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Contestation of Sexual Ethics of Islam in Indonesia: Analysis of Gadamer's Hermeneutics and Foucault's Power Relation on Qurrah al-'Uyun and Pengantin Al-Qur'an


The increasing cases of divorce are conceivable as generating negative impact for the preservation of family as provider of social capital. Divorce will yield familial dysfunction that affects on the development of children personality. Religion also has a deep concern for the protection of marriage and family. Being considered as misaqan ghaliza, marriage is oriented for eternal relationship, so that it can performs its functions well. The problem of divorce is thus crucial to overcome. All the causes are actually related with sexual relation within love (indidelity), marriage (inharmony/ marital violence), and sexual activity (marital violence and inharmony). As such these three fields become the concern of the research. Among the prevailing works in sexual ethics in Indonesia, Qurrah al- Uyun and Pengantin al-Quran are chosen for its worth elaboration and its popularity in respectively pesantren and Indonesia society. It questions on why sexual relation matters with love, marriage and sexual activities. In what ways sexual relation embodies in domains of love, marriage, and sexual regimen and how this embodiment relates to power relation? It will theoretically contribute to theorization of sexual ethics of Islam and practically provide practical knowledge to implement in daily life. The research is library and qualitative research using documentation method to gather data. The formal object is sexual etics of Islam, while the material one is Qurrah al-Uyun and Pengantin al-Quran. It uses hermeneutics of Gadamer to interact with both text to draw on insights on sexual ethics prevalent in both text that further being interpreted through several theories. This research finds out that in issue of love in Shihab work, sexual relation is constructed in mutual and reciprocal framework that generate deliberation, fidelity, affection, and self sacrifice. Such relation only exists as love is realized in marriage for it is regarded as the highest manifestation of love. In domain of marriage, mutuality, affection and a shared life serve as the basic values on which marital relation must refer to. However, such equal relation becomes disturbed for the the still prevailing sexual difference between husband and wife. The interpretation on dowry as manâs readiness as a bread winner still reproduces patriarchal logic that place husband as the head of family while wife as caregivers. Instead, the emphasis on heterosexual relationship means the exclusion of any other sexual relationship. In theme of sexual regimentation, sexual relation is unequal that mostly place women as secondary and inferior. Husband has almost an absolute authority to exert his power to get sexual service anytime. The position of intercourse insert masculine domination naturalized as beneficial for psychical and psychical well being. The prescriptions on the best condition, time and age to have intercourse are much weight on husbands interest. Even in ritual before intercourse, wife has to undertake twice purification physically and psychically. While it does not attach on husband. Discourse of sexual ethics is loaded of power relations in which desire, body and identity are discursively created and stimulated for a particular end. Desire is not in psychical level but it needs materialization to harbor its interest through bodily practices inscribed with social inscriptions. In discourse on love and marriage, desire is so much created and controlled as for maintaining subjective consciousness on the essence of love to gain truth and wisdom. Sexual difference in mutuality suits with natural and religious prescriptions to dispose male and female in their own position and responsibility. The mode of desire is also attached in sexual regimentation determining a particular stylistics of sexual pleasure for preserving the subjects health, the quality of the progeny and sexual satisfaction. These goals normatively judged as in accordance with natural, rational and religious legitimacies, serve as the principle to which regulation of sexual desire and practices must orient to. These normative judgments serve as mechanism of masculine and heterosexual regime to hold their domination through the mechanism of naturalization. The heterosexual desire must be also embodied in heterosexual bodies and identities manifested only within a conjugal union. Male and female bodies are sought to materialize the so-called male and female bodily practices representing the sexual identities the society attaches to.

Key Words: contention, sexual ethics, power relations