Former Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla said that the Islamic history is full of valuable lessons of the trading. According to him, the spirit of merchant even had been exemplified in the era of Muhammad, the prophet of Muslims. It was what JK had said when delivering speech in Kajian Ramadan 1431 H in UMM Dome, Saturday (08/28). Accompanied by Chairman of PP Muhammadiyah, Prof. HA Malik Fadjar, JK presented at the second session attended by 1,000 Muhammadiyah leaders from the branch level to region level throughout East Java.
"In the era of Muhammad, trading is very powerful in Islam. Islam came to Indonesia through the traders as well. It is similar to the history of Muhammadiyah. KH Ahmad Dahlan also spread Islam while he was trading," explained the merchant from South Sulawesi.
Conversely, JK also explained, the arrival of Islam into Indonesia was not through war or political conflict. On those days, Islam could powerfully spread well because of the trading. That was why JK felt sorry for nowadays it just became a history. "This tradition (the merchant) doesn’t exist anymore, whereas Islam is full of values and the merchant is a person who can raise the value," JK continued.
In Indonesia, he said, the Islamic movement in the political field has been going well. There is no more political stream as in the year of 1955. Islamic parties could join hand in hand with the nationalists; even now the Muslim parties have become the nationalist. Thus, the distance between Islam and nationalist is getting closer. It is also what happens in education. General schools and universities are now enthusiastic in developing Islamic values just like tradition of pesantren (Islamic institution to study Islam). On the other hand, the Islamic Hospital also thrives a lot. However, in the economic field, Muslims are still very far behind compared to others.
"Therefore, we need to strengthen the spirit and ethos of the merchant in order to become stronger and be able strengthens the people," continued JK. To strengthen the Islamic economy, JK said, it should be done through empirical experience. Mental of entrepreneurs should be trained, not just be studied. "Like people swim, do not taught how to swim but dive them into the pool and let them find their own ways of swimming," said JK.
Furthermore, JK likened that experience is the best teacher, but there is difference between experience and permanent teacher. "If teachers teach and then give test, experience tests first and then teaches," JK explained. To become an entrepreneur, one must experience himself and should not be taught too many theories.
Agreed with JK, Malik Fadjar also emphasized action in the economic field. Through a strong will and hope, we must begin and start. If it is not, then no change will occur.
Malik pointed out the first time he built the third campus of UMM in the late 1980s. At the time, people sold short with the plan because the campus location was not considered strategic, but thanks to a strong will because capital constraints then could be overcome by mortgaging the land certificate of campus administrators to buy the land. "So, the strong will could overcome limitations of those funds. It’s better than having a lot of funds but had no purpose since it could be used for slametan (ceremonial) only," he explained.
The study which lasted two days was a routine event conducted by the Regional Chairman of Muhammadiyah (PWM) of East Java. This year represents the last year for a period of managerial leadership, so there were lot of branch managers increased the number of participants to have consolidation at once. As usual, PWM always raised the interesting themes. This time the theme was building a merchant ethos within Muhammadiyah.
The event which was opened by the Chairman of Muhammadiyah, Prof. Din Syamsuddin, was not only attended by JK and Malik Fadjar, but also by the governor of East Java Soekarwo, economic practitioners and regional leaders. The event would be closed with a meeting of regional leaders on Sunday (8/29). (rwp/nas/t_alf)