New knowledge will inevitably determine dialectical attitudes in social and religious life where there are various istinbath processes, leaving various fanaticism and one-sided truths. Determining one truth requires different truth arguments about that truth.
If a child throws wood at his parents, then it hits his leg and bruises it, is the child said to be guilty? Then there will be various aspects of the legal basis used to look at the case; in other words, do not take a hasty attitude.
Various legal attitudes colour religious life and are characterized by the practice of multiple schools of thought. Islam itself has four well-known schools in carrying out religious law: Maliki, Hanbali, Shafii, and Hanafi. With the Aswaja approach (ahl al-sunnah wa al-jama’ah) as a method of thinking and moving (manhaj al-fikr wa al-harakah), in this case, the reference is turats or the yellow book or Kitab Kuning.
Nahdlatul Ulama or NU has two views regarding applying sharia law, being authoritative and considering the benefit. First, Islam has the authority to regulate the lives of religious people; Second, Islam also keeps anyone outside of Islam running and maintaining a pluralistic relationship.
Kitab Kuning has various styles and backgrounds of discussion because of its diverse knowledge content. So, it is natural that NU in the Bahtsul Masa’il majlis is still dominant in using the yellow book as a reference to complete the legal basis of the Qur’an and sunnah. It is also natural when the students maintain the sacredness of the yellow book while maintaining the Qur’an and the books of hadith. The closeness between NU and pesantren underlies that historically NU was born from the granary of pesantren, where pesantren is required by turats culture.
A pluralistic social life indicates that this diversity is not just a natural occurrence; But, if it may be associated with God’s decree, which contains a hint to get to know each other; Not to look for similarities, but to appreciate differences. In this regard, in the context of ahl ilmi, the difference in the concept of the ulama’ is a form of mercy for the people.
The role of the Kitab Kuning is vital, and it is a supporter of the concept of developing a school of thought. Whether we realize it or not, analogy and comparative methods are applied in determining the law, whether state or religious. They are finding common ground then concocting through a long debate.
The orientation is to apply religious law without offending and even changing plural local wisdom, both in the standard law order or national law.
Contextualization of the Kitab Kuning in social life is a form of effort to maintain human relations. In line with that, the principle of Islam itself is maslahah. Gus Dur mentioned this in one of his essays. The Kitab Kuning studied in pesantren is an Islamic civilization that always goes hand in hand with the progress of the times and human progress, both in attitude patterns critical thinking attitudes.
Muhammad Adib, in his research (Kritik Nalar Fikih Nahdlatul Ulama, 2018); concludes that NU, pesantren and Kiai have agreed that Aswaja is the reason or epistemic authority, resulting in five fundamental principles: (1) Dialectics between continuity and change; (2) Maintenance of benefit and tradition; (3) Prioritize the hierarchy of authority; (4) Prudence; and (5) Moderate attitude.
On the one hand, the five principles above form cognitive awareness that is tied to the authority of the Kitab Kuning text; on the other hand, it finds space for flexibility and creative meaning. Therefore, the Kitab Kuning is expected to find a space for contextualization in social life. At the same time, it was eliminating the rigid paradigm in understanding the Kitab Kuning or its application.