Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Ziarah Kubra: Reconnecting/Synergizing Global and Local Islam
Ahmad Syarif

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 126
Date: 2019-07-24 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


Global Islamic ideas from Arab countries have been accused of belittling or diminishing local culture in Indonesia. This perspective comes with the narrative of Arabization of Indonesian Islam following the end of the New Order. In response, this paper argues that local cultures in Indonesia have been revived through their interactions with foreign ideas and culture. It does so by observing the Ziarah Kubra, an annual public pilgrimage to the tombs of saints, scholars, and sultans of Palembang. Analyzing this ritual event affords us with ways to think differently about cultural interactions. Indeed, Ziarah Kubra connects Palembang to what is usually considered to be global Islam, as instantiated in the Hadrami Sufi tradition Tariqah Alawiyyah. At the same time, the event revitalizes local cultures. Concurrently, the event serves to reaffirm the role of the Sultanate of Palembang as the local guardian of Islam. Consequently, the article calls for a rethinking of the relationship between global and local Islam and the role of the Hadramis in bridging that connection.

Keywords: Hadrami, Palembang, Islamic identity, Southeast Asia, Malay World