Note: the book is in Indonesian language. Klik ini untuk Bahasa Indonesia.
I finally have finished reading Syech Siti Jenar by Achmad Chodjim. Thanks to the easter long weekend holiday. This posting is mostly taken from the last chapter of the book.
Syech Siti Jenar’s view is a blend of middle eastern sufi and Javanese mystics. The emphasis is not physical, rather it is based on Love, in the form of manunggaling kawula kawan Gusti, tauhid al wujud, the oneness of the Creator and the creation.
He argued that religion will be beautiful if it is in line with God’s law of nature, which is the existence of various forms and beings, as opposed to uniform existence.
Let religion grows in harmony with wherever it grows, in harmony with the local ecosystem. In his case, it was the land of Java. His teaching is an assimilation of the Arab-based Islam and the Javanese culture.
Alquran, he said, should be understood by its substance. Not an easy thing. Thus, the choice of teacher (guru) is crucial. The teacher should be a concrete manifestation of Alquran, able to provide guidance. Someone who understands the law, smart and with quality ibadah (not sure how to translate this).
Understanding the law means understanding the social rules of life in that particular environment or state. Understanding the life ethics. And the local social values.
Quality ibadah does not mean somebody who do all the rituals. Rather, it means his unconditional dedication to life without wanting anything in return. His sincerity in life which is reflected in his everyday life.
The teacher should be somebody who are able to hold himself together against all the temptations in life. Someone who has smart analitical thought and is proven to be able to face the challenges in life.
Siti Jenar also emphasized on the revival of self. A life with true rights, independence and destiny. An existence that does not dominate nor dominated by other being.
I myself think I need more time to contemplate upon the book, much more to implement it in my life. But I hope this is useful, for you and for me.