03 September 2015
One key issue contested during the recent Nahdlatul Ulama congress is the debate over Islam Nusantara. However, the idea was drowned by a tussle for leadership.
On August 5, 2015, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, concluded its five-yearly National Congress (muktamar) in controversy over theology and leadership succession. With a membership of approximately 40 million Indonesian Muslims, the NU muktamar is closely watched by observers for indicators of the direction of Islam in Indonesia.
Islam Nusantara, the application of Islamic teachings in the Indonesian socio-cultural context, was the theme for the recent 33th congress in Jombang, East Java. But the notion of practising Islam within the Indonesian cultural context proved difficult to be fully accepted, even though the idea is not entirely new to NU. The concept of Islam Nusantara is based on Ash’arite theology (Tawhid), Ghazalian Sufism (Tasawwuf), and the Shafi’i school of law (Shari’ah and fiqh). These three elements shape and influence, to differing degrees, Muslim behaviour in Indonesia.
… Alexander R. Arifianto is a Research Fellow and Adri Wanto a Research Associate with the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015