Sufism, Cafés, and Urban Spirituality

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Modernization has permeated nearly all areas of Indonesia, marked by significant changes in various aspects of daily life. Rationalization, growth, and rapid technological adoption illustrate the sweeping modernization occurring across the nation.

Rosenberg, as cited by Aris, notes that modernization manifests in new urban habits and the transformation or disappearance of rural characteristics within a community. In recent decades, rapid civilization advancements have significantly reshaped societal landscapes. Major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, and Yogyakarta have become hubs of economic growth, education, and diverse modern activities.


The massive urbanization phenomenon has driven population growth in urban areas, making life in these cities increasingly dense and dynamic. High population mobility, busy daily activities, and the constant hustle and bustle define urban life. Urban dwellers face the challenge of keeping pace with the rapid city developments while balancing various life aspects, such as careers, education, social interactions, and personal needs.

The rapid growth of major cities has altered urban life patterns, impacting lifestyles, thinking methods, and socio-cultural dynamics. Amid the urban hustle and the relentless pursuit of achievements, urbanites often grapple with personal challenges to find meaning and balance in life. Work demands, daily routines, and consumerist lifestyles frequently lead to feelings of emptiness, stress, and spiritual crises, affecting mental health and individual well-being.

In such circumstances, there is a growing need to seek life’s meaning and achieve personal balance amidst the urban complexity. Responding to these spiritual crises and the need for life meaning, urban communities increasingly seek spiritual fulfillment. Spirituality is viewed as a path to balance, self-existence, and inner peace amid the often exhausting physical and mental demands of city life.

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