Original Research

The Sufi order against religious radicalism in Indonesia

Maghfur Ahmad, Abdul Aziz, Mochammad N. Afad, Siti M. Muniroh, Husnul Qodim
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6417 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6417 | © 2021 Maghfur Ahmad, Abdul Aziz, Mochammad Afad, Siti Muniroh, Husnul Qodim | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2020 | Published: 18 May 2021

About the author(s)

Maghfur Ahmad, Department of Family Law, Faculty of Syariáh, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Pekalongan, Pekalongan, Indonesia
Abdul Aziz, Department of Family Law, Faculty of Syariáh, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Pekalongan, Pekalongan, Indonesia
Mochammad N. Afad, Department of Tasawuf and Psychotheraphy, Faculty of Ushuluddin, Adab dan Dakwah, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Pekalongan, Pekalongan, Indonesia
Siti M. Muniroh, Islamic Early childhood education, Faculty of Education, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Pekalongan, Pekalongan, Indonesia
Husnul Qodim, Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Ushuluddin, UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia


This study aimed to analyse the contribution of the Sufi order in stemming religion-based violence as a form of the Sufis’ response to rampant violence, extremism and religious radicalism. This study used a qualitative method in which the data were obtained through interviews, observation and documentation. Then they were analysed by using an interactive model. This study was carried out in three Sufi communities of the Sufi order Qadariyah wan Naqshabandiyah (TQN) in Indonesia, namely in Suryalaya Islamic Boarding School, Futuhiyyah Islamic Boarding School Mranggen and Darul Ulum Islamic Boarding School Jombang. The results of the study show that the three TQN orders have the concepts of dhikr and love, which are internalised in the act of Sufism. The Sufi order has the doctrines of love of God, mutual love, discourse of moderation and tolerance towards religion and other groups as the main instruments in the fight against religious radicalism. The resistance of the Sufis to religious radicalism shows that the Sufi order is cornered from attacks by formalist groups in religion. This fact reopens the historical archive of contradictions between the two major currents of Islamic thought and movement, Salafi versus Sufi. The counter-radicalism narrated by the Sufis of the three TQN communities represents their defensive attitude towards the aggressiveness of the textual and radical Salafis.

Contribution: This article contributes to prevent and reduce the rise of religious radicalism in Indonesia. The doctrines of tanbih, mahabbah, tolerance and moderatism developed by the Sufis in the three TQN communities became a source of reference and inspiration for resistance to violence and religious radicalism.


Sufi order; cosmology; philosophy; rationalists; traditionalists; religious radicalism.


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Crossref Citations

1. Hybrid Sufism for enhancing quality of life: Ethnographic perspective in Indonesia
Suwito Suwito, Ida Novianti, Suparjo Suparjo, Corry A. Widaputri, Muhammad ’Azmi Nuha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 78  issue: 4  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v78i4.7198