By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
The use of the word opposition is always paired with the word coalition. Terms often appear and are used in democratic systems and other political positions. In fact, at the societal level, this word is often used to map “opponents and friends”. In simple terms, opposition is an opposing stance. Conversely, the word coalition means a supportive stance. These two terms are always understood as two opposing sides. Opposition and coalition are like 2 (two) hands. Both are different in location, different in function, but have the same purpose to help with human tasks. Although the two hands look “opposite”, humans harmonise them harmoniously in peace. Opposition and coalition should be like the position of two different hands or feet but have the same purpose. Both need to realise their function to provide balance so that the body can walk upright to the destination. When the right-hand goes forward, the left hand goes backwards. When the left hand goes forward, the right-hand goes backwards. Harmonisation and intelligent awareness of the right and left hands erode the selfishness of both.
Imagine, if one or both hands have a selfish nature, then human balance will not be realised. Moreover, if both hands are in coalition against the two feet that are located below, or vice versa. In effect, humans cannot walk perfectly due to imbalance. If balance is not possessed, then humans will fall and fall.
Indeed, the opposition of left hand and right hand or both hands and both feet is necessary for balance. Of course, only objective opposition with the intention (purpose) to help the body carry out its duties to create health for all limbs. The opposition of the limbs is not positioned as an “opponent” that must be eliminated. Because, in carrying out their duties, each member of the body protects and helps each other without questioning the difference in position (right and left).
It turns out, so beautifully Allah teaches humans through their limbs. Of course, lessons can only be captured for reasonable humans. For this reason, Allah praises humans for using their minds to find the truth and reproaches those who do not use them properly. This is reminded by Allah through His words: “And indeed, We will fill Hellfire with many from among the jinn and men. They have hearts, but they do not use them to understand; they have eyes, but they do not use them to see; and they have ears, but they do not use them to listen. They are like cattle, even more misguided. They are those who are careless” (QS. al-A’raf: 179).
Although the attitudes of the opposition and coalition are often understood to be opposite and seem “opposite”, at the political level, both are often like “clouds” that cover the sun’s light to the earth. When the clouds are blown away by the wind, the thick clouds pass and the sun’s heat returns to illuminate the earth. Indeed, the attitudes of the opposition and coalition are flexible, and can often change positions. This attitude is reminded by the Prophet through his saying: “A person depends on the religion of his close friends, so let one of you see whom he makes a close friend” (HR. Abu Dawud).
When viewed at the level of reality, the attitude of opposition and coalition is like a car and passengers, among others:
First, the opposition of car passengers. Correction and supervision of the driver are done more softly. The softness is not out of sincerity. His mouth is locked because he is worried that the driver will drop him off in the middle of the road. In fact, in his heart, he was cursing at the driver’s dangerous manoeuvres. This trait is an indication of hypocrisy that will endanger all. This is reminded by the Prophet in his saying: “There are four signs, if a person has these four signs, then he is called a true hypocrite. If he has one of the signs, then there is a sign of hypocrisy in him until he abandons this behaviour, namely: (1) if given a trust, he betrays it; (2) if he speaks, he lies; (3) if he makes a covenant, he does not fulfil it; (4) if he disputes, he will do wrong” (HR Muslim).
In fact, so dangerous is hypocrisy, the Prophet warned again through his words: “Every traitor will have a flag (marker) on the Day of Judgement, saying this is so-and-so’s betrayal and this is so-and-so’s betrayal” (H.R. Bukhari and Muslim).
Even though the Prophet warned so firmly and clearly, the people seemed to take it for granted. Hypocrisy is increasingly evident, clearly displayed, and repeatedly occurs. Shame was lost, self-esteem collapsed, and common sense became extinct. All vanished along with greed, materialism, the hope of power, and the hope of “devouring” what is available. However, like the position of a car passenger, the existence of these traits is only limited to “fire in the husk”. When the driver is still in control of the car, all curses are only stored in the heart. However, when the destination is reached or the driver changes, all the driver’s weaknesses will be exposed. Flattery turns to scorn, honour turns to contempt, and respect turns to betrayal. Passengers will look for another car and driver who can guarantee their safety and deliver them to their destination.
Some passengers are like “wolves”. Initially silent, but while looking for the driver’s weak points. When the driver is caught off guard, he will be pounced upon and bitten. As a result, the driver is only busy saving himself and does not care about the car and the fate of other passengers. This results in an accident that destroys everyone.
Second, the Opposition of “conductor” (position between inside and outside the car). Without correction, they both keep an eye on the “passenger” who gets into the car to make money after the passenger gets into the car. Often just to get passengers, both violate road signs and endanger other road users. They chase each other and fight over “passengers”, and zigzag, and keep picking up passengers even when the seats are full. For him, the main goal is just to get passengers, chase trips, and “deposit money”. He rarely thinks about car damage and the safety of others.
Third, the “parking attendant” opposition. His voice is so loudly directing and seems to be the owner of the car. He will be silent when he has been given money and angry when he is not given money. His voice is loud when he hasn’t got what he wants, but it is clogged (silent) when his goal (material) is achieved. Moreover, if the material given exceeds expectations, a smile appears and the title “boss” comes out of his mouth.
When analysed, the three types of opposition and coalition above are built solely on interests. If their interests are achieved as expected, then they will take sides and declare a coalition. However, if the interests are not achieved or not as desired, then even the beginning of the coalition will turn into an opposition. Vice versa. This attitude was reminded by the Prophet Muhammad: “Love the person you love reasonably, it may be that one day he becomes the person you hate. And hate the person you hate naturally, it may be that one day he who you hate becomes the person you love” (HR. Tirmidzi).
Fourth, brake pedal-style opposition. He will not “interfere” if the driver only steps on the accelerator when the car is moving. The brake pedal will always be ready if any danger arises. The gas pedal is not jealous if it is forgotten. He realises that the presence of the brake aims to help rescue when danger comes.
The accelerator and brake pedal are harmonious because they have the same goal of getting to the destination safely. This is how it should be with humans. This was reminded by the Prophet Muhammad: “The spirits are like an army gathered in unity. If you know each other among them, it will unite. If they feel strange among each other, then they will separate” (HR. Muslim).
This is the clear saying of the Prophet. Only the spirit of goodness will meet the owner of goodness. While the hypocritical spirit will meet with a community of its kind. All communions in the world will be reunited in the hereafter. If what is done is solely for Allah and His Messenger, then they will be gathered in His heaven. However, if otherwise, then they will be gathered in His hell.
Fifth, Opposition car mechanic. This position places the opposition as a technician to repair and oversee the car’s working system to keep it healthy and running smoothly. He only repairs, not taking over the driver’s duties, let alone damaging the car. He is there to take care of the car so that it reaches its destination. In the repair process, the mechanic looks at the aspects of the damage and informs the driver or car owner of the damage that has occurred. Some damaged tools only need to be repaired and some need to be replaced. A smart driver or car owner will follow the mechanic’s advice. However, drivers or car owners who think “silly” will see the mechanic as an enemy that must be eliminated. In him/her, suspicion of the mechanic is instilled. This attitude is arrogant in looking at the advice of others, especially experts who lead to the truth. For this reason, the Prophet warned through his words: “Indeed, one of the greatest sins is when someone says to his brother, ‘Fear Allah’, then he answers his brother: ‘Take care of yourself. I am the one you sent” (HR. Baihaqi).
In history, Rasulullah SAW did not see who and from which group the source of advice was, but only the quality of the truth (content) of the advice given. This was also conveyed by Sayidina Ali bin Abi Talib through his message: “Do not look at who speaks but look at what is spoken“. Indeed, truth and wisdom are not measured in terms of age, title, parental position, descent, and the like, but rather in the maturity of understanding the meaning of the truth of His verses.
From the above, it appears that the existence of the opposition is a necessity. However, the meaning and function of opposition and coalition need to be understood in a more civilised manner. Both need to put forward the truth and be delivered wisely. This is stated by Allah SWT: “Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching and debate them in a better way. Indeed, it is your Lord Who knows best who strays from His path and He knows best who is guided” (QS. an-Nahl: 125).
This is clearly outlined by Islam when in opposition to prioritising adab. Its presence is balanced, the advice presented is full of adab, and the criticism is intelligent to build. However, if the opposition is like a “propeller on a hilltop”, its presence is only a boomerang for civilisation. Its image is only limited to personal or group interests. This kind of human nature is reminded by Allah in His word: “When you see them, their bodies amaze you. When they speak, you listen to their speech (carefully because of their eloquence). They are like (a piece of) wood that is leaning.
They think that every cry (curse) is directed at them. They are the (real) enemy. So, beware of them. May Allah destroy them. How can they be turned away (from the truth)?” (QS. al-Munafiqun: 4).
Although the verse is clear, people repeatedly fall into its seduction. Although Allah’s threat is clear, it is taken for granted and ignored. Such is the hardness of the human heart, that religious teachings are no longer useful, and all senses are lost and frozen. Everything is covered with false interests and crystallised hatred.
When analysing the five forms of oppositional positions above, it seems that the fourth and fifth options above will bring good for building a civilised civilisation. All choices depend on and show the quality of the self. Wrong choices are only owned by humans who make mistakes. Meanwhile, wise choices are only owned by humans who have wisdom. Rhetoric may be built to trick others and cadence may be able to dampen the waves. But, everything will not be able to deceive the conscience and supervision of Divine Robbi the owner of the self. Because, it will never be possible to meet water and oil, just as the owner of truth and the perpetrator of error (crime) will not meet if they are not of the same frequency. For that, don’t be busy looking and judging others, but look and judge yourself. What is the quality of character that each person has? Because, it is so clearly visible in the corners of the eyes of His verses and words that repeatedly remind us: “So, which of the favours of your Lord do you deny?”.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra
Bachelor of Education from STAIN Bengkalis
Master of Science from Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University, Taiwan