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Jakarta Post

The performances that help curb extremism

  • Muhammad Asad

    Lecturer at the University of Hasyim Asy’ari, Pondok Pesantren Tebuireng

Jombang   /   Thu, November 30, 2017   /  08:32 am
The performances that help curb extremism Observance -- Tens of thousands of people attend the commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, or Maulid Nabi, at Gasibu Square in Bandung, West Java. (JP/Arya Dipa)

On Dec. 1, or Rabiul Awwal 12 on the Islamic calendar, Muslims will celebrate Mawlid, the birth of Prophet Muhammad, through many events, including reciting and singing shalawat, which literally means praises to the prophet.

Earlier this year, the scholar James Edmonds wrote in The Jakarta Post that shalawat could be useful to combat Islamic radicalism, citing performances by the hugely popular “Habib” Syech bin Abdul Qadir Assegaf, which are said to promote nationalism and pluralism.  Read also: Listening to 'shalawat' to combat radical Islam There might be some truth to Edmond’s view, though singing or listening toshalawat in itself is surely inadequate to combat extremist religious teachings. 

First, what most Indonesians practice through shalawat, especi...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.