The Law of Travel to Non-Muslim Places of Worship

By | 16 October 2021 22:40:22 | 166 | 0
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There are a number of places of worship that are also tourist destinations. What if it's a non-Muslim place of worship? Can we, Muslims, visit him for a trip?  


According to Deputy Chairman of the Fatwa Board of the NT Al-Washliyah Dr Nirwan Syafrin, the scholars differed in looking at it.


"Since it's a space of difference, then we should be able to be more flexible. Although the scholars differ, there is a point where they agree," the lecturer of philosophy and Islamic thought at Ibn Khaldun University Bogor told Republika, not long ago.


There are scholars who allow absolute visits to non-Muslim houses of worship. One of them is Ibn Hazm, on the basis that there is no Nash Qur'an and hadith that clearly prohibits it.


Meanwhile, the Hanbali School, including Ibn Taymiyyah, who had been considered harsh in terms of creed, argued that entering the house of worship of non-Muslims was makruh. "There are also those who absolutely forbid it. This opinion is embraced by the Hanafi School, a school that has always been considered rational. The reason for this school is because such a place is a gathering place for demons,``Nirwan said.


This forbidding opinion refers to some quranic and hadith propositions. Among them, Allah (SWT) said, "Stay away from you (worship) the unclean idols and stay away from the words of lies. (Worship) sincerely to Allah, without associating Him" (QS al-Hajj verses 30-31).


The Qur'anic verse which is also used by those who forbid, is as in the narration of al-Baihaqi that Umar ibn Khattab said, "Stay away from the enemies of Allah (Jews and Christians) on their great day when they gather because anger (Allah SWT) comes down to them and I fear it will befall you and you also do not know their words, then you behave with their attitude."


There are other things that come from among the scholars of the Shafi'i School. Shafi'i argues that the law of visiting non-Muslim houses of worship is haram if there are pictures or statues in the place. However, if the goal is to conduct studies and research or the like, it is not in question.


From these various opinions, Nirwan explained, there is a kind of agreement among scholars that traveling to non-Muslim places of worship is legally haram if it meets four elements. First, if the goal is to glorify and raise those places. Second, if it coincides with their celebration or ritual of worship.


Third, when entering there it is mandatory to follow their religious shiars, such as saying something or having to give a sign of respect to certain objects and so on. Then the fourth, if it causes slander against the religion of Islam, such as the emergence of allegations that with the entry of a Muslim there, it means to approve or provide support to the religion. "Under these conditions (fulfilling these four things), the scholars forbid it," Nirwan said.

So, what if we go to the temple? Related to this, members of the Tarjih Assembly and Tajdid PP Muhammadiyah, KH Wawan Gunawan Abdul Wahid, said, it is actually permissible for Muslims to travel to temples in Indonesia, including Borobudur Temple.


"The law of doing the tour itself is basically a disaster or may, including to the temple. It doesn't matter, it's a matter of history," said Kiai Wawan.


Lecturer of the Faculty of Sharia and Law of the State Islamic University (UIN) Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta explained, the Qur'an has also taught Muslims to travel history and take ibrah or lessons from that trip.


"If suddenly the law is haram, it means that there are already several million sinners who travel to the Sphinx and pyramids in Egypt or to pagodas," he said.


In Southeast Asia, he continued, there are many relics of Buddhist and Hindu history, even relics of animism and dynamism. The departure is in the form of signs of their intelligence and cultural findings.


"We went there, even did some research. If it's a sin, how's the problem?" he said.


Kiai Wawan then revealed historical facts at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). According to him, during his 13 years of preaching in Makkah, the Prophet actually entered the Grand Mosque which was still full of idols.


"In fact, there is a history that he forbids his friend to be rude to the idol. So, it's a prohibition so that we don't insult, insult, bully, and revile. We have to respect each other," he said.


Therefore, according to him, there is no prohibition for Muslims to travel to non-Muslim places of worship, unless the tour is done for worship. For example, when visiting a temple, Muslims should not follow their worship.


He added, the paradigm of traveling in Islam is precisely a wealth of spirituality, which can complement one's religiousness and personality.