Khazanah, Edition 41

Establishing Mitsaqan Ghalidza

Wakhid Nur Effendi

Book Title : Counseling Handbook for BP4’s Counselors: Equality Perspective

Author : Drs. H. Tulus, Dra. Hj.Fadilah Ahmad, MM., Drs. H. Najib Anwar, MH,

                          Dra. Hj. Nurhayati Djamas, MA., Prof. Dr. Aliyah Hamka, MM., 

                          Dra. Hj. Zubaidah Muchtar, Dra. Radhiya Bustan, M.Psi., 

                          Drs. H. Kadi Sastrowirjono

Editor : Ida Rosyidah, MA, Dr. Kunthi Tridewiyanti, MA

Publisher : Rahima, December 2012

Page : xx, 283 p. 

A family is the smallest unit of an institution in a society. In Islam, this function is performed by a couple—male and female—who promises to constitute marriage bond on the basis of love and willingness to give an affection and also a sexual desire and to breed and nurture offsprings. It is hoped that the units can always grow together, and create a beautiful vision of life, and also yield humanitarian works.

Marriage is mentioned in QS. 4: 21 as “mitsaqan ghalizha” (solemn covenant), a message on how Allah the Almighty attributes the marriage bond. Nevertheless, marriage itself is not a “set of sweet stories” about living alone because there are also many thorns that hinder the perpetuity of marriage itself.

Perhaps, the marriage bond is not broken but the relationship becomes cold and tasteless. The couple may also have lived separately but formally they still have a marriage bond. Or it has been on the edge of the cliff which is potential to fail. The failure of the domestic lives could not be separated from the problems such as an affair, adaptability regarding the origin and pattern of socialization in the family, education, spouse’s customs, etc. The duties which are often considered simple such as the division of roles among the couple are supposed to be committed in accordance with the principles of balance, justice, equality in nurturing children, domestic and public roles, and the will to understand each other.

Considering the importance of the family, the state also needs to continue to facilitate, even accommodate the agents who are striving for the disunity of the marriage bond. One of which is BP4—Agency for Counseling, Fostering and Perpetuation of Marriage. The agency which was founded on July 8, 1961, and has restructured several times indeed has a role in strengthening the marriage bond. The advantages of BP4 are its organizational structure that has reached up to the sub-district level, throughout Indonesia. So it can be said that its services are benefited by the public directly and broadly.

However, except its advantages as a complete and wide-reaching structure, there are signs of weakness naturally experienced by this long-standing institution that is the routine trap. Institutional upheavals often create “slowness” in revitalizing structures, accessing contemporary discourses which are compatible with the challenges of the era, as well as in the preparation of human resources that supports institutional existence (Chapter 1, p. 1-7, and Chapter II, p. 9- 30).

Referring to that hypothesis, Rahima known as an NGO which fight for the women’s rights and empowerment with an approach to gender equality and justice within the academic-scientific-Islamic framework facilitated several series of meetings with the BP4. Starting from a project of needs mapping regarding the role of BP4 in establishing a tranquil (sakinah) family whose findings were discussed in a workshop on the publication of the Counseling Handbook for the Counselors of BP4 with Perspective of Equality, it is expected to be able to answer one of those needs. The book which was compiled from a collection of articles and sharing experiences of BP4 headquarter activists are later expected to be a handbook of the BP4 counselors in various areas who directly face the clients who need marriage advices.

In addition to the instructions for using the module and the introduction to the BP4 as mentioned above, the following are brief overviews of the contents of this book which is composed of 8 chapters. Chapter III talks about Marriage Viewed from Islamic Law. Drs. H. Najib Anwar, MH., elaborates several marriage themes as stipulated in Law No. 1/1974, also PP No. 9/1975 on the Implementation of the Law No. 1/1974 as well as special rules for the adherents of Islam, as specified in the Presidential Instruction No. 1/1979 on the Compilation of Islamic Law (KHI). 

Chapter IV elucidates Resilience, Reinforcement and a Tranquil, Loving and Affectionate Family (Sakinah Mawaddah Wa Rahmah). As the title suggests, Hj. Nurhayati Djamas, MA., gives the provisions on how the couple works for family’s resilience and anticipates the problems to be refreshment dynamic and not the factor for the destruction of marriage. Chapter V discusses a Family in Islam: Study of Family Psychology, a paper of Prof. Dr. Hj. Aliyah Hamka, MM, explains the Islamic view on the relationship of husband-wife and children with regard to their own rights and obligations. Hopefully, religious soul coaching in the family will bring the family to the happiness. 

In Chapter VI, Dra Hj. Zubaidah Muchtar exposes the Conflict in the Family. The discussion is trying to overview the problems of the family in this modern era which leads to conflict. There is a conflict which may ripen the couple’s relationships but not a few that ends on the outbreak of the family and even leads to domestic violence. Such information is important to give considering that physical, psychological, verbal, economic and sexual violence frequently cause traumatic effects for the victims.

Chapter VII elaborates Marriage Counseling in Theory and Practice. Radhiya Bustan, M. Soc, Sc, a young scientist of the BP4 presents techniques, processes, approaches, and ethics of counseling, as well as how to deal with the marriage cases. And in Chapter VIII Drs. H. Kadi Sastrowirjono closes the discussion with field experiences. In addition to the elaboration of the tips for marriage perpetuation, he also exposes the ways in overcoming the cases as reported to the BP4 headquarter such as the rights of the nurturing child; polygamy; distribution of inheritance; divorce; quarrel due to an affair. 

Those various writings presented by senior and young figures of BP4 promise “freshness” for the purpose of resolving family issues. The elaboration of the noble values of religion—the message of the Qur’an, the Hadith, the Fiqh on munakahat—with the theory and discourse of contemporary sciences, is a kind of reconciliation effort and can be the additional ammunition for the counselors in advocacy and struggle on the importance of mitsaqan ghalidza (solemn covenant). Therefore, the relevance of religion in resolving the problems of the family is again challenged especially with regard to its role as the healing (curative) function; prevention (preventive); and coaching (constructive). 

As an introduction to the counselors of marriage, the tips and techniques of counseling are certainly very useful. But the contents of this book need to be enriched either in the form of case simulation or providing information from the results of accompaniment. In addition to this handbook, the organization of training for counselors is also indispensable. {} Wakhid Nur Effendi 

 

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