Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Problems of Islamization of Law in Indonesia

Abstracts of a research paper to be presented by Dr. Rifyal Kabah of Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia at

International Conference on Islamization of Human Sciences

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 4th to 6th August 2000

The Problems of Islamization of Law in Indonesia

The science of law as fiqh has been known since a long time in Indonesia, but as a modern discipline it was newly introduced by the Dutch in the East Indies about three centuries ago. As a part of the ethical policy followed by the colonial rulers earlier this century, some Indonesians were sent to the Netherlands to study law. Following that policy a school of law was established in Indonesia which later became the first faculty of law. This faculty was the nucleus of all faculties of law in Indonesia until today.

In the meantime the science of law as fiqh was taught at religious schools (madrasahs) all over the country. In early fifties the government founded the State School of Religious Judge which was followed by the establishment of the College of Islamic Religion and later replaced by the State Institute of Islamic Religion where a faculty of shariah was one of its faculties.

Each faculty of law and shariah operates separately. The faculties of law supply the state with lawyers, experts and other legal professions and the faculties of shariah supply the state with experts in shariah for some positions in the Religious Court. In short the curricula in all faculties of shariah do not talk about laws to be applied by the state but rather only for the sake of religious laws which do not need a state to apply them.

A new development emerged since early seventies where some regulations and acts related to Islamic laws issued by the governments such as the acts of marriage, religious court, shariah banking system, hajj and zakat. This development encourages the faculties of law to develop the subject of Islamic law which has already existed and the faculties of shariah to develop some subjects of law which have been already there but not yet islamized. At the end, both type of faculties begin to realize the necessity for islamization of law. The biggest challenge faced by both type of faculties are very classic, that is, lack of text books and experts in the field. A few universities have started some programs as an effort to face the challenge, but it is still a long way to go in the road of islamization of law in Indonesia.

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