Togetherness in Diversity

A famous scholar, Mahmud Syaltut, calls Indonesia as qith’ah min al-jannah or fragments of heaven. The nature is so beautiful and fertile. Everything is available for the needs of the population. Plants, gas, oil, gold, copper, coal, as well as a variety of marine wealth, all spread wide for the benefit of the population.

The population of the Emerald Region of the Equator also consists of a variety of amazing diversity; religion, ethnicity, culture, language, race and so on. Being a blessing, this diversity does not make us all fragmented, at least until this moment.

Even if there is a difference and a little ripple, that is normal in the household. In general, we remain faithful together in differences, because our ancestors have entrusted the noble teachings of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. We may be different, but togetherness must be maintained.

Diversity was deliberately created by Allah SWT. Really, how easy it is for Allah to make everything uniform without difference. His Kun Fayakun will make all that happen very easily. Allah SWT said:

وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا أَفَأَنْتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ

Meaning: ” And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?”(Surat Yunus [10]: 99). Allah SWT also said on another occasion:

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وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ

Meaning: “And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ.” (verse Hud: 118).

Although it is very capable and even very trivial for Him to homogenize all of His creations, in fact He does not do this. Like a flower garden, it will be beautiful and charming when decorated with various flowers with a variety of colors and smells. Apparently Allah SWT wants to make the world, especially Indonesia, like that beautiful charming flower garden; it shouldn’t be damaged. Allah SWT said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

Meaning: “O mankind, verily We created you from a man and a woman and made you nations and tribes so that you would know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most devoted among you. Lo! Allah is Knower, Knower.” (verse al-Hujurat [49]: 13).

Allah Almighty deliberately makes a difference for the benefit of man themselves. Therefore, it is not the background of the difference that is the measure of the glory of man before Him, but the degree of his piety.

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Differences are a means to compete, not to kill each other. Differences are a means to do each other good, not to tear each other apart. Differences are a means to get to know each other, not to cut each other or block each other. And this Unitary Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) will be sustainable through togetherness in differences that are beautifully intertwined.

We may be different, but we are family, because we are from the same God and will return to the same God. Between one family member and another family member must respect each other, protect and help each other to provide benefits.

Quoted Abu Zahrah in Zahrah al-Tafasir (II / 877), Abu Ya’la narrated, the Messenger of Allah said:

الْخَلْقُ كُلُّهُمْ عِياَلُ اللهِ فَأَحَبُّهُمْ إِلىَ اللهِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِعِياَلِهِ

Meaning: “All beings are the family of Allah SWT; and the most loved one is the most beneficial for his family.” (Narrated by Abu Ya’la)

Let us join hands, even though we are different. Let us not be fragmented by outward differences that event God created intentionally. In this diverse country, justice and prosperity should be a common and primary goal.

“Peace is not because there is no war, but because there is justice,” Harrison Ford said. And as long as people can do good, then we have no longer need to ask what is the background of religion, ethnicity or skin color.

Goodness for all. This is the substance of being a righteous Muslim, who is able to display the face of friendly Islam, not the face of angry Islam, and is at the same time a virtuous population in this country. A country full of diversity. It’s beautiful and so charming. This is the country and the people who are baldatun thayyibatun wa rabbun ghafur. []

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