Belief is often associated with religion and belief in something related to unseen things, spirits, and the like. Then, how do the Kejawen people think about this? There are so many stories in Java that illustrate that the hope of the Kejawen people is not enough to work and pray.
Javanese people have a group that has a syncretic view of religion. It is a sense that they tend to compromise things that are somewhat different and even contrary to belief with stuff outside the faith. According to the author, this also relates to the term of "Arab Digarap, Jawa Digawa."
That sentence means that the teachings of Islam are carried out without leaving the culture or customs of the Kejawen order; this makes the life of the subject more balanced.
Most Javanese people have been raised by the acculturation process of two major traditions which are, the Islamic tradition and the Javanese tradition. The acculturation of the two great thought traditions has consequences on shaping their thinking about Java and Islam.
Definition of Islam Kejawen
Islam Kejawen defines as a socio-culturally, that is a sub-culture and part of Javanese culture. Javanese culture itself in a broader sense includes sub-cultures in Java, such as the Pesisiran (Pantura), Banyumasan, and Nagari Agung cultures.
The term Javanese land is used not to mention the island of Java because of the isle of Java some cultures are not included in the Javanese sub-culture such as Sundanese (West Java) and Betawi (Jakarta) cultures.
The community often uses the term Kejawen itself to refer to culture and traditions in the former Islamic Mataram kingdom, both in Yogyakarta that is called Kasultanan and Pakualaman and in Surakarta, namely Kasunanan and Mangkunegaran.
The cultural development of Islam Kejawen
From these two regions, the Kejawen tradition developed. The term Islam used in the Kejawen practice as a personal identity is different from puritan Islamic identity or Javanese identity.
Islam Kejawen is an Islamic religion that has adapted to the culture and traditions of Nagari Agung which can then create an identity that combines Javanese and Islamic cultures into Islamic religiosity with Javanese elements.
An Islam Kejawen culture is a form of syncretism between the holy word and the local culture so that Islam Kejawen is a form of the religious phenomenon which is loaded with the content of mystical religious traditions.
The mystical patterns of Islam in the Javanese Islamic culture are so thick in the phenomenon of Javanese diversity. That cannot be separated from the role of the Guardians of the Demak era and afterwards in spreading Islamic da'wa culturally.
Syncretism and relativism of Islam Kejawen
Syncretism for Javanese people itself means that they tend to have the viewpoint not to question right or wrong in being religious, whether religion is pure. Thus, they see that all religions are as correct. Even though in reality, not all of them believe this.
This syncretism became more fertile after Islamic Mataram was founded because they kept their ancestral traditions in Islamic rituals. It was during this time that Islam was understood and practiced in the form of concretization with Javanese culture.
Syncretism, which is defined as the blending of two cultural forms produces a new narrative. In Java, the Prophet's birthday is commemorated with its characteristics in every region in Indonesia. There is something called the Sekaten memorial, with offerings and respect for the forces of the cosmos.
Some people do another ceremony is doing Ziarah or pilgrimage to the grave, which some variants of Islam say that it is prohibited because of approaching shirk, but this is still practiced openly.
There is also what is called the Selametan event, which is a communal event in which various symbols of both Islam and Kejawen are fought but are still carried out as a necessity to maintain social harmony.
Apart from the Sekaten and Slametan rituals, other symbols also have a central position in Javanese society - namely an emblem that is manifested in an erratic face called "Semar." It is essential to be appointed because through Semar, all aspects of relativism are reflected in Islam Kejawen.
How do People Think About Islam Kejawen?
In Indonesia, people call the followers of Islam Kejawen as "Abangan" people. They are loyal followers of the Islamic teachings of Kejawen. But unfortunately, the good things in Kejawen's instructions are not always considered acceptable by other Javanese people.
Often there are differences of opinion between Abangan people and other Muslims. The first difference lies in the universalism is a "hope" of the afterlife with the pragmatism and relativism of the Abangan people in Java. This point of view was born because the Abangan people view Islam as an Arabic religion.
That is one of the reasons they have never followed some of the rules wholeheartedly. For them, performing religious rituals every day is less important than doing good and being honest with others.
They have little regard for ritual acts because they think true holiness is a matter of private life; it is an inner problem. That is why the place of worship is not in a mosque or church, but each other's hearts.
To against the arguments, santri accused the Abangan people of having committed sinful acts, adhering to a heretical interpretation of Islam, and of being polytheists.
On the historical side, the problems could arise because of the initial friction. That problem happens between the natives and the colonialists, which made the Javanese aware to reflect on their existence and spurred the construction of Javanese identity in their hearts.
Based on the author point of view, if the problem continues so that it will lead to a lack of tolerance among people. Therefore, it is better than if we as a good and religious human in a society can respect all religions.
Do not judge others, if the teachings of other religions are wrong. It is enough to be silent and please do not act more because every human being has the same rights in religious freedom.
- Bakri, Syamsul. 2016. "Islam Kejawen (Agama dalam Kesejarahan Kultur Lokal)." https://iain-surakarta.ac.id/islam-kejawen-agama-dalam-kesejarahan-kultur-lokal/
- Karomi, Kholid. 2013. "Tuhan dalam Mistik Islam Kejawen." Dalam jurnal vol. II No. 2, September 2013
- Pratisti, Aliyuna. 2015. "Islam, Kejawen, dan Relativisme." https://antimateri.com/islam-kejawen-dan-relativisme/