Based on Law No.7 Year 2014 on the Village Governance, the Village structure had been appointed authority to be directly participated in the planning and implementation of the rural development. This was the consequences of the regional authonomy, so that every area has the opportunity to design their regional development based on their potentialities, and their own local needs.
The mandate of this law itself also enforced the rural citizen to be participate actively in implementing the development. All citizen must be include, and this involvement should take into consideration the issue of equal distributions based on various elements, such as groups, ethnicities, gender, and regional distributions. But, in reality sometimes the participation of the citizen in the development are still dominated by some certain groups, the men. Women are often seen have less capacity than men, inappropriate, and considered to be less important to participate directly in the development. So often, the marginalization of women in the development utilize the religious doctrines, such as hadith of the Prophet. Was it true that the Prophet through his hadith had marginalized women in the development of the society? Let us try to the Prophet hadith nearer, with the openness of eyes of the heart to see the women’s role in the Prophet era.
Prophet’s Treatment to Women
Many people still have lack of understanding about the Prophet’s treatment to women. There are so many people who had misunderstood about Prophet’s attitude to women. These because of the spread of the mysoginic hadiths (hadiths which contents seem hating women). For example, about the hadith that said about the cancellation of prayer when a women or a dog passes, the hadith that said about the lack of reason of women, or the hadith that said so many women will stay in the hell, or the unfortunate condition of a group of society that give up the leadership to women. Unfortunately, these kind of hadiths were very popular in the society and spread out systematically through religious education institutions such as pesantren (Islamic boarding schools), madrasah, and majelis taklim (Islamic gathering groups). These kind of hadith then were taken by people for granted, including by women themselves, without any reviews for centuries. Therefore, the patriarchic social culture, finally find out the strength and legitimacy from these kind of authoritative religious doctrines.
Even though if we want to see closer to the authoritative hadith books, such as Shahih Bukhari and Shahih Muslim, we will find a lot of number of hadith which talked about women in a more gender friendly and egalitarian. Unfortunately, these hadiths are not popular in the society.
Abu Syuqqah, one of Islamic scholar from Egypt, had made a breakthrough which is brave enough by collecting the hadiths from the books of Shahih Bukhari and Shahih Muslim that had been related to women. From these data collection process of these hadith, there were six parts of books that collected the hadiths that explained various role of women, both in the domestic areas and public areas, in the religious, social, and even political areas. This achievement was very amazing for the world of Islamic thoughts and knowledge. Unfortunately, the books of hadith collections of Abu Syuqqah are also still less popular in the religious institutions environments of the Indonesian muslim society.
From the observations of those books, there are some Prophet’s hadiths that showed the active participation of women in the political context, such as in a war. Not a little history that told us about the participation of women as the companions of the Prophet in helping him during the war. For example, a hadith that was narrated by Rabi’ binti Mi’wadz as the following:
كنا نغزو مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فنسقي القوم ونخدمهم ونرد القتلي والجرحي إلي المدينة.
It means :
“We have been in a war with the Prophet PBUH. And then we gave drinks to the armies in the war, served them, and brought back the armies who were murdered and injuried to Madina””(Abu Syuqqah, Tahrirul Mar’ah)
There were also a hadith which is narrated by Ummu Athiyah that said :
غزوت مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سبع غزوات أخلفهم في رحالهم فأصنع لهم الطعام وأداوي الجرحى وأقوم علي المرضى.
“I participated in a war with the Prophet PBUH in seven wars. I lived on the vehicle. And my duty was to prepare foods for the armies and helped them who were injuried and took care of them who were sick.”
The similar witness was given by Anas bin Malik:
عن انس بن مالك قال : لما كان يوم أحد انهزم ناس من الناس عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبو طلحة بين يدي النبي مجوب عليه بجحفة ـ قال ـ وكان أبو طلحة رجلا راميا شديد النزع وكسر يومئد قوسين أو ثلاثا ـ قال ـ وكان الرجل يمر معه الجعبة من النبل فيقول انثرها لأبي طلجة, قال ويشرف نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ينظر إلى القوم فيقول أبو طلحة يا نبي الله بأبي أنت وأمي لا تشرف يصبك سهم من سهام القوم نحري دون نحرك قال ولقد رأيت عائشة بنت أبي بكر وأم سليم وإنهما لمشمرتان أرى خدم سوقهما تنقلان القرب على متونهما ثم تفرغانه في أفواههم ثم ترجعان فتملأنها ثم تجيئان تفرغانه في أفواه القوم ولقد وقع السيف من يدي أبي طلحة إما مرتين وإما ثلاثا من النعاس.
“Anas bin Malik said: “ During the war of Uhud, there are so many people run away from the Prophet PBUH. While at that time Abu Thalhah was in front of the Prophet to protect him with the shield. Abu Thalhah was a man who skilfull with his ability in archery and very bead. At that time he was able to divide the arrow spears into two or three parts.” Anas said: “Over there, a man passed by bringing a place to save the arrows.” Then he said : “Give that place to Abu Thalhah”. Anas said, “At that time the Prophet looked at his people. Then Abu Thalhah said, : O the Prophet of Allah. For the sake of my mother and my father, don’t look at, or my chest will be hit by the people’s arrow”. Then Anas said, “At that time, I saw Aisha bint Abi Bakr lifted their clothes, so that I can see their calf bracelets. They were carrying water container on their back, then poured it to the mouth of the companions and then filled it again. Then they poured the water again to the mouth of the soldiers. And at that time Abu Thalhah’s swords had fell down twice or three times because of his sleepy. “(Mahmud bin Ahmad al-Aini, Umdah al Qori fi Syarhi Shahih al-Bukhari, Maktabah Syamilah: Juz 24 Hal. 450)
The hadiths above showed women participation during the Prophet era, in the context of war both directly or indirectly. Even, some of them was the wife of the Prophet, Aisha. While in another areas, women during the Prophet era was so active, no less than men. As we can see from the figure of Asma bint Abu Bakar who reject the wrongdoing Judge as mentioned in the following hadith:
عن أبي نوفل قال:… دخل الحجاج بن يوسف الثقفي بعد مقتل عبد الله بن الزبير على أسماء بنت أبي بكر فقال : كيف رأيتني صنعت بعدو الله؟ قالت: رأيتك أفسدت عليه دنياه وأفسد عليك أخرتك. أما إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حدثنا أن في ثقيف كدابا ومبيرا، فأما الكداب فرأيناه وأما المبير فلا إخالك إلا إياه. قال : فقام عنها ولم يراجعها. رواه مسلم.
It means :
“It was narrated by Abu Naufal. He said, “…. Al Hajjaj bin Yusuf al-Tsaqafi came in to see Asma’ bint Abu Bakr after the murdered of Abdullah bin Zubair.” Then Al Hajjaj asked; “How can you know what I do to the enemy of Allah?” Asma’ replied, “I saw you had destroyed his world, and the had destroyed your hereafter. Remember, that the Prophet had told us if in Tsaqif there is liar and destroyer. About the liar, we can see him. While the destroyer none other than him.” Abu Naufal said,”Al Hajjaj then stood and left her behind and never come back again.” (HR Muslim).
The hadith above had shown us about the bravery of women during the Prophet era in giving their opinion for the sake of benefit of the people. In the scholarship activities, not a little we can find the women companions who were participated actively. Some of them were Aisha, Ummu Salama, Athiya, and so on. They involved very much into the scientific assembly held by the Prophet. The also narrated many hadiths that explained the religious laws as well as the Prophet’s attitude to some certain isses. As mentioned as the following hadith:
عن عائشة زوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن أم حبيبة (بنت جحش) استحيضت سبع سنين، فسألت رسول الله عن دلك فأمرها أن تغتسل ، فقال : هدا عرق.
“From Aisha, the wife of the Prophet PBUH, said, Verily, Ummu habibah the daughter of Jasy, got the menstrual period at 7 years old,. Then she asked to the Prophet, and then the Prophet asked her to take a bath. The Prophet than explained that the blood comes from the uterine nerve.”
If we learn deeper, we will find that there were so many evidences of women active participation during the Prophet era. The Prophet did not prohibit them, but permitted them and even supported them. In the good deeds, women and men has the same opportunity and position. This is stated by Allah through his revelation that given to the Prophet in QS. Al Ahzab 35:
“Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. “ (QS. Al Ahzab : 59)
From the verse above, the Prophet must be understood about the position of men and women before Allah. If so, how come the Prophet will treat women unjust or discriminatively? Not only that, the coming of Islam through the risalah (message) of the Prophet became a turning point for the situation of women in the dark history at that time before. The presence of Islam had proclaimed to the witness of a women as the servant of Allah and as equal human being as men. She has the same responsibility as the Caliphate (the representation of God) on the earth, who carry out duty to worship Allah (ibadatullah) and at the same time has to preserve their life on the earth (imaratul ardh). So, why should the treatment to women be discriminate?
Women and the Rural Development
The efforts to the rural development that involve all elements of the village society, actually is the implementation of the vision as the Caliphate of God which become a responsibility for all human being. In which men and women have the same duty to preserve the life on the earth as good as possible. In order, the life of the creature on the earth will continue well, normal, and giving the benefit for all.
Therefore, the coming of Law on Village, actually become an affirmation to the duty and responsibility of the mandatory of human being as the Caliphate of Allah explisitly. This must be more socialized to the people, especially in the village level in order to be understood and to be implemented well. Because, most of the people especially in the rural areas often neglect and underestimate the necessary of women participation in the decision making process in the village level or Musrembangdes. The concrete example that can be seen is when the decision making process of the village program development planning or Musrembangdes, which become a routine agenda in the village level as a Yearly Program Planning. In term of quantitative, the number of women participation only a few. So that, women’s voices often can’t be heard. Or, if some of them participated, their voice qualitatively were still less than men, so they can’t compete their ideas with their male counterparts. So, when the debate happen to determine the policy direction, their voices can be heard or even totally absent.
Considering the reality, we can not only blame women or men, because actually both of them were only victims from the patriarchal culture and tradition that had been internalized to become public false consideration. This is our responsibility to raise awareness to the people to repair the situation; especially by using the religious text approach such as hadith as the authoritative religious sources. Several hadiths as mentioned above can become the authentic evidence in treating women as the citizen and equal human being who has responsibility as Caliphate or representation of the mandatory of God on the earth as men. So that, no more reason to discriminate role and responsibilities of women in this life. Both in the village level as well as in the higher level such as in the country level, up to the world. Wallahu a’lam bisshawab.***