When the conversion of food agricultural land continues and the youth interest in farming decreases, it is time for agricultural development – particularly in the provision of staple food – to refer to the food policy of the Prophet Muhammad. This became the focus of short lecture (seven minutes lectures) held by professors and doctors of the Corps of Alumni of Islamic Student Association (KAHMI) on Thursday night, November 12, 2020. This Kultum (short lecture) is held regularly every Thursday night, starting with recitation of the Koran, followed by “Kultum” between 20 to 25 minutes, and followed by studying of Al-the tafsir al-Qur’an (Quranic Interpretation).
Last Thursday night, 12 November, as a professor of HMI alumni, it was my turn to present a kultum (short lecture). The theme raised was “Farmer Institutional towards Food Self-Sufficiency: The Siroh Nabawiyyah Approach.”
The Prophet Muhammad SAW when he obtained land from Khaibar, he distributed the land to the Shohabah (The muslim stragglers in the era of Muhamamd). This is to emphasize that individuals in the Islamic view have rights to land. In the era of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era) the individuals did not have land rights. Land ownership is only limited to tribal leaders who have excess physical strength, so they can defeat weak community groups. Naturally, the weaker party does not have land rights. Those who were physically weak who were unable to fight with the chiefs who had excess physical strength, had to be willing to become slaves. Rasulullah SAW wanted to cancel/eliminate this habit. Therefore, he distributed state-owned land in Khaibar to his friends. With this action, the Prophet emphasized that Islam recognizes individual ownership, and the state can provide land to individual citizens who are deemed necessary to eliminate disparities.
Granting of land by the state to individuals on the condition that the productivity of the land should be maintained; however if the land is left unproductive – not cultivated – the state can take back the rights to agricultural land.
On the other hand, the provision of land by the Prophet SAW as head of state means that the obligation to provide staple food is the responsibility of the individual. As the head of the family, he is obliged to meet the needs of his family, including food supply. The individual land owners are encouraged to cultivate their land productively. However, there is no compulsion for individuals to use their land for farming activities. This is optional. This means that land owners can use their land for farming or for other activities. This provision applies to individual agricultural land.
The State Owned Food Center
However, when the Prophet obtained the next land which was still in the Khaibar Area, the Prophet did not distribute it, but he maintained it as a state-owned food center. To manage this food center, the Prophet carried out a cooperation scheme of al-musaqoh with the Jewish community who were skilled in agricultural practices. The al-musaqoh means cooperation between land owners and farmer cultivator, where all production facilities and costs come entirely from the land owner. It is as if the cultivator is only a worker who gets a share of food production from the land according to the agreement.
The Prophet appointed a special officer to supervise the food production from Khaibar, namely the Prophet appointed Abdullah bin Rawahah until he died in the Muktah War, which was then continued by his successors.
The Prophet not only regulated food production, but he also strictly implemented and supervised the distribution of food from Khaibar.
Dual System in Food Provision
Referring to the management of the Prophet Muhammad, the provision of staple food is carried out with a dual system, namely the provision of food by the state, originating from state-owned land and the provision of food by individual citizens. The balance of food supply originating from state-owned land with food originating from individual citizens will balance food prices, so there is no need for a benchmark price. The Prophet SAW strictly forbade any price fixing (tas’ir). In other words, the prices are entirely left to the market mechanism, provided that the state must maintain a balance of food supply from state-owned food centers and from individual citizens.
In the current context, the state-owned food center is a sustainable agricultural food land that cannot be converted. So, when the Government wants to establish a sustainable food agriculture area, then the land allocated to it is not individual-owned land which has the potential to cause harm to the land owner but it should be the state-owned land.
This management model can actually be applied in modern life. The local governments should allocate state-owned land to form state-owned food centers. If there is no state-owned land in the area, the local government can purchase land owned by farmers at the agreed price based on the price prevailing in that area. The regional government can then form State-Owned Company (BUMN) or Local-Government- Owned-Company (BUMD) to manage these food centers in a modern and integrated manner, which includes food centers, research centers, cultural tourism areas, natural tourism areas, culinary centers, outbound places and others. This BUMD is also tasked with distributing these food supplies to the people who need them, so that it will eliminate or cut the chances of a food mafia.
In a conditions of continuous land conversion, a very visible decline in interest in farming, the takeover by the Central Government or Local Government is a very important alternative, because the Government has the authority to solve it including providing the necessary human resources.
For more details about this idea can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuINXGS-mF8&t=24s published by KAHMI (Corps Alumni of Islamic University Student Association)***