Kamis, 21 April 2011

The Light for Nationalism: Protestantism in Korea

The Light for Nationalism: Protestantism in Korea

Preface
In this paper I examine the rise of Protestantism in Korea to find out the relation between religion and Nationalism in Korea. I focus on one critical moment in Korea history in Japanese Colonial rule during 1910-1945. The main problem in this paper is why Protestant has became an important and strong religion in Korea? In my opinion, understanding the role of Protestantism in Korea is really important to understand the Nationalism in Korea. There was strong relationship between Protestantism and Nationalism in Korea. Actually, the Japanese colonial rule in 1910-1945 and their oppression, dire poverty and social marginalization in Korea gave Protestantism a unique opportunity to offer a compelling salvation and promise national empowerment. This religion harmonized with the nationalism because the Old Testament seemed to reflect the Korean people condition. Korean converts found a close affinity between their miserable experiences under foreign domination and the biblical depictions of the ordeals of the Israelites under Egyptian tyranny; they thus found in the Bible spiritual support in their aspiration for liberation and national independence.

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Protestantism positively asserted the necessity of education, technical and vocational training in particular. Protestantism was also faced with the task of eliminating illiteracy among its believers because of the urgent necessity of helping them read and understand the Bible and other mission literature.

The Beginning of the Protestantism, 1884-1890
Protestantism in Korea is coming from the United States. In the last eighteenth century, in Korea, there were many missionaries came from the United States (Kim, 1995, 39). In Asia in the late nineteenth century, Korea was a fertile ground for missionary effort. It was an extension of China and Japan mission fields. The first evangelistic agencies to begin missionary work in Korea were the Board of Foreign Mission of the Presbyterian Church and the Foreign Mission Society of Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. These organizations started their work simultaneously in Korea. They operated their missions side by side and cooperating to some degree. In 1884, the Presbyterian Church appointed Dr. Horace N. Allen as the first missionary to Korea, while the Methodist Church appointed Dr. and Mrs. W.B. Scranton and the Rev. and Mrs. Appenzeller as the first missionaries to Korea in the same year. (Kim, 1995, 39)

In September of 1884, Dr. Allen arrived in the Korean capital. He was the first Western missionary to enter Korea (Kim, 1995, 39). After Dr. Allen arrived in Korea, a significant event took place which would have a deep impact on the missionary work in Korea. The Kapshin Chŏngbyŏn (Coup d’ Etat of 1884) caused Prince Min near death when he was brutally slashed (Kim, 1995, 39). Dr. Allen was called when Min was near death. His meticulous care over three month saved the prince’s life. This incident gave the royal court great confidence in Western medicine. This incident also prompted the court’s hospitality towards the missionaries. As a consequence, Dr. Allen’s request for the establishment of a hospital with using Western medicine was granted by the Korean government. The first general hospital was opened April 10, 1885 and the name of that Hospital was Kwanghyewŏn (Kim, 1995, 39). Then, the missionaries focused on providing many vital medical services particularly for poor and women

The first Protestant missionaries in Korea adopted the Nevius Method. Named after Dr. John L. Nevius (1829-1893) of Shan Tung China, this method emphasized self-support, self-propagation, self-government and independent of the church (Rutt, 1900). Actually, this method was not popular in China and in Japan but this method was widely accepted in Korea after Dr. Nevius visited Seoul in 1890. It laid great stress on the church’s self-determination and on the need for natives to carry on the evangelical work. This was obviously in stark contrast to the method of the Catholic Church in Korea, which relied almost on the leadership of Rome. Therefore, the missionaries established new mission stations, new schools and small hospitals in woman’s care, in many parts of Korea. They actively pursued the translation of the Bible and other literary works into Korean language. Hospital and schools thus became invaluable evangelistic tools for the missionaries during the first two decades of their arrival.

According to Yun-Sŏng Bŏm, when Protestantism was introduced to Korea by American Presbyterian Church and the American Methodist Church in 1885, event though no missionary belonging to the Lutheran church was active at the time it consisted of Lutheranism and Calvinism (Hwang, 1967, 5). Sola fide, the basic spirit of Lutheranism, was accepted as the dominant truth (Hwang, 1967, 5). For that reason, Korean church held fast to uniformity based on faith…and the Lutheran creed of doing right faith won so dominant a place that its practice (Hwang, 1967, 5). It can be said that its ethical aspects were almost neglected. Yun cites the following as factors conducive to the rapid propagation of Protestantism in Korea:

The first, in Korea, Protestantism acted as a popular religion from the start. It was in sharp contrast to Catholicism which was first received by the Yangban (noblemen) belonging to the Namin (Southern Faction). Second, the Bible and other missionary literatures of Protestant church were written in Han’gul (Korean alphabet). This proved most conducive to the rapid propagation of the religion. Third, the Christian concept of paradise and hell has similar to the Buddhist notion Shuhkavati. Therefore, Christian religion attracted a large number people. Fourth, the political situation prevalent at the time converted churches into basis for the notion’s independence movement which assumed the aspect of a long-range struggle. Fifth, the good results were obtained from mission work on an individual basis rather than on an organized group basis. Sixth, Protestantism, by taking the forerunner in Korean’s enlightenment movement, started modern education in this country (Hwang, 1967, 5-6).

Protestantism and Education Role
The missionaries were quick to get involved in education. It is because in one hand, they really know about the Koreans’ zeal for education and their openness to Western ideas. In the other hand, they hoped to enable illiterate Koreans to read scriptures and religious tracts. Therefore, the missionaries begin the establishment of schools. Even the King approved their plan of education. It made them the more eager. They found the first boy school in 1896. They also found also the Paejae Hakjang, a school for young girl. Then, they found more schools in many parts of Korea. The Methodist undertaking at first, Presbyterian soon established schools of their own, adding much needed resources and helping to keep up with the demand (Hwang, 1967). It can be said that the characteristics of Protestantism are not purely missionary work. It pushed religion into social activities

By 1920, Protestant missionaries attained remarkable growth. There are 315 foreign missionaries of whom 280 were Presbyterian and Methodist, 354 Koreans ministers, including 264 Presbyterian and Methodist, 823 Korean Evangelist, including 667 Presbyterian and Methodist, 213,051 believers, including 204,651 Presbyterian and Methodist, 41 schools operated by the Protestant Church of which belonged to the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. In addition, there were three leprosaria, all Presbyterian. By the time the March 1, 1919, independence movement was launched, the Protestant Church operated three colleges and more than 600 elementary schools (Hwang, 1967, 6). Missionary schools continued to perform strongly, attracting more and more students and gaining recognition. The demand for education was so overwhelming that schools had to be established all over Korea. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the church was in the charge of the only complete educational system in Korea at the time. Only the church provided education from primary to college level.

Actually, some people in Korea assert that conversion into Protestantism lead to economic improvement. They believe that the improvement is due to their renunciation of smoking and drinking, gambling, luxurious clothing, makeup, movies, etc. This in turn acts as a strong impetus to labor, thrift and saving. The subjective improvement of the economic life of Protestant is understood as a reward (God’s favor) for their observation of Puritan ethics. The most important is the fact that this attitude bears great significance in the nation’s life. There were the fact that Protestant families who are adhere to Puritan ethics, live in better house, are clothed better, have a large number of household utensils such as sewing machine, bicycles and radios. They are more enthusiastic about education of their children than non-Protestant families (Hwang, 1967, 8). In short, the phenomenon that the condition of economic despair which affected the lower classes in the traditional social structure is being eliminated in the process of industrialization is more conspicuous among Protestant than among non Protestants (Hwang, 1967, 8).

Economic and technical changes have close relation with the propagation of Protestantism. These changes were made possible due to the intentional initiative taken by the church. As pointed out by Emile Leonard, the pragmatism embodied in American mission work was aimed at the installation of facilities for indirect propaganda conducive to the creation of a Christian civilization and the realization of a paradise on earth. (Hwang, 1967, 8). These facilities can be considered the same as those existing in the American economic system.

In fact, beginning from the latter part of the 19th century, Protestantism positively asserted the necessity of education, technical and vocational training in particular. The Protestant church was also faced with the task of eliminating illiteracy among its believers because of the urgent necessity of helping them read and understand the Bible and other mission literature. Efforts made in this line constituted a substantial contribution to reducing the illiteracy rate in the Protestant church (Hwang, 1967, 8)



Protestantism and Nationalism during Japanese Colonial Rule

Actually, Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945) is the darkest periods in the history of Korea. This period served as the basis for the spread of Protestantism in Korea. Under the Japanese Colonial regime, the Korean people suffered the deprivations, injustices, and psychological injuries. This condition created a fertile political environment for Protestantism became a rallying point for national salvation. For a large number of the Korean, Protestantism became identified as the ethos they hoped to liberate themselves from national suffering. What facilitated this hope was that the political events of the period made the Bible radiate with contemporary relevance. In particular, the Old Testament seemed to reflect their own situation. Korean converts found a close affinity between their miserable experiences under foreign domination and the biblical depictions of the ordeals of the Israelites under Egyptian tyranny; they thus found in the Bible spiritual support in their aspiration for liberation and national independence (Wasson 1934, 78-102; Weems 1964, 67-74) (Kim, 2005, 267).

For Koreans deprived of any traditional means to resist Japanese colonial power, the church and Christianity/Protestantism became means for voicing their collective aspirations for independence. The church became the center of the nationalist movement. It is because the church apart from the Japanese colonial bureaucracy. The church is the strongest, most influential single organization in Korea at the time. During Japanese rule, indeed, the church developed into a leading intellectual, political, and social force, providing the nation with its most effective leadership, while gaining credibility and the admiration of the masses in the processes (Kim, 2005, 267-268). Accordingly, many Koreans, particularly intellectuals adopted Christianity/Protestantism as a political means of mobilizing Korean nationalism and the independent movement. The salience of Christians in the independence movement throughout colonial period further confirmed the people’s positive perception of Christianity. As the leaders of resistance against Japanese rule and as active members of the independence movement, the presence of Christians was pronounced at every level of anti-Japanese organizations.

Actually, the Protestant schools provided the most effective means of intellectual resistance to Japanese rule. The Protestant schools also served as a link between Korean nationalism and Christianity. The Protestant schools were the only modern alternative to educate Korean people. These schools numbered over 700 by the 1910. These schools informed Koreans of the outside world, allowing them become aware of new ideas pertaining to civil, political, and social rights in the modern world. These schools also provided outlets where progressive young intellectuals could exchange ideas and establish a tradition of political movement. As student learned and debated the geography of their country, language, and history, they came to realize the importance of self-determination. The significance of missionary schools during the Japanese is echoed by Palk (1971, 393): “the Missionaries virtually controlled the intellectual life of the Christians and these in turn were the most influential and progressive members of the village communities. (Kim, 2005, 268)

The fact that the missionaries were most often vocal in defense of Korean concerns also helped place Christianity/Protestantism at the forefront of Korean nationalism. While they had first welcomed Japan’s annexation as a stabilizing force, the missionaries were unequivocal in condemning Japan’s brutal reaction to the independence movement of March 1, 1919 and other violence. Also, the missionaries often publicized the brutality of the Japanese authorities through the Western media. Their conspicuous presence in the Koreans’ struggle for national independence not only added credibility to the church but also increased support for Christianity in non-Christianity communities. (Kim, 2005, 269)

During Japanese colonial rule Koreans in general were attracted to Christianity not only because their marginal existence and socio-political deprivation but also because of their wish to find nationalist expression in religious terms. Indeed, people’s political and social hope for liberation was virtually inseparable from their warm response to Christian messages. Christianity/Protestantism become fully identified with the Korean national struggle and the concomitant Japanese suppression of Korean Christian made the religion and Church towering symbols of the protest again foreign domination and injustice. Like many other Asian countries, Korea was troubled by a series of national tragedies in the twentieth century. Yet it is almost certain that in none of the other Asian societies was Christianity so deeply involved in the struggle for national independence. While colonialism was experienced in other Asian countries, such as French Indochina and British rule India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar and Dutch rule in Indonesia, the long period of Western rule over these nations made Christianity an attachment of Western colonial power, a force against which they were struggling for national independence. But the opposite was true in Korea (Kim, 2005, 269)

As Protestantism had no reason to feud with the traditional government system, it was not a significant existent politically (Hwang, 1967). The protestant did not express their political views at the time of the great political turmoil caused by Japan’s annexation of Korea. It was at the time of the March 1, 1919, independent movement that they showed an organized anti- Japanese attitude on a nationwide scale. According to statistics compiled by the churches, Protestant numbered 300,000 at the time while there were 2,441 clergyman and missionaries. These figures indicated Korea’s superiority to Japan’s Christian force, and especially it is recorded that the foreign missionaries operating in Korea at the time numbered 400. As most of them were American, it is not to say that American missionaries exerted a profound influence on the formation of the attitude taken by Korean Protestants. The political attitudes of the American missionaries was not a reflection of the formal American government’s policy toward Korea but an expression of their philanthropic feeling toward the Korean people who were suffering under the iron grip of Japanese colonial rule.

Classification of the religious leaders imprisoned by the Japanese Colonial during 40 days from March 1 to April 30, by religion, will help in understanding political attitudes they took at the time of the independent movement. The table below classifies only six religion or denominations—ch’ŏndo-gyo (a native Korean religion), Confucian, Buddhist, Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist, and the figure include those imprisoned and indicated later.

Ch’ŏndo-gyo, Confucian, Buddhist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist
1323 55 53 1155 398 396

The table show that the Presbyterian and Methodist are almost on a par and that the Protestant, when added to the 334 whose denomination is classified as not clear, correspond, to more than half of the imprisoned religious leader, excluding the Catholics. This is clear testimony the fact that Protestantism lived with common people. It was at no time other than at the time of the independence movement that Protestantism displayed its spirit most clearly, and the period witnessed Protestantism reach its apex as a spiritual movement (Hwang, 1967 10).

Conclusion
In this conclusion I want to repeat my opinion that Protestantism in Korea strongly related with education and than with Nationalism. The background of this situation is the backwardness and poorness of the country. In other words, it is clear that the first rise of Protestantism in Korea is strongly related to the deep discontent and despair felt by the Korean people. For centuries, Korea people experienced dire poverty, social marginalization and oppression. The second, people’s identification of Protestantism with the independence movement during the Japanese colonial period fostered the public’s favorable view of new religion.

So, it is clear that certain peculiar circumstances of Korean History particularly Korea’s vulnerability to Chinese and Japanese control, colonialism the Korean War, encouraged Protestantism to strike deep roots in the spiritual sphere of the South Korean society.

References
Anderson, R.O.G. Benedict, Imagined Community Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London: Verso, 1991
Andrew Eungi Kim, “Protestantism in Korea and Japan from the 1880s to the 1940s: A Comparative Study of Differential Cultural Reception and Social Impact”, Korea Journal, Winter 2005. http://www.ekoreajournal.net/
Allen D. Clark, “Protestant Work in Korea”, Korea Journal, June 1, 1962. http://www.ekoreajournal.net/
Andrew Eungi Kim, A History of Christianity in Korea: From Its Troubled Beginning to Its Contemporary Success, Korea Journal, Summer 1995. http://www.ekoreajournal.net/
Hwang Sŏng-mŏ, “Protestantism and Korea”, Korea Journal, February 1, 1967. http://www.ekoreajournal.net/
Hong Kyong, Formation of Korean Protestantism and its Political Nature, Korea Journal, December, 1983. http://www.ekoreajournal.net/

Sabtu, 29 Januari 2011

ACTS OF GOD AND ACTS OF NATURE: A Short History of Natural Disasters in China

Saiful Hakam

In discussing the history of natural disasters in China, one thing should be understood: natural disasters in China are strongly related to the political contexts and social orders in the society. Consequently a discussion on the history of natural disasters in China, it is clear, needs an evaluation of how Chinese society responds and interprets them and the natural disasters’ influences. That evaluation needs concepts about natural disasters within the important paradigms that natural disasters are not merely meteorological and seismic phenomena separated from social and cultural contexts. This paper will discuss natural disasters in two contexts, those of the Chinese traditional power and of the Communist Party under the regime of Mao Zedong.

Some Concepts of Natural Disasters

There are some important concepts which need to be understood in the history of natural disasters in China. The first is natural disasters as Acts of God or fate. This means that natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods are viewed as God’s retribution for human faults and failings (White et al. 2001:87). Such concepts tend to imply fatalistic behaviours and actions and no one can prevent them. Keith Smith explains that this concept has fatalistic characteristics which means that people have no responsibility to respond to dangers but only keep away from a loss resulting from disasters (Smith 1996:70).

Second, a natural disaster is a purely physical agent/event i.e.-Act of Nature. Quarantelli (1978:8) says that over time, nature increasingly changes the supernatural and ‘a natural disaster term’ becomes a standard term. Meanwhile, Russell Dynes claims that the notion of natural disaster as an Act of Nature came following the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 (Dynes 1977:24). He tells the story of Marques de Pombal who had the responsibility to conduct the response and reconstruction following the earthquake in Lisbon (Dynes 1997:6) but who made political attempts to reduce the traditional interpretation that an earthquake is an Act of God. Pombal viewed the repentance in mass public worship becoming a reason for why people restrained themselves whereas the city needed all the people to conduct a number of reconstruction activities. He saw religious practices as obstruction to reconstruction processes (Dynes 1997:16). Dynes argues that the Lisbon earthquake was the first modern earthquake in which a state accepted responsibility to create an emergency response and also to develop and to apply a collective attempt to overcome that disaster.

The third concept in disaster is social action. Dombrowsky mentions Carr (1932) as the first man to understand natural disasters as such a concept (1998:24) by his personal argument in 1932:

Not every windstorm, earth-tremor, or rush of water is a catastrophe. A catastrophe is known by its works; that is to say, by the occurrence of disaster. So long as the ship rides out the storm, so long as the city resists the earth-shocks, so long as the levees hold, there is no disaster. It is the collapse of the cultural protections that constitutes the disaster proper.

Carr explains that natural disasters result from human activities, not natural or supernatural phenomena.. This means that natural disasters are the collapse of cultural protection and thus are principally created by human actions and deductively people have responsibility for their actions and carelessness (Dombrowsky 1998: 24-25).

Encrico Quarantelli continues Carr’s notion by removing focus from events of natural disaster to interaction of natural disasters and society. Gilbert (1998:13) explains that at the conceptual level, he triggers off an increasingly new model in natural disaster approaches based on an analysis of a society and not merely as an external demolition agent. A partial consequence from this conceptual approach, demolition agents have not been viewed as a source, but as an initial cause of crisis and an indication of natural disaster directly related to social contexts. Meanwhile, Tobin and Montz (1997:11-12) explain that Hewitt (1983) condemns researchers focusing all their attention on geophysical processes and ignoring social forces. Hewitt stresses three points: 1.Natural disasters cannot be explained specifically and merely as geophysical conditions that might be the start of catastrophes and damage; 2.Human awareness and response to natural disaster do not merely depend on the attention to purpose, aim and risk from society. Causes, characters and effects of the disasters have not been explained by conditions and indications of deadly events; 3.Important parameters are social order in daily life with habitat and historical conditions also shaping a society.

Study of Natural Disaster in China

Even though natural disasters are a reality in the modern history of China, a historical study of natural disasters is a relatively new study in that country (Andrea Janku 2009:237). Interestingly, famine has become a starting point for scholars in outer China (ibid.). Perhaps the symbolic reading on natural disasters prevents the conduct of such research and the very strong theory of dynastic-cycle effectively prevents the writing of a social history of natural disasters. In any case, a social history of natural disasters is a sensitive field. Disaster studies are also complex studies requiring an inter disciplinary approach. This study requires different disciplines such as sociology, economics and institutional history, history of the environment and epidemiology, demography and historical geography, study of philology and relations between the state and society and the study of modernity. It also needs an openness to an anthropological approach and a perspective consideration in socio-physiological aspects to natural disasters including memory and collective and individual trauma.

An important research describes an institutional history and official management of natural disasters in: Buraucratie et famine en Chine au 18e siecle by Pierre Etienne Will. This is a study of famine and famine relief in China in 1743 in the capital of Zhili Province which shows that the management of famine relief during the Qing Dynasty was excellent. Giving food or nourishment to people was one of the important ways for the Qing Dynasty to support its political legitimacy. The civil granary system in the administration of the Qing Dynasty was a sophisticated means by which the administration equalized the rice price and reduced the consequences of a food shortage. The study illustrates the story of food, famine, and the Chinese state focusing on political legitimacy, social security and economic stability. Later, social and economic historians continued this study and played important roles. Their studies focused on market developments, rice prices and relations between the state and society. A study on famine relief in the Ming era (1368-1644) observes the state’s responsibility to people until the end of the Dynasty.

In the People’s Republic of China a study of history and famine is relatively new because it was a sensitive topic until the political situation became more open after 1979 (Andrea Janku 2009:237). Two basic aims are addressed in the research. First, a study of natural disasters, particularly of floods, droughts and earthquakes, in order to develop an adequate policy of management and the prevention of natural disasters in the present (Andrea Janku 2009:238). In the 1990s, the International Decade of United Nations for Disaster Reduction is important to intensify research and to strengthen international cooperation particularly in natural science. Second, in the PRC natural disaster research is didactic, meaning, the study the past is an admonition to the future. One of the publications of the Research Group for the Study of Disasters in Modern China, founded in 1985 at the People’s University, Beijing, is a text book for middle school made explicitly to introduce to pupils the ancestors’ suffering so that they never forget (ibid.). It aims to change the memory of the past natural disasters into spiritual powers needed to build a new and future China. Subsequent research conducted by the same group explores the relation between natural disasters and the last era of the Qing Dynasty.

Research that analyses a study of disasters and famine relief in China concentrates on the Qing Dynasty. Richard Bohr and He Hanwei did the pioneering work in a study of the Great Famine in north China between 1876 and-1879 with famine becoming the main focus in the research. Bohr’s study based on missionary documents, points to famine and the role of Timothy Richard, an important figure in missionary relief. Richard’s experience in this famine relief encouraged his reformatory and political thought. In response to Bohr’s study, He Hanwai conducted research on extensive measures of relief taken by Chinese administrations. In the 1990s, a big achievement of the Beijing research group was the introduction of issues of personal relief in a Chinese discourse about famine relief and discussion of the missionary contribution from foreign countries in positive thinking. This group also concentrates on famine as a motivating factor to conduct modernization. The Centre of Historical Geography at Fudan University in Shanghai, in contrast, focuses on the history of the environment and the history of demography in their analysis of the history of disasters.

Kathryn Edgerton adds an important other dimension of the study of disaster in her study of the Great Famine in north China in the late 1870s. Her study about the social response to the famine, inspired by the potato famine in Ireland, is based on new local sources including small notes, local historical documents and even interviewing of old people who could tell stories about their ancestors during the famine. She explores whether and how responses to the famine are culturally determined.

Natural Disasters as Acts of God: the theory of the Mandate of Heaven

No other country has had the same fate as China in cases of natural disaster. China is a country that often and routinely experiences catastrophe. Deng Yunte writes, in his comprehensive study about the history of famine relief in China, that in China since the eighteen hundreds BCE until the twentieth century CE there was hardly a year without a catastrophe (zai) and there was hardly a year without famine (huang) (Andrea Janku 2009:233). Deng Yunte tries to investigate the ingrained natural disasters in Chinese culture by counting one by one the great disasters in the Myth era told about in the Chinese classical literature such as the Great Floods in the Yao and Shun epic in which the Great Yu, the first ruler in the Xia Dynasty, (2100 BCE until 1600 BCE), in the end conquered the Great Flood (ibid.). The most gigantic earthquake for years occurred in the late Shang Dynasty (1600 BCE to 1100 BCE). The excessive flood pushed the Shang Dynasty to move its capital five times. The gigantic earthquake in the late Shang Dynasty brought to an end the power of the evil Zhou, the last emperor of the Shang Dynasty.

A moral interpretation of the floods mentioned above was really revered at the time of the West Han Dynasty (206 BCE-8 CE). Floods and droughts were interpreted as ‘catastrophes sent by Heaven’ (tianzai), that could be understood by the theory of the Mandate of Heaven (tianming), that gave legitimacy to the rulers (ibid.). The history of disasters presented in the paradigm of a dynastic circle means that the increase of disasters would encourage a cosmic sign declaring a loss of the dynasty’s mandate. In the early times of Chinese historiography, natural disasters concerned chroniclers (Andrea Janku 2007:267-268).

In the Preface to the Record of Auspicious and Inauspicious Phenomena of a local history of China it is said that in the past, when Kongzi wrote the Annals of the State of Lu (722–484 B.C.E.), whenever there was a calamitous phenomenon, he certainly would record it, in order to take heed of the Heavenly warnings. For the demons are evoked by man; only virtue can excel.... In ancient times, there have been many earthquakes in Linfen, and droughts and floods have also happened at unforeseen times. How could this have happened without reason?

The chroniclers in China in the ancient times gave full attention to calamitous phenomena (Andrea Janku 2007:268). They recorded calamitous phenomena, that at present are called natural disasters as political signs that meant that a phenomenon was a reflection of people’s behaviour (Andrea Janku 2007:268).

However, importantly, most of the reflections about natural disasters were not addressed to people’s behaviour but to the performance of a dynasty. A dynasty, particularly an emperor, has the traditional duty to respond to the disasters. In the concept of the Mandate of Heaven, that is a political tradition of power, Tian (Heaven) gives a blessing to an emperor to rule. The rule will be kept in his hand if he has the capacity to maintain harmony between heaven and earth and do justice. On the contrary, if a ruler acts out an oppressive deed as a tyrant and does not do justice there will occur calamitous phenomena or natural disasters that might be a sign that an emperor has lost the mandate. As Burton Watson writes:

Like the Greeks and Romans, the early Chinese firmly believed in the portentous significance of usual or freakish occurrences in the natural world. The belief formed the basis for the Han theory that evil actions or misgovernment in high places invites dislocations in the natural order, causing the appearance of comets, eclipses, drought, locusts, weird animals etc…..However interpreted, this theory of portents and omens had a tremendous influence upon Han political thought, for it gave the bureaucracy a method of indirectly censuring the throne when direct criticism was impolitic. (William Theodore Debary)

Yeat (2001, 193)says:

During the Zhow Dynasty in the first millennium B.C., the Chinese came to believe that heaven gives wise and virtuous leaders a mandate to rule, and removes this mandate if the leaders are evil or corrupt. This became incorporated into the Taoist view that heaven expresses its disapproval of bad rule through natural disasters such as floods, plagues, or earthquakes

In the examples above, the punishments from heaven do not mean for all time a sign of the end of a dynasty (Andrea Janku 2009:234).A disaster could be also viewed as an examination that is sent by Heaven to check the ruler’s ability to cope with a crisis, or as an admonition for him to examine his moral integrity and personal responsibility for the prosperity of the people (ibid.). In this case, a disaster offers some rulers a chance to assert legitimacy and to consolidate their administration. A successful overcoming of disasters is one of the elements that might produce a cultural hero such as the Great Yu Yang. Even though sometimes there emerges a skeptical voice. This interpretation is really useful and applicable in the modern era, such as in the high reluctance of the Chinese regime to publish ‘the Silent Famine’ in the 1960s and the Chinese administration censorship in informing of the Tangshan earthquake of 1976.

A legend is told frequently in many ancient sources about the seven year famine in the era of Emperor Tang and his solution to offer himself as a sacrifice for the prosperity of the people as a paradigm about the ruler’s responsibilities to respond to disasters (Andrea Janku 2009:234). Tang is a cultural hero who overthrew Jie at the end of the Xia Dynasty. But, his reign was signified by a famine. After five years when the harvest failed, Tang revealed his willingness to sacrifice himself to calm the anger of heaven and to absolve his people (ibid.): ‘Just myself who is at fault, the people must not be affected. If the people did anything wrong, this is because of me. Do not ask the spirits and the devil to destroy the people’s lives because the fault is only with one person. In a small wood with a variety of plants and fruit, he prepared his offering of himself, cutting his hair, fingernails and looking for an altar. According to the story he prayed to Heaven with these questions:

Has my rule been immoderate? Have I brought distress to the people? Why do the rains fail to such a severe extent? Is my palace too lofty? Have the visits of women been too plenteous? Why do the rains fail to such a severe extent? Have presents and bribes been common? Has slander been flourishing? Why do the rains fail to such a severe extent?

Before he could kill himself, heaven gave him blessing. Heavy rains occurred and were abundant. Then people were happy. The commentators describe droughts as the power of Jie’s Ghost. Tang was actually difficult to fault because in all the faults he had mentioned, he had shown full honesty and pious behaviour in his honest pursuance to heaven (Andrea Janku 2009:235).

By looking back to natural disasters in the past which happened in all parts in the country in the last Manchu-Qing Dynasty(1644-1911), it is clear, that it can encourage signs and be interpreted as the collapse of a dynasty. A series of floods, droughts, epidemics, earthquakes and typhoons, coincided with famines that happened in all parts of China in 1840-1899, showed how terrifying were the catastrophes in this period.

The Yongding River in Zhili (Hubai Province at this time) flooded for eight years sequentially from 1867 to 1874 and took a great toll of many people, because of the ignoring of working control. A drought followed in 1875-1876 initiating the Great Drought. The drought created suffering in most parts of north China from 1876 till 1879. A series of floods beginning in 1885 came to an end in 1898, once again, followed by the great droughts in 1899-1900.

The southern parts of the country were also influenced. In 1876 when the first wave of famine refugees came from the north, namely to the rich Jiangnan (Yanzte lowland), the bad floods influenced Jianxi, Fujian and Zhejiang Provinces. The heavy rains, tsunamis and typhoons struck the coastal provinces and Taiwan. An earthquake was recorded in the hinterland of Yunnan and Guizhou. A series of catastrophes, also related to the food riots, continued to the Wuchang Rebellion that encouraged the founding of the Republic of China in 1912. Disintegration was continually taking place in the political power and traditional social structure and the economic riots had a big effect in the multiple disasters of the people. These events seemed to reinforce the sense that the kingdom was in a dreadful condition.

Even though it is interesting to write about the collapse of a dynasty in an attempt to form a historical concept in the last era of the Chinese dynasties, it is clear that it can become a trap and lead to a superficial reading of historical documents and obscure the subtlety of human history (Andrea Janku 2009). Response to disasters and the long term consequences are complex and should be examined historically (Andrea Janku 2009). Geographic conditions and climates in China constantly make this country susceptible to floods, droughts, earthquakes and other catastrophes. But, this situation also encourages a sophisticated development of culture to cope with these disasters. These cultures can be powerfully seen in a number of references, both personal and formal, to famine relief and disaster prevention. People in flood areas have found ways to adapt and get advantage from the catastrophe which happens routinely. There is a popular response to ‘daily disasters’ in conventional historical sources. On the contrary, the terrifying disasters influencing vast areas over a long period and the suffering of great damage resulting in numerous victims are relatively rare. The terrifying disasters which are also relatively rare could influence seriously social and political arrangements in China.

It is true that the effects of disasters increased drastically especially in the last two centuries of Qing power (Andrea Janku 2009). The increase in population to the level that had never occurred before, in the eighteenth century, caused tensions in the ecology and economic sources that grew bigger.(Andrea Janku 2009). Most of the rural people lived at a subsistence and very vulnerable level. At the same time, remarkable combat troops could still be mobilized to support the regions that were regarded important strategically, economically and politically. In peace time, a wide preparation limits the scope of the numerous catastrophes. Besides, a long time strategy has been created in disaster management, continually adapting to change in the circumstances, particularly to disasters with great power that had not been ever seen before. Even though there are adaptations, one principle that has never changed at least at the political discourse level: the conviction that the prosperity of people finally depends on the State. Here, indeed, is maintained the political myth alongside with the empowering of political control.

This principle was challenged for the first time during the Great Famine in north China in the 1870s, when foreign people were involved in the administration of famine relief. An evaluation of famine and official relief by the south China elites, foreign missionaries and their reports to the world changed the perception of famine inside the state (Andrea Janku 2009: 236). In relation to the use of the modern press that emerged in the treaty ports in the extra territorial areas in the nineteenth century, was a crisis growing from one region to national and even international levels. Thus the consequences went outside the scope and control of the imperial state (ibid.).

Natural Disasters as Acts of Nature : the Communist Regime’s Role
The Communist era faced different political and economic situations from those of the imperial era. But, like the administration in the imperial era, the Communists tried to give full attention to support the prosperity of the people. In the first decade of the People’s Republic of China until the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the Communist regime had limited power to create awareness of and policy regarding natural disasters. Thus, the regime placed little focus on relief and reconstruction (Lester Ross 1984:776). Because the regime recentralized authority, relief was established relying only on the armed forces, which were trained to contribute in civilian economic activity (ibid.). The regime also increased grain reserves, promised agricultural tax concessions and other relief in areas influenced by earthquakes and other natural disasters.

According to Lester Ross, the Communist regime had made a modest scientific effort to increase the understanding of natural disasters particularly of earthquakes (Lester Ross 1984). Its purpose is prevention and protection. To understand the characteristics of earthquakes they founded seismic monitoring stations, although the number was only slightly increased from two to two dozen by 1958 (Lester Ross). The interesting fact in China in relation to seismic study and earthquakes is the Chinese scholar developed indigenous twelve-degree scale of earthquake intensity with application for architecture and engineering. Although these activities confirm that some research was ongoing, in retrospect it appears that the geosciences were used in mineral exploration while engineering focused on construction in a nascent scientific effort that was handicapped by low funding levels and political controls. The only applied geoscience item included among the twelve scientific priorities established in the mid 1950s was exploration for petroleum and strategic minerals. Use of the seismic intensity scale in planning and construction was hampered by inadequate seismic mapping data for most areas of the country and by weak institutional controls. Seismic intensity classifications were advisory in nature and apparently were usually disregarded by the capital construction authorities when they authorized new projects.

The Communist regime placed little focus on natural hazard policy (Lester Ross 1984). This was because it placed more focus on the pressure of other programs in economic development. In the 1950s, the Communist regime emphasized heavy industry and volume of output at the expense of infrastructure and quality control with massive Soviet-style industrialization. However, even heavy industrial projects generally failed to incorporate modern safety and engineering measures as shown by the widespread and total destruction in Tangshan.

Thus, in 1958-60 the Communist regime with the Maoist Great Leap Forward emphasized shortcuts to modernization, but, it did not improve conditions. It was a failed political program. One of the principal features of the Great Leap Forward was a major campaign to construct water conservancy projects, many of which were improperly designed and constructed. In one prominent instance, the Xinfengjiang Reservoir, northeast of Guangzhou, (Canton) was built in a fault area and began to experience shocks within months after filling commenced. A major shock of magnitude 6.1 on the Richter scale eventually occurred on March 19, 1962, necessitating extensive repairs.

Thus, because of the Chinese low level of economic and scientific development, according to Lester Ross, the Chinese regime did not consider natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, as the most important problem (Lester Ross 1984). Earthquakes in China appear to occur in waves of increasing seismic activity interspersed with periods of relative quiescence. Although activity generally had been increasing since the early 1800s, earthquake activity in the early years of the People’s Republic of China tended to be either not severe or confined to very remote areas. Seven of the most severe earthquakes in China in the period 1950-66 occurred in Tibet or the mountains of Sichuan. North China is an area of high seismic activity but was relatively quiescent from 1945 to 1954 before activity began to increase again.

According to Lester Ross, the Communist regime may have chosen a passive strategy because of the absence of better knowledge (Lester Ross 1984). Although precautionary measures to reduce damage in the event of an earthquake were possible, the global scientific community had yet to predict earthquakes. The commitment of additional resources to the frontiers of research by a country engaged in scientific catch-up may have been considered an unaffordable luxury.

A Preventive Policy Regarding Earthquakes in the Cultural Revolution.

In the 1960s and 1970s, China experienced a series of major earthquakes in various provinces that culminated with the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, which killed a quarter of a million people. One of the earthquakes was the Xingtai earthquake. At 5:29 am local time on March 8, 1996, while most people were still asleep, a severe M7.2 earthquake rocked the foothills of the Taihang Mountains in the vicinity of Xingtai in western Hebei Province. Xingtai is about 300 kilometres from Beijing along the trunk railway between Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou. Damage apparently was most severe in the rural areas where 350 production brigades reportedly were affected. Substantial loss of life and property occurred although no official estimates were published.

It must be noted here that the series of earthquakes largely overlapped with the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a decade of political and social upheavals and thus, Lester Ross says, the Xingtai earthquake’s significance for natural disaster policy is related more to its timing and perhaps its proximity to Beijing than the damage sustained (Lester Ross:778). China in 1966 was on the verge of the Cultural Revolution, a momentous political upheaval led by Chairman Mao Zedong against the Communist Party itself and Chinese intellectuals. Leading officials like President Liu Shaoqi and Party Secretary General Deng Xiaoping were hounded out of office as alleged ‘capitalist roaders’. Virtually all educational institutions were closed and teaching and research ceased until new open door forms of science and education could be created based on the concept of service to the people. Tens of thousands of people including many intellectuals are believed to have died during the Cultural Revolution.

It means that the occurrence so close to Beijing, caused the need for a positive earthquake policy while the ongoing political turmoil helped to shape the policy that emerged. Amid intense political competition, the severe quake helped to invoke the Communist regime response akin to the Mandate of Heaven, beyond rescue and reconstruction (Lester Ross 1984)

Control of human settlement patterns was not a viable option, however, not only because of the absence of reliable seismic data but also because of the enormous expense involved in making millions of structures earthquake resistance. Higher standards for new construction were more feasible but still would be expensive and retard economic growth (Lester Ross 1984)

Therefore, the Chinese Communist regime particularly the Chinese leaders regarded earthquake prediction as an important science project (Lester Ross 1984). They decided to enhance Chinese forecast and warning capabilities in order to evacuate the population at risk in advance of an earthquake. This was an extraordinary course of action given the inability of scientists anywhere in the world to predict earthquakes. But, earthquake prediction proved to be politically popular. The left soon embraced earthquake prediction as a scientific endeavour beyond the control of bourgeois professional scientists in which the left’s preferred mass-campaign style of science serving the people could be applied. China was not alone in trying to develop methods of earthquake prediction. At the time, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States invested much effort in earthquake prediction in seismological research. Many of their research activities were directed to work on geodetic measurements, foreshock sequences and electromagnetic fields (Fa-ti fan 2007:533).

When the Cultural Revolution wound down, seismology was one of the first scientific sectors to rebound. The first national seismological work conference had been convened in 1970 to disseminate initial findings and set directions for future research. In 1971 a New State Seismological Bureau was established to administer earthquake research and the seismological monitoring (Lester Ross 1984). Several research institutes, especially the Institute of Geophysics in Beijing and the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Harbin, were directed to focus on earthquake-related research. A second national seismological work conference was convened in 1974. Soon 10,000 professional and scientific personnel and perhaps ten times that number of amateurs was involved (Lester Ross 1984). China engaged large numbers of amateur earthquake watchers to observe according to either traditional beliefs or modern science so the people as a whole would be educated about the earthquakes and precautionary measures and then evacuated once predictions were made.

The focus of the stepped-up monitoring and research work was earthquake forecasting. The State Bureau of Statistics operated this objective in terms of four goals: 1). To forecast all earthquakes of M 5 or greater intensity; 2). To forecast the epicentres of all such earthquakes within a range of 50 kilometres; 3). To forecast the occurrence of such earthquakes within two or three days; and 4). To estimate the magnitude of such earthquakes within one degree of their Richter scale value.

It is an interesting fact of the policy on earthquakes in the period that the Communist regime mobilized the masses in the national project of earthquake monitoring in the name of ‘collective monitoring, collective prevention’ (Fa-ti fan 2007). Fa-ti Fan says that the lack of seismological stations and a belief in the possibility of short term earthquake prediction explain a part of the ambition behind this program (Fa-ti Fan 2007). The background of this was the political content of the Maoist programs of mass science, such as earthquake prediction, barefoot doctors, and various attacks on elite science, based on the doctrine of integrating experts and the masses and combining indigenous and Western science. The underlying political doctrine asserted the class character of science. It projected a utopian vision of science and political modernity. According to Fa-ti Fan, the program of earthquake prediction incorporated folk wisdom and everyday observations that described abnormal natural phenomena that might indicate the coming of an earthquake—cloud formation, unseasonable weather, unusual animal behaviour, well-water variations and so forth. According to Fa-ti fan, the central and local governments gathered and spread the information, educated the people and organized them into earthquake warning systems based on the principle of collective monitoring, collective prevention (Fa-ti fan 2007). In this vision, the traditional folk practice changed into something radically modern in its political meaning and science application (Fa-ti fan 2007).

However, the Chinese Communist regime had a different focus on short-term and imminent earthquake prediction, within a few months to a few days, whereas most seismologists in other countries were less bold in assessing the possibility of short-term earthquake prediction and the Chinese mobilized the masses to participate in earthquake prediction (Fa-ti fan 2007). On the first point, according to Fa-ti fan, this approach strongly related to several factors: pressure from the political leadership; the relative isolation of Chinese scientists from the international science community; the confidence and influence of the science leader, the geologist Li Siguang; a sense of urgency among the scientists who sought to combat earthquakes; and so on (Fa-ti fan 2007). In the process, the Chinese developed certain areas of their own research, notably animal behaviour and earthquakes.

This episode also points to another kind of participation namely lay participation in science. Although Maoist mass science, with its close ties to the state and its didactic political function, cannot be compared to popular science in democratic societies, it to some extent resembled what might be called citizen science (Fa-ti fan 2007). One clear difference is the generous inclusion of folk knowledge in Maoist mass science (Fa-ti fan 2007). And this particular feature is reminiscent not so much of ‘amateur science’ as of ‘vernacular science’ or ‘grassroots lay science’ for example, the lay science in the Love Canal incident and the non-elite versions of antievolutionary theories (Fa-ti fan 2007). Unlike these cases, however, Maoist mass science was officially sanctioned and enforced with the might of the state. In any event, this episode suggests new directions for studying science in Communist China in international and comparative contexts. It also encourages us to examine certain topics and themes in American or European contexts such as lay participation in science and the relationships among government, the scientific establishment and the public from a comparative perspective.

This program was successful in the Haicheng earthquake. On February 4, 1975, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Haicheng, a town with about 100,000 inhabitants, in Liaoning Province, northeast China (Fa-ti fan 2007). Based on studies of precursor events and on observing animal abnormal behaviours, the local authorities issued an earthquake warning on February 3 (Fa-ti fan 2007). Early in the morning of February 4, most inhabitants were evacuated to comparatively safer places but 1,328 people lost their lives when the earthquake hit the town at 7:36 in the evening. Thanks to the quake warning, the death toll was relatively smaller than what could have been without prediction and warning (Fa-ti fan 2007).

The successful prediction of the Haicheng earthquake in 1975 caught the attention of the international seismological community and delegations from Japan, Canada and the United States took note of what the Chinese had done (Fa-ti fan 2007). Both sides in this science contact were concerned with more than seismology. The Chinese Communist regime used it to raise the international status and visibility of Chinese science when China was breaking through its international isolation (Fa-ti fan 2007). They were eager to gain recognition and membership in the international science community. The foreign visitors used it to advance their research agenda on earthquake prediction and to promote their science and social visions at home with regard to public participation in disaster management.



This poster shows a group of people who participated in the program of ‘collective monitoring, collective prevention’. The message on the poster reads: ‘Under the sole leadership of the Party, and concentrating on prevention, we combine the experts and the masses as well as indigenous [science] and foreign [science]. Rely on the masses and do well the task of pre-monitoring and prevention.’ (Fa-ti Fan 2007)

Moreover, certain Chinese research, notably on earthquakes and animal behaviour, did inspire American and European scientists to pursue similar lines of investigation (Fa-ti fan 2007). Although the Chinese impact on international seismology proved to be limited and short lived, the episode does raise interesting questions about science in an international context—for example, about status and membership in the international science community; the global geopolitical map of science production.


The Reconstruction of Tangshan
The Communist regime in 1953 under Chairman Mao Zedong launched the first Five-Year Plan. The regime followed the Stalinist model focusing on the wide development of the central economy, collectivization and heavy industry. The regime established many state-owned factories in Tangshan. Until the earthquake in 1976, Tangshan’s industrial output grew gradually each year and the annual coal output increased from 3.3 million tons in 1953 to 26.9 million tons in 1975 (Beatrice Chen 2009).

The socio spatial organization of Tangshan in this period reflected typical Maoist urban development (Beatrice Chen 2009, 238). The main units of urban form in the Maoist city were the work units called danwei. Each was a compound akin to a miniature, self-contained city with its own factories, residential areas, recreational and medical facilities schools and communal meeting and dining spaces (ibid.). While work and residential areas were housed in different buildings, these were typically adjacent to each other. Workers enjoyed the convenience of a minute’s walk to their workbench or desk though a small number of people commuted to work.

Most of the housing stock in Tangshan before the earthquake consisted of single-story houses made from brick and stone. During the late 1950s and 1960s, new multistory concrete buildings for resident and office uses were added in the western part of the city (Beatrice Chen 2009). But even then, Tangshan remained a mainly low-rise city. An emphasis on low-cost construction also meant that none of the new multistory buildings had appropriately reinforced steel structures, nor were other measures taken to ensure resistance to earthquakes. Moreover, the political chaos in the Cultural Revolution during the 1960s and 1970s led to the ignoring of any control over urban construction; buildings could be constructed on any available site, with almost no supervision by relevant authorities. Unlike Beijing, with its imperial complex and dense mat of ancient neighbourhoods, Tangshan lacked the form or fabric of a traditional Chinese city. As Beijing was shaped by centuries of dynastic rule, Tangshan was crafted in the image of doctrinaire Maoist industrialization.

The Tangshan earthquake in China was catastrophic to many people in northern China on July 27, 1976. Tangshan is an industrial city with one million inhabitants in the Province of Hebei. It is about 95 miles east and slightly south of Beijing. Although the region had experienced moderate seismic activity in the past, there were no foreshocks this time and no warning.

The earthquake with a magnitude reportedly ranging from 7.5 to 8.0 struck at 3:42 in the early morning, the worst time, when the city was asleep. What made matters worse, was the fact that this city is located in the centre of an area with major crustal faults on four sides and most structures had been built on unstable, alluvial soils with only a few earthquake-resistant. The earthquake, with its epicentre right in Tangshan, broke a five-mile section of a 25-mile long fault that passes through the city. Along the west side of this fault the land moved five feet northward in relation to the land on the east side. The east block tipped downward at the northern end of the break and upward toward the southern end.

Ground motions lasted for about 90 seconds. During this time interval about 90 per cent of the houses and buildings in Tangshan collapsed. Over a four-by-five mile area the devastation of the city was nearly total. The force of the ground motions were so strong that people reported being thrown in the air. Within seconds, thousands died. Property destruction was unbelievable. Bridges, railroads, homes and factories were completely leveled.

In the harbour city of Tientsin, 60 miles to the southwest and in Beijing to the west, the strong ground motions forced thousands of frightened people into the streets seeking refuge from the aftershocks. The extent of the destruction and number of deaths in Tangshan and elsewhere in the region has been uncertain. According to official reports a total of 242,769 people died and 169,851 were severely injured. However, based on the density of population, it is fairly accurately estimated that there were at least 655,000 people dead and 780,000 injured.

The Communist regime, particularly the Communist Party, according to Beatrice Chen, not only controlled the design and reconstruction of Tangshan but also the people’s behaviour and perceptions about the recovery (Beatrice Chen 2009) . The reconstruction process mirrored larger changes in the Chinese political agenda. Without the Chinese Communist Party, today’s Tangshan would be a very different city. Tangshan has been an important industrial centre of Hebei Province since the late Qing Dynasty. It is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including coal, iron, gold, oil and natural gas. Its growth into a densely populated city prior to the earthquake can largely be attributed to industrial development and the exploitation of these resources. Hailed as the ‘Cradle of China’s modern industry’, Tangshan was the home of China’s first modern coal pit, first standard-gauge railway, first steam locomotive and first cement works.

The Tangshan earthquake was an inauspicious event in an extraordinarily inauspicious year. The year, 1976, had scarcely begun when the Chinese people learned of the death from cancer of their revered premier, Zhou En-Lai. The so-called Gang of Four, fearful that Zhou and his chosen successor, Deng Xiaoping, were looming in popularity even above Mao, prohibited any public mourning for the dead man. Meanwhile, Mao’s own health was failing fast and rumours began to fly of the helmsman’s imminent passing. An internal power struggle among senior Party members was already under way, pitting the Gang of Four and other Maoist ideologues against a reform-oriented opposition. Despite Mao’s fading power and declining health, he and his followers were still effectively in control at the time of the earthquake and its immediate aftermath. Hua Guofeng, whom Mao had designated as his successor, managed the Tangshan disaster largely in accordance with the Chairman’s wishes, promoting national self reliance and mobilizing the masses. Then, on September 9, only weeks after one of the greatest earthquakes in Chinese history, Mao Zedong was dead. The rebuilding of Tangshan would now proceed without him (Beatrice Chen 2009).

The Communist regime decided to refuse all foreign aid of earthquake rescue and recovery operations and this policy caused a shock to the world community. (Beatrice Chen 2005:239). Three days after the disaster, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement: ‘Under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Chinese Communist Party, the people of China are eagerly participating in the earthquake relief attempts. The Chinese have decided to rely on themselves to overcome this disaster’. Mao and his supporters believed that to accept foreign assistance in any form would ruin the dignity of the Chinese. Given China’s closed door policy during the Cultural Revolution, it is not surprising that rescue and recovery attempts were conducted in such a highly secretive atmosphere.

The Regime with Maoists, obtained the opportunity to spread the Chairman’s ideology of national self reliance by launching the recovery campaign: ‘Resist the Earthquake and Rescue Ourselves’ (Beatrice Chen 2005: 239). The masses were still Mao’s strongest political weapon. He had spent his time in life finessing the art of manipulating the popular sentiment. His strategy of indoctrinating people into scrutinizing each other and reporting on corrupt behaviour ensured mass participation and self-regulation. Anyone who dared to drift from Mao’s ideologies would be exposed to public scrutiny and penalized. Under his rule, millions of people had to follow his orders.

The Communist government continued using the Party propaganda to exert Mao’s influence and did not seek a new strategy to tackle a disaster on such a great scale. The post earthquake events on the domestic front were heavily publicized on Mao’s terms and this is in contrast to China’s guarded response to the international community. He chose what to reveal and what not to reveal based on his political agenda of building a strong and self reliant nation (Beatrice Chen 2005:239). What made possible the reign of fear during the Cultural Revolution also allowed Tangshan’s recovery process to develop efficiently.

The Communist regime with the authority of Mao’s political leadership supported Chinese post disaster management (Beatrice Chen 2005:240). It was basically coordinated from the top down. There was no long discussion process to reach a consensus and develop a strategy. This was because relevant parties were mobilized on command. No disobedience was tolerated from below. The central government sent in the People’s Liberation Army as soon as it was informed about the level of the earthquake damage. A number of physicians arrived the next day from Beijing and other cities in Hebei Province. The Communist Party issued a statement requesting all provinces to deliver medical supplies, food, clothing and lights. They demanded that anyone participating in the rescue and recovery mission have his own vehicle and provide his own food.

The central government even coordinated the distribution of aid (Beatrice Chen 2005: 240). The Central Party Committee directed each province as to which supplies it should provide for Tangshan. Inner Mongolia donated 1.8 million Yuan in food, Shanghai delivered 2.4 million Yuan in medication, and Shanxi Province sent thousands of cooking utensils. The efficient communication among Chinese Communist Party members throughout China ensured that the orders were distributed within a day.

Without Mao’s legacy in organizing and mobilizing the masses, disaster relief would have been disordered and slow (Beatrice Chen 2005:240). His supporters in the Party were aware that the Chinese must present a united front if they were to overcome this disaster unassisted. Thus they continued to advance Mao’s doctrine of the ‘mass line’ through ‘education’. Many of the stories that emerged from post-disaster Tangshan were about the strength and selflessness of the people (ibid.). In one story, a man went to save the officials of the local Communist Party before he began to look for his wife in the rubble. A mother carted the body of her nineteen year old son to the airfield and asked the doctor, ‘Can my son be saved? If not, I’m going to go save others’. The narratives often referred to the Party as their saviour: people who had been buried for days would declare, ‘Long live the PLA!’ when pulled out of the rubble and would inform everyone that contemplating Mao’s teachings had helped them endure and survive (Beatrice Chen 2005: 41).

Many of the stories present the Tangshan people as almost superhuman (Beatrice Chen 2005:241). They were endowed with such strength and forbearance that they could carry on with their lives unaffected by the physical and psychological trauma of a terrible disaster (ibid.). These narratives of heroic resilience were intended to be both inspiring and didactic, instructing the people on how a model Chinese citizen might cope with sudden disaster and underscoring the wisdom and glory of the Maoist way (ibid.). The stories also attempted to cultivate what the Chinese call the ability to ‘eat bitterness’, or withstand great suffering stoically. It is a notion that Mao’s political regime believed to be crucial to the sustainability of China as a great nation. The underlying message was that the Chinese could survive this disaster only because they followed Mao’s teachings of self reliance and resilience (idid.).

The Communist regime had the power to control information. Their imposition of particular thought on the population was an easy task. The regime ensured that only approved Party narratives dominated China (Beatrice Chen 2005:242). Moreover, because the government was considered really powerful, when it issued a command, the people felt obliged to follow state directives (ibid.). It is not surprising that the only published personal account of the earthquake at that time was penned by a People’s Liberation Army cadre, Qian Gang, who praised the Maoist regime’s disaster relief (Beatrice Chen 2005:241). ‘When a disaster strikes’, wrote Qian of Communist China:

Help pours in from all over the country. The people unite, get organized and conquer nature. Our socialist system has fully demonstrated its superiority. The people in the disaster area put it well: “The new and the old societies are as different as day and night. We cannot find enough words to express our gratitude to Chairman Mao and the Communist Party! Earthquakes cannot subdue a heroic people. We’ll keep on working energetically in building socialism.”

Closing Remarks
Natural disasters in China are not merely natural disasters. From the cultural side particularly from the human and theoretical perspectives, natural disasters in China are regarded as Acts of God. Natural disaster is sent by Heaven. It is a punishment from Heaven. Thus, in Chinese tradition, natural disasters are strongly related to the theory of the Mandate of Heaven. It means that Heaven would revoke the mandate to an emperor by sending natural disasters such as floods, droughts and earthquakes. But, natural disasters also give a chance to an administration of a dynasty to show its political abilities to cope with disasters. Then, when a disaster occurs, the administration will immediately assist the people, nourish and save them. Natural disasters in China have a strong relation with the legitimacy of a regime so it can be explained why the Communist Party is really aware of natural disasters. The Communist regime takes measures immediately to cope with a disaster to maintain its legitimacy. From the theoretical perspective and from the Communist regime’s view, natural disasters are Acts of Nature which the Communists try to tackle.

References

Janku, Andrea 2007, ‘Towards a History of Natural Disasters in China : The Case of Linfen County’, The Medieval History Journal, 2007, 10:267

Janku, Andrea 2009, ‘Heaven-sent Disasters in the Late Imperial Era: The Scope of the State and Beyond’:233-264, in Cristof Mauch and Christian Pfister (eds.), Natural Disasters, Cultural Responses, Case Study toward a Global Environment History, Lanham: Lexintons Books.

Dynes, Russell R 1993, ‘Disaster Reduction: The Importance of Adequate Assumptions about Social Organization’. Sociological Spectrum, Vol. 13: 175-192.

Dynes, Russell R 1997. The Lisbon Earthquake in 1755: Contested Meanings In The First Modern Disaster. Newark, DE: University of Delaware, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Disaster Research Center, Preliminary Paper 255. Downloadable from: http://www.udel.edu/DRC/preliminary/255.pdf (32 pages)

Dombrowsky, Wolf R 1998, ‘Again and Again – Is a Disaster What We Call a ‘Disaster?’. Chapter 3 in What Is A Disaster. E L Quarantelli (ed.). London and NY: Routledge.

Fa-ti Fan, Redrawing the Map: Science in Twentieth-Century China, Isis, 2007, 98:524–538. The History of Science Society.

Shapiro, Judith 2001, Mao’s War Against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China, London: Cambridge University Press.

Vale, Lawrence J and Thomas J. Campanella 2005, (eds.) The Relilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster, Oxford : Oxford University Press.

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Tobin, Graham A and Burrell E Montz 1997. Natural Hazards: Explanation and Integration. New York and London: The Guilford Press.

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Quarantelli, EL 1987, ‘What Should We Study? Questions and Suggestions for Researchers About the Concept of Disasters’, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters (March), Vol. 5, No. 1, 7-32.

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Yeats, Robert S 2001, Living With Earthquakes in California: A Survivor’s Guide. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University.

Selasa, 25 Januari 2011

kantor kematian modern

Bab II

Kantor Kematian Modern

Lembaga kematian modern ini mula-mula bertempat di sebuah rumah dalam kompleks Perumahan Sekip. Perumahan ini berlokasi di lingkungan kampus UGM. Lembaga kematian ini sering memberikan jasa untuk merawat jenazah para dosen dari lingkungan universitas terutama dosen-dosen yang telah pensiun dan lanjut usia. Ketua YBS, Mufti Abu Yazid, adalah rohaniwan resmi dengan peran penting membacakan doa pada upacara penghormatan terakhir untuk jenazah guru besar UGM di balairung Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Sejak tahun 2001 lembaga ini memiliki sebuah kantor. Kantor ini berlokasi di sisi selatan Rumah Sakit Umum Dr. Sardjito Yogyakarta. Pembukaan kantor ini diresmikan oleh Gubernur DIY Hamengkubuwono X pada 14 Nopember 2001. Kantor ini adalah terdiri dari dua lantai. Di lantai satu terdapat ruang kerja untuk pegawai administrasi, mushola, dua toilet, tempat wudhu, taman dan kolam, ruang untuk memandikan jenazah dengan meja jenazah terbuat dari semen, garasi mobil, dan kamar istirahat/tidur. Lantai dua dari kantor ini terdiri dari ruang ketua, kepala kantor, sekretaris ketua, ruang rapat

Sebelum memiliki kantor, YBS pernah mengalami kesulitan dalam mengirimkan jenazah ke luar kota. Pada waktu itu YBS merawat jenazah mahasiswa UGM dari Makassar. YBS mengalami kesulitan untuk mensemayamkan jenazah mahasiswa tersebut. Pemilik rumah kos menolak ketika jenazah akan disemayamkan sementara di rumah kos. Pengurus YBS kemudian menitipkan jenazah tersebut di masjid dengan memohon izin lebih dulu kepada pengurus masjid. Keesokan hari pada pagi hari jenazah dikirim ke Makassar dengan pesawat terbang. Setelah memiliki ruang musola, YBS bisa memberikan jasa perawatan jenazah secara lengkap dan bisa mensemayamkan jenazah sementara di musola sebelum dikirim ke luar kota.






Struktur YBS

Pegawai Administrasi

Sama seperti rumah duka (funeral home) di negeri-negeri Barat, lembaga kematian ini memiliki sejumlah pegawai dengan tugas-tugas tertentu. Pegawai kantor dari lembaga kematian ini terdiri dari kepala kantor, sekretaris ketua yayasan, dan dua orang pegawai administrasi, dan satu orang pegawai khusus. Kepala kantor dipegang oleh seorang pensiunan pegawai negeri, mantan pegawai administrasi di Fakultas Geografi UGM. Pada masa awal bergabung dengan YBS ia masih bekerja sebagai pegawai negeri, pegawai administrasi di Fakultas Geografi UGM. Ia juga bekerja sebagai rohaniwan di Rumah Sakit Sardjito Yogyakarta . Selama hampir dua puluh tahun sejak YBS berdiri, ia menjadi asisten dan bekerja bersama dengan Mufti Abu Yazid.

Sekretaris ketua YBS adalah seorang laki-laki muda berusia sekitar 20 tahun dan baru satu tahun bekerja ketika saya melakukan kerja penelitian. Ia adalah lulusan SMU. Ia bekerja di YBS setelah mengirimkan lamaran kerja kepada ketua YBS. Secara teoritis, sekretaris bertugas membantu ketua YBS dalam urusan administrasi seperti mengetik berkas-berkas administrasi dan mempersiapkan catatan kotbah milik ketua YBS. Namun dalam praktik ia melakukan tugas di luar tugasnya seperti memperbaiki komputer dan merawat jenazah.

Ada dua orang pegawai administrasi dan mereka semua adalah perempuan. Pegawai pertama adalah masih muda, baru lulus kuliah dari universitas negeri Yogyakarta namun telah bekerja di YBS sejak masih mahasiswa selama lima tahun. Pegawai lain adalah seorang ibu, lulusan diploma, namun baru bekerja selama dua tahun. Dua orang pegawai ini bertugas untuk menerima tamu, menerima telepon yang memohon pelayanan merawat jenazah, menerima anggota baru, dan menerima iuran bulanan. Pada saat menerima telepon tentang permohonan pelayanan, pegawai ini harus mencatat tiga hal penting yaitu nama almarhum, alamat rumah duka, dan nama dan nomor telepon dari penilpon atau anggota keluarga almarhum guna menjalin komunikasi berikutnya. Setelah itu ia akan menulis di papan pengumuman tugas, menghubungi kepala kantor, dan driver. Pegawai administrasi bertugas menyimpan kuitansi pembelian barang seperti pembelian bensin dan mempersiapkan formulir kuitansi jasa perawatan jenazah. Mereka juga mempersiapkan nisan dari kayu dan menulis nama almarhum, memotong kain kafan dan menumbuk kapur barus.

Ada pula seorang pegawai khusus untuk menagih bea perawatan jenazah. Lembaga kematian ini memang menerapkan kelonggaran untuk pembayaran jasa pelayanan perawatan jenazah antara seminggu hingga dua minggu setelah pemakaman. Sesudah merawat jenazah pegawai lapangan akan menawarkan kepada keluarga almarhum kebutuhan lain seperti peti jenazah, keranda, payung untuk jenazah, jasa mobil jenazah untuk transportasi. Pegawai ini akan mencatat permohonan jasa dan perlengkapan dari keluarga almarhum, mencatat biaya total pada selembar kuitansi, dan menyerahkannnya kepada pegawai administrasi. Tujuh hari kemudian YBS menghubungi keluarga almarhum, menanyakan apakah keluarga akan melakukan pembayaran di kantor YBS atau YBS mengirimkan pegawai ke rumah almarhum untuk mengurus pembayaran. Jika keluarga almarhum menginginkan pegawai YBS datang ke rumah, pegawai khusus YBS akan berangkat dengan membawa kuitansi biaya total perawatan jenazah.

Menurut peraturan kerja di lembaga kematian ini pegawai administrasi masuk setiap hari pada pukul tujuh hingga pukul dua siang pada senin hingga sabtu. Namun pelayahan YBS adalah 24 jam. YBS menyediakan nomor darurat yaitu nomor HP ketua dan nomor HP kepala kantor. Pegawai administrasi mendapatkan gaji tetap setiap bulan sesuai dengan UMR di Yogyakarta.

Perawat Jenazah

Ujung tombak dari lembaga kematian modern di kalangan orang Islam ini adalah pegawai lapangan biasa disebut perawat jenazah. Ada delapan orang pegawai lapangan. Tugas pokok dari pegawai lapangan atau perawat jenazah ini adalah merawat jenazah meliputi memandikan, mengkafani, dan juga sekaligus mensalatkan dan mendoakan jenazah. Pegawai lapangan dari lembaga kematian ini dibagi ke dalam dua kelompok, empat orang laki-laki dan empat orang perempuan. Kelompok laki-laki bertugas merawat jenazah laki-laki sedangkan kelompok pegawai perempuan bertugas merawat jenazah perempuan Kelompok perawat jenazah laki-laki tidak boleh merawat jenazah perempuan demikian pula sebaliknya.

Ada empat orang pegawai laki-laki terdiri dari pensiunan PNS, guru agama, di SMP di Yogyakarta, seorang mantan satpam, seorang guru Bahasa Inggris SMK di Sleman, dan pensiunan PNS dari pegawai kantor Fakultas Geografi UGM. Sementara itu, empat orang pegawai perempuan terdiri dari istri dari kepala kantor dan yang lain adalah tetangga rumah dari kepala kantor. Semua adalah ibu rumah tangga.

Dalam sistem kerja keseharian para pegawai lapangan ini adalah bukan pegawai tetap namun pegawai freelance. Mereka mendapatkan honor berdasarkan pada jumlah perhitungan jam kerja. Honor yang mereka dapatkan adalah lima belas ribu rupiah sekali memandikan jenazah. Para pegawai lapangan ini tidak masuk kerja setiap hari di kantor namun jam kerja mereka adalah dua puluh empat jam dan sewaktu-waktu bisa dipanggil untuk bertugas. Pegawai lapangan laki-laki akan berangkat ke kantor setelah dihubungi oleh kepala kantor. Pegawai perempuan, tidak pernah datang ke kantor tetapi langsung dijemput dari rumah masing-masing oleh seorang sopir, untuk berangkat ke rumah duka. Dalam bertugas pegawai lapangan senantiasa didampingi kepala kantor. Kepala kantor berhubungan dengan keluarga almarhum dalam masalah biaya dan kebutuhan lain untuk pemakaman.


Rohaniwan

Rohaniwan adalah bagian penting dari pelayanan yang diberikan oleh lembaga kematian ini karena terkait erat dengan ritual mendoakan jenazah pada upacara pelepasan jenazah dan pada saat jenazah selesai dimakamkan. Tugas utama rohaniwan adalah memimpin acara pembacaan doa untuk jenazah.

Tugas rohaniwan dirangkap oleh dua orang pegawai lapangan laki-laki dan kepala kantor dan ketua YBS. Tugas sebagai rohaniwan masuk kategori pegawai lapangan atau freelance. Para pengguna jasa yang memerlukan rohaniwan pada umumnya adalah warga dari kompleks perumahan dan di lingkungan tersebut tidak ada kaum atau ulama atau warga tersebut tidak pernah melakukan sosialisasi dengan penduduk .

Rohaniwan YBS cukup profesional dalam bekerja. Ketika tiba di rumah duka, rohaniwan YBS langsung menuju ke tempat jenazah disemayamkan dan langsung menjalankan salat jenazah dengan khusyuk. Kadang ia melaksanakan salat jenazah sendirian sehingga nampak sangat menyolok berdiri di antara pelayat duduk bersila. Kadang pula ia melakukan salat jenazah bersama pelayat lain dengan menjadi imam salat. Ketika mengikuti Masruchan bertugas menjadi rohaniwan, ia sering mengingatkan kepada saya untuk memakai baju rapi dan berwudhu lebih dulu di kantor karena harus ikut menunaikan salat jenazah bersamanya di rumah duka. Ia mengatakan kepada saya bahwa salat jenazah dan mendoakan jenazah dengan khusyuk adalah bagian dari dakwah Islam agar keluarga almarhum merasa tentram dengan masa depan jenazah.

Menurut peraturan dari lembaga kematian ini jika orang yang meninggal adalah anggota dari lembaga kematian, maka, tugas sebagai rohaniwan akan dipegang langsung oleh Mufti Abu Yazid. Di samping itu, sejumlah pihak dari keluarga almarhum terutama dari kalangan terkemuka seperti pejabat pemerintah dan pengusaha dan profesor langsung menghubungi Mufti untuk menjadi rohaniwan dalam upacara pelepasan jenazah.

Dalam pidato pembukaan rohaniwan YBS selalu menyampaikan permohonan maaf atas pelayanan yang kurang maksimal karena ada satu dan dua jenazah yang harus dilayani. Ini adalah pernyataan umum yang sering disampaikan oleh rohaniwan untuk menunjukkan bahwa lembaga kematian ini dibutuhkan oleh banyak pihak dan sangat sibuk, meskipun sebenarnya waktu itu tidak ada jenazah yang sedang diurus. Rohaniwan membuka doa dengan surat al Fatihah. Setelah selesai baru ia membacakan doa dalam Bahasa Arab. Doa tidak saja diucapkan dalam Bahasa Arab namun juga diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia. Mufti, ketua YBS ketika bertugas sebagai rohaniwan memiliki ciri khas membaca doa dalam Bahasa Arab dan kemudian menerjemahkan doa tersebut ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia sehingga hadirin pun mengerti. Rohaniwan mendoakan jenazah dua kali yaitu pada saat pelepasan jenazah dari rumah duka ke pemakaman dan berdoa di tempat pemakaman ketika jenazah selesai dimakamkan. Mufti Abu Yazid mendoakan jenazah secara khusyuk dan diiringi dengan tangis.

Ya Allah sesungguhnya ibu kami saudara kami esti sutartini binti sutarno berada dalam tanggungan dan tali ikatan perlindunganmu maka jagalah ia dari siksa kubur dan siksa api neraka. Sungguh engkau penepat janji dan penegak kebenaran, maka kasihanilah dia, dan hapuskanlah dosanya, karena engkau maha pengampun lagi maha pengasih. Sesungguhnya kami adalah milik allah dan kepadanya kami akan kembali dan kepada tuhan kami, kami akan menghadap Ya Allah Ya Rabbana maka masukkanlah dia di sisimu dalam golongan orang yang berbuat baik, dan tetapkanlah catatan dia ke dalam golongan orang yang paling atas, dan gantilah ia dari orang yang ditinggalkannya, dan jangan engkau halangi kami dari pahalanya, dan jangan pula adakan fitnah buat kami dan dia. Ya Allah Sesungguhnya engkau adalah Tuhannya, engkau yang menciptakan dia, engkau yang memberinya rizki, engkau yang menunjukkan kepada Islam, dan engkau pula yang mencabut ruhnya, serta menguasai lahir dan batinnya, kami memanjatkan pertolongan kepadamu Ya allah karena itu ampunilah dia. Ya Allah Ampunilah Saudara Kami Esti Sutartini binti Sutarmo Ampunilah dia Kasihanilah dia, Sejahterakanlah dia, hapuskanlah dosanya, Muliakan kedatangannya, Luaskan tempat liangnya,...dengan air salju, bersihkan dia dari dosa-dosa sebagaimana engkau bersihkan pakaian putih dari kotoran. Ya Allah Ya rabbbana masukkanlah dia ke dalam surgamu serta lindungilah dia dari azab kubur. Ya Allah ampunilah orang-orang yang hidup di antara kami, orang-orang yang sudah mati di antara kami, orang2 cacat di antara kami, orang2 kecil di antara kami baik pria maupun wanita yang hadir maupun yang gaib. Hadirin marilah kita bersama-sama hantarkan dengan membaca bismillah wa ala millati rasul lillah


Driver

Hal menarik dari kegiatan kerja di lembaga kematian ini terkait dengan aktifitas kerja rutin dari sopir-sopir mobil jenazah. Selama magang di lembaga kematian ini saya merasakan bahwa sebutan sopir dirasakan kurang berkenan dan bahkan tidak sopan. Oleh karena itu kata sopir digantikan dengan kata dari Bahasa Inggris driver. Driver mencerminkan penghormatan dan memberikan pengertian bahwa sopir di kantor dari lembaga kematian ini bukan sekedar seorang sopir namun pegawai yang bekerja professional dalam memberikan pelayanan dalam mengantarkan jenazah ke tempat pemakaman dan ke luar kota.

Ada tiga driver di lembaga kematian ini. Mereka adalah Toyib, Tembong, dan Prapto. Toyib dan Tembong telah lama bekerja di YBS kurang lebih selama dua puluh tahun lebih. Kedua orang ini direkrut oleh Mufti. Karena YBS adalah sebuah yayasan dan tidak bisa memberikan gaji yang cukup besar maka Mufti merekrut mereka dengan cara mengajak mereka untuk bekerja dengan niat ibadah membantu sesama muslim. Sistem kerja mereka sama seperti pegawai lapangan yaitu freelance. Mereka tidak mendapatkan gaji tetap namun tergantung pada jumlah permintaan untuk mengantarkan jenazah dengan mobil jenazah. honor yang didapatkan oleh mereka sekali menjalankan tugas adalah lima belas ribu rupiah. Namun demikian, mereka sering juga mendapatkan uang saku dari keluarga almarhum.

Berbeda dengan kedua orang di atas, Prapto bergabung ke YBS lebih karena kesetiaan kepada Mufti. Sebelum bekerja di YBS, Prapto bekerja di UII sebagai sopir dinas Mufti. Pada waktu itu Mufti menjadi Pembantu Rektor di perguruan tinggi Islam. Prapto sangat menikmati profesinya. Ia bekerja tekun, penuh semangat, dan sangat hormat kepada Mufti. Ketika saya mempersoalkan gaji, ia menegaskan bahwa ia tidak pernah peduli dengan urusan gaji karena ia yakin bahwa apa yang ia kerjakan pasti akan mendapat balasan dari Allah. Ia menegaskan bahwa Allah akan memudahkan pintu rezeki pada keluarga dan juga yang paling penting memudahkan urusan-urusan penting dalam keluarganya.

Selain itu driver memiliki tugas wajib untuk mencuci mobil jenazah setiap kali mobil jenazah selesai digunakan untuk mengantarkan jenazah Setiap kali selesai mengantarkan jenazah meskipun hanya beberapa berjarak tiga kilometer, mobil wajib dicuci dengan bersih. Menurut Prapto jika mobil tidak dibersihkan maka hal-hal gaib akan melekat pada mobil jenazah. Ini bisa mengganggu kinerja mobil selanjutnya. Mobil jenazah milik YBS memang nampak sangat bersih, sangat terawat, dan berbeda dengan mobil jenazah.

Keanggotaan

Sejak tahun 1994 lembaga kematian ini menerapkan sistem keanggotaan dalam menjalankan aktifitas kerja pelayanan perawatan jenazah. Hingga Januari 2010 jumlah anggota YBS tercatat 5774. Ada empat klasifikasi dan iuran anggota. Klasifikasi pertama adalah kelompok A yakni usia 61 tahun ke atas dengan iuran minimal Rp.5000 per bulan. Kelompok B usia 41-60 tahun dengan iuran minial 4000 per bulan. Kelompok C usia 21-40 tahun dengan iuran 3000 per bulan. Kelompok D usia 0-21 tahun dengan iuran minimal 2000 per tahun. Maksud dari iuran minimal adalah para anggota boleh memberikan iuran yang lebih besar. Untuk memudahkan urusan administrasi, beberapa anggota YBS biasanya membayar iuran tidak setiap bulan namun langsung untuk satu tahun. YBS dan anggota membentuk atau memilih sesorang, baik bapak ataupun ibu, sebagai perwakilan YBS di beberapa kompleks perumahan guna memberikan kemudahan bagi para anggota dalam melakukan pembayaran. Wakil tersebut akan mengumpulkan sumbangan rutin dan mencatatnya dari anggota YBS di lingkungan sekitar tempat tinggalnya dan kemudian menyerahkan uang yang terkumpul kepada kantor YBS.

Keanggotaan disusun dengan rapi dengan menggunakan nomor anggota. Nomor anggota benar-benar dibuat secara modern dan sistematis. Nomor anggota yayasan ini terdiri dari sembilan digit yang terbagi menjadi tiga kelompok. Antara kelompok pertama dengan kelompok kedua dan antara kelompok kedua dengan kelompok ketiga dipisahkan dengan tanda titi (.). Kelompok pertama berarti tahun mendaftar. Kelompok kedua berarti daerah asal (Kabupaten/Kota dan Kecamatan). Kelompok ketiga berarti nomor urut anggota. Susunan nomor anggota sebagai berikut XXX.XXX.XXX. Contoh Nomor Anggota, 206.513.500. 206 berarti mendaftar tahun 2006. 5 berarti dari Kabupaten Kulon Progo. 13 berarti Kecamatan Tepus. 500 berarti nomor urut anggota ke-500. Dari sistem pencatatan anggota yang dibuat secara detil ini menunjukkan bahwa lembaga kematian ini benar-benar merupakan lembaga modern.

Jaringan YBS : Rumah Sakit, Tempat Pemakaman, dan Donatur

Baik YBS, sebagai sebuah lembaga kematian Islam, maupun Ketua YBS, Mufti Abu Yazid, dikenal oleh pihak rumah sakit di Yogyakarta. YBS sering diminta oleh sejumlah keluarga dan pihak rumah sakit untuk merawat jenazah di rumah sakit. Selama magang di YBS saya beberapa kali bertugas merawat jenazah di sejumlah rumah sakit yaitu Rumah Sakit Dr. Sardjito, Jogja International Hospital dan RS Bethesda. Pegawai lapangan mengenal baik seluk beluk kamar jenazah seperti lokasi, prosedur administrasi, cara membuka pintu, almari, dan segala peralatan. Ia juga mengenal petugas di kamar jenazah di sejumlah rumah sakit.

Di setiap kota terdapat kantor khusus untuk mengelola taman pemakaman umum yaitu dinas pemukiman dan prasarana wilayah. Kantor ini memberikan dua jenis pelayanan yaitu penyediaan tanah makam dan jasa pemakaman. Penyediaan tanah makam meliputi tanah makam yang langsung digunakan dan tanah makam cadangan sedangan jasa pemakaman meliputi penggalian makam, pemasangan plakat makam dan pusara makam, dan penggunaan kendaraan jenazah.

YBS memiliki hubungan dengan Dinas Pemukiman dan Prasarana Kabupaten Sleman . Pemerintah Sleman menyediakan tanah pemakaman luas. Mereka memberikan ijin bagi warga pendatang untuk dimakamkan di tanah pemakaman tersebut. YBS memberikan bantuan jasa kepada warga yang belum memiliki tanah pemakaman dalam hal membantu mengurus tanah pemakaman kepada pejabat instansi tersebut. Tanah pemakaman ini tidak gratis namun harus membeli dan membayar retribusi. Jasa penting YBS di sini adalah keluarga almarhum akan mendapatkan harga standard dan tidak digebuk harga oleh birokrasi.










DAFTAR PELAYANAN YBS RINCIAN BIAYA

1. Iuran anggota minimal Rp.30.000 per tahun
2. Perawatan jenazah Rp.400.000
3. Peti pinjam Rp.75.000
4. Peti Beli Rp.500.000-Rp.10.000.000
5. Maejan/Papan Nisan Rp.100.000
6. Ambulans
- Buka Pintu Ambulans Rp.50.000
- per 1 km Rp.5000
7. Rohaniwan Rp.100.000
8. Peralatan Mandi sudah masuk dalam biaya perawatan jenazah
9. Tenda tergantung negosiasi
10. Kursi negosiasi
11. Sound System negosiasi



Keberadaan dari lembaga kematian ini bisa dikatakan terkait erat dengan bantuan dari donatur. Terdapat hubungan saling menguntungkan antara di antara mereka. Donatur penting YBS di samping individu atau perorangan adalah perusahaan swasta dan instansi pemerintah. Semua mobil jenazah YBS diperoleh bukan dari anggaran pembelian namun dari sumbangan donatur. Tiga mobil jenazah berupa mobil ambulans didapatkan dari perusahaan swasta dan satu mobil colt untuk penumpang berasal dari sumbangan Bank Indonesia. Di tiap-tiap mobil jenazah tersebut ada nama donatur. Pegawai YBS menamakan mobil tersebut sesuai dengan nama donatur.

Mobil jenazah pertama adalah Mitsubitsi L-3000. Mobil ini sumbangan dari PT Tugu Pratama Indonesia, perusahaan asuransi milik pengusaha Bob Hasan. Mobil ini diserahkan pada tahun 1998.

Mobil Jenazah kedua adalah Mitsubitsi L-300 sumbangan dari Ketua Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN), Amin Rais. Pemberian sumbangan mobil ini bersamaan dengan pencalonan Amin Rais dalam Pemilu Presiden sehingga turut membantu kampanye politik, namun YBS tetap netral secara politik karena urusan utama dari lembaga ini adalah urusan kematian.

Sedangkan Mobil Ambulans ketiga adalah Mitsubisi Diesel Besar sumbangan dari PT BP Kedaulatan Rakyat, harian terkemuka di Yogyakarta. Penyerahan mobil ketiga ini dimuat dalam fitur yang cukup besar dalam koran Kedaulatan Rakyat. Mobil ambulans diserahkan oleh Walikota Yogyakarta kepada ketua YBS, Mufti Abu Yazid, dan disaksikan oleh Ketua PT BP Kedaulatan Rakyat, R. Wonohito. Harian Kedaulatan Rakyat memberitakan bahwa Mufti Abu Yazid tampak bahagia menerima sumbangan ini. Karenanya usai menerima kontak mobil tersebut ia langsung melakukan Sujud Syukur tanpa alas selembar pun. Sementara pada hadirin terpana. Ada sebuah foto ukuran besar merekam Mufti Abu Yazid melakukan Sujud Syukur tersebut. YBS juga memiliki mobil penumpang, Mitsubisi, sumbangan dari instansi pemerintah yaitu Bank Indonesia Yogyakarta.

Infrastruktur YBS

Sebagai lembaga kematian modern, YBS memiliki ruangan khusus dan peralatan lengkap untuk memandikan jenazah. Namun ruangan tidak bisa difungsikan karena sejumlah tetangga dari warga Dusun Sendowo merasa keberatan jika kantor YBS digunakan sebagai tempat untuk memandikan jenazah. Warga merasa keberatan dengan limbah dari air yang digunakan untuk memandikan jenazah. Warga sekitar merasa tidak nyaman dengan jenazah. Lagi pula sebelah barat kantor YBS adalah sebuah kompleks pemakaman tua, dan sebelah utara adalah kamar jenazah dari Rumah Sakit Sardjito. Oleh karena itu, pegawai YBS memandikan jenazah di rumah keluarga almarhum atau di kamar jenazah dari sejumlah rumah sakit di Yogyakarta. Ruangan ini kemudian beralih fungsi menjadi gudang. Di dalam ruangan tersebut ada lima peti jenazah besar dan perlengkapan lain seperti keranda jenazah, payung jenazah, nisan dari kayu dan kain penutup jenazah.

Musola

Musola di kantor YBS digunakan bukan saja sebagai tempat menunaikan salat dan berdoa akan tetapi juga untuk mensalatkan dan mendoakan jenazah. Mushola digunakan pula untuk tempat mensemayamkan jenazah. Hal ini dilakukan jika jenazah akan dikirim ke luar kota atau rumah dari almarhum terlalu sempit. Musola ini juga digunakan sebagai tempat pengajian Khusnul Khotimah membahas tentang ibadah disampaikan oleh seorang ustad dan juga pengajian Sekar Telasih membahas tentang kesehatan disampaikan oleh seorang dokter dan psikiater.

Hal paling penting untuk memahami YBS adalah lembaga ini bukan saja yayasan kematian namun juga suatu lembaga administrasi. Di ruang administrasi terdapat dua buah meja, satu set komputer dan printer, rak buku tempat menyimpan daftar dan identitas anggota YBS, papan tulis kecil dan telepon. Sementara itu, di depan pintu masuk musola berdekatan dengan ruang administrasi terdapat sebuah televisi besar berukuran 21 inci untuk hiburan pegawai. Televisi digantung di atas dengan menggunakan palang besi. Ruang ini digunakan untuk pendaftaran anggota baru dan iuran rutin setiap bulan. Di ruang ketua terdapat meja besar dan kursi, satu set meja dan kursi untuk menerima tamu, dan rak buku. Di ruang kepala kantor terdapat meja dan kursi. Di ruang sekretaris ketua terdapat seperangkat meja dan kursi dan juga seperangkat komputer dan printer. Di lantai satu, dekat ruang memandikan jenazah, terdapat meja untuk tempat mesin telepon. Dan di sisi atas terdapat papan untuk menulis daftar piket dan rak kecil untuk kunci mobil jenazah. Musola dilengkapi dengan kipas angin besar dan seperangkat sound system.

Peti jenazah

Sama seperti rumah duka (funeral home) di Barat dan di kalangan etnis Tionghoa di Indonesia, lembaga kematian ini juga menyediakan jasa peti jenazah. Ada dua tipe peti jenazah yaitu peti untuk dijual dan peti untuk disewakan. Peti jenazah dijual dengan harga bervariasi mulai dari lima ratus ribu dengan hiasan dan ukiran sederhana, hingga sepuluh juta rupiah dengan ukiran dan hiasan mewah dan kayu bermutu tinggi. Peti jenazah disewakan dengan harga tujuh puluh ribu rupiah.

Peti jenazah sangat penting digunakan untuk mengantarkan jenazah ke luar kota. Untuk kalangan tertentu seperti pejabat sipil, militer, dan para pengusaha terkemuka di Yogyakarta, peti jenazah sangat penting sebagai satu cara untuk memberikan penghormatan pada jenazah. Peti diberi hiasan dengan sangat indah. Dengan menempatkan jenazah pada sebuah peti, maka para pelayat, bisa melihat dan memberikan penghormatan kepada jenazah.

Lembaga kematian ini memiliki toko langganan yaitu pembuat peti jenazah di Kulon Progo. Jika stok peti jenazah habis, lembaga kematian ini akan mengambil peti jenazah pada pengusaha tersebut. Namun kadang YBS mendapatkan peti jenazah dari keluarga almarhum yang tidak menguburkan jenazah dengan peti mati, dan mewakafkan peti jenazah tersebut kepada YBS

Di samping peti jenazah, YBS juga menyediakan keranda. Keranda ini tidak dijual namun disewakan. Berbeda dengan peti jenazah keranda lebih sederhana dan mudah untuk diangkat. Keranda YBS adalah terbuat dari besi dengan empat pegangan dan sebuah penutup berbentuk setengah lingkaran yang memanjang. Keranda jenazah ini tidak dijual namun disewakan dengan harga sewa tujuh puluh ribu rupiah. Di atas keranda diselimuti dengan kain turup, berwana hijau dan terdapat tulisan dalam Bahasa Arab La Illaha Illa Allah. Tiada Tuhan Selain Allah.

Kain Kafan

Ada banyak persediaan kain kafan di kantor dari lembaga kematian ini. Hal ini karena lembaga ini menerima permintaan untuk melayani perawatan jenazah dalam satu hari sekitar satu hingga delapan jenazah. Karena itu, penting bagi YBS memiliki banyak persediaan kain kafan. YBS membeli kain kafan di toko langganan di Pasar Beringharjo. Toko mengirimkan lima pis kain kafan. Lima pis kain kafan sama dengan lima bundel. Satu pis kain kafan digunakan untuk memenuhi kain kafan tiga jenazah. Jadi, lima pis kain kafan bisa digunakan untuk mempersiapkan kafan kafan untuk lima belas jenazah. Pegawai YBS memotong kain kafan tersebut. Ia menyusun kain kafan menjadi sebuah buntalan terdiri dari tiga lapis kain, satu lembar plastik dan sejumlah tali untuk mengingkat. Kain kafan tidak dijual terpisah namun masuk dalam penghitungan jasa memandikan jenazah sebesar empat ratus ribu rupiah.

Meja Jenazah

Salah satu peralatan penting untuk memberikan perawatan jenazah orang Islam adalah meja untuk memandikan jenazah. Lembaga kematian ini memiliki satu meja untuk memandikan jenazah. Meja ini memiliki empat roda sehingga mudah untuk didorong dan dipindahkan dan juga dibawa ke tempat lain. Meja jenazah memiliki penampung air dan saluran untuk mengeluarkan air kotor. Meja jenazah digunakan secara khusus untuk memandikan jenazah di rumah. Meja jenazah selalu diletakkan di belakang bak dari mobil pick up yang ditutup dengan kain terpal permanen dan tebal. Meja jenazah tidak disewakan secara terpisah namun masuk dalam penghitungan jasa memandikan jenazah sebesar empat ratus ribu rupiah.

Mobil Jenazah

Mobil jenazah adalah perlengkapan penting dari aktifitas kerja sehari-hari di lembaga kematian ini. Hal ini karena tempat pemakaman di kota terletak sangat jauh dari area pemukiman. Lembaga kematian ini memiliki lima kendaraan operasional terdiri dari tiga mobil ambulans, satu mobil penumpang, dan satu mobil pick up. YBS tidak membeli mobil-mobil tersebut namun mendapatkankannya melalui sumbangan dari para donatur. Karena itu, di setiap mobil ambulans tersebut terdapat nama perusahaan yang memberikan sumbangan kendaraan tersebut.

Salah satu kegiatan rutin dan penting dari lembaga ini adalah lembaga ini juga menerima permohonan jasa untuk mengantarkan jenazah ke luar kota dengan mobil jenazah. Dalam pelayanan pengiriman jenazah ini, lembaga kematian ini juga menerima permohonan pengiriman jenazah dari orang-orang non-muslim. Biaya untuk mengantarkan jenazah ke luar kota adalah lima rupiah per kilometer. Mobil jenazah dari lembaga kematian ini pernah mengirimkan jenazah ke sejumlah kota di Jawa Tengah dan di Jawa Timur seperti Kudus, Lasem, Pekalongan, Ponorogo, Sumenep, Jakarta dan bahkan hingga ke luar Jawa seperti Lampung, Bengkulu, dan Pekanbaru. Jasa rutin lain dari lembaga ini di samping mengantarkan jenazah adalah menjemput jenazah di Bandar Udara Adi Sucipto yang dikirimkan dari luar propinsi dengan pesawat udara.

Ada pula sebuah mobil pick up digunakan untuk membawa meja pemandian jenazah, selang, ember, dan peralatan mandi. Kendaraan-kendaraan operasional di YBS ditangani oleh tiga orang driver seperti telah dijelaskan di atas.

Program Pelayanan YBS

Perawatan Jenazah

Permohonan jasa untuk merawat jenazah disampaikan oleh kerabat almarhum melalui telepon. Pegawai administrasi mula-mula menjawab dengan menyampaikan bela sungkawa. Ia kemudian menanyakan tiga hal penting. Pertama menanyakan nama almarhum dan apakah almarhum anggota Selasih. Kedua, alamat rumah almarhum. Ketiga nama dan nomor telepon dari penilpon atau pemohon untuk konfirmasi lebih lanjut. Setelah itu pegawai administrasi akan menghubungi kepala kantor dan menyerahkan sebuah catatan berisi tiga hal penting tersebut. Lalu kepala kantor akan menghungi para perawat jenazah melalui sms dan kadang telepon. Setelah itu perawat jenazah akan berkumpul di kantor dan kadang dijemput di rumah masing-masing lalu menuju ke rumah duka.

Tiba di rumah duka, pegawai lapangan menemui salah seorang dari anggota keluarga almarhum untuk perkenalan dan langsung mendiskusikan satu tempat di mana jenazah akan dimandikan dan disemayamkan sementara. Setelah tempat memandikan disepakati, pegawai YBS menata tempat memandikan jenazah dan menutupnya dengan kain besar. Pegawai YBS lain menata kain kafan, mempersiapkan perlengkapan untuk jenazah seperti kapur barus dan kapas dan perlengkapan mandi seperti sabun, sampo, handuk, dan kain batik. Pada saat jenazah akan dimandikan, pegawai YBS akan mengajak anggota keluarga ikut memandikan jenazah. Selesai dimandikan jenazah dikeringkan dengan handuk. Jenazah kemudian dibungkus dengan kain kafan. Setelah itu, pegawai YBS mesalatkan dan mendoakan jenazah bersama-sama anggota keluarga. Setelah perawatan jenazah selesai, pegawai YBS akan menanyakan kebutuhan perlengkapan upacara pemakaman.

Dalam menjalankan tugas rutin di lapangan, ada tiga hal penting senantiasa ditawarkan kepada keluarga almarhum, yaitu peti jenazah atau keranda, maejan atau nisan, dan rohaniwan. Pegawai dari lembaga kematian ini akan menjelaskan daftar harga secara lengkap. Sebagian besar pengguna jasa atau keluarga almarhum memilih untuk menyewa peti mati, memesan maejan, dan rohaniwan. Rohaniwan adalah orang dengan tugas khusus mensalatkan dan juga mendoakan jenazah pada saat pemberangkatan dan pada saat di pemakaman.

Perawatan jenazah sedikit berbeda jika jenazah dilakukan di rumah sakit. Pegawai YBS tidak menuju ke rumah duka namun langsung menuju di rumah sakit. YBS dikenal oleh rumah-rumah sakit di Yogyakarta. Ketika bertugas merawat jenaza di RS Sardjito dan JIH, saya melihat pegawai dari kedua rumah sakit tersebut mengenal mobil jenazah YBS dan pegawai YBS. Mobil jenazah YBS bebas bea parkir. Sebaliknya, pegawai lapangan YBS mengenali seluk beluk kamar jenazah. Pegawai YBS dikenal oleh pertugas kamar jenazah di Rumah Sakit Sardjito, Rumah Sakit Panti Rapih, Rumah Sakit Bethesda, dan Rumah Sakit Jogja International Hospital (JIH) sebagai perawat jenazah orang Islam.

Tiba di Rumah Sakit, seorang pegawai YBS akan mengurus administrasi dan mengambil jenazah dari kamar perawatan untuk dibawa ke kamar jenazah. Pegawai lain masuk ke kamar jenazah untuk menata kain kafan dan mempersiapkan perlengkapan perawatan jenazah. Tiba di kamar jenazah, jenazah diletakkan di meja pemandian. Sebelum jenazah dimandikan, pegawai YBS mengajak pihak keluarga untuk ikut memandikan jenazah. Meja pemandian jenazah di rumah sakit memiliki peralatan lengkap seperti shower air, saluran pembuangan air, tempat sampah, dan tempat baju kotor. Dalam memandikan jenazah, pegawai YBS mewudhukan jenazah lebih dahulu, dan kemudian jenazah dimandikan. Selesai dimandikan, jenazah dikeringkan dengan handuk kemudian dibungkus dengan kain kafan. Tidak ada ruang untuk mensalatkan jenazah di sejumlah rumah sakit di Yogyakata kecuali di Rumah Sakit Jogjakarta International Hospital (JIH) di Sleman. Di sini kamar jenazah dilengkapi dengan ruangan luas untuk melaksanakan salat jenazah lengkap dengan tempat wudhu dan toilet. Sama seperti di rumah duka, pegawai YBS juga akan menanyakan kebutuhan perlengkapan untuk upacara pemakaman seperti peti atau keranda, maejan, rohaniawan, dan mobil ambulans.

Merawat Jenazah Mohammad Hosen

Saya dan pegawai lapangan YBS mendapat tugas merawat jenazah dari anggota YBS. Perawat jenazah yang bertugas adalah Aditomo, Makmur, dan Sapto dan seorang driver bernama Maulana. Kami berangkat pada sore hari pukul tiga siang. Almarhum beralamat di sebuah kompleks perumahan yaitu di Dusun Tiyasan, Desa Catur Tunggal, Kecamatan Depok, Sleman. Almarhum adalah anggota YBS dari bulan Juli 2008, bernama Mohammad Hosen dengan umur 81 tahun dan nomor anggota 208.202.321.

Kami berangkat dengan mobil pick up. Saya duduk di belakang Sapto dan berhimpitan dengan meja jenazah. Aditomo dan Makmur duduk di depan. Mobil melaju kencang. Kami sampai di suatu dusun di mana sebagian pekarangan telah berubah menjadi perumahan. Kami tiba di rumah duka. Sebuah perumahan tingkat menengah. Rumah almarhum bersebelahan dengan rumah-rumah penduduk asli dan berhimpitan langsung dengan rumah rumah ketua RT. Kediaman ketua RT sangat sederhana dan jauh jika dibandingkan dengan perumahan tersebut. Sebelah selatan dari rumah almarhum adalah deretan rumah warga perumahan. Sebelah timur dari rumah almarhum adalah rumah penduduk setempat.

Ketika tiba di kediaman almarhum tidak ada tetangga melayat. Ini suasana khas di sejumlah perumahan ketika terjadi peristiwa kematian. Ada empat anak kecil bermain di pinggir jalan mencoba mengintip kegiatan kami. Di ujung jalan masuk menuju perumahan ada bendera warna putih. Seorang bapak berdiri di depan rumah duka. Ia adalah ketua RT, nampak serius dalam menunggu kedatangan kami. Aditomo turun dari mobil dan disambut ketua RT bersama dua orang laki-laki dari keluarga almarhum.

Saya turun dari mobil dan membawa tas ransel berisi kain kafan dan perlengkapan untuk merawat jenazah, masuk ke dalam rumah dan meletakkan tas tersebut di ruang tamu. Aditomo dan keluarga almarhum nampak berbincang tentang tempat memandikan jenazah, dan tempat jenazah akan disemayamkan. Percakapan dilakukan sambil berjalan menuju ke kamar tempat jenazah dibaringkan. Makmur membuka tas ransel, menyiapkan kain kafan, kapas, bubuk kapur barus, dan kayu cendana. Lalu Makmur dan Sapto menata kain kafan di atas karpet di ruang tamu.

Setelah melihat halaman rumah, Aditomo memberitahu Maulana bahwa jenazah dimandikan di depan garasi. Maulana dan saya segera menurunkan meja jenazah untuk memandikan jenazah. Kami memasang tirai untuk melindungi jenazah dan ritual memandikan jenazah dari tatapan pihak lain. Maulana dengan cekatan memasang tirai di sisi luar dan di sisi kanan dan mengikatkan tali tirai pada tiang beton dari halaman depan rumah. Di sisi kiri terdapat tembok, sementara di sisi belakang terdapat pintu garasi. Maulana mengambil dua timba dan mengisi air. Kemudian saya menggantikan tugas tersebut. Saya mengambil ember kecil dan menuangkan separuh air. Saya mengambil bubuk kapur barus dan menuangkannya ke dalam timba berisi air tersebut. Dua timba besar berisi air dan satu ember kecil berisi air kapur barus telah siap. Saya lalu menyiapkan sabun dan sampo dan meletakkan di sisi dipan. Satu timba kosong saya siapkan sebagai tempat untuk baju-baju kotor dari jenazah. Handuk dan kain batik saya siapkan di atas kursi di dekat meja jenazah.

Aditomo bertanya kepada keluarga apakah ada sebuah dipan tempat tidur untuk tempat mensemayamkan jenazah sementara. Seorang ibu, keluarga almarhum, menunjukkan dipan besar, dekat tempat tidur jenazah. Saya dan Maulana mengangkat dipan tersebut dan meletakan di ruang tamu. Kami meletakkan dipan ruang tamu. Sebuah kasur diambil oleh seorang ibu dari kerabat almarhum dan diletakkan di atas dipan. Kasur ditutup dengan selimut.

Kami bersiap memandikan jenazah. Aditomo, Makmur, dan Sapto mengenakan sarung tangan dan kain anti air. Dua orang laki-laki dari kerabat almarhum ikut bergabung. Kami bersiap mengangkat jenazah. Tubuh jenazah sangat besar. Jenazah wafat karena menderita stroke. Tubuh jenazah sangat berat hingga membutuhkan lima orang untuk mengangkat dan meletakkan di atas meja jenazah. Maulana, dua kerabat, Sapto, dan saya bersama-sama menggotong jenazah dan meletakkannya di atas meja jenazah. Namun, Maulana segera pergi dan ia tidak ikut memandikan jenazah karena tidak berani. Aditomo menggunting pakaian jenazah, saya menerima baju jenazah meletakkan di timba.

Dua anggota keluarga almarhum ikut memandikan jenazah. Seorang di antara mereka, Samsul, bertanya kepada Aditomo tentang doa memandikan jenazah. Aditomo tersenyum dan menjawab, “cukup membaca bismillah saja”. Karena mengerti bahwa dua anggota keluarga ini sangat kritis, Aditomo kemudian menerangkan kepada mereka tentang tata cara memandikan jenazah. Aditomo menjelaskan bahwa pertama-tama jenazah diistinja terlebih dulu atau disucikan. Kedua, jenazah diwudhukan dan ketiga jenazah dimandikan dan terakhir diwudhukan lagi. Sebelum memandikan jenazah, semua orang yang akan memandikan jenazah wajib memakai sarung tangan dan celemek melindungi badan dari percik dan siraman air.

Jenazah dimandikan. Aditomo memegang selang dan menyiramkan air. Pertama-tama ia melakukan istinja pada jenazah. Ia mengarahkan selang pada aurat jenazah. Sapto dan Makmur membantu dengan menekan perut jenazah untuk mengeluarkan kotoran. Setelah itu, Aditomo memwudhukan jenazah dan kemudian memberikan ada aba-aba kepada kami bahwa jenazah siap dimandikan.

Aditomo mempersilahkan kepada dua kerabat untuk membersihkan rambut jenazah dengan sampo. Aditomo juga mengarahkan mereka mengusapkan sabun pada tubuh jenazah, bersama Makmur dan Sapto. Saya dengan cekatan membersihkan kedua kaki jenazah dengan sabun. Aditomo menyuruh saya membilas air dengan gayung pada kaki jenazah. Saya menyiramkan air beberapa kali. Aditomo meminta saya mengguyurkan air dengan cepat. Tubuh jenazah dimiringkan ke kanan dan ke kiri untuk membersihkan punggung. Makmur dan Sapto dengan cepat mengusapkan sabun, Aditomo sangat cepat menyiramkan air. Dua anggota kerabat almarhum pada akhirnya lebih banyak diam, berdiri, dan melihat. Mereka mengalami kesulitan memandikan jenazah. Sabun dari tangan mereka sering lepas lalu jatuh.

Setelah selesai memandikan jenazah, Aditomo mewudhukan jenazah dan menyiramkan air kapur barus. Jenazah dikeringkan dengan handuk. Namun, mendadak, Aditomo meminta keran air dibuka. Saya begegas membuka keran. Aditomo mengarahkan selang air ke mulut jenazah dan hidung jenazah untuk membersihkan darah yang masih keluar. Setelah selesai keran saya tutup kembali. Saya kembali ke sisi jenazah dan mengeringkan tubuh jenazah. Aditomo dan pegawai YBS dan dua kerabat almarhum melepaskan sarung tangan plastik dan melemparkan ke timba untuk baju kotor. Saya ambil kain batik dan menyerahkannya kepada Aditomo. Saya letakkan kain batik yang basah ke timba untuk baju kotor.

Tubuh jenazah telah kering. Aditomo menutup hidung jenazah dan telinga jenazah dengan kapas. Lalu, jenazah tutup rapat dengan kain batik dan siap diangkat ke ruang tamu. Makmur dan Sapto menempelkan kapas yang telah ditaburi bubuk kapur barus pada kedua kaki jenazah lutut, dan badan. Lalu jenazah dibungkus kain kafan. Makmur, Sapto, dan Aditomo membungkus jenazah dengan cekatan. Selesai dikafani, seorang kerabat laki-laki bernama Samsul, memohon kepada Aditomo untuk membuka kepala jenazah karena ada anggota kerabat lain belum datang. Jenazah dibungkus rapat dengan kain kafan dengan enam tali melingkar. Wajah jenazah dibungkus dengan kapas panjang. Atas permintaan keluarga almarhum, Aditomo membuka tali ikat jenazah di atas kepala. Jenazah ditutup dengan kain batik. Kami menunaikan salat jenazah dengan Aditomo sebagai imam. Semua anggota keluarga almarhum turut menunaikan salat jenazah.

Selesai salat jenazah, Aditomo dan Samsul bercakap-cakap sambil duduk bersila. Samsul bertanya tentang biaya perawatan jenazah. Seorang ibu buru-buru menunjukkan kartu anggota YBS dari almarhum. Aditomo melihat kartu anggota YBS almarhum. Almarhum belum genap satu tahun menjadi anggota dan artinya harus membayar biaya tambahan. Aditomo mengeluarkan secarik kertas dan menulis: biaya tambahan perawatan jenazah 75 ribu dan biaya transportasi 100 ribu. Setelah itu Aditomo berkata pelan kepada Samsul bahwa soal pembayaran sebaiknya diurus di kantor setelah semua urusan pemakaman selesai. Samsul dan beberapa kerabat pun mengangguk lega.

Samsul meminta saran kepada Aditomo tentang tahlilan. Mereka mengatakan bahwa mereka sebenarnya tidak ingin mengikuti adat seperti memakai kembang dalam pemakaman dan mengadakan tahlilan di rumah. Namun, mereka sangat segan dengan warga desa. Aditomo memberikan nasehat bahwa ia sendiri sesungguhnya tidak setuju dengan tahlilan. Lalu ia menceritakan pengalamannya di kampung di mana ia hanya mengadakan tahlilan satu kali dalam suatu acara kematian. Ia lalu memberi saran agar keluarga almarhum tetap mengadakan tahlilan namun hanya satu kali dengan suguhan makanan sederhana. Tujuan adalah sekedar untuk memenuhi syarat.

Samsul meminta saran kepada Aditomo tentang upacara pemakaman. Dengan berterus terang Samsul menceritakan pada Aditomo bahwa kematian ayah mereka adalah pengalaman pertama dalam urusan kematian. Ia meminta saran bagaimanakah susunan upacara pemakaman dan apa saja yang harus dipersiapkan. Lalu Aditomo menjelaskan tentang susunan upacara pemakaman. Ia menjelaskan kepada Samsul bahwa upacara pemakaman terdiri dari rangkaian pidato mulai dari wakil dari keluarga, wakil dari kelurahan, ketua RT, dan pembacaan doa dari pak kaum atau kiai dari desa setempat. Aditomo menawarkan sejumlah perlengkapan jasa untuk upacara pemakaman kepada Samsul. Samsul memilih untuk memesan pembawa acara, nisan, keranda, dan mobil jenazah. Di sini saya melihat bahwa pihak keluarga almarhum sangat tergantung pada YBS dalam menangani perawatan jenazah dan susunan upacara pemakaman.

Lembaga kematian ini menjadi bagian penting di lingkungan universitas dalam urusan kematian. Lembaga ini merawat jenazah sejumlah dosen. Sebagian besar di antara mereka telah pensiun dan tinggal di kompleks perumahan kampus, di Perumahan Sekip dan Perumahan Bulaksumur. Ketua YBS rutin bertugas sebagai rohaniwan, orang yang membacakan doa, dalam upacara resmi penghormatan terakhir dan pelepasan guru besar di aula agung universitas. Di lingkungan profesional ini peran penting Mufti sangat menonjol. Ia mendoakan jenazah dengan khusyuk.

Jaminan kepastian bahwa jenazah akan dirawat diberikan oleh lembaga ini. Lembaga ini memberikan rasa tenang kepada orang-orang lanjut usia dalam menunggu kematian mereka. Ketika mereka mati, jenazah mereka akan diurus dengan baik oleh YBS. Dalam lingkup kehidupan modern di daerah perkotaan lanjut usia adalah masa kritis secara sosial (Kearl 1989: 467). Secara eksplisit manusia lanjut usia dianggap tidak produktif. Mereka mengalami kematian sosial karena lingkup pergaulan sosial di masyarakat kian terbatas. Lingkup mereka kadang terbatas pada pengajian atau majelis taklim. Pada pengajian rutin YBS sebagian besar jamaah yang hadir adalah para pensiunan dan orang-orang lanjut usia.

Kalangan lanjut usia di antaranya orang yang sudah pensiun memiliki kesadaran untuk mengantisipasi kematian. Sewaktu bekerja di YBS saya diperkenalkan dengan seorang perempuan tua berasal dari Lampung. Ia telah pensiun dari pekerjaan sebagai hakim di Lampung dan baru beberapa bulan menjadi anggota YBS sekaligus belajar mengaji secara privat pada staf YBS. Kini ia menetap di Yogyakarta. Ia tinggal bersama anaknya yang bekerja di Yogyakarta. Ketika saya bertanya tentang alasan menjadi anggota YBS, ia pun menjawab dengan antusias bahwa mencari yayasan kematian sangat penting dalam dirinya. Ke mana pun ia pergi karena perintah dinas, dengan berpindah ke kota lain, ia segera mencari lembaga kematian. Ini adalah hal pertama yang dilakukan ketika tiba di Yogyakarta, mencari informasi tentang yayasan kematian, atau kelompok pengajian yang juga mengurus kematian. Ketika masih berdinas di Lampung, ia menjadi anggota kelompok pengajian yang sekaligus juga mengurus kematian. Demikian pula, ketika berdinas di Jakarta, ia pun menjadi anggota Yayasan Bunga Kamboja yang sangat dikenal dalam merawat jenazah orang Islam. Kesadaran kuat tentang kematian pada ibu tersebut nampak sesuai dengan konsep tata kematian-baik yang telah dipersiapkan pada orang-orang kota (Allan Kellehear 2007). Yogyakarta dikenal sebagai kota yang ramah untuk orang lanjut usia. Tingkat harapan hidup di Yogayakarta adalah sangat tinggi. Pemerintah Kota Yogyakarta memberikan perhatian khusus kepada para lanjut usia. Mereka ini sebagian adalah pendukung kuat keberadaan dan customer dari YBS.

Dalam upacara pelepasan jenazah guru besar di aula universitas, peran YBS sebagai rohaniwan adalah penting. Seorang guru besar universitas wafat. Keluarga almarhum menghubungi YBS untuk meminta jasa perawatan jenazah. Kepala kantor YBS, Aditomo, kemudian memberikan tugas kepada staf lapangan YBS bernama Masruchan untuk memimpin dan mengurus perawatan jenazah. Masruchan adalah seorang staf muda, seorang sarjana pendidikan, baru berumur dua puluh lima tahun. Ia bekerja di lembaga ini pada akhir tahun 2004. Ia mula-mula sebagai staf administrasi dan kemudian beralih bekerja paruh staf lapangan karena diterima bekerja sebagai guru Bahasa Inggris di sekolah menengah khusus di Sleman. Profesi sebagai guru adalah pekerjan resmi dari Masruchan. Bekerja sebagai staf YBS adalah profesi kedua.

Respon muncul pada saat staf YBS menjadi rohaniwan dalam upacara penghormatan untuk almarhum di aula agung universitas. Mula-mula pihak staf universitas tidak mengetahui bahwa Masruchan adalah rohaniwan dari YBS. Mereka tetap bersikukuh untuk meminta kehadiran Mufti dengan menghubungi kantor YBS. Kantor YBS memberitahu bahwa rohaniwan telah siap di aula dan memberi tahu bahwa ketua YBS sedang menunaikan ibadah haji.

Dengan agak gelisah Masruchan menjadi rohaniwan dalam upacara resmi tersebut. Ia mendoakan jenazah mengikuti gaya khas Mufti. Ia mendoakan jenazah dalam Bahasa Arab lalu menerjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia sehingga orang-orang mengerti arti doa tersebut. Setelah upacara selesai, respon muncul. Orang-orang terkejut. Baru kali ini mereka menemukan seorang kaum bukan seorang kakek dengan rambut putih beruban. Seorang kaum masih muda, lajang, dan seorang guru Bahasa Inggris di SMK. Pengalaman Masruchan hampir serupa seperti pengalaman tokoh utama dalam film Jepang “Departure” tentang perawatan jenazah di mana orang-orang sangat heran melihat seorang anak muda bekerja sebagai perawat jenazah. Perawat jenazah dan rohaniwan masih dianggap sebagai profesi milik orang tua dengan rambut beruban.

Suatu kejadian penting memperkuat eksistensi lembaga kematian ini. Lembaga kematian ini merawat jenazah Wakil Gubernur Yogyakarta, Paku Alam VIII. Di samping seorang birokrat. Paku Alam VIII adalah seorang raja di Pura Pakualam. Menurut tradisi di Kerajaaan Mataram jenazah raja hanya boleh dirawat secara khusus oleh kerabat dekat sesuai dengan tradisi Jawa di kalangan bangsawan Jawa. Di samping itu, ada pejabat keagamaan Islam, penghulu, menangani urusan keagamaan di kraton termasuk kematian dan pemakaman raja. Namun dalam kasus kematian Paku Alam VIII kerabat kraton tidak mengikuti tata cara tradisional tetapi malah meminta jasa dari YBS.

Kejadian ini cukup menyulitkan bagi staf YBS. Mereka telah menggantikan peran penting dari kerabat Pura Pakulam. Namun demikian, sesuai dengan tujuan YBS untuk merawat jenazah menurut ajaran Islam, tugas ini mereka laksanakan. Abdi dalem Keraton Pakualam sangat menghormati Paku Alam VIII. Mereka memberikan penghormatan secara khusus. Staf YBS tidak terikat dengan tradisi demikian. Karena itu, ketika merawat jenazah raja, mereka mengabaikan adat, terutama memberikan penghormatan kepada seorang raja. Mereka tidak memberikan penghormatan khusus. Aditomo menceritakan bahwa ketika merawat dan memandikan jenazah raja mereka agak rikuh dengan abdi dalem yang duduk bersila di sekeliling jenazah raja.

Selang beberapa waktu kemudian, ketua YBS, Mufti mendapatkan undangan khusus dari Pura Pakualam, pemberitahuan bahwa Pura Pakulam akan memberikan gelar kebangsawanan kepada Mufti atas jasa merawat jenazah Paku Alam VIII. Mufti mengalami dilema karena gelar kebangsawanan jelas tidak bermanfaat dalam kehidupan politik maupun sosial masa modern. Ia kemudian memohon nasehat kepada kerabat di kampung halaman di Cirebon dan sahabat di Yogyakarta. Kerabat di Cirebon memberikan dukungan untuk menerima gelar tersebut karena leluhur Mufti adalah pejabat di kraton Islam Cirebon. Sementara itu rekan di Yogyakarta mendorong Mufti menerima gelar tersebut dengan alasan ini adalah penghormatan. Mufti setuju untuk menerima gelar kebangsawanan dari Pura Pakulaman. Pada tahun 2000 ia mendapatkan kekancingan dari Pura Pakualaman sebagai Bupati Anom. Pada tahun 2007 kekancingan ini meningkat menjadi Bupati Sepuh. Namun, Mufti menjelaskan bahwa alasan mendasar untuk menerima gelar tersebut lebih merujuk pada sistem kebangsawanan dari Istana Buckingham Inggris yaitu Sir, diberikan kepada orang-orang yang berjasa bagi masyarakat Inggris di bidang budaya dan sosial. Ia memberikan kepada saya kartu nama dengan lengkap dengan gelar kebangsawanan, Drs. H.I.N. Mufti Abu Yazid/ Kanjeng Mas Tumenggung Haji Dipahadisestra, atau K.M.T.H.Dipahadisestra. .

Indikasi penting lain tentang kaitan antara lembaga kematian ini dengan kaum profesional nampak pada berita duka di surat kabar. Kedaulatan Rakyat sering memuat berita duka dari etnis Tionghoa dan orang Islam. Namun jika dibandingkan dengan etnis Tionghoa, jumlah berita duka dari orang Islam sangat kecil. Dalam seminggu barangkali hanya satu kali. Tentu saja ada perbedaan antara berita duka orang Islam dengan berita duka etnis Tionghoa. Berita duka dari etnis Tionghoa adalah pengumuman tentang kematian seseorang, tempat persemayaman, dan anggota keluarga yang berduka. Sedangkan berita duka orang Islam bukan merupakan undangan untuk melayat, namun ucapan terima kasih atas belasungkawa dan kehadiran para pelayat pada upacara pemakaman. Berita duka orang Islam mengumumkan tempat wafat, hari pemakaman, tempat pemakaman, dan nama anggota keluarga yang berduka. Berita duka ini menegaskan status sosial. Dalam berita duka tersebut disebutkan nama-nama pelayat. sesuai dengan status sosial mereka seperti gubernur, wakil gubernur, bupati, dan walikota. Kalangan birokrat, pengusaha, profesor sering mengirimkan berita duka semacam ini. Namun penting untuk diketahui bahwa melalui berita duka ini, YBS dikenal luas di Yogyakarta. Nama I.N. Mufti Abu Yazid dan YBS sering disebutkan dalam berita duka di surat kabar tersebut.




Pengajian

Kegiatan keagamaan diselenggarakan oleh YBS. Pengajian Khusnul Khotimah diadakan secara rutin tiap hari Rabu dari pukul sepuluh hingga dua belas siang. Pengajian diakhiri dengan salat dhuhur dan zikir. Selain itu, YBS juga mengadakan majelis taklim besar Sekar Telasih diadakan tiap tujuh puluh hari. Pengajian-pengajian YBS tidak melulu diisi oleh ulaman namun dari dari kalangan doktek dan psikiater, sekali lagi dari kalangan profesional.

YBS berusaha membangun kesadaran agama yang lebih baik dalam hal kematian. YBS berusaha mendorong masyarakat melaksanakan salat jenazah ketika melayat. Pada waktu mengikuti rohaniwan YBS bertugas, saya sering melihat sedikit pelayat yang melaksanakan salat jenazah. Hanya ada dua hingga lima orang saja yang melaksanakan salat jenazah. Malah kadang hanya rohaniwan YBS yang melaksanakan salat jenazah. Sebagian besar pelayat duduk dan bercakap-cakap di kursi di halaman rumah. Saya menanyakan hal ini kepada Mufti. Ia menerangkan bahwa dalam hal kematian masyarakat masih berpedoman pada adat. Dalam berbagai kesempatan ia sering menyarankan pada para jamaah untuk melaksanakan salat jenazah ketika melayat. Salat jenazah mudah sekali dikerjakan, hanya berdiri sebentar. Tidak ada rukuk dan tidak ada sujud.

YBS sering memberikan pelatihan merawat jenazah. Dalam pelatihan jenazah diajarkan tentang praktik merawat jenazah meliputi memandikan jenazah, mengkafani jenazah, salat jenazah, dan tata cara memakamkan jenazah. YBS sering diundang untuk memberikan pelatihan merawat jenazah. Lembaga kematian ini pernah memberikan pelatihan khusus perawatan jenazah kepada semua kaum atau rois di Sleman yang diselenggarakan oleh Pemerintah Kabupaten Sleman. Lembaga kematian ini rutin memberikan pelatihan merawat jenazah di kalangan mahasiswa, pegawai kantor, warga perumahan, dan perkumpulan pengajian. Pelatihan merawat jenazah juga terjadi di luar Yogyakarta seperti Solo, Klaten, Magelang, Semarang dan Gresik.

Di masa kini pelatihan merawat jenazah telah menjadi kegiatan rutin di masyarakat. Hal ini karena mengetahui dan praktek pengetahuan tentang merawat jenazah dan telah menjadi bagian penting dari kesadaran religius masyarakat. Oleh karena itu berbagai kelompok pengajian di kota sering mengadakan pelatihan tersebut. Pelatihan biasa diselenggarakan di masjid atau di musola. Pelatihan ini merupakan bagian dari usaha untuk meningkatkan pengetahuan tentang hukum Islam. Menurut ajaran Islam hukum merawat jenazah adalah fardhu kifayah. Ini berarti bahwa wajib hukumnya bagi orang Islam untuk bisa merawat dan menguburkan jenazah dan melaksanakan salat jenazah. Namun jika sebagian orang telah melaksanakan kewajiban tersebut, kewajiban tersebut tidak berlaku atas orang Islam lain.

Di kampus pelatihan merawat jenazah sering diadakan oleh kelompok mahasiswa Islam. Kelompok ini aktif mengadakan kegiatan keagamaan. Mereka menguasai musola-musola kampus. Mereka memiliki kesadaran keagamaan kuat dan tak segan-segan menunjukkan kesalehan mereka di ruang publik. Di sini kegiatan pelatihan merawat jenazah menjadi bagian dari kebangkitan agama di kalangan kaum muda. Mereka kadang mengundang Mufti Abu Yazid untuk memberikan pelatihan merawat jenazah di UGM.

Ada pula pelatihan merawat jenazah yang diadakan untuk tujuan khusus yaitu regenerasi perawat jenazah. Pelatihan ini sering diselenggarakan di kampung dan kompleks perumahan oleh kelurahan dan perkumpulan warga. Pelatihan seperti ini kadang diliput oleh surat kabar lokal. Alasan utama diadakan pelatihan ini adalah makin langkanya tenaga kaum. Kaum yang masih ada telah berusia lanjut. Pengganti mereka sangat jarang atau bahkan tidak ada. Tujuan pelatihan ini jelas yaitu mendapatkan perawat jenazah baru hingga di tiap kelurahan/kampung terdapat cukup perawat jenazah. Dalam kenyatannya cukup sulit untuk mendorong regenerasi kaum. kaum adalah pekerjaan sosial, tidak mendapatkan gaji kecuali sekedar uang lelah.

Pada kasus tertentu pelatihan ini berubah menjadi kegiatan resmi. Pelatihan jenazah resmi biasa diselenggarakan di kantor-kantor pemerintah. Pelatihan dibuka secara resmi dengan dihadiri para pejabat kantor. Pelatihan diikuti oleh sejumlah pegawai. Pelatihan merawat jenazah memang rutin diadakan di kantor pemerintah seperti di lingkungan pemda. Pelatihan diadakan sebagai bagian dari kegiatan kerohanian kantor. Dalam pelatihan ini pihak panitia mengundang orang yang memiliki pengetahuan tentang cara merawat jenazah.

Akan tetapi tingkat keberhasilan dari pelatihan jenazah semacam ini diragukan oleh pegawai YBS. Seorang di antara mereka berpendapat bahwa memang benar YBS sering memberikan pelatihan merawat jenazah. YBS secara rutin memang diminta untuk memberikan kursus perawatan jenazah di berbagai di perkumpulan warga dan kantor pemerintah. Namun mereka ragu bahwa orang-orang bisa menerapkan pengetahuan merawat jenazah. Permasalahannya adalah lebih pada mental seseorang. Mula-mula masyarakat sangat antusias mengikuti pelatihan namun ketika diminta untuk merawat jenazah secara nyata mereka pun menolak karena takut melihat jenazah. Maka tidak heran jika banyak orang yang sudah mengikuti pelatihan merawat jenazah namun pada akhirnya masih meminta bantuan YBS. Tidak semua orang berani merawat jenazah. Orang mati bagi sebagian besar orang masih dianggap sebagai sesuatu yang menakutkan dan kadang mengerikan. Apalagi warga yang sering mengikuti pelatihan tersebut berasal dari perumahan, atau orang-orang yang mampu atau kalangan profesional. Adalah tetap sulit bagi mereka untuk terlibat langsung mengurus jenazah. Namun demikian, yang jelas pelatihan merawat jenazah telah menjadi tradisi penting di kalangan muslim kota sebagai bagian dari kesadaran beragama.

Namun ada kasus khusus di YBS terkait dengan pelatihan ini. YBS pernah menerima permintaan seorang individu untuk ikut merawat jenazah. Permintaan semacam ini jarang terjadi. Pegawai YBS menceritakan kepada saya bahwa seorang pengusaha berkunjung ke YBS dan memohon diajarkan tata cara merawat jenazah dan sekaligus praktek langsung. Pengusaha itu mengatakan bahwa ia ingin memiliki saku atau amal saleh di akhir hayatnya. Karena itu ia ingin memiliki pengetahuan merawat jenazah dan langsung mempraktekkan. YBS mengabulkan permintaan tersebut. Kepala kantor YBS sering mengubungi orang tersebut melalui sms ketika YBS melaksanakan tugas pelayanan di sekitar tempat tinggalnya di Condong Catur terutama di Rumah Sakit JIH. Condong Catur adalah sebuah kawasan di Sleman yang mengalami pekembangan pesat. Pusat dari daerah ini adalah sejumlah kampus universitas. Kawasan ini penuh dengan kompleks perumahan dan rumah kost. Mula-mula ia ikut aktif bersama pegawai YBS merawat jenazah. Saya pun sempat bertemu dia di Rumah Sakit JIH. Kami bersama-sama pegawai YBS merawat jenazah. Saya melihatnya masih nampak hati-hati dan kurang cekatan dalam merawat jenazah. Kini ia sangat sibuk bekerja. Ia sering berada di luar kota ketika dihubungi untuk ikut merawat jenazah. Ia jarang lagi mengikuti perawatan jenazah.

Kesimpulan

YBS telah menjadi bagian penting dari perkembangan kota Yogyakarta karena memenuhi kebutuhan baru kalangan muslim kota terutama kalangan pekerja profesional dalam urusan kematian. YBS memberikan jasa perawatan jenazah secara modern karena memiliki sistem pembagian kerja, sistem keanggotaan, dan peralatan lengkap termasuk mobil jenazah, sehingga mampu merawat jenazah secara rutin dalam area luas di kota Yogyakarta. Untuk itu dalam bab selanjutnya saya akan membahas tentang perkembangan kota Yogyakarta dan urusan kematian di kalangan muslim kota.