Islam Cenderung Patriarkal, Benarkah??  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oleh; Aini Aryani. M.

Islam kerap dipandang memiliki formulasi hukum yang cenderung menguntungkan kaum pria. Pandangan ini tak hanya bersumber dari Barat yang notabene non-Muslim, namun juga dari kalangan Muslim sendiri. Mereka menganggap setting-an hukum Islam berbasis budaya patriarki dan memandang ‘sebelah-mata’ terhadap perempuan (misogyny).

stereotype yang dilekatkan kepadanya memunculkan anggapan bahwa Islam memenjarakan kebebasan perempuan, memasung hak-haknya, bahkan menggiring kedudukannya ke bawah derajat kaum pria. Benarkah demikian?


Hukum-hukum Islam seperti larangan bagi wanita mengimami laki-laki dalam sholat, aturan shaf sholat yang mengharuskan wanita di belakang laki-laki, kewajiban patuh pada suami sebagai kepala keluarga, dll, seringkali dipandang patriarkal yang membuat sebagian muslimah merasa menjadi korban subordinasi dan diskriminasi. Kemudian menganggap hukum Islam tak lagi relevan dengan trend kekinian. Semua itu menjadi stimulus munculnya pergerakan ‘Feminisme Islam’ dalam dunia feminisme yang mengacu pada konsistensi perjuangan dalam menghilangkan subordinasi, memusnahkan ideologi patriarki serta meluruskan pandangan misogyny dengan menggunakan paradigma Islam sebagai bahasan utama.

Gender Equality; Persamaan Bidang ataukah Nilai?

‘Feminisme Islam’ muncul pada pertengahan tahun 90-an sebagai terma baru dalam dunia feminisme, yang didefinisikan sebagai studi persamaan gender (gender equality) dan keadilan sosial dengan menggunakan paradigma Islam. Namun di sisi lain, feminisme seringkali menjadi mainstream (arus utama) yang menjebak aktivis perempuan menjadi bias dan bahkan cenderung keliru dalam memahami mengenai terminologi feminisme dan aliran-aliran yang berkembang didalamnya.

Dalam perjuangan dan pemikirannya, muslimah harus bergesekan dengan polemik dan trend kekinian yang sering menjebak, sehingga dalam perjalanannya terjadi polarisasi gerakan yang membentuk aliran berpikir yang dipengaruhi oleh ideologi Barat seperti Liberalisme dan Sosialisme-Marxis yang notabene sekuler. Kekecewaan mereka pada dominasi kaum pria di beberapa bidang dalam masyarakat membuat mereka menggugat syariat sebagai sumber hukum pertama, sehingga memunculkan keinginan untuk memformulasikan hukum yang -menurut mereka- menguntungkan. (lihat; Muslimah di Ruang Pemikiran, oleh: Zahratunnisa, An-Nahdlah edisi Juni 2006).

Padahal, bukanlah sebuah diskriminasi ketika wanita tidak diperbolehkan menjadi imam sholat bagi laki-laki, atau ketika ia harus berdiri di shaf shalat yang berada di belakang laki-laki. Karena itu semata-mata bertujuan agar prosesi penyerahan diri dihadapan Tuhan berjalan dengan lebih tunduk, khusyu’ dan sakral. Bukan untuk ditafsirkan sebagai penempatan derajat wanita sebagai kelas kedua dalam kehidupan sosial.

Demikian pula ketika isteri harus mematuhi suami yang menjadi kepala keluarganya, bukan untuk diartikan bahwa ia mengabdi dan tunduk pada pria, akan tetapi melaksanakan kewajibannya yang telah ditentukan Penciptanya.

Laki-laki tidaklah menjadi lebih mulia dihadapan Allah hanya karena menjadi kepala rumah tangga, menjadi imam atau berdiri di depan shaf wanita dalam shalat. Karena masing-masing tentunya mendapatkan ganjaran yang sama dalam melaksanakan tugas dan 'porsi' yang sudah dibagi oleh-Nya. Yang menjadi patokan hanyalah satu, yakni "Tingkat Takwa", dan itu tak ada relasinya dengan gender. Siapapun mampu dan dipersilakan berlomba-lomba mencapainya.

Maka, ‘Gender Equality’ tidaklah selalu bermakna persamaan hak dan kewajiban dalam bidang atau porsi yang benar-benar serupa, karena yang menjadi substansi dari persamaan itu adalah ‘Nilai’. Laki-laki yang ingin mendapatkan manisnya berjihad diberikan-Nya jalan dengan cara mempertaruhkan nyawa di medan perang atas nama agama Allah. Begitu pula wanita yang ingin mendapatkan manisnya berjihad diberikan-Nya jalan dengan cara mempertaruhkan nyawa ketika melahirkan bayi dari rahimnya. Kadangkala laki-laki dan wanita ditempatkan di bidang atau porsi yang berbeda, namun tetap memiliki ‘nilai’ yang sama. Inilah sesungguhnya makna dari Gender Equality.

Saling Melengkapi dan Menghargai

Kadangkala kaum pria dipandang lebih superior karena memiliki ukuran otak akal yang lebih besar, dan wanita dianggap memiliki kekurangan karena didominasi perasaan. Untuk itulah laki-laki tidak jarang lebih diprioritaskan dalam bidang tertentu. Perasaan kecewa-pun muncul dari kaum wanita dan memicu mereka untuk mengambil tindakan. Akhirnya muncul gerakan-gerakan yang menuntut persamaan hak dan kedudukan di berbagai bidang, termasuk merekonstruksi aturan agama yang sudah proporsional. Kemudian terciptalah terma-terma semacam Feminisme, Emansipasi, dan Gender Equality.

Padahal, kelembutan perasaan adalah keistimewaan bagi wanita yang lebih memberikan potensi takwa. Bila ia disatukan dengan ilmu, akan menjadi kekuatan tersendiri. Sebaliknya, bila ia tidak disertai dengan ilmu, maka akan menjadi sumber kelabilan jiwa. Sangat disayangkan bila wanita menganggapnya sebagai kekurangan dan berusaha mengeliminasinya dengan rasio agar sama dan tak kalah dengan pria. Akal wanita tidak kurang untuk mencerna ilmu. Sedangkan pria juga membutuhkan perasaan untuk bertafakkur. Pria juga membutuhkan kelembutan hati yang akan memberikan emosi stabil dalam menyertai rasionya saat berfikir.

Meminjam kalimat Bapak Hendri Tandjung, MA., MM., : “Ngeri juga kalau isi dunia hanya Hard Science. Karena Hard Science tanpa Soft Science ibarat manusia tanpa daging, hanya tengkorak...” Begitu juga rasio tanpa dibarengi perasaan ibarat raga tanpa daging, hanya tengkorak yang rapuh. Itulah mengapa Relasi Gender tak harus dipahami sebagai perseteruan dan pertarungan antar kelompok (class struggle). Melainkan dalam perspektif kerja-sama dan hubungan timbal-balik, dalam arti saling menopang dan bahu-membahu membangun keluarga, bangsa dan negara, saling mengisi, saling melengkapi, saling mengerti dan saling menghargai satu sama lain. Wallahu a’lam.(ai)

*Tulisan diatas pernah dimuat di www.warnaislam.com, rubrik VISIONER



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Dua Sisi yang Berbeda  

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oleh: Aini Aryani

Manusia memiliki jiwa yang diilhami dengan taqwa dan fujur. Sebuah peluang yang memungkinkan manusia memiliki ’bakat’ baik dan jahat. Adalah menjadi pilihan baginya untuk menentukan manakah diantara kedua hal itu yang akan mendominasi jiwanya.

”Maka Allah mengilhamkan kepada jiwa itu jalan fujur (kefasikan) dan ketakwaannya. Sesungguhnya beruntunglah orang yang menyucikan jiwa itu. Dan sesungguhnya merugilah orang yang mengotorinya.” (As-Syams: 8-10).


Manusia adalah makhluk Allah yang unik dan memiliki banyak karunia dan kelebihan dibanding makhluk lainnya. Manusia diberi kedudukan paling istimewa dibanding makhluk lain di jagad raya ini, bahkan kedudukannya lebih mulia dibanding malaikat sekalipun. Itulah mengapa Allah memilih manusia untuk menjadi pemegang amanah sakral sebagai khalifah di bumi (Al-Baqarah: 30-34). Maka, masih adakah celah bagi kita untuk mendustakan semua nikmat ini?. (Fabiaayyi aala’i rabbikumaa tukadzibaan).

Adalah akal, salah satu karunia terbesar untuk manusia yang terletak di otak, tempat yang paling sentral dalam jasadnya. Dengan menggunakannya manusia dapat berfikir tentang banyak hal. Berfikirpun dapat membawa manusia pada dua arah yang berseberangan, yakni: ke arah lurus dan sesat.

Ketika manusia memilih jalan taqwa untuk jiwanya, maka ia akan menggunakan akalnya di jalan yang lurus untuk menyelami makna-makna penciptaan alam, langit dan bumi, pergantian siang dan malam, serta bukti lain dari keagungan Tuhan, agar ia benar-benar termasuk ulul albab atau orang-orang yang berakal (Ali-Imran: 190).

Dari situ, akan muncul keyakinan akan rahasia penciptaan dirinya, dimana ia diciptakan hanya untuk mengabdikan diri pada Sang Penciptanya (Ad-Dzariyat: 56). Walhasil, imannya akan bergerak ke level yang lebih tinggi, dimana ia menggunakan akalnya untuk menggerakkan raga supaya menjalankan ibadah, sebagai refleksi dari ketaannya.

Berbeda ketika ia memilih jalan fujur untuk jiwanya, maka ia akan membiarkan akalnya melanglang buana melalui jalan sesat, hingga muncullah pemikiran-pemikiran yang berseberangan dengan fitrah penciptaannya. Walhasil, imannya akan bergerak ke level yang lebih rendah seiring dengan munculnya titik noda dalam jiwanya. Itulah salah satu akibat yang muncul ketika akal digunakan tanpa pondasi agama.

Dari situ pula muncul perbedaan yang mencolok antara ilmu yang menjadi produk dari akal, dan agama yang hadir bersama iman. Ilmu adalah hiasan lahir, sedangkan agama adalah hiasan bathin. Ilmu mempercepat manusia sampai ke tujuan, agama menentukan arah yang dituju. Ilmu menyesuaikan manusia dengan lingkungannya, agama menyesuaikan manusia dengan jati dirinya. Ilmu memberi kekuatan dan menerangi jalan, agama memberi harapan dan dorongan. Ilmu tidak jarang mengeruhkan pikiran pemiliknya, sementara agama selalu menerangi jiwa dan pikiran pemiliknya.

Itulah mengapa mengapa ilmu yang tinggi tak selalu membuat pemiliknya mempunyai iman yang tinggi pula. Karena ilmu tidak menciptakan iman, ia hanya mendukung penguatan iman. Man izdada ilman wa lam yazdad hudan, lam yazdad minaLLAHi illa bu’dan: Seseorang yang bertambah ilmunya tanpa hidayah, akan membuat jarak semakin jauh antara dirinya dengan Allah. Karena akal yang berfikir tanpa diiringi hati yang beriman akan membawa pada kegersangan jiwa.
Ushiykum wa iyyaaya nafsiy. (ai)


*tulisan diatas pernah dimuat di Warna ISlam (http://www.warnaislam.com) dan di Era Muslim (http://www.eramuslim.net/?buka=show_main&id=89)

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Kontribusi Wanita Pakistan Untuk Bangsanya (2)  

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oleh: Aini Aryani M.


Selain Fatimah Jinnah, Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan dan Asma Jahangir, ada nama-nama lain yang tak kalah kontributif dalam sejarah Pakistan, seperti Hina Jilani dan Benazir Bhutto misalnya.

Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007) Benazir Bhutto adalah mantan pemimpin Partai Rakyat Pakistan (PPP). Ia adalah anak tertua dari mantan perdana menteri Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Setelah menyelesaikan studi dasarnya di Pakistan, ia melanjutkan pendidikan ke Harvard University USA dan kemudian Lady Margareth Hall di Oxford, Inggeris.

Tahun 1988, ia dilantik menjadi Perdana Menteri Pakistan di usianya yang sangat muda, 35 tahun, sekaligus tercatat sebagai pemimpin perempuan pertama di negara berpenduduk mayoritas muslim, dan sebagai perempuan pertama yang menduduki jabatan perdana menteri dua kali ((1988–1990 dan 1993–1996).

Jasa terbesar Benazir adalah membawa perubahan politik di Pakistan. Ia memulihkan hak-hak kaum sipil yang sebelumnya dibungkam di bawah rezim militer. Terpilihnya Benazir lewat pemilu demokratis menjadi sumber insipirasi bagi para perempuan khususnya di negara berpenduduk mayoritas muslim dunia. Selama masa kampanye, pemerintahan Bhutto bersuara mengenai masalah-masalah sosial dan kesehatan kaum wanita, termasuk masalah-masalah diskriminasi terhadap wanita.

Sebagai Perdana Menteri, Bhutto berusaha keras untuk menyelamatkan masyarakat yang terbentuk dalam pengkotak-kotakan, termasuk diskriminasi antar jenis kelamin. Ia menyusun perbaikan di bidang kesehatan dan pendidikan di seluruh Pakistan. Usaha itu membuatnya dianugerahi penghargaan Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights pada tahun 1988. Almamaternya juga memberinya penghargaan Phi Beta Kappa pada tahun 1989.

Namun, hidupnya berakhir dengan tragis di kota Rawal Pindi saat berkampanye pada tanggal 27 Desember 2007 lalu, ketika pelaku bom bunuh diri meledakkan bom di tempat kejadian.

Hina Jilani. BeliauLahir pada tahun 1953 di Lahore. Ia seorang pengacara di Mahkamah Tertinggi Pakistan dan seorang aktivis HAM. Bersama kakaknya, Asma Jahangir, Hina mendirikan firma hukum wanita di Pakistan pada tahun 1980. Hina juga mendirikan pusat bantuan hukum Pakistan pertama pada tahun 1986 dan salah satu pendiri Komisi HAM yang sekarang dikenal dengan nama Dewan HAM.

Ia pernah menjadi wakil khusus Sekretaris Jenderal PBB untuk menjadi pembela HAM. Ia telah menerima beberapa penghargaan nasional maupun internasional, termasuk UNIFEM 2001 Millennium Peace Award for Women. Pada tahun 2006 ia diangkat menjadi anggota Komisi Pencari Fakta Internasional PBB yang bertempat di Darfur.

Penutup
Selain wanita-wanita diatas, masih berderet panjang nama-nama yang mengukir sejarah di Pakistan. Saat inipun banyak dari wanita Pakistan yang duduk di kursi kabinet dan parlemen, baik di National Assembly (NA) maupun di Senate. (ai)

*Sebagian isi tulisan disarikan dari Jazbah Magazine dan http://www.wikipedia.com/
** tulisan diatas pernah dimuat di: http://warnaislam.com (rubrik Ragam Dunia)

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Kontribusi Wanita Pakistan Untuk Bangsanya (1)  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oleh: Aini Aryani M.
Dalam masyarakat Pakistan, tak jarang wanita dinilai overprotected dimana ruang lingkupnya serba dibatasi, dan tidak leluasa memberikan kontribusi di bidang sosial. Sebenarnya pandangan tersebut tak sepenuhnya benar. Dalam sejarah Pakistan beberapa tokoh wanita tertulis dengan peran pentingnya di berbagai bidang, baik politik, sosial, pendidikan, kesejahteraan, HAM, media massa, pemberdayaan wanita, bahkan militer.

Adapun tokoh-tokoh wanita Pakistan yang berperan penting dalam memberikan kontribusi untuk negerinya antara lain; Fatimah Jinnah, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, Asma Jahangir, Razia Bhatti, Hina Jilani dan Benazir Bhutto.

Fatimah Jinnah (1893 -1967). Beliau Lahir pada tahun 1893, wanita gigih ini sangat populer sebagai salah satu pemimpin gerakan kemerdekaan Pakistan. Fatimah adalah saudari Quaid Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pendiri Pakistan, yang juga dikenal sebagai Ibu Bangsa. Ia juga berperan dalam pembentukan Federasi Pelajar-Pelajar Wanita Muslim India pada tahun 941 di Delhi.

Tingginya peran politiknya berakhir pada tahun 1965 ketika ia menentang tradisi dengan menantang Ayub Khan dalam pertarungan ketat memperebutkan kursi kepresidenan Pakistan. Bahkan, partai konservatif seperti Jamaat Islami pun menerimanya sebagai kandidat presiden wanita saat itu.

Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan (1905-1990). Beliau adalah istri dari mantan perdana menteri pertama Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan. Ia berinisiatif untuk memperkenalkan defense training bagi kaum wanita. Atas inisiatifnya sendiri, ia mendirikan Pakistan Women’s National Guard (PWNG) dan Pakistan Women Naval Reserve (PWNR) pada tahun 1949, dan diangkat menjadi ketua pengawas keduanya dengan tingkat Brigadir. Namun PWNG dan PWNR tidak dapat bertahan lama dan dibubarkan segera setelah Begum Ra’ana ditugaskan ke luar negeri sebagai Duta Besar Pakistan.

Pada tahun 1949 Begum Ra’ana menggelar sebuah konferensi yang terdiri lebih dari 100 wanita aktif di seluruh Pakistan. Konferensi tersebut mengumumkan pembentukan organisasi sukarela dan non-politik dalam masalah sosial, pendidikan, dan budaya yang dapat memberdayakan kaum wanita. Organisasi tersebut bernama All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA). Ia terpilih sebagai presiden pertamanya.

Begum Ra’ana diangkat menjadi Duta Besar Pakistan untuk Netherland pada tahun 1950-an, dan Dubes Pakistan untuk Italia tahun 1960-an. Beberapa karir, prestasi dan penghargaan yang dimiliki Begum Ra’ana adalah sebagai berikut:
(a) Dubes wanita muslim pertama dan ketua Diplomatic Corps (ketika bertugas di Netherland), (b) Gubernur wanita pertama (provinsi Sindh) di pertengahan tahun 1970-an, (c) Wanita pertama yang menjadi utusan PBB, (d) Wanita muslim pertama yang memenangkan United Nations Human Rights Award, (e) Wanita muslim pertama yang pernah menjadi penerima Woman of Achievement Medal di tahun 1950, (f) Ratu Juliana dari Netherland pernah menganugerahinya Grand Cross of Orange–Nassau, (g) Penerima International Gimbel Award atas pengabdiannya dalam kegiatan kemanusiaan pada tahun 1962, (h) Penerima penghargaan dari PBB dalam bidang hak asasi manusia yang disertakan dalam Deklarasi Universal Hak Asasi Manusia dan instrumen hak-hak asasi manusia dalam PBB.

Asma Jilani Jahangir. Beliau lahir tahun 1952 di Lahore. Di masa mudanya, Asma pernah terlibat dalam protes melawan rezim militer Zia-ul-Haq di Pakistan ketika mendesak pemerintah untuk mencabut Undang-Undang Hudud (Hudood Ordinance) yang menjadi kontraversi saat itu. Undang-undang tersebut menyebabkan tingginya persentase korban wanita. Ia juga pernah bertugas sebagai pelapor khusus PBB dalam masalah Extrajudisial dan Arbitrasi. Ia merupakan salah satu pendiri Komisi HAM Pakistan (sekarang Dewan HAM Pakistan) dan pernah bertugas sebagai Sekretaris Jenderal dan kemudian menjadi pemimpin organisasi tersebut.

Tahun 1980, Asma Jahangir dan adiknya, Hina Jilani, bersama-sama dengan beberapa aktivis dan pengacara lainnya mendirikan firma hukum dan Forum Aksi Wanita (WAF). Demonstrasi WAF yang pertama dilakukan pada tahun 1983 ketika sekitar 25-50 wanita turun ke jalan dan memprotes kasus Safia Bibi. Safia adalah seorang wanita buta yang diperkosa dan menuntut keadilan melalui mahkamah hukum. Malangnya, ia malah dikenai hukuman penjara atas tuduhan melakukan tindak kriminal ‘zina’. Pada tahun 1995, Asma Jahangir dianugerahi Penghargaan Martin Ennals untuk Para Pembela HAM (Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders).

Asma menghabiskan hampir seluruh masa karirnya untuk membela hak-hak kaum wanita, anak-anak dan para pemeluk agama minoritas di Pakistan. Keinginannya yang kuat dalam membela mereka yang dianiaya, dan kritik-kritiknya terhadap partai-partai politik telah membuat dirinya menjadi salah satu figur kontoversial di Pakistan. (ai)

*Sebagian tulisan diatas disarikan dari Jazbah Magazine dan http://www.wikipedia.com/
** tulisan diatas pernah dimuat di www.warnaislam.com rubrik Ragam Dunia (Pakistan)

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Hukum Pidana Pakistan, Wanita Terlindungi Ataukah Menjadi Korban??  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sabtu, 18 Oktober 2008

*Sumber: Warna Islam Online

view the URL: http://warnaislam.com/ragam/pakistan/2008/10/18/24640/Hukum_Pidana_Pakistan_Wanita_Terlindungi_Ataukah_Menjadi_Korban.htm

Oleh: Aini Aryani M.

Dalam masyarakat Pakistan, wanita sering menjadi korban ketidakadilan dan diskriminasi. Hal itu menjadi salah satu pemicu perombakan besar-besaran atas hukum pidana Pakistan yang berisi ketentuan mengenai zina (hubungan seksual di luar ikatan pernikahan). Undang-Undang tersebut dikenal dengan HZO 1979 yang menghukum mati pelaku kejahatan zina apabila ia seseorang yang telah menikah, atau dipecut 100 kali apabila si pelaku masih lajang. Namun, pada tahun 2006 undang-undang tersebut diamandemen menjadi WPA 2006. Sebenarnya, hukum yang manakah yang lebih relevan untuk diterapkan di negeri Pakistan yang multi-etnik itu?

Undang-undang Hudud Zina atau Hadd Zina Ordinance (HZO) diberlakukan di Pakistan ketika rezim Jenderal Ziaul Haq berkuasa pada tahun 1979. Peraturan tersebut diberlakukan untuk beberapa tujuan, salah satunya untuk melindungi kehormatan wanita. Namun setelah undang-undang tersebut diberlakukan banyak penyimpangan aturan dan ketidakadilan terjadi, hingga banyak dari para wanita yang justru menjadi korban. Salah satu fenomenanya adalah ketika seorang wanita menjadi korban pemerkosaan kemudian mengangkat kejadian yang menimpa dirinya ke pengadilan, maka ia diharuskan untuk memiliki empat orang saksi mata. Jika tidak, maka dirinyalah yang akan dijebloskan ke penjara atas dasar qadzfuzzina (menuduh berbuat zina) terhadap laki-laki yang ia tuduh telah merenggut kehormatannya.

Alhasil, undang-undang tersebut menuai banyak kritik tajam. Banyak dari rakyat dan para ulama Pakistan yang menuntut agar undang-undang tersebut segera diamandemen. Tahun 2003 tingginya korban kriminalitas dari wanita memuncak. Menurut data Women AID Trust Islamabad kasus Hudud dimana korbannya adalah kaum wanita meningkat hingga 32% pada bulan Juli hingga September 2003.

Tuntutan amandemen tersebut terpenuhi 28 tahun kemudian, tepatnya pada tahun 2006 ketika kursi kekuasaan diduduki oleh Presiden Pervez musharraf. HZO 1979 diamandemen besar-besaran, hingga seluruh pasal mengenai Hadd Zina dirubah menjadi Undang-Undang Perlindungan Wanita (Women’s Protection Act, WPA 2006).

Dalam undang-undang baru tersebut hukum diselaraskan dengan situasi dan kondisi negeri Pakistan dan rakyatnya pada masa itu, namun tetap berbasis pada aturan Islam. Misalnya, seorang terdakwa yang terbukti melakukan kejahatan pemerkosaan akan tetap dikenakan hukuman. Meski ia tidak dijatuhi hukuman hadd, namun ia dikenakan hukuman Ta’zir jika dalam proses persidangan si korban tidak dapat menghadirkan empat orang saksi mata. Hal ini tidak bertentangan dengan syariah karena dalam kasus ini terdapat syubhah yang mencegah hukuman hadd terhadap si korban. Ta’zir adalah kejahatan yang hukumannya diserahkan pada keputusan menurut kebijaksanaan hakim (The Discretionary Punishment), seperti hukuman penjara, denda, pengasingan, dll.

Dalam kasus di atas, wanita yang menjadi korban pemerkosaan dan tidak dapat menghadirkan empat orang saksi akan tetap medapatkan tuntutannya terhadap si pelaku jika si pelaku benar-benar terbukti bersalah. Karena selain kesaksian (testimony), ada beberapa faktor lain yang dapat dijadikan dasar oleh hakim dalam membuat keputusan. Faktor-faktor tersebut antara lain: Pengakuan dari si tertuduh (confession), barang bukti (circumstantial evidence), hasil pemeriksaan medis (Medical Evidence), dan keyakinan hakim (the judge’s personal observation).

Beberapa waktu kemudian, setelah WPA diberlakukan, lagi-lagi tuntutan amandemen muncul dari kalangan muslim extremis yang menyatakan bahwasanya undang-undang baru tersebut berisi beberapa ketentuan yang tidak sesuai dengan ajaran Islam. Misalnya, kasus pemerkosaan tidak dikategorikan dalam kejahatan Hudud, melainkan Ta’zir. Dalam pasal lain ada ketentuan unik yang isinya; suami yang berhubungan suami-isteri tanpa sebelumnya mendapatkan kerelaan dari isterinya dapat dijatuhi hukuman setara dengan pelaku pemerkosaan. Tindak kriminal di atas dikenal dengan marital rape. Hal tersebut diatur dalam pasal 375 Undang-Undang Pidana Pakistan (PPC) yang berbunyi:

”Seorang laki-laki dewasa dikatakan telah melakukan tindak kriminal pemerkosaan apabila telah melakukan hubungan seksual dengan seorang wanita dalam salah satu dari lima keadaan dibawah ini:
-bertentangan dengan keinginan si wanita
-tanpa persetujuan si wanita
-dengan persetujuan si wanita, ketika persetujuannya didapatkan dengan cara membuatnya takut atas kematian atau disakiti,
-dengan persetujuannya, ketika laki-laki tersebut tahu bahwa dirinya tidak menikah dengan siwanita dan bahwa persetujuan yang diberikan oleh si wanita karena dia (si wanita) tahu bahwa -laki-laki tersebut adalah orang lain, atau bukan seseorang yang menikah dengannya.
-Dengan atau tanpa persetujuan si wanita ketika ia dibawah usia 16 tahun.”

Dalam ketentuan di atas tidak ada pengecualian bagi suami atas isterinya. Secara implisit dapat dipahami bahwa suami yang memaksa isterinya berhubungan suami-isteri akan dikategorikan sebagai tindak pemerkosaan dalam ikatan pernikahan (marital rape) yang dapat dijatuhi hukuman ta’zir. Adapun hukuman ta’zir bagi pelaku tindak pemerkosaan diatur dalam pasal 376 [a] PPC yang berbunyi: ”siapapun yang melakukan pemerkosaan akan dikenakan hukuman mati atau penjara selama masa yang tidak kurang dari sepuluh tahun, atau tidak lebih dari dua puluh lima tahun, dan juga dikenakan denda”.

Fenomena diatas adalah sebagian alasan yang memicu beberapa ulama untuk menuntut amandemen atas Undang-Undang Perlindungan Wanita (WPA 2006). Di sisi lain, masyarakat sipil dan pemerintah tetap mendukung diberlakukannya WPA 2006. Kontroversi yang tidak dapat dihindari tersebut memecah warga Pakistan pada dua kelompok. Kelompok pertama mendukung berlakunya WPA 2006 dengan pandangan bahwa undang-undang tersebut dapat menjadi penyelamat bagi kaum wanita, dan dapat mengurangi ketidakadilan yang menimpa mereka. Sementara lainnya memandang bahwa undang-undang tersebut adalah kulminasi dari pengaruh Barat atas ummat Islam. Undang-undang terebut juga dipandang sebagai imitasi dari cara berpikir kaum non-Muslim. Sejak saat itu, mungkin hingga sekarang, Pakistan butuh opini ketiga untuk menjembatani dua pandangan yang berseberangan itu.

Pakistan tidak bisa mengingkari bahwa negerinya terdiri dari berbagai macam sekte dan golongan masyarakat yang memiliki cara pandang hidup yang berbeda. Aspirasi masyarakat hendaknya benar-benar dipilah sebelum membuat keputusan yang final dan akan diberlakukan dalam bangsa yang multi-etnik ini. Belum lagi kaum wanitanya yang sering menjadi korban diskriminasi. Dalam situasi dan kondisi yang demikian, negeri Pakistan lebih membutuhkan hukum Islam yang lebih sesuai dengan keadaan bangsanya.

Menurut hemat penulis, Undang-undang Perlindungan Wanita atau WPA 2006 lebih relevan untuk diberlakukan di negeri Pakistan jika dibandingkan dengan HZO 1979. Dalam sejarah pemikiran hukum Islam (fiqh) sering kita temui perubahan ketetapan hukum karena pertimbangan mashlahah. Mashlahah adalah suatu kondisi dari upaya untuk mendatangkan sesuatu yang berdampak positif (manfaat) serta menghindarkan diri dari hal-hal yang berdimensi negatif (madharat). Pada masa pemerintahan Khalifah Umar Ibn Khattab, hadd potong tangan atas para pencuri tidak diberlakukan mengingat rakyatnya tengah dilanda musim paceklik berkepanjangan. Menurut hematnya, hukuman ta’zir lebih relevan untuk diberlakukan pada saat itu dari pada hadd. Kebijakan yang diambil oleh Umar ibn Khattab ini berasas atas pertimbangan bahwa dalam menyikapi satu perkara bisa berbeda berdasarkan perubahan tempat, kondisi dan waktu.

WPA 2006 sendiri secara garis besar dibuat berdasarkan ijtihad para ulama. Hanya saja ada beberapa bagian yang tidak selaras dengan ajaran Islam, seperti hukum implisit yang yang terdapat dalam pasal 375 PPC. Ketentuan tersebut terlalu berlebihan dalam memproteksi wanita Pakistan, yang akhirnya hanya akan membuat masalah baru dalam kehidupan domestiknya.

Namun demikian, walaupun ada beberapa bagian yang masih menyulut kontroversi undang-undang tersebut secara garis besar telah memberikan banyak faedah. Setelah disahkannya WPA 2006, Presiden Musharraf membebaskan sekurang-kurangnya 6000 wanita yang terbukti tidak bersalah, dimana sebelumnya mereka menjadi korban pemerkosaan namun justru dijebloskan ke dalam penjara atas tuduhan qadzfuzzina. Wallahu a’lam bishowab.[ai]

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MAUT, SEBUAH KENISCAYAAN  

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oleh: Aini Aryani

Ia Yang Semakin Dekat...
Adalah waktu, sebuah bagian dari masa yang tak mungkin kembali lagi, meski sedetik, yang pada akhirnya akan membawa kita menuju sebuah keniscayaan bernama maut. Suatu hari, Imam Al Ghozali berkumpul bersama murid-muridnya, kemudian beliau bertanya. Pertama, "Apa yang paling jauh dari diri kita di dunia ini?" Murid-murid beliau menjawab dengan: negara Cina, bulan, matahari, dan bintang-bintang. Dengan bijak Imam Ghozali mengatakan bahwa semua jawaban yang mereka berikan adalah benar. Tapi yang paling benar adalah Masa Lalu. Bagaimanapun kita, apapun kendaraan kita, tetap kita tidak dapat kembali ke masa lalu, meski satu detik. Lalu Imam Ghozali meneruskan pertanyaan yang kedua, "Apa yang paling dekat dengan diri kita di dunia ini?" Diantara mereka ada yang menjawab dengan orang tua, guru, teman, dan kerabatnya. Sekali lagi, Imam Ghozali mengatakan bahwa jawaban mereka itu benar. Tetapi yang paling dekat dengan kita adalah "Mati". Sebab itu sudah merupakan janji Allah SWT bahwa setiap yang bernyawa pasti akan mati. “kullu nafsin dza`iqotul maut….”(Ali Imran:185).

Jika kita memperhatikan percakapan Imam Ghozali dengan para muridnya diatas, maka hal tersebut memiliki korelasi yang erat dengan penghitungan umur. Ibaratnya, kalau di tahun ini kita kebetulan terlahir ke dunia dua puluh satu tahun yang lalu, maka jatah umur kita telah berkurang sekitar sepertiganya, jika ukurannya adalah usia Rasulullah Shallallahu alaihi wasallam. Berarti jatah umur yang tersisa tinggal kurang lebih dua pertiganya lagi. Demikian pula jika di tahun ini kita telah menapaki usia ke tiga puluh satu, maka jatah usia kita yang tertinggal adalah setengahnya lagi. Dalam sisa waktu itulah kita memiliki kesempatan untuk menambah “bekal” yang nantinya akan dibawa menuju kehidupan kedua yang tak ada ujungnya. Sebuah kehidupan yang abadi yang menuntut perbekalan sebanyak mungkin. Bekal yang harus manusia usahakan di kehidupan sebelumnya.

Semakin banyak bekal yang dibawa menuju kehidupan abadi tersebut, semakin banyak pula kesempatan untuk mendapatkan “tiket” menuju surgaNya. Namun dalam mendapatkan bekal tersebut, manusia diharuskan untuk mencarinya bersama hati yang didalamnya berisi keikhlasan. Karena, tidaklah Allah memerintahkan hamba-hambaNya untuk menunaikan ibadah, kecuali dilaksanakan dengan “rasa ikhlas”. Sebuah syarat yang tidak ringan, apalagi sepele, dalam mempersembahkan segenap ibadah kepadaNya, karena dalam melaksanakannya, manusia senantiasa dikelilingi oleh syaitan laknatullah yang selalu berusaha sekuat tenaga untuk membelokkan langkah manusia dari titian lurus menuju jalanNya.

Ia Yang Tak Terduga…
Sang Penggenggam seluruh jiwa telah menetapkan ukuran usia bagi setiap ciptaan-Nya yang bernyawa, hingga tak semua manusia memiliki ukuran usia seperti Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Seorang putra dari Zaid bin Haritsah bernama Usamah bin Zaid menemui syahidnya pada usia yang belum mencapai dua puluh tahun. Demikian pula Chairil Anwar. Meski ia pernah berteriak, "Aku mau hidup seribu tahun lagi", dalam puisinya yang berjudul “Aku”, namun pada kenyataannya angka 50 pun tidak dicapainya karena Allah menentukan lain.

Kita juga mengenal Hasan Al-Banna yang ummat begitu berharap kiprah perjuangannya lebih lama dan buah pikirannya yang sudah begitu banyak masih bisa ditambah lagi. Artinya, ummat begitu berharap Allah memanjangkan umurnya agar kontribusi Sang Imam itu terus mengalir. Namun, lagi-lagi Allah berkehendak lain, ia pun tak sempat hidup lama jika -sekali lagi- ukurannya adalah usia Rasulullah Shallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

Mati adalah satu dari sekian rahasia Allah terhadap makhluk-Nya selain jodoh dan rizki. Kita memang tidak akan pernah tahu kapan sang ajal menghampiri, yang kita tahu pasti hanyalah bahwa ia tidak mungkin terlambat meski sedetik -apalagi lupa ataupun alpa- dari kewajibannya dari waktu yang sudah ditentukan untuk menjemput kita. Ia bisa datang setahun lagi, seminggu lagi, lusa, esok pagi saat matahari terbit, atau bahkan satu detik lagi. Semoga kita termasuk orang-orang yang mendapatkan RidhaNya juga kemudahan dalam mengisi “tas perbekalan” untuk dibawa menuju “pulau abadi”. Sehingga pada saatnya ia tiba, Izrail pun tersenyum saat menghampiri bahkan dengan bangga menghantarkan ruh ini ke hadapan Sang Khaliq. Amin. Ushikum Waiyyaya Nafsiy.[Nie]

*Tulisan diatas pernah dimuat dalam Buletin Al-Ahwal, buletin IKPM Putri cabang Pakistan edisi Tahun Baru 1427 Hijriyah.

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KEMAMPUAN SISTEM DIPLOMASI IRAN  

(Menyoal Politik Luar Negeri Iran Di Bawah Pemerintahan Ahmadinejad)

Oleh: Aini Aryani

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad merupakan seorang negarawan cerdas dari partai Islamic Society of Engineers yang lahir di Aradan Iran pada tanggal 28 Oktober 1956. Ia menjabat sebagai presiden Republik Islam Iran (RII) sejak 6 Agustus 2005. Pemimpin Iran tersebut memiliki keberanian luar biasa. Ia bahkan pernah menantang George W. Bush untuk berdebat secara terbuka dalam forum PBB.

Pengaruh Iran Di Timur Tengah
Tidak bisa dipungkiri, Iran di bawah kepemimpinan Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kini menjadi negara paling berpengaruh di Timur Tengah. Belum lagi, kemampuan nuklir Iran yang membuat negara-negara Barat ketar-ketir. Keberhasilan politik luar negeri Iran dalam dua tahun pertama masa pemerintahan Ahmadinejad dapat ditelusuri di kawasan Timur Tengah. Sistem diplomasi RII dengan memanfaatkan seluruh kemampuan yang dimiliki berhasil dalam aksi-aksinya di Irak, Afghanistan, Palestina, Lebanon dan juga Amerika Latin. Kemampuan diplomasi pemerintah Ahmadinejad mengubah RII menjadi salah satu negara terkuat di Timur Tengah.

Kemampuan Iran diakui oleh tokoh-tokoh Barat yang menasehati Gedung Putih agar tidak memandang sebelah mata peran dan posisi Iran di Timur Tengah. Perundingan segi tiga Baghdad menunjukkan posisi Iran sangat menentukan di peta politik Timur Tengah. Perundingan segi tiga terlaksana setelah permintaan resmi Amerika dan desakan pemerintah Irak. Satu hal yang menggembirakan, ketika Timur Tengah menjadi pusat konsentrasi tekanan politik dan militer Amerika dan sekutunya terhadap Iran, keberhasilan diplomasi Iran lebih mendominasi. Pejabat-pejabat tinggi Irak lebih menganggap Iran sebagai negara sahabat dan lebih dekat dengan mereka. Usaha Amerika untuk merusak hubungan ini selalu menemui jalan buntu.

Di kawasan Teluk Persia, politik luar negeri Iran yang aktif dan cerdas ditambah kunjungan Presiden Mahmud Ahmadinejad ke Arab Saudi dan Unit Emirat Arab memperkokoh hubungan Iran dan negara-negara di sekitar Teluk Persia. Pada saat yang sama, kunjungan pejabat-pejabat tinggi Amerika, khususnya Condoleeza Rice (Menteri Luar Negeri AS) dan Robert Gates (Menteri Pertahanan AS), gagal mengajak negara-negara Arab memusuhi Iran. Meski kedua menteri tersebut telah berusaha melobi negara-negara di kawasan Timur Tengah dengan mengobral pesawat-pesawat tempur, rudal dan senjata canggih lainnya, namun momen masih tidak berpihak pada mereka.

Di Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, Presiden Aghanistan, membela hubungan mesra Iran dan Aghanistan. Pembelaannya disampaikan saat kunjungannya ke Amerika. Kalangan politisi dan media Barat menilai itu sebagai kemenangan lain diplomasi Iran di kawasan Timur Tengah.

Kebijakan politik luar negeri Iran di kawasan Timur Tengah dan seluruh negara-negara Islam berlandaskan upaya mewujudkan persatuan di dunia Islam. Kunjungan-kunjungan Presiden Ahmadinejad ke negara-negara seperti Suriah, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Qatar, Sudan, UEA dan Arab Saudi bertujuan mewujudkan persatuan negara-negara Islam.

Iran Dan Teknologi Bahan Bakar Nuklir
Menteri Luar Negeri Amerika, Condoleeza Rice, mengakui bahwa Iran adalah satu-satunya negara yang menjadi tantangan strategis penting bagi kepentingan AS di Timur Tengah. Menurut pakar politik Islam, Profesor Vali Nasr, AS menginginkan Iran menghentikan hal-hal yang menjadi kegundahan AS, yaitu dukungan Iran pada Hizbullah, dukungannya pada gerakan yang oleh AS disebut terorisme, menghentikan campur tangannya di Irak, dan yang terpenting adalah penghentian pengayaan uranium serta menghentikan program nuklirnya. Iran sangat menyadari hal itu, namun tetap ingin mempunyai hak untuk menentukan nasib mereka sendiri di masa depan. Bangsa Iran menginginkan independensi dan tidak ingin bangsa lain mengintervensi secara hegemonik apa yang menjadi hak mereka. Ahmadinejad pernah berkata, “Jika kita menyerahkan program nuklir kita, mereka akan meminta hak-hak kita. Jika kita menyerahkan hak-hak asasi manusia kita, mereka akan meminta hak-hak hewan”.

Presiden Iran tersebut juga berpendapat bahwa Barat khawatir bila Iran mampu meraih semua tujuan yang diinginkannya di bidang pemanfaatan damai energi nuklir, Iran akan menjadi simbol bagi seluruh negara berkembang. Masyarakat tertindas di dunia akan meniru apa yang telah dicapai oleh bangsa Iran dan akan mempermasalahkan otoritas monopoli sejumlah negara atas energi nuklir. Atas dasar ini, Amerika beserta sejumlah sekutunya di Eropa dan Rezim Zionis Israel mengerahkan segala kekuatannya untuk menghentikan program damai energi nuklir Iran.

Ketika memenuhi undangan forum debat di Universitas Columbia tahun 2007 lalu, Ahmadinejad menegaskan bahwa program nuklir Iran beroperasi dalam kerangka hukum dan di bawah pemeriksaan-pemeriksaan IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), serta sepenuhnya bersifat damai. Ia juga menyatakan bahwa Iran adalah sebuah negara yang telah menjadi anggota IAEA selama lebih dari 33 tahun. Hukum agensi itu dengan tegas dan eksplisit menyatakan bahwa semua negara anggota mempunyai hak untuk teknologi bahan bakar nuklir yang damai. Hukum itupun mengatakan bahwa tidak ada alasan atau dalih, bahkan pemeriksaan-pemeriksaan yang dilakukan IAEA sendiri, yang dapat mencegah hak negara anggota untuk memiliki hak itu. Setelah melewati pemeriksaan berulang kali, laporan-laporan agensi itu menunjukkan bahwa aktivitas nuklir Iran bersifat damai, mereka tidak mendapati adanya suatu penyimpangan, dan bahwa mereka telah menerima kerja sama positif dari Iran. Laporan-laporan IAEA berulangkali secara tegas mengatakan bahwa Iran tidak terbukti menyimpang dari program nuklir damai.

Penutup
Ada dua hal yang membuat pemerintah Ahmadinejad memperkuat politik luar negerinya: tekanan dan serbuan yang luas dari hegemoni Barat dan peran vital energi nuklir dalam kemajuan dan pembangunan negara. Terlebih lagi, saat melihat keinginan kuat rakyat Iran untuk mendapatkan haknya memanfaatkan energi nuklir untuk pembangkit tenaga listriknya. Saat ini, kemampuan nuklir Iran berubah menjadi sebuah kekuatan diplomatik dalam politik luar negeri Iran dengan dunia internasional. Hal itu karena kemajuan pesat Iran di bidang ekonomi, budaya dan sosial ditambah sekarang Iran telah menjadi salah satu kekuatan nuklir dunia.

Saat ini, masalah nuklir Iran menjadi kekuatan diplomasi pemerintah Ahmadinejad. Iran tidak ingin menerima hubungan dengan kekuatan yang ingin mendikte. Iran menjalankan kebijakan politik luar negerinya secara cerdas dan realistis menghadapi sistem hegemoni dunia. Politik luar negeri dan hubungan internasional RII berlandaskan syariat Islam. Agama Islam menolak sistem hegemoni sejumlah negara yang sewenang-wenang. Islam mengajarkan perdamaian, keamanan dan kebahagiaan bagi seluruh umat manusia. Belajar dari pengalaman RII dalam menghadapi kelicikan tiga dekade terakhir hegemoni Barat yang dimotori oleh Amerika, dapat dikatakan bahwa dengan tawakal kepada Allah dan kepercayaan diri berdasarkan nilai-nilai Islam, pemerintah dan rakyat Iran akan dapat keluar sebagai pemenang.[]

Referensi:
-Prof. Vali Nasr: “Iran Ingin Kekuatannya Diakui dan Posisinya Setara dengan AS” (http://www.eramuslim.com/berita/bc2/6906162441)
-http://www.iranembassy.or.id/law_detail.php?idne=1239
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_ahmadinejad • http://www.adilnews.com/
-http://www.icc-jakarta.com

*Tulisan diatas pernah dimuat di Majalah IKPM cabang Pakistan, edisi Maret 2008

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Elegi Dalam Imajinasi Nyata  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


oleh: Aini Aryani

Ia melihat pemandangan mengerikan yang tak lagi asing baginya. Untuk kesekian kali Mahmood hanya bisa menelan ludah yang bercampur airmata. Asin di lidahnya. Perih di hatinya. Pasukan-pasukan Iblis di atas tank-tank baja dengan senjata api masih tertawa jumawa setelah menembaki para wanita Palestina yang tak berdaya didepan matanya, termasuk…..ibunya.
Mahmood geram. Tapi tak ada yang dapat dilakukannya selain menelan pahit kegeramannya. Remaja belia itu berlari ke sebuah padang. Dipukulnya tanah yang ia pijak, lalu berteriak sehisteris mungkin. Ia berteriak lagi, tak peduli walau pita suaranya putus sekalipun, asal dapat memuntahkan kegeraman yang ditelannya tadi. Mahmood lelah, lalu diam. Ia rebah di atas padang dan menyilangkan tangannya dibawah kepala sembari menatap langit yang sombong. Ia membiarkan imajinasinya larut dalam sebuah rantai pendek flash back, hingga malam melewati senja.
Peristiwa elegis dunia berimbas pada nasib negerinya. Usai Perang Dunia I disusul runtuhnya Imperium Usmani di Turki, Palestina berada dibawah kekuasaan Britania Raya melalui Perjanjian Skykes-Picot dan mandat dari Liga Bangsa-Bangsa, sebuah organisasi internasional sebelum PBB. Hal tersebut berakibat pada terjadinya peristiwa Deklarasi Balfour di tahun 1917. Ketegangan antara Arab dan Kaum Yahudi meletus, konflik dan kekerasan fisikpun tak bisa dielakkan, seperti Kerusuhan Palestina di tahun 1920 dan 1921, pembantaian massal di Hebron pada tahun 1929, serta Revolusi Arab di Palestina di tahun 1936-1939.

Kemudian usai Perang Dunia II, Inggeris menyerahkan isu Palestina ke tangan PBB, dan pada tahun 1947 PBB menyetujui partisi Palestina menjadi dua bangsa: Kaum Yahudi dan Arab. Partisi tersebut disetujui oleh pihak Yahudi, namun tidak oleh Liga Arab. Hingga ketika Israel mendeklarasikan kemerdekaan pada 14 Mei 1948, Liga Arab tak bisa begitu saja menerima deklarasi tersebut. Lagi-lagi perang pecah. Sayang, Perang Arab-Israel 1948 itu berakhir dengan kemenangan di pihak Israel dengan sekutu-sekutunya. Tapi, Yerussalem, kota utama yang menjadi rebutan tetap berstatus sebagai divided city. Sedangkan beberapa tahun kemudian, Jalur Gaza dan Tepi Barat menciptakan konflik internal negeri antara Fatah dan Hamas.

Rentetan peperangan yang melibatkan banyak pihak itu membuat nasib negerinya dilimpahkan dari tangan ke tangan. Seperti bola kaki yang ditendang kesana kemari tanpa tahu kapan ia akan berhasil digoal-kan. Perjanjian-perjanjian lewat negosiasi maupun mediasi seakan tak mampu menyelesaikan problematika menahun. Bahkan Oslo Accord 1993 dan 1995 tak berhasil menentukan status akhir Yerussalem dan masa depan para pengungsi. Benar-benar peristiwa yang menciptakan rantai elegi bagi bangsanya. Sementara Israel masih menikmati euforia. Entah apakah ini jalan yang semestinya, ataukah ini lagi-lagi skenario The Quartet yang mengaku berkuasa di dunia.

Layar flash back tertutup. Mahmood terbangun dari imajinasinya, mengalihkan pandangannya dari langit yang hitam. Hmm…malam telah tua rupanya. Ia beranjak dari padang untuk kembali ke tempat dimana ibunya dibantai. Ia harus menguburkan ibunda tercintanya, dan tak akan membiarkan jenazah itu diperlakukan seperti bangkai binatang seperti jenazah-jenazah yang diperlakukan biadab oleh iblis-iblis bersenjata api itu.[]

*Tulisan Diatas pernah dimuat di Buletin An-Nahdlah PCI-NU Pakistan, edisi Juli 2009




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OWNERSHIP IN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE  

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I. INTRODUCTION

Ownership and right to property is the inherent right of a man to exercise his rights over property which he possesses and control with obligations connected therewith in the property acquired, such as to use for his own pleasure, to transfer and to extinguish his right by way of transfer if he chooses. (Note: the term inherent is use to denote that relationship).

Every human being has a right as inherent to his status to make such use of his physical and mental faculties as he chooses, provided he does not interfere with similar liberty of others. It is by the exercise of this inherent right that rights and obligations connected with property are mostly acquired, transferred or extinguished

Definitions of Ownership by western Jurists:
 Austin’s definition; “Ownership means a right which avails against everyone who is subject to the law conferring the right to put thing to user of indefinite nature.” Full ownership according to him is “a right indefinite in point of user, unrestricted in point of disposition and unlimited in point of duration.”
 According to Hibert, “Ownership involves four rights and those are the right of using the thing, excluding others from using it, the disposal of the thing and the destruction of the thing.”
 Salmond defines it as; “Relation between a person an right that is vested in him.”
 According to Buckland, “Ownership is ultimate right to the thing or what is left when all other rights vested in various people are taken out.”

The word used by Muslim jurists for ownership is milkiyah and that used for property is mal. The term al-milk, however, is sometimes used for ownership and at other times for the subject matter of ownership.

Ownership is defined by Muslim jurists as: “the relationship that exists between a person and a thing that gives absolute control and right of disposal over it to the exclusion of others.” Some of them also define it a “the relationship between man and property that has been established by the shari’ah through which he exercises exclusive control and right of disposal over it as long as there is no shar’i restriction.” This, however does not change the essential nature of the definition with respect to “control” and “exclusion of others”.

II. VARIOUS KINDS OF OWNERSHIP

Islamic concept of ownership has classified the ownership into many kinds and types. Here are I attempted some of its classifications;

A. Major Categories of Ownership

We can distinguish between three major categories of ownership: Private Ownership, Public Ownership, Waqf (voluntary sector).

1. Private Ownership

Islam recognizes the individual’s property and permits the ownership of all types of property acquired by lawful means. The authority of this sanction may be elucidated from the following verses:
“And for men is the benefit of what they earn. And for women is the benefit of what they earn.” (4:32)

“And give to orphans their property, and don’t substitute the worthless (things) for good ones.” (4:02)

Islam also recognizes the right of inheritance and obviously it can only be recognized by a system in which the people have the right of ownership. Islam considers the rich trustees and claims them to vindicate their trust-worthiness by so dealing with their wealth that it becomes wealth radiative and not wealth reflective. These trustees are answerable before Allah for the manner in which they discharge the trust reposed in this. The holy Quran says:

“And Allah has made some of you excel others in means of sustenance. So, those who are made to excel give not away their sustenance to those whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal there in.” (16:71).

“And give them of wealth of Allah which He has given you.”

The Qur’anic verses quoted above thus make it clear that the wealth and all other instruments of wealth are mainly TRUST put in the hands of rich, with view to afford mutual benefits to all. No one is absolute master because real ownership and mastery over everything and every person vests only in Allah; others in these respective forms are no more than mere Trustees, answerable before Allah for the manner in which they discharge the trust reposed in them.

Islam gives guarantee for the safety of the property of the citizens and inflict heavy punishment on culprits. Thieves and robbers, who endanger the safety of property of the citizens and do not honour their rights are very severely punished by Islamic State. Islam condemns those who usurp the property of other people. It is explained in Qur’an:

“And (as far) the man and woman who committed theft, cut off their hands as punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment form Allah.” (5:38)

“And swallow not up your property among your selves by false means.” (2:188)

Private ownership is essential prerequisite for a free society. Abolition of private property implies elimination of freedom. Freedom is most sacred in Islam. Life in Islam is worth living when it is a life of freedom. An individual is free to maximize his gains. But maximizing gains or at least getting some profits in the Islamic context is vastly different from capitalism. According to Islam, means of business should always be fair and legal. Wages should be fair and just. Production should be acceptable according to the Islamic norms i.e. it should be beneficial to the society. No “Haram” (prohibited) items should be produced. Similarly, spending of the fruits of ownership should also be within the limits set by Islam. The Qur’an tells us that we should always get our money in Halal (permissible) way.

Limits on Private Ownership

Islam recognizes the individual’s right of ownership but does not leave him entirely free to use this right in any way he likes. Islam has allowed private ownership in principle but has subjected it to such limitations as would render it absolutely harmless. It has authorized to community to enact necessary legislation to organize private ownership and to change it whenever the public interest demands it.

It is true that the government has an important role in checking the greed of the individuals. When we say that private property is essential in Islamic framework, it is not that shortcomings of private property are ignored. Private property can be misused. So, Islam tries to correct this imbalance from the very beginning in the following ways:
• Man is not considered to be the ultimate owner of property and wealth because he is not the creator. Allah is the creator of men as well as land and wealth. So that property could be used in the name of Allah.
• Morality, religion and ethics should determine human behavior. The government should intervene in order to ensure that performance of private property is not in contradiction with the interest of the society in general. The door is open for the Islamic government to play its constructive role in the economy, on the condition that there should be a real maslahah (public interest).


2. Public Ownership and Government Sector

We must distinguish between the public ownership and government ownership of the property. In past, fuqaha (jurists) have spoken about the streets and rivers, etc. and have maintained that these are owned by the community and not by the government. The prophet PBUH has stated that people are full partners in water, grazing and fire. These belong to community and the government should utilize them for the benefit of all. By the same token other jurists and scholars have added public utilities like transportation, etc. All other public utilities may be seen in the same way through Qiyas (deduction). The jurists have also spoken about al-ma’adan al-zahira (minerals on the face of earth) which are not supposed to be owned individually.

3. Waqf (Voluntary Sector)

Waqf is not mentioned in Qur’an explicitly, but it is implicit in the teachings of the Qur’an and sunnah and was done by the companions of the prophet PBUH during his life. Waqf is meant to take resources away from the private ownership and allocate them to the benefits of those who need the fruits or results of such projects.

The institution of al-waqf al-islami (Islamic trust) has played a great and important role in history of Muslims and gave the right answers to such question: why Islamic education of the past was independent of the government? Why our jurists were independent? Why our medical programs flourished to the extent that hospitals were built even for animals? Because of institution of Waqf. Thousands and thousands in Al-Azhar, in Al-Aqsa, in Egypt, in India and elsewhere got their education through the waqf.

The waqf is independent from the control of both the private sector and the government. It belongs directly to the society and is perpetual source of income to its beneficiaries. Unfortunately, most of these institutions have vanished for a number of reasons including the growing powers of our contemporary governments.

B. Types of Ownership

Ownership (al-milk) is classified in various ways. Some of these are given below:

1. Classification on the basis of participation. Ownership is classified on the basis of the person participating in the ownership into three types:

• Sole ownership. This is ownership by a single person of a particular property with all the attached rights and control.
• Co-ownership also called sharikat al-milk. When two or more persons jointly hold property it is called co-ownership. It is treated as a kind of partnership in Islamic law.
• Communal or public ownership. These are things that are jointly shared by the entire community including land, grass, fire. An individual does not have the right to exclude another person from such things, unless it has been converted to his personal ownership or possession through a legally valid mode of acquisition.

2. Classification on the basis of corpus (‘ayn) usurfruct (manfa’ah), and use (istimta’).

A person may own a thing as well as the benefits flowing from it, although he may temporarily alienate the benefits through contract, like an owner renting out this house to another person or mortgaging it as security for a debt. The Hanafis do not make a distinction between the ownership of the corpus and ownership of benefits or services for purposes of ownership. Both are attached to the same thing. The owner may contract out the use of the thing to another, but that does not make the other person the owner.

The benefit of this rule is that the other person not being the owner of the benefits does not have a right of further disposal in them. Thus, a tenant in a house cannot further sublet it. The majority of the jurists do make distinction, with some of them distinguishing between the right to manfa’ah and the right of intifa’. The word istimta’ pertains to conjugal rights. They arise from the marriage contract.

3. Classification on the basis of complete and incomplete ownership.

The word al-milk is also used to qualify other legal categories that are related to ownership, but are not ownership, but are not ownership proper. The word al-milk or ownership is employed in three senses. Milk ar-raqabah (proprietary right), milk al-yad (possession), milk at-tasarruf (right of disposal).

Thus, milk ar-raqabah is ownership proper that includes both exclusive control and the right of disposal. Possession or milk al-yad consists of exclusive control and the right the right to keep others out of such control, but it does not include the right of disposal. Milk at-tasarruf involves the right to dispose of property on behalf of the owner. This type of ownership belongs to the guardian, the executor and the agent and with some restrictions to the mortgagee and the bailee as well.

4. Classification on the basis of primary and incidental rights.

Primary rights are associated with the property itself, while incidental rights are those that may be related to other property because of the primary rights. These incidental rights give rights to easement like the right of passage (haqq al-murur), the right to flow of the water (haqq al-majra), the right to water (haqq al-shurb), right to discharge rain water to another’s land (haqq al-masil). These rights correspond to easements in English law. An easement is to be enjoyed as in the past and cannot be enlarged or altered. It is loss by disuse.

Another right is known as rights of a neighbour (haqq al-jiwar). This right may also lead to the right of Pre-emption. The Punjab Pre-Emption Act 1991 defines right of pre-emption as a right to acquire by purchase an immovable property in preference to other persons by reason of such right.

The term pre-emption is usually used for the translation of haqq shuff’ah, it means the acquiring a vendor’s property for the price for which the vendor has sold it. The right of pre-emption comes into operation only when the vendor has actually sold the property for until the contract of sale has been entered into the matter resting solely upon his intention cannot be said to be free from uncertainty.

III. RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP

One of the most pivotal and crucial issues is that of ownership of various elements of production. A hot debate is going on among scholars of the age and it is perplexing to pen down that no conclusive result has been achieved yet. There remains a gulf of difference on this theme.

a. True and Absolute Ownership

Some are of the view that actual ownership rests with Allah, being the Creator and the man holds property as a trust for that he is accountable. Acquisition and disposal of property are recognized on certain conditions laid down by Shariah. Absolute ownership of individuals is not according to tenets of Islam, because it belongs to God solely.

A few writers assert that Real Owner has given proprietary rights to the whole society and they are against individual’s rights of ownership, as has been depicted by Abdul Qadir Udah in this passage: “The society through its functionaries such as rules and councilors has authority to organize ways and means of utilizing wealth. All wealth belongs to Allah, but Allah has made it fr good society. The rule in Islam is that all rights belonging to Allah are for good of society which sits in authority over them and not individuals. The society can abrogate individual ownership of benefits of property subject to condition that suitable compensation is paid to owner of benefits involved. Though Islam allows ownership with limits, it authorizes society, as entity for enduring rights of God and for organizing utilization of wealth, to subject individual ownership of particular kinds of property to limits, when necessitated by public good. This may apply to ceilings on agricultural holdings or to urban property.

Sayyed Qutb and Maulana Maudoodi hold somewhat different opinions, however they declare that rights of ownership are allowed. But their emphasis is on ensuring of basic needs of every individual.

Abdul Hamid Abu Sulaiman describes in these words: “A strict equality in ownership of natural resources would require very frequent redistribution of those resources among members of society. This would be disruptive to economic activity and social relations. First alternative to avoid frequent redistribution and permit private ownership; second, to redistribute equally among members of society that part of income which is due to natural resources, thus achieving equality and justice.”

M.N Siddique remarks, “The individuals, state and society each have claim on property rights in view of the principle that Islamic state has jurisdiction over individual rights, being embodiment of God’s vicegerency on earth and representatives of people. This jurisdiction is however, functional, depending upon values and objectives cherished by Islam.”

b. Land Ownership

The claim for land nationalization is sought to be proved from these Qur’anic verses. Although there is no direct bearing to this matter, yet some writers put their contention on these passages.
“All that the heavens and earth contain belongs to Allah. Whether you reveal or conceal your thoughts, God will bring you to account of them. He has powers over all things. “ (2:284)

“Return to Our faith or We will banish you from Our land. We shall destroy wrongdoers and let you dwell in the land after them.” (14:13, 14)

“Unto Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth and religion is His for ever. Will you then fear any other than Allah?” (16:52)

“For We shall inherit the earth and all who are thereon and they are returned unto Us.” (19:40).

“It is His, whatever the heavens and the earth comprise and all that lies between them and underneath the soil.” (20:6)

“He laid the earth for creatures, therein are fruits, blossom-bearing palm, husk covered grain and scented herbs.” (55:10-13)

The supporters of land nationalization argue on the basis of above mentioned verses and say that all land is owned by the ruler, being vicegerent of God and that individuals have no right of ownership. But they are not justified in it. According to God as He is the Creator of whole universe, even the very life of a Muslim is belonged by Allah. Hence, concept of land ownership is not refuted and moreover it is not confirmed that land is a national property.

The private ownership of land was a custom during and before the period of Prophet. The grants were made by the Prophet himself followed by four pious chalips. There are few reliable Traditions to this effect. Al-Quma bin Wail relates that his father said a piece of land was granted to him by the Prophet in Hadhramaut.

It is related by Abu Bakr’s daughter, Asma, that Prophet gave her husband, Zubair bin Awwam, a land piece in Khybar that had date-palm and other trees.

Urwah Bin Zubair narrates that the Prophet granted him one piece of land from groves of Bani Nadheer which had been made state land.

Umar bin Dinar is said to have related, “When the Prophet came to Medina, he granted some land to Abu Bakr and Umar, the Great.”

It is related by Abu Rafia that Prophet had granted a tract of land to some of his relatives but could not develop or cultivate it and during Hadhrat Umar’s reign, they sold it for 8 thousands dinars. He grant of this form of lands was called Iqta, being inheritable and this was common practice in Arabia.

It is established fact that Islam is not against proprietary rights of land. However, it disfavours the bad form of feudalism and landlordism, because there arises exploitation and centralization of land in few hands and then unequal of wealth which is followed by oppression and corruption, ending with disruption and destruction of a nation.

IV. CONCLUSION

Numerous verses in the Qur’an give a clear indication that everything is owned by Allah (God) and that property in the absolute sense belongs to Him, and to Him alone. However, the right of ownership vests in God alone does not mean that we as human beings do not have the right to own property, it simply puts this individual right of ownership within a broader context. Ownership is basically our responsibility as trustees of God on earth. It is clear in the Quran that there is no objection on the individual right of property. For instance, God tells the Prophet:
“Take from their property charity”. (A-Tawbah 9:104).

In this verse, God uses the term ‘their property’, showing that there is no contradiction between God’s ultimate ownership to the universe and our right as humans to own within the restrictions that God has provided.

One of the restrictions on property in Islamic law is the legitimate acquisition of property, as the sanctity and right to defend property has to be recognized. Another restriction is not to allow your use of your property to cause harm or problem against other people.The Prophet PBUH once said;
“One should not harm himself or others” (Narrated by Muslim).

This requires considering other’s benefit while using your property. For example, monopolizing people’s basic necessities is restricted in Islamic law.[]

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Mehr Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Prof.; ISLAMIC AND OTHER ECONOMIC SYSTEMS, Islamic Book Service, Lahore, 1989.
2. LECTURES ON ISLAMIC ECONOMICS; Islamic Concept of Ownership and Its Economic Implications, by Mohammed Ahmed Sakr, Islamic Research and Training Institute Islamic Deveploment Bank Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
3. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE; Property and Ownership, Center for Islamic Law & Legal Heritage
4. Dr. V.D. Mahajan, JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL THEORY, Mansoor Book House, Lahore.
5. Prof. Dr. Noor Mohammad Ghifari; SOCIAL SECURITY IN ISLAM, Atiq Publishing House, Lahore
6. Charles Hamilton; THE HIDAYAH; Mussulman Laws, vol. viii, Premier Book House, Lahore, 1982
7. M.A. Malik; THE PUNJAB PRE-EMPTION ACT 1991, PLD Publisher, Lahore, 1995
8. M.A, Abdul Rahim; THE PRINCIPLE OF MUHAMMADAN JURISPRUDENCE; Ownership.
9. http://uk.ask.com/web

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Comparison Between Bailment & Wadee'ah (Deposit)  

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I. INTRODUCTION

a) Bailment
Bailment is a legal relationship created when a person gives property to someone else for safekeeping. To create a bailment the other party must knowingly have exclusive control over the property. The receiver must use reasonable care to protect the property.

This word is derived from the French, bailler, to deliver. It is a compendious expression, to signify a contract resulting from delivery. It has been defined to be a delivery of goods on a condition, express or implied, that they shall be restored by the bailee to the bailor, or according to his directions, as soon as the purposes for which they are bailed shall be answered. Or it is a delivery of goods in trust, on a contract either expressed or implied, that the trust shall be duly executed, and the goods redelivered, as soon as the time or use for which they were bailed shall have elapsed or be performed.

Mr. Justice Blackstone has defined a bailment to be a delivery of goods in trust, upon contract, either expressed or implied, that the trust shall be faithfully executed on the part of the bailee. And in another place, as the delivery of goods to another person for a particular use.
Mr. Justice Story says that a bailment is a delivery of a thing in trust for some special object or purpose, and upon a contract, express or implied, to conform to the object or purpose of the trust.

Bailment is also defined as the temporary placement of control over, or possession of Personal Property by one person, the bailor, into the hands of another, the bailee, for a designated purpose upon which the parties have agreed. Or it can be said as the act of placing property in the custody and control of another, usually by agreement in which the holder (bailee) is responsible for their safe keeping and return of the property. It is also understood as the delivery of an asset by its owner to another person or persons for temporary care.

Sir William Jones has divided bailment into five sorts, namely:
-Depositum, or deposit.
-Mandatum, or commission without recompense.
-Commodatum, or loan for use, without pay.
-Pignori acceptum, or pawn.
-Locatum, or hiring, which is always with reward.

This last is subdivided into,
-Locatio rei, or biring, by which the hirer gains a temporary use of the thing.
-Locatio operis faciendi, when something is to be done to the thing delivered.
-Locatio operis mercium vehendarum, when the thing is merely to be carried from one place to another.

b) Wadee’ah

Literary, the word wadee’ah is derived from word al-wad’u or wada’ means ‘to leave’. It is because each mudee (proprietor) and muda’ (trustee) leaves one another. It can also mean al-hifz (to preserve, to keep, and to secure). It is kind of Amanah.

As-Sun’anee defines al-wadee’ah as the thing or good (corpus) entrusted by the owner or his agent to another to be kept in the custody. The contract of wadee’ah can be mandoob if the trustee has a character trust confidence in his self. Allah said in soorah al-Maidah verse 2:
وتعاونوا على البرّ والتّقوى

Means: “Do help one another in the courtesy and God-fearing”.

But wadee’ah can be wajib (compulsory) when nobody else other than himself (trustee) who is capable to keep the goods, and it is worried to be perish when nobody takes it into custody.

Ibn Balban defines wadee’ah as the wealth which is delivered or is handed over the person keeping it without reward.

In fact, wadee’ah contract is a kind of Bailment. It is sort of deposit in which the trust is for the benefit of the bailor as mandates. Generally, wadee’ah is done gratuitously.

II. COMPARISON

There are some comparisons between the contract of Bailment and Wadee’ah:

a. Definition
Bailment has a wider sense in definition, as it includes many kinds of trust contracts, e.g [1] Those contracts in which the trust is for the benefit of both parties, as pledges or pawns, and hiring and letting to hire, [2] Those in which the trust is for the benefit of the bailee, as gratuitous loans for use, and [3] those in which the trust is for the benefit of the bailor, as deposits and mandates. The result; wadee’ah is one of its kind, as it is sort of deposit and mandates.

b. Use of Term
The term of ‘Bailment’ is used for a kind of contract, while the term of ‘wadee’ah’ is used for two meanings: for the contract itself and for subject of the contract (the goods delivered to the muda’).

c. Elements of Contract
In Bailment three elements are generally necessary: delivery, acceptance, and consideration.
a.) Delivery
Actual possession of or control over property must be delivered to a bailee in order to create a bailment. Control over property is not necessarily the same as physical custody of it but, rather, is a type of constructive delivery. The delivery of the keys to a safe-deposit box is constructive delivery of its contents.
b.) Acceptance
A requisite to the creation of a bailment is the express or implied acceptance of possession of or control over the property by the bailee. A person cannot unwittingly become a bailee. Because a bailment is a contract, knowledge and acceptance of its terms are essential to its enforcement.
c.) Consideration
Consideration is the exchange of something of value, must be present for a bailment to exist. Unlike the consideration required for most contracts, as long as one party gives up something of value, such action is regarded as good consideration. It is sufficient that the bailor suffer loss of use of the property by relinquishing its control to the bailee; the bailor has given up something of value, the immediate right to control the property.
Whereas the Wadee’ah contract involved 3 elements as well, they are: Sighah, mudee, and muda’.

-Sighah (offer and acceptance),
-mudee’ (the party who deliver the goods, he can be the owner, the possessor or his agent), and
-muda’ (the trustee, or the party who is to take the goods into his custody).

But, Imam Shafe’i did not consider the sighah (offer and acceptance) as the element required in the wadee’ah contract. Merely silence of both mudee’ and muda’ in certain circumstances may be enough to create wadee’ah contract.

d. Parties involved
In Bailment the parties involved are known as bailor and bailee. Bailor is the party delivering the goods, and Bailee is the person to whom the goods are delivered. While in Wadee’ah they are known as mudee’ and muda’ (proprietor and trustee).

e. Source of Provision
The rights and duties of each bailor and bailee are provisioned in Contract Act 1872, while the rights and duties of each mudee and muda’ are regulated in the sources of Islamic Law (Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma or consensus of jurists, and Qiyas).

f. Voluntarily and Involuntarily
Bailment can be established voluntarily or involuntarily, e.g by operation of law, while wadee’ah contract is always created voluntarily.

g. Movable and Immovable
Bailment contract is created for movable property, while wadee’ah can be done for both movable and immovable property. For instance; Z (mudee’) entrusted his home to Y (muda’) during Z’s travel to other city, or during specific time period. That illustration is an example of wadee’ah contract for immovable property.

h. Transfer of Goods to 3rd Party
In Bailment when bailee, without the knowledge of or authority from bailor, transferred the goods bailed to other person to be kept in the custody of that other person, and that transfer caused the goods bailed to the damage or loss. In this case bailee will be held liable to compensate. In Wadee’ah, when C (owner of the goods) entrusted the goods to A to be kept in his home, but after few days the door of A’s home was broken, and it may cause to the loss of the goods. Knowing this condition, A transferred the goods to his friend (B/third party) by reason to believe that B has more capability to keep the goods in his save home. In this circumstance, A will not be held liable to compensate in case of damage or loss, because his act is done in his capacity as trustee who has right to do so in case of emergency or manifest urgency.

i. Legal & Possessory Right
Trust of wadee’ah may cover realty as well as personality; the beneficiary under a trust has an equitable interest only, whereas a bailee has a legal interest (viz. various possessory rights). A trustee has the legal title of ownership, and so has power to convey a good title to a bona fide purchaser for value, whereas the bailee has only possessory rights.

j. Several joint Owners
Bailment in accordance with section 165 of Contract Act states that if several joint owners of goods bail them, the bailee may deliver them back to, or according to the directions of one joint owner without the consent of all, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary. On the other hand, in case of deposit (wadee’ah) by two persons, the trustee cannot deliver to either his share, but in presence of the other. So, if two men deposit (entrusted) something jointly with another, and one of them afterward appears and demands his share of deposit, the trustee must not give it unless in the presence of the other depositor, according to Imam Abu Haneefah.

The argument of Abu Haneefah is that the person present, in claiming his on share, necessarily claim half of the absentee’s since he claim a separate and determinate portion, whereas his right is indefinite. Now, where a right is mixed indefinitely with another, it is to be rendered separate and determinate only by means of division, but the trustee has no power to make a division.

k. To Use the Goods
In bailment, the bailee may use the thing bailed, provided that his act is not out of authorized use. Bailee can be held liable in case of making unauthorized use of goods bailed. He can use the thing bailed as far as the permission given by the bailor is concerned. In Wadee’ah, the muda’ (trustee) is not allowed to use the thing deposited to him. When the mudee (depositor/proprietor) allowed him to use the goods, the wadee’ah contract turns into areeyah (loan).

l. Reward
Consideration is one of the elements of Bailment contract. That is why in many cases, the bailee will be given a reward after the accomplishment of the task. For instance; a tailor will have a right of money after finishing the task of sewing the ordered garment of customer. It is a kind of non-gratuitous bailment. In the other hand, Wadeeah is generally created gratuitously and without a reward. And the goods are to be returned when it is demanded or required.

m. Termination
The contract of Wadee’ah is terminated when the goods are returned to mudee (proprietor/depositor) on his demand. It can be also terminated by the agreement of both parties, e.g when the muda’ (trustee) feels of incapability to keep the goods, or when the time period was specified.

Bailment, according to section 148 of 1872 Contract Act, is the delivery of goods by one person to another for some purpose, upon a contract that they shall, when the purpose is accomplished, be returned or otherwise disposed of according to the directions of the person delivering them. Thus, a bailment is ended when its purpose has been achieved, when the parties agree that it is terminated, or when the bailed property is destroyed. A bailment created for an indefinite period is terminable at will by either party, as long as the other party receives due notice of the intended termination. Once a bailment ends, the bailee must return the property to the bailor or possibly be liable for conversion.[]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

1. A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States, By John Bouvier. Published in 1856.
2. AL-IKHYAR LITA’LEEL AL-MUKHTAR, by Majdooddin Abdullah Ibn Mahmood Ibn
3. Maudood al-Mausly, vol. II, Darul Fikr, Amman, Jordan, 1999
4. MAWAHIBUL JALEEL; MIN ADILLAH KHOLEEL, by Sheikh Ahmad al-Mukhtar al-Jaknee as-Shanqeety, vol. IV, Publisher: Idaratu Ihya-e-Turats al-Islami, Qatar, 1987.
5. AKHSARUL MUKHTASARAT, by Ibn Balban, vol. I, publisher: Maktabah ar-Rushd
THE HIDAYAH; Mussulman Laws, by Charles Hamilton, vol. III, Premier Book House, Lahore, 1982
6. Contract Act 1872, Mansoor Book House, Lahore, 2007
7. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/bailment
8. http://www.fxwords.com/b/bailment.html
9. http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com/word/deposit

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LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP  

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I. Introduction

Limited Liability Partnerships are distinct from limited partnerships, in that limited liability is granted to all partners, not to a subset of non-managing “limited partner”. As a result the LLP is more suited for business where the investors to take an active role in management. Whereas Limited Partnership is kind of partnership in which one or more partners have limited liability and at least one of the partners has unlimited liability. The liability of the limited partner is limited to the extent of his investment in the business. In Pakistan there is no Limited Partnership type of business.

A Limited Liability Partnership ("LLP") is essentially the same thing as a Limited Liability Company ("LLC"), except that an LLP is specifically designed for use by certain professions (for example, accountants, lawyers or architects). Generally the partners in limited liability partnerships aren't responsible for the debts, obligations, or liabilities of the partnership resulting from negligence, malpractice or wrongful acts, or misconduct by another partner, employee or agent of the partnership.

Professional organizations (such as accounting and law firms) generally prefer limited liability partnerships because they are specifically designed to limit malpractice claims against partners not involved in the malpractice. But a partner of a limited liability partnership is liable for other partnership debts and obligations as well as for their own negligence, malpractice or wrongful acts, or misconduct, and that of any person under their direct supervision and control.

There are more administrative duties involved compared to the Partnership business structure. In terms of liability, the Limited Liability Partnership is itself liable for debts run up in running the business, rather that the individual members of the LLP. As a result, LLP's are only recommended for profit running businesses.

Individuals or existing businesses can be members of a Limited Liability Partnership, and the LLP must have at least 2 members. The rights and responsibilities of all members would usually be laid out in a "Deed of Partnership". The LLP would typically select a "Designated Member" (or members) who would be responsible for maintaining communications with Companies House, preparing accounts and acting for the LLP if for some reason it is dissolved further down the line.

II. Forming a Limited Liability Partnership

Limited liability partnerships are formed by either:
filing a certificate with the Secretary of State, or
filing a certificate to convert an existing general partnership to a limited liability partnership.
At least two people “carrying on a lawful business with a view to profit” must subscribe their names to a document called an "incorporation document". The incorporation document must be delivered to the Registrar of Companies at Companies House. A statement must also be delivered to the Registrar that there has been compliance with the requirement that at least two persons, associated for the purpose of carrying on a lawful business with a view to profit, have subscribed their names to the incorporation document. The statement must be made by a subscriber to the incorporation document or a solicitor engaged in the formation of the limited liability partnership.

The incorporation document must include this information: the name of the limited liability partnership, the name and address of the persons who are to be members on incorporation; whether some or all of the members are to be designated members. There is no restriction on the number of members, but at least two must be designated members. A designated member is responsible for certain administrative and filing duties and for the filing of accounts as well as other duties in particular circumstances. Specifically, it is the designated partners who are held liable for the correct filing and recording of the limited liability partnership affairs. It is they too, who will be subject to the criminal penalties of failure to comply. If the LLP reduces in number and there are fewer than two designated members then every member is deemed to be a designated member.

An LLP should draw up a "Deed of Partnership" at the time of formation, a legally binding agreement between members which lays out the rights and responsibilities of each party to the agreement. Alongside administrative details such as the names and addresses of members, the deed will also include details on the amount of capital each partner will inject into the business, what their individual roles and responsibilities will be in running the business and what would happen if a partner leaves the business.

There are precise provisions for registration of a limited liability partnership, which are not dissimilar for those for creating a new limited company. However, a person cannot buy an "off the shelf" limited liability partnership as he can a limited company. The original documents have to be prepared with the names of the first set of "real" partners.

The law of “ostensible authority” applies to partner transactions. Every partner is an agent of the limited liability partnership. The limited liability partnership is bound by every contract made by any partner, unless first, the partner had no authority to make the contract and second, the third party was aware of that fact. The limited liability partnership is bound even by contracts by former partners, unless the other party has been told that the former partner is no longer a member, or the registrar has received a notice to that effect.

III. Tax and National Insurance

Limited liability partnerships are run like general partnerships and have a similar degree of management flexibility. Income, losses and gains are passed through to the general partners according to the partnership agreement. If there is no partnership agreement, income, losses and gains will be allocated in proportion to the partnership interests of each partner. Partners can agree among themselves as to how income, losses, and gains are divided among the partners. The partners then report the amount allocated on their own income tax returns and pay tax accordingly.

All profits in a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) are split between the members. The tax liability falls on the individual members, not the LLP itself. Most members are likely to be self-employed, so all income should be declared via self-assessment. If an LLP member is another business, they will be liable to pay corporation tax on any income they receive from the LLP.
The profits of the business of a limited liability partnership are taxed as if the business were carried on by partners in partnership, rather than by a body corporate. This ensures that the commercial choice between using a limited liability partnership or a partnership is a tax neutral one. There are fair and foreseeable provisions to restrict set off of losses elsewhere against partnership profits of a partner and other anti-avoidance measures.

The transfer of an existing business to a limited liability partnership will not be treated for tax purposes as a cessation of the business of the partnership which is making the transfer unless in identical circumstances a transfer between one partnership and another would do so.

IV. When to use a limited liability partnership

Of all the legislation of the last few years, the “creation” of limited liability partnership is one of the most interesting.

a. Limited liability generally
The essence of a limited liability partnership for practical purposes is as a vehicle to contain a partnership of any size where partners may be at risk from the careless or accidental negligence of a colleague. For example, partners in International accountancy firms would be protected from personal liability if a claim was successfully pursued by a major client. Partners in a construction business would be protected if a new building collapsed, causing high level claims against them.

b. Protection for a non-active lender
A limited liability partnership may also be appropriate for a partnership where some partners are not actively involved. They might have once been called “sleeping” partners. This will suit both a company and an individual lender.

c. Easy in, easy out
The LLP structure is more suitable for a group of people engaging together in a property or finance venture where it may be necessary to account for partners coming and going more frequently than we would expect in a normal partnership business.
V. Direct Partner Liability in LLP

All limited liability partnership ("LLP") statutes provide that LLP partners will be personally liable for their own negligence or malfeasance. In addition, most LLP statutes provide that LLP partners are liable for the negligence, wrongful acts and misconduct of any person under the LLP partner's "direct supervision and control, "although the statutory terminology differs in this regard. The various state LLP statutes do not define what is meant by "direct supervision and control," and this question is left to judicial interpretation. For supervisory liability to be imposed upon a LLP partner, both "supervision and control" must exist, and the mandated supervision and control must be "direct."

It is probable that the LLP statutes contemplate immediate, close supervision and control by a LLP partner, rather than a casual level of supervision or control is contemplated. The direct supervision and control standard should require an intimate involvement in supervision and control in connection with actual work with respect to a matter, rather than mere responsibility for a matter or client. Thus, for example, a LLP partner in an accounting firm who is working on a day-to-day basis in supervising and directing the activities of an employee would appear to have liability exposure. On the other hand, the chair of a department in a law firm, the members of the governing body of law firm or the managing partner of a law firm, who have established general policy for their firms but who are not personally involved in a client representation would appear not to have liability exposure. Similarly, two LLP partners working on a matter independently of each other, neither of whom is viewed as supervising and controlling the other, should be able to argue that since they acted independently of each other, they should not be exposed to liability for the other's conduct. However, the lack of authority on this issue creates risk, which likely will affect the actions of LLP partners.

VI. The Benefits And The Disadvantages of LLP

A limited liability partnership is unlikely to be useful for a small trading company of any sort because a conventional limited company is likely to perform an appropriate role at less cost.
The benefits of a limited liability partnership against a limited company may be:
less public scrutiny because the partnership agreement remains confidential, easier manipulation of shares between partners, easier changes of membership, no administration relating to the issue and allotment of shares, easier expression of administration, roles and management in a partnership agreement.

The disadvantages may be:
lack of certainty as to how the Registrar and the courts will treat limited liability partnerships, lack of a body of law to protect minorities, possibly more “fuss” to administer until staff and advisers are fully conversant with new procedures, If the limited company is insolvent all the loss is the value of its assets.
It may be found a limited liability partnership insolvency more expensive since the amount which might lose is likely to be more. However, this cannot be a hard and fast rule. Each case will depend on its facts. []


References:
1. Qureshi, Fayyaz Hameed and Khurram Abbas Sheikh. LAW OF CONTRACT. Doggar Publisher: Lahore, 2006.
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_liability_partnership
3. http://www.bytestart.co.uk/content/19/19_1/set-up-a-limited-liability-partnership.shtml
4. http://www.netlawman.co.uk/info/limited-liability-partnership.php
5. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/buo04.htm




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COMPARISON OF SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP, PARTNERSHIP & COMPANY / CORPORATION  

A. SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP

A sole proprietorship is a business which legally has no separate existence from its owner. Hence, the limitations of liability enjoyed by a corporation do not apply. All debts of the business are debts of the owner. It is a "sole" proprietor in the sense that the owner has no partners. A sole proprietorship essentially means a person does business in his or her own name and there is only one owner. Since the business is really just an extension of that person and not a new entity (like a corporation) any business debts are also personal debts. If the business were to get a judgment filed against it, it would be a problem for the owner. As a sole proprietorship is not a corporation, it does not pay corporate taxes, but rather the person who organized the business pays personal income taxes on the profits made, making accounting much simpler. A sole proprietorship need not worry about double taxation like a corporation would have to.

A business organized as a sole proprietorship will likely have a hard time raising capital since shares of the business cannot be sold, and there is a smaller sense of legitimacy relative to a business organized as a corporation or limited liability company. Hiring employees may also be difficult. This form of business will have unlimited liability, therefore, if the business is sued, it is the proprietor's problem.


Most sole proprietors will register a trade name or "Doing Business As". This allows the proprietor to do business with a name other than his or her legal name and also allows the proprietor to open a business account with banking institutions.

The main advantages that differentiate the sole proprietorship from the other legal forms are as follow:
-Low start-up costs
-Greatest freedom from regulation
-Owner is in direct control of decision making
-Minimal working capital required
-Tax advantages to owner
-All profits to owner

And the disadvantages are as follow:
-Unlimited liability
-Lack of continuity in business organization in absence of owner
-Difficulty in raising capital
-No name protection

B. PARTNERSHIP

Indian Partnership Act 1932 defines Partnership as:
“The relation between persons who have agreed to share profits of a business carried on by all or any of them acting for all.” Then, a partnership is an agreement in which you and one or more people combine resources in a business with a view to making a profit. It contains three basic elements: agreement, share of profit, business.

However, it is advisable to have a written partnership agreement that will spell out the specifics of the agreement. This should state (1) each partner's rights and responsibilities, (2) the amount of capital each partner is investing in the business, (3) the distribution of profits, (4) what happens if a partner joins or leaves the business, and (5) how the assets are to be divided if the business is discontinued. Things have a way of changing and people forgetting over time, so it is essential that there be a signed document that all abide by.

A partnership is a type of business entity in which partners (owners) share with each other the profits or losses of the business undertaking in which all have invested. Partnerships are often favored over corporations for taxation purposes, as the partnership structure does not generally incur a tax on profits before it is distributed to the partners (i.e. there is no dividend tax levied). However, depending on the partnership structure and the jurisdiction in which it operates, owners of a partnership may be exposed to greater personal liability than they would as shareholders of a corporation.

Advantages and disadvantages of Partnership:

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages that we should keep in mind when deciding whether to operate business as a Partnership. The advantages of Partnership are as follow:
-Ease of formation
-Low start-up costs
-Additional sources of investment capital
-Possible tax advantages
-Limited regulation
-Broader management base

And the disadvantages are as follow:
-Unlimited liability
-Divided authority
-Difficulty in raising additional capital
-Hard to find suitable partners
-Possible development of conflict between partners
-Partners can legally bind each other without prior approval
-Lack of continuity
-No name protection

C. COMPANY / CORPORATION

Company is described as a body of persons associated for the purpose of business. It has some features, such as: Voluntarily Association, Separate Legal Entity, Limited Liability, Limitation of Activities, Transferability of Shares, Separate Management, Company is not a citizen, One Share One Vote.

In the legal field, a company is specifically a corporation (or less commonly, an association, partnership, or union) that carries on a commercial or industrial enterprise. Generally, a company may be a corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, fund, or organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not.

Corporation

A corporation differs from the other legal forms of business, it possess the same rights and responsibilities as a person. Unlike sole proprietorships or partnerships, it has an existence separate from its owners. It has all the legal rights of an individual in regards to conducting commercial activity: it can sue, be sued, own property, sell property, and sell the rights of ownership in the form of exchanging stock for money.

As a result, the corporation offers some unique advantages:
a. Limited liability: owners aren’t personally responsible for the debts of the business,
The ability to raise capital by selling shares of stock,
b. Easy transfer of ownership from one individual to another,
It has "unlimited life" and thus the potential to outlive its original owners

And the disadvantages are:
-Corporations utilize specialists.
-Corporations are taxed twice.
-Corporations must pay capital stock tax.
-Starting a corporation is expensive.
-Corporations are closely regulated by government agencies. []

REFERENCES:


Law Dictionary, by Mian Asad Hakim, Mansoor Book House, Lahore, 1999
Partnership Act 1932, Mansoor Book House, Lahore
http://www.newsdial.com/workplace/company-types/sole-proprietorship.html
http://www.smallbusinessbc.ca/bizstart-prop.php
http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol3/legalstructure.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company



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