Friday, September 30, 2011

Islamic Society
30 Sep 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
In the heart of Sufism: Wali`s Tomb as Place of Pilgrimage

By Abrar Haris

It is a long and winding journey to sacred places from the grave of Pir Muhammad Barkhudar Gilani Qadri, a Pakistani Sufi figure in Sillanwali, to Ulakan Syeikh Burhanuddin Mosque in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia. In those burial complexes, ordinary people experience the “conversion” of life. In this context, we see that Sufi figures are not stereotypic wandering men in self-ecstasy. Indonesian people can fairly say that men like pedagogic Ki Hadjar Dewantara who founded Taman Siswa College during the Dutch occupation, freedom fighters Tuanku Imam Bonjol, Prince Diponegoro and other Indonesian heroes and heroines and even non-Muslim independence fighters are Sufi. They did not hide in solitude but led their people to sovereignty. I assume in their ziyarat or long struggle, while waging guerilla war behind mountainous villages, men like Imam Bonjol or Diponegoro used many religious practices to maintain morale among their followers. They would have recited zikir or religious contemplative chants in circle pattern, performed muraqaba or meditation by using their own cultural musical instruments (sama) to achieve self-peace and self-conviction in their fight against the invaders. -- Abrar Haris

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