MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, SIDOARJO – Islam holds a favorable perspective regarding culture. Rather than taking an opposing position, Islam emphasizes the concept of “Islamization,” which entails the removal of elements conflicting with Islamic principles while employing culture to advance Islam.
Kiai Khusen, Vice Chair of the Muhammadiyah Institute for Art and Culture, mentioned that religion and culture are inextricable.
Historically, since the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, numerous pre-Islamic Arab traditions were Islamized and integrated into Islamic customs, such as “ruqyah” (spiritual healing) and “aqiqah” (a naming ceremony for a newborn). During the pre-Islamic era, aqiqah was performed by wiping the blood of the sacrificed animal on a newborn’s forehead using the thumb. However, the non-Islamic practices were improved.
“Prophet Muhammad retained aqiqah as a guide, but the way to do it was altered. Blood was no longer used, but it was replaced by fragrant oil,” said Khusen in the cultural seminar organized by the Muhammadiyah Council for Islamic Thought and Judgement at Universitas Muhammadiyah Sidoarjo (UMSIDA) on Saturday (October 14).
According to Muhammadiyah’s interpretation, culture is part of “muamalah” (commercial and civil acts or dealings under Islamic law). Religious rituals integrated with culture are considered “ibadah ghairu mahdhah,” a form of worship that does not possess specific religious text related to its commandments or prohibitions.
Thus, Muhammadiyah welcomes diverse cultures in Muslim communities as long as they align with Islamic principles. In fact, Muhammadiyah promotes using cultural events to disseminate Islam.