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Shattariyah Silsilah in Aceh, Java and the Lanao Area of Mindanao: A New Book

Title: Shattariyah Silsilah in Aceh, Java and the Lanao Area of Mindanao
Author: Oman Fathurahman
Publisher: ILCAA-TUFS, Tokyo
Year of Publication: March 2016

This book provides primary sources of the Shaṭṭārīyah silsilah in Southeast Asia as developed in Aceh, Java, and Mindanao. It examines the networks of the Order between the 17th and 19th centuries, arguably the most important formative periods of the Islamic history in these regions.

The majority studies on the history of the Shaṭṭārīyah in Southeast Asia highlighted the Acehnese scholar ‘Abd al-Ra’ūf b. ‘Alī al-Jāwī al-Fanṣūrī (1615-1693) as the main khalīfah who expanded the order in this region while paying little attention to other silsilahs, as mentioned in certain Indonesian manuscripts. Therefore, this study examines the complexity of the Shaṭṭārīyah silsilah in this region, which was spread not only through ‘Abd al-Ra’ūf’s line but also al-Kūrānī, Ḥasan al-‘Ajamī, and Ṣāliḥ Khaṭīb.

The primary sources referred to in this study include several Islamic manuscripts (written in Arabic, Malay, Javanese, and Sundanese) that originated from Aceh, Java, and the Lanao area of Mindanao, although some of these are currently preserved in collections elsewhere. The digitized manuscripts, which are the most important sources, were available due to previous collaborative efforts to preserve Islamic manuscripts by several national and international institutions.

In addition, this study demonstrates how the availability of digitized manuscripts, alongside the spectacular emergence of digital technology, provides a considerable advantage for researchers who study manuscripts. This is important to stress because the digitization of manuscripts is merely the first step toward their preservation. The subsequent, more important steps include studying, publishing, sharing, disseminating, and distributing their knowledge and wisdom to a wider audience.

In the context of Southeast Asia in particular, manuscript studies can be incorporated within local Islamic studies, since the emergence of certain manuscripts cannot be easily separated from the early development of Islam in the region.

In this philological study, the author scrutinizes thirteen digitized Islamic manuscripts to show the complexity of Shaṭṭārīyah Order and its great influence over Javanese Muslim elites, including three female Sufis of Javanese aristocratic background, namely Ratu Raja Fatimah and Nyimas Ayu Alimah of Cirebon Palace; and, last but not least Kanjeng Ratu Kadipaten, the influential wife of Pangeran Mangkubumi of Yogyakarta Palace, who played a prominent role in shaping the spirituality of a Javanese mystic and leader of the ‘holy war’ against European colonialism, Prince Dipanagara.

Contrary to previous studies, this book emphasizes the role of local networks of “commoners” in the Shaṭṭārīyah in spreading it into a wider context, some of whom had to live in exile during the Dutch colonialism, such as Kyai Hasan Maolani, the most influential local ulama from Lengkong, Kuningan, West Java, who was banished to Manado, North Sulawesi. Print This Page

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