Cultural Wisdom, Wali Songo, and Islam Nusantara

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Indonesian people pay more attention to the traditions of their ancestors; in this case, for example, is the grave pilgrimage. Today, it’s common knowledge that some groups do not like and consider the pilgrimage to the grave as an un-Islamic heresy. Therefore, there are efforts to prohibit the pilgrimage of tombs for various reasons and arguments used. The prohibition is to use the name of the institution or religion. It is incomplete if it is not given a verse from the Koran or the hadith of Kanjeng Nabi Muhammad SAW.

Even so, it’s a collective necessity as a Javanese society to constantly guard, maintain, and practice the cultural heritage of their ancestors that does not contradict the substance of Islamic teachings. Of course, the nature of tolerance and respect in interpreting diversity is a universal necessity that we cannot avoid.

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Surprisingly, a group that doesn’t like actions labelled with cynical terms, TBC (that stands for TabayunBidah, and C[k]hufarat), among which is the grave pilgrimage to the tombs of the Wali Songo. But, of course, we know Wali Songo is a nickname for saints who struggled to spread Islamic teachings in the archipelago in the 15th and 16th centuries.

In this context, they always ask where the argument is, where the verse is, and where is the authentic hadith. They tend to worship the text rather than the context in understanding religion. Well, such a condition cannot be left alone without any tabayun (clarification) with one another. The concept of Wali Songo for those who forbid the pilgrimage to the guardian’s grave is still absurd and ambiguous. Therefore, it seems reasonable when the mukhatab is the general public who still needs to be showered with Islamic values ​​both from the doctrinal and muamalah sides.

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