Kitab Istiqal Tarekat Qadiriyyah-Naqhsabandiyyah (ms. E)

Scribe: Idoh of Kebon Manggu, Cibalanarik, Sukaraja, Tasikmalaya

Dating and place: date unknown. Sukaraja, Tasikmalaya

Owner: Idoh, Kebon Manggu, Cibalanarik, Sukaraja, Tasikmalaya

Script: Pegon

Dimension: 24 cm x 17 cm and 20 cm x 15 cm

Paper: HVS

Pages: 84 pp

Lines per page: 14

Colour: brown

Comments:

According to the villagers, this work is called Kitab Istiqal Thariqah Qadiriyyah Naqshabandiyyah (The Book of the Way of the Tarekat of the Qadiriyyah and the Naqshabandiyyah) and was “copied” from an old manuscript written by Shaykh Abdul Muhyi himself.

Figure 4. A page from Kitab Istiqal Tarekat Qadiriyyah-Naqshabandiyyah
Figure 4. A page from Kitab Istiqal Tarekat Qadiriyyah-Naqshabandiyyah

The opening colophon reads:

“This is the Kitab Istiqal Tarekat Qadiriyyah Naqshabandiyyah. The copying was begun on Monday in the month of Jumadil Awal, coinciding with the day of Kliwon on the second day of Jumadil Awal, 1390 Hijrah. This coincides with July 6, 1970. It was finished on Saturday, 5pm, the 21st day of Jumadil Awal, 1390 which coincides with July 25, 1970.”

Ieu Kitab Istiqal Thariqah Qadiriyyah Naqshabandiyyah ngawitan diturun dina dinten Senen bulang Jumadil Awal meneran dina Kaliwon tanggal 2 Jumadil awwal 1390 Hijrah meneran tanggal genep Juli 1970 MaShaykhi tamatna diturun dina dinten Sabtu jam 5.00 sore ping 21 Jumadil awwal 1390 Hijrah meneran tanggal 25 Juli 1970 Masehi.

Comments:

Initially I heard about this manuscript from a custodian of the sacred site at Panyalahan, but at that time, he could not show it to me. According to him, a colleague had taken it away. The custodian of Panyalahan subsequently lost contact with the manuscript following his colleague’s death and he could no longer trace where the it was.

After I had been six months in the village, I received information that a retired army officer, Pak Syafii, now held the manuscript. Pak Syafii was a man of influence in the community, not just because he was a custodian reputedly with supernatural powers, but also because he was a retired Major. Through the efforts of an intermediary, he finally permitted me to view the manuscript and made a copy of it. This small incident is interesting for the light it throws on the preservation of manuscripts in Pamijahan. Traditionally, it is the site custodians (kuncen) who must keep, or at least monitor the whereabouts of sacred texts dedicated to their village and their ancestors. However, because of tensions among the main families of the village, each has felt more secure safekeeping his own manuscripts and not reporting them to the custodians.

This kitab, as far as I know, is quite different from other Pamijahan manuscripts, or indeed manuscripts from other places. It incorporates various Sufi texts. Its title indicates two well-known schools, the Qadiriyyah and the Naqshabandiyyah, which are indeed traditionally linked.

However, in the introduction, the scribe also talks eclectically of other tarekat, namely the Shattariyyah, Asrariyyah, Anfasiyyah and Muhammadiyah. There is no information as to why the scribe chose to limit her title in the way she did, without mentioning the Shattariyyah and other orders. It seems to me that Ms. Idoh, the scribe and owner of the manuscript, may have thought that Shaykh Abdul Muhyi was also a follower the Qadiriyyah---Naqshabandiyyah movement.

In the matter of the silsilah, the confusion goes further. First, we would expect Ms. Idoh, who confesses to be the wife of a follower of Sufism, to identify herself according to the protocol of the tarekat by positioning herself within the silsilah. This she has not done.

Furthermore, the manuscript does not provide us with a silsilah which might be compared to other manuscripts of Pamijahan as mentioned above. What is given is a hybrid version. For example, Abdul Muhyi is inserted into the silsilah of both the Naqshabandiyyah and the Shattariyyah. On page 75 of the text, this genealogy of Abdul Muhyi is presented, but the scribe has confused the genealogy of Sufism with the genealogy of the Shaykh’s family. This can be seen, in the following fragment

...puputra Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaelani Baghdadi, puputra Shaykh Abd al-Jabar, puputra Shaykh Abd al-Rauf Waliyullah Kuala Aceh, guruna Shaykh Haji Abdul Muhyi Waliyullah Safaril Wadi Pamijahan.

This fragment erroneously states that Shaykh Abd al-Rauf of 17th century Aceh, the master of Shaykh Abdul Muhyi, is the grandson of the famous Sufi of Baghdad, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir Jailaini (b. 1077). Furthermore, the author uses the words ‘had a child’ (apuputra) which is also discordant, since Abd al-Rauf was not the natural son of Abd al-Jabar. Their relationship was one of precedence in the line of teachers.

We know that Abd al-Rauf appears in various silsilah, one of which is that of the Qadiriyyah, but there is no evidence that Abdul Muhyi was ever a follower of Qadiriyyah-Naqshabandiyyah. Thus, as long as there are no other manuscripts with a title or contents resembling this kitab, we cannot decide whether Muhyi also practised Sufi disciplines other than the Shattariyyah.

Although this kitab has obvious weaknesses in terms of its silsilah, its explanation of the nature of Shattariyyah doctrine is important. The whole idea of the Seven Levels of Being resembles other Pamijahan manuscripts, but this kitab has its own style when explaining the relations between a view of cosmology, the seven martabats and the salat rituals.