Article 29 paragraph 2 of the 1945 Constitution insisted that Indonesia is a country that values diversity and respects human rights, including the right to religious freedom. Therefore, many religions and beliefs emerge and evolve freely in Indonesia.
One of them is Baha’i religion. Baha’i was once considered fallacious sect, because the various religious activities look similar to Islam, such as mandatory prayer, the use of Arabic as a language, fasting and spiritual tourism.
Even so, both are not the same faith. The basis of the teachings of the Baha’i religion is the doctrine to respect plurality. Not only ethnic, political or religious plurality, but in a broader meaning, social plurality.
Baha’i faith appreciates the diversity of background, social status, race, and religion because it is a way of life that has been taught and must be implemented. The application of the doctrine of social plurality is an attempt to maintain harmony and bring peace to mankind.
A team of students of UGM, namely Maulana Zakariyya, Ghilman Nafadza Hakim (Faculty of Philosophy (2014), Muhammad Naufal Annabil (Faculty of Cultural Science, 2014), Fety Hikmatul Umami (Faculty of Cultural Science, 2015) and Achla Himmah (Faculty of Psychology, 2015) examine this phenomenon. For them, the phenomenon is interesting since there are many intolerance problems occuring in Indonesia. The perspective of Baha’i in the Cebolek village of Margoyoso, Pati city (Central Java) could be the answer to problems related to acts of intolerance.
“Based on this phenomenon, the proper perspective for assessing the value of ‘Social plurality’ of Baha’i is Social Philosophy. It is also a reason in determining the “Social plurality: Social Philosophy Overview of Life Perspective of Baha’i’s Followers in Cibolek village, Margoyoso, Pati” as the title of our research,” Ghilman Nafadza said, Thursday (16/6).
According to Ghilman, the Baha’i religion is a minority in the village of Cebolek where 99.5 percent of the people are Muslim. Even so, this condition does not cause a split and conflict between the two communities.
“This is where intelligence is needed in determining attitudes and behaviors within community to prevent discrimination,” Ghilman said.
Maulana Zakariyya added that life perspective of social plurality that has been implemented by the people of the Baha’i religion positively affects the harmony and peace in society. It is not only able to provide the feelings and conditions that are conducive to the local people, the people of the Baha’i religion also have a useful contribution to their surroundings.
“As a minority community, they do not isolate or shut themselves from other communities. That’s the basic value of Baha’i community, embracing the value of social plurality,” Maulana said.
Maulana explained the value of social plurality itself is formed since Baha’ullah as Baha’i religion messenger preached it to the Baha’i believers. The values of social plurality has been listed in the form of spiritual principles in some verses of Al-Aqdas scripture.
The entire values of the Baha’i faith teaches how to appreciate the differences that exist in society so it serves as guideline for Baha’i community life in Cebolek. In this village, Baha’i followers live side by side with the other communities.
“The view of the people of Baha’i can be used as an example for the entire community in Indonesia related to social life and religion that in life, we can have mutual respect and understanding,” Maulana said.