Pantheism survives on Java in confused form, although it sometimes needs police protection.
Sheikh Siti Jenar (or Lemah Abang) was a 16th century Sufi religious leader, sometimes called the 10th Wali, or the 10th Holy Man, who preached a pantheistic, other-worldly understanding of Islam, which among other things, taught that the five pillars of Islam did not need to be abided by in this life, but only in the next, because this life is immaterial. He is once supposed to have said: sumarah
Know you that Siti Jenar does not exist, now it is Allah who appears; report this. There is no Friday, there is no mosque, only Allah exists. There is nothing other which now has existence.
Some people interpreted this to mean that Siti Jenar was claiming to be God, and in general his mystical thought offended the more orthodox minds of the actual (nine) Wali Songo, the men who spread Islam in Java, and they conspired to have him tried for heresy and then put to death. wiki His executioners then substituted a dog for his corpse, so as to humiliate him after death. monash Despite his failure his teachings continued to be quite influential among the Javanese, even to this Arabising day, and former president Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) proudly goes about acknowledging himself to be a direct descendant of Siti Jenar. commongroundnews
The tomb of Siti Jenar, in Demak.
Another, lesser known, admirer of Siti Jenar, one Mathal (32) of Rajekwesi Kendit village in Situbondo, East Java, is an avid student of Siti Jenar's teachings and something in these works caused him to go about the village recommending that it was only necessary to pray once a week, rather than five times daily, that marriage could be undertaken purely on the basis of mutual liking, without any ceremony, and that mosque loudspeakers should have their volume sharply turned down, or be switched off altogether.
Another man in the village, Taufik Luthfi, was said to be concerned that villagers would become angry with Mathal, and even kill him, and so he reported Mathal to the police, who then arrested him.
Policeman Triyono however says that Mathal will not be charged with any offence, like blasphemy, and that he is being kept in custody only for his own safety.
Once things have settled down we'll let him go.
Mathal himself, who is only a graduate of primary school, says:
I'm really sorry.