The Islamic traditions of Cirebon : ibadat and adat among Javanese muslims

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Abstract This book provides the first overview of the history and development of Islam in Afghanistan. Keywords islam muslims afghanistan. Keywords islam indonesia rituals muslims cirebon. Abstract Medieval towns, from Portugal to Hungary to Egypt, were places of contact between members of different religious communities, Muslim, Christian and Jewish, who rubbed shoulders in the ports and on the streets, who haggled in the markets, signed contracts, and shared wells, courtyards, dining tables, bath houses, and sometimes beds.

Keywords history muslims christians religious communities. For example, the sound of a bedug is used to signal the end of the daylong fast during Ramadan and sometimes it is used to signal time for Suhoor during Ramadan [5]. When used to signal time for Friday prayer , the bedug is beaten in a different way than for ordinary prayers [2]. The bedug is also used to celebrate takbiran , the night before Eid ul-Fitr when people chant takbir and hit the bedug in Indonesian Lebaran tradition.

Bedug The bedug Indonesian : beduk ; Javanese : bedhug is one of the drums used in the gamelan. Rasmussen, Anne K. University of California Press. Muhaimin, Abdul Ghoffir The Islamic traditions of Cirebon: ibadat and adat among Javanese Muslims.

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Thus, doing any good thing, a religious or worldly matter, becomes ibadat, by merely preceding it with Basmalah. Usually an activity referred to by amal is technical and focussed on social action such as helping others and giving charity. In ibadat, on the other hand, the activity is usually of individual concern yet not necessarily related to the five pillars of Islam, such as reciting the Qur'an, du'a invocation and exalting God. As the difference is elusive, it cannot be precisely explained. People, for example, often say that du'a is undeniably ibadat, feeding an orphan is amal but, other ordinary technical and mundane acts such as going to work, going to school and participation in social gatherings, are also said to be ibadat because doing these things, from the broader perspective, is essentially a religious duty; hence, not doing these things is a neglect and thus, can be sinful.

Materiality, Flow, and Meaning along Java's Islamic Northwest Coast

Moreover, amal and ibadat are frequently combined to become a compound word, amal-ibadat, used either with an emphasis on or in reference to a more general notion covering both. The notion of amal and ibadat attached to one's action diminishes, even disappears, when, at other times, a person's faith lessens, and the person concerned is no longer aware of his faith.

Acknowledging man's faith is in constant alternation from high to low , He is always willing to save man from loss. It is narrow in the strictest sense because it is the prerequisite, the minimum requirement for being a true Muslim.

The ulama tasawuf tasawuf scholars, mostly enunciators of Sufism who attempted to get close to God, according to the Cirebonese belief, have set forth various meritorious activities that are supposed to enable a person to establish a better relationship with God hablum minallah or habl min Allah as well as with his fellow human beings hablumminan nas or habl min al-nas , dead or alive. Reciting the Qur'an outside the prescribed prayer, for example, is not set down in fiqh but it is encouraged by tasawuf; so too is helping other people.

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Pak Sholeh said that according to the principle of tasawuf, reciting the Qur'an, even without knowing the meaning, reflects sympathy and relish for God's words; uttering kalimah tayibah good phrases , such as exalting and praising God, shows a sort of courtesy to Him; so also is reciting salawat in reverence for His messengers.

All these things are considered as attempts to establish a better relationship with God. God will never be jealous if a person has good relations with his fellows, dead or alive; on the contrary, He will be pleased because establishing good relations with others is part of His order, and reward is provided for those who do so. Moreover, doing those things can even be used as a means to seek His pleasure and thence it is part of ibadat in the broader sense. In Cirebon, these types of activities are said to belong to the recommended activities and thereby are ibadat in the broader sense.


Following Pak Sholeh, the Cirebonese seem to conceive human actions as having a complex configuration. Diagram 4. In the first place, actions may either be ibadat or non-ibadat, depending on whether or not they are based on faith. Further, faith-based actions ibadat fall into two categories: the formal submission islam and showing deference ihsan. The formal submission islam transforms into syari'ah and is set down in fiqh. Showing deference, on the other hand, transforms into tasawuf which encourages good relations either with God in the form of additional ibadat, or with other creatures, human or non human, dead or alive, in the form of, among other things, ethics and amal saleh.

As islam and ihsan are inseparable, both explicate the faith iman , so too do formal obedience and showing deference, the fiqh and the tasawuf. Each is dialectically related to the other in a mode of complementary validation. In fact, fiqh is a prerequisite and thus it comes first before tasawuf, but enactment of fiqh without tasawuf is incomplete.

Similarly, enactment of tasawuf without fiqh is invalid. Fiqh and tasawuf are thus like two sides of the same coin.

And one who observes only tasawuf without observing those things set down in fiqh, commits heresies. The fiqh Islamic Jurisprudence which explicates the Divine Law syari'ah identifies what is obligatory wajib , recommended sunna , licit mubah , illicit makruh , and forbidden haram. Bound up in these legal constrains, man usually tends to fulfil only the obligatory, unwilling to do the recommended, and desires the illicit or the forbidden.

Man, however, is probably safe enough if he can fulfil the obligatory and do only the licit, but the temptation for doing the illicit and forbidden is so great that, without special effort, man is quite unlikely to be able to avoid the illicit and the forbidden completely because those things are present everywhere, in and outside the body.

Tasawuf provides ways to counterbalance this tendency with encouragement and training to do the obligatory work properly and earnestly, and separate man from what is illicit and forbidden. The obligatory duty required in fiqh, Ki Dulah said, accounts for only a small portion of man's life.

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Strict fulfilment of what is required is like working part time, while tasawuf makes it full time. The prescribed prayer salat is the most pressing duty one may think of because it must be observed five times a day. But, the time to do it takes only less than five minutes. The total time required for it is thus, less than 25 minutes a day, or about 1.

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  5. Bibliography in: The Encoded Cirebon Mask;