Cleric: Spiritual values are the main spirit of NU
Jakarta, NU Online
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) was born by a number of charismatic clerics (kiai) led by Hadratussyekh KH Muhammad Hasyim Aasy'ari in 1926. Chairman of the Advisory Board (Rais Syuriyah) of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) KH Abdul Ghofur Maimoen (Gus Ghofur) emphasized that spiritual values were the main spirit of the NU organization.
“Everyone understands that this (NU) is an organization of Muslim scholars (ulema). Spiritual values are the main spirit of the organization. Many of its decisions are not only based on the values of rationality, but are also based on some kind of spiritual inspiration," said Gus Ghofur via Facebook, Monday (11/10).
According to him, the movement of the NU organization never escapes religious and spiritual considerations. The community also understands that submitting and obeying NU is not only organizational but also has a spiritual dimension.
"The Supreme Leader, Syaikhona Khalil, in 1924 sent his student, KH As'ad Syamsul Arifin (later became the leader of the Salafiyah Syafiiyah Islamic Boarding School Situbondo) to hand over a stick to Kiai Hasyim who was also his student. This stick is a symbol of the stick of Prophet Musa (AS)," Gus Ghofur explained.
When giving the stick to Kiai Hasyim, Kiai As'ad recited QS Thaha verses 17-21. In these verses there is a dialogue between Allah and Prophet Moses regarding the stick as a weapon against Pharaoh.
"What is in your right hand, O Moses? (Moses) said, it is my stick. I (can) lean on it, thresh (leaves) with it for (food of) my goat, and have other needs for it. (Allah) said, throw (the stick), O Moses! So he (Moses) threw it. Suddenly he became a snake that was crawling quickly. He (Allah) said, take it and do not be afraid! We will return it to its original condition.”
Gus Ghofur said that in the Sufistic tradition, the Moses' stick was interpreted as a symbol of spiritual leadership. In the Ruh Al-Bayan, Ismail Haqqi explains, in the stick there is a sign that the prophets are shepherds of the people. They, the prophets, must guard the people from the demonic wolves and the lions of lust.
"Some sufis say, the stick is a picture of the so-called nafs al muṭmainnah (or) a calm soul that could destroy wrong perceptions (al mauhūmāt) and delusions (al mutakhayyalāt)," Gus Ghofur explained.
He continued that at the end of 1924, Syekh Kholil Bangkalan again sent his santri, Kiai As'ad Syamsul Arifin, to bring the prayer beads (tasbih) and asked the tasbih to be worn around his neck. The tasbih in the Sufistic tradition is also a spiritual symbol, just like the stick.
Imam As-Sayūṭī, in his Al-Minḥah fi As-Sabḥah, quotes from Ibn Khalikān in Wafiyyāt al-A'yān, that one day Ab Al-Qāsim Al-Junaid bin Muhammad was seen carrying a prayer beads in his hand. Then, it was said to him, “You in all your glory still have the prayer beads in your hands?” Then Imam As-Sayuti replied, "(This is) the way that leads me 'wushul' to my Lord. I will not be separated from him.”
Then Imam As-Sayuti mentioned the so-called musalsal of prayer beads with Imam Hasan Al-Basri. Imam As-Sayuti said, “This is something we used at the beginning (of the path). We won't leave it at the end. I love the remembrance of Allah with my heart, and in my hands and my tongue."
Perhaps, said Gus Ghofur, this was one of the reasons behind many Nahdliyin who hope that NU must be protected as strong as possible. Moreover, NU will soon have a big event, namely the congress which will be held in Lampung on 23-25 December 2021.
Gus Ghofur asserted that whoever elected will, more or less, symbolically inherit the stick and the tasbih of Hadratus Sheikh KH Hasyim Asy'ari. The future leaders of NU, especially at the syuriyah level, must be chosen with the deepest conscience, and through ways that spread an aura of spirituality.
"So is the leaders of the tanfidziyah, because in fact they are the implementers of the Syuriyah policies, even though they are not as sacred as the Syuriyah," Gus Ghofur, the fifth son of the late KH Maimoen Zubair said.
The leader of the Al-Anwar Islamic High School (STAI), Sarang, Rembang, Central Java, felt honored because on 3 October he was visited by the Rais Aam of PBNU KH Miftachul Akhyar.
“This campus was founded by our spiritual-intellectual teacher, KH Maimoen Zubair with great aspirations to harmonize intellect and spirituality. Therefore, structurally above the chairman there is a council of leaders,” he said.
"As stated by Kiai Luthfi Thomafi, thank God we were visited by KH Mustofa Bisri and KH Ma'ruf Amin. The two Rais Aam of PBNU in their era. For us, the Rais Syuriah of PBNU is a spiritual figure for the Indonesian nation," Gus Ghofur concluded.
Reporter: Aru Lego Triono
Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq
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