Seminar: “Character Education in Islamic Perspective Toward the Independence of Indonesia”

Friday morning, March 23, 2012, Forum Majlis Ta’lim Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or FORMATRA, once again hold an extraordinary event. A seminar with theme: “Character Education in Islamic Perspective Toward the independence of Indonesia” held by FORMATRA this time. There is something different with another event held by FORMATRA before. If the event usually held in Istirohah, for this time – thanks for one of the member who work in a hotel – this seminar had special opportunity to be carried out in Al-Faisholiyyah Khuzamah Hotel, a very famous Hotel in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia.

The seminar, sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, in Riyadh, was attended by approximately 450 male participants, including members of Riyadh Majlis Gatherings, representatives from Indonesian Embassy, Indonesia Riyadh School (SIR—Sekolah Indonesia Riyadh) academic community, students, workers, and many Indonesian in Riyadh. If only place for women is also available, the number of participants is expected to be much more than this.

The event was opened around 8:45 am with the reading of “Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem” by the duo Master of Ceremonies (MC) from S-2 King Saud University: Sudarisman, Lc and Mohammad Kamiluddin, S.T, then continued with Qur’an reading by Ustadz Khoirun Nidhom Al-Hafidz. In his opening speech as chairman of FORMATRA, Ust.  Lutfi Firdaus Munawwar was giving thanks for the hard work of the Committee—lead by Amir Fauzi Hasbi, for the donors, the Indonesian Embassy, and Indonesian society in Saudi Arabia, especially in Riyadh. Furthermore, He explained the reason behind the theme of the event. He argued that education is a fundamental aspect for an independent nation and civilization. He closed his speech with special thanks for Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, especially for attaché of education, for all cooperation and project approval proposed by FORMATRA.

Next session was moderated by Drs. Hartono Soekimen, one of teacher in SIR. He gave the opportunity to attaché of education embassy in Riyadh, Dr. Muhammad Luthfi Zuhdi, for delivering first session’s material. As usual, Mr. Lutfi always conveys the current state of Indonesia from the many points: ideological, political, economic, social and cultural rights. His tremendous experience in education made him able to integrate the theory from books and integrated it with the reality, especially education in Indonesia. He also discussed about character and personalities definition from World’s Popular Psychologists, such as Lawrence Kohlberg, Sigmund Freud, and William James. He analyzed every theory from those psychologists and associated it with Islam point of view, such as opinion from Prof. Tabrani. He also expressed Al Ghazali’s point of view about human character which is mentioned in “Al-Maqshad Asna al-Sharh Asma Allah al-Husna”. He stated that source of good character formation can be built through the internalization of the names of Allah (asma ‘al-Husna) in a person’s behavior. Then he detailed factors that influence the character, the main character values for students, and how to enter characters in the value of learning. Finally, he expressed his hope one day; Indonesia will be a nation with characteristic, as submitted by Soekarno, those are: First, Independence (self-reliance), second, democracy, Third, National Unity, and the Fourth, International Dignity (bargaining positions). Of course all of those characters must be based on Islamic values. For final conclusion, he gave an optimistic spirit for all Indonesian as the Largest Muslim nation to continue their effort to be Indonesia which is Independent, Developed, Just and Prosperous.

The second session is filled by Ust. Abdullah Haidir Lc.,a preachers from Jaliat Sulay with his perspective on the role of Islamic religious education in shaping the nation’s independence. A preacher, who is famous among the participants in Riyadh, explained the problem and trying to map out what the actual role of Islamic education in the nation’s independence. In his explanation, he elaborated two main ideological points of view which is determined the international world and bewitched many human being to follow the ideology: the communist and secular ideology. However, we see that these two ideologies are on edge of its disrepair and will switch to the ideology of Islam, because Islam provides teaching about the values of justice, safety, welfare, and other humanitarian values. Mr. Abdullah, who is also familiarly called Abu Rumaisha, closed his presentation with the words of Imam Malik (may Allah give him mercy):

لاَ يَصْلُحُ أَمْرُ هَذِهِ اْلأُمَّةِ إِلاَّ بِمَا صَلُحَ بِهِ أَوَّلُهَا

From his session, we concluded that basically, the history is repeated overtime, the humanitarian basis problem is also a repetition, therefore, the solution should also be taken of the principle that the past be the fundamental problem solving in social life and state.

The last session is given by Principal of Indonesia Riyadh School, Burhanuddin, S. Pd, MM, He emphasized his material in education in Indonesia. He picked up a subtheme of “Improving Human Resources Quality through the nation’s elementary and secondary education”. With his style, he showed tips and tricks for building a child’s intelligence. This subtheme is very important because most of the participants have children attending school in Indonesia while their parents earn a living in Riyadh. Thus, participants would know Indonesia level of education and made them understand more about what their children done in Indonesia. It can also minimize and control their interactions, which are not directly minimize juvenile delinquency which sometimes lie to parents about the cost of tuition, school uniforms, the construction money, and so on. While his parents did not know about it because of lack of information. Thus, the ideal to provide character education to children is very important start of the parents and each steer.

At the end of the exposure of the material before the question and answer session, MC presented the launching of FORMATRA new website which can be accessed in February 2012. This new website is eye-catching and has dominant green color with domain: In his presentation, the MC also added that this website is composed by many features which can be accessed by everybody, including Kultum (preach), sharia consulting, articles, etc. Furthermore, the website was inaugurated by Minister Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, in Riyadh, Bapak Hendra Pramudyo, SH, who also delivered a speech representing Indonesian Ambassador who could not attend because events in Medina. “Embassy in Riyadh is supporting every activity for Indonesian Citizen (WNI) in Saudi Arabia. And FORMATRA is our great partner for the development of Indonesia “he stated.

MC opened ‘questions and answers session’ for participants and all requester was given a gift by each speaker. After the session finished, next agenda was giving souvenirs to the speakers, represented by Asatidz FORMATRA, Ust. Hidayat Mustafid, Ust. Ahmad Junaedi and Ust. Sholahuddin.

That final session ended series of this seminar event. The seminar was closed by the MC at around 11:30 while hoping this event was blessed by Allah Subhanahu wata’ala and provide benefit to Islam. Finally, there was also a big hope from us that the seminar was able to contribute for Better Indonesia and blessed by Allah Subhanahu wata’la. (Novika)