D. Historically and Structurally transcendental Approach
Muhammadiyah developed this approach after it encountered the realities within pluralistic societies, and even within Moslem society itself. By doing so Muhammadiyah tried to transform a normative-subjective standard of transcendental concepts into empirically historic concepts. Accounting for historical and sociological realities, it is re consider ing its missionary targets and its position within global network as whole. Here the missionary target is not expansive to other religions, but within the Moslem community itself. Indeed it is very important to consider historical and sociological realities in order to understand the culture by which it has been able to reach an epistemological structure of knowledge with its norm and values of the society.
The importance of grasping culture had proved, in the Islamic missionary organization ofwalisanga , a monumental success in Islamizing Indonesia in the early 16th century, considering Islam had entered Indonesia in 674 AD. It took a very long time for missionaries to understand the Indonesian culture and to coordinate suitable Islamic programs. The great people converting to Moslem happened just after the missionaries were able to innovating local culture and surpassed it. Two factors that improved the chance of success are simultaneously the events of the collapse of the Hind kingdom of Majapahit and the emergence of threat en ing power of the West. The collapse of Majapahit enabled them to establish an Islamic state in the center of political power in Indonesia and to grasp all of Indonesia. Indeed some Islamic states which acknowledged the supreme power of Majapahit had already existed in the periphery as early as the twelfth century such as Pasai and Samudra Pasai Meanwhile the emerging threat en ing from the West encouraged the people to identify with Islam to encounter the West.
Some Moslems preserved fanatically the products of Walisanga’s innovation of traditions so that it hindered them from doing Islamic mission to persist in reforming the Moslem societies. Missionaries should be able in innovate the culture in the face of modernization so that Moslems are able to respond positively to these trends of modernization and globalization. As I mentioned above, culture is very important because it can be used as means of internalizing modern Islamic ideas into societies, as well as of reflecting religious awareness upon them.
Up to now Muhammadiyah ’s followers’ attitudes toward tradition is still far from monolithic because they have not able to formulate their anti-TBC movement objectively and empirically in various socio-cultural contexts (Kuntowijoyo, 1991: 269). In the view of Kuntowijoyo (1995: 86-87), the Muhammadiyah’s classical view of anti-TBC is based on rational thinking (deductive reasoning) and should be supplemented with inductive reasoning based on empiric and historic facts. I agree with his idea to reform the classical view of anti-TBC. Accordingly Fazlur Rahman, the conceptualist of neo-modern Islam, believes that it is not taboo for reinterpreting theology as it is a result of thinking efforts. Moreover the formulation of theology often took shape with political interests in a matter of worldly life, besides its limitation by given a time and space.
After observing the dialectical approach within Muhammadiyah I would like to make note of Sufi st matters amongst its followers. As I mention above that Muhammadiyah considered Sufi beliefs to be malpractices related to theology, so it is necessary to shed light on it here. Recently they try to study and accept Sufi sm as an opposite attitude into Muhammadiyah mainstream. It is of course coincidental with their inclusive approach to further propel their modern Islamic ideas. However it may be that there are some important events which draw Muhammadiyah into this path of Sufi sm Then I like to analyze the dialectical approach to Sufi sm in order to better understand religious phenomenon within a different time and space. By doing so I will address some related questions as to why they just recently adopted Sufi sm Is it because of different situation s and condition s between the lapsing time? Does recent Sufi sm differ from the old Sufi sm ? What are the similarities the old Sufi sm and recent Sufi sm ?
Here I would like to analyze Muhammadiyah’s scholars’ work on Sufism at these different times in order to understand their growing knowledge about Sufism. At first Muhammadiyah was opposed to Sufi malpractices. More precisely, it did not develop Sufism, but recently it accepts Sufi. These contradictory features are sometimes very difficult to be understood by common people, but for those who know about history is not surprising because it can be put into order within the dialectical approach of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. Ibn Khaldun, a well-know Moslem historian, has proposed the law of history that the only still persisting thing in the world is continuing change itself. The recent acceptance of Sufism, of course, is related to the changes of historical context, or to put into simple terms, the changes of situation and condition between the time of Muhammadiyah’s onset in 1912 until recent time.
Now, materialism has deeply influenced Indonesian society so that Muhammadiyah’s followers feel great needs of a spiritual aspect which only can be fulfilled by Sufism. These trends have been a common feature amongst Moslem scholars in the West for long time before. This is the case of Hamid Algar and Maryamm Jameelah, who bring up in the materialistic society in the West. They grew bored with the materialistic life and converted to Islam in the path of Sufism. Furthermore they criticize Moslem modernists such as Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh and accused them of selling the religion to secularism. They are more blatantly categorizing modernists as pragmatists (Madjid (ed.), 1984: 77). Here I do not mean that we should be opposed to modern Islamic ideas, but we should take into account the spiritual aspect of our tradition.
Some Muhammadiyah scholars have written books about Sufism. The first amongst them is Prof. Dr. Hamka who has written a book titledTasauf Modern (Modern Sufi) and has been published several times. The book resulted from a collection of articles written forPedoman Masyarakat magazine (recentlyPanji Masyarakat magazine) so that it did not have an integrated structure about Sufism as a kind of creative thinking effort related to emotional aspects of human beings in their personal communication with God. Hamka gave his modern interpretation of Sufism by emphasizing the
role of morals amongst the people so that it will be compatible to the modern era characterized by materialism.
Anther distinguished scholar is Prof. Dr. Simuh who has already written numerous books such asMistik Islam Kejawen Raden Ngabehi Ranggawarsita, Suatu Studi Terhadap Serat Wirid Hidayat Jati (1988);Sufisme Jawa: Transformasi Tasawuf Islam ke Mistik Jawa (1999 cet-4); andTasawuf dan Perkembangannya dalam Islam (1997cet-2). He considers that Sufism is very important to encounter negative effects of a materialistic modern civilization. He offers Sufism to be the basis of morals. Here he refers to a Sufism which is different from the complicated mystical practices such as in Javanese mystic andtareqat [^7] . He accepts Sufism in conjunction with Ibn Khaldun, that Islamic Sufism is to teach the student become‘abid (devoted Moslem),zahid (not greedy), andlaku (take a distant with improperly world desires) (Simuh, 1999: 31) Of course, it is also supplement to law enforcement.
All the above mentioned concepts are very important and they are sufficient for general purposes, however they are not complete for those who want to obtain spiritual feeling. One p opular method to obtain spiritual feeling is to join withtareqat , although one can also try by oneself By joining together with others, some people are led by the authoritative master try to obtain spiritual feeling. They should follow the given fixed-instructions which divide onetareqat from others.Tareqat differs from intellectual efforts so it is possible for everyone because it makes uses of emotion/feeling to transmit the religious feeling.Tareqat or spiritual feeling enables all people to have the same feeling as human beings. Being the case that all people will feel sad if their member family is died , his feeling is very important as a basis of morality.
This practical Sufi sm is not enough for those who are in charge to develop intellectual efforts. We also should remember one other thing in adopting practical Sufi sm in order to encounter the dark history of Sufi malpractices causing the stagna tion within Moslem communities. The important thing we should remember in doing something is to make it balance with other elements. For instance, we should make the emotional aspect of Sufi sm in balance with the intellectual aspect of ratio. Emotional feeling is very important in order to obtain spiritual feeling. It enables us to strengthen rational considerations and to contemplate intellectual efforts. Sometimes it is also difficult to have a strong religious belief just by rational efforts alone , as you may see that rational thinking is limited by the strong bond s of time, space, and history.
All religions have a general feature of focusing on personal relationship s with the Absolute or Ultimate Reality, in which man ac knowledge s the supremacy of the Absolute so that he try to adjust to the Absolute’s laws. As I mention above that there are two paths to communicate with the God, and those are intellectually and emotionally. Furthermore Islam views communication with the God a s the foundation of Islamic philosophy relating to concept of Oneness (tawhid ). It means that man should surrender solely to God’s Will and should not surrender or depend on others’ power (Rajaee, 1983: 36-38). From the above explanation we can infer that
emotional communication either by oneself or via Sufi sm is very important to obtain spiritual feeling, however Islam also orders us to make intellectual efforts in order to have a better life in this world, with the main intention of establish ing God’s Laws in the world.
Armstrong (2002) categorizing Islam together with Judiasm and Christianity into the West ern religion s which have the general feature of a personal religion because they give great role s to man to manage and order the world for the sake of human beings. As mentioned in the Koran (al-Baqarah: 30) man is ordered by God to become the leader in the world for establishing peace, welfare, and justice. It is not only a monopoly of Islam, but for all people. That is why the task of establishing civilization in this world the responsibility of all people, so that we should be able to cooperate with each other in order for all human beings to be able to live properly N ot like now, where there are still some starving people in other parts of the world. It is not because we are un able to produce enough food, but that we are still not able to manage the world properly.
In Indonesia, we should be able to establish cooperation amongst all religions. This is a formidable job because officially we have six religions and one traditional belief, with various sub-divisions. All should be able to formulate a coherent relationship within religious, cultural, and political aspects. Moslem s can take the example of the life of Muhammad the Prophet who was able to create pluralistic societies based on the Madinah Charter. Recently our political discourse of the Madinah Societies should be filled with real efforts to establish the open society. For this purpose, it may be useful to introduce Fritjof Schuon’s concept of religion of the heart (Schuon, 1994: vii and 91) to reform our already challenging concept ofTrilogi Kerukunan (Threefold Tolerations) introduced in 1978 by ex-Minister of Religions H. Alamsyah Ratu Prawiranegara. By doing so, we can enlarge from a co-existence principle into a truly understanding principle of all religions. For that purpose, we already have the institute of DIAN (Dialog Antar Iman ) for encouraging dialogue amongst the religion s , however we can try to introduce the concept of ‘passing over’ in order to develop a spiritual feeling (Hidayat and Ahmad Gaus AF, 1998: xiv)