Islamic Scholars and Organizations Must Overcome COVID-19 Together

In the midst of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, the role of Islamic scholars is very important because the Coronavirus outbreak has also affected the religious activities of the Muslim community in the country. For this reason, all Islamic scholars and community organizations (CSOs) such as Muhammadiyah, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) has to unite and issue directives and appeals to the people. Moreover, some Muslims idolize certain clerics above other figures.

Drs. Muhsin Hariyanto, M.Ag. lecturer at the Islamic Studies Faculty of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (FAI UMY) explained that scholars must be able to act wisely under current conditions. He argues that religious leaders need to provide appropriate direction and calm the masses if necessary.

“Rasulullah (Prophet Muhammad) implored that if there is an outbreak in a place, you do not have to go there. But if you are afflicted with said plague, do not leave your place. Islamic Scholars must be wise and keep people the calm,” he said when met in his office at UMY, Thursday (8/4).

Muhsin also said that Muslims must be wise when dealing with the current situation. However, he does not blame Muslims in Indonesia who take their own stances. This happens because there is no clear socialization to the public from the policy makers. So in this case, the government must involve the Clerics and Islamic organizations to speak so that there are no differences of opinion and attitudes.

“Muslims should act together, but what kind of attitude should be taken? They do not have a choice, so they choose individually. In this case, the scholars also have a role. But scholars must also be given material by the government, so that the fatwa issued is truly correct. Scholars do not necessarily know about the virus. Do not let the information provided by the Ulamas be in half measures,” added the former member of the Tarjih and Tajdid Assembly of Muhammadiyah Central Board.

At present, the scholars and preachers do not general information about what should be conveyed to the public. Each cleric also has their respective pilgrims. Muhsin is worried that if each cleric conveyed different information, it would cause confusion to the community.

Because Muslims have a tendency to follow the preachers who become their idols, MUI should have the same language and policy from the central level to the bottom level. Afterwards, mass organizations such as Muhammadiyah and NU also need to refer to the Fatwa so as not to make the public confused. Only then will the appeal be conveyed to the congregation by each cleric or lecturer.

Scholars, preachers, and clerics should be of one voice, when it comes to handling the public. That way, the public can be focused on solving this problem together. (Ak)

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