Friday, April 4, 2014

SYEKH SITI JENAR

SYEKH SITI JENAR


The legend of the trial and execution of Siti Jenar for heresy by the Wali Songo is well known in Indonesia, though there is argument over whether his death was real or symbolic. The truth may never be known, but the message of the legend is clear and speaks across the generations.
From the beginning the Wali Songo were confronted with the problem of how far to compromise with existing beliefs and it is said that they became divided into two 'camps'. Sunan Giri of Gresik represented the orthodox, while innovation was favoured by Sunan Kalijaga.
Eventually it was innovation which provided the solution when Sunan Kalijaga elected for Sunan Giri as leader of the Wali Songo. Through this gesture Sunan Kalijaga ensured that orthodoxy remained the final authority, thus effectively setting limits on the extent to which innovation could be carried.
The pantheistic teaching of Siti Jenar, which during his lifetime had attracted a considerable following, was considered dangerous and inappropriate and was thus sacrificed for the sake of order, balance and harmony.