When the functions of religion have changed By: Ahmad Lizamuddin

Nowadays, many mass medias pay attention to the hot issues of this country; the violent action with the name of religion background. Because of the issues, people are afraid to do religion activity. They are afraid to be attacked by mass organization which doesn’t “like” them. For instances, when people gathered at Monas in 2008 that they were rally participants of the National Alliance for Religious Freedom and Belief (AKKBP) were attacked by a religion mass organization. Then, when a group of Christian people were not allowed to pray in church by another group. The latest issue was that the popular singer, Lady gaga canceled her concert in Jakarta because of being banned by a “cruel” religion mass organization with morality as the reason. 

After seeing the facts above, do we still think that our country is a friendly country with its diversity? Do we still think that it is our beloved country which uses Pancasila as the fundamental reference for all life aspects??

An ironic condition has appeared because of the really silly problem.

What I want to elaborate here is not about further analysis of violent actions caused by religion mass organization. I want to share my experiences that are concerning and touching. But, they are still about the changing of religion functions. I share my two experiences that first, when I had my lunch few days ago, and second, when I use public transportation last week.

First, when I had lunch few days ago. As one of my regular activities, when the time shows 12.00, it’s my time to have lunch. I usually have my lunch in a small Tegal restaurant (warteg)nearby my campus. There is no a significant difference of my other lunches I already had. One thing that made my lunch different at the time is the street singer (pengamen) who came in the restaurant. Generally, street singers sing the songs which are sung by popular singers. The street singer who came in the restaurant did not sing any song. what  he did is greeted the people there with “assalamualaikum” then continued with muqodimahof mauhiodh hasanah. “Alhamdulillahirabbil alamin, wa bihi nastain, wa ala umuriddunya waddin, amma ba’ad. Spontaneously, i was surprised hearing it. I stopped eating my meals and paid my full attention to him. He gave a short and brief explanation about the obligation of 5 times praying in a day. Approximately, he spent 5 minutes for delivering his mauidoh hasanah then ended with closing session of regular mauidoh hasanah, “waallahul muwafiq ila aqwamitharik”. Before delivering closing salam, he gave an advise to people there. He said, “As Allah creatures, we must help each other. So, in this time I ask your sincerity to give me shodaqoh to fulfill my daily life.” Then, he closed his maidoh hasanah with salam.

Second, I have almost similar experience above. It happened when I used public bus transportation; city bus in Semarang city. I needed to use public city bus to go any places in Semarang. Last week, when I went to gramedia book store I used route penggaron magkang bus. One thing that always decorates the urban environment is again the street singers. Generally, they sing songs sung by popular singers. What I found here was that the street singer weared moslim cloths with the cap. He did not sing songs. But he delivered salam, “assalamualaikum,wr.wb” then he delivered a prayer for the passengers. He used “sapu jagad prayer” to pray to Allah for all passengers. After he finished the praying, he delivered his short speech. He said” I ask your sincerity to help me ladies and gentleman for fulfilling my daily needs”. Then, he delivered closing Salam. In short time, he collected money from passengers by using his cap as the container.

After elaborating the two experiences above, there are two interpretations which can be concluded. First is about creativity while the second is about thoughtfulness. 

First is about creativity. The word creative itself is derivated from creative that means producing or using original and unusual ideas. So, the word creativity is as the noun form of word creative that means the product of it. Based on this short explanation of the etymological meaning, the two phenomenons above can be concluded as the result of creativity in order that the street singers who used religion symbol as their aids could be well known by society with the identity as similar as like public figures who have special character because of their own creativities. Then, they will have better income from what they do because of his creativity that shapes their uniqueness that lead them to be well known by society.

Second is about thoughtfulness.  Thoughtfulness that appears from the two phenomenons is about religion function misunderstanding. Many books written by many experts explain all aspects about religion. One of the aspects is the function of religion. It with the percepts is to lead all human races to the truth. It becomes as way of life that shape and rule human behavior in order to have good relationship between human to human and human to god. So, it is clear that the basic function of religion is not like the two phenomenons above. Many people still have religion function misunderstanding that cause them to allow doing what they want with the name of religion, even for using religion symbols for their own concerned interest or needs. An ironic condition appears as the results of religion miss understanding.

In conclusion, all the elaborated explanations above as the results of religion missunderstaing occur in the reality. Then, the interpretation is from my own view. But, what needs to be underlined is that the changing of religion function caused by religion miss understanding must be solved. To solve the problem is that the followers of religion must understand the percepts of religion that is followed well in order not to cause to worse results.


The writer is a student of IAIN Walisongo Semarang.


About ahmadlizam

I'm from menco, wedung, demak.... I like something new and challenging.....
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