A research project on the Indonesian ulama gave me the opportunity to visit pesantren in various parts of the Archipelago and put together a sizeable collection of books used in and around the pesantren, the so-called kitab kuning. Taken together, this collection offers a clear overview of the texts used in Indonesian pesantren and madrasah, a century after L.W.C. van den Berg’s pioneering study of the Javanese (and Madurese) pesantren curriculum (1886). Van den Berg compiled, on the basis of interviews with kyais, a list of the major textbooks studied in the pesantren of his day. He mentioned fifty titles and gave on each some general information and short summaries of the more important ones. Most of these books are still being reprinted and used in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, but many other works have come into use beside them. The present collection contains around nine hundred different titles, most of which are used as textbooks. I shall first make some general observations on these books and on the composition of the collection. In the second part of this article I shall discuss a list of ‘most popular kitab’ that I compiled from other sources. All of the books listed there are, however, part of the collection.
Criteria and representativeness
In order to judge how representative this collection is, a few words on my method of collecting are necessary. I visited the major publishers and toko kitab (bookshops specializing in this type of religious literature) in Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Purwokerto, Semarang, Surabaya, Banda Aceh, Medan, Pontianak, Banjarmasin, Amuntai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown (Penang), Kota Bharu and Patani (Southern Thailand), and bought there all available Islamic books in Arabic script printed in Southeast Asia. The last two criteria may at first sight seem rather arbitrary, but I found them to be sociologically significant besides being the most convenient ones. It is true, most toko kitab also sell limited numbers of Arabic books printed in Egypt and Lebanon (an agent representing the Lebanese publishing house Dar al-Fikr has special shops for these books in Jakarta and Surabaya), but the price differential between such books and Southeast Asian editions guarantees that they are bought by a relatively small minority only. They include works of reference for the advanced scholar and works by modern authors that have not yet been accepted by the mainstream of Indonesian Islam. Any book for which there is a sizeable demand will sooner or later be (re)printed by one of the regional publishers.
Similarly, the script in which a book is printed carries symbolic meaning and differentiates rather neatly between two different types of reading public. Indonesian Muslims use even different words for books in romanized script (‘buku’) and those in Arabic script, irrespective of the language (‘kitab’). Up to the 1960’s a well-defined line divided the Muslim community in ‘traditionalists’ and ‘modernists’ (with as their major socio-religious organizations the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah, respectively). The former used to study religion exclusively through kitab kuning (called kuning, ‘yellow,’ after the tinted paper of books brought from the Middle East in the early twentieth century), while the latter read only buku putih, ‘white’ books in romanized Indonesian. The authors of the latter usually rejected most of the scholastic tradition in favour of a return to, and in some cases new interpretation of, the original sources, the Qur’an and the hadith. This may have contributed to the negative attitude towards buku putih that long existed in the pesantren milieu. In a few old-fashioned pesantren such books are not allowed until this day. Traditionalist ulama writing books or brochures, whether in Arabic or in one of the vernacular languages, always used Arabic script, and many continue to do so. Nowadays, however, the dividing line between ‘modernists’ and ‘traditionalists’ is not so sharp and clear anymore, and many of the old antagonisms have worn off. The ‘modernists’ have generally become less radical in their rejection of tradition — significantly, there are now several Muhammadiyah pesantren offering a combination of the traditional curriculum (kitab kuning) and that of the modern school. Not only have most ‘traditionalist’ kyai, on the other hand, become more catholic in their reading, many of them write now in Indonesian as well as in Arabic, Malay or Javanese. The Arabic script, though still the most unambiguous symbol of a traditionalist orientation, is no longer a sine qua non for it. I have therefore not applied the criterion of script too rigidly, and have included in the present collection a number of works in (romanized) Indonesian, that logically belong to the kitab tradition: annotated translations of, or commentaries on, classical texts by ‘traditionalist’ ulama.
The criterion of Arabic script has excluded one category of texts otherwise quite similar to those collected. Ulama in South Sulawesi (the most prolific of whom are Yunus Maratan and Abdul Rahman Ambo Dalle) have written religious texts in Buginese for use in madrasah and schools, employing not, as earlier generations of scholars did, the Arabic but the Buginese alphabet. A good number of these works are already in the KITLV library, and several bibliographies exist (Departemen Agama 1981/1982, 1983/1984).
The collection could, for a number of reasons, not be complete. Most publishers have very limited storage facilities, and only a fraction of the books published by them are actually available at their sales departments. When a kitab is (re)printed, almost the entire edition is immediately sent off to toko kitab throughout the country. It is only through visiting many such shops and patiently combing the shelves that one can collect at least most of the important works from major publishers. Virtually all works mentioned in published sources or heard about have been collected, some even in several editions, in various translations or with different glosses. But some of the less important works were simply out of print and sold out in all shops visited.
Furthermore, there are numerous minor local publishers bringing out works of secondary importance, often by local ulama. There are not a few of such works in the collection, but it is likely that many others were overlooked. In spite of these limitations, however, the collection represents a fair cross-section of the study materials used in Indonesian (and Malaysian) pesantren and madrasah, as well as of the intellectual output of Indonesian ulama.
Out of some nine hundred different works, almost five hundred, or just over half, were written or translated by Southeast Asian ulama. Many of these Indonesian ulama wrote in Arabic: almost 100 titles, or around 10%, are Arabic works by Southeast Asians (or Arabs resident in the region). Those in Indonesian languages were, of course, all written by Southeast Asians (including some of Arab descent). If we count translations as separate works, the approximate numbers of kitab in the various languages are as follows :
Language Approximate number of kitab Percentage of total number
Arabic 500 55 % Malay 200 22 % Javanese 120 13 % Sundanese 35 4 % Madurese 25 2.5 % Acehnese 5 0.5 % Indonesian 20 2 %
These works can be roughly classified according to subject matter. The largest categories are:
jurisprudence (fiqh) 20 % doctrine (`aqida, usul al-din) 17 % traditional Arabic grammar (nahw, sarf, balagha) 12 % hadith collections 8 % mysticism (tasawwuf, tariqa) 7 % morality (akhlaq) 6 % collections of prayers and invocations, Islamic magic (du`a, wird, mujarrabat) 5 % texts in praise of the prophets and saints (qisas al-anbiya’, mawlid, manaqib, etc.) 6 %
A few important changes have taken place in the composition of the pesantren curriculum, and these are only partly reflected in the table above. A century ago, the Qur’an and the traditions were rarely studied directly but mainly in the ‘processed’ form of scholastic works on jurisprudence and doctrine. According to van den Berg, only one tafsir, the Jalalayn, was studied in the pesantren, and no hadith collections at all. In this respect, a significant change has taken place during the past century. There are no less than ten different Qur’anic commentaries (in Arabic, Malay, Javanese and Indonesian) in the collection beside straightforward translations (also called tafsir) into Javanese and Sundanese. The number of compilations of hadith is even more striking. There is almost no pesantren now where hadith is not taught as a separate subject. The major emphasis in instruction remains, however, on fiqh, the Islamic science par excellence. There have been no remarkable changes in the fiqh texts studied, but the discipline of usul al-fiqh (the foundations or bases of fiqh) has been added to the curriculum of many pesantren, allowing a more flexible and dynamic view of fiqh.These and other categories of kitab kuning will be discussed in greater detail in the second part of this article, where the most popular of each are listed. But here are first some observations on kitab publishing and major authors.
The publishing of kitab kuning in the Archipelago
Printed books are a relative novelty in the pesantren. In van den Berg’s time, many of the kitab in the pesantren were still in manuscript, and were copied by the santri in longhand. But it was precisely in this period that printed books from the Middle East began entering Indonesia in significant numbers, one of the side effects of the increased participation in the haj (due in turn to the arrival of the steamship). There had, by then, been a century of bookprinting in the Middle East already, but of particular relevance for Indonesians was the establishment of a government press in Mecca in 1884, which printed not only books in Arabic but also in Malay. The latter part of its activities was placed under the supervision of the learned Ahmad b. Muhammad Zayn al-Patani, who is also the author of several treatises himself. (the present collection contains seven of them in recent reprints). His selection of books was rather biased in favour of those by compatriots, and it is partly due to him that many works of Da’ud b. `Abdallah al-Patani and Muhammad b. Isma`il Da’ud al-Patani are still widely available, in reprints of his original editions. In these and other reprints, the imprint of the original publisher has been replaced, but many of the works published by Ahmad b. M. Zayn may still be recognized by the verses that he wrote as introductions and placed on the title pages.This was not the very first Malay press, although the first one of importance. Zayn al-Din al-Sumbawi, another Jawi scholar resident in Mecca, had a short treatise lithographed as early as 1876 (Snouck Hurgronje 1889: 385) and several of Da’ud b. `Abdallah al-Patani’s works were printed in Bombay before the 1880s too. Bombay was also the major source of printed (lithographed) Qur’ans entering Indonesia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Publishers in Istanbul and Cairo soon followed the Meccan press in establishing Malay sections. It was especially Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi of Cairo who, in the course of time, was to publish many a Malay kitab. Two studies by Mohd. Nor bin Ngah (1980, 1983) discuss a more or less representative sample of these Malay kitab and of the worldview that is reflected in them.
These publishing activities in the Middle East, as well as the example of British and Dutch lithograph presses, stimulated Islamic publishing efforts in the Archipelago too. The first presses there that printed in vernacular languages were operated by government and missionary organisations. They were soon followed by the first enterprising Muslim publishers. One of the pioneers was Sayyid Usman of Batavia, that prolific ‘Arab ally of the Dutch Indies government,’ many of whose simple works are still in use, primarily among the Betawi and Sundanese. He had a first version of his Al-qawanin al-shar`iyya lithographed in 1881; by 1886, at least four other booklets of his hand were mentioned and many more were to follow.
Even Sayyid Usman was not the first Islamic publisher in the Indies; that title probably belongs to Kemas Haji Muhammad Azhari of Palembang, who in 1854 made his first lithograph prints of the Qur’an, calligraphed by himself. He had bought a press in Singapore a few years earlier, on the return journey from the hajj, and taught himself to operate it. His Qur’ans — to which he had written a 14-page Malay introduction on pronunciation and style of reading — found ready buyers. In Singapore too, there must have been lithograph presses occasionally printing in Malay by that time, but very little is known about them as yet. In the 1880s and 1890s, several presses published Malay newspapers and occasionally books, but it remains unclear whether these included more than one or two small religious tracts.
In 1894, the junior ruler of Riau, Muhammad Yusuf, established a printing press, the Matba`at al-Ahmadiyya, on the island of Penyengat in 1894, which in the following years printed several religious treatises by the contemporary Naqshbandi shaykh Muhammad Salih al-Zawawi, the spiritual preceptor of Muhammad Yusuf and his relatives.
These promising beginnings found little follow-up. Many books and journals were published in the Archipelago in the first half of the 20th century, but very few of them were kitab (in the wide sense defined above) and almost none were texts of the classical kind. West Sumatra was probably the only region where a significant number of kitab (written by local `ulama) were printed during the first decades of the century. Some of these were simple textbooks, in Malay and Arabic, for the then new madrasah, meant to replace the rather difficult classical works on Arabic grammar, doctrine and fiqh. Several of these books are still widely used. Others were polemical writings, weapons in the religious debates between kaum muda and kaum tua then raging in West Sumatra.
Here as elsewhere, most of the modernists, who were by far the more prolific writers and publishers, soon adopted the romanized script, which brought them closer to the secular nationalists but reinforced their social separation from the kaum tua. They did write religious textbooks, but in style and contents these differed rather much from traditional kitab.It was only after Indonesia’s independence that kitab began to be printed on any serious scale there. As the present major publishers remember, before the Second World War there were only booksellers, no actual publishers of kitab in the Archipelago (the largest being Sulayman Mar`i in Singapore, `Abdullah bin `Afif in Cirebon, and Salim bin Sa`d Nabhan in Surabaya, all three of them Arabs). They ordered virtually all books - including works in Malay - from Egypt, where book production was then considerably cheaper than in Indonesia. There was one exception, but it had only local significance: the (Malay-owned) Patani Press as well as Nahdi (Arab) in southern Thailand began printing Malay kitab in the late 1930s, for use in the pondok of Patani and the contiguous Malay states.
In the first half of the century, Indonesian demand was still low, and the only commercially interesting kitab was the Qur’an itself. Both Mar`i and bin `Afif made their first attempts to have it printed locally in the 1930s; they were later followed by Al-Ma`arif of Bandung, established late in 1948 by Muhammad bin `Umar Bahartha, a former employee of `Abdullah bin `Afif. By mid-century, Mar`i had several kitab kuning printed as well; one of the more conspicuous was `Abd al-Ra’uf al-Fansuri (al-Singkili)’s Malay adaptation of the tafsir Jalalayn, published in 1951. In the course of the 1950s, Al-Ma`arif followed suit with cheap prints of oft-used kitab, and so did `Abdullah bin `Afif and various relatives of Salim Nabhan. (Larger and therefore more expensive works, such as the four-volume I`anat al-talibin by Sayyid Bakri b. M. Shatta’, the latest great compendium of Shafi`i fiqh, were only published from the 1970s on, reflecting a growing affluence in santri circles). In the course of the 1960s Toha Putra of Semarang also ventured onto the kitab market. Still later, the publishing house Menara of Kudus joined the competition: the first non-Arab publisher of this type of literature in Indonesia. Both Toha Putra and Menara have published numerous classical texts together with Javanese or Indonesian translations, as well as original works by Javanese `ulama. In 1978, a former associate of Al-Ma`arif established the house Al-Haramayn in Singapore, which in a few years put out a wide range of classical Arabic texts, many Malay and even a few Sundanese works. Singapore was apparently no longer an advantageous location to serve the Southeast Asian kitab market from, for Al-Haramayn closed shop after a few years (although its books could still be found all over the Archipelago in 1987), and the owner established a new house in Surabaya, called Bungkul Indah. In number of titles, al-Haramayn and its successor Bungkul Indah are the largest publishers of kitab; in sheer volume of sales, however, they lag far behind Al-Ma`arif. Another new publisher with a wide range of (exclusively Arabic) titles is Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-`Arabiyya in Surabaya.
There are no signs yet of strong centralization in the publishing of kitab kuning. Surabaya boasts the largest number of publishers; the most conspicuous, beside those already mentioned, are the houses of Sa`d bin Nasir bin Nabhan and Ahmad bin Sa`d Nabhan (ten other members of the same family also publish kitab). On Java’s north coast we find further publishers (besides those mentioned) in Semarang (Al-Munawwara), Pekalongan (Raja Murah), Cirebon (Misriyya, the old establishment of `Abdallah bin `Afif) and Jakarta (Al-Shafi`iyya and Al-Tahiriyya, belonging to the large Betawi pesantrens of these names, and putting out textbooks used there besides simple books by authors beloved to the Betawi community). `Arafat in Bogor mainly produces works on Arabic grammar (over twenty titles); Toko Kairo in the small West Javanese town of Tasikmalaya publishes both Arabic classics and simple Sundanese kitab.
In Sumatra there are at present, surprisingly, no important publishers of kitab. The public there is served by publishers in Java, Singapore and Malaysia. Publishing in Singapore has, as said, declined; in Malaysia too, publishing of kitab is on the wane (in contrast to the publishing of modern books, in which the country’s output is above that of its ten times more populous southern neighbour). Georgetown (on the island of Penang) still has three active publishers, of which Dar al-Ma`arif and Nahdi are the most productive. In Kota Bharu (Kelantan), the Pustaka Aman Press is very active, but it publishes mostly modern Malay books, not classics. There are also several publishers in Patani (Southern Thailand), the eldest of which, Patani Press, began publishing the works of Patani `ulama in the late 1930s. At present their books do not receive a wider distribution than Patani and the contiguous Malay states. One of the other publishers here, Nahdi, has moved most of its activities to Penang, where the political climate is more favourable to Islamic publishing, and whence the books receive a wider distribution. Besides these, there are a large number of small local publishers putting out religious tracts, brochures and books for strictly local markets.
A high proportion of the books printed by these Southeast Asian publishers are photomechanical reprints of works first published in Mecca or Cairo around the turn of the century. Many even still carry the imprint of the original publisher on the title page. In other cases, this imprint has been replaced by that of the new publisher. Borrowing continues freely meanwhile. Thus it can happen that a book originally published by Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi of Cairo appears with the name of the most recent publisher, Bungkul Indah, on the jacket while the title page still bears the imprint of the previous publisher, Al-Ma`arif. Some cheap reprints of more recent Egyptian or Lebanese books are only distinguishable from the original by the quality of the paper and the binding: a nightmare for the bibliographer. Thus Bungkul Indah has recently brought out a series of modern works with the imprint of Beyrut publisher Dar al-Thaqafa still on the cover and title page.
The common format of kitab kuning
Most of the classical Arabic kitab studied in the pesantren are commentaries (sharh, Ind/Jav: syarah), or glosses (hashiya, hasyiyah) upon commentaries on older original texts (matn, matan). The printed editions of these classical works usually have the text that is commented or glossed upon printed in the margin, so that both may be studied together. This has perhaps been the reason of occasional confusions between related texts. The name Taqrib, for instance, is used both for this short and simple fiqh text itself and for the Fath al-qarib, a more substantial commentary on it (van den Berg, in fact, believed these two works to be identical). If one asks for the Mahalli, a popular advanced fiqh work, one is given the voluminous super-commentary on it by Qalyubi and `Umayra, that has Mahalli’s Kanz al-raghibin in a modest position in the margin, etc.
Many of the basic texts are manzum, i.e. written in rhymed verse (nazm, nadham), to facilitate memorization. Perhaps the longest manzum text is the Alfiyya, a text on Arabic grammar so called because it consists of thousand (alf) bayt. Many generations of santri have, patiently chanting, committed this entire work to memory, along with a whole range of other texts. Commentaries of such manzum works commonly incorporate the original verse in the (prose) commentary rather than placing it separately in the margin.
A small fraction of the (Javanese, Madurese and Sundanese) translations simply consists of word-by-word, interlineary translations - written obliquely in a finer hand under each word of the bold Arabic text, and therefore graphically dubbed jenggotan, ‘bearded.’ In most cases, however, there is in addition a freer translation and/or commentary, usually printed on the lower half of the page. Malay translations sometimes follow another pattern: the Arabic text is broken up into small semantic units, each of which is then followed by a rather literal Malay translation between brackets. But more often the Malay translation and/or commentary is printed separately, without the Arabic.
The most common format of the classical kitab for pesantren use is just below quarto size (26 cm), and not bound. The quires (koras) lie loose in the jacket, so that the santri may take out any single page that he happens to be studying. This is another physical characteristic that seems to have largely symbolic value: it makes the kitab look more classical. Kitab by modern authors, translators or commentators are never in this format. Many users of classical kitab are strongly attached to it, and the publishers oblige. Some even print kitab on orange-tinted (‘kuning’) paper (produced especially for them by Indonesian factories) because this too is more ‘classical’ in the users’ minds.
Popular authors of kitab
As might be expected, there have been no great shifts in the popularity of classical authors during the past century. Virtually all kitab mentioned by van den Berg are still available in Indonesia, in recent reprints. But there has been a noticeable increase in relatively recent commentaries on these works. A few authors stand out, in that numerous works by them are widely available and have been generally accepted into the pesantren curriculum. The most influential of them flourished in Mecca in the late 19th century.
Ahmad b. Zayni Dahlan, the Shafi`i mufti of Mecca during Snouck Hurgronje’s stay there, is represented by seven works in this collection, and his younger contemporary Sayyid Bakri b. Muhammad Shatta’ al-Dimyati by four, that are very widely used.
The most ubiquitous presence, however, is that of the Indonesian author Muhammad b. `Umar Nawawi al-Jawi al-Bantani (Nawawi Banten), who has twenty-two titles in the collection, all of them in Arabic. Eleven of them occur in the list of most frequently used kitab below — he has more titles among these top hundred than any other author. Nawawi wrote on virtually every aspect of Islamic learning. Most of his works are comments on well-known texts, explaining them in simple terms. He is perhaps best regarded as a popularizer of, rather than a contributor to, learned discourse.
Another commentator comparable to Nawawi Banten in scope and popularity is the earlier Egyptian author Ibrahim al-Bajuri (or Bayjuri, d. 1277/1861), several of whose works were already widely used in van den Berg’s time. The collection contains six of works of his hand, on fiqh, doctrine and logic.
Besides Nawawi, several other southeast Asian authors have acquired lasting places in the pesantren or madrasah curriculum. An earlier, very prolific author is the said Da’ud b. `Abdallah al-Patani (d. ca. 1845), who also wrote on a wide range of subjects, always in Malay. Fourteen of his works were found in recent reprints. They are widely used in Patani, Malaysia and parts of Sumatra. The major works of his contemporaries Muhammad Arshad al-Banjari and `Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani (who wrote in Malay too) are also regularly reprinted. Another author of still popular Malay works is the said Sayyid Usman (`Uthman b. `Abdallah b. `Aqil b. Yahya al-`Alawi).
An important Javanese author of the late 19th century is Saleh Darat (Salih b. `Umar al-Samarani, d. 1321/1903). He wrote commentaries (in Javanese) on several important works of fiqh, doctrine and tasawwuf.
K.H. Mahfudz of Termas (Mahfuz b. `Abdallah al-Tarmasi), who lived and taught in Mecca around the turn of the century (he died in 1919), wrote a few highly regarded works (in Arabic) on fiqh and the science of hadith.
Another highly respected `alim is the late K.H. Ihsan b. Muhammad Dahlan of Jampes, Kediri, who wrote (in Arabic) a much admired commentary on Ghazali’s Minhaj al-`abidin, titled Siraj al-talibin. The names of all these authors (except Kyai Mahfudz) occur in the list of most popular kitab below.
A more recent, and highly prolific Javanese author is Bisri Mustofa of Rembang (Bishri Mustafa al-Rambani), represented in the collection by over twenty works, including a three-volume tafsir (a translation of rather than commentary on the Qur’an).
Misbah b. Zayn al-Mustafa of Bangilan, Ahmad Subki Masyhadi of Pekalongan and Asrori Ahmad of Wonosari translated numerous classical texts into Javanese; the first moreover wrote a voluminous Javanese tafsir.
Other productive Javanese authors include Kyai Muslikh of Mranggen (Muslih b. `Abd al-Rahman al-Maraqi, d. 1986), who wrote several treatises on his tariqa, the Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya, and related matters, and Ahmad `Abd al-Hamid al-Qandali of Kendal, who wrote various treatises on doctrine and religious obligations as well as texts of practical use (methods of da`wa, NU affairs).
In the 19th century, pesantren in Madura and West Java did not use their own regional languages but Javanese as a medium: when Arabic texts were translated it was into Javanese. This too has changed, there are now kitab kuning in Madurese and Sundanese as well. `Abd al-Majid Tamim of Pamekasan translated over ten books into Madurese, covering almost all branches of learning.
There is a wider range of Sundanese kitab, and more of them are original works rather than simply translations. Three authors stand out in the collection: Ahmad Sanusi of Sukabumi (founder of the organization Al Ittihadiyatul Islamiyah, which which merged into the Persatuan Ummat Islam in 1952) wrote a translation/tafsir of the Qur’an; Rd. Ma’mun Nawawi b. Rd. Anwar various edifying booklets, and the great `alim and poet `Abdallah b. Nuh of Bogor works of sufi piety, based on Ghazali. Besides their books, there are numerous simple booklets in Sundanese, for use in the lower grades of the pesantren, published by the bookstore Toko Cairo in Tasikmalaya.
Of the Minangkabau authors, whose polemics in the beginning of this century have drawn some attention (Schrieke 1921), almost no works are still in print. Even the once influential Ahmad Khatib seems hardly to be read anymore; only two of his works were found in print and these are not generally available. Two other Minangkabau, however, who were associated with Sumatera Thawalib, have reached the top hundred, and are well represented in the collection: Mahmud Yunus and Abdul Hamid Hakim. Both have written numerous textbooks, in Malay and Arabic, for use in the madrasah, and several of these are very widely used, also in pesantren.
A top 100 of pesantren literature
The present collection represents to date the most complete overview of literature used in and around the pesantren and madrasah. But it cannot, of course, by itself tell us which works are the ones most frequently used, at which levels, and where. The curriculum of the madrasah, especially those owned or subsidized by the state, is more or less standardized, and is not so strongly oriented towards the classics as that of the pesantren. The collection contains a fair number of modern books written for the Egyptian madrasah, that are also used in the similar Indonesian institutions, besides books especially written by Indonesian authors, in simple Arabic.
The pesantren differ from the madrasah, among other things, in the lack of uniformity in curriculum. Many kyais specialize in one particular branch of learning, or even in one particular text, and many santris move for this reason from one pesantren to another in order to study a certain range of texts thoroughly. No single pesantren offers a ‘representative’ curriculum all by itself. We have to take a number of pesantrens together in order to establish with which works the average santri is confronted in the course of his studies.
I have the strong impression (based on what I found in stock in toko kitab in the various regions) that the ‘average’ curriculum in Sumatra, Kalimantan and on the mainland still differs to some extent from that in Java. Kitab originally written in Malay, by such ulama as M. Arshad al-Banjari, Da’ud bin `Abdallah al-Patani and `Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani long had, and to some extent still have, precedence over the classical Arabic works and their 19th century Arabic commentaries that constitute the bulk of the Javanese curriculum. The establishment all over Sumatra and Kalimantan, from the 1920’s on, of pondok pesantren on the Javanese model and madrasah of the West Sumatran type has resulted, however, in the gradual displacement of these Malay kitab in favour of standard Arabic works.
Van den Berg’s study (1886), although dated, is still the most detailed survey of kitab commonly used in Javanese pesantren. The catalogues of Arabic, Malay and Javanese manuscripts in the Jakarta and Leiden libraries also give an elaborate impression of what was in use in the 19th century, although it remains doubtful how representative these collections are for the pesantren milieu. The Serat Centini, probably compiled in the early 19th century, refers to a large number of kitab; there is a close correspondence with van den Berg’s list (see Soebardi 1971). For an earlier period, Drewes (1972, appendix) has compiled an interesting list of works in use in 18th century Palembang.
There are a few more recent surveys claiming a degree of generality, but these are still far from satisfactory. We learn more, in fact, from an anecdotal autobiography such as that of K.H. Saifuddin Zuhri (who was NU’s minister of religion under Guided Democracy), with its glimpses of the texts he read (or had read to him) in the pesantren, the way these were studied and the impact they had on him.
There exist now a good number of monographs on individual pesantrens, most of which contain shorter or longer lists of the texts studied there. These lists, compiled by different researchers, vary in length and quality, and none of them is complete; well-known works are undoubtedly over-represented in them at the expense of less popular texts equally studied. Taken together, however, they give a reasonable indication of which are at present the most frequently used kitab. I have added to these a small number of similar lists compiled by Indonesian researchers in the course of a recent research project on the Indonesian `ulama, and thus compiled aggregate data on 42 pesantren, of which 18 are in East Java, 12 in Central and 9 in West Java, and 3 in South Kalimantan. I add some data on Sumatra, although these are not really comparable because they do not refer to individual but to four idealized, ‘average’ pesantren. They consist of two aggregate lists of kitab used in pesantren and by traditional `ulama in Riau and Palembang, respectively; the curriculum of an ‘average’ PERTI madrasah in West Sumatra; and the curriculum of one conservative surau in Pariaman, West Sumatra.
The number of Kalimantan pesantren on which data has been gathered is unfortunately too low to lay claims to being representative. These data confirm the general impression of the Banjarese pesantren as old-fashioned. The Sumatra and Kalimantan columns in the tables give an indication, but not more than that, of minor but systematic differences in curriculum with Javanese pesantren; the differences between the Sundanese and Javanese parts of Java are, because of better data, brought out more clearly.
I have lumped together texts (matan) and untitled commentaries on them; only commentaries generally known by a different title were listed separately. Even so, the total number of texts mentioned is well over 350; the tables below list only those that occur most frequently, grouped according to subject. Within each table, genealogically related works (i.e. those based on a common original text) are placed together; otherwise the titles are roughly in order of popularity, not in the order in which they are studied. The latter is vaguely indicated by notes in the final column on the level of education at which the books are usually studied. Ibtida’i, tsanawi and `ali (‘primary’, ‘secondary’ and ‘high’) are really the names of the three levels of madrasah education (of three years each), and not always adequate to describe traditional pesantren. Khawass (‘the special ones’) indicates a more advanced level.The tables give the titles of kitab in their commonly used short form, transliterated in Indonesian style; in the text the full names are given, in a transliteration closer to English usage.
The instrumental sciences (Table I)
The instrumental sciences, ilmu alat, are in the first place the various branches of traditional Arabic grammar: nahw (syntax), sarf (inflection), balagha (rhetoric), etc. There is a bewildering array of different texts on these subjects. We can, in this case, compare our entire collection and the list of most popular titles not only with van den Berg’s list but also with a list of the manuscripts of such grammatical texts in the Leiden and Jakarta libraries compiled by Drewes (1971). Although Drewes has more titles than van den Berg, the latter’s list corresponds in fact more closely with ours. This is another indication that the manuscript collections are certainly not representative of what was actually used, and that one should be careful in drawing conclusions on the bases of these collections alone.
In the traditional system, the student usually began with the basics of sarf, which meant that he had to commit the first tables of verbal and nominal inflection to memory. The simplest work of this category is the Bina (Al-bina’ wa’l-asas, by a certain Mulla al-Danqari); having mastered this, the student would turn to the Izzi (Al-tasrif li’l-`izzi, by `Izzaddin Ibrahim al-Zanjani, see GAL I, 283; S I, 497) or to the Maqshud (Al-maqsud fi’l-sarf, an anonymous work often attributed to Abu Hanifa). Having arrived at this stage, the student would turn to the first works on nahw before going on to more difficult sarf works (if he ever got so far). One of the simplest, and most widely popular works of this kind was the Awamil (Al-`awamil al-mi’a, by `Abd al-Qahir b. `Abd al-Rahman al-Jurjani, d. 471 AH), a list of the situations determining the case endings of nouns and the vowel following the final consonant of verbs. After this, the student was likely to proceed to the Jurumiyah (Al-muqaddima al-ajurrumiyya, by Abu `Abdallah Muhammad b. Da’ud al-Sanhaji b. Ajurrum, d. 723 AH).
This introductory curriculum was accepted in regions wide apart; the same texts were studied, in this order, in traditional madrasa in Kurdistan (apart from the last named work, which is not known there), in 19th century Javanese pesantren and West Sumatran surau. The same works are still in use, but a certain shift has taken place. The Bina and the Izzi are most certainly under-reported in the curriculum lists in favour of more advanced works, but they seem to have retained their place better in West Java and Sumatra than in Java proper. A recent (but also traditional) introductory work quite popular in Javanese pesantren is Amtsilatut Tashrifiyah (Al-amthilat al-tasrifiyya li ‘l-madaris al-salafiyya, consisting of inflection tables), by the Javanese author Muhammad Ma`sum b. `Ali of Jombang. Other introductory texts are also widely available.
In the next stage, instead of, or together with, the Maqshud, one studies the sharh written by the Egyptian Muhammad `Ullaysh (d. 1881), Hall al-ma`qud min nazm al-maqsud (see GAL S II, 738). This is commonly followed by an extensive commentary on the Izzi, the Kailani (named after its author, `Ali b. Hisham al-Kaylani, about whom no further details are known to me), which is now the most frequently used work on sarf.
A common order in which nahw texts are studied is, after the Jurumiyah, the Imrithi (a manzum version of the Jurumiyah) and next the more elaborate commentary Mutammimah or directly the Alfiyah, usually together with a commentary. The Imrithi (Al-durra al-bahiyya, by Sharaf b. Yahya al-Ansari al-`Imriti), the Mutammimah (of Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Ru`ayni al-Hattab), and the Alfiyah (of Ibn Malik) with its best known commentary Ibnu Aqil (so called after the author, `Abdallah b. `Abd al-Rahman al-`Aqil) have long been in common use and are described by van den Berg and Drewes, together with various commentaries that are still available but apparently less popular. Not mentioned by them, but frequently encountered, is the Asymawi, a commentary on the Jurumiyah by a certain `Abdallah b. `Ashmawi (no further details known), while a popular late 19th century commentary on the Alfiyah is that by the Shafi`i mufti of Mecca, Ahmad b. Zayni Dahlan, commonly called Dahlan Alfiyah.
Qatr al-Nada’ [wa ball al-sada’], by Ibn Hisham (d.761/ 1360), which was very popular in the 19th century, is also still widely used. The same author’s Qawa`id al-i`rab is mainly used in a versified (manzum) Javanese translation (by Yusuf bin Abdul Qadir Barnawi); there exists also a Madurese translation.
To some extent, these classical works are giving way to more modern teaching methods. In 1921, the Dutch consul in Jeddah, E. Gobée, observed that in government schools in the Hijaz the Alfiyah was no longer part of the language curriculum but had been replaced by the modern Qawa`id al-lugha al-`arabiyya, a series of textbooks by the Egyptian author Hafni Bak Nasif et al. (Gobée 1921). In the 1930s, these books were in use in the more modern madrasah of Sumatera Thawalib in West Sumatra, along with other modern Egyptian textbooks and books by local `ulama who had studied in Egypt (see Yunus 1979: 77). These textbooks are now widely used in madrasah and the state schools for religion teachers (PGA); growing numbers of pesantren are following suit, which is reflected in Table I.
The other modern grammar textbook appearing here is Nahwu Wadlih (Al-nahw al-wadih fi qawa`id al-lughat al-`arabiyya), written by two Arab authors, `Ali Jarim and Mustafa Amin (widely available in photomechanical reprints of Lebanese and Egyptian editions). This too already was used in West Sumatra in the 1930s, along with Al-balagha al-wadiha by the same authors.
This brings us to the final major branch of Arabic grammar, rhetoric (balagha, with its subdivisions of bayan, ma`ani, and badi`). Two classical kitab dominate this part of the curriculum:Jauharul Maknun (Al-jawhar al-maknun / Al-jawahir al-maknuna fi al-ma`ani wa al-bayan wa al-badi`), written by `Abd al-Rahman al-Akhdari (b. 920/1514, see GAL S II, 706). The same title often refers to a sharh on this work by Ahmad al-Damanhuri (1101-1177/1689-1763, see GAL II, 371) and further glosses by Makhluf al-Minyawi, widely available in Indonesia (also called Makhluf). The Jawhar was translated into Javanese by K.H. Bisri Mustofa of Rembang.
Uqudul Juman (Al-murshidi `ala `uqud al-juman fi `ilm al-ma`ani wa al-bayan), finally, is a manzum text on rhetoric by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, based on Siraj al-Din al-Sakkaki’s `Ilm al-ma`ani wa al-bayan (GAL I, 294-6). The only other balagha text widely available, with various commentaries, is Abu al-Qasim al-Samarqandi’s Al-risala al-samarqandiyya, which, however, does not score high on our list.
The total number of texts in our collection, of course, far exceeds that of those mentioned here. It should perhaps be mentioned that three of the texts listed by van den Berg were not found in print: ‘Innola’ (an untitled commentary on the Awamil), Ibn al-Hajib’s Kafiya, and Burhan al-Din Abu Fath Nasir al-Din’s Al-misbah.
A different auxiliary ‘science’ (although not commonly subsumed under the label of ilmu alat but rather under that of the Qur’anic sciences) is that of tajwid, the proper articulation and intonation of Qur’anic Arabic. It is among the very first subjects to be studied (as the titles of the listed texts, meaning ‘Gift for children’ and ‘Guidance for little boys’, emphasize). The Tuhfat al-atfal by Sulayman Jumzuri and the anonymous Hidayat al-sibyan both are short elementary texts on this subject. They are both available in several collections of short texts, usually together.
The third auxiliary science is mantiq, Aristotelian logic (which will prove its usefulness when the student proceeds to fiqh, jurisprudence). The most widely used textbook is Sullamul Munauraq (Al-sullam al-munawraq fi `ilm al-mantiq), written by al-Akhdari (the author of Al-jawhar al-maknun, see GAL S II, pp.705-6). Ahmad al-Damanhuri (who also annotated Akhdari’s Jawhar) wrote a commentary on it, that is also well-known in Indonesia: Idah al-mubham min ma`ani al-sullam. In the margin of the printed edition we find another sharh on the Sullam, by al-Akhdari himself. The latter sharh is also available together with the glosses written by Ibrahim al-Bajuri. Two other, untitled, commentaries often encountered are those by Hasan Darwish al-Quwaysini (c. 1210/1795) and by the Azhar scholar Ahmad b. `Abd al-Fattah al-Mullawi (d. 1181/1767), with glosses by M. b. `Ali al-Sabban. There is also a manzum Javanese translation by Bisri Mustofa.
Widely available, too, is another fundamental manual of logic, Isaghuji, by Athir al-Din Mufaddal al-Abhari (d. 663/1264; see GAL I, 464-5; S I, 839-41). Despite its title, this work is not a translation of Porphyry’s Isagoge, as had often been assumed (see Arminjon 1907: 215-7 and the summary by Calverley 1933).
Jurisprudence (fiqh) and its principles (Table II)
Fiqh is still considered as the Islamic science par excellence. It has the most concrete implications for everyday behaviour, for it tells us what things are forbidden and which actions recommended. Works on fiqh form the real substance of the pesantren education, and this is reflected in the composition of the top 100 list.
The fiqh work mentioned by van den Berg as the most important work of reference, the Tuhfa (Ibn Hajar’s Tuhfat al-muhtaj) does not occur in this list, and an Indonesian edition of this text does not even exist. Nevertheless, leading (traditional) `ulama agree that this is the ultimate work of reference to which they have recourse in difficult cases. For everyday use, however, more easily accessible works are preferred, such as the Fath al-wahhab (said to be more systematic in its approach than most other works) and the I`anat al-talibin, which, being the most recent of the great traditional fiqh works, is often found the most adequate to contemporary concerns. For educational purposes, the introductory Sullam al-tawfiq, the Taqrib / Fath al-qarib and the Fath al-mu`in are preferred.
Under modernist influence, fiqh works of a different genre are coming into use in the pesantren as well. There are several pesantren now where Ibn Rushd’s Bidayat al-mujtahid is taught beside or instead of the Shafi`i classics (recently also printed in Indonesia, which indicates a growing interest). The multi-volume Fiqh al-sunna by the modern Egyptian author Sayyid Sabiq is rapidly gaining a wider acceptance too (so far, only an Indonesian translation is locally printed, suggesting that the work appeals primarily to a modernist audience). These works have, however, not yet reached the list of most popular works, all of which are squarely within the Shafi`i tradition.
The relations between the major works of traditional Shafi`i fiqh can be represented in the form of genealogical trees. Three ‘families’ of kitab stand out, descending from respectively Rafi`i’s Muharrar, Abu Shuja’ al-Isfahani’s Taqrib (or Mukhtasar) and Malibari’s Qurrat al-`ayn. In the accompanying graphs showing these family trees, bold print indicates the works of which Indonesian printings exist (and have been collected).
The first of these families is the one with greatest prestige. Indonesian `ulama confirm Snouck Hurgronje’s observation (1899: 142) that Ibn Hajar al-Haytami’s and Shams al-Din al-Ramli’s commentaries on Abu Zakariya’ Yahya al-Nawawi’s Minhaj [al-talibin] are considered as the most authoritative, and that in cases of differences between these authorities, the Indonesians prefer Ibn Hajar. Important fatwas frequently refer to these works for their authority, especially the Tuhfa. In everyday practice, however, the Tuhfa is not all that often consulted, and it is very hard even to find a copy in the shops. The senior kyai no doubt own copies of it, but they too have more frequently recourse to other books. The only printed version I have ever seen is in the margin of the ten-volume commentary by `Abd al-Hamid Shirwani (who taught in Mecca in the mid-nineteenth century). An abridged Javanese translation must have been around in the early 19th century but has apparently fallen into disuse with the improved availability of other texts. Ramli’s Nihayat al-muhtaj is also occasionally encountered, in an eight-volume edition with the glosses by `Ali Shabramalisi and Ahmad al-Maghribi al-Rashidi in the margin. Some younger `ulama, especially such as have studied in Egypt, claim to use the Mughni’l-muhtaj, by Khatib Sharbini, as well besides Ramli and Ibn Hajar.
The only works of this family that are universally available are Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli’s commentary (commonly known as ‘the’ Mahalli) in an edition with extensive glosses by Qalyubi and `Umayra, and the Fath al-wahhab, a commentary by Zakariya’ Ansari on his own Manhaj al-tullab, which is a summary of the Minhaj. An early Malay translation of the Fath al-wahhab, titled Mir’at al-tullab, was made by `Abd al-Ra’uf of Singkel (edited in part in Meursinge 1844), but it is no longer used or even known.
Muharrar(Rafi`i, d. 623/1226)
Minhaj al-talibin(Nawawi, d. 676/1277-8)
Kanz al-raghibin(Mahalli, d. 864/1460) Manhaj al-tullab(Ansari, d. 926/1520) Tuhfat al-muhtaj(Ibn Hajar, d. 973/1565-6)
Mughni’l-muhtaj(Sharbini, d. 977/1569-70)
Nihayat al-muhtaj(Ramli, d. 1004/1595-6
[sharh](Qalyubi & `Umayra) Fath al-wahhab(Ansari) [hashiya](Shirwani) [hashiya](Shabramalisi, d. 1087/1676) [hashiya](Maghribi)
[hashiya](Bujayrimi, d. 1221/1806) [hashiya](Jamal, d. 1204/1789-90)
The second family derives from the highly popular fiqh works Taqrib (Al-ghaya wa’l-taqrib, also known as Mukhtasar, by Abu Shuja` al-Isfahani) and its commentary Fath al-qarib (by Ibn Qasim al-Ghazzi). There is hardly a pesantren where not at least one of these texts is studied. Both have been translated into various Indonesian languages. Other works of the same family are also widely used in Indonesia. The Kifayat al-akhyar, by Taqi al-Din Dimashqi (GAL I, 392), which was not yet mentioned by van den Berg’s informants, now ranks second only to the Fath al-qarib among the commentaries. A more difficult text is Khatib Sharbini’s Iqna’, which is printed together with the commentary Taqrir by a certain `Awwad, on whom I have found no further information. Bajuri’s glosses, much used a century ago (see Snouck Hurgronje 1899), appear to have lost their attraction nowadays.
Taqrib = Mukhtasar(Abu Shuja`, d. 593/1197) Sundanese trl
numerous Indonesian trl.
Iqna’(Sharbini, d. 977/1569-70) Kifayat al-akhyar(Dimashqi, d. 829/1426) Fath al-qarib(Ibn Qasim, d. 918/1512) Madurese trl.Indonesian trl.Javanese trl. Taqrir(`Awwad) Tuhfat al-habib(Bujayrimi, c.1100/1688) [hashiya](Bajuri, d. 1277/1860-1)
The central text of the third family is Fath al-mu`in, which has long been popular in Indonesia (as well as in Kurdistan). It was written by the sixteenth-century South Indian scholar Zayn al-Din al-Malibari, a student of Ibn Hajar. This work is a commentary on, or a reworking of, an earlier text by the same author, Qurrat al-`ayn; neither is directly based upon Ibn Hajar’s Tuhfa. The Qurra itself never became popular in Indonesia, but in the 19th century, Nawawi Banten wrote another commentary on it, titled Nihayat al-zayn, that is widely used. Two of Nawawi’s younger contemporaries in Mecca wrote extensive glosses on the Fath al-mu`in. Sayyid Bakri b. Muhammad Shatta’ al-Dimyati’s I`anat al-talibin is a four-volume work, that incorporates the author’s notes on many subjects, as well as a number of fatwa by the contemporary Shafi`i mufti Ahmad b. Zayni Dahlan. In the author’s lifetime it already became the most frequently consulted work of Shafi`i fiqh (cf. Snouck Hurgronje 1887: 346), and it has maintained its position as a major work of reference. Tarshih al-mustafidin is a more modest and less well-known work (2 vols), whose first Indonesian reprint has only recently appeared. The author, `Alwi al-Saqqaf, was a younger contemporary and colleague of Sayyid Bakri in Mecca (GAL S II, 743; `Abd al-Jabbar 1385: 156).
Qurrat al-`ayn(Malibari, c. 975/1567)
Fath al-mu`in(Malibari, c. 975/1567) Indonesian trl.Javanese trl.
Nihayat al-zayn(Nawawi Banten) I`anat al-talibin(Sayyid Bakri, d.1893) Tarshih al-mustafidin(`Alwi al-Saqqaf, d.1916)
Van den Berg mentions a fourth family of fiqh works, which used to be quite popular but is now represented in our present top 100 by only one text, Minhaj al-qawim. It derives from the 9th/15th century elementary work known in Java as Bapadal, i.e. `Abdallah b. `Abd al-Karim Ba-Fadl’s Al-muqaddima al-hadramiyya (GAL S II, 555). None less than Ibn Hajar al-Haytami wrote a commentary, Minhaj al-qawim, on which the late 18th century Shafi`i mufti of Madina, Sulayman al-Kurdi, wrote extensive glosses, Al-hawashi’l-madaniyya. Ibn Hajar’s Minhaj is used all over Java; the Hawashi, long hard to find, were very recently reprinted in Surabaya. These fiqh works differ from the first three families in that they only deal with fiqh al-`ubudiyya, the prescriptions concerning worship (i.e., ritual cleanliness, prayer, zakat, the fast and the hajj), and not with mu`amalat (economic transactions), family and inheritance law, penal law, etc., which make up some 60% of the other texts.
Two other commentaries on Ba-Fadl’s Muqaddima, which are not listed in GAL, deserve mention. The first of these sharh was written (in Arabic) by the great East Javanese `alim Mahfudz bin Abdullah of Termas (d. 1338/1919-20; see `Abbas 1975: 460). This work is highly praised but it is not available in print now. Another commentary on Ba-Fadl’s text is, however: Bushra’l-karim [bi-sharh masa’il al-ta`lim `ala muqaddimat al-hadramiyya], by a certain Sa`id b. M. Ba`shin (no further information known).
Al-muqaddima al-hadramiyya(`Abdallah Ba-Fadl, 10th/16th century)
Minhaj al-qawim(Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, d.973/1565-6) sharh `ala Ba-fadl(Mahfuz al-Tarmasi, d.1338/1919-20) Bushra’l-karim(Sa`id b. M. Ba`shin)
Al-hawashi-l-madaniyya(Sulayman al-Kurdi, d.1194/1780)
Two of the remaining works that are high on the list are the short introductory texts Sullam al-tawfiq (by `Abdallah b. Husayn b. Tahir Ba`alawi, d. 1272/1855), and the Safina[t al-naja’], by Salim b. `Abdallah b. Samir, a Hadrami `alim resident in Batavia in the mid-19th century. Two much-used commentaries on the Sullam are Mirqat su`ud al-tasdiq by Nawawi Banten and Is`ad al-rafiq by his contemporary and colleague in Mecca, M. Sa`id Ba-Basil. Nawawi Banten also wrote an Arabic commentary on the last-named very popular text, called Kashifat al-saja’, which is available in several editions. The Kashifa has also been translated into Javanese. Besides this, there are several other adaptations and commentaries by Indonesian `ulama.
I shall only give only a few short explanatory notes on the remaining titles in the list, in the order of frequency in which they occur.
The Tahrir (Tahrir tanqih li’l-lubab fi fiqh al-imam al-Shafi`i) is a work by Zakariya’ al-Ansari, based on al-Mahamili’s (d. 415/1024) Lubab al-fiqh. Ansari himself wrote a commentary on his Tahrir, titled Tuhfat al-tullab; the two are usually printed together. Further glosses on this Tuhfa were written by `Abdallah al-Sharqawi (d. 1127/1812, see GAL II, 479-80): Hashiya `ala sharh al-tahrir. This text too (colloquially known as Syarqawi ala Tahrir) is widely available in Indonesia.
The Riyadlul Badiah is one of the texts introduced to Indonesian Muslims by Nawawi Banten that are little known elsewhere. As its title, Al-riyad al-badi`a fi usul al-din wa ba`d furu` al-shari`a, indicates, it deals with selected points of doctrine and religious obligations. The author is a certain Muhammad Hasballah, perhaps an older contemporary of Nawawi; the work has only been printed in the margin of the sharh that Nawawi wrote, Al-thamar al-yani`a (cf. GAL II, 501; S II, 813).
Sullam al-munajat is another work by Nawawi Banten, a commentary on the guide for worship Safinat al-salah by `Abdallah b. `Umar al-Hadrami.
Uqudul Lujain (`Uqud al-lujjayn fi huquq al-zawjayn) is another work by Nawawi Banten, on the rights and especially duties of the married woman. Two Javanese translations and commentaries are in circulation: Hidayat al-`arisin by Abu Muhammad Hasanuddin of Pekalongan, and Su`ud al-kawnayn by Sibt al-`Uthmani Ahdari al-Janqalani al-Qudusi.
The Sittin (in full: Al-masa’il al-sittin), by Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad al-Misri (d. 818/1415), a short text of the perukunan type (i.e. dealing with basic doctrine and the five pillars), was very popular in 19th-century Java; it receives mention in the Serat Centini (Soebardi 1971, p. 336). By now it has gradually fallen in disuse, and many santri do not even recognize its name. Muhadzab (Al-muhadhdhab) is a work of Shafi`i fiqh by Ibrahim b. `Ali al-Shirazi al-Firuzabadi (d. 476/1083; see GAL I, 387-8; S I, 669).
Bughyat al-mustarshidin is a collection of fatwa by 19th/20th century `ulama, compiled by the mufti of Hadramawt, `Abd al-Rahman b. M. b. Husayn Ba`alawi.
The following two are recent texts in simple Arabic, specially written (by Indonesian authors) for madrasah: Al-mabadi al-fiqhiyya `ala madhhab al-imam al-Shafi`i (4 tiny volumes) was written by `Umar `Abd al-Jabbar; Al-fiqh al-wadih by the well-known Minangkabau scholar Mahmud Yunus.
I add one important Malay text in spite of its low rating in the present frequency list with its heavy Javanese bias: the Sabil al-muhtadin. This is Muhammad Arshad al-Banjari’s major opus and the most important Malay work of fiqh (although dealing with fiqh `ubudiyya only). It was written, the author says, because the earlier Malay fiqh handbook Sirat al-mustaqim by al-Raniri (printed in the margin) contained too many regionalisms and was therefore hard to use. Chief sources of the Sabil are Malibari’s Fath al-mu`in and Zakariya’ Ansari’s Manhaj al-tullab. Al-Banjari’s work is rarely found in Java but still quite popular in the Malay-speaking zone, and several recent editions (including an Egyptian one) are available.
Van den Berg mentions no works at all on the principles of fiqh. This may be due to oversight, for van Ronkel’s catalogue of the Jakarta library (1913) mentions several copies of commentaries on the Waraqat and the Jam` al-jawami` (see below), which suggests that these works must have been relatively well-known, at least around the turn of the century. They were, however, probably not part of the ordinary pesantren curriculum. K.H. Mahfudz of Termas (d. 1919) was probably the first Indonesian scholar who was an expert on the subject and taught it to his advanced students in Mecca. In Indonesia itself, usul fiqh first received serious attention from the kaum muda, who often had recourse to it in their struggle against alleged bid`a. In the 1920s, the reformist journal Al-ittifaq wa al-iftiraq wrote much about usul fiqh, quoting from Suyuti’s Al-ashbah wa al-naza’ir, Shafi`i’s Risala and especially Ibn Rushd’s Bidayat al-mujtahid, which compares the different schools of jurisprudence.
At present, usul fiqh is an obligatory subject in almost all pesantren for santri at the middle and higher levels. The range of works used is not very wide, however. The collection contains fourteen different titles, many of which are related to one another (as commentaries or glosses). Only eight of these are sufficiently popular to warrant inclusion in the list.
Jam` al-Jawami`, by Taj al-din `Abd al-Wahhab al-Subki, is one of the major texts on the foundations of Muslim law. The current printed edition contains besides this text also the sharh by Jalaladdin al-Mahalli, glosses thereon by Bannani and further glosses (taqrir) by `Abd al-Rahman Sharbini. Zakariya’ Ansari summarized the Jam` in his Lubb al-usul, also used in Indonesia.
Al-waraqat fi usul al-fiqh by the imam al-haramayn `Abd al-Malik al-Juwayni (d. 478/1085, see GAL I, 388-9) is one of the other major works on the subject. Various commentaries on this work are generally available in Indonesia (the collection contains five different ones, one of which is by the Minangkabau reformist Ahmad Khatib: Al-nafahat `ala sharh al-waraqat). The Lata’if al-isharat, by `Abd al-Hamid b. M. `Ali al-Qudsi (from Kudus in Central Java, d. 1334/1916, see al-`Attas 1979, vol. II, pp. 619-26) is a further commentary on one of these, Sharafaddin Yahya al-`Imriti’s Tashil al-turuqat.
Al-ashbah wa al-naza’ir fi al-furu` is a compendium by the prolific Jalaladdin Suyuti (see GAL II, 152).
Al-luma` [fi usul al-fiqh] was written by Ibrahim b. `Ali al-Shirazi al-Firuzabadi, the author of the Muhadhdhab (see GAL S I, 670).
Al-bayan is the last in a series of three simple textbooks on usul al-fiqh (titled Mabadi Awwaliyya, Al-sullam and Al-bayan) for use in madrasah, written by the Minangkabau author Abdul Hamid Hakim.
Ibn Rushd’s Bidayat al-mujtahid, which compares the rulings of the four ‘orthodox’ and various other madhhab, was again first used by the Minangkabau kaum muda. It is actually taught in very few pesantren, but many of the more learned kyai use it as a work of reference.
Doctrine (tawhid, `aqida, usul al-din) (Table III)
Compared to the number and sophistication of fiqh works studied in the pesantren, doctrine is given a much less prominent place in the curriculum. Whereas earlier generations of Indonesian Muslims showed great interest in cosmology, eschatology and metaphysical speculation - witness the writings of Raniri, `Abd al-Ra’uf of Singkel and `Abd al-Samad of Palembang - these subjects are now largely kept out of the pesantren curriculum. Perhaps this is because of the old adagium that to great an interest in matters of doctrine can only lead to unbelief?
Be that as it may, the works on `aqida in Table III are, without exception, straightforward expositions of Ash`ari doctrine on the attributes (sifat) of God and the prophets. The most popular group of texts is that based on Sanusi’s two famous works on doctrine. (It is remarkable that Nasafi’s work and Taftazani’s commentary, equally if not more influential elsewhere, seem to be unknown in Indonesia was among the first works to be translated into Malay. A sixteenth-century manuscript with interlineary Malay translation is still extant (Al-Attas 1988). The basic text of this group is Umm al-barahin (also called Al-durra) by Abu `Abdallah M. b. Yusuf al-Sanusi (d. 895/1490, see GAL II, 250, S II, 352-3). The text commonly called ‘the’ Sanusi[yah] is a somewhat more substantial commentary written by Sanusi himself. In the most frequently encountered edition it is printed in the margin of the highly popular hashiya by Ibrahim al-Bajuri, which is, by extension, also known as Sanusi[yah]. Other frequently used commentaries are the hashiya on the Sanusi by Muhammad al-Dasuqi (d.1230/1815, see GAL II, 353), and a more substantial text by `Abdallah al-Sharqawi (d. 1127/1812, see GAL II, 479-80), which is itself a hashiya on an 11th century commentary by a Muhammad b. Mansur al-Hudhudi (in Indonesian editions, it is printed together with Hudhudi’s text). All these texts are commonly known by the names of their authors.
Another work partially based on the Sanusi is the Kifayat al-`awamm, by M.b.M. al-Faddali (d. 1236/1821, see GAL II, 489), which is highly popular in Indonesia. Our collection contains also a version of this work with an interlinear Madurese translation (by H.M. Nur Munir b.H. Isma`il). Faddali’s pupil Ibrahim Bajuri (d. 1277/1861) wrote a commentary on it, Tahqiq al-maqam `ala kifayat al-`awamm (printed together with the Kifaya in the Indonesian editions), and this was glossed upon by Nawawi Banten in his widely read Tijan al-durari.
`Aqidat al-`awamm is a simple, versified text for the very young, memorized long before the santri even begins to understand Arabic. Its author, Ahmad al-Marzuqi al-Maliki al-Makki, flourished around 1864. Brockelmann (GAL S II, 990) mentions a Malay version by Hamza b. M. al-Qadahi (i.e., of Kedah); our collection contains translations in Javanese (by Bisri Mustofa of Rembang) and Madurese (by Abdul Majid Tamim of Pamekasan). Nawawi Banten, who must have known the author, wrote a well-known commentary on it, titled Nurudh Dhulam (Nur al-zalam).
Jawharat al-tawhid, the concise versified text by Ibrahim al-Laqani (d. 1041/1631), is still highly popular. Santris commit the entire matan to memory and study various commentaries on it. One of these is Ibrahim al-Bajuri’s Tuhfat al-murid. An anonymous Malay scholar and two Javanese `ulama, Saleh Darat of Semarang and Ahmad Subki Masyhadi of Pekalongan, wrote extensive commentaries in their regional languages, that are commonly known by the same title of Jauharatut Tauhid. Saleh Darat’s Javanese commentary, especially, is interesting in that it reflects contemporary Javanese views and concerns.
Fath al-majid is yet another text by Nawawi Banten, a commentary on the Durr al-farid fi `ilm al-tawhid (printed in the margin) by a certain Ahmad al-Nahrawi, on whom I have found no further information.
The remaining three titles are modern works, that were first adopted by the Egyptian-influenced madrasah and from there are gradually penetrating the pesantren world. Jawahir al-kalamiyya [fi idah al-`aqida al-islamiyya] was written by the Syrian Tahir b. Salih al-Jaza’iri, who died in Damascus in 1919.
Husunul Hamidiyah (Al-husun al-hamidiyya li al-muhafaza `ala al-`aqa’id al-islamiyya) is a work by the moderate modernist and rationalist Husayn [b. M. al-Jasr] Efendi al-Tarabulusi (d. 1909) on sifat, prophecy, miracles of the prophets, the angels and life after death. The author was renowned as the editor of a journal, in which he attempted to reconcile Islam with modern science and philosophy (GAL S II, 776; see also the remarks in Hourani 1962: 222-3). This book was first used in Indonesia in the 1930s, in Sumatera Thawalib madrasah (Yunus 1979: 77).
Aqidatul Islamiyah, finally, is a modern question-and-answer catechism for pupils of the lowest grades of madrasah, by Basri b. H. Marghubi (no further details known).
The subject of tawhid gradually shades into what is usually classified as tasawwuf in Indonesia. Ghazali’s Ihya, which is by far the most popular tasawwuf text here, could with equal (or perhaps greater) right be listed among the works on doctrine.
There is yet another, quite popular, category of books that should be mentioned here, although they are rarely part of the official pesantren curriculum. This is the works on traditional (and often quite fantastic) cosmology and eschatology. A typical (and widely popular) example is Daqa’iq al-akhbar fi dhikr al-janna wa al-nar, by `Abd al-Rahim al-Qadi (see GAL S I, 346), which is available in Arabic as well as in Malay, Sundanese and Madurese translations; another is Al-durar al-hisan, attributed to Suyuti. Indonesian authors have contributed a number of simpler texts similarly designed to inspire in the reader a wholesome fear of the hereafter. These works are not used as textbooks, but they constitute popular reading in the santri environment.
Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir) (Table IV)
Van den Berg lists only one tafsir as part of the regular curriculum, the ubiquitous Jalalayn. Baydawi’s tafsir was also known by name, but it was highly exceptional to find a kyai explaining this text (van den Berg 1886: 555). A few minor additions may be made: In the Malay-speaking part of the Archipelago the Tarjuman al-mustafid, a Malay translation by `Abd al-Ra’uf of Singkel of the Jalalayn, with some interposed material from other tafsir, must have been rather well known (it is still available in various editions). Nawawi Banten, moreover, had already written his Al-tafsir al-munir li ma`alim al-tanzil, but this, like his other works, had perhaps not yet come into use because of the general conservatism of the pesantren curriculum.
Van den Berg’s impression is probably generally correct: in the late 19th century, tafsir was not yet considered a very important part of the curriculum. Under the impact of modernism, with its slogan of return to the Qur’an and the hadith, the interpretation of the Qur’an obviously assumed a more central importance. Many traditionalist `ulama simply felt forced to follow suit and began taking tafsir more seriously. Our list shows, however, that the range of tafsir studied in the pesantren is still very narrow. Two classics, Tabari and Ibn Kathir, have been added to the list, along with Nawawi’s Tafsir al-munir. The two modern tafsir, the Tafsir al-manar by Muhammad `Abduh and Rashid Rida and Ahmad Mustafa al-Maraghi’s Tafsir al-Maraghi, occur in our list only because of two modernist-oriented pesantren in West Java; they are not yet widely accepted in the pesantren milieu. (It is not a coincidence that there are no Indonesian editions of the Arabic texts of these two works, although the latter has very recently appeared in translation.) The last tafsir on the list is a 10-vol. Translation of the Qur’an in Indonesian, prepared under the auspices of the Ministry of Religious Affairs by a committee of Indonesian scholars.
Five other tafsir in our collection, by Indonesian and Malaysian authors, deserve mention here although they have not gained wide popularity. Ahmad Sanusi b. Abdurrahim of Sukabumi wrote a tafsir (a rather straightforward translation) of the Qur’an in Sundanese, Rawdat al-`irfan fi ma`rifat al-Qur’an, and Bisri Mustofa of Rembang a three-volume (2250-page) Javanese tafsir, Al-ibriz li ma`rifat tafsir al-Qur’an al-`aziz. The latter, too, is more a translation than an exegesis proper; since translations of the Qur’an necessarily involve a certain amount of interpretation they are usually called tafsir too. The amount of commentary is greater in another Javanese tafsir, Al-iklil fi ma`ani al-tanzil by Misbah b. Zayn al-Mustafa (30 volumes, 4800 pp.) and in the three-volume (950-page) tafsir in Malay, Tafsir nur al-ihsan, by Muhammad Sa`id b. `Umar Qadi al-Qadahi (of Kedah, Malaysia). The most recent is an Indonesian commentary in six volumes, Adz Dzikraa: terjemah & tafsir Alqur’an, by Bachtiar Surin.
The interest in tafsir is markedly increasing. Several other tafsir have very recently been printed in Indonesia in Arabic; others again (modernist ones, as one might expect, such as Sayyid Qutb’s Fi zilal al-Qur’an and Maraghi) in Indonesian translation. Imports nevertheless go on increasing; in several toko kitab in Surabaya and Bandung I found no less than twenty different tafsir in stock, imported from Egypt and Lebanon.Of the works on the principles of tafsir, only two classics are listed, both by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti: Itmam al-diraya li qurra` al-nuqaya and Al-itqan fi `ulum al-Qur’an. The collection contains various simple introductions to this subject.
Hadith (Table V)
Even more than tafsir, the hadith are a relatively new subject matter in the pesantren. Van den Berg does not even mention hadith at all. The santri did encounter many hadith in the course of his studies - no work of fiqh is thinkable without hadith supporting its argument - but these were, as it were, already processed, selected and quoted according to the needs of the author. Collections of hadith as such - either the six canonical collections or popular compilations like the Masabih al-sunna, which was very popular in India - seem hardly to have been used in the Archipelago of a century ago.
An exception should perhaps be made for the small collections of the ‘Forty Hadith’ type, of which Abu Zakariya’ Yahya al-Nawawi’s Arba`in is one of the models. Various Indonesian ulama have, from the 19th century, compiled or translated such collections of forty, and Djohan Effendi has shown how the contents of these collections changed according to the needs of the times. The present wider interest in hadith - now an obligatory subject in most pesantren - is probably again due to the impact of modernism.
The two great collections of ‘authentic’ (sahih) hadith by Bukhari and Muslim are now standard reference works in many pesantren. The teaching curriculum often includes selections from these works, usually with a commentary. Two popular selections from Bukhari are Al-tajrid al-sarih by Shihabaddin Ahmad al-Sharji al-Zabidi (d. 893/1488) and Jawahir al-Bukhari by Mustafa M. `Imara (GAL S I, 264). The most popular and ubiquitous hadith collections are, however, the Bulugh al-maram and the Riyad al-salihin.
Bulugh al-maram [min adillat al-ahkam], a collection compiled by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (d. 852/1449, see GAL II, 67-70), has been translated into Javanese (by A. Subki Masyhadi of Pekalongan) and Indonesian (by Bisri Mustofa of Rembang), and partially also into Malay. Subul al-salam, by Muhammad b. Isma`il al-Kahlani (d. 1182/1769) is a commentary on the Bulugh.
Riyad al-salihin [min kalam sayyid al-mursalin] is a larger collection of hadith, mainly dealing with devotional matters, collected by Yahya b. Sharafaddin al-Nawawi, the compiler of the most famous ‘Forty’. Two different Javanese translations (by Asrori Ahmad and Ahmad Subki Masyhadi), as well as Malay and Indonesian translations exist. This may well be the most popular collection of hadith worldwide.
Nawawi’s Arba`in are used in many pesantren for the less advanced santri, and they are also popular as non-curricular religious literature, in Arabic as well as in Indonesian translation. A rather well-known commentary on these Forty is Al-majalis al-saniyya, by Ahmad b. Hijazi al-Fashani.
Durrat al-nasihin [fi’l-wa`z wa’l-irshad] was compiled by `Uthman b. Hasan al-Khubuwi (d.1224/1804, see GAL II, 489).
Tanqih al-qawl [al-hathith fi sharh lubab al-hadith] is another work by Nawawi Banten, a commentary on Suyuti’s collection Lubab al-hadith (which is printed in the margin of Nawawi’s work).
Mukhtar al-ahadith is a selection compiled by the modern Egyptian author, Ahmad al-Hashimi Bak.
The Ushfuriyah, finally (named after its author, Muhammad b. Abu Bakr al-`Usfuri), is another popular ‘Forty hadith’ collection, with edifying stories added to each hadith.
Critical study of the hadith is as yet almost unknown in Indonesia, certainly in the pesantren environment. Understandably, the Indonesian modernists have shown a greater interest in the (traditional) science of distinguishing false from authentic, ‘weak’ from ‘strong’ traditions (`ilm dirayat al-hadith) than the traditionalists. The two titles occurring in our list (with a few derivatives of the first one) are in fact the only ones to be found in toko kitab.
Minhat al-mughith is a modern text by an Azhar scholar, Hafiz Hasan Mas`udi, and was apparently written for use in Egyptian state-supervised madrasa.
The name Baiquniyah, as usual, refers both to an original work (matan), an untitled short versified text by Taha b. Muhammad al-Fattuh al-Bayquni (d. after 1080/1669, see GAL II, 307), and to various commentaries on it. Most popular among the latter is that by `Atiya al-Ajhuri (d. 1190/1776, see GAL II, 328); this is the work one usually gets when asking for ‘the’ Baiquniyah. Another much encountered commentary is the Taqrirat al-saniyya, by Hasan Muhammad al-Mashshat, who taught in Mecca’s Masjid al-haram in the nineteen thirties and forties, and had many Indonesian students.
Morality and mysticism (Table VI)
The borderline between the subjects of akhlaq and tasawwuf as taught in the pesantren is extremely fuzzy. The same work may be studied under the heading of tasawwuf in one pesantren, and under that of akhlaq in another. The subject of akhlaq also shades into tarbiya, ‘[the imparting of] good manners’; it has connotations of proper, respectful behaviour and unostentatious piety. As the titles in Table VI show, the works on mysticism studied in the pesantren all belong to the orthodox school that also stresses these attitudes. We find here no works of wahdat al-wujud Sufism or other less domesticated brands of mysticism and metaphysics. This may at first sight seem surprising, given the strong mystical strain in traditional Indonesian Islam, and the penchant for metaphysical speculation especially among Javanese. On the other hand, it was not only speculative cosmogonic and mystical theories that appealed to earlier generations of Indonesian ulama, but also rules of proper conduct and hierarchy. Shaykh Yusuf of Makassar, one of the 17th century propounders of wahdat al-wujud, not only describes various dhikr techniques and obliquely refers to mystical doctrines but also, and with greater insistence, stresses unquestioning and unconditional obedience to the teacher as the single most important step on the mystical path. He thus foreshadowed the ‘good manners’ strain of present Indonesian mysticism.
Wahdat al-wujud texts and other ‘heterodox’ works may not be taught in many pesantren anymore, that does not mean that they are not read at all. In several places I found `Abd al-Karim al-Jili’s Al-insan al-kamil (still part of the curriculum of several West Javanese pesantren half a century ago), in Surabaya even Al-futuhat al-makkiyya. These rather difficult Arabic works are at best read by a small elite, but the case is different with some Malay works, such as M. Nafis al-Banjari’s Al-durr al-nafis, which expounds a popular version of wahdat al-wujud and is found in great numbers in the bookshops of South Kalimantan, Aceh and Malaysia.
Similarly, Ghazali may have replaced the more adventurous mystics, but `Abd al-Samad Palimbani seems to have smuggled some of the rejected doctrines into his Malay adaptations of Ghazali’s major works (see below). These Malay works are read in West Java as well as on the outer islands. In contradiction to common assumptions about the religious attitudes of Javanese and non-Javanese Indonesians, it is the Javanese pesantren that is the locus of orthodoxy, while other, speculative mystical doctrines still persist in the outer regions.
The collection contains almost hundred different titles on akhlaq and tasawwuf, but the basic texts that are widely used are relatively few:
Ta`lim al-muta`allim [li tariq al-ta`allum], by Burhan al-Islam al-Zarnuji is a famous (some would say: notorious) work on the proper obedient attitude of the student towards his teacher. For many kyai, this work is one of the very pillars of pesantren education; at a recent discussion of kitab organized by the NU, one of the participants suggested that this is the sort of book that should really be banned because of the passive and uncritical attitudes it inculcates. The reactions give reasons to believe that this work will long remain part of the curriculum. Also available with Javanese and with Madurese translation.
Wasaya [al-aba’ li’l-ibna’], by the Egyptian author Muhammad Shakir (shaykh `ulama al-Iskandariyya, according to the frontispiece), and with a Javanese translation by Bisri Mustofa, is a short text explaining how nice boys wash themselves well, take care of sick relatives, repair their own bicycle tyres, etc.)
Al-akhlaq li’l-banat and Al-akhlaq l’l-banin, in three thin volumes each, are moral lessons for girls and boys, meant to be read at (state) madrasah, written by a `Umar b. Ahmad Barja. I have rather arbitrarily placed the following three texts also into this category, although they are sometimes labeled as works of fiqh `ubudiyya (i.e., concerning the obligations of worship) or (the first) as a hadith collection.
Irshad al-`ubbad [ila sabil al-rashad] is a work by Zayn al-Din b. `Abd al-`Aziz al-Malibari (the grandfather of the author of Fath al-mu`in). Various printed editions of the Arabic text exist, and there is a recent Javanese translation by Misbah b. Zayn al-Mustafa.
Nasa’ih al-`ubbad is yet another work by Nawawi Banten, a sharh of Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani’s Al-nabahat `ala isti`dad. It focuses on the rules for personal conduct, and is often used as an introductory work, for the younger santri, on akhlaq.
Al-adhkar [al-muntakhab min kalam sayyid al-abrar] by Abu Zakariya’ Yahya al-Nawawi contains prescriptions for worship and pious conduct. A Javanese, and recently also an Indonesian translation are available.
The section on tasawwuf is strongly dominated by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and his Ihya, Bidayat al-hidaya and Minhaj al-`abidin. There are various pesantren that specialize in the teaching of the Ihya; all three works mentioned have been translated, at least in part, into several Indonesian languages.
`Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani, who flourished in the mid-18th century, wrote well-known Malay adaptations of the first two, entitled Sayr al-salikin and Hidayat al-salikin, respectively. Without any noticeable awareness of conflict, `Abd al-Samad admitted into these works, especially the Sayr, elements of wahdat al-wujud doctrine from other sources, that seem quite alien to Ghazali’s Sunni mysticism. These works remain popular especially in Sumatra and West Java.
Nawawi Banten wrote an (Arabic) commentary on the Bidaya, entitled Maraqi’l-`ubudiyya, which, judging from the numerous editions existing, is more popular than is suggested by its low score in our list.The Siraj al-talibin is a two-volume Arabic commentary on the Minhaj, by Ihsan b. Muhammad Dahlan of Jampes, Kediri (d. 1952). This work has a high reputation in East Java, despite its low score on the list.
Beside these books, the Sundanese translations of important parts of Ghazali’s works by the great scholar `Abdullah bin Nuh of Bogor (d. 1987) deserve mention.
The Hikam is the well-known collection of Sufi aphorisms by Ibn `Ata’illah al-Iskandari. Numerous translations and commentaries exist in Indonesia: the Hikam Melayu (anonymous), the Syarah Hikam (by M. Ibrahim al-Nafidhi al-Rindi) and the Taj al-`arus by `Usman al-Pontiani in Malay; a Javanese Hikam by Saleh Darat of Semarang, and various modern Indonesian versions, among which the four-volume commentary by the Achehnese K.H. Muhibbuddin Waly deserves mention.
Hidayat al-adhkiya’ [ila tariq al-awliya’], a didactic versified text on practical mysticism by Zayn al-Din al-Malibari, written in 914/1508-9, has long been popular in Java; it is mentioned in the Serat Centini, for instance. Many commentaries are in use in Indonesia. One of the better known is Kifayat al-atqiya’ wa minhaj al-asfiya’ by Sayyid Bakri b. M. Shatta’ al-Dimyati. The prolific Nawawi Banten also wrote a commentary, Salalim al-fudala’, which is printed in the margin of Sayyid Bakri’s Kifaya. There are also Javanese translations and commentaries by Saleh Darat (Minhaj al-atqiya’) and by `Abd al-Jalil Hamid al-Qandali (Tuhfat al-asfiya’), as well as an interlineary Madurese translation (by `Abd al-Majid Tamim of Pamekasan).
The final two works are both by the pious Hadrami author and mystic `Abdallah b. `Alwi al-Haddad, well known in Indonesia as the composer of the ratib Haddad and other pious formulas (d. 1132/1720, see GAL II, 408; S II, 566). He wrote around ten books, mostly on Sufi piety, several of which have come to enjoy popularity in the Archipelago. His Al-risala al-mu`awana [wa’l-muzahara wa’l-muwazara] has for some time been one of the standard texts on proper behaviour and devotional attitude used in Javanese pesantren. It has been translated into Javanese (by Asrori Ahmad) and Malay (by Idris al-Khayat al-Patani), and more recently into Indonesian (by Muhammad al-Baqir, under the title Thariqah menuju kebahagiaan). His other popular work, Al-nasa’ih al-diniyya [wa’l-wasaya’ al-imaniyya], contains further pious admonitions. It has been translated into Malay by one of his descendants, `Alwi b. M. b. Tahir al-Haddad, under the title of Al-silat al-islamiyya.
There is a marked revival of interest in `Abdallah al-Haddad, both in Egypt and, more recently, in Indonesia. Al-risalat al-mu`awana was printed in Egypt in 1930 (and presumably became known in Indonesia in the following decades), while other works were published in the 1970s due to the efforts of the former chief mufti of Egypt, Hasanayn M. Makhluf. In Indonesia, al-Haddad and his works are actively propagated by his fellow Hadrami sayyid, notably the learned Muhammad al-Baqir, who translated several of his works into Indonesian. These books sold surprisingly well, and saw several reprints within the first years after appearance. Recent translations of several works by Ghazali also were a commercial success. Quietist, orthodox Sufism apparently has a wide appeal beyond the pesantren milieu as well — which seems to be a response to the political decline of Indonesian Islam over the past decades.
History of Islam / Texts in praise of the Prophet (Table VII)
The history of Islam is a new subject, not often taught in pesantren, and the range of kitab available is still very limited. Most santri derive their knowledge and awareness of the history of Islam largely from devotional works on the prophet and saints. Of the titles in Table VII, only Nur al-yaqin is a textbook proper; this and the abbreviated Khulasat nur al-yaqin are almost the only serious works of sira (biography of the Prophet) used in the pesantren. The author of the original work is the modern Egyptian Muhammad Hadari Bak; the Khulasa was prepared by `Umar `Abd al-Jabbar, the Meccan author of many madrasah textbooks. These books were at first typical madrasah literature, but are now also studied in quite a few pesantren as well. Two other historical works by the same Muhammad Hadari Bak have been printed in Indonesia and are gaining in popularity: Itmam al-wafa’ fi sirat al-khulafa’, a history of Muhammad’s successors, and Ta’rikh al-tashri` al-islami, a substantial history of the development of Islamic law.
The other two texts listed are well-known devotional works having the Prophet’s birth and ascension to heaven as their topics. The Barzanji, Ja`far al-Barzinji’s Mawlid, is in Indonesia perhaps the most beloved text after the Qur’an itself; the Dardir is Ahmad al-Dardir’s commentary on Najm al-Din al-Ghayti’s version of the Mi`raj. Besides their ritual uses (see the next section), these texts also serve in a number of pesantren as teaching materials. The range of such devotional texts on the Prophet found in the bookshops is much wider than the two listed here: the collection contains over twenty-five of them.The primary use of these books is not educational but devotional and ritual: they are read privately as an act of piety or, more typically, recited communally or at least in public at various ritual occasions. There are other kitab too that serve such non-educational purposes; to conclude our survey, a few words need to be said about the various types and uses of such extra-curricular kitab.
Extra-curricular kitab: devotion, ritual, magic
Not all kitab in the collection belong to the official pesantren curriculum. A considerable number (well over 10%) serve other purposes, which may be roughly lumped together as devotional, ritual and magical: collections of prayers and other pious formulas (wird, pl. awrad) to be recited at particular occasions, guides to the spiritual exercises of various mystical orders, texts in praise of the Prophet or one of the saints to be recited at particular occasions, books for divination, magical handbooks. Such books are extremely popular and are sold in larger numbers than most others.
In many Javanese villages the weekly communal recital of the Burda, the Diba`i or the Barzanji, poems in praise of the Prophet, constitutes one of the major social occasions. The Barzanji and other similar texts are also read at certain life cycle rituals, in fulfillment of vows or to ward off danger. The various manaqib (hagiographies) of `Abd al-Qadir Jilani are used for similar ritual and sometimes exorcistic purposes.
This is not to say that these texts are not used as pious reading matter too; but even when read privately, the emphasis is often upon the merit accumulated or spiritual and material benefits to be gained through this private act rather than on the information contents of the texts. For these purposes, a full understanding of the texts is of course not essential; they are usually recited in Arabic only. Several of the texts have, however, long been available in translations beside the Arabic originals. Busiri’s Burda received a Malay translation as early as the 16th century (Drewes 1955). Javanese, Malay and Sundanese translations of manaqib of `Abd al-Qadir were in use at least from the 19th century on (Drewes & Poerbatjaraka 1938), along with similar Malay texts on the Prophet and on such saints as [M. b. `Abd al-Karim] Samman. These are all still available, and in addition there are many new translations and commentaries by Indonesian `ulama on the better known Mawlid and Manaqib.
Another important category consists of the books of ‘Islamic magic’. According to close observers, the number of people seeking supernatural support to overcome spiritual, psychological or material problems has increased rather than decreased over the past two decades. The number of dukun seems to have grown, and so has that of kyai and others offering Islamic variants of magical healing and supernatural assistance. Whereas one part of the Muslim community strongly opposes such ‘superstitions’, the mystical-magical remains to perhaps the majority an integral part of the Islamic heritage.
Santris commonly make a strict distinction between tibb (‘medicine’) and hikma (‘occult sciences’), although to most modernists both are magic and unacceptable. Hikma contains explicitly pre-Islamic elements, such as magical squares (wafaq), whereas the amulets of tibb only employ Qur’anic texts. Defenders of tibb proudly argue against modernists that it was one of Ibn Taymiyya’s chief disciples, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, who wrote a major work of this discipline, Al-tibb al-nabawi. And even hikma is not so far from the orthodox mainstream as modernists would have it: the great Ghazali wrote a book on magical squares, Al-awfaq, that is still widely used in Indonesia, and the prolific Jalal al-Din Suyuti wrote Al-rahma fi’l-tibb wa’l-hikma. The most influential works of hikma, however, are those by the 12th/13th century North African Shaykh Ahmad b. `Ali al-Buni: Shams al-ma`arif al-kubra and Manba` usul al-hikma. These and similar works (available in local editions) are widely used in Javanese pesantren, although they are not part of the formal curriculum and are rarely taught by the kyai himself. They take a central place in peer learning, however. Older santris experiment together in the various magical techniques set out in these books.
Popular booklets based on these works of hikma, called mujarrabat (‘traditional wisdom’, lit. ‘what has proven effective’), are available in growing numbers and in various languages. They offer prayers, magical formulas and amulets for a long and heterogeneous list of different purposes: health, love, career, protection from evil spirits and traffic accidents. Related popular works list the specific beneficial effects of reciting certain Qur’anic verses and prayers. There is no clear line dividing mujarrabat booklets from the primbon, collections of ‘useful knowledge’, which may consist of the same sort of magical formulas, beside lists of auspicious days and hours, rules of thumb for divination (from dreams, the day on which a woman’s period begins, etc.), lists of supererogatory prayers, etc. Books of these types, catering for a simple and uneducated public, are printed in enormous numbers. Some are in romanized Indonesian now, but the majority are in Malay, Javanese or Sundanese with Arabic characters and seem to target, therefore, the periphery of the pesantren world, the people who have some knowledge of the Arabic script. These simple texts may be of greater influence in shaping popular religious attitudes than the more serious works studied in the pesantren.
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"Een en ander over het inlandsch onderwijs in de Padangsche Bovenlanden", Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 4e volgreeks, 6e deel, no.2, pp. 57-84.—. 1887. "Een rector der Mekkaansche universiteit", Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 36, pp. 344-95.—. 1887. "Een Arabische bondgenoot der Nederlandsch-Indische regeering", Mededeelingen van wege het Nederlandsche Zendelinggenootschap 31, pp. 41-63.—. 1889. Mekka. Bd.II: Aus dem heutigen Leben. Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.—. 1894. "Sajjid Oethman’s gids voor de priesterraden", Indisch Tijdschrift van het Recht 63, pp. 722-44.—. 1899. "E. Sachau, Muhammedanisches Recht nach Schafiitischer Lehre", Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 53, pp. 125-67.Soebardi. 1971. "Santri-religious elements as reflected in the book of Tjentini", Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 127, pp. 331-49.Steenbrink, Karel A. 1974. "Pesantren, madrasah, sekolah: Recente ontwikkelingen in Indonesisch islamonderricht". 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Appendix: The top 100 kitab kuning
Table I. Arabic grammar, tajwid, logic
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level sarf Kailani/Syarah Kailani 2 1 7 0 4 14 `ali Maqshud/Syarah Maqshud 0 1 2 3 5 11 Amtsilatut Tashrifiyah 0 0 0 3 4 7 tsanawi Bina’ 1 0 4 1 0 6 ibtida’i nahw Jurumiyah/Syarah Jurumiyah 3 1 8 9 16 37 tsanawi Imriti/Syarah Imriti 0 0 3 6 12 21 tsanawi Mutammimah 0 1 5 0 7 13 tsanawi Asymawi 0 0 1 0 2 3 Alfiyah 0 0 8 11 11 30 `ali Ibnu Aqil 1 0 0 3 10 14 `ali Dahlan Alfiyah 0 0 1 0 3 4 `ali Qathrun Nada 3 1 0 0 0 4 tsanawi Awamil 1 0 1 1 1 4 ibtida’i/tsanawi Qawaidul I`rab 0 0 0 1 2 3 tsanawi Nahwu Wadlih 0 0 0 2 3 5 tsanawi Qawaidul Lughat 0 0 0 2 2 4 balagha Jauharul Maknun 2 0 4 5 7 18 `ali Uqudul Juman 0 0 3 0 4 7 `ali tajwid Tuhfatul Athfal 0 0 1 1 4 6 tsanawi Hidayatus Shibyan 0 0 0 1 4 5 tsanawi mantiq Sullamul Munauraq 1 0 3 1 5 10 `ali Idlahul Mubham 2 0 1 1 3 7 `ali
Table II. Fiqh and usul al-fiqh
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level fiqh Fathul Muin 2 1 7 6 16 32 `ali Ianatut Thalibin 2 2 0 0 0 4 `ali Taqrib 2 0 6 5 7 20 tsanawi Fathul Qarib 2 1 4 7 9 23 `ali Kifayatul Akhyar 1 0 6 4 7 18 tsanawi/`ali Baijuri 1 0 1 0 1 3 Iqna’ 0 1 1 0 5 7 Minhajuth Thalibin 2 0 2 0 1 5 `ali Manhajuth Thullab 0 0 0 0 1 1 Fathul Wahhab 0 1 5 4 10 20 `ali Mahalli 4 1 1 2 1 9 `ali Minhajul Qawim 0 0 2 2 3 7 Safinah 1 0 6 7 7 21 tsanawi Kasyifatus Saja 0 0 1 0 3 4 Sullamut Taufiq/Syarah Sullam 0 1 5 2 13 21 tsanawi Tahrir 0 1 2 1 5 9 `ali Riyadlul Badiah 0 0 2 1 3 6 Sullamul Munajat 0 0 2 1 2 5 Uqudul Lujain 0 0 1 1 2 4 tsanawi Sittin/Syarah Sittin 0 1 2 0 0 3 Muhadzab 0 0 0 1 2 3 Bughyatul Mustarsyidin 0 0 1 0 2 3 Mabadi Fiqhiyah 0 0 1 2 5 8 tsanawi Fiqih Wadlih 0 0 0 1 3 4 tsanawi Sabilal Muhtadin 0 1 0 0 0 1 usul al-fiqh Waraqat/Syarhul Waraqat 2 1 6 1 2 12 `ali/khawass Lathaiful Isyarat 1 0 3 0 6 10 Jam`ul Jawami` 1 0 2 1 3 7 khawass Luma` 1 0 2 1 3 7 `ali/khawass Asybah wan Nadhair 0 0 1 0 4 5 khawass Bayan 0 0 1 0 2 3 tsanawi/`ali Bidayatul Mujtahid 0 0 2 0 0 1 khawass
Table III. Doctrine (usul al-din, tawhid)
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level tawhid Ummul Barahin 2 0 2 0 1 5 `ali Sanusi 2 0 3 3 3 11 tsanawi Dasuqi 0 1 1 0 5 7 `ali/khawass Syarqawi 1 1 0 0 1 3 Kifayatul Awam 4 1 2 2 8 17 tsanawi/`ali Tijanud Durari 1 0 5 2 3 11 tsanawi Aqidatul Awam 0 0 0 4 9 13 ibtida’i/tsanawi Nurudh Dhulam 0 1 1 0 1 3 tsanawi Jauharut Tauhid 1 0 3 2 1 7 tsanawi Tuhfatul Murid 0 1 0 0 2 3 tsanawi Fathul Majid 2 1 1 2 2 8 khawass Jawahirul Kalamiyah 0 0 1 3 5 9 tsanawi Husnul Hamidiyah 0 0 1 5 2 8 tsanawi Aqidatul Islamiyah 1 0 0 1 2 4 tsanawi
Table IV. Qur’anic exegesis
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level tafsir Jalalain 4 1 9 9 16 39 `ali Tafsirul Munir 0 1 3 2 5 11 `ali Tafsir Ibn Katsir 1 0 3 0 3 7 `ali Tafsir Baidlawi 1 0 1 2 0 4 `ali Jamiul Bayan (Tabari) 0 0 2 0 0 3 khawass Maraghi 0 0 2 1 0 3 `ali/khawass Tafsirul Manar 0 0 2 0 1 3 khawass Tafsir Dep. Agama 0 0 0 1 1 2 tsanawi `ilm tafsir Itqan 0 0 2 0 1 3 `ali Itmamud Dirayah 0 0 0 0 2 2
Table V. Hadith and the science of hadith
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level hadith Bulughul Maram 1 0 6 5 12 24 tsanawi Subulus Salam 1 1 0 0 1 3 Riyadlus Shalihin 1 0 7 6 9 23 `ali/khawass Shahih Bukhari 2 1 6 7 5 21 khawass Tajridush Sharih 0 0 1 1 4 6 `ali Jawahir Bukhari 1 0 0 1 2 6 Shahih Muslim/Syarah Muslim 1 0 7 2 7 17 khawass Arbain Nawawi 3 0 5 1 6 15 tsanawi Majalisus Saniyah 1 0 0 0 2 3 Durratun Nashihin 1 1 2 3 4 11 `ali Tanqihul Qaul 0 1 2 1 1 5 Mukhtarul Ahadits 1 0 2 0 2 5 tsanawi Ushfuriyah 0 1 0 0 2 3 `ilm dirayat al-hadith Baiquniyah/Syarah 2 0 2 1 2 7 tsanawi Minhatul Mughits 0 0 2 1 0 3 `ali
Table VI. Piety and appropriate behaviour (akhlaq, tarbiya) and Sufism (tasawwuf)
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level akhlaq Talimul Mutaallim 0 1 5 4 9 19 tsanawi Wasaya 0 0 1 6 2 9 ibtida’i/tsanawi Akhlaq lil Banat 0 0 1 1 2 4 tsanawi Akhlaq lil Banin 0 0 1 1 1 3 tsanawi Irsyadul Ibad 0 1 1 0 5 7 Nashaihul Ibad 0 0 2 0 4 6 `ali tasawwuf Ihya Ulumiddin 1 2 4 5 12 24 `ali Sairus Salikin 1 1 1 0 0 3 Bidayatul Hidayah 0 0 2 2 8 12 tsanawi Maraqil Ubudiyah 0 1 0 0 1 2 Hidayatus Salikin 1 0 1 0 0 2 Minhajul Abidin 0 3 3 1 3 10 Sirajut Thalibin 0 2 1 0 0 3 Hikam/Syarah Hikam 2 0 1 0 6 9 tsanawi/`ali Hidayatul Adzkiya 0 0 0 1 4 5 `ali Kifayatul Atqiya 0 1 0 0 1 2 Risalatul Muawanah 0 1 1 0 4 6 `ali Nashaihud Diniyah 0 0 1 0 3 4 Adzkar 0 1 1 0 1 3
Table VII. Life histories of the Prophet (sira) and works in praise of the Prophet
region: Sumatra KalSel JaBar JaTeng JaTim total number of pesantren 4 3 9 12 18 46 level tarikh Nurul Yaqin/Khulashah 2 1 2 3 2 19 tsanawi Barzanji 0 1 1 1 0 3 Dardir 0 1 1 0 1 3
Earlier versions of this article were read and commented upon by Abdurrahman Wahid, G.W.J. Drewes, J. Noorduyn and Karel Steenbrink, and numerous others helped me with bits of information. They are not, of course, to be blamed for any mistakes or shortcomings.
These books are kept together as a separate collection in the KITLV library in Leiden. Handlists of these book listed by author’s name, short title or popular appellation (as apart from the full title), subject matter and language have been prepared to give the user easy access and insight into the composition of this collection.
The said agent of Dar al-Fikr has recently (early 1988) started reprinting a few titles in Indonesia as well, under the name of Dar al-Fikr Indonesia.
 See Snouck Hurgronje 1889: 386-7, where also a list of the first titles printed is given.
Most of these verses are in Malay, but a few in Arabic, maintaining the pedestrian style of the Malay syair. An example is his verse to introduce the anonymous Malay translation of Ibn `Ata’illah’s Hikam:
Kitab inilah yang patut mengajinya * dan upamanya mas sudah diujinyadan upama pula makanan diidang * dan yang lain itu tudung sajinyadan upama pula buah buahan * isinya dan minyak dalam bijinyakerana iyalah yang menyampai kepada Tuhan * lagi besar pahalanya dan gajinyadan yang dapat ilmunya dan meamalkan * orang itulah sinar dan pujiansyurga itulah kediaman yang kekal * ilmu ini pintunya dan bajinyadan yang jahil dengandia api neraka * selar sangat tikamnya gergajinyaya rabbi kurniakan patuh engkau * bagi tiap tiap hamba mengajinya.
Photomechanical reprints of this Bombay Qur’an are still published in large numbers (by Al-Ma`arif). Clearly legible with its large letters, its format still one of the most popular in the Indonesian book market.
Mission and government-sponsored printing in Malay (of non-Islamic materials) had begun on a moderate scale, in Singapore as well as the Dutch Indies, before mid-century. In Singapore the Arabic script was used, in the Indies initially mostly the Latin alphabet. See Roff 1988: 44 and Hoffmann 1979, esp. pp. 76-89.
On Sayyid Usman, see Snouck Hurgronje 1887b and 1894. Twelve of his numerous works (including the one reviewed in the latter article) are still available in recent reprints published in Jakarta and Surabaya.
Von Dewall 1857. The author had from hearsay that there existed a second native press in Surabaya, but I have not yet seen this confirmed.
See Roff 1980: 44-5; Hamidy 1983; Proudfoot 1986.
Hamidy 1983, p. 69; Abdullah 1985, p. 3. On Zawawi, see Snouck Hurgronje 1889, p. 253.
Yunus 1979, pp. 66-7 gives titles of textbooks written in the 1920s and 1930s by authors associated with Sumatera Thawalib. Several of those by Mahmud Yunus himself and Abdul Hamid Hakim are still used in madrasah all over Indonesia. A four-volume fiqh work in Arabic by the latter author, Al-mu`in al-mubin, was also translated in Malay and is still being used in Malaysia and southern Thailand.
In this connection Schrieke 1921 mentions some ten books that were locally printed (at Dutch presses) in Padang, Fort De Cock (Bukittinggi) and Padang Panjang, and several journals. Other participants in the polemics published in Mecca and Cairo. During the 1920s and 1930s, more than 10 different Muslim publishers operated in various towns of West Sumatra (Sanusi Latief of Padang, personal communication).
These paragraphs are based on interviews with the doyen of kitab publishing, Muhammad bin `Umar Bahartha (who founded in 1948 and still directs Al-Ma`arif of Bandung, the largest house), Usman bin Salim Nabhan of Surabaya, and several younger publishers.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the Netherlands Indies government levied import duties on paper but not on printed books, which gave Singapore publisher Sulayman Mar`i an edge over his competitors established in the Indies. Indonesia now produces high-quality paper itself, and labour costs and overhead are very high in Singapore. Not only Al-Haramayn, but also the old house of Sulayman Mar`i was closed down in the early 1980s.
Not to be confused with the Egyptian publisher of the same name, with which there are no formal relations.
In Kelantan, the script commonly used is the Arabic not the Latin; it is therefore less easy to distinguish kitab from other books there.
Detailed information on kitab published in Patani in Matheson and Hooker 1988.
In some traditional pesantren in East Java, the santri "study" such manzum works by rhythmically reciting them together, to the accompaniment of tambourines and clapping hands - which has developed into a typically Muslim art form.
This is in imitation of what the santri’s handwritten textbooks used to look like: having copied the Arabic text, they would listen to the kyai’s explanations and scribble their translations between the lines.
On Dahlan see Snouck Hurgronje 1887, al-`Attas 1979, II, pp. 700-12; on Sayyid Bakri and his major work I`anat al-talibin, Snouck Hurgronje 1889, pp. 253, 259-60.
On Nawawi Banten, see Snouck Hurgronje 1889, pp. 362-7; Chaidar 1978. Sarkis (1928) lists 38 printed works by Nawawi. On his major work, Al-tafsir al-munir, see Johns 1984 and 1988.
A brief biographical sketch of Bajuri, who was shaykh al-islam of Cairo, in Snouck Hurgronje’s Verspreide Geschriften, vol. II, p. 417; an extensive discussion of his widely used work on fiqh in Snouck Hurgronje 1899.
His biographer Abdullah (1987, pp. 45-6) mentions 38 works, several of which seem however to be lost.
See Danuwijoto 1977. Most of Saleh’s major works (Danuwijoto lists 12) are out of print and could not be collected.
K.H. Mahfudz has, among present-day kyai, the reputation of having been one of the most learned Javanese `ulama ever. He was the highly respected teacher of several of NU’s founding `ulama (including Hasyim Asy’ari). Little has been written about his life; there are short notices in `Abbas 1975: 460 and `Abd al-Jabbar 1385: 321-2.
On Mahmud Yunus, who was the first Indonesian graduate of Egypt’s Dar al-`ulum and a passionate educationalist, see Abdullah 1971: 141-2, 151-4, 213-4, and Yunus 1979, passim.
For the differences between these institutions of Islamic education, see Steenbrink 1974; remarks on the curriculum of both in Yunus 1979, passim.
See Zarkasyi 1985 for a few examples.
E.g. Departemen Agama 1977; Prasodjo et al. 1978: 51-68; Yunus 1979, passim; Zarkasyi 1985.
Zuhri 1974, esp. pp. 30-43, and Zuhri 1987: 30-32, 95-105, 120-130.
On West Javanese pesantren: notably Prasodjo et al.1978: 51-68; Amidjaja et al. 1985: 41-43; on Central and East Javanese pesantrens, there is a series of monographs prepared by the Research and Development Desk of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, prepared during the years 1980-1983.
 “Sikap dan pandangan hidup ulama Indonesia”, a LIPI-IPSK research project carried out in 1986-88. The present author took part in this project as a consultant for research methods.
Riau and Palembang data are based on interviews with various local `ulama, those on Pariaman on interviews and observation in loco, all in the context of the said research project. Data on the PERTI curriculum are taken from Yunus 1979: 100.
There are as yet few pondok pesantren in Kalimantan; they are a recent development, following the East Javanese example. The level of teaching is still relatively low. Before these pesantren existed, one studied privately with a teacher, using mainly Malay kitab (especially M. Arshad al-Banjari’s works).
Almost all works mentioned by van den Berg are still in use and are among the more popular texts. Drewes, on the other hand, lists many titles that are not used now, and the books that are most frequently used now do not stand out among his list. In library collections, the relatively rare generally tends to be over-, the common under-represented (the rare appears, after all, much more worth collecting). Neither van den Berg nor Drewes mentions the Kailani and the Maqshud with their commentaries, the Amtsilah, and Bina, by Asymawi; Drewes mentions Dahlan’s work as a commentary on the Jurumiyah rather than the Alfiyah. Neither author mentions any work on balagha; it is unclear whether there are no manuscript works on the subject in the libraries or that Drewes does not consider this as part of grammar.
I owe information on the curriculum of traditional Kurdish madrasa to my friends M.E. Bozarslan and M. Tayfun, both from northern Kurdistan, and Fadil Ahmad Karim from southern Kurdistan. Snouck Hurgronje (1883) describes a West Sumatran manuscript textbook containing, in order, a list of grammatical expressions, inflection tables, an untitled text that seems to be (part of) the Izzi, the Awamil and a commentary on the Jurumiyah (by Shaykh Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Azhari. The last work is still popular all over Sumatra, under the name of Syekh Khalid or Azhari, or by its proper title, Tamrin al-tullab.
In several editions, the Bina and Izzi are printed together with other introductory works on sarf: Al-maqsud and Al-shafiya (by Jamal al-Din b. al-Hajib, d. 646/1249, see GAL I, 303-6), and two anonymous texts, Al-marah and Amthila mukhtalifa. All these texts are quite short: the entire collection is no more than 72 pages long.
Van den Berg and Drewes give Ibn Hisham’s full name as [Abu] `Abdallah [Muhammad] b. Yusuf b. Hisham, but the title page of Indonesian editions of his work call him Jamal al-Din b. Hisham al-Ansari. Commentaries on this work available in Indonesia are Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-Fakihi’s Mujid al-nida’ and Ahmad al-Sija’i’s hashiya upon the latter, with further glosses by Shams al-Din al-Anbabi.
Not murawniq as Brockelmann (S II, 705) has it.
Thus Shaykh Yasin bin `Isa al-Padani, mudir of the Indonesian madrasa Darul Ulum in Mecca (who was considered as the doyen of Indonesia’s traditional `ulama because of this position) in interview, 6-3-1988; similarly K.H. Sahal Mahfudz, Abdurrahman Wahid and other leading `ulama. These preferences are not the same among all Shafi`i Muslims; among the Kurds, for instance, Sharbini’s Mughni’l-muhtaj is the ultimate work of reference, besides the Minhaj itself.
A very much abridged translation of the Tuhfa, in Javanese characters, was edited by S. Keijzer in 1853 and reprinted by Roorda (1874).
According to knowledgeable Kurdish informants, Fath al-mu`in is the most popular textbook, and the extensive commentary on it, I`anat al-talibin, the most often used work of reference in the Kurdish madrasa.
I found one Madurese and two different Javanese interlinear translations of the Safina, and two versified versions. Ahmad b. Siddiq of Lasem, Pasuruan (East Java) wrote the nazm version Tanwir al-hija’, of which a Madurese translation exists, and which received a further commentary by Muhammad `Ali b. Husayn al-Makki al-Maliki entitled Anarat al-duja’. Kyai Sahal Mahfudz of Kajen (Central Java) wrote a commentary Fayd al-haja’ on the other nazm version, Nayl al-raja’.
 As attested by Schrieke 1921: 298-300. The interest in usul fiqh was also fed by the emerging conviction that the gate of ijtihad was not necessarily closed and that taqlid is unworthy of the intellectually adult person.
Brockelmann incorrectly compounds the latter two authors into one (GAL S I, 672 no.9).
Translated into English in MacDonald 1903: 315-351.
For a discussion of the contents of some texts of this kind, see Nor bin Ngah 1983: 13-18.
Peter Riddell (1984) has shown that the Tarjuman (or at least those sections of it that he has studied) is not, as was taken for granted by both orientalists and many Muslims (including the Tarjuman’s publishers), an adaptation of Baydawi’s tafsir but largely a straightforward translation of that by the two Jalal, with interpolations taken from Baydawi and from Khazin.
On these two tafsir see Jansen 1980. `Abduh’s tafsir, later completed by Rida, was an original work of modernist exegesis. Jansen call’s Maraghi’s work ‘an elaborate, complete, mainly philological Koran commentary […] a lucid but not original work’ (1980: 77).
Critical comments on this work, especially because of the poverty of sources consulted, in Johns 1984: 158.
It is perhaps significant that in Snouck Hurgronje’s Adviezen there is only one reference to hadith, which moreover does not concern Indonesia but Arabia.
Djohan Effendi, "Tilikan singkat terhadap berbagai kumpulan hadits Nabi Muhammad", paper presented at the seminar "Pandangan dan Sikap Hidup Ulama Indonesia", LIPI, Jakarta, 24-25 February 1988.
Cf. similar observations in Steenbrink 1974, p. 166.
The journalist Syu’bah Asa published an Indonesian translation of this collection, intending it to show other Indonesians something of pesantren culture.
Almost all Sufi anecdotes and sayings of great shaykhs that he quotes come down to the same moral of complete surrender to the teacher. Some of Yusuf’s works are summarized in Tudjimah CS 1987.
Short summary of the contents in Abdullah 1980, 107-121; analysis in Mansur 1982.
For a good survey, see Quzwain 1985, esp. 37-51.
See, for instance, Panji Masyarakat no.556 (1-11-1987), pp. 50-51 and no. 562 (1-1-1988), pp. 71-2. A biographical notice on al-Haddad, by his editor Hasanayn M. Makhluf, in the preface of his Al-da`wa al-tamma (in the collection).
Published by Mizan in Bandung (directed by al-Baqir’s son, Haidar Bagir), which also publishes the Iranian thinkers Shari`ati and Mutahhari and in general targets on a public of young, well educated and committed Muslims. A few minor texts by al-Haddad were brought out in Indonesian translation by other publishers.
These include mawlid by Barzinji, `Azb, Diba`i, Jamal al-Din al-Jawzi, `Ali b. M. al-Habshi and Sayyid Usman, the Qasidat al-burda by Busiri, Isra’-mi`raj narrations by Najm al-Din Ghayti and by Da’ud b. `Abdallah al-Patani, and various commentaries and translations of these works (four different Javanese translations of the Barzanji alone).
There exist also manaqib of Baha’ al-Din Naqshband, Muhammad [b. `Abd al-Karim] Samman and Ahmad al-Tijani, but their use is largely (though not entirely) restricted to the mystical orders associated with these shaykhs, whereas `Abd al-Qadir is almost universally venerated. Drewes & Poerbatjaraka 1938 is still the most important study of `Abd al-Qadir’s manaqib; the Hikayat Seh (based on Yafi`i’s Khulasat al-mafakhir) to which they devote most attention, is now, however, far surpassed in popularity by Barzinji’s Lujjayn al-dani and `Abd al-Qadir al-Arbili’s Tafrih al-khatir and commentaries on these two texts.
See however Drewes & Poerbatjaraka 1938: 31-3, on the recitation of the Hikayat Seh in regional languages.
 Such popular tales on the life of the Prophet include well-known stories as Hikayat nur Muhammad, Nabi bercukur, Nabi wafat; the Hikayat Samman narrates miracles of Shaykh Samman.
The collection contains no less than four different Javanese translations of the Barzanji. For a list of 20th century commentaries on and translations of the Barzanji and of a manaqib by the same author (not all represented in the collection) see van Bruinessen 1987: 48-9.
Nov 28, 2008
Kitab Kuning: Books in Arabic Script Used in the Pesantren Milieu(Comments on a New Collection in the KITLV Library)
Martin van Bruinessen
at 6:02:00 PM