Abah Anom Break The Captain’s Arrogance

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Who does not know this quirky wali figure? His name is already famous throughout the archipelago; he is familiarly called Abah Anom. Abah Anom himself in Sundanese means ”Young Kiai”. However, Abah Anom’s real name is KH. Ahmad Sohibul Wafa Tajul Arifin. Abah Anom was born in Suralaya village, Pagerageung, Tasikmalaya on January 1, 1915 AD from the couple Sheikh Abdullah Mubarok bin Nur Muhammad with Nyai Hajjah Juhariyah. From this, we can see that Abah Anom grew up in a family of scholars; in him flows the blood of scholars.

Abah Anom got his first education from his own father, Sheikh Abdullah, Abah Sepuh. Under the guidance of his father, Abah Anom was first taught the basic sciences of religion such as fiqh, morals, recitation, nahwu sharaf and others. The formal education taken by Abah Anom is Elementary School in Ciamis. Then after graduating from elementary school, he continued his secondary school education in Ciawi Tasikmalaya. After completing his formal education, his father asked him to continue his education at a boarding school. Later, he would replace his father as the caretaker of the Suralaya pesantren. Finally, in 1930 he studied at several pesantrens in West Java.


At first Abah Anom studied at the Cicariang pesantren, Cianjur. Then after he felt enough, he finally left and studied in another place for approximately two years, namely at the Jambudwipa Islamic Boarding School, Cianjur. Then after two years, he said goodbye to stay again at the Gentur pesantren in Cianjur under the care of Ajengan Syatibi. Thus, after two years, the young Abah Anom left the Gentur pesantren. He entered the Cireungas pesantren, Sukabumi. In this pesantren, Abah Anom matured his knowledge not only about Islam but also martial arts.

After finishing studying, young Abah Anom finally came home and started helping his father take care of the pesantren; not long after returning, young Abah Anom ventured to propose to his idol, Euis Siti Ruyanah, who at that time was still 23 years old. Not long after marriage, Abah Anom and his wife performed the fifth pillar of Islam, namely the pilgrimage. 

However, after the pilgrimage was over, Abah Anom and his wife did not return home immediately. Still, they spent seven months in the holy land to gain knowledge with the great scholars there. They also diligently visited Rabitah Naqsbandi in Jabal Gubaisy to study Sufism with Sheikh Romli, a mursyid from Garut, West Java, who lived in Mecca. In addition, Abah Anom studied the books by Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, namely the books of Sirr al Asrar and Ghaniyyat at Thalibin on a scholar from Garut, Sheikh Romli.

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Abah Anom had excellent service in the struggle against foreign invaders; this was proven when Indonesia was almost independent of 1939 to 1945. So when he returned from the pilgrimage, Abah Anom devoted more of his time to fight against the invaders. However, in addition to being attacked by foreign invaders, he also faced the Darul Islam movement (DI/TII), which already controlled half of West Java. Seeing that there were two attacks at once, Abah Anom decided to join the TNI.

In 1956 when his father, Sheikh Abdullah Mubarok bin Nur Muhammad (Abah Sepuh), died, finally Abah Anom inevitably had to lead the pesantren left by his father. When he led the pesantren, he received terror from the Darul Islam or Di/TII group; the terror came more than thirty-eight times. To deal with the attacks and terrors of DI/TII, he ordered his students to fight these terrors persistently. For his services, he received a star of respect from the Indonesian government.

When we talk about Abah Anom, it feels incomplete if we don’t tell them about his karamah. Many stories tell about Abah Anom’s karamah, one of which is when he had a guest who had the rank of captain and had high supernatural powers; this captain went to Abah Anom intending to pit his supernatural powers with Abah Anom’s supernatural powers. The story is as follows, one afternoon, a captain and some of his subordinates came to the Suralaya pesantren; the captain went with a large boulder about the size of his fist, the stone he kept in his pocket. When invited to enter, the captain and several of his men were met by Abah Anom in his living room. The captain took out a stone from his pocket and then placed the stone in his hand with the power that it had; finally, the stone was split into two parts. Then, after a show of magic, the captain arrogantly handed the stone to Abah Anom so that he would show his magic.

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Seeing the arrogance of his guest, he just smiled and accepted the stone that the captain had broken earlier. Abah Anom’s hands miraculously turned the rock into fine powder. When the captain saw this incident, he just stared and was surprised as if he couldn’t believe what he had just seen. If the captain could only split the stone into two, Abah Anom actually made the stone into a fine powder. Not long ago, Abah Anom asked a student to get a glass of water in which fish was placed. The student gave a glass of water filled with fish to Abah Anom then Abah Anom handed the glass to the captain. With his still arrogant style, the captain was like a fishing person, and the fish in the glass seemed really provoked. The captain again showed his magic in front of him.

Then not long ago, Abah Anom, with his index finger, gestured. Suddenly, the glass moved in front of him, then Abah Anom, with his index finger, gestured at the glass, and the fish in it seemed to be provoked. Not only that, Abah Anom again looked around him; he gave a hand signal as if Abah Anom was holding a slingshot and then pointed it upwards as if he was going to aim for something, not long after suddenly, a dove fell. Seeing this incident, the captain was again stunned and amazed, as if what he had just experienced was a dream. Then the captain felt defeated and apologized to Abah Anom, and he also vowed to become Abah Anom’s student. Since then, the captain became Abah Anom’s student. 

Abah Anom died on September 5, 2011 at the age of 96 years old. We can take a lesson from the story above; we must realize that above the sky, there is still a sky, so we shouldn’t boast. How weak humans are in the presence of Allah SWT. We should never show off our wealth, intelligence, position, and so on.


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