Tracing Back the Spiritual Tales: From Java to Middle East
The Prophet’s Birthday at Keraton Yogyakarta
Keraton Yogyakarta still keeps an impressive traditional yet religious ceremony, Garebeg Maulud, held to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW. The ceremony starts with a gamelan orchestra which has been passed down through generations and a parade of court troops at night. The melodious tunes of gending or songs make the moment even more magical.
At the same time, the Sekaten Fair takes place for the whole week. The ceremony ends with the celebration of Maulid Nabi, the Prophet’s Birthday, at the Grand Mosque. Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X also attends the ceremony. It gets more interesting as the people start grabbing the mount-shaped offerings. This is relevant to the local belief that it will bring blessings and agelessness.
Tracing Back the Steps of Walisongo
When we talk about Islam tradition in the land of Java, it is only natural to talk about Walisongo, the Nine Guardians, as Islam missionary figures in the said land. The nine guardians were Maulana Malik Ibrahim, Sunan Ampel, Sunan Giri, Sunan Bonang, Sunan Dradjad, Sunan Kalijaga, Sunan Kudus, Sunan Muria and Sunan Gunung Jati. Their legacy can still be found up to these days at the pilgrimage tourism attraction.
In Cirebon, West Java, you can visit Wukir Sapta Rengga which was the last resting place ofSunan Gunung Jati. Other tourism attractions are Keraton kasepuhan Cirebon and Masjid Agung Sang Cipta rasa. In Demak, Central Java, you can visit the grave of Sunan Kalijaga and Masjid Agung Demak. This mosque used to be the meeting place of the nine guardians. Meanwhile, the grave of Sunan Ampel and Masjid Ampel can be found in Surabaya.
Staying Devoted on Umrah Trip
The climax of devotional prayer for Moslems is of course the hajj. Having the privilege to be God’s own guest is the dream of most Moslems in the world. Umrah, or the smaller version of hajj pilgrimage, popularly starts in Medina. This is where you find Nabawi Mosque and visit the grave of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
Next, the first procession that must be performed is the Intention of Ihram at Miqat. From miqat, the pilgrims wearing white clothes then proceed to Al-Haram Mosque. . This is where the umrah pilgrims perform tawaf, the procession where the pilgrims walk around the Kabba seven times in a row.
The pilgrims then go and walk seven times in a row from Shofa hill to Marwah Hill and back. Umrah ends when the pilgrims perform tahalul. Tahalul, marked by getting the hair cut, means releasing one’s self from the prohibited things during the ihram period.
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