TAREKAT TIJANIYAH

Currently in Buntet, another tarekat, the Tijaniyah, is much more dominant than Syattariyah. Tijaniyah seems to gain more and more attraction among the Javanese and thus, with special reference to Buntet, it deserves a special attention. In addition to this, as we shall see, Buntet has been one of the important door-ways for the  further spread of this tarekat to other parts of Java, especially West Java. It is this special role that in the subsequent discussion I wish to stress.[11]

The Origin of Tijaniyah

Tarekat Tijaniyah was founded by Abu-‘Abbas Ahmad who claimed to be the 21st descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. He was born in 1150/1737 at ‘Ain Madi in south Algeria. His father, Muhammad bin Mukhtar, is said to have been a pious man of learning who lived and taught at ‘Ain Madi, whereas his mother, “Sayidah ‘Aisyah binti Abdullah bin Al-Sanusy-Attijany” was of the original Tijani tribe of ‘Ain Madi and thus the name At-Tijani for Abu-‘Abbas Ahmad is derived from his mother.[12]

At seven years of age, Ahmad at-Tijani is said to have read the whole Qur'an well, especially in Nafi’ style (qiraat Nafi’). He then studied various religious subjects. He learnt Mukhtashar al-Syeikh Khalil, a summary of Malikite jurisprudence, read Risalah Jama'ah as-Shufiyah bi bilad al-Islam by Abu'l Qasim al-Qusayri, studied Muqaddimas of Ibn Rusyd and al-Akhdari and became a learned figure. He taught a number of students and gave fatwa (legal judgement) when he was 20. At 21 years of age he felt a call to the Sufi life and started travelling. He came to Fez in 1171/1757–8 in search of Sufi syeikh, studied the Prophetic traditions and joined three Sufi brotherhoods, the Qadiriyah, the Nashiriyah and the thariqah of  Ahmad al-Habib bin Muhammad.[13] Among the Sufi syeikh whom Ahmad at-Tijani met was Muhammad bin Hasan Al-Wanajaly a great wali of his time who, at mount Zabib, said that At-Tijani would have a position (maqam) equal to Asy-Syadzily. Ahmad at-Tijani became a real Sufi at 31 after contemplation (riyadhah) for a period of time.[14]

Table 8.2: Ancestral Genealogy of Abu Abbas Ahmad at-Tijani The founder of Tijaniyah order

1. The Prophet Muhammad

2. Ali bin Abi Thalib

3. Hasan al-Sibthi

4. Hasan al-Mutsanna

5. Abdullah

6. Muhammad an-Nafs az-Zakiyah

7. Ahmad

8. Ali Zain al-Abidin

9. Ishaq

10. Idris

11. Abdul Jabbar

12. Abbas

13. Abdillah

14. Ali

15. Ahmad

16. Ahmad al-‘Alwani

17. Salim

18. Muhammad

19. Mukhtar

20. Muhammad

21. Abu ‘Abbas Ahmad at-Tijani

Ahmad at-Tijani went to Tunis, then to Mecca on pilgrimage in 1186/1772–3. On his way to Mecca he stopped at Azwawi, a town near Algiers and took an initiation into the Khalwatiyah order with Mahmad b ‘Abdul Rahman. He spent a year in Tunis, teaching the Kitab al-hikam of Ibn Ata’ Allah, then went to Egypt to meet Syeikh Mahmud al-Kurdi, the Khalwatiyah chief in Cairo. He reached Mecca on Syawwal 1187/1773–4, then performed his Hajj. In Mecca he tried to meet a great Indian Sufi  Ahmad bin Abdullah al-Hindy. Although he failed to meet him in person, via al-Hindy's servant, At-Tijani received a written message from him saying that At-Tijani inherited all al-Hindy's occult mystical learning, and that At-Tijani would reach an equal status with Abu'l Hasan Asy-Syadzily. Two months after that al-Hindy died.[15]

After finishing his pilgrimage At-Tijani went to Medina to visit the Prophet's tomb and met Syeikh Abdul Karim as-Samman, the Sammaniyah chief (a branch of Khalwatiyah), who foretold his potential for becoming the dominant qutb (pole). At-Tijani left Arabia in 1191/1777–8 for Africa via Egypt where Mahmud al-Kurdi authorised him to preach the Khalwatiyah order in North Africa. He did not return to ‘Ain Madi however, but went to Fez then settled in Tlemsen (Algeria) until 1196/1781–2. From Tlemsen he went to Syallala and settled in Sidi Abi Samghun, an oasis 75 miles south of Geryville. There, in that year (1196/1781–2), he marked the foundation of the Tijaniyah order when he announced to his followers that the Prophet appeared to him in daylight while he was fully conscious and in active mind (yaqdhah), not dreaming. The Prophet, he said, authorised him to start a new work of at-tarbiyah (spiritual guidance) and assigned him his order's wird (litanies), consisting of istighfar (asking God's pardon) 100 times and shalawat (exaltation of the Prophet Muhammad) 100 times.[16]

In AH 1200, At-Tijani claimed, the Prophet reappeared and completed the litanies with hailalah (uttering there is no God but Allah). Fourteen months later, on Muharram AH 1214 At-Tijani claimed to have reached a position of ‘the pole of (wali) poles' (al-qutbaniyatul-’udhma) which means that he obtained the ‘highest rank of the highest’ within the current wali hierarchy. On 18th Shafar of the same year he attained another position, ‘the hidden seal of all poles’ (al-khatm wa'l-katm) or ‘the hidden end of the highest pole.’ This implied that there would be no more wali  pole whose position is higher than himself.[17] Bearing simultaneously two positions, At-Tijani relinquished his former affiliation with the four orders with the assertion that along with teaching him the litanies for his order in person, the Prophet himself also ordered At-Tijani to give up all his former affiliations with the other orders. This was an official proclamation that At-Tijani only recognised the Prophet as his master and hence the Tijaniyah adherents claimed their order as at-Thariqah al-Muhammadiyah, a name similar to that claimed by the followers of Sanusiyah and Kittaniyah for their own tarekat.[18] At-Tijani died on 12 Syawwal 1230/22 September 1815 when he was 80 years old. He was buried in Fez.

Some Tijaniyah's Essential Doctrines

There are some essential doctrines which mark Tijaniyah as being distinct from other tarekat. I wish to mention briefly some of them before discussing the specific role of Pesantren Buntet with regard to this tarekat. Trimingham characterised Tijaniyah as belonging to the 19th century revival movement mainly because:

He (Ahmad At-Tijani, the founder of the tarekat) imposed no penances or retreats and the ritual was not complicated. He emphasised above all the need for intercessor between God and man, the intercessor of the age being himself and his successors. His followers were strictly forbidden, not merely to pay the ‘ahd of allegiance to any other shaikh, but to make invocations to any wali other than himself …[19]

It is common belief among the Sufis that their syeikh are organised in a spiritual hierarchy, hence a Sufi of high reputation of sanctity and learning, could claim to have attained a certain rank in the hierarchy. His followers had only to accept on trust what  their Syeikh's claimed.[20] In this context, At-Tijani took the liberty of claiming to occupy two of the highest positions simultaneously, one being Qutb al-Aqtab (the Pole of the Poles) the other being Khatm al-Wilayah al-Muhammadiyah (the Seal of Muhammadan Sainthood). This twofold position in relation to other wali is drawn parallel to the position of the Prophet Muhammad vis-a-vis other prophets. The Prophet Muhammad was the Khatm (seal) of the prophets in the sense that he was to complete all marvels of the other prophets, and that there would be no prophet sent to earth after him. At-Tijani on the other hand, was the Khatm of the wali in the sense that he bears a complete and perfect embodiment of wilayah before and after him, and that if ever there may be other wali after him, none would surpass or supersede at-Tijani in rank.[21]

At-Tijani is not a unique claimant of the Qutb al-Aqtab and the Khatm al-Wilayah. This position had been claimed by Muhyi ad-Din ibn al-‘Arabi for himself. He was the famous Andalusian Sufi in the 13th century whose theosophical concepts influenced much of At-Tijani especially regarding the concept of al-khatm.[22] The position was also claimed in the 14th century by an Egyptian ‘Ali bin Wafa for his father, Muhammad bin Wafa, and by the founder of Kittaniyah order, Muhammad bin al-Kabir al-Kittani of Morocco in the 19th century.[23] The Tijanis however, assert that later on, Ibn al-‘Arabi found that he himself had been mistaken and thus he wrote in his Futuhat al-Makkiyah that the Khatm al-Wilayah al-Muhammadiyah would be a  man of noble Arab origin, living in his (Ibn ‘Arabi's) own time, in Fez, and when God would try to locate this man among people, they would not believe him. Beside the fact that no one else in Fez had announced such a claim, except that “the Khatm al-Wilayah would be living in his (Ibn al-‘Arabi's) time,” all points to Ibn al-‘Arabi's formal disavowal for his own status to be taken over by the Tijani to confirm At-Tijani's position.[24]

Claiming this superior position above other wali, along with giving up his affiliation with other orders At-Tijani posited his own order to excel the others. This claim, in turn, was formed into a doctrine which requires that all Tijani followers should neither join any other orders nor seek for barakah from other wali by visiting them, dead or alive. Further, as every Tijani is required to bind his heart completely to his own Tijani Syeikh, no Tijani follower is allowed to associate membership with any other order at the same time. Thus, anyone who would like to become a Tijani should be spiritually free. If he is a member of a certain order he has to give up his membership in his former order. The prohibition for a Tijani to join another tarekat is however accompanied by the Tijaniyah rejoicing doctrines. Kitab Ar-Rimah affirms At-Tijani's assertion that (by the will of God) his faithful companions shall not enter the mahsyar with other laymen.[25] While being at the Mahsyar, Tijaniyah followers will not encounter suffering even for a second until they are settled in the highest heavens. On the Day of Judgement faithful Tijani companions will not stay at the stations amidst the mass of laymen; instead they will rest under the shadow of God's Throne. In addition, the Prophet himself had taught At-Tijani in words, the shalawat Jawharat al-Kamal, and affirmed that whoever recites this shalawat, the Prophet  and the Four Companions will be present with him during the recital.[26] All the rejoicing and other doctrines tend to impress exclusiveness, as if the Tijani followers were above the other Muslims and this, certainly, provokes disagreement, even refutations.

Another feature worth mentioning, which distinguishes Tijaniyah from other tarekat, is concerned with the notion of a spiritual genealogy chain (silsilah). In ordinary Sufi traditions, a tarekat, including the already mentioned Syattariyah, will produce a long list of names by which the present Syeikh and the founder of the tarekat are linked together spiritually in terms of master-to-master lineage, back to Al-Junaid or al-Busthami and via ‘Ali or Abu Bakr, to the Prophet Muhammad. It is this silsilah that validates that its rituals come from the Prophet and that ensures the flow of barakah. Contrary to this, At-Tijani produced no silsilah because, as At-Tijani himself claimed, and as ‘Ali al-Harazim puts it in his Jawahir al-Ma'ani (an official Tijani reference), the Prophet appeared to him when he was awake (yaqdhah) and instructed him in all the litanies and the number of times they were to be repeated.[27] Thus, if present muqaddam (Tijaniyah syeikh), have a silsilah, it will be much shorter than what is ordinarily known for a Sufi silsilah.[28]

Currently Tijaniyah has become an established order throughout the Muslim world including Indonesia, especially Java. With all its peculiarities and crucial points it has encountered opposition and rejection over time. An early serious rejection came from Muhammad al-Khidr bin Ma Ya'ba (1927). In his Musytaha al-kharif al-jani, al-Khidr devoted a full chapter to recount the absurdity of At-Tijani's claim. He also  attempted to prove that At-Tijani's claim has no grounds in the Prophetic traditions. The Tijanis, on the other hand, consider that what had happened with their master and the presumed direct communication with the Prophet while he was awake was a sign of the Prophet's favour and thus ensured the status of the tarekat as being above others.[29] In addition, Al-Khidr's attitude towards the Tijaniyah seems to have been motivated, at least partly, by a political outlook rather than purely on theological grounds. This is due to the fact that upon the death of At-Tijani and the collapse of the Turkish rule, At-Tijani's successors, for their own reasons (probably due to the opposition from other tarekat), brought Tijaniyah into subservient co-operation with French colonialism in Algeria at that time.[30]

When Tijaniyah was brought to Java at the end of 1920s and in the early 1930s, similar refutations also came from some already established orders such as Naqsabandiyah, Qadiriyah, Syattariyah, Syadziliyah and Khalwatiyah.[31] The most notable one came from Sayid Abdullah bin Shadaqah Dahlan, an Arab who settled in Java, the nephew of Sayid Ahmad bin Zayni Dahlan, a distinguished Syafi'ite Mufti in Medina. In the same way as Muhammad al-Khidr bin Ma Ya'ba did, Sayid Abdullah referred to the crucial points contained in the Tijaniyah doctrines. He recounted the fallacies of the doctrines and denounced them by saying that some ulama in Morocco, Egypt and Hejaz had accepted Tijaniyah as untrue.[32] The crisscrossing argumentations for and against Tijaniyah that prevailed at that time called for intervention from the NU, the traditionalist Muslim organisation that takes a number of tarekat under its umbrella. In its 6th Congress on August 1931 held in Cirebon, in which Kyai Adlan  Ali, a prominent figure of Pesantren Cukir, Jombang (East Java) was appointed Chairman, the Tijaniyah issue was included in the agenda. After a long and exhausting debate chaired by Kyai Hasyim Asy'ari, the Congress finally agreed that Tijaniyah is mu‘tabarah. This, nevertheless, did not end the anti-Tijaniyah campaign especially outside the NU circle. Further refutation, for example, came from Kyai Muhammad Ismail of Cracak (Cirebon), a distinguished Syeikh of the Qadiriyah wan-Naqsabandiyah order who personally was not affiliated to the NU Through his pamphlets, he raised renewed and sophisticated arguments similar to those expounded by earlier anti-Tijaniyah proponents.[33]

Quite recently, another refutation even came from within the NU circle when Kyai As‘ad of Pondok Kramat in Pasuruan (East Java) issued a 94 page manuscript.[34] The manuscript was a translation in Madurese vernacular of the Wudhuh ad-Dalail, originally written on 26 Rabi’ ats-Tsani 1930/19–20 (September 1930). Through this translation he turned the Tijaniyah issue from being a scholarly concern into a public concern. The polemic became complicated, albeit degraded, because some non-ulama became involved in the affair.[35] In a session held on December 1984 at Pesantren Nurul Qadim, Probolinggo (East Java), Kyai As‘ad demanded that the NU review the Cirebon decision regarding the legitimacy of the Tijaniyah. In the session which was part of the 27th NU Congress centred at Pesantren Asem Bagus, Situbondo (East Java), Kyai As‘ad encountered strong opposition from other kyai and failed to have  his demand put into effect.[36] The result was that the status of Tijaniyah as being mu‘tabarah remained unshaken.

Under seemingly continuous opposition, Tarekat Tijaniyah keeps growing. It relies on simple rites relative to other tarekat, yet promises its adherents high spiritual efficacy and merit. Together with its friendly attitude towards worldly life rather than the ascetic tendency usually exhibited by other Sufi orders, “Tijaniyah is suitable for every one, even the busy people of modern times; it is even suitable for civil servants,” said Kyai Abdullah Syifa, a Tijaniyah muqaddam at Buntet. Currently, Tijaniyah enjoys wide acceptance from many people ranging from ulama, state dignitaries, and intellectuals to ordinary laymen.[37]

The Role of Buntet

In his special account on the rise of Tijaniyah on Java, Pijper states that Tarekat Tijaniyah was not known in Java before 1928. A wandering Arab, born in Medina, Syeikh Ali bin ‘Abdullah at-Thayyib al-Azhari, is held responsible for the introduction of this tarekat to Java, especially through his work, Kitab al-Munyah fi ‘t-thariqat at-Tijaniyah, Tasikmalaya: 1349/January 1928, a treatise on Munyat al-Murid.[38] Pijper  points out further that from the age of nine years, Syeikh ‘Ali at-Thayyib had studied in Cairo where he remained for 20 years; he then stayed and taught in Mecca for six years. He returned to Medina and worked as a mufti for about ten years, then came to Java. First he stayed in Cianjur, then successively in Bogor, Tasikmalaya and back in Cianjur. In Java he lived from teaching and extensive travel from Banten to Surabaya selling religious books, including his own work, Kitab Misykat al-Anwar fi shirat an-Nabi al-Mukhtar, Tasikmalaya: (undated). Pijper claimed that he had met Syeikh ‘Ali at-Thayyib at his house on the slope of mount Gede in Cianjur.[39]

According to local Tijani sources, the spread of Tijaniyah on Java is mainly attributed to two figures, one was ‘Ali at-Thayyib al-Madani, an authoritative scholar in Medina who formed the gate for West Java by recruiting seven West Javanese muqaddam, the other was ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Futi, also a distinguished scholar in Arabia who formed the gate for East Java by recruiting two East Javanese. Table 8.3 shows that ‘Ali at-Thayyib al-Madani, who was held responsible for the spread of Tijaniyah in West Java, traced his spiritual genealogy with Ahmad at-Tijani through  two different sources: Syeikh Adam bin Muhammad Shaib al-Barnawi and Syeikh Muhammad Alfa Hasyim.[40] This spiritual link can also be seen from Figure 8.2

Table 8.3: Spiritual genealogy of Syeikh Ali At-Thayyib al-Madani (West Java gate of Tijaniyah)

Chain-1

Chain-2

1 Ahmad at-Tijani

1 Ahmad at-Tijani

2 Muhammad b Qasim al-Bisri
Abd Wahab al-Ahmar

2 Muhammad a-Ghala

3 Ahmad al-Bani a-Fasi

3 Amr b Sa'id al-Futi

4 Adam b Muhammad Shaib al-Barnawi

4 Al-Haj as-Sa'id

5 Ali at-Thayyib al-Madani

5 Muhammad Alfa Hasyim

6 Ali at-Thayyib al-Madani

The seven West Javanese muqaddam recruited by Syeikh Ali at-Thayyib were his own grandson, Syeikh Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib (Bogor), Kyai Asy'ari Bunyamin (Garut), Kyai Badruzzaman (Garut), Kyai ‘Utsman Dlamiri (Cimahi, Bandung) and three brothers Kyai Abbas, Kyai Anas and Kyai Akyas (Buntet). It was these West Javanese ‘magnificent seven’ who were in turn, responsible for the further spread of Tijaniyah, not only in West Java but also in Central and East Java because later, many other Javanese muqaddam were initiated by one or more of them. Among the Tijani, this silsilah grew into a complex crisscrossing spiritual chain as some muqaddam for various reasons, either for seniority or intellectual considerations, took initiation from more than one superior muqaddam (muqaddam min muqaddam). Kyai Hawi, father of a current muqaddam at Buntet, Kyai Fahim, for example, took initiation from Kyai Saleh, Kyai Abbas, Kyai Anas, Kyai Akyas and, when he went to Mecca, from a very senior muqaddam,  Syeikh Muhammad Hafiz at-Tijani. The latter had only two Syeikh that spiritually linked him with Ahmad at-Tijani, the founder of the order.[41]

Figure 8.2: Main Entrance of Tijaniyah to Java.
Figure 8.2: Main Entrance of Tijaniyah to Java.

Kyai Abdullah Syifa, another current muqaddam at Buntet, took his initiation from Kyai Hawi and Kyai Akyas. Kyai Fauzan Fathullah (Sidagiri, Prussian, East Java), the writer of Biografi Alquthbul Maktuum, took initiation from Kyai Khozin  Syamsul Mu'in (Probolinggo), Kyai Muhammad bin Yusuf (Surabaya) and Syeikh Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib (Bogor).

Syeikh Abd al-Hamid al-Futi, the main gate for East Java, traced his authority from Muhammad Alfa Hasyim (source 2 number 4 of table 8.3). In turn, ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Futi, initiated two East Javanese, Kyai Khozin Syamsul Arifin and Kyai Jauhar. Kyai Khozin Syamsul Arifin initiated Kyai Mukhlis (Surabaya), whereas Kyai Jauhar initiated Kyai Muhammad Tijani (Madura). Thus, even a muqaddam who took initiation from only one superior muqaddam will automatically inherit multiple silsilah because through Syeikh ‘Ali bin Abd Allah at-Thayyib, he can trace at least two lines, those of Syeikh Adam al-Barnawi and Syeikh Muhammad Alfa Hasyim. How complex the silsilah is can be observed from Figure 8.4.

Within the Buntet line, the persons who are considered the most instrumental and are held responsible for the spread of Tijaniyah, are Kyai Anas (1883–1945) and Kyai Abbas and, for the next generation, Kyai Hawi. Kyai Anas was the son of Kyai Abdul Jamil, younger brother of Kyai Abbas. Like Kyai Abbas, Kyai Anas first studied with Kyai Nasuha at Pesantren Sukunsari (Plered), then with Kyai Agus (Pekalongan), and Kyai Hasyim Asy'ari at Tebuireng (Jombang). Together with Kyai Abbas, he was also involved in the foundation of Pesantren Lirboyo (Kediri) led by Kyai Abdul Manaf. He went to Mecca for both pilgrimage and study while his brother, Kyai Abbas, led Pesantren Buntet. It was due to Kyai Abbas’ advice that Kyai Anas took Tarekat Tijaniyah. Kyai Abbas himself met Syeikh ‘Ali at-Thayyib in Medina but, despite his interest in Tijaniyah, he did not take an initiation at that time because he bore responsibility as a Syattariyah mursyid. Kyai Anas took his brother's advice and upon his return he publicly established tarekat Tijaniyah and thus, there were two tarekat in Pesantren Buntet at the same time, the Syattariyah led by Kyai Abbas, and Tijaniyah led by Kyai Anas. Eventually, when both tarekat grew larger, Kyai Abbas took Tijaniyah initiation, not from his younger brother, Kyai Anas, but from Syeikh ‘Ali bin  ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib al-Madani when the latter visited Java (Bogor) in 1937. In 1939 Kyai Anas moved from Buntet and established his own pesantren at Kilapat, an adjacent village south-east of Buntet, where adultery and burglary were common. He named his pesantren ‘Sidamulya,’ meaning ‘to become lofty.’ Later, the name Kilapat for the village, where the new pesantren is located, was also renamed Sidamulya, following the pesantren's name. The earlier reputation of the village gradually vanished and it gained a reputation as a santri village.

 8.3. Figure 8.3: Recruitment of Tijaniyah Muqaddam from Buntet

Figure 8.3: Recruitment of Tijaniyah Muqaddam from Buntet
Figure 8.4: Spiritual Genealogy of Some Tijaniyah Muqaddam in Java
Figure 8.4: Spiritual Genealogy of Some Tijaniyah Muqaddam in Java

 By then, Kyai Abbas was associated with and led the two tarekat, becoming mursyid of Syattariyah and muqaddam of Tijaniyah at the same time. To some people this seemed to show the extent of Kyai Abbas' leadership capacity and open-mindedness. Not only did he successfully lead the pesantren but also two tarekat centred at his pesantren. To others it was puzzling how Kyai Abbas managed his association with the two tarekat, considering Tijaniyah necessitates every Tijani to abandon other orders. Kyai Abbas himself as a Tijaniyah muqaddam broke the Tijaniyah rule because he did not give up his association with Syattariyah. When I asked about the matter, informants in Buntet of either Syattariyah or Tijaniyah always referred to this as an exception due to both Kyai Abbas' intellectual and spiritual excellence. Moreover, it was said that it was necessary especially after Kyai Anas, the muqaddam of Tijaniyah, had established his own pesantren, while in Buntet both tarekat were growing larger. No one directly raised the issue, especially not even Syeikh Ali at-Thayyib himself, the initiator of Kyai Abbas, suggesting that in certain circumstances, Tijaniyah strict rules could also have exceptions.

In their career as Tijaniyah muqaddam Kyai Anas and Kyai Abbas produced a number of new muqaddam. Kyai Anas initiated Kyai Muhammad (Brebes), Kyai Bakri (Kesepuhan, Cirebon), Kyai Muhammad Rais (Cirebon),[42] Kyai Murtadlo (Buntet), Kyai Abdul Khair, Kyai Hawi (Buntet) and Kyai Soleh (Pesawahan). Repeating the initiation made by Kyai Anas, Kyai Abbas initiated Kyai Soleh and Kyai Hawi (Buntet). He also initiated Kyai Badruzzaman (Garut) and Kyai Utsman Dlomiri (Cimahi, Bandung) before both kyai repeated an initiation from Syeikh ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib al-Madani when the latter made another visit to Java. Among the muqaddam initiated by Kyai Anas and Kyai Abbas, Kyai Hawi excelled himself by producing seven more muqaddam. He initiated Kyai Abdullah Syifa (Buntet), Kyai Fahim Hawi, his son (Buntet), Kyai Junaidi, son of Kyai Anas (Sidamulya), Kyai  Muhammad Yusuf (Surabaya), Habib Muhammad Basalamah (Brebes, Central Java), Kyai Baidawi (Sumenep, Madura) and Kyai Rasyid (Pesawahan, Cirebon). Currently, Kyai Hawi's son, Kyai Fahim Hawi, has initiated three new muqaddam, Ustadz Maufur (Klayan, north of Cirebon), Kyai Abdul Mursyid (Kesepuhan, Cirebon) and Kyai Imam Subky (Kuningan). In East Java, Kyai Muhammad bin Yusuf Surabaya initiated Kyai Badri Masduqi (Probolinggo) and Kyai Fauzan Fathullah. Kyai Baidowi (Sumenep) initiated Habib Luqman (Bogor), Kyai Mahfudz (Kesepuhan, Cirebon) and Nyai Hamnah (Kuningan).[43] In turn the new muqaddam have recruited many followers and quite likely further recruitment will continue.

It is clear that Pesantren Buntet has played an important role in the spread of first Syattariyah and then Tijaniyah in Java, especially West Java. Not only has Pesantren Buntet now become the largest pesantren in Cirebon but it also represents one of the oldest pesantren in the area with its inherent mission for the transmission of religious tradition. The notion of ‘the oldest’ brings further implications in that, firstly, its dynamics and development reflect the dynamics and development of traditional Islam in this area for a period of more than two and a half centuries. Secondly, if the Babad narrative is taken into account, Pesantren Buntet finds its roots in the early stages of the Islamisation of 15th century Java, especially of West Java. Traditionally therefore, Pesantren Buntet stands in an unbroken chain of continuous religious transmission over time from the pre-kraton, early kraton, kraton and post-kraton eras. During the pre-kraton era religious transmission centred in the village as a free and independent undertaking. During the period of the early kraton religious transmission was fully under the auspices of the kraton. Not only did religious transmission enjoy political support and legitimation from the kraton, but also had the kraton homage. Later on, when the kraton came under the subjection of foreign rule, religious transmission was banned from the kraton. A hundred years after the death of Panembahan Ratu,  religious transmission rediscovered its way back from the kraton to the village. This was marked by the establishment of Pesantren Buntet. Under considerable strain the pesantren endured and developed into its present form. Its present existence within the community therefore, represents the triumph of its spiritual traditions. Thus, what we can see in Cirebon and probably elsewhere on Java, the maintenance of scriptural and cultural traditions continues within the Javanese Muslim society, most notably, through combination of pesantren and tarekat. By these institutions, religious transmission has never ceased either with or without the support of the political power structure. This is probably one element that contributes to answering Hodgson's question: “why the triumph of Islam in Java was so complete.”[44]

Plate 39: Kyai Fahim Hawi (left), a Tijaniyah Muqaddam of Buntet.
Plate 39: Kyai Fahim Hawi (left), a Tijaniyah Muqaddam of Buntet.

Plate 40: Kyai Abdullah Syifa and his five year old son.
Plate 40: Kyai Abdullah Syifa and his five year old son.

Plate 41: Kyai Fu'ad Hasyim.
Plate 41: Kyai Fu'ad Hasyim.

Plate 42: Kyai Fahim Hawi among Tijaniyah followers.
Plate 42: Kyai Fahim Hawi among Tijaniyah followers.

Plate 43: Nyai Hammah, a Tijaniyah Muqaddam of Kuningan.
Plate 43: Nyai Hammah, a Tijaniyah Muqaddam of Kuningan.

Plate 44: Nyai Hamnah (centre), her followers and Kyai Imam Subki (Nyai Hamnah's husband).
Plate 44: Nyai Hamnah (centre), her followers and Kyai Imam Subki (Nyai Hamnah's husband).




[11] For the early stage of the rise of Tijaniyah in Java, see: Pijper, G.F. (1987), “Timbulnya Tarekat Tijaniyah di Pulau Jawa” in G.F. Pijper, Fragmenta Islamica: Beberapa Studi Mengenai Sejarah Islam di Indonesia Awal Abad XX, Jakarta: UI Press, pp 79–101, translated from Fragmenta Islamica, Studien over het Islamisme in Nederlanndsch-Indie, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1934 by Tujimah. For a general account on Tijaniyah, see: Abun-Nasr (1965), The Tijaniyya: A Sufi Order in the Modern World, London: OUP. My own local Tijani sources are Fathullah, K.H.F. (1985), Biografi Alquthbul Maktuum Saiyidul Awliyaa: Syeikh Ahmad Attijaniy dan Thariqatnya Attijaniyah, Pasuruan: (anonymous publisher); Al Masyrabul Kitmani Lil Khotmil Muhammadiy Syekh Ahmad bin Muhammad Attijani, a pamphlet from Panitia Idul Khotmi Attijani Ke: 199, 9/10 Shafar 1413 H = 8/9 Agustus 1992 M, Leces-Probolinggo (East Java).

[12] Fathullah, K.H.F. (1985), p. 52.

[13] Abun Nasr (1965), pp. 16–17.

[14] Fathullah (1985), p. 55.

[15] Ibid, pp 55–59.

[16] Ibid, 55–63; Abun Nasr, pp 18–19.

[17] Ibid, 63–64.

[18] Abun Nasr, p 37.

[19] Trimingham, J.S (1971), p 108. (Words between brackets are my own).

[20] Ibid, pp 27–28; The existence of spiritual hierarchies among wali was first set forth by Abu ‘Abdillah al-Tirmidzi during the 11th century. It became an established belief due to the work of Ibn al-Araby (1164–1240) and gained wide spread acceptance after ‘Abdul Rahman al-Suyuti (1445–1505), a Hadithist, gave Prophetic traditions for this belief.

[21] Abun Nasr, p 32.

[22] Ibid, p. 32. It says: “The Khatm, who will be the standard of wilaya, will be the end of the line and its completion. He has been a Khatm without being known, and has the command which cannot be repeated or dispensed with … Should a wali appear after him, he will be one of the followers, companions, or attendants (of the khatm) …“

[23] Ibid, p 28.

[24] Ibid, p 30.

[25] Mahsyar is a plain where all the dead, after resurrection, get together to receive a fair judgement.

[26] Fathullah (1985), pp 110–111.

[27] Abun Nasr (1985), p. 38. The rites consists of both the compulsory (lazim) and recommended (ikhtiari). The compulsory consists of wird lazimah (litanies), wadzifah (office) and hailalah (participation in Friday afternoon hadra or seance). See Abun Nasr, pp 50–57; Fathullah, pp 129–139.

[28] See: the subsequent section.

[29] Detailed early refutations and counter refutations see Abun Nasr 1965, especially pp. 38–41.

[30] Ibid, pp 72–75.

[31] Strong reaction against Tijaniyah in Buntet came from Benda, the pesantren established by Kyai Soleh Zamzami of Buntet, the elder brother of Kyai Abdul Jamil. Since Kyai Abbas era, until now, Benda-Buntet opposition is unreconciliable.

[32] Pijper (1985), Fragmenta Islamica, pp 89–96.

[33] Ibid, pp 98–100

[34] This Kyai As'ad is to be distinguished from Kyai As'ad Syamsul Arifin of Pesantren Asem Bagus, Situbondo (East Java), former Chairman of Syuriyah NU.

[35] Fathullah (1985), pp 140–141. In this work (Biografi Alquthbul Maktuum) Without mentioning its writer, Fathullah devoted a full chapter entitled “Fasal Tambahan” (Additional Chapter) to counter the Wudluh ad-Dalail.

[36] The 1984 Situbondo Congress is well known for producing Khittah 1926, by which NU returned to the principle initially adopted when NU was established in 1926. This means that officially NU abstains from direct involvement in politics and is solely concerned with social and religious affairs.

[37] This was claimed by Kyai Fahim Hawi and Kyai Abdullah Syifa, two Tijani muqaddam in Buntet. An example of Tijaniyah's wide acceptance was given by Kyai Fahim Hawi in recounting a number of figures in Tijaniyah. Some of them are Sayid Alfa Hasyim, a Hadithist in Medina, Syeikh Hasan Yamani, father of Zaki Yamani, former petroleum Minister of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Muhammad, a Senegalese envoy to Jakarta on February 1985 who met President Suharto on behalf of the Senegalese President. All, he said, are Tijaniyah Muqaddam. There are also a number of distinguished figures at Al-Azhar in Cairo. Wide acceptance by many Javanese was shown by the huge number of participants in the festivals held to commemorate At-Tijani's spiritual ascendancy, the Idul Khotmi At-Tijani. One of which was performed at Jakarta's main stadium in 1990 had around a 100,000 participants. At a similar festival, the 199th Idul Khotmi, held on 8–9 August 1992 in Leces, Probolinggo (East Java), around 60,000 participants were present. I was among the contingent from Cirebon.

[38] Pijper, G.F. (1985), Fragmenta Islamica, Jakarta: U.I. Press, p 82.

[39] Ibid, pp 86–87. Inspite of his claim of having met ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib in Cianjur in 1929, Pijper seems to give a quite puzzling explanation. It is rather naive to think that a distinguished scholar holding a prestigious position for ten years in Medina, migrated to Java to become a petty trader of religious books. Pijper also says that when he met, ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib was already old, did not have disciples from the nearby areas, etc. This contradicts his biographical account stated above, whereby ‘Ali at-Thayyib should have been 45 when he came to Java (from the age of 9 years old, he stayed in Cairo for 20 years, then in Mecca 6 years, and in Medina 10 years). According to Kyai Fahim, among the key figures for the development of Tijaniyah on Java was Syekh ‘Ali bin ‘Abdullah at-Thayyib al-Madani (an Al-Azhar graduate from which the addition of al-Azhari may be derived). He was a prominent scholar with high authority in religious affairs, staying in Medina, not in Java. He, however, visited Java several times to see his son, Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib, an Arab immigrant who also had studied at Al-Azhar but stayed in Java (Bogor). The latter became a Tijaniyah Muqaddam with whom Kyai Fauzan Fathullah, the writer of Biografi al-Quthbul Maktuum, one of my references, was initiated. (Syeikh) Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abd Allah at-Thayyib of Bogor lived in the same period with Kyai Abbas, Kyai Anas and Kyai Akyas, three muqaddam from Buntet. They were all authorised as muqaddam by Syeikh ‘Ali at-Thayyib al-Madani, father of (Syeikh) Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abdullah at-Thayyib of Bogor. If Kyai Fahim is right, Pijper might have confused the two names, Syeikh ‘Ali bin ‘Abdullah at-Thayyib al-Madani (al-Azhari) who stayed in Medina, and his son, Syeikh Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abdullah at-Thayyib (al-Azhari) who stayed in Bogor.

[40] Cf: Pijper (1985), p 87.

[41] I could not get the two names because despite I made several visits, I failed to meet Pak Gani, a Maderise businessman in Jakarta who, according to Kyai Fahim Hawi, keeps the document.

[42] A short description of Muhammad Rais, see Pijper (1985), pp 85–86.

[43] For further detail, see figure 8.4.

[44] Hodgson, M (1974), The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilisation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 551.