dinsdag 28 januari 2014

Din Wahid and Salafi Pesantren

It is time again to write something as a first piece for this year. 27 January 2014 we had the celebration of the doctoral dissertation of Din Wahid in Utrecht: Nurturing the Salafi Manhaj: a study of Salafi Pesantrens in Contemporary Indonesia.
Din is born in 1968, did his  secondary education in Gontor, taught for two years as kerja bakti. His BA is from Jakarta, UIN Syarif Hidayatullah. His MA in Leiden and now he returned for an Utrecht PhD to the Salafi Pesantrens. There are some 50 Salafi pesantrens amongst 5-6,000 (or even 45,000: Pesantren plus madrasah) in Indonesia. So, not more than 1% or even less. But anything salafi is now hot, impressive and important.
They are serious, teach good Arabic, often receive much money from Arab countries, and are all different. That is the rule for pesantren in general and especially also for salafi ones. They are in doctrine close to Persis and Muhammadiyah (groups that were labelled Wahhabi in the 1920s and 1930s), and some distinguishing markes are the shorter trousers, beard, seclusion from infidels. The first chapters gave a nice systematic introduction into what salafism really is, but the other chapters again showed a good diversity. They look quite innocent and the panic of the 2009 book Ilusi Negara Islam is not found in this book.
It is harvest time for Martin van Bruinessen who had a few weeks ago another dissertation, by Zoltan Pall, on Lebanese Salafism and now this good one. Nice work, fieldwork under sometimes difficult circumstances, because Salafi Muslims are not really keen on outsiders.
Bob Heffner came for the examination from Boston. Din Wahid from Jakarta; it is a short ceremony, not a real examination because the result is already defined. A dissertation looks like a book,but it is not really a book, the title is too long, it will be difficult to be sold in the market, although Salafism is popular, but the style, even of this well dissertation, still is too close to what other people also want in this book: a good deal of general theory and no entertaining stories, let alone, a broad narrative. But I likes some of the anecdotes and especially the way the differences between the soul mates are pictured.
I wrote a short poem for him, as usual: 

Din Wahid sekarang sudah Doktor fi Dīn
Berulang-ulang pergi ke negeri dingin
Isteri dan anak memberikan izin
Asal dia tetap minal mu’minin

Lahir di pantai Indramayu
Waktu remaja pergi ke daerah Madiun
Belajar terus, menolak tawaran puteri ayu
Semangat mengajar tak pernah  layu.

Habis belajar di Gontor, pindah ke metropolis
Di pinggiran Jakarta di Uin menjadi usulis
Ya, usuluddin untuk jabatan dalam negeri kurang praktis
Tetapi cocok untuk belajar ke luar negeri, Leiden semacam INIS.

Pandai meneliti si Din Wahid dengan bahasa Arabnya
Kalau ke salafi, ya, cocok ucapan dan lidahnya
Kalau di Leiden dan Utrecht pakai Inggrisnya
Untuk setiap lingkungan ada bahasanya

Badan tetap kecil, rambutnya sudah hilang,
Senyum selalu lebar dan menunjuk sikap senang
Juga kalau di Jakarta dalam taksi, macet tidak bosan
Karena ke isteri dan anak akan pulang.

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