Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Friday, November 20, 2020

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani and Qadiriyya in Indonesia - Martin van Bruinessen

Martin van Bruinessen, "Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani and the Qadiriyya in Indonesia", Journal of the History of Sufism, vol. 1-2 (2000), 361-39

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The Qadiriyya is presently represented in Indonesia in the form of the composite order Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya, which appears to be specifically Indonesian and has hundreds of thousands of devotees. The Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya was founded by — or, in any case, introduced into Southeast Asia — by a `âlim and Sufi from West Borneo who lived and taught in Mecca in the early 19th century, Ahmad Khatib Sambas. There were earlier incursions of the Qadiriyya into Indonesia; its presence can be documented with certainty from the 17th century on, although it does not appear to have gained a mass following before the 19th century. One can also attest the presence of a cult of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir, in the form of regular readings of the saint's manâqib and the invocation of his assistance in danger, in healing wounds or in acquiring invulnerability. This cult is often associated with the Sufi order but has also existed apart from it, and it may in fact predate the spread of the Qadiriyya as an organised order in Indonesia. The arrival and propagation of Islam in Southeast Asia The islamisation of Indonesia began relatively late. Towards the end of the 13th century a Muslim dynasty ruled the harbour state of Sumadra Pasai on the northern tip of Sumatra, and in the course of the 14th and 15th centuries a few other centres of Islam emerged in Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, most importantly the entrepot harbour state of Malacca (founded ca. 1400). Following the Portuguese conquest of Malacca in 1511, Muslim shipping and trade shifted to Acheh in north Sumatra, which in the early 16th century became the major Muslim kingdom of the Archipelago.The rise of Muslim harbour states on Java's north coast (while much of the interior still clung to Hinduism, Buddhism and syncretistic popular religion) dates from the same period: Demak in east Java was established by foreign Muslims in the late 15th century and rose to prominence in the early 16th, Banten and Cirebon in the west became important in the second quarter of the 16th century. The inland Muslim kingdom of Mataram in central Java emerged in the second half of the 16th century. Further east in the Archipelago, Ternate in the Moluccan spice islands was already Muslim in the early 16th century, and the islamisation of South Celebes (Sulawesi), presently very staunchly Muslim, began only in the early 17th century, when one of the local rulers, the king of Gowa, converted to Islam. It has been suggested that the gradual spread of Islam in this part of the world was the work of Sufi missionaries, but there is little hard evidence to support that thesis. It is true that the first Muslim authors whom we know by name were Sufis, but these authors flourished centuries after the process of islamisation had begun. About the place of Sufism in Indonesia prior to the late 16th century one can only speculate.[1]


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