Islamic Knowledge, Authority and Political Power: The ‘Ulama in Colonial Indonesia


ter verkrijging van de graad van Doctor aan de Universiteit Leiden, op gezag van Rector Magnificus prof. mr. P.F. van der Heijden, volgens besluit van het College voor Promoties te verdedigen op dinsdag 30 Oktober 2007 klokke 15.00 uur


Jajat Burhanudin geboren te Bogor in 1967

Promotiecommissie: Promotor:

Prof. dr. C. van Dijk


Dr. N.J.G. Kaptein

Referent :

Prof. dr. L.P.H.M. Buskens

Overige Leden:

Prof. dr. W.A.L. Stokhof Prof. dr. P.J.M. Nas


Acknowledgments Many people and institutions greatly contributed to the completion of this thesis. I wish I could mention them all. In the first place, I am especially indebted to the following persons who helped me enrich my knowledge on the subject presented in this thesis. In Leiden, I mention several names: Michael Laffan, Martin van Bruinessen, Khalid Mas’ud, Karel Steenbrink, Johan Meuleman, Saleh Japar, Dick van der Meij, Tom van den Berg, and Jan van der Putten. In Indonesia, I thank Azyumardi Azra and Fuad Jabali (UIN Jakarta), Taufik Abdullah and Muhammad Hisyam (LIPI), Bambang Purwanto and Rizal Panggabean (UGM) in Yogyakarta. Special thanks also goes to the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, especially in the framework of the research project I was affiliated with, “The Dissemination of Religious Authority in Twentieth Century Indonesia”. At IIAS I sincerely thank Prof. Dr W.L. Stokhof as the director and Josine Stremmelaar as the executive manager without whose kindness this thesis would not have materialized. IIAS provided me with financial support and other facilities for the research, as well as an international academic atmosphere that supported me in creating an extended scholarly network. Sincere appreciation is also directed to the research centre of the institute where I have been working as a researcher, Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (PPIM) Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Jakarta. Here, I thank all my PPIM colleagues, especially Jamhari, Oman Fathurrahman, Ismatu Ropi, Jajang Jahroni and Dien Wahid. They helped me to complete the research in Indonesia for this thesis. My special thanks are also due to UIN Jakarta, in particular, the Faculty of Adab and Humanities who freed me from academic duties during the four-year research period (2001-2005) in Leiden and Indonesia. Back to Holland, I also thank the Indonesian fellows in Leiden, who made my life in this small city enjoyable and colourful: Suryadi and Lies, Sitti Wahyuni, Pak Munitardjo, Arief Subhan, Dahlan, Zulkifli, Noorhaidi, Noor Ichwan, Awar Syarifuddin, Euis Nurlaelawati, Muslih, Mufti, Ida Khow, Yunianti Chuzaifah, and many others It is not possible to mention all of them here. Still in Leiden, I also thank the staff of the KITLV Library iii

who provided me with extensive collections on Indonesian history and society. Finally, I wish to thank my beloved wife, Inel Patra Martinelis, who took care of so many difficulties in Jakarta in my absence, and to my Nataya and Rangga. To them I dedicate this thesis.

Leiden-Ciputat, 2007


Notes on Transliteration

In this study, all Indonesian terms are written according to their modern spellings as they are used in Indonesia today. Unless in direct quotations, the Dutch-influenced spellings are changed into their modern forms. In stead of using kemadjoean (progress), I have given its modern spelling, kemajuan. The older spelling is used for Indonesian names from especially the older generation, following the way he or she wrote their names. For instance, I wrote Hasjim Asj’ari, not Hasyim Asy’ari. Considering the strong Arabic influence on Indonesian terms and names, I have opted to employ their Indonesian spellings. Their Arabic spellings are only given once when they begin to be discussed. The terms shari‘ah, kitab and fatwa are employed in this thesis, in stead of sharī‘a, kitāb, and fatwā. The same is also true with individual name like Hajim Asj’ari. Its Arabic spelling, ashīm Ash‘āri, is written one time in a specific discussion about him. For Arabic terms and names which are not part of the Indonesian language, I use the international standard of Arabic transliteration. Some special words should be given for some special terms used in this study. The term ‘ulama is employed here, in stead of ‘ulamā’ as it is commonly used. Likewise, with the exception of the term ‘ulama (singular ‘ālim), the plural forms of Arabic-influenced terms are indicated by adding an s to the word in the singular, as in kitabs or fatwas rather than kutub or fatawa.


List of abbreviations AA


Ambtelijke adviezen van C. Snouck Hurgronje 1889—1936, Gobée E. and Adriaanse, C. (eds). The Hague: Nijhoff, 3 vols, 1957-1965. Arabic Algemeen Rijks Archief, The Hague Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde Dutch De Indische Gids Indonesia and Netherlands Institute for Cooperation in Islamic Studies Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore Journal of Asian Studies Javanese Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Journal of the Singapore Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Journal of South East Asian Studies Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Leiden Koloniaal Tijdschrift Malay Mailrapport Oostersch Letteren en Gescriften, Universiteits-Bibliotek, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsche Indië Universitas Islam Negeri Jakarta Verspreide geschriften van C. Snouck Hurgronje. Wensinck, A.J. (ed). Leiden: Brill, 6 vols, 1923—24.


Contents Acknowledgments, iii Note on Transliteration, v List of abbreviations, vii 1

Introduction, 1 The Rationale, 1 The Objective, 4 Theoretical Argument, 6 The Contents, 7


Islamizing the ‘Lands below the Winds’: The ‘Ulama and Kerajaan Politics, 11 The Formation of Kingdoms, 12 Contextualizing Muslims’ Political Language, 16 Aāb al-Jāwiyyīn in Mecca: Connecting Islam below the Winds to the Heartland, 20 Kadi and Shaikhul Islam, 25 Penghulu, 28 Islamizing Kerajaan Politics: The Texts, 30 Islamizing Kerajaan Politics: The Discourses, 32 The ‘Ulama and the Rulers, 37


Creating the Domain: The ‘Ulama in the Changing ‘Lands below the Winds’, 41 The Changing Kingdoms, 41 The Emerging New Landscape, 46 The Special Case of Java, 51 Creating the Domain: the Javanese ‘Ulama and Pesantren, 55 Surau: the Minangkabau Experience, 57 Dayah in Aceh, 60


Intensifying Network with the Middle East and the Enhancement of Shari‘ah-Oriented Islamic Discourse, 63 Redefining Mecca and Madina, 63 The Arabs in the Archipelago, 67 vii

Colonial Response to the ajj, 69 The Formation of Jawi Community in Mecca, 71 The Jawi ‘Ulama in Mecca: Nawawi Banten and Mahfudz Termas, 75 Expanding Network: Some Notes on the Presence of Jawa in Cairo, 78 Kitab Printing and Publishing, 81 Transmitting Islam and the Formation of Fiqh-Oriented Discourse, 84 Vernacularizing Islam: The ‘Ulama and their Shar, 88 5

Colonizing Islam and the Formation of New Religious Elite and Knowledge, 93 Anti-Colonial Activism: Some Examples, 94 The Radical Stream of Neo-Sufism, 98 A Mission to Mecca, 100 Colonizing Islam, 105 K.F. Holle, 106 Snouck Hurgronje, 108 In the Centre of Colonial Knowledge: The Penghulu, 113 Said Oesman and the Arabs, 118


Becoming a Consolidated “Other”: The Sociological History of Pesantren Learning, 121 Connecting Mecca to the Pesantren Milieu: Khalil Bangkalan and Saleh Darat, 123 Integrating Pesantren to the Javanese Milieu, 127 Verbalizing Kitabs and the Establishment of an Idealized Teacher-Student Relationship, 130 Asnawi Kudus and the Orality of Learning, 134 The ‘Ulama and Formation of Santri, 137 Islamic Meaning for Ritual Practices, 141


The Rise of New Arena: The Changing Indies and Network, 145 The Changing Indies, 145 The Idea of Progress, 148 The Rising Islam in Public Discourse, 151 The Changing Jawa of Mecca and the Rise of Akhmad Khatib, 155 Opening the Gate of Reformism, 157 Cairo: Modern City and Islamic Reformism, 161 Al-Afgānī, ‘Abduh and Riā, 164 From Mecca to Cairo: viii

The Search for New Religious Authority, 169 The Jawa in Cairo, 173 8

The Development of Islamic Reformism and the Creation of Public Sphere, 179 Connecting Cairo Reformism to Southeast Asia: Thaher Djalaluddin and al-Imam, 179 Introducing Print Culture and Modernity, 182 Al-Munir and Kaum Muda of West Sumatra, 184 The Rise of Modern Muslim Organizations, 187 Islamic Reformism in Motion: the Discourse, 189 The Schools, 193 The Printing Presses (Journals and Newspapers), 196 Enhancing Reformism: The Coming of Islamic Books, 199 Islamic Reformism and the Creation of a Public Sphere, 203 New Islamic Voice and Leadership: One Example, 205


Negotiating Modernity: The ‘Ulama in the Changing Indies, 209 Connecting ‘Ulama to Modernity: Hasjim Asj’ari and Wahab Chasbullah, 209 Nahdlatul Ulama (NU): Modern Institution of Traditionalist Muslims, 214 The Kaum Tua of West Sumatra and West Java, 219 The Formation of Traditional Islam: Ahlussunah Waljama’ah, 223 The Ritual Practices: A Few Examples, 228 Kitab Kuning, 231 Maintaining Kitab Writing: Ihsan Jampes and Ahmad Sanusi, 235 Modernizing Pesantren: The Traditionalist Reform of Islamic Learning, 238

10 The ‘Ulama in Contemporary Indonesia: Further Reflections, 241 The New Challenges, 244 Re-establishing the Authority: Some Experiences from NU, 249 Other ‘Ulama, 254 Further Reflections, 257 Samenvatting, 261 Notes, 267 Glossary, 287 Bibliography, 295


Islamic Knowledge, Authority and Political Power: The ...

Many people and institutions greatly contributed to the completion of this thesis. I wish I could mention them all. In the first place, I am especially indebted to the ...

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