We Went To The Muamalah Market And Understood That Dirham Transactions May Be Criminal In The Eyes Of The Police, But Not Necessarily Criminal For The Community
Nurdiansyah's dirham coin given by Zaim Saidi (Detha Arya Tifada / VOI)

JAKARTA - Friday, February 5, we went to Muamalah Market in Tanah Baru, Depok, West Java. In this market people used the dinar and dirham as a medium of exchange. Three days earlier, Tuesday, February 2, Zaim Saidi was arrested by the police. He is the person behind the creation of this unusual transaction system. There, we gathered a number of findings and information. For local residents, Muamalah Market is not a crime at all. Zaim Saidi is even a hero.

Zaim Saidi was arrested by investigators at the Special Economic Crime Directorate (Dirtipideksus), Bareskrim Polri. The police named Zaim Saidi as the initiator, provider of stalls and manager of Muamalah Market. Zaim Saidi is also known to have provided the main wakala, a place to exchange rupiah into dinars or dirhams, which later became a medium of exchange at Muamalah Market.

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The door to the Muamalah Café which is closed by the police line (Detha Arya Tifada / VOI)

That afternoon we found Muamalah Market, which was deserted, of course. Since Zaim Saidi was arrested, all economic activities at Muamalah Market have stopped. A shop that reads "Kafe Muamalah" looks 'dead', with twisted police lines.

A banner attached also caught our attention. On the banner it reads: Together we empower duafa, receive and distribute donations, alms and waqf. The banner also bears the words "Baitul Mal Nusantara", referring to an organization affiliated with the activities at the Muamalah Café.

The duties and functions of the Baitul Mal Nusantara are also written clearly, including providing compensation to the poor, guaranteeing duafa health costs, and accommodating waqf at Muamalah Market. The banner also contains the achievements of the Baitul Mal Nusantara, including the construction of the Sultan Mosque and the Muamalah Madrasah.

There is no information that refers to the invitation or appeal for people to transact using the dinar-dirhams here. However, the banner contains a picture of five men smiling while displaying objects resembling dinars and dirhams.

Baitul Mal Nusantara Banner (Detha Arya Tifada / VOI)

In the Muamalah cafe, that is the center of the dinar-dirham transaction, according to local residents. The cafe is in the Muamalah Market area, which stands in front of a row of other merchant shophouses which were still active that day. Its location on the side of the road. As you can hear, we meet vehicles passing by.

Muamalah Market was founded in 2014, with a schedule to open every two weeks. Nurdiansyah, a local resident explained how the transaction was carried out. Dinars and dirhams are obtained by local residents for free. Similar to zakat, said Nurdiansyah. Zaim Saidi, through his envoy who distributed the dinars.

Muamalah Café Location (Detha Arya Tifada / VOI)

Nurdiansyah said that there was no exchange of rupiah for dinars or dirhams at Muamalah Market. The dinars that were distributed free of charge served as free coupons that residents could exchange for various basic necessities, such as rice, milk, various snacks, and perfume.

There are about 20 traders who participate in the activities at Muamalah Market. Nurdiansyah explained the stages. So, on Saturdays - every two weeks along with the Muamalah Market operating schedule, the Muamalah Café management distributes dinar-dirhams.

The dinar-dirham was distributed among 20 families in one RT. There are two to three RTs targeted by the management at each time. The dinars can be used by residents to exchange aid on Sundays, when Muamalah Market is operating.

“(Market) It's been a long time. I was often given his dirhams to him (Zaim). So I didn't buy dinars. No. It's the same as zakat. For example, how many people in one RT, 20 people, then divided one by one. Later on Sunday, just pick up the goods, whatever. It's up to you to take what item costs one dinar. I often get it, ”said Nurdiansyah.

To support his story, Nurdiansyah returned home to get a dirham coin which he had not had time to exchange because Zaim Saidi was arrested by the police first. Nurdiansyah is proud. We can feel it right. He also displayed a certificate of authenticity of dirhams issued by the Wakala Nusantara organization. The certificate legitimizes the Nurdiansyah dirham that meets the standards and requirements of the World Islamic Trade Organization (WITO) and the World Islamic Mint (WIM).

In the certificate, it was stated that Nurdiansyah's dirham had also fulfilled all the conditions set by Caliph Umar bin Khattab. Everything from the type of coin, component, grade, weight, dimension, issue number, to the examiner's signature.

Even though it is original, the dinar or dirham, said Nurdiansyah, was not used to take advantage as the news circulated. Furthermore, even though he was declared a criminal, Nurdiansyah admitted that he did not see the Muamalah Market activity as a criminal act.

Zaim Saidi and Muamalah Market in the eyes of the residents

The police explained a number of things related to Zaim Saidi's conviction. According to the police, Zaim Saidi built Muamalah Market for communities who wanted to trade according to market rules and traditions at the time of the Prophet.

The dirhams and dinars were ordered from PT Aneka Tambang (Antam), with an additional 2.5 percent as a profit margin. The dinar used as a means of payment was gold coins weighing 4 1/4 grams of 22 carat gold. Meanwhile, the dirham used was a silver coin weighing 2.975 grams of pure silver. Antam himself has denied the supply of dinars and dirhams to Zaim Saidi.

Currently the exchange rate for 1 dinar is equivalent to IDR 4 million. While the value of 1 dirham is equivalent to IDR 73,500. The police charged Zaim Saidi with two criminal articles. First, Article 9 of Law Number 1 Year 1946 concerning Criminal Law (KUHP).

Nurdiansyah's dirham coin (Detha Arya Tifada / VOI)

This article states that anyone who makes objects such as currency or paper money to be used as legal tender will be punished with a maximum imprisonment of 15 years. The second article is Article 33 of Law Number 7 of 2011 concerning Currency.

Article 33 of Law 7/2011 states that every person who refuses to pay in rupiah currency is subject to a maximum imprisonment of one year and a fine of Rp200 million. The police are now investigating the possibility of a large Muamalah Market branch in other areas.

Outside the legal context, local residents do not see the activities at Muamalah Market as a criminal act. Whether the court will determine whether this is a crime or not. What is clear for the surrounding community is not a criminal. Zaim Saidi is even considered a hero for the duafa. Hanafi, a local motorcycle taxi driver revealed how he saw Zaim Saidi. Hanafi, who is now 53 years old, admitted that he had received Zakat Dirham in 2014.

"I really only (get dirham). Later in rotation. Later RT here, then RT here, later RT 4 across the river. After a long time, most of them were outsiders (who got dirhams), whose merchants were also not genuine here. So all newcomers, so take a car if it's his turn to put it in, bring a folding table and hold the merchandise, "said Hanafi.

Hanafi, local resident (Detha Arya Tifada / VOI)

Hanafi explained that the exchange of dinars and dirhams took place from 09.00 to 11.00 WIB. One dirham he said can be exchanged for coconut oil, sugar, and eggs. Hanafi criticized Zaim Saidi's arrest.

"Having a good time. Especially the poor people here, really slum, most of them are really poor people, like Ope, a scavenger, he always gets it. It's like saying he can eat eggs once a month. It's nice if the residents here, because they get it for free, "added Hanafi.

Ope, a scavenger called Hanafi also spoke. For Ope, the poor are eagerly awaiting the distribution, especially those in the slums and widows. The presence of Muamalah Market, said Ope, is enough to ease the burden on many poor people.

"Indeed, I was divided because of my work as a scavenger. Good man (Zaim Saidi). That's all for me. Just like that. The dinar-dirham is divided by one, two weeks, sometimes that's all for me. Exchange for goods. The person is good, sir, to divide it to those who cannot afford it, I say what it is, ”said Ope.

Criminal is not a criminal

Outside the legal context currently operating in the police, the views of Nurdiansyah and other local residents may be based. In terminology, the word "criminal" comes from the Dutch language: straf. The term criminal is defined as suffering that is intentionally inflicted or given by the legal authorities to one or several people as a result of the offense committed.

That's from the subject side. Quoted from a copy of the Criminal Code (KUHP), it is explained that in terms of behavior, criminal acts are divided into two: crime and violation. Crime is formulated in the second book of the Criminal Code. Meanwhile, criminal offenses are formulated in the third book of the Criminal Code.

The word "criminal" itself refers to criminal behavior in the context of crime. If you look at the two articles suspected of Zaim Saidi, he, who is now a suspect, is charged with a criminal offense.

Even so, all of these points of view are based on our findings in the field and developments in the ongoing legal process. Regarding how local residents saw Zaim Saidi and the activities at Muamalah Market as well as statements from police investigators.

What needs to be remembered is that Zaim Saidi's status is still a suspect. There has been no court order regarding Zaim Saidi's legal status and this case.


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