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THE SPEECH OF EMMANUEL MANOPPO (EFFENDI HADI RAIS) THE SON OF THE HEAD OF DEWAN GEREJA INDONESIA (THE INDONESIAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES) WHO CONVERTED TO ISLAM IN 1990 * * Condensed Translation By

Muhammad Amin A. Samad Edited in October, 2011 Canberra


THE SPEECH OF EMMANUEL MANOPPO (EFFENDI HADI RAIS) Friday, 8 March 1991 Introduction This is a condensed translation of a speech delivered by Emmanuel Manoppo, the son of the Head of Dewan Gereja Indonesia (Indonesian Council of Churches) in 1991. He converted to Islam through what might be called “divine intervention”. His conversion to Islam led him to many problems and hardships: his father expelled him from the house, and his elder sister who was a polwan (abbr. of polisi wanita, “a policewoman”) looked for him to arrest him. While a figutive he delivered this speech to a group of people in a house somewhere in a village near Kudus in Central Java on a flight to Mataram, Lombok (an island next to Bali) for his safety. The purpose of this translation is to give readers a picture of the sensitivity of conversion from one religion to another among some Indonesians, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is hoped that the experience of the speaker is a moral lesson, and we should not make the same mistakes. However, the veracity of the statements given by the speaker is beyond the scope of this translation, and it is best to let history be the judge. More than ten years have passed, and some readers may have infomation of what really happened, or what has become of the speaker. In order to avoid repetition, many statements of the speaker have been rephrased and revised. Finally, I express my gratitude and appreciation to Br Donald Wilkey, Sr Diana A. Rahman, and Sr Ragaa El Wakeel for their proofreading and suggestions. Canberra, 14 January 2005. M.Amin Abdul-Samad 2


The Speech of Emmanuel Manoppo (Effendi Hadi Rais) [

]

First of all, let us express our devotion, praise and gratitude to Allah the Glorious and the Almighty Who has showered us with His blessings, favours and provisons so that we can gather together in this house. As Muslims we pray that Allah may give mercy and peace to our honourable and great prophet Muhammad (may Allah give him blessing and peace) who has delivered us from the state of darkness and Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) to that of the light of Islam. I thank the respected Pak carek [pron. “chahrec”],1 the host who has provided a place to record this cassette, and the opportunity to be acquainted with you all, especially the Muslims in this village, and as a guest I thank Allah Who has guided me to this area. As a matter of fact I am going to continue my journey to Mataram, Lombok. In remembrance I shall record my voice and present the rrecording to Pak Carek as a souvenir of a guest stopping by this area. My name is Emmanuel Manoppo. Emmanuel according to the Christian teaching means “God is with us” and Manoppo is my family name. My father originally came from Manado [North Sulawesi], and my mother is of Chinese descent, and therefore I am not purely Chinese. I have three elder sisters, and I am the youngest, the only son. My eldest sister, Dra. Letkol.2 Deborah Manoppo is a policewoman, Head of Police Detectives of Metropolitan Jakarta Raya (Kepala Reserse Polda Metro Jaya). She has a family with two children. The second sister is a lecturer at the Indonesian Christian University (Universitas Kristen Indonesia). Her name is Dra. Liana Manoppo. The third sister is still studying at a pastoral department in Singapore, and the fourth child is myself. I just graduated from High school in 1989, last year. I was born in Jakarta on the 23rd of October 1969. I am only 21 years old and am entering my 22nd year. Alhamdu lillah, by the guidance and providence of Allah I have become a Muslim and a 3


defender of Islam until now. I am thankful to Allah for His guidance. There was an event that opened my heart to become a Muslim, guidance through a dream, to be exact, a kiyai3 In my dream I was dead and buried. In the grave I saw someone wearing completely white clothes and a turban. He said to me: “You have to convert to Islam no matter how hard the obstacle and the trial you are going to face. Face your father even though he is a minister or a pastor. What is important is that you have to be resolute and place your trust in Allah.” I asked him: “Who are you actually, what is your name and where do you come from?” He answered: “You do not have to know my name. Just ask the Muslims; on the night of the 27th of Ramadan, my duty is to come to give inspiration to people who like to follow the right path, including you.” Therefore, brothers, at that time, and as a non-Muslim, I wondered why I received such a dream. After this, I wanted to ask: First, “According to Islamic teachings, what is the significance of the night of the 27 th of Ramadan”? Second, “What is the wisdom of that night?” Third, “ Who came that night?” These were the questions I wished to ask. By chance I had a friend called Muhammad Taufiq. He is a Muslim and he is my friend. We had been close friends since we were at Junior High school. Before I became Muslim our attitude towards religion had been lakum dinukan wa liya din, each of us following our respective religions, and we respected each other. But after receiving this guidance of Allah, I wished to get the answer of these questions through him for being a Muslim. After listening to the story of my dream Muhammad Taufiq did not directly answer my questions, but said, “Follow me now.” He took me to his brother‟s house in Bandung, Patar village. We met there and I told him about my dream. He said, “The night of 27th of Ramadan is Lalylat al-Qadr („Night of Power‟), and it was the duty of the angel Jibril (Gabriel) to come that night. The wisdom of this night is that whoever gets such a dream will be like receiving (the reward of) one thousand months of acts of devotion. If we compare this with the life span of the Prophet (Muhammad), one thousand months is longer,”4 he said. “Therefore, you are among the lucky people, because guidance has come to you. You will be lucky if you become Muslim.” 4


“Pak Kiyai, “I said, “ I want to convert to Islam, but as a nonMuslim, I do not want just to become Muslim, but I also want to investigate first the truth of Islam. After finding the truth of it, I shall convert to it, even though I will be in conflict with my parents.” “Alhamdu lillah (praise be to Allah),” said Muhammad Taufiq‟s brother, “all right, if you want to learn about Islam, do it from my younger brother, Muhammad Taufiq, if you are still in Jakarta.” Since then, since the last Id al-Fitri celebration day of 1990, I have started learning from Muhammad Taufiq who taught me especially about aqidah (Islamic belief). I compared Islam with my religion. Through this study I realized that Islam is the true religion. Islam is a logical religion. Unfortunately, its followers do not study it sufficiently, so that they become indecisive because they admit that they become Muslims only because they are descendants of Muslims. There are still many Muslims who leave their ibadah (acts of devotion) and do not obey Islamic law. Therefore, through this cassette, hopefully the doors of the hearts of those who feel that they are Muslims only because it is mentioned on their ID cards [that they are Muslims, i.e., Muslims by name only] could be opened, through the story I am relating now. I sincerely hope so. After studying and comparing Islam with the idea of Trinity, where three are made one, and one is made three, and compared it with [the Qur‟anic verse] Qul huwa Allahu ahad [meaning, “Say, Allah is One” Qur‟an, 112:1], I learned what Islam is really teaching about. I realized that indeed Islam is a truly pure religion, from small things to the big ones are dealt with in Islam After studying Islam, alhamdu lillah (praise be to Allah), I started loving Islam, especially after Muhammad Taufiq had given me the genuine Bible, the Bible of Barnabas. I compared it with the translation of the Qur‟an, and the Bible used by the Christians at the present time. In Hebrew chapter 12 verse 30 it is mentioned, “Jesus said, „Do not worship me, worship your Lord, and do not consider me God‟s son, but consider me His messenger.‟” It is also mentioned there that Jesus did not die. When he was pursued by the Jews he took refuge in a cave where he prayed, “Oh my Lord, oh my Lord, save me.” Allah 5


lifted him up to the seventh heaven. Then the leader of the Jews, Judas Escariot entered, but he was mistakenly believed to be Jesus and was crucified. He was crucified while Jesus was being lifted up to heaven. Yes, Judas was crucified, and Jesus even said in the sixth heaven, “I shall descend for the second time to confirm the truth of the religion favoured by Allah.” It is also mentioned there that he said in the seventh heaven, “After me the last prophet will be born, the prophet of the last era whose name is Ahmad.” This very word Ahmad was what the Christians did not like, because they did not believe in Prophet Muhammad. Eventually, the priest gave orders that anyone found with this Bible of Barnabas [saying that it is] of the Muslim he had to burn it. In the meantime, if the Christians used this Bible of Barnabas, they would have come to Islam, because its contents are nearly the same as those of the Qur‟an, although not 100 %. Moreover, if we think logically, if Jesus was really the son of God, why should he have been so selected, the 24th prophet [mentioned in the Qur‟an]? Why not the first prophet, Adam who was created with the expression (of God), Kun fayakun, “be and it is”? Why was Jesus selected to be God‟s son, while he still had a mother? And why, when he was crucified, if he was really God‟s son, why did he say, Eli, eli, lama sabakhtani, which means “Oh God, Oh God, why have you forsaken me” instead of saying, “Oh father”? Therefore, I acknowledge the truth of Islam, the religion that Allah is truly contented with, in accordance with the Qur‟an, surah Ālc Imrān (chapter 3), Innad dīn cindallahil Islām, “Verily the religion that Allah is pleased with is Islam”. After reading these things I became in love with Islam. I declared to be a Muslim, to be precise, at the night of Id al-Adha, 1990, I pronounced the shahādah [i.e., testifying that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah]. That year, 1990, I was circumcised in Bandung in the house of Muhammad Taufiq‟s brother by the teacher of his elder brother, called H. Nawawi SH, the Head of the State Court in Mataram, Lombok. He was the one who gave me a Muslim name, from Emmanuel Manoppo to Effendi Hadi Rais. This is my Muslim name. One month later H. Nawawi wanted to return to Lombok. He said to me: “Rais, in case your parents know that you have become Muslim and you were mistreated, come to Lombok, come to Lombok. And in 6


case your parents wanted to do something indecent to you, I shall interfere legally and I shall protect you legally. In the meantime, I shall adopt you through the adoption procedure through the State Court and Religious Court. After you have received your birth certificate I shall take you to one of the Muslim religious boarding schools, at Situbondo, East Java.” That is H. Nawawi‟s plan. “Inshā Allāh (Allah willing), Pak Haji,” I said. After undergoing the circumcision I went home. At home I felt that I had to perform the obligatory prayers, as Muslims should do. I did it secretly. How? Every morning, if I woke up late, wearing my shorts and putting my sport shoes on, I told my father, “I am going for sport.” With regard to the midmorning (duha) prayer, early afternoon prayer (dhuhr) or late afternoon prayer (asr) I was free, as my father was in his office and my mother was shopping. I stayed at home alone. With regard to the early evening prayer (maghrib) I prayed quickly, and while at home, I never said my supplication (ducā), and never said my dhikr (glorification of Allah). I was afraid that my father might have suddenly come home. For the later evening prayer ( cishā) my father had given me a timetable where I could go out at night from 7.00 p.m. till 11.30 pm. After that, the door would be locked. Therefore, I performed my prayer at Muhammad Taufiq‟s house. After prayer I read the Qur‟an, till 10.30 p.m. and then went home. What I did (with prayer) I did the same with my food, until 11 November 1990. What happened at that time was this. Coincidentally my mother went to Manado, so I stayed at home with my father. While I was preparing to go to the mosque to pray (Friday prayer) it rained. Therefore, I decided to pray in my room. At that time--it might have been Allah‟s decree--I forgot to lock the door of my room. My first thought was it was safe; the second, my father might have already come home and looked for me in the guest room and elsewhere, and finally at my room. When he opened the door I was prostrating to come to the last rakacat (unit of prayer). “Emmanuel! What are you doing upside down?”, asked my father. As I was praying, although I had already lost my concentration, I did not want to cancel it. I kept praying. In my prostration it came to 7


my head that, “If I keep becoming Muslim secretly like this, when shall I increase my knowledge, and when shall I uphold Islam, while I am required to seek knowledge according to the hadīth which states, „Seek knowledge even in China‟”?5 I felt that I have to seek knowledge. I became defiant and continued my prayer. I said Allahu Akbar then bowed. While I was bowing my father saw the prayer rug. He knew that prayer rugs belonged to the Muslims. At the last prostration my father kicked my buttock, pulled my hear and asked, “Emmanuel, what is your religion?” Then I admitted, “It is true, dad, I am having now a new religion, Islam. Now, whatever you want to do to me, whatever action you want to take against me, I am ready.” My father wept, and said, “Emmanuel, if you convert to Islam, it is like throwing feces at my face. I am the greatest pastor in Indonesia, especially in the [Seventh Day] Adventist denomination. I have become the Head of the Indonesian Council of Churches, and you are my only son, whom I expect to become a pastor. If my generation and my students know that you have converted to Islam, where shall I hide my face?”, asked my father. “Let us put it this way now, Emmanuel. If you love me and you still acknowledge me as your father, return to your previous religion, and I promise, if you return to your religion, I shall give you everything I have, and I shall go to Manado with your mother, and settle there.” It means that if I return to my previous religion I shall get three cinemas, two jewelry stores, and one restaurant. But as my faith could not be separated any longer from Islam, I said to my father, “Dad, with regard to the son and parent relationship, I shall keep acknowledging you as my parent, and I shall keep respecting you as my parent, but with regard to religion I ask that lakum dinukum wa liya din “for you your religion, and for me my religion”.6 From now on, from this very second, worship what you worship, firmly believe what you firmly believe, and I shall worship what I worship, and firmly believe what I firmly believe. With regard to the three cinemas, the two jewelry stores and the one restaurant, I cannot accept even you give me 8


more than these. Suppose you turn Mt. Uhud7 into gold and give it to me as well as the whole world with its contents, but (because) I have faith (I cannot accept them), dad. This wide world with its contents, compared to the word I have just received and the religion I have just followed, la ilaha illallah, muhammadur rasulullah, „There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,‟ this word of Allah weighs more than the world with its contents.” My father became furious. He burned all my clothing, my residency card, even my Senior High School certificate. He was still unsatisfied. He took a kasti (a kind of game similar to baseball) beater and hit me about ten times. My ear was hit and until now, as stated by the local government clinic in Bandung, my left ear membrane is still broken, and pus is still coming out of it. “Emmanuel,” said my father, “this very night, this very second, this very day, you may go out of this house. But remember, I give you this permission to go once only. This is the only time I give you permission to go. Remember, you will not escape from my surveillance. I shall keep looking for you; I shall order my men to look for you, including your elder sister who is a policewoman. Once you are caught in the street or anywhere, I shall send you rightaway to Manado where I shall take you to a special Christian hostel for mischievous youth.” I left home with the clothes I was wearing and put my trust in Allah. That is my provision. I went to Muhammad Taufiq‟s house. After discussion with him, he asked me to come to his elder brother in Bandung. I went to Bandung, and his elder brother welcomed me. I told him about H. Nawawi‟s advice. He said, “I agree that you should go to Lombok, because it is true that the only solution is to go there, where H. Nawawi is a true law upholder. Moreover, he will protect you and bear responsibility for you. It will be better for you to go there. But because you do not carry your identity card from Jakarta, I worry that you might encounter problems on the way. For that reason it will be better for you to stay here temporarily, and I shall submit an application for you to become a resident here, and I shall be the guarantor.” 9


Alhamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) thanks to the effort of Muhammad Taufiq‟s brother a temporary certificate for my journey was issued. I rested there for several months. Then yesterday, “what date, brother?” the seventh, “and what month?”, March, yesterday on the 7th of March [1991], at 5 o‟clock in the evening two district employees came hurriedly and said, “Rais, Rais, go away quickly.” “What is the matter?” I asked. “Your elder sister is in the district office and she is coming here,” said they. I panicked. I wanted to say farewell to Muhammad Taufiq‟s brother, but he was visiting his in-laws. I put my shoes on, I took my temporary certificate and off I went immediately. It was by chance that someone was leaving for shopping at Semarang, taking his car [Suzuki] Carry, and I went along with him to Semarang. At Semarang alhamdu lillah I had money with me for meal that my friend in Bandung had given me. With this money I spent for my transportation to Kudus. I arrived at Kudus at about 6 o‟clock in the morning, and prayed the Morning Prayer at the bus terminal musalla (room for prayer). After prayer I went for a walk, then prayed duha prayer at the mosque at Kudus Town Square. I remembered that it was Friday, and I wanted to pray Friday prayer first. At midday I went to perform abolution, then intended to enter the mosque. I was at the point of entering the mosque when I saw the car of my sister parked in front of the mosque. I ended up not entering the mosque. I put on my shoes and ran away. My sister‟s car is number 2. Its plate number is B101FA, a white Honda Accord. Because I was panicking, I took the mini bus from Jepara, if I was not mistaken, until it arrived at the terminal. Because I was still frightened, I kept taking the minibus until I got off at this village. I looked for a mosque, I found one, but because it was close to the street, I did not enter it, I still worried. Finally, I found the mosque of this area. What is the name of the mosque? Baitussalam. Ahamdu lillah, after performing the Friday prayer, I planned to leave after Maghrib, because I thought leaving at night would be safer, and because first, my travel had not run smoothly; second, even when I arrived I would not have provision at all. So, I planned to go by truck and my face would not be recognized as much if I travelled by night. 10


Ahamdu lillah, after Friday prayer I went for a walk to this village. I saw a small shop, I drank tea and made acquaintance with the shop owner, and I was introduced to Pak Carek, who wished to record this speech as a souvenir. This is my short story. Hopefully the Muslims, who are listening to this cassette, will pray for me. Let us pray together that may Allah strengthen my faith and my Islam, may Allah guide my parents who are still non-believers. I know a little about Christianity, because I was also a coordinator on Christianization and worked… [not clear] for its chairman. The objective of the Christians had been discussed at a meeting in 1973 among four priests of the four denominations. They were of the Catholic, Protestant, Advent and Pantecostal denominations. They held a meeting to discuss how and by what means Indonesia would become majority Christian. They did not care whether by legal or illegal means. They wanted quantity, not the quality of the Christians. What was important for them was how to influence the Muslims, especially in the economic field. Sometimes they lent money to the Muslims. They paid a visit to them daily, claiming to collect the money, but in fact wanted to find out who was in the house. If a Muslim was in the house and had borrowed something they visited him daily. If they found pictures like posters of Qur‟anic verses, they did not dare to express their intention. Therefore, I suggested to the Muslims, even Muslims by name, if they do not want to convert to Christianity, they should hang some posters containing Qur‟anic verses (in their houses). In this way they would not try to convert us. That is our preventive measure. I admit that they were persistent. They obtained strong support from within the country as well as from abroad, especially from five countries, namely, Italy, Rome, Australia, the United States and Germany. Every country donated one billion of the local currency (rupiahs), and sent it to my father‟s office, because he was the Head of the Indonesian Council of Churches. Then he distributed it to various posts in Central Jawa, East Java, and all over Indonesia. They were targeting especially people living in poor areas. My father has even just bought a 13-hectare piece of land in Jogja region, 11


and Jogja-Semarang region where they are planning to build a complex for rural Christianization. Whoever lives in Semarang, or in Central Java and its surroundings does not have to move away from his village if he wants to convert to Christianity. There were supporters among the government officials, especially non-Muslims ministers. I do not need to mention their names, as perhaps you know who are these supporters behind the curtain. There are also supporters among business owners, such as Djarum cigarette company, as one cigarette of every pack is donated for Christianization activity. Moreover, the word Djarum itself is the abbreviation of Demi Jesus Aku Rela Untuk Mati (“For the sake of Jesus I am ready to die”). The Hai Magazine is also said to be the abbreviation of Hancurkan Agama Islam (“Destroy the Religion of Islam”), and the name of the newspaper Kompas is the abbreviation of Komando Pastur (“Pastor‟s Command”). So, these names have meanings for them. With regard to their youth, they are instructed to have influence upon Muslim girls. In order to marry these Muslim girls, they often pretended to be Muslims. After they had children they forced their wives to follow them to become Christians. Otherwise, they would divorce them. Because women are weak, they automatically follow their husbands. They often go around preaching. Therefore, as Muslims, we have to be on guard how to defend our faith, because our faith is precious, cannot be valued with worldly wealth. I myself just because of my belief in Allah I left behind my parents and my wealth. I myself have become Muslim just some months ago, and as Muslims you should be ashamed of yourself [for your lack of sacrifice] and make self-correction. Hopefully, through this cassette you will become sincere and pious Muslims. Allah does not consider your face, tribe, nationality or wealth, but your faith and piety. Faith and piety will be our provision after death. When we die our provision will be, first, our knowledge that will benefit people, second, our wealth which we spend for charity, and third, the pious son or daughter [praying for their parents].8

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Let us, especially the youth among us, respect and honour our parents, as they are Allah‟s trustees, and through them we came into this world. As a new Muslim I keep recognizing my parents. But in religious matter, I a poligize. Once again, I apoligize to my parents. This is what I can say. I also apologize (to you) if any statement in this cassette is not acceptable to you, as I am a new Muslim, I have not learned much yet about Islam To the Muslims who are listening to this cassette and those who are present here, let us pray together. May Allah strengthen my faith and my (following) Islam, and may He guide my father who is a nonbeliever and may He protect me on my way from here to Lombok. In Lombok according to H. Nawawi‟s plan, he will introduce me to the Head of the culamā’ Council, to the Head of the Religious Department and the Head of the Religious Court. Later, these government officials will ask me to explain my case, and then will invite my father to come to Lombok. In Lombok H. Nawawi as a Muslim and an upholder of the law will legally discuss with him in a family atmosphere and request him to consent to my conversion to Islam, although he is not a Muslim himself, and to stop pursuing me, willingly or unwillingly. Otherwise, the case will be submitted to the Central State Court. After my father‟s consent, a certificate of adoption will be issued through the procedure of adoption from the State Court and the Religious Court. It will state that I am a foster son of H. Nawawi, and if anyone from my own father‟s side wants to arrest me, it has to be with H. Nawawi‟s knowledge. Otherwise, he will be prosecuted in court. That is H. Nawawi‟s plan. After becoming a foster son of H. Nawawi, I shall be sent to the Muslim boarding school al-Shāficiyyah al-Salafiyyah, subdistrict of Langsung Bagus [?], regency of Situbondo, East Java, the native place of the late Kyai Ascad Syamsul Arifin. The address of H. Nawawi SH is, Kepala Pengadilan Negeri Tingkat II Lombok, Jalan Mangkubumi no. 285, Mataram, Lombok, NTB. The address of my father‟s office is, Kepala Dewan Gereja Indonesia, Bapak Pendeta Samuel Manoppo, Jalan Salemba Barat No. 77, Jakarta Pusat. May this piece of information be useful to you. Peace be upon you. 13


ENDNOTES 1

Pak is the abbreviation of bapak, which literally means “father”. It is an expression of respect to the elders in Indonesia. If it is used before a name or a position, it is similar to “Mr.” in English, and if used alone, similar to “sir”. Carik is a Javanese word, a title for “a chief clerk of a village” 2

Dra is the abbreviation of doktoranda, a female holder of postgraduate degree in humanities below doctoral rank. Letkol is the abbreviation of lieutenant colonel. 3

Kiyai is a title given to a religious Islamic scholar, especially in Java

4

It is mentioned in the Qur‟an that the merit of Laylat al-Qadr is over one thousand nights. It is equal to more than 80 years, whereas the Prophet lived 63 years. At this night not only the archangel Gabriel, but also other angels come down to the earth. See Qur‟an, surat al-Qadr (chapter 97). 5

This h.adīth was weakened by some scholars, even considered fabricated. Yet, it is still popular among Muslims as it encourages people to seek knowledge. There are many other h.adīths, which should be cited and are stronger, such as, “Seeking knowledge is enjoined to Muslims, male and female.” 6

The speaker is citing the last verse of the Qur‟an, chapter 109 verse 6.

7

Mt. Uhud is located on the outskirt of Medina, Saudi Arabia. It was the place where the second battle between the Muslims led by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the Meccan idolators led by Abu Sufyan took place in 4 AH/626 CE 8

The speaker is referring to the Prophet‟s h.adīth, that when man dies his good deeds cease, except the three things, his perpetual charity, his knowledge that gives benefit to people, and a son (or a daughter) praying for him.

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THE SPEECH OF EMMANUEL MANOPPO