Tarekat Naqsyabandiyah

Jul 7th, 2009, in News, Opinion, by

A branch of the Sufi sect Tarekat Naqsyabandiyah is the latest target of the MUI.

Government Goons in God's Service?

The Jakarta Post 30/6 reported the latest goat-beard depredations against civilised norms relating to freedom of religion.

Whilst we expect no less of the Indonesian Ulema Council/Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), it was - or should have been - shocking to note that these mediaeval bigots still, in the midst of a presidential election in which all three candidates pay voluble lip-service to pluralistic values, are evidently able to recruit state muscle in their onslaught against dissidents.

The victims this time are once again Muslims who refuse to knuckle under to MUI orthodoxy, a small band of Sufis called the Tarekat/Tariqat Naqsabandiyah, down in a place named Air Batu, Jambi, which most of us have probably never heard of until now.

The local MUI chairman, Satar Saleh, has announced that the group's activities had to be promptly ended,' and its leader, Ali Wardana, 'banned from entering Air Batu'.

Well, Satar isn't the mayor or the police chief, so it's hardly up to him.

If he wants to exclude these people from his mosque, that's fine, but chillingly he then makes it clear his edict is going to be enforced by those paid - by taxes levied on all citizens, of all faiths, to preserve constitutional liberties - : the security forces.

Any violation...would see law enforcement officers taking stern action...the 20 tenets of Naqsabandiyah are clearly deviant and must be quashed.

(Note -the 20 tenets are not known, but apparently include a disbelief in angels, a belief that God had a Son, and a suggestion that 5-times a day prayers are not always needed. No cannibalism, no violence, not even shop-lifting- nothing that might rationally warrant police attention!)

So his mastery of religious doctrine is so weak that he cannot bring sufficient powers of persuasion to bear against this little outfit and their 20 tenets to get them to repent? Is his faith so weak that he fears they'll lead the rest of his district's Muslims along their 'deviant' path?

Looks like it, but his short-comings will be more than outweighed by the State's eager assistance. Local Religious Affairs Agency head Umar Yusuf M confirmed that a 'coordination meeting' had been held, not just with the sparring religious activists, but with the regency administration, the police and the prosecutor's office! Wow...I can't beat you but my big brothers can!

He claimed that it had thereby been agreed that the dissidents would 'halt' their activities:

because they went against Islam...In principle, they are not allowed to practice their tenets. Otherwise they'll have to deal with the full extent of the law.

Plainly a voluntary cessation of their right to enjoy freedom of conscience, then.

Would the next compere of the next bogus debate among the aspirants to the Presidency please ask the candidates what they intend to do about these benighted wretches in Air Batu?

Will they promise to call off the government goons who are all fired up to act as hit-men for an organisation that brings Indonesia into ever deeper disrepute almost every time it opens its goat-bearded gob?


19 Comments on “Tarekat Naqsyabandiyah”

  1. avatar David says:

    In my brief search for a photo to go with this I learned that Tariqat Naqsabandiyah are a worldwide group of Sufis, I suspect their branches on Java have no problems with the authorities, but in the backwoods of Sumatra it seems different….or the local branch of them there may be particularly weird….they look weird…

  2. avatar Sunda Wijaya says:

    Not only Naqshbandis are worlwide group of Sufis, they are also one of the fastest spreading tarekats in the world, also attracting new moslems in the West. I found out they are also attracting followers not only from general umma but also from other Sufi orders like e.g. Shattariya and Tijaniya. One of their leader Shaykh Hisham Muhammad Kabbani visited Indonesia on several occasions attracting growing number of people.

    My guess MUI guys are getting nervous loosing adherents on another “deviant sect” and consequently income. Wonder if their buddies from FPI are coming to their rescue “elevating again the decibell levels” and using “the creative massage treatment” on Naqshbandiya followers… Deja vue… 🙁

  3. avatar Odinius says:

    What is the purpose of MUI?

  4. avatar Ross says:

    Yeah, Patung, they do look wierd, but they sound pretty harmless.
    My objection to goat-beards is not their chin-adornments but the stuff that emerges as those beards waggle, spitting out venom against anyone and everyone who happens to worship in ways they – in all their erudite superiority – think remiss. I deploy the epithet deliberately, as it evokes bleating beasts who don’t have very impressive brains.
    Compare the MUI’s nasty bigotry to the Christians that have spoken up against state goons down south who are putting a tiny group of Christian dissidents, the Sion Church of Allah, on trial for blasphemy.

    Some folks say we ought to cut the goaties some slack because they ain’t Westerners and so don’t have our ‘depth of experience’ in tolerance. Be patient and they’ll grow up, like us!
    To me, that’s just condescending crap.

    Indonesian Christians, and Hindus, are not prone to outbursts of lunacy like the MUI. The recent Jakarta Buddhist protest about that bar in Menteng hardly ranks with rabid MUI/FPI oppressive activity; heck, if I were a Buddhist I’d not like having a watering-hole named after my spiritual lord, and Christians would surely object to a Jesus Pub, understandably.

    The purpose of the MUI, Odinius, seems to me to be to keep their congregation under the heel of a bunch of largely ignorant and misanthropic (and very mysogynistic) clerics by hounding anyone who steps out of line. If they relied on the force of argument, like normal folk do in matters of religion (and a good theological argument can enliven any company) then fine, but instead they use street rabble and security forces and government prosecutors to suppress critics, and that’s why I feel a need to rail.

  5. avatar Odinius says:

    Hehe it was a rhetorical question. Share your dislike of the organization. I absolutely hate it when people think they are the arbiters of what is and isn’t legitimate religious observation.

  6. avatar David says:

    The Sion Church of Allah, hadn’t heard about that, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/06/06/religious-leaders-regret-police-arrests-defiant039-sect-figures.html (JP really needs to pay more for copy editors…), I’ve kept meaning to do a semi-journalistic article about an ‘independent’ Catholic church congregation in Surabaya, well they call themselves Catholic but are not recognised by the actual Catholic church, what I’ve heard is that the official church stance towards them is….ignore them, which seems sensible.

    But the MUI, if they’re going to start going after Sufi groups, then that is really something else, big escalation, but may just be a local aberration up there.

  7. avatar Sunda Wijaya says:

    Patung said:
    But the MUI, if they’re going to start going after Sufi groups, then that is really something else, big escalation, but may just be a local aberration up there.

    What happened with Pancasila? First they started with Ahmadiya and now continued with Naqshbandis. It’s clearly the second time they seriously breach the Constitution and incite others (FPI) to violently infringe religious freedoms. Seems reason enough to outlaw MUI.

  8. avatar Ross says:

    Speaking of ghastly goats, did anybody happen to watch the report tonight Monday, on Metro, I think, about Sheikh Puji, the millionaire cleric and child-fancier? It was just finishing as I got home from work about 9pm, but I was amazed to hear that the dreadful chap had sought election as a candidate for PAN to his local DPRD, but had ‘not been chosen.’

    I couldn’t clarify if he’d been unsuccessful in seeking nomination or whether PAN had chosen him and the voters wisely hadn’t.

    This would say a great deal about PAN – either a big gold star if they rejected him as a candidate or a big black mark if they accepted him.
    Anybody help?

  9. avatar David says:

    but I was amazed to hear that the dreadful chap had sought election as a candidate for PAN to his local DPRD, but had ‘not been chosen.’

    I couldn’t clarify if he’d been unsuccessful in seeking nomination or whether PAN had chosen him and the voters wisely hadn’t.

    This would say a great deal about PAN – either a big gold star if they rejected him as a candidate or a big black mark if they accepted him.
    Anybody help?

    In the post on him – http://www.indonesiamatters.com/2768/pujiono-cahyo/

    In 2005 he was a candidate for the Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN) in a regency election but withdrew from the race at the last moment, and has long been involved in local politics.

    So before he married the 11 year old.

  10. avatar Ross says:

    Thanks for that, Patung. Gotta keep our eyes peeled!
    BTW, there was a letter from a German in today’s JP, asserting that in a Balikpapan hotel he was told he couldn’t drink beer in public (he protested and was finally allowed to sup his Bintang in a quiet corner of the dining room) which suggests the goaties are spreading their evil influence. A Canadian pal of mine a couple of years ago had great difficulty in Kudus getting anyone outside hotels to sell him a can of beer.

    And the scandal of the pig abbatoir in Bogor being shut down by a goatie fellow-travelling mayor on clearly sectarian grounds is not getting nearly enough publicity.

    An article in the JP last week pointed out that hiszonna, like the bigot in charge of Tangerang, was not PKI or FPI but elected with support from supoosedly secular parties.

    Maybe not apocalypse now but it’s on the horizon.

  11. avatar David says:

    They both should go to Batu in East Java, I’m reliably informed you can stop at any warung or stall on the main road up the mountain and avail yourself of some liquor. Here is that letter

    Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a night in a Balikpapan four-star hotel. When I ordered my dinner together with a glass of beer the waitress told me I could drink beer in my room, but not in the dining room.

    Previously, this happened to me only in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. When I vehemently insisted that Balikpapan is in Indonesia and not in Pakistan, the waitress asked me to take my seat in the empty rear corner of the dining room.

    Finally, there I got my Bintang and was no longer disturbed by the heavy smoking diners around. Does Indonesia really want western tourists visit the country?

    Pig abbatoiring will look into…

  12. avatar Odinius says:

    Never had a problem getting beer in Indonesia unless during ramadan, except once in Wanosobo, when some British friends of mine drank the poor hotel out of the 12 bottles it had in stock. The waiter, though, rushed out and bought some more for everyone.

    Not saying this didn’t happen to the German fellow, but I also don’t see this as a trend. Would want to have been there before taking an irate letter at its word. After all, most Indonesians I know look at Western drinking habits as cultural and aren’t really too bothered by it.

  13. avatar Lairedion says:

    Patung

    Pig abbatoiring will look into…

    New mayor Diani Budiarto wants to make Bogor a halal city. The new slaughterhouse is not to be used for pigs.

  14. avatar sputjam says:

    Imagine if Jesus, or Mohamed were born in any present day muslim country. They will suffer similar fate to these religious freaks as they did several centuries ago.
    Have we progress on the faith front? definitely not, except maybe, in the west, where true freedom of thought is enshrined.

  15. avatar Suryo Perkoso says:

    Patung Says:

    July 15th, 2009 at 8:57 am
    They both should go to Batu in East Java, I’m reliably informed you can stop at any warung or stall on the main road up the mountain and avail yourself of some liquor. Here is that letter

    Too right Patung my old statue. No trouble getting anything you need dahn east java way, including my cider.

  16. avatar Adrian Vickers says:

    This is a sect with a long history in Indonesia. They were important in the Sasak revolt against Balinese rule in the 19th Century, and also as the basis for anti-colonial resistance against the Dutch in Sumatra. Their history in South Asia goes back much further, and they have, ironically, been known for being more orthodox than other Sufis. These MUI guys sure are narrow, to say the least.

  17. avatar Abdurrauf says:

    Salam,
    The content of the article is not related to the picture, pls be careful since there are many Naqshbandi Groups in the whole world. Shaykh Hisham Kabbani QS (in the picture) is not related to any activities that has done in Air Batu Jambi. Pls remove those picture from this post.
    Thank you.
    Abdurrauf

  18. avatar Khairul Nizam Amil Hamzah says:

    Salam,

    I’d been going with all those kind of “tarekat” and had learned the essence of the practice.
    Most of the “tarekat” would need you to do the “bai’ah” some sort of a promise guided by the “mursyid” or normally called as guru. I believe in Islam we should only do the PROMISE to the GOD and only GOD will guide us to the him. Although in “tarekat” they keep on telling that only the guru will take you to the GOD, the question is, if the Guru had been guided the student to GOD, who’s been guiding the guru to the creator?, and you should continuously ask this question. Make it simple, who had been guiding ADAM to the creator at the first place?, it must be the GOD. There is no such thing as guru/mursyid who guided him to GOD. The “mursyid” just had been a culture to those who participated in “tarekat”. The mursyid/Guru is just liked us. A HUMAN. what makes us different from the “Adam, Muhammad, Wali / Mursyid/Guru” we are the same.-HUMAN, and its a fair gift from the creator to us. We are here to going back HOME. Just have believe in yourself and keep on following the right track which is GOD & not the “tarekat”, there is no “mursyid in this world, because the choice of chosen is only can be made by GOD and not a HUMAN.

    Thanks.

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