Friday, October 26, 2012

Religion Tolerance a la Kudus City

Al Aqsa Mosque or people recognize it as Masjid Menara Kudus, in 1940
(source: Tropenmuseum)

Hello World!
Happy Iedul Adha all! Yesterday we celebrated one’s of the holy day of a moslem, the symbol of sacrifice and  togetherness. During Iedul Adha, one things is important, that is qurban (sacrifice) itself, which in the holy Koran, we recognize that phopret Ibrahim (Abraham) had a recurring dream, in which Allah SWT was commanding him to offer his son, Ismail (Ishmael) as a sacrifice. Ibrahim felt so confuse whether he want to obey the God orders, but there’s no father in the world who have his heart to sacrificing his dear son.  But later when Ibrahim asked Ismail about this, Ismail replied, “ Insha Allah (God willingness), you’ll find me to be patient, just do what the Allah asked to you father”. After all Ibrahim realize orders to sacrificing his son, he blindfold his eyes when he cut Ismail throat. When he cut Ishmael's throat and removed the blindfold, he was surprised when found  Ismail was unharmed and and still alive! But he found a dead sheep which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out Allah SWT order. Since that day, all the moslem who’ve been capable are have a duty to slaughter a cattle (cow, goat, sheep, camel, ram, buffalo) during Iedul Adha day, then later distributed to the poor people. That’s the origin of Iedul Adha, but I wanna share about the unique tradition in Kudus city, a city to the east of Semarang about this day.

The story teller, Hasan, experted
about the story about early Islam in Java
I got this story from my friends who comin’ from there named Hasan Anwar, he explain me about, why the Kudus people are forbidden to use cow as their qurban? Even not only on that celebration, we almost couldn’t find any soto, kind of Javanese soup, which using cow meat in Kudus, because they changed it with buffalo meat. So, whats the reason behind it?

Hasan, told me that its just because of Sunan Kudus, the pseudonym of Jaffar Shadiq, the early Islam missionary in Java who lived in Kudus, forbid the people to slaughtering cow, in order to respect the Hindu’s people, who at that time are the majority in Java island. One day, he received a cow coming from the merchant from India. The people are so curious when the cow is tethered in front of Sunan Kudus house. The hindu’s people want to know what will Sunan Kudus do, for the holy animal according to their belief. The number of people gathered increasing, both of the Hindu’s and Muslim’s, who want to  prevented, if any trouble happened to the Sunan Kudus. Then Sunan Kudus come out from his house and said, “Brothers and sisters! My beloved people, I’ll not do any danger to this cow, and I beg u not to hurt even slaughter the cow, because in my childhood this animal once saved my life, its nursing me when I was suffering due to really bad thirst. Even in our Koran, there’s a surah (chapter) using the name of this animal, called Al Baqarah (Baqarah: female cow). ”

Then the people are so excited with what the Sunan Kudus said. Its proof them about the high tolerance of moslem people. Even after that a lots of people converted to Islam, and Sunan Kudus according to the folkstale, received a granted, there’s a building from the local religious leader, where later he renovated it and nowadays become what we recognize as Masjid Menara Kudus.  Most of the building carried the Hindu’s architecture, dominated with the red bricks structure. Its always remind me about , the beauty of harmonism.

Well, until now, Kudus people still obeys the Sunan Kudus order not to slaughtering cow. Every Iedul Adha day, there’s no cow is slaughtered, only goat, sheep, and buffalo. Even Hasan’s added, “once there’s a kampong, break the rule, they slaughter the cow and later all of them were ill.” Believe it or not ;)    
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