In the launching event of the book “Fiqh Anti Trafficking” (the Fiqh Againts Trafficking), held by MISPI (Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia) in Banda Aceh, an Ustadzah of a local dayah or pesantren (Islamic boarding school), vehemently stated that she was proud to see that Islam expressly forbids trafficking in person and consider the perpetrators as enemies of Allah swt. When the time turns into problem solving session; she suggested that women should not be allowed to go abroad to become migrant workers. She issued some statements that seemed to blame the women migrant workers, who actually are victims of omission of the government in her country of origin and the barbarism of employers abroad.
The lesson that can be cited from this experience, that for most people, prohibition of trafficking crime is something that is necessary. Even if someone is difficult to find arguments, she remained with confidence will proscribe the crime of trafficking in persons, or commonly known as trafficking. This is different to when voicing the Islamic concept of protection, assistance and recovery of victims of trafficking in persons. Instead of having intension to protect, the thing which will be recommended as a ‘fatwa’ is to ban something which is actually a fundamental right of everybody and somebody very easy to stigmatize somebody whose position is a real victim of trafficking.
Although the term trafficking as a ‘new special crime’ is known recently, but it is not difficult to ensure that this crime in Islam is forbidden. This crime has occured since ancient times, when someone was not regarded other people as a human being, but seen as the price of goods that can be determined without his consent, were taken, collected, caged and placed without considering their needs as human beings. Crime is the term now called trafficking, which may be simplified as modern slavery.
Respect for Humanity
Since the first message of Islam was born in Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH has affirmed the principle of human equality and humanity; and forbid the neglect and abuse other people. Whoever he or she is. Because of this principle, many people who were marginalized (al-mustadh’afin) in the social system of Mecca take shelter and and become beginner followers of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH (as-sabiqun al-awwalun). For example Sumayyah and her son Ammar bin Yasir, Bilal ibn Rabah, and Abu Dzarr al-Ghiffari.
With this equality principle, Islam requires everybody to respect for humanity and forbid all forms of injustice among human beings. This equality principle is explicitly described in a hadith text, like the teeth of a comb which stood parallel. “All human beings are the same uniform and equal, like the teeth of a comb, one with no more major than others, but because of devotion to God.” (Al-‘Ajluni, Kashef al-Khafa, 2 / 326).
One of the implementation of humanitarian tribute is prohibition to all forms of tyranny. In a hadith text qudsi stated: “O My servants, I forbade injustice against my self, injustice, and I will make it also forbidden among you-so do not be mutually do violence each other”. (Hadith Qudsi, narrated by Muslim).
In another text: “Be servants of God who become brothers/sisters to each other, because a Muslim is a brother/sister to another Muslim; not allowed to do violence, deceptive, or abusive.” (Hadith narrated by Muslim).
The respect for human dignity is a principle in Islam. Even in a text of the tradition (hadith), the principle of humanity is considered more prominent than the glory of the Hajar Aswad (Black Stone) in the Kaaba. Abdullah bin Umar ra. narrated that when Prophet Muhammad PBUH kissed the Black Stone at the Kaaba, he said before the Black Stone:
“By Allah, who control my feelings, dignity and honor of a believer before God is more glorious than the dignity and honor (O Black Stone), (therefore) forbidden to property and his soul.” (Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, no.: 3932 and as-Suyuti, ad-Durr al-Mantsur, 7 / 565).
The principle of humanity is the basic of every social relationship in people life. In whatever conditions, a person must not act unjustly against another. Conversely should treat well each other and help each other. A powerful people for example, should help the weak. In the relation of workers and their employers, for example, the Prophet recommends that employers do well, feed, shelter and immediately provide the worker wages before his sweat dry. And the relationship of husband and wife, the Koran compare both of them like clothes for one-another. Husband is a cloth for his wife. Vice versa. As clothes, which protect one to another. There should be no violations which is done by somebody to somebody else, because the violation against other people is a disgraceful and barbaric act and degrading human dignity.
Usually, the violation against human is happened in the un-equal relation between someone to someone else, such as labor relation between workers and their employers, between wives and their husbands, or between people and the State. Some of the hadith texts expressly provide a human picture of the relation of the lowest social strata, such as slaves and slave. One of them, what is narrated from Abu Dzarr al-Ghiffari ra.:
“If you find somebody who fit to become your servant, then give him/her meals as the same as you eat, and give him/her clothes as the same as you wear. And if he does not suit you, then deliver him/her, never abuse him/her, because he/she is a creature of God Almighty”. (Reported by Abu Dawud, no.: 5139).
In another testament, the Holy Prophet. expressed about the slave who became a servant in the house each employer:
“They are your brothers, you must treat them well and provide the things that benefit them, you can ask them for help on the things you can not do, but you also have to help them on the things that they are not able to do it. ” (Reported by Ahmad, 5 / 371 and al-Bukhari in the book of al-Mufrid, no.: 190).
This of course is just the impulses that are normative, that if the basis for the affirmation of the basic of human relations. If the human relation has become consciousness of everybody, necessarily it will not raise evil on this earth. But sometimes this principle is often stopped just at the normative level. Therefore, at the implementation level, we must support any form of legislation which ensure respect for human dignity and punishment of all forms of violations. In the context of trafficking crimes, we at least have had some positive legal instruments, which though still there is a shortage but it could be used to take actions against crimes that harm the value of humanity. There’s Penal Code, Law no. 23 of 2002 on Child Protection, Law no. 39 Year 2004 on Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers Abroad, Law no. 23 of 2004 on the Elimination of Domestic Violence and the Law no. 9 / 1992 on Immigration. Last is the Law no. 21 of 2007 on the Prohibition of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons. All these rules can also be stopped only on the table, if not implemented. Therefore, we together should push for this law that can be effectively used by law enforcement to crack down on all forms of tyranny, which involves trafficking crime.
Within Islam itself, as is confirmed in a hadith text, perpetrators of crimes of trafficking in persons regarded as enemies of God Almighty. In a text Hadith Qudsi narrated by Imam Bukhari that Allah swt. said:
“There are three groups of people who later in the day of Judgement will become My enemy; people who swear on My name and traitors, people who trade an independent person, and those who employ someone but did not give his wages when he had finished his work fulfilling.” (Sahih Bukhari no. 2227 and 2270).
The threat is of course much deeper, than just a sin or immoral. Messages and this threat should be a strong incentive to prevent all forms of action that leads to trafficking crimes, and at the same time make efforts in the protection, empowerment and legal aid to those who become victims of this crime. Both practical protection needed by the victims, as well as a strategic protection to produce long-term policies that provide guarantees to all citizens of all possibilities that outraged humanity.
In practice, the problem of trafficking in persons also occurs because the problem of un-equal relationship, where the weak are often victimized by someone stronger. They were dropped on the job they do not want, squeezed, accommodated without human services, unpaid, tortured, even some who also raped and murdered. Under these circumstances, practical help for victims is important and necessary. In Islam, humanitarian work, helping people in need, empower the weak, helping the poor, assist those who are victims of injustice, is the Islamic work and worship. In a letter to al-Ma’un, a letter to all 107 in the Koran, expressly stated that there were groups of religious liars, that is, people who rebuked the orphan and does not care about poor people, despite their full-time prayer.
In a hadith text, revealed that:
“God will help His servants, who are always willing to help a fellow brother.” (Hadith Reported by Muslim).
In another text, the Holy Prophet also said:
“Who can afford a believer out of a difficult life in the world, then God will remove it from the troubles in the hereafter.” (Hadith Reported by Muslim).
In an another text, there is a more explicit expression that the work of service as a work of faith. Prophet. said:
“Whoever does not feel reluctant of three things: then he is a believer; ministry to the weak, sitting with poor people, and eat at a table with a waitress. These three things are characteristic of those who believe, as depicted God Almighty in His Book. ” (Reported by Ibn ‘Asaker, Tahdzib chronicle Dimasyq, 2 / 99).
In some analysis, fundamental problems that led to actions that lead to trafficking is poverty that struck the Indonesian nation. Or rather is impoverishment, because it is not true that Indonesia a a country that have less natural resources. In fact, it is estimated that there are about 40 million population under the poverty line due to the economic crisis that has not been recovered. On the other hand, poverty often then take effect at a low level of education, which makes a person gets vulnerable to all forms of social violence. Low education levels, unemployment, and scarcity of jobs in this country have been encouraged and moved many people to do not exempt women to receive the lure of anyone who gave him a job. In this condition, the spirit (encouragement) to motivate the religious must be driven by efforts to strengthen the economy, both at the individual level of each citizen as well as at the policy level bureaucracy.
If the main factors of trafficking is poverty and low education, then the way that must be done is through the elimination of poverty itself, provide education, open employment, and so on. This task, of course, first of all must be the responsibility of government. Government both at central and regional levels through various institutions need to establish a strategic alliance to build a shared commitment to address the source of the trafficking problem. A hadith of the Prophet stated:
“Government is the shadow of God on earth with the necessity to protect the people who persecuted”.
And a principle of the fiqh states:
“The government policy on people based on interests and welfare of its people”.
In a text of the Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. said:
“Whoever is given the opportunity to hold power, but he closed the door of the poor, the oppressed person or people who are in need, then God will prevent him from love door when he was in need”. (Musnad Ahmad, 3 / 441).
This task of the holders of power to the people, especially state officials. The same duties and obligations also rest with the members of the legislature. They are obliged to make laws and regulations that favor to the people who are oppressed. Government together with legislative bodies both at central and local levels also need to build a network of close cooperation with the institutions of society including religious leaders in an effort to prevent and tackle trafficking eliminate these practices. In addition to the relevant policies of assistance and protection of those who have fallen as victims of trafficking crimes.
Another interesting thing is that cases of trafficking victims the biggest and most phenomenal actually experienced by women. Even the term trafficking suggested many people seemed to only apply to women. This is because in many people’s views, women are positioned as being weak and subject to tricked. That way it can be said that the most fundamental factors for the occurrence of trafficking is still strongly unequal power relations and gender bias. This is the face of a patriarchal culture that was still firm. He is a culture in which power, strength, and superiority in the hands of men. Instead women were considered subordinate human, weak, helpless, full of dependency to men in many ways, especially the economy and so forth. The situation and position of women like this, in turn, easily utilized and exploited the power and mighty party to make a profit. An inequality relation of men and women is clearly a fundamental factor for the occurrence of many cases of violence against women and trafficking cases.
In this context, a strategic program though it may take a very long time is creating a cultural space with gender justice and equality. Women should be seen as creatures of God Almighty the same and equal with men. In other words, women should be treated with dignity and respect, as well as men. They should not be lowered much less exploited in the form and for the purposes that violate the fundamental rights and human morality. Similarly, the children: they are God’s mandate and future of human life progressors. Anyone should not blame the victims just because they are women, children, migrant workers, or when they become victims as prostitutes or drug dealers.
Once again, because they are victims, then should not there are people who take advantage of their weak position as a victim, to be sacrificed even more tragic. They are, in social relations, may be at the lowest level so it is vulnerable to all forms of oppression. Instead the women victims of trafficking need to be empowered and be saved from the actions put him down and the kids need to get a proper education. We all expected to have a deep sensitivity and a strong bias against those who are victims of it. Wallahu a’lam wa Huwa al-musta’an.]