3.2 The Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah

Muslims in Indonesia were introduced to tarekat practices in the 17th century. Bruinessen (1992), for example, mentioned Sheikh Yusuf Makasar as an ‘ulama who learned and then spread the tarekat among Indonesian Muslims. Sheikh Yusuf's introduction to the tarekat happened when he set out to study Islam and make his pilgrimage to Mecca. “In Aceh, a town which constituted a centre for Islamic education in Nusantara, he did a bai‘a to join a tarekat, that is the Qadiriyah order” (Bruinessen, 1992:34)[18]. Sheikh Yusuf Makassar was not the only Indonesian ‘ulama who performed and spread the tarekat, since there was another ‘ulama, ‘Abd Al-Rauf Singkil, who by that time had introduced the Syattariyah order. In addition, the tarekat, as Bruinessen noted, had already developed in some other regions of Indonesia. Sheikh Yusuf could nonetheless be regarded as an important tarekat ‘ulama, since through his efforts the tarekat then developed in Nusantara[19]. He wrote some risala (short papers) about the ritual practices of the tarekat. Returning from Saudi Arabia, he then lived in Banten, Western Java, though he actually originated from the Gowa kingdom in South Sulawesi. According to Bruinessen (1992:35), Syeikh Yusuf became an influential ‘ulama and assumed a powerful position after the Sultan of Banten married him to his daughter and appointed him as his most trusted assistant. Although Sheikh Yusuf learned the Qadiriyah, Naqsyabandiyah, Syattariyah and Khalwatiyah orders, his teaching was mostly on Khalwatiyah. Among his followers to date, according to Bruinessen, are nobles of Bugis and Makassar in South Sulawesi.

The early perception of tarekat by the colonial government was negative. The tarekat was regarded as a threat to the existing authority since some messianistic revolts were conducted by tarekat followers. The colonial government's perception of Islam in Nusantara changed when Snouck Hurgronje, a colonial government adviser, differentiated Islam from the political aspirations of Muslim society. Hurgronje's observations of Islam during his stay in Mecca in 1885 and his close relationship with a sheikh of the Naqsyabandiyah order, Muhammad Salih Al-Zawawi, not only changed the colonial government's political perception of Islam, but also prompted the government to allow tarekat followers to practise and develop their tarekat. What is interesting from Bruinessen's notes is that the tarekat was also practised by native government officers. The regent of Cianjur, for example, was a loyal follower of the Naqsyabandiyah order (Bruinessen, 1992:24– 25 and 107).

The increase in the number of Muslims from Nusantara who went to Saudi Arabia had a significant impact on Islamic development in Nusantara. It also favoured the development of the tarekat there. While the Qadiriyah or the Naqsyabandiyah order had come to Nusantara during the 17th century, the Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah was introduced to Muslims in Nusantara at the end of the 19th century. This tarekat is basically a fusion of the two sufi orders, that is the Qadiriyah and the Naqsyabandiyah. The difference between one sufi order and another is not simply based on differences in regard to the silsila of their murshid, but also on their different ritual practices. The merging of one sufi order with another is common in the tarekat world. However, the Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah that exists in Indonesia, according to Bruinessen (1992), is more than a merger of two streams of sufi order, but constitutes a new tarekat, in which chosen aspects from Qadiriyah and Naqsyabandiyah are combined and emerge as something new. This tarekat, Bruinessen (1992:90) suggested further, was possibly established by an Indonesian ‘ulama, Ahmad Khatib Al-Sambasi, who lived and taught in Mecca in the mid 19th century.

The Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah order has developed well in various regions of Indonesia. The Pesantren Darul Ulum in Rejoso has been its centre for the East Java region. The five latest murshid of this tarekat derived from this pesantren. Kiai Khalil was the first murshid from this pesantren. Kiai Khalil received his ijaza irshad to lead the tarekat from Ahmad Hasbullah in Mecca. He passed on his ijaza irshad to his brother-in-law, Kiai Romly Tamim, who passed it to his son, Kiai Musta‘in Romly. The leadership of the tarekat remains in the Pesantren Darul Ulum, with Kiai Dimyati Romly as the current murshid. Kiai Dimyati Romly succeeded to the leadership after the former murshid, Kiai Rifai Romly, died in a car accident in December 1994. It is important to note that the current murshid, Kiai Dimyati Romly, did not receive ijaza irshad from the former murshid, but from Kiai Ma‘shum Ja‘far, who received his ijaza irshad from Kiai Romly Tamim and Kiai Musta‘in Romly (see the silsila below). 

The Silsila of the Murshid of the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah:

  1. The Prophet Muhammad

  2. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Thalib

  3. Husein Ibn Ali

  4. Zainal-Abidin

  5. Muhammad Al-Baqir

  6. Ja‘far Al-Sadiq

  7. Musa al-Kazim

  8. Abu Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Musa Al-Riza

  9. Ma‘ruf Al-Karkhi

  10. Sari A-Saqati

  11. Abu Qasim Al-Junaid Al-Baghdadi

  12. Abu Bakr Al-Shibli

  13. ‘Abdul Wahid Al-Tamimi

  14. ‘Abdul Faraj Al-Tartusi

  15. Abu Hasan ‘Ali Al-Hakkari

  16. Abu Sa‘id Al-Makhzumi

  17. ‘Abdul Qadir Al-Jailani

  18. ‘Abdul Aziz

  19. Muhammad Al-Hattak

  20. Syams Al-Din

  21. Syarif Al-Din

  22. Zain Al-Din

  23. Nur Al-Din

  24. Wali Al-Din

  25. Husam Al-Din

  26. Yahya

  27. Abi Bakr

  28. ‘Abd Rahim

  29. ‘Usman

  30. Kamal Al-Din

  31. ‘Abdul Fattah

  32. Muhammad Murad

  33. Syams Al-Din

  34. Ahmad Khatib Al-Sambasi

  35. ‘Abdul Karim

  36. Ahmad Hasbullah ibn Muhammad Madura

  37. (Muhammad) Khalil

  38. (Muhammad) Romly Tamim

  39. ‘Usman Al-Ishaq

  40. (Muhammad) Musta‘in Romly

  41. Rifai Romly Romly       41. Ma‘shum Ja‘far

                                       42. Dimyati Romly (current murshid)


There is an important note that should be presented here in accordance with this silsila. Sukamto (1992) notes that when Kiai Musta‘in led this tarekat, there were two versions of the silsila. After 1977, according to Sukamto (1992)[20], one of the chains of the murshid, Kiai ‘Usman Al-Ishaq (No. 39), disappeared from the silsila. This version of the silsila means that Kiai Musta‘in received ijaza irshad directly from his father, Kiai Romly Tamim[21]. However, this version became a matter of dispute between kiai who were concerned about the tarekat. According to some, Kiai Romly had not yet finished giving all bai‘a to Kiai Musta‘in (bai‘a should be done seven times), as Kiai Musta‘in was still young. This means that it was unlikely that Kiai Romly Tamim gave ijaza irshad to Kiai Musta‘in. Kiai Musta‘in, according to some kiai, therefore went to Kiai ‘Usman, who had received ijaza irshad from Kiai Romly Tamim, to complete the necessary bai‘a. It was from Kiai ‘Usman that Kiai Musta‘in received his ijaza irshad, enabling him to be eligible for murshidship, succeeding his father. Kiai ‘Usman was hence included as one of the links in the chain of the silsila of murshidship of the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah (see Dhofier, 1982). For some kiai the deletion of Kiai ‘Usman in the silsila has become a big problem for the tarekat followers in general since it means that Kiai Musta‘in has cut out one person in the chain of murshidship. For other kiai, however, there is no problem with regard to Kiai Musta‘in's murshidship, even though he cut out one person in the chain. According to a reliable source[22], Kiai Musta‘in received his ijaza irshad directly from the former murshid, his father, Kiai Romly Tamim. Kiai Musta‘in was asked by his father to continue leading the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah.

Beside being a murshid of the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah, in 1975 Kiai Musta‘in was a leader of the Jam‘iyah Ahli Thoriqoh Al-Mu‘tabaroh. This organisation was established by NU in 1957. It coordinated all tarekat acknowledged mu‘tabarah by NU. The Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah and its umbrella, the Jam‘iyah Ahli Thoriqoh Al-Mu‘tabaroh split after Kiai Musta‘in became affiliated to the government political organisation of Golkar, preceding the 1977 general election. NU, as the socio-religious organisation which organises tarekat, then established another tarekat group when it held its mu‘tamar (congress) in Semarang in 1979. This new tarekat organisation was the Jam‘iyah Ahli Thoriqoh Al-Mu‘tabaroh An-Nahdliyah. As I will discuss at length in Chapter V, the followers of Kiai Musta‘in were bewildered when he joined Golkar, and some khalifa felt obliged to establish another organisation of Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah with another leader. The initial underlying reason for the separation of some kiai and khalifa from Kiai Musta‘in was thus political. Later, however, some kiai used the deletion of a person in the chain of murshidship, that is Kiai ‘Usman, as justification for their separation. As the tarekat should be passed on through a continuous chain of murshidship, this deletion, in the view of some kiai [23], makes the tarekat of Kiai Musta‘in doubtful in terms of its legitimacy.

The change in leadership from Kiai Musta‘in to Kiai Rifai in 1984 was deemed by some kiai from another tarekat as a further problem for the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah centred in Rejoso, since Kiai Musta‘in never passed his ijaza irshad to Kiai Rifai. In other words, Kiai Rifai had an ever bigger problem than Kiai Musta‘in in terms of his leadership in the tarekat. Nevertheless, the murshidship of Kiai Rifai was regarded as legitimate by his followers because Kiai Musta‘in himself indirectly hinted that he approved of Kiai Rifai's succession. Kiai Musta‘in symbolically showed his trust for Kiai Rifai several times. He asked Kiai Rifai, for example, to substitute for him to lead the prayer when Kiai Musta‘in could not do it. The acceptance of ijaza irshad by Kiai Rifai was thus symbolised through ishara (a sign).

However, Kiai Rifai's name, according to Kiai Arwani[24], would not have appeared in the silsila of the murshid of the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah (Rejoso Version). Kiai Rifai died in a car crash before he could give ijaza irshad to his brother, Kiai Dimyati, the current murshid. Kiai Dimyati received his ijaza irshad from Kiai Ma‘shum, who had received his ijaza irshad from Kiai Romly Tamim and Kiai Musta‘in Romly.

Despite the split of the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah previously led by Kiai Musta‘in, the leadership of Kiai Rifai and (now) Kiai Dimyati has been strongly accepted. The necessity for loyalty and obedience to the leaders of the tarekat, especially the murshid, are factors that bind the followers and their murshid together. There is no problem at all for followers to give their allegiance to the new murshid and their respect to the family of previous murshid. That is why the Pesantren Darul Ulum has been continuously attended by loyal followers of the Tarekat Qadiriyah Wa Naqsyabandiyah (Rejoso).

It is estimated that around ten to fifteen thousand[25] Muslims in Jombang are members of this tarekat. This sufi order has around fifty six khususiya (location for dhikr ritual), and according to its administrative staff, each place of khususiya is attended by 200 followers. Khususiya or istighosa are tarekat rituals usually performed by an imam (a senior tarekat member) on a weekly basis. The biggest session of khususiya is usually held once a week in the Pesantren Darul Ulum. This khususiya is more crowded since it is attended not only by followers from Jombang but also from other regencies of East Java. Attending khususiya at the Pesantren   Darul Ulum gives the followers the chance to perform dhikr held by the murshid, and they can also visit to the graves[26] of previous murshid who are buried at the backyard of the pesantren. In addition, the current murshid in this session can do bai‘a for his new followers or followers who have not completed their bai‘a [27]