Winai Dahlan, Grandson of the Founder of Muhammadiyah

Who is the largest organization that has the most success in carrying out its mission, the answer is the Muhammadiyah organization founded by KH Ahmad Dahlan. there are so many services for Indonesia and the World. His educational institutions gave birth to thousands of intellectuals scattered throughout the world. Hospitals and social institutions provide a lot of healing. this is one of the grandsons of the founder of the Muhammadiyah organization. Let's see the article below

By: Shabah Syamsi

Descending from Bangkok's Swarnabumi Airport, the group of Central MUI leaders immediately visited The Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, the most prestigious university in Thailand.

Occupying a 13-floor building, the Halal Center carries out various research, study, and development activities on halal products, including: halal food, halal drinks, halal beauty, halal treatment, halal restaurants, and halal tourism.

The group of MUI leaders was invited to enter the information room. The room is neatly arranged complete with well-designed multimedia. Outside the room are lined with large images of classical Islamic scientists such as Ibn Battuta, Al Khwarizmi, Al Biruni, Al Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, who can speak to visitors in various languages ​​through a sophisticated IT design.

After the group was in a cold room with special dishes, hot Thai Tea, the head of the Halal Center, Prof. Dr. Winai Dahlan, along with the experts entered the room. Winai Dahlan is a gentle, handsome, tall figure.

The grandson of the founder of Muhammadiyah, KH. Ahmad Dahlan, explained in fluent English with a thick Thai accent. he talked about the family history of KH Ahmad Dahlan moving to Thailand to an explanation of his struggle for more than 20 years in the halal field.

Winai Dahlan's father, Irfan Dahlan, is the 4th child of KH Ahmad Dahlan. Irfan could stray to Thailand, because when he was about to return from studying religion in Pakistan, Indonesia was in a state of war. Finally, Irfan chose to live in Thailand. Irfan met his soul mate, a woman of Javanese descent from Rembang, Central Java, born in Thailand, her name was Zahrah. Winai Dahlan of Javanese descent who was born in Bangkok.

In line with the relaxation of the Thai royal policy regarding foreign communities, including Javanese, the Javanese people are increasing in number. The Javanese community developed in Bangkok to form a Javanese village, the Javanese Mosque, with Javanese traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Winai gets religious lessons from Javanese families and communities in Bangkok. Higher education is pursued at Chulalongkorn University, in Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Allied Health Science. Chulalongkorn University is one of the best universities in Thailand, and is in the top 200 of the world's best universities.

He then continued his doctoral program at the Department of Medical Biology, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. After graduating, he devoted himself as a lecturer and scientist at Chulalongkorn university until now.

The values ​​of religiosity are embedded deep in Winai Dahlan's heart. The blood of the da'wah struggle from his grandfather permeated his body and soul. His work in the world of college required him to fight for Islam.

As the leader of the Javanese (Indonesian) diaspora in Thailand, Winai has an interest in maintaining Javanese Islamic values ​​which are almost extinct, eroded by the atmosphere of secular modernity in the midst of a Buddhist majority.

Winai thought hard from where to start to build an Islamic civilization in the midst of about 90% of the Buddhist community. While the number of Muslims is only 7%. Until then I met the icon of the struggle through the halal food route, because he had expertise in that field.

Armed with his position as a lecturer and researcher at Chulalongkorn University, he began his struggle. Until he served as chairman of Lipid and Fat Science Research and also chairman of the International Postgraduate of Food and Nutrition studies, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University.

The Halal Science Laboratory at the Faculty of Allied Health Science which was founded by Winai Dahlan is growing rapidly. This laboratory was eyed by ASEAN, so that it developed into a Halal Science Training Center for ASEAN since 1998. The Thai government also provided great assistance to the institution. Then opened Halal Center branches in Pattani and Chiang Mai.

The institution which was later named The Halal Science Center developed: First, detection methods, including through DNA, FID (Flame Ionization Detection) technique, and so on.

Second, developing information and communication technology regarding Halal food production. This system is very sophisticated, with one click, the authorities who want to confirm whether the product is Halal or not, can see the production process of a product, from raw materials to finished products.

Third, developing information that guarantees halalness to consumers, because by scanning product barcodes through cellphones, consumers can immediately find out about the food product, including tracking its halalness.

His perspective on halal is based on the Koran about the concept of halal. That the Qur'an's invitation to consume halal is not only intended for Muslims, but for all humans, O humans, not O Muslims or believers (Surah Al-Baqarah [2]: 168).

For Winai Dahlan halal and tayyib a meal not only for Muslims but for all humans. He said: "What we desire is halal tayyib food. Halal means lawful for mankind to be consumed or utilized, while tayyib refers to good, safe, healthy and hygienic products. This means that halal is not only for Muslims. Halal is good for all”.

The results of his hard work prove that the halal products studied are not only consumed and used by only 7% of Muslims in Thailand, but many non-Muslims who choose halal products. It was chosen because halal products are quality, clear, clean, healthy, and have better benefits than non-halal products.

Winai Dahlan in her struggle to promote halal products, wrote many scientific articles published nationally and internationally. Dahlan's persistence made him included in the "500 Most Influential Muslims" for more than 3 consecutive years by the "Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center" and the only Muslim scientist who is in the "16 Most Influential Muslim Scientists in the World" in the field of Science. and Technology.

The results of the Halal Center's research are the main reference for the Thai Seikhul Islam Council (a kind of MUI in Indonesia) in certifying food, beverage, health, beauty and other products.

Halal products must continue to be encouraged. National and international cooperation must be increased. Halal is clear. What is illegal is clear. That which is false is included in the category of musytabihat (something that is false and doubtful). What is musytabihat is haram. It is a difficult task for the Indonesian Ulema Council to provide legal certainty for the community regarding the products that are consumed and utilized.

Cooperating with various international halal institutions is a must to provide comfort and security for the world community. Winai Dahlan has done and continues to do this great work, despite being in the midst of a non-Muslim majority.

Indonesia with the largest Muslim population in the world should be a pioneer for the struggle to promote halal products. MUI has the largest share in the promotion of world halal products.

It is important to appear young Dahlans who have high expertise and commitment in advancing Islam. Islam is not only spoken in beautiful narratives, but implemented in real life.

Souvenirs by the author from goodwill with the leaders of the Central MUI to Thailand, 11-14 December 2019.

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