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Kamis, 06 Desember 2012

Niyya, Islamic Higher Education and the Moral Economy


Niyya,  Islamic Higher Education and the Moral Economy
William R. Darrow
Cluett Professor of Religion, Williams College, USA
 Fulbright Senior Scholar IAIN-Sumatera Utara

Abstract
Hasan Hanafi, di antara banyak lainnya, telah meyakinkan dengan menunjukkan sumber-sumber Islam dan model untuk pembentukan masyarakat sipil yang tidak mengikuti model
sekuler atau melihat aplikasi syariah yang kaku sebagai kamuflase untuk patriarki dan kediktatoran. Didirikan pada ketegangan yang produktif antara kekuasaan negara dan otoritas ulama 'dan lembaga-lembaga yang menavigasi bahwa ketegangan,  seperti hisbah, diwan al-mazalim dan awqaf, Hanafi membayangkan sebuah masyarakat sipil Islam yang diberi energi oleh kekuatan Tauhid untuk membentuk suatu umat yang  bersatu,  yang  bebas dan setara, bertanggung jawab untuk satu sama lain dan juga menerima warga non-muslim. Dalam membayangkan individu yang bebas, ia menegaskan bahwa Islam memiliki kapasitas untuk menciptakan kepribadian manusia yang juga satu, satu kesatuan dunia dalam perasaan dan pemikiran dengan dunia luar untuk berkata dan bertindak. Dalam meningkatkan saran ini sangat menarik, Hanafi memberikan kontribusi yang lebih luas untuk teorisasi warga negara, sebuah konsep yang dalam beberapa hal mendasar  telah mendasari  dalam masyarakat sipil berpikir lebih umum. Oleh karena itu diskusi tentang bagaimana masyarakat sipil Islam dapat mendidik anak dan mengolah atribut-atribut karakter yang menciptakan warga negara yang bertanggungjawab.

Makalah  ini akan mempertimbangkan tiga topik untuk memajukan diskusi tentang kesatuan kepribadian manusia, dilihat dari sisi civil society, karakter warga negaranya. Pertama, melihat pada karya Terry Eagleton baru-baru ini di mana ia menggambarkan  catatan analisisa psikoanalitik Lacanian, baik yang imajiner, simbolik ataupun nyata, untuk menguji pemikiran etika Barat dan untuk meletakkan dasar untuk mengartikulasikan etika dan  tanggung jawab sosial, kita akan membahas kompleksitas yang lebih besar yang dapat berdiri di belakang gagasan Hanafi tentang dunia batin dan sketsa bahwa dunia dalam diri kita masing-masing. Dengan gagasan yang lebih rumit, kita kemudian akan memeriksa konsep  niat, untuk mengeksplorasi kapasitasnya dalam  menghubungkan dunia internal dan eksternal. Ada  dua jenis  niat, lahiriah dan batiniah, yang menjadi  jembatan penting untuk mengikat bersama dua dunia dan untuk mengubah keduanya. Makalah ini kemudian akan menyimpulkan dengan sebuah sketsa berbagai kebajikan, pribadi, intelektual, sosial dan kebajikan sipil yang sebenarnya diperlukan untuk keberhasilan civil society  dan peran apa yang bisa atau tidak bisa dimainkan oleh pendidikan tinggi Islam untuk menumbuhkan kebajikan-kebajikan tersebut.


Keywords: Niyya, Islamic Higher Education, Moral Economy

                Hasan Hanafi, among many others, has convincingly demonstrated the Islamic sources and model for the establishment of civil society that neither follows a secular model nor sees a rigid application of sharī’a as camouflage for patriarchy and dictatorship.   Founded on a productive tension between the powers of the state and the authority of the ‘ulama and the institutions that navigate that tension between them such as hisba, divan al-mazalim and awqaf,  Hanafi envisions an Islamic civil society that is energized by the power of tawhīd  to establish a united ummah of free  and equal individuals, responsible for one another and accommodating of its non-Muslim citizens as well.[1]   Hanafi’s social institutional focus is complemented by a discussion of the individual human being,
            …naturally drawn toward social solidarity. The importance of civil society derives from    the need to balance the desires and needs of the individual with the will and needs of   society.  Where civil society is present, an individual is part of the body, joined to other            members to form an organic whole, as the medieval philosopher al-Farabi describes in his         virtuous city.[2]
            In envisioning the free individual, he insists that Islam has the capacity to create the human personality that is also one, a unity of the inside world of desire and thinking with the external world of saying and doing.  In raising this very interesting suggestion, Hanafi makes a wider contribution to theorization of the citizen, aspects of which have in some fundamental ways been under theorized concerning civil society thought more generally.[3]  Therefore a discussion of how an Islamic civil society can educate its young and cultivate those attributes of character that create responsible citizens is most worthwhile.  This discussion takes place however in three contexts that may call into question Hanafi’s confident vision.  The first is critique of the metaphor of ‘organism’ to conceptualize civil society and the way in which the state and its agents can in fact undermine or co-opt civil society when so conceptualized.[4]  Envisioning civil society instead as a field of contestation may provide a safer imaginative tool to prevent that co-option of civil society by the state. But here we confront a second problem because such an imaginative shift, usually involves an embrace of a cosmopolitanism that has been under attack in recent decades from two opposing sides, those entranced by various images of a unified and organic society, be it national, racial or religious, and those for whom the uniformity and universalism of ‘globalizaton’ has made cosmopolitanism a vestigial idea.[5]  I want to set these two issues aside and turn instead to the implicit philosophical anthropology that Hanafi employs and focus instead on the ‘needs and desires’ vision of the individual human being that he predicates, deepening and elaborating it with the tools of psychoanalysis and in conversation with the history of ethical thought in the last three centuries.  
            This paper will consider three topics to critique Hanafi’s vision of the unity of the human personality envisioned within Islamic civil society, to underscore that the individual like civil society is the site of contestation and that this has important implications for the work of educating citizens in a civil society.  My goal is in no way to critique or hinder this process, but instead to make it better able to do its vital work.  The three topics are;   first, based on the recent work of Terry Eagleton in which he draws upon the psychoanalytic registers of Lacanian analysis, the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real, to examine the course of Western ethical thought and to lay the groundwork for articulating and ethics of social responsibility, we will examine the greater complexity that may stand behind Hanafi’s notion of the inner world and to sketch that inside world of each of us.  With this more complicated notion the self, we will then examine the Islamic concept of niyya, intention, to explore its capacity to correlate the inside and external worlds.   The dual directionality of niyya, outward and inward, makes it an essential bridge to tie together the two worlds and to transform both and thus to educate the Muslim citizen. The paper will then conclude with a some remarks concerning the approach to an ethical education that follow.  I am aware that it is useful to distinguish here the range of virtues, personal, intellectual, social and civic virtues that are in fact required for the success of civil society and a fuller paper would explore that issue as well, but for this paper I shall assume that and educational institution not only cultivates the intellectual virtues, but also has a significant impact on the others as well.  The goal of this paper is to prepare for a fuller discussion of what role higher Islamic learning can and cannot play in cultivating those virtues. 


I
            Terry Eagleton’s Trouble with Strangers: A Study of Ethics presents the history of Western ethical thought from the Scottish Enlightenment to post modernism using the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis.  Transforming the Freudian categories of the Ego, the Superego and the Id into fundamentally linguistically Realms of the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real, Lacan provided a view of the three Realms that constitute the self through their competition and struggle with one another. While it is obviously impossible to do justice to the complexity of this reading in these short pages, we may draw from it a lens to view the way ethical thought has evolved in Europe in the last three centuries and take the lesson that ethical thought evolves to address the evolving needs of the individual and society.
            Eagleton’s account begins with the figures of the Scottish enlightenment and their focus on moral sentiments.  That movement predicated benevolence as the dominant moral sentiment, with some trepidation to be sure about its genuineness, but as central to its vision of the moral character of care, pity, and fellow-feeling that should dominate the individual members of society in their relation to one another.  That humans do care for one another, feel pity for the less fortunate,  and are capable of imagining themselves in the position of those others and therefore act to alleviate suffering are all sources for the hoped for dominant moral sentiment of benevolence.  In Eagleton’s reading adds is that this notion emerged because there was not yet a full separation of the self from the world.  Invoking Lacan’s notion of the mirror stage, what he sees operating here is the fact that a complete border enclosing the self has not yet been built, there is not yet a full distinction between the inside and outside of the self that makes it possible for us to project ourselves so directly into another person’s interior body and imagine the ways in which we, through empathy, might experience the same inner state so that “the inside seems inscribed on the outside.”[6]  This led to the cult of sensibility that dominated the eighteenth century and the thought of its major figures, Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, Edmund Burke and Adam Smith, who as Irish or Scots were all significantly on the periphery of British society. Their Imaginary of a community in opposition to a society was certainly informed by their position on the edge of British society, and one tragedy of their work is the way in which their confidence in  benevolence was usurped by the incipient colonial project of the United Kingdom that was already underway to which this philosophy lent unwittingly and ironically a philosophical justification.
            It was not, however, colonialism that gave too much pause to these thinkers, rather it was the haunting concern that maybe the virtue of benevolence was nothing but a disguised form of egoism.  Because, in Lacan’s terms, the ego was not fully formed, there were problems that Eagleton suggests might be best understood as threats to the emerging ego.  The two most telling ones were the twin moves of expansion and contraction of the ego, expansion as one imagines the rest of the world as oneself and contraction as the ego disappears into the other it imagines itself to be.  In the end this sentiment became increasingly privatized into a cult of feeling, a private sphere of home and family, but increasingly complicit in public processes of industrialization.  Eagleton concludes that
            It is no accident that the cult of sentiment reaches its apogee among the dark                                 Satanic mills of the Victorians.  The trek from the generous hearted Brownlow in                           Oliver Twist to the dandyish Harold Skimpole in Bleak House is one from an                            impassioned apologia for feeling to a disenchanted sense that it can be part of the                          problem quite as much as the solution.[7]
            The move from the Imaginary to the Symbolic is the move to the ‘open field of intersubjectivity’[8] that is only possible after the borders of the self has firmly enclosed the sphere of the ego.  Here the operation of empathy and sentiment are left behind.  For Lacan this is the Realm of the Name of the Father, the Law, experienced by the self as a world of abstraction and alienation created above all by language into which we are now forced to operate.  Beyond the narcissism and infantile fantasies of the Imaginary, it is the Realm Realism and regulation that the self experiences as at once Other and supremely dominant over the Self. 
            Spinoza and Kant are the twin representatives of this stage, each, of course, arising also in the context of fundamentally new directions in religious thought and in the face of an increasingly dominant rationality and consequent disenchantment of the world and critique of traditional theological metaphysics.  It is important to remind ourselves that the rationality of the nineteenth century begins with its own circumscription.  Only God is capable of pure knowledge and our tools of rationality, vital and central as they are, are always shadowed by an incompleteness that only God, or the Thing Itself can overcome.  For Spinoza rationality rather than emotion is however the key to self-cultivation, the essential ethical work of constructing ourselves as individuals and cultivating true wisdom and virtue.  For Spinoza it as primarily the virtues of self denial and ascetic simplicity attained by the re-education of the flesh by the discipline of philosophy that is the basis for ethics.  As Eagleton points out Spinoza’s is a democratic program aimed not only at an elite, but at all human beings who by this virtuous education will require less overt discipline and repression to make them submit to their superiors.[9]
            Kantian ethics are the supreme example of this moment in Western thought.  His rationalist approach to ethics does not reject emotion and feelings in the way Spinoza did because above all we can feel delight in the performance of our moral duty and happiness as the reward for virtuous action, in the next world if not this one.  The articulation of that duty is, however, the work of philosophy because moral principles cannot be founded on “sensations, emotions or the pursuit of well-being.”[10]  It is as duty, opposed to our inclinations or our happiness, that we perceive our moral obligations and we recognize and judge it by the operation of a universal law. For Kant, moral judgments like aesthetic ones are both irreducibly specific and at the same time abstractly universal.  Eagleton argues
            Moral value, for Kant as much as for Spinoza, springs not from contemplating each other in Imaginary terms, peering at others from within the heated interior of one’s own         subjectivity.  It depends rather upon regarding oneself from the outside, from the     dispassionate vantage-point of the moral law itself—which is to say, regarding oneself as        a universal subject, and thus treating oneself as one treats all others.  For Kant, there is no             hard-and-fast distinction between aliens and intimates.  If I deal with others as though      they were myself, I also relate to myself as kind of stranger.  Ethically speaking, we are             most authentically ourselves when we behave as though we were anybody or           everybody.[11]
            It is important to stress that the three Lacanian registers over lap and interpenetrate one another and the notion of a progressive movement from one to the other is deceptive. Nevertheless it is the insight of Eagleton to see that poststructuralist and postmodernist responses to the legacy of Western philosophy, especially in its supreme formulations in Spinoza and Kant, represents the triumph of the Real over the Symbolic as earlier the Symbolic triumphed over the Imaginary.  For Lacan the Real is what resisted being symbolized, universalized in the Symbolic register, a surplus or excess that rumbles with sheer meaninglessness beneath our articulate speech.  It is both a redemptive and destructive Realm, whose primary feature Lacan named jouissance, pleasure;  it is the operation of desire.  This desire is in contrast with the good and is for Lacan the only ethical universal.[12]
            As Eagleton correctly points out there is a parallel between Lacanian stages and Kierkegaard’s three stages of life, the aesthetic, the ethical and the religious.  While the fit is not perfect, this parallel allows us to focus specifically on the tension of ethics and religion that is at the heart of Kierkegaard’s meditation on Abraham, Fear and Trembling Meditating on Kant’s distinction of duty and happiness in a profoundly innovative manner, Kierkegaard presents the ethical dilemma of the Absolute’s command to Abraham to kill his son in all its paradox and terror.  Happiness lies in a father’s love for his son, duty lies in absolute obedience toward God’s command. Abraham lives the tensions between happiness and duty,  but with the added feature that he must violate the most basic of ethical commandments, not to kill, so that he will become in our eyes a murderer.  At the same time, however, Abraham is willing to become the monster he will become in and after the act of killing his son, he also is confident that he will not have to do it by virtue of the absurd.  This moves him beyond the ethical Realm, with its universal operations, into the Realm of the religious and makes him a man of faith.  To emphasize again to be religious is to reject the ethical in the individual project of our lives and to live fully desiring that which is impossible
            In so far as the ethical concerns the public, universal and communitarian, the Protestant     individualist Kierkegaard can find little in it worth salvaging. As such, it is no more than            collective false consciousness.  Yet in so far as it signifies a preoccupation with        inwardness, it alludes in some obscure manner to the religious faith which transcends it.        Such faith shatters the symmetries of the ethical, subverts the complacently autonomous     self, and represents a scandal to all civic virtue. Its intense individual inwardness rebuffs   the social and turns its back contemptuously on mass civilization.[13]
            It is, again, the embrace of a desire that is both infinite and impossible that Abraham operates that characterizes the post modern critique of ethics.  In Lacan this is the operation of the Real, operating with its combination of horror and pleasure that both repels and compels.
            Abraham refuses to give up on his desire for the impossible—for a God whose       commands are at one with the decrees of the Symbolic order—in the unthinkable paradox       known as ‘faith’, and it is because he clings so tenaciously to the impossible that it comes     to pass, as God stays his hand and saves his son. His acceptance of the apparent          fruitfulness of his deed is what finally brings him through.[14] 
            However, it is also a central fact for Kierkegaard’s mediation that Abraham cannot speak of what he is doing.  Because to speak is to involve oneself in language, the Realm of the universal and to declare himself a murderer.  The Abraham of the Hebrew scriptures remains silent for the three days of the journey with his son, except to answer the son’s question of where the sacrificial offering is with an answer that is no answer, a paradoxical statement, that “God will provide.” It is of profound significance for me that the Qur’an’s account of this event is structured differently in two important ways.  In the Qur’an the father does speak to tell him what he has seen in a dream, of what will now have to happen and the son also speaks and comforts his father and tells him that he submits to the commandment. 
            We shall return to this issue of speech in the next section to reflect on the ethical dimensions of niyya 
            In the end four aspects of the idea of ethics have come to be under critique in postmodernist thought.  The first is the notion of universal law and the operation of universal rationality to apply that law.  Living morally is not the work of application of rules and the exemplification of virtues.   Second, the notion of duty and concomitant notions of discipline and self denial as the heart of ethical action have been criticized as far too impoverished a view of acting ethically. Third, the fundamental Realities of the political and economic spheres in which actual ethical decisions are made.  In many ways this whole analysis has been a treatment of the idea of ‘interest’ and the recognition that the assumption that ethical choices must be characterized by disinterestedness is both psychologically and politically false.  Finally, in rather different forms among the prominent postmodernists, it is the demand of the Other, both as stranger and neighbor, or be more precise, in the collapse of that dyad that the ethical arises or may end. In this context we face the dilemma of what might be an ethical education in the face of these developments.  The liberation from the oppressiveness of the burden of the law, the imposition of duty and our movement in a world of strangers all mean that it is not clear what can or should be taught ethically.
            We have explored here three related questions of relevance for articulating a vision of the self and the problematic in training that self morally and ethically.  We have recognized that the problem of establishing a discrete self, autonomous and separate from the world is the first task both in the development of the child and in the development of a notion of an ethic predicated upon a relation of selves in an intersubjective world.  Without restrained and bounded selves there is no secure public space in which to move.  Second, we have recognized the problems inherent in conceptualizing the work of ethical reflection and the contested places of rationality, emotion, duty, and rules.  Finally, we have recognized the turbulent sea that is the internal self, illumined by psychoanalysis, but at the same time I would wager experienced by each of us as we explore our desires over the course of our lives.  It would be the height of foolishness to assume that the mission of ethical training must simply be the suppression or repression of desires because that is first impossible and second it is clear that the harnessing of desire in fact energizes and gives life to our activities in the world and in our actions in the intersubjective public space.  To quote Eagleton a final time
            The Symbolic may indeed be too thin an atmosphere in which ethics can flourish.  But      this is not to say that law, politics, rights, the state and human welfare should be loftily        distained as so much inevitable but soul killing technology.  Only those who are         privileged enough not to require their protection can view law and authority as inherently            malign. The Symbolic order is most effective when it has its roots in the body—in             palpable human needs and wants, rather than in abstractions.[15]

II
            Given this background, we turn now to a brief consideration to the notion of intention in Islam. Islam’s development of the notion of niyya, gives us tools to conceptualize a doctrine of the person that deserves more exploration.   Parallel to the Jewish concept of kawwānā, and possibly influenced by it, niyya developed in the early Islamic centuries as the necessary precondition for the validity for acts of worship (ibādāt). Without it an act of worship was invalid (bāṭil).  As the famous hadith in Bukharī makes clear (innama ‘l-‘amāl bi ‘l-niyya) the range of intention might extend to all acts, but it is primarily in acts of worship that the notion has been most fully developed.  It is the consensus of the jurists that niyya is required for the validity of  ṣalāh, but there are otherwise debates about several important issues. What is agreed is that it has four conditions, the one who pronounces it must be Muslim, of sound mind, acquainted with the act he wants to perform and have the purpose of performing it, i.e. be sincere. The most important feature of the idea is that it establishes that there is a moral or religious criterion superior to that of the law, of the external performance of a ritually obligatory act. [16]  It is the criterion for the rewards of the believer, it and jihād are the only two actions available to Muslim since after the recapture of Mecca, since hijra is no longer an option. In several cases intention alone becomes a work of its own.  Good intention is taken into account, even if it is not carried out and the intention to avoid an evil act is reckoned a good work.  We note here that the notion of intention and action do meld together in a way that still satisfies the needs of the Imaginary. There are four features of the classical discussion of niyya that strike me as relevant for the construction of an Islamic view of the personality in conversation with Lacanian psychoanalysis.
            The first is the predication of the division between the inside and the outside.  We have clearly moved beyond the potential fantastic expansion of the ego typical of the mirror stage of the Imaginary into a firm notion of a bounded self.  The division might be read as the difference between thought and action, but I think the division of inside and outside has equally importantly the notion that the boundary of the self has been established and that it is necessary to bring into conformity the inside and the outside.  In this we are certainly talking about the central virtue of sincerity (ikhlās). If there are features of the idea that blur the boundary of the self to satisfy the needs of the Imaginary, there is also the strong assertion of the Symbolic and the establishment of the constrained self.
            The second interesting feature is the debate among the jurists about niyya being a necessary condition for wuḍū’, since it is argued that wuḍū’ has a rational or functional character that might explain its reason and in that it contrasts with rituals like ṣalāh, which are done solely for the pleasure of Allah.   Rationality or functionality in short is in some tension with niyya and where it is possible to explain an action in terms of its rationality or usefulness niyya may not strictly speaking be necessary. This tension remains unresolved in fiqh[17]
            The other disagreement among the jurists is whether there is a difference between ordinary and supererogatory acts of worship.  Those acts, above all the fast of Ramadan, because of its long duration and its universal participation and therefore the timing and expiration of niyya is debated.  The question of temporal scope adds a diachronic issue to the understanding of niyya and leads to the way in which the rhythm of time impinges on the individual.[18]  These two controversies underline several important points relative to our understanding of the self: a tension between practical rationality and the excess of adoration of the divine, the recognition that each person is situated in a larger social and temporal context that impinges on his/her freedom of action and finally, the ways in which the operation of the Symbolic order are always considerably more complicated and less clear than some who would claim the Reality of moral absolutism might acknowledge.
            Finally, I note the niyya must be spoken.  If the paradigmatic moment of the Real is either the unspoken demand of the other or the incapacity of a person in the midst of a horrendous moral dilemma to speak, here it is primarily speech that is confirmed as the necessary bridge between inner and outer, between the Symbolic and the Real.  Lacan might argue that the operation of language here means that we are still fully in the Symbolic, but I would argue that the genius of the Islamic conceptualization allows language both to be set free and also to be tamed and made into a tool that provides a human being with the most necessary tool both to reconcile conflicting desires within him/herself and more importantly receive a revelation from the Absolute.
            It is, of course, in tassawuf that the fullest development of the split between interior bātin and exterior zāhir has been most fully developed.  But there are three features of development, while spiritual very rich make it less useful for the task I am proposing here for the construction of an Islamic ethical analysis.  First, the interior is fundamentally privileged as the site of authenticity and sincerity, while the exterior is dismissed and often deliberately scorned or ridiculed.  Second, the exterior is still part of the person, rather than a way to conceptualize the intersubjective world.  It could in fact be perhaps too negatively argued that there is much about the Sufi tradition that remains at the Imaginary level, to be sure to criticize the Symbolic, but not lay the groundwork for structuring civic life.  Finally, and of course related, Sufism predicates a spiritual elite and leaves the remaining less cultivated people at the level of the common.
            The development of niyya outside of the area of religious acts (‘ibādāt) is not as fully developed, but does allow us to view the issue in the larger context of other activities. Here I think interesting work might be done to enrich the usefulness of the concept. Hanbali and Maliki schools do extent the basic principle contained in Bukhari’s first hadith to mu’āmalāt as well.  However, there are limits to this as Saleh has recently demonstrated.  Neither breach of contract nor abuse of rights require the judge to look at the intention of the perpetrator, only the objective facts of their action are necessary to make a judgment about wrongdoing.  Here we have the insistence that in a number of areas it is only the public face that need be addressed juridically.  However, in the establishment of contracts niyya is relevant in two important ways.  First Hanbali law allows the judge to inquire after the cause of a contract when its intention is not clearly stated. Second, the permission to consider intention prevents the Hanbali school from condoning legal strategems, (hiyal) which may themselves be legal, but result in an unlawful object.[19]  The tension that we saw between the public face and the private intent is in this limited context at least maintained and perhaps more importantly it is in recognition of the intersubjective character of contract where the notion of niyya is still productive.  To use the notion to develop further an Islamic anthropology that attends to ties of the interior and the exterior, we will also need to attend to these developments as well.

III
            This too brief consideration of the construction of the human personality and how the Islamic notion of niyya has resources for addressing this more complicated vision of the human person now has placed us in a position to examine some aspects of the ethics of citizenship in the Islamic context and also the question of the education of the citizen through Islamic education.  I have deliberately chosen to focus on the notion of citizen because the concept has been seen by many as in tension with a Muslim identity. Andrew March has recently surveyed the issue in examining the question of the Muslim’s loyalty to a non-Muslim state.[20]  His focus is on Muslim minority populations in Europe and the U.S., but his findings can be expanded to the situation of Muslim majority nations as well.  My argument is predicated on the basic idea that dwelling within the intersubjective realm is what one of the things we mean by ‘civil society.’  If the state can best be seen as the most important instantiation of the Symbolic order, then ‘civil society’ stands over and against it as the site of the Real.  It should be clear that the notion of ‘citizen’ as the name for the subject in these two realms does not strain the dual references of the term as subject of a state and actor in pursuit of his/her interests in the realm of ‘civil society.’
            March argues that there are three traditional sources in Islamic lawthat permit a Muslim to be citizen in a non-Muslim context.  The first are ‘statutory/deontological’ principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah requiring the moral recognition of non-Muslims and the general attitude of treating all persons (including non-Muslims) with justice and equity (‘adāla, qisṭ).  The second tradition is the ‘contractual’ and the example of making contracts above all guarantees of security (amān) with non-Muslims. Third is the ‘consequentialist-utilitarian’ discourse of Islamic law, which March characterizes as pragmatic, aimed at increasing the welfare of the Islamic community as a whole. To these three traditional discussions March adds a fourth more recent trend he calls “comprehensive-qualitative” mode of ‘theorizing and theologizing the rights and welfare of others.’  He draws specifically on Fayṣal Malawī and recognizes the crucial role of da’wa, not as formal conversion but as witnessing plays.
            This modes, thus goes beyond considerations of the permissible and the forbidden into                 the realm of what relationships Muslims might voluntarily choose for themselves       noninstrumentally.  I suggest that the evidence for this mode of theorizing moral    relationships with non-Muslim societies is in greatest evidence in some instances of the           copious references to the centrality of the Islamic mission (da’wa) to life in non-Muslim             societies, as well as the discussions on the goodness in contributing to non-Muslim            welfare because “Islam seeks to bring benefit and improvement to all people and all             races,” based on the belief that “God has blessed and honored all the sons of Adam.[21]
            Da’wa  provides Muslim scholars the tools to imagine two distinct kinds of relationship with non-Muslims; a relationship of moral argument and a relationship of civic friendship, which Malawī calls in fact ‘āṭifa, attachment, sympathy and affection. If da’wa legitimates Muslim citizenship in non-Muslim society, can we not also argue that it should be the spirit that constructs the intersubjective realm of ‘civil society’ in Muslim majority countries, where the work of da’wa also must go on.  We stress that the same notions of volunteerism and noninstrumentality should apply in this case as well and the explicit notion of care for others and increasing the welfare of others make this the realm in which the Symbolic and the Real blend together.
            So much then for a construction of ‘civil society,’ how must its citizens be educated?  Let me conclude with three brief suggestions that would require considerable elaboration, if there were space.  I return first to the fundamentally political character of morality.  The ideal of duty and the privileging of disinterestedness are both distractions.  The claims of universalism and the insistence on rules serve in fact to as primarily strategies of legitimation for existing powers. It must be the work of education to delegitimize and disenchant the negative consequences of this process. Pierre Bourdieu has articulated the process elegantly.
            But the disenchantment that sociological analysis of the interest in disinterestedness may produce does not inevitably lead to a morality of pure intentions.  Watchful only of    usurpations of universality, this morality ignores the fact that the interest in, and the profit      of the universal are indisputably the most secure vehicle of progress toward the universal   itself.[22]
He urges a close attention to the idea of hypocrisy and a practice of deep suspicion toward  public moral claims and specifically the appeals to universalism and rationality that often disguises the Real desire behind them.  He concludes
            In short, morality has no chance of entering politics unless one works toward creating        institutional means for a politics of morality.  The official truth of the official, the cult of          public service and of devotion to the common good, cannot resist the critique of    suspicion that will endlessly uncover corruption, clientelism, ambitiousness, and at best a    private interest in serving a public purpose. … This work of uncovering, disenchantment,          or demystification, is anything but disenchanting. On the contrary, it can only be             accomplished in the name of the same values of civil virtue (equality, fraternity, and          especially disinterestedness and sincerity) with which the unveiled reality is at            variance.[23]
An approach not of inculcation, but a development of critical skills of investigation and disclosure must be first the skills we give our students.  I suspect that in fact they already have them.  Recognizing hypocrisy, being suspicious of universalist moral claims, recognition of interests and profits in the appearance of disinterestedness I think come naturally to all.  What we must do as educators is nurture and validate those, explore their sources and implications and use those moments of disenchantment not to develop an attitude of nihilism or relativism, but instead to cultivate a more profound and developed moral sense.
                My second suggestion focuses on training our students to understand the workings of institutions and the operation of power.  The context of this is first of all within the economic sphere and the hegemony of global capitalism.  Understanding the operation of power in the realms of the economy, the nation-state, and society requires much work.  The extremist rejection of this work and construction of an ideal of the ummah free from and resisting these trends is completely understandably, but as the psychoanalyst Fethi Benslama has argued
            One of the causes of Islamist extremism is the catastrophic collapse of language:    language was no longer able to translate for people a particularly intense historical    experience, that of the modern era, which entails not only the scientific and industrial         transformations of the world but also the conjunction between this furious power of          transformation and the desire to an other.  Yet “Islamist” extremism is driven by and         impulse and this impulse is simply the inverse of the desire to be an other: “the despair        that wills to be Itself,” as Kierkegaard expressed it.  What is this Self? Its identity is   defined by its origin, and its origin is bound by a framework of unique features: one     religion (Islam), on language (Arabic), and one text (the Koran), to which is often added    the national anthem here and there.  The modern era replaced the desire to be an other       with the despair that wills to be itself, enclosing us in a confrontation each of whose            terms represents the impossible.[24]             
The construction of an originary plenitude that characterized the early ummah is for Benslama to create a ‘torment of origin’ a never to be satisfied return to the plenitude that once was and obviously an escape from a more judicious confrontation and critique of the modern and understanding of the material and immaterial forces of power that construct our world.  It establishes an attitude to the institutions of the community that leave them unexamined. The ideal of the Medinian community still rightly has a compelling pull on Muslim, but as Charles Tripp has pointed out
The imaginative construction of society began by way of analogy with the faith-based community of the ummah Gradually, however, in light of both the vocabulary and the             metaphors of positivist sociology, as well as of the social transformations experienced by          Muslims, it came to represent something different, both more universal in scope and        more mechanical in conception. … The very language and analytic tools upon which they          drew were implicitly comparative in nature, laying heavy emphasis on the universality of             the underlying functions of any human social organization.  The gaze of Muslim      intellectuals was thus to a large degree directed towards the observation of that which the        functionalist model assumed must be there.  It was scarcely surprising, therefore, that     these functions were found, but to ensure that the character of the society remained one             which was inalienably Islamic, it was necessary to recast the terms of reference in   language redolent of Islam.[25]

            In Benslama’s terms there are three institutional arenas where the deeply modern desire to be an other has operated:  education, family law, and economics (most specifically banking). The emergence first of new educational forms, not simply in response to modernity but in a much more complicated relation to the material forces impinging on the Islamic world is highly significant.  Here I think of Indonesia’s development of Islamic educational institutions at the primary, secondary and higher level is a wonderful site to examine. We must train our students  to understand this sites with a critical eye, both historically and sociologically. This is especially called for since it is the worlds of education, shari’a courts and Islamic banking that so many of our students will occupy.  Our task must not simply to prepare functional workers for each of these institutions, though that is part of the work that must be done, but also give to our students the critical skills to operate in these worlds, recognizing the ethical dilemmas and tradeoffs that each will present and through case studies in ethical dilemmas give students an insight into the choices and decisions they will confront.
            Finally, I return to that centrality of the intersubjective world that I have described as ‘civil society’.  That may be a useful way of viewing it, but I would be remiss if I left it there since the most important feature of this world is that it is where we confront others, both a neighbors and as strangers.  The discussion of civil society in non-Muslim majority countries we engaged in above may have disguised this, so in conclusion I return to the dyad of stranger/neighbor to emphasize that the interaction with others, in the fully political context of civil society is where the ethical must operate.  To quote Eagleton two  more times
            The ethical is a matter of how we may live with each other most rewardingly, while the     political is a question of what institutions will best promote this end.  The ends of          political association, Aristotle remarks in the Politics, are “life and the good life.”  If you        see ethics and politics as separate sphers, or feel the need to retrieve the former from the    grubby clutches of the latter, you are likely to end up denigrating the political and             idealizing the ethical.  In a politically disenchanted age, the ethical is forced to abandon    the polis, and take up its home elsewhere: in art, faith transcendence, the Other, the event,      the infinite, the decision or the Real.[26]
            Symbolic relationships are ones mediated by law, politics and language; and these-            Lacan’s Other-are always as much media of division as of solidarity.  Such relations can         easily lapse into mere utility or contractualism.  Yet in giving priority to our relations           with strangers, the Symbolic also reminds us that this, and not literal neighbours, is the         paradigm of ethical conduct, including our behavior towards literal neighbors.  It is not            that strangers are simply friends we have not yet made, but that friends are the alien          creatures we happen to know.  The definitive act of love is not a comingling of souls but      taking the place of a stranger in the queue for the gas chamber.  One can die for a friend,      just as one can love a stranger; but to die for a stranger is the ultimate ethical ‘event.’[27]
            I have tried in this paper to illustrate first the complexity of the history of ethical thought, the contested roles of rationality, emotion, rule and decision, with some attention to their historical contexts, but more importantly using the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis argue for the psychological appropriateness of these tensions in the history of ethics.  Then I turned to the Islamic notion of niyya to see what resources it might have for the construction of a complex notion of the self.  In this my interest was initially in the isolated individual, but we saw even in that the ways in which the intersubjective world impinged on the isolated individual making him or her fundamentally situated in a social and temporal context that acted independently.  This was all done to make more complicated a notion of the self in the Islamic context and use that as a way to open up the question of what constitutes the public self that the notion of a Muslim citizen, either in a Muslim majority or Muslim minority country.  That led in the end to an outline of three particular implications for the work of educating Muslim citizens.  I emphasized three points.  The focus should not be on the inculcation of rules and the assertion of the existence of either a confidence that there is a system of laws or at least there once was.  Rather the development of the skills of disenchantment and criticism better equip our students for the civic, business, and personal ethical dilemmas they will face.  Second, I underlined that we need also to provide the opportunity to critically examine the material forces that constitute power in this world, both political and economic, and to understand the specific Muslim institutional contexts that have emerged.  Finally, in attempting to displace once more the centrality of the individual as the object of analysis, I underlined the social and multiple character of society and most specifically the presence of Others with whom one either interacts or whose existence must at least be acknowledge.  The binary of neighbor/stranger allows us to break any simple distinction between us and them in thinking about this world and recognize the way our ethical responsibilities to the other predicate a constant movement between the feeling of kinship and suspicion, of friend and foe, in thinking about each of our relations to our fellow human beings.













BIBLIOGRAPHY
Hanafi. Hasan, “Alternative Conceptions of Civil Society: A Reflective Islamic Approach” in Hashmi. Sohail H., ed., (2002).  Islamic Political Ethics: Civil Society, Pluralism, and Conflict. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Beiner. Ronald,  ed. (1995). Theorizing Citizenship. Albany: SUNY Press.

Carens. Joseph H (2000). Culture, citizenship, and community : a contextual exploration of justice as evenhandedness. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Brown. Wendy (2010). “The Sacred, the Secular and the Profane” in  Michael Warner, et al., Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age.Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Sami Zubaida. “Cosmopolitan citizenship in the Middle East” accessed July 20, 2010 from Open Democracy http://www.opendemocracy.net/sami-zubaida/cosmopolitan-citizenship-in-middle-east

Eagleton. Terry (2009)The Trouble with Strangers; A Study of Ethics. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

“Nīyya”  in H.A.R. Gibb and J. H. Kramers (1961). Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

Ibn Rushd (1994). Bidāyat al-Mujtahid wa Nihāyat al-Muqta’id, The Distinguished Jurists Primer trs. Professor Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing. I.1.2.1

Saleh. Nabil (2009). “The Role of Intention (niyya) under Saudi Arabian Hanbali Law” in Arab Law Quarterly 23.

March. Andrew F. (2009). Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bourdieu. Pierre (1998). Practical Reason. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Benslama. Fethi (2009). Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam. trs. by Robert Bononno (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Tripp. Charles (2006). Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



[1] Hasan Hanafi, “Alternative Conceptions of Civil Society: A Reflective Islamic Approach” in Sohail H. Hashmi, ed.,  Islamic Political Ethics: Civil Society, Pluralism, and Conflict (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), h.  56-75
                 [2] Ibid., h. 65
[3] Citizenship has of course been well theorized in political theory, e.g. Ronald Beiner,  ed. Theorizing Citizenship (Albany: SUNY Press 1995) Joseph H. Carens, Culture, citizenship, and community : a contextual exploration of justice as evenhandedness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). What I think is under theorized is the psychological structure of the individual agent/citizen.  My thanks to my colleague Neil Roberts for help here.
[4] Wendy Brown, “The Sacred, the Secular and the Profane” in  Michael Warner, et al., Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), h. 83-104
[5] Sami Zubaida, “Cosmopolitan citizenship in the Middle East” accessed July 20, 2010 from Open Democracy http://www.opendemocracy.net/sami-zubaida/cosmopolitan-citizenship-in-middle-east
[6] Terry Eagleton, The Trouble with Strangers; A Study of Ethics (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). h. 13.
[7] Ibid., h. 82
[8] Ibid., h. 83
[9] Ibid., h. 99
[10]  Ibid., h. 105
[11] Ibid., h. 117
[12] Ibid., h. 148
[13] Ibid., h. 163-164
[14] Ibid., h. 253-254
[15] Ibid., h. 325
[16] “Nīya”  in H.A.R. Gibb and J. H. Kramers, Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, (Leiden: E.J. Brill 1961) , h. 449-450
[17] Ibn Rushd, Bidāyat al-Mujtahid wa Nihāyat al-Muqtaṣid, The Distinguished Jurists Primer trs. Professor Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee (Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing, 1994) I.1.2.1 h.  3-4
[18]Ibid.,  7.1.1.2.3, h. 341-343
[19] Nabil Saleh, “The Role of Intention (niyya) under Saudi Arabian Hanbali Law” in Arab Law Quarterly 23 (2009), h. 474-475
[20] Andrew F. March, Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)
[21] Ibid.,
[22] Pierre Bourdieu, Practical Reason (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), h. 143
[23] Ibid., h. 144-145
[24] Fethi Benslama, Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam, trs. by Robert Bononno (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), h. 5
[25] Charles Tripp, Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
[26] Eagleton, The Trouble with Strangers…, h. 324
[27] Ibid., h. 319
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