherding and did some trading to other countries. Different to other businessmen, young Muhammad was a polite, honest, and trustworthy businessman. These factors made young Muhammad popular, his business skyrocketed and was equal to those of elite businessmen. When he married Khadijah, Muhammad offered dowry of 20 red camels, some even mentioned the number as 100. At that time, red camel was the best mount.

The President, ladies and gentlemen I respected.

When he was 40 years old, Muhammad was raised as a Prophet and the Messenger of Allah. Muhammad brought the mission for humans and Grace for the universe. Nabi Muhammad brought the mission of tauhid, which is the one God and encouraging people to worship only to Allah. Tauhid is the foundation of mental revolution that brought the teaching and unity value, egalitarianism, and humans’ independence. Based on tauhid, Nabi Muhammad defended women, slaves, and the poor who were oppressed and crushed by the hegemony of the Quraisy bourgeois. Nabi Muhammad was a friend and the hero of the underprivilaged, commoners, and grassroots people. Tauhid brings the spirit of encouraging the social-vertical mobility based on performance. A person’s fate was determined by kasab (the effort and work performance) instead of nasab (by ancestry of family genecology).

How does one to be successful and be glorious? The answer is by working. The basic Islamic teaching on working is amal shalih (deeds). The word amal shalih was mentioned consecutively after iman (faith) in more than 60 verses. This shows the strong relation between iman and amal shalih. The relation between iman and amal shalih is as portrayed by a thing and its shadow (Isutzu). Amal shalih is faith in action, faith-based movement, the actualization, the realization, the expression, and the embodiment of faith (iman).

By doing good deeds means working hard. Deeds are the investment that could save humans from deprivation, lead to happiness, and uplift human dignity. Doing good work has four main principles. First, good intention. Working with the intention of earning money for Allah is included in acts of worship. With it, humans acquired ajrah (salary) and ujrah (reward). Working for Allah develops motivation, dedication, confidence, and satisfaction. The meaning of working is not assessed by the material earning but also the grace and benefits acquired from each drop of sweat.

Second, shalih kaifiah was proper and good process, performance, and working procedure. This principle affirms the importance of the expertise, skills, abilities, discipline, diligence, thoroughness, patience, honesty, and other professional attitudes.  The importance of professionalism was firmly stated in a hadits: “… jika suatu pekerjaan diserahkan kepada orang yang tidak ahli, maka tunggulah kehancurannya” (HR. Bukhari). Shalih kaifiah necessitates commitment, obedience, impartialities, and objectivity, which could keep people from collusion, bribery, and scandal in working world. Guideline, the clear working standard procedure gives the certainty of performance assessment as the basis for the achievement award and punishment for the wrongdoers.

Third, beneficial (maslahat) deeds. This principle demands the productivity in work and the quality outcome, effective, efficient. Maslahat means benefits, goodness, safety, peace, and the prosperity of human beings, as well as the preservation of nature. The principle of maslahat affirms the importance of the distribution of wealth instead of accumulation of wealth on some people or groups of people. Islam highly criticizes capitalistic people who accumulate their wealth, leading an excessively luxurious, wasteful, and arrogant life. On the other hand, Islam encourages leading a humble and unpretentious life, and deeply taking care of others by sharing with other people.

The teaching of philanthropy in Islam is in the form of zakat, infaq, sadaqah, waqaf, hibah, and gift that does not only include economic value but also transcendence value in which wealth is a tool for human to reach the virtue in spirituality that makes their lives more meaningful. Nabi Muhammad stated that ”… the best people are those who are useful for others (manusia yang terbaik adalah mereka yang kehadirannya bermanfaat bagi manusia lainnya).” Humble and unpretentious life is not living in poor and inadequate condition, but living with the moral of qanaah, be thankful for what they have and do not show off or spending away his wealth.  Even though Nabi Muhammad had high position in the society, he was humble and shy. Nabi Muhammad stitched his own clothes. His attitudes and personalities were a counter culture and a social criticism for the life of the bourgeois

Fourth, islah deeds. Working is a continuum process that is marked with refinement, perfection, improvement, and renewal. In order to reach that, one should be open-minded, act courageously, able to accept criticism, and become a lifelong learner. The principle of islah (reconciliation) contains the teaching of futurism, that the future should be better than the past and the present. The future generation should be better than the previous generation. This was the meaning of hereafter-oriented life. Another meaning for hereafter life is putting the priority and equipping oneself to be able to survive in the midst of change, even in a decisive change. This principle contains a message of the importance of regeneration of human resources, investment funding sources, and conservation of natural resources.

With inspiring moral, personality strength, courage, exemplary, and new development of mentality in work, Nabi Muhammad managed to transform ignorant and barbaric Arabs into a civilized nation. Nabi Muhammad built a new civilization by changing the mindset: vision, belief, and proper life orientation. Work ethics and business tradition of the Arabs was strengthened by the Islamic teachings and ethics, which was transformed naturally with complete politeness, gentleness, and compassion.

The President, ladies and gentlemen I respected.

The history of the world showed the used to be great and strong nations in the past now reached their limits and remained a history. On the other hand, many countries in which most slaves or robbers came from were able to change the nation by working hard, smartly, and wholeheartedly. Indonesia had big potency of becoming a great nation. The spiritual piety of Indonesian people is considerably high. However, the social piety of religious people is still low. The research conducted by Badan Litbang Kementrian Agama in 2014 showed that only two of ten indicators of social piety index (indeks kesalehan sosial/IKS) were included in good category.

Two good indicators with more than 60 points were democracy and respect towards difference. Other eight indicators were included in low category. The eight indicators were social awareness, generosity, respect for differences, not impose on grades, good governance, preventing violence, environment conservation, and environment restoration.

The work productivity of the Indonesian people is also still low. The low productivity mainly is caused by external factors such as low salary, minimum infrastructure, weak competition, and the absence of training. Furthermore, low productivity could also be caused by internal factor such as low work mentality. The internal factors includes (1) constructive act (2) self-confidence (3) responsibility (4) love to the job (5) future orientation (6) ability to solve problems (7) able to adapt in new environment (8) contribution in environment (9) ability to cooperate with others (10) strength to actualize the owned potencies. Low productivity could also be caused by socio-cultural factors such as bourgeois mentality in which someone work to merely enjoy the facility, service, and the possession of social status.

Although statistically, the number of corruption decreases, the culture of corruption still is relatively high. Besides due to law enforcement factor, corruption happens with the wrong work mentality. Corruption is the indication of wealth accumulation work motif. Corruption is a moral disease. 

A strong nation is a nation with development mindset, lively, work with moral superiority, supremacy in knowledge and technology, and the right work vision. With the culture of amal shalih, people of Indonesia will be able to explore, cultivate, and use the natural resources for the maximum benefits of people’s prosperity.

Nabi Muhammad built the nation and the main civilization with mental revolution, which was by building work mindset, developing mentality, and strengthening moral value. Allah SWT says that “… indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…” (Ar-Ra’d (13): 11).

May this be beneficial and I humbly apologize for the mistakes within my speech.

Nashrun min Allah wa fathum qarib

Wassalamu’alaikum Wr. Wb.