Me and My Pesantren (3): Insights from the Punishment

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As a student who has studied at Islamic boarding schools for about a decade, from the madrasah tsanawiyah level to university, I feel that there are a lot of santri values ​​taught by the boarding school. For example, discipline, or in Islam, is called istikamah.

The disciplines taught at the pesantren is, for example, getting students to pray in congregation fardhu at the beginning of time, the culture of queuing while bathing, performing ablution and cooking, following study hours at predetermined hours, getting used to throwing garbage in its place, asking permission from the administrator or caregiver. When leaving the cottage, speaking politely, participating in community service once a week, getting used to calling greetings when going in and out of the room, covering the genitals from head to toe when going out of the room, and much more.


It certainly has a positive impact on my current life, both in my personal life as a human being who can be responsible for myself, or in social life as a social human who maintains moral norms, and as a human learner who continuously learns and forges yourself with science and charity, to understand the deep philosophy of your own essence, so that you become insan kamil (whole human being).

To instil discipline in the students, usually the boarding school administrator, on the recommendation of the caregiver, will apply sanctions for students who violate the rules of the boarding school. It aims to create a deterrent effect, which will make the students accustomed to living the habit of living in a disciplined manner.

My father and mother often warn me to always obey all the cottage rules so that the knowledge I get will be blessed and useful because the caregivers or Nyai will usually be happy with students who rarely violate. Hence, the mother said, the teacher’s pleasure will produce knowledge blessed by the teacher and Allah.

Therefore, I am a student who is rarely exposed to takzir or punishment for sticking to my mother’s message. However, the human name, which in the quotes of the scholars, is popular with “al-insanu mahallul khata’ wan nisyan” (humans are a place of mistakes and forgetfulness). So, in some cases, I can be negligent, also undergo sanctions or punishment (takzir).

I got the sanction when I didn’t “pursue” congregational prayers, even though I had been waiting in line for ablution from the start. However, because the water did not flow, I was unable to attend congregational prayers. I remember one time crying in front of the office because I had to recite Al-Mulk’s letter, and other students watched it.

In the regulations at the boarding school where I was staying, namely Pondok Pesantren Annuqayah Guluk-Guluk Sumenep in the Lubangsa Putri area, the sanctions for not attending congregational prayers are pretty diverse. For example, for students who do not participate in congregational prayers once, the sanction is to recite the Yaa Siin letter or other Al-Quran letters in front of the pesantren office. If you leave the congregational prayer twice, the sanction is to ask for a signature from the board chairman, which will usually be challenging to obtain.

Meanwhile, suppose a student leaves the congregational prayer three times a week. In that case, the heaviest sanction is that the student will be asked to perform the congregational prayer directly behind Ibu Nyai as the cottage’s caretaker for thirty consecutive days. Suppose the period of menstruation or menstruation is reduced within thirty days. In that case, the remaining days will be continued when the santri has been pure from the menstrual period.

The impact of habituation to disciplined living in the cottage, which I feel now, is the habit of praying at the beginning of time and as much as possible in the congregation, both at home and in mosques while on a trip.

In addition, disciplined living habits in Islamic boarding schools, such as using social media in cyberspace wisely. Indeed, when I was staying there, there were no social media like today. However, the habit of not revealing genitalia, not saying and writing words that are harmful to me and others with hate speech, not being narcissistic, showing off, and so on at that time, I can apply in modern life today.

Another example is the habit of reading in the library and writing on the cottage wall. Which two traditions continue to this day. So the consistency of reading and writing for me is not something that most people find tiring, but a pleasure that has become a habit (habit).

All regulations in Islamic boarding schools are usually not selective. This means that all students become khitab or objects of these regulations. So that it teaches and educates the students to be humble (tawadu) or the popular term is low profile. The boarding students have different family or social status backgrounds, ranging from children of conglomerates, children of prominent ulama figures to students of the upper-middle class and lower middle class. But in pesantren, all are treated the same.

Therefore, even though I was the nephew of the cottage’s caretaker, I did not escape the sanctions. For example, when I accidentally fell asleep during study time, I was also given a sanction to clean the sewer, which of course, smelled terrible and was dirty. Still, like it or not, it had to be done. Although the cynical tone emerged from other santri friends because I, as a family caregiver, should not violate the rules of the cottage.

At that time, rooms for nephews or other relatives were explicitly separated from the rooms of other students, as were the bathrooms. However, in terms of the rules of the cottage, Ibu Nyai is not selective. According to him, all students, whether family or not, should be treated the same.

This, directly or indirectly, teaches me to be humble and aware of my own shortcomings, especially as a human being who is not free from mistakes and sins so that I will not humiliate others.

Another example of the low profile attitude of students in Islamic boarding schools is when there are regulations regarding restrictions on the use of jewellery for female students, such as gold earrings, necklaces, rings and gold bracelets.

In this case, all students are prohibited from wearing jewellery except earrings. Again, it aims to avoid social jealousy among fellow students. Likewise, in terms of clothing, students are limited to bringing clothes in large quantities, namely a maximum of ten pieces of clothing. Formal school uniforms and diniya uniforms are also included.

These regulations taught me to realize the unity of human origin by showing the degree of human humanity so that we students do not feel proud or higher than others just because of differences in social status.

In addition, the low profile attitude taught at the boarding school is that students are prohibited from shouting or making a loud or loud voice, which is synonymous with arrogance and arrogance. Even if at 10 o’clock later there are still students who make loud voices or shout, then the penalty is they will recite the Koran the following day using loudspeakers in front of the office.

The sanction is quite embarrassing because the other students will look at the front of the office out of curiosity about the voice of the santri who was hit by the takzir so that the santri who are serving a sentence will be watched by tens or even hundreds of other students, who sometimes make fun of them. With a heart-wrenching joke. As I have experienced when I fell asleep during study hours.


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