Nahdliyin Businessmen and Professionals to visit Azerbaijan

Jumat 12 Juli 2019 20:50 WIB
Nahdliyin Businessmen and Professionals to visit Azerbaijan
Jakarta, NU Online
The Central Board of Nahdliyin Business and Professional Association (P2N) will visit a number of countries. The visit is aimed at building business synergy in mid-August ahead. The countries are among others Azerbaijan, Japan, China, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia.

"P2N is not just a discussion, seminar, but doing real work. We will (firstly) go to Azerbaijan, maybe on 10 or 12 August. Later we will discuss business. This is a real way for us to collaborate," Irnanda said on the sidelines of the Focus Group Discussion (FGD ) in the NU Building, Jakarta, Friday (12/7). The FGD took up an issue on Increasing Welfare and Equity through Infrastructure Connectivity.

According to Irnanda, at the Azerbaijan's meeting, there will be many issues discussed. Among other things, Azerbaijani businessmen will possibly participate in building trade in Indonesia by investing. Also, P2N will send Nahdliyin's works to the country dubbed the 'fire state'.

"They (Azerbaijan businessmen) are ready to invest in Indonesia. We might invest there. We will learn from each other," he said.

Later, Irnanda added, the P2N's visit was not only received directly by businessmen, but also state officials, such as the prime minister or president.

"God willing, we will be accepted at least by the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, and even the President," he continued.

On this stand, he invited businessmen who are members of P2N and have capable companies to prepare themselves for this important momentum because the number of participants is limited.

"Later the businessmen who participate (in the meeting) must really work, do business as partners. There will some 15 capable companies that participate in the meeting," he said.

Irnanda hopes that whatever done by P2N could get blessing from God and be useful for Indonesia. "For the ummah (people) in general and Nahdliyin in particular," he added.

He stated that about three weeks ago, businessmen from Azerbaijan had visited the NU headquarters and met directly with the NU General Chairman KH Said Aqil Siroj. He said that Kiai Said himself was very supportive of this purposeful plan. (Husni Sahal / Masdar)
Jumat 12 Juli 2019 22:44 WIB
Bankers quit jobs amid rising ‘hijrah’ movement
Bankers quit jobs amid rising ‘hijrah’ movement
Jakarta, NU Online
It has been more than a year since Zainur Rusdi, 38, left his job as deputy head of a state-owned bank's branch office in North Sumatra over the fear of the danger of riba (interest) that he learned from preachers on the internet.

He put an end to his 13-year banking career in April 2018, when he was leading an office worth Rp 400 billion (US$28.3 million) in assets and had 10,000 customers.

Zainur now works from home, running an online business and helping his wife operate a beauty salon for Muslim women.

“It started when I watched a video on the danger of riba from Erwandi Tarmizi,” Zainur was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying, referring to a Muslim preacher on YouTube.

It was early 2017 and Zainur found himself delving more and more into anti-riba campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, especially through the sermons of social media-savvy preachers Abdul Somad and Buya Yahya.

“When I was working at the bank, my wife kept going in and out of the hospital, but they couldn’t identify her illness. It was one the signs mentioned in the sermons, so I was even more inclined to quit,” he said, arguing that he had been “cursed” by God given the nature of his work.

His colleagues, regretting the end to his promising career, suggested that he move to the sharia division of the bank. Zainur refused, arguing that the sharia division was no different from the conventional bank. If anything, it was thanks to the help of the conventional bank that it could thrive.

However, he still has an account at a sharia bank. He had used up all his severance pay to pay off his debts, completely cutting ties with conventional banks.

Zainur also joined the XBank community, which actively campaigns against riba and motivates bank employees to switch jobs or become entrepreneurs through social media.

XBank spokesperson Nopan Nopiardi said the community was established in July 2017 in Yogyakarta and now had 22,216 members spread across 97 WhatsApp groups and 41 branches in Indonesia, although not all of them are bank employees who had quit their jobs. The community’s Instagram account also has more than 400,000 followers.

Nopan himself had worked for four private lenders over a span of 11 years before deciding to quit in 2015. His last position before resigning was business cluster head, which earned him at least Rp 20 million a month.

He now sells clothes in Magelang, Central Java, to put food on the table for his wife and three children.

“My earnings now are far from what I got back then, maybe one-seventh of my last salary. However, thank God, God willing, it can meet our main needs,” Nopan told The Jakarta Post.

Another Xbank member, Irma Sari, said she was in the process of resigning from her job at a private bank in in Medan, North Sumatra.

She quoted a hadith (Prophetic words and deeds) being spread on social media that equated the sin of riba to that of committing sexual relations with one’s own biological mother 36 times.

“The message scares me, especially because I keep reading it on social media,” she said.

Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) secretary-general Anwar Abbas, however, said he had not heard of such a hadith.

The mentioned hadith was also different from that quoted in MUI’s 2004 edict declaring bank interest haram or forbidden under Islamic law, which equates riba to 70 sins—with the lightest being equal to committing sex with one’s own mother.

 “[Resigning] is a good thing to do as Muslims because getting involved in riba practices is a very sinful act. Avoiding sins is important for Muslims,” Anwar said, expressing hope that the sharia economy could benefit from Muslims’ shift to Islamic ways of living.

Indonesian Banks Association deputy secretary-general Taswin Zakaria, who is also the president director of lender Maybank Indonesia, said such a shift would not affect conventional banks.

Taswin pointed out that the hijrah trend had not significantly boosted sharia banking in the country.

Data from the Financial Services Authority (OJK) shows that as of June last year, the market share of Islamic banking was 5.7 percent, lagging behind neighboring Malaysia’s double digit penetration.

Islamic finance expert Irfan Syauqi Beik said the low market share was due to, among other things, Indonesians’ very low sharia banking literacy, citing an OJK survey in 2016 that put it at below 10 percent.

He said sharia banks were lacking innovation and creativity as they tended to promote their products that bear similarities to those of conventional banks, while not emphasizing the sharia principles they were adopting. (Masdar)
Sabtu 29 Juni 2019 22:12 WIB
Kiai Ma'ruf: Santri could be whatever they want
Kiai Ma'ruf: Santri could be whatever they want
KH Ma'ruf Amin
Jakarta, NU Online
The Advisory Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) KH Ma'ruf Amin advised the students not to feel discouraged in looking at the future. According to Kiai Ma'ruf, santri could be whatever they want to be.

"Santri could be anything. They could be clerics, regents, vice governors, ministers. This is the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education HM Nasir is also a santri, he becomes a minister. He is the only minister who could memorize alfiyah," said Kiai Ma'ruf when giving a speech at the commemoration of 126th haul of Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani in Tanara, Serang, Banten, Friday (28/6).

In fact, he continued, santri could become vice president like him. He said that as a child he was educated as a santri to become a cleric. His knowledge made him as supreme leader (Rais Aam) of NU and General Chairman of the MUI. However, he said, Joko Widodo had now invited him to jointly develop the country through the government.

"So I have become a cleric, (later) turned into umara (government official)," he explained, followed by the laughter of the audience.

Then he put forward the task carried out by ulama and umara. According to him, ulama have the duty to build religion. Whereas Umara is in charge of building benefit and eliminating damage and danger both physically and non-physically.

"Now on my shoulders I have added more duties. In addition to having the responsibility as ulama, I now also assume responsibility as umara. Hopefully I can follow in the footsteps of the ancestors, including the Banten sultan Maulana Hasanuddin," he said.

According to him, besides being a cleric, Maulana Hasanuddin was also known as umara. Through his service and struggle, Banten became an area known abroad.

"Therefore, I ask for prayers from all the kiai, the santri, the community so that I can carry out my duties well in addition to being able to carry out those responsibilities for the good, benefit, progress, and welfare of the entire Indonesians," he said.

Present at the occasion were Rais Aam of NU KH Miftachul Akhyar, KH Ahmad Muwafiq (Gus Muwafiq), chairman of lawmaking of NU KH Zakki Mubarok, Minister Eko Putro Sandjoyo, Minister Arief Yahya, Banten Police Chief Tomsi Tohir, and Serang Regent Ratu Tatu Chasanah. (Husni Sahal / Masdar)
Sabtu 29 Juni 2019 21:45 WIB
Ansor appreciates MK's decision on election dispute
Ansor appreciates MK's decision on election dispute
Jakarta, NU Online
The Constitutional Court (MK) on Thursday (27/6) decided on the dispute over the 2019 Presidential Election. The MK's decision not granting all claims of the petitioners provided legal certainty about who became the leaders in the next five years.

The chairman of Ansor Youth Movement Yaqut Cholil Qoumas greatly appreciated the Constitutional Court judges and a number of disputing parties so that they could guard the Court's decision peacefully.

"Nine Constitutional Court judges have set an example of the principle of the rule of law with a decision based on carefulness and thoroughness in seeing the legal facts," he told NU Online on Friday (6/28) in Jakarta.

Gus Yaqut called on all elements of society to return to work according to their profession and jointly develop the country.

"The decision of the Constitutional Court which is final and binding gives us the meaning to end political choice differences. Let's build the country together and congratulations on working for Mr Jokowi and Kiai Ma'ruf who will lead Indonesia in the next five years,'' he stressed. (Fathoni/Masdar)
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