Wali Sanga

The Wali Sanga (also transcribed as Wali Songo) are revered saints of Islam in Indonesia, especially on the island of Java, because of their historic role in the Spread of Islam in Indonesia. The word wali is Arabic for "trusted one" ("guardian" in other contexts in Indonesia) or "friend of God" ("saint" in this context), while the word songo is Javanese for the number nine. Thus, the term is often translated as "nine saints".

Each man is often attributed the title sunan in Javanese, which may derive from suhun, in this context meaning "honoured".[1]

Most of the wali were also called raden during their lifetimes, because they were members of royal houses. (See "Style and Title" section of Yogyakarta Sultanate for an explanation of Javanese nobility terms.)

The graves of Wali Sanga are venerated as locations of ziarah (ziyarat) or local pilgrimage in Java.[2] The graves are also known as pundhen in Javanese.


Some Muslim Sufis came to Java from Gujarat, India via Samudera Pasai (part of what is now Aceh). The earliest wali songo was Maulana Malik Ibrahim (originally from Samarkand) who arrived on Java in 1419 CE.

Tracing the lineage back further than Maulana Malik Ibrahim is problematic, but most scholars agree all of them are of Arab descendants.[3] Although silsila are listed in various Javanese royal chronicles (such as Sejarah Banten) to denote ancestral lineage, the term in Sufism refers to a lineage of teachers. Some of these spiritual lineages are cited by van Bruinessen in his study of the Banten Sultanate, particularly in regard to Sunan Gunung Jati who was an initiate of various Sufi orders.[4]

Although popular belief sometimes refers to the wali songo as "founders" of Islam on Java, the religion was present by the time the Chinese Muslim admiral Zheng He arrived during his first voyage (1405-1407 CE).

Some of the wali songo had some Chinese ancestry maternally; for example, Sunan Ampel (Chinese name Bong Swi Ho), Sunan Bonang (Ampel's son, Bong Ang), and Sunan Kalijaga (Gan Si Cang).[5]

The theory of Chinese ancestry maternally of Walisongo was publicized for the very first time in the book entitled "The Collapse of Javanese Hindu Kingdom" (1968), which is stating that Walisongo are descendants of Chinese Muslims.[6] References stating allegations that Walisongo derived from or Chinese descent can only be tested through its academic sources, which referring to the article of Onggang Mangaraja Parlindungan, which then refers to a person named Resident Poortman. However, Resident Poortman until now have not been able to be identified as well as its credibility as a historian, for example, when compared with Snouck Hurgronje and L.W.C van den Berg. Dutch historians today that had been reviewing a lot of history of Islam in Indonesia, namely Martin van Bruinessen, which is well recognized by his very detailed and widely used as a reference, was never even once mentioned the name of Resident Poortman in his books.[7]

One review on the writing of H.J. de Graaf, Th.G.Th. Pigeaud, and M.C. Ricklefs entitled "Chinese Muslims in Java in the 15th and 16th Centuries" written by Russell Jones, also doubts about the existence of a Resident Poortman. If the person himself was truly exists and was not named by any other name, the man himself was supposed to be easily demonstrated considering a fairly complete story in the writing of Parlindungan.[8] Moreover, H.J. de Graaf in 1990's states that Resident Poortman was actually never exist, which is proven by the record of the history of Van Nederlands Indie, the name of Resident Poortman was never exist.[9]

There are several different point of view about the origin of Walisongo, but most of people agreed that the teaching of Islam of Walisongo was brought by Maulana Malik Ibrahim. From his wife namely Dewi Candrawulan, a Muslim Princess from Champa, then born Raden Rahmat (Prince Rahmat), whose later known by the name of Sunan Ampel.[10][11] he was considered as a focal point of the Walisongo, because several of them are his descendants and/or his students.


The composition of the nine saints varies, depending on different sources. The following list is widely accepted, but its authenticity relies much on repeated citations of a handful of early sources, reinforced as "facts" in school textbooks and other modern accounts. This list differs somewhat from the names suggested in the Babad Tanah Jawi manuscripts.

One theory about the variation of composition is: "The most probable explanation is that there was a loose council of nine religious leaders, and that as older members retired or died, new members were brought into this council."[12] However, it should be borne in mind that the term "wali songo" was created retroactively by historians, and so there was no official "group of nine" that had membership. Further, the differences in chronology of the wali suggest that there might never have been a time when nine of them were alive contemporaneously.

Even recently, there were some who doubted the effort of Walisongo in spreading Islam in Nusantara archipelago. They even thought that the story of Walisongo was just a myth or legend. The reason, it is impossible that Islam could have been spread so widespread in that short period of time. In fact, the previous centuries, Islam experienced a lot of trouble to spread in the Nusantara archipelago, particularly in Java.

Admittedly, at first, it was not easy for Islam to enter and thrive in the archipelago. Even in the historical record, in a span of about 800 years, Islam has not been able to develop massively. Note of the Tang Dynasty of China writes, merchants from the Middle East have come to the kingdom of Shih-li-fo-shi (Srivijaya) in Sumatra,[13][14][15] and Holing (Kalinga) in Java in the year 674 AD,[16][17][18][19] i.e., in the transitional period of Caliph Ali to Muawiyah. In the 10th century, a group of Persian called the Lor tribes came to Java. They live in an area in Ngudung (Kudus), also known as Loram (from the word "Lor" which means North). They also form other communities in other areas, such as in Gresik known as Leran area. The existence of the gravestone of Fatimah binti Maimun bin Hibatallah in Leran Gresik which is pointing the kronogram of 10th century AD is presumably as the evident of the news about the incoming migration of the Persian tribes. And Fatimah binti Maimun is expected as one of its descendants.[20][21]

In addition, based on notes that were written in Java, Sultan Algabah of Rum Kingdom, sending 20,000 families to Java, but all of them were killed, leaving only 200 families. The Sultan was furious. In order to keep Islam developed in Java, the Sultan sent his people who are considered as saints and have karomah, one of the characters is Sheikh Subakir, a famous Sheikh whose considered numbali (purified) the land of Java to be occupied. In the 10th century, the Sheikh Subakir traveled around Java and then back again to the Rum Kingdom. After that, the development of Islam in Java remain unknown.[22]

In his notes, Marcopolo writes, when returning from China to Italy in 1292 AD, he does not pass through the Silk Road, but it passes through the sea towards the Persian Gulf. He stopped in Perlak, a Port City in Aceh, located in Southern Malacca. According to Marcopolo, in Perlak, there are three groups, namely (1) China, who are all Muslims; (2) Western (Persian), the entirely Muslim; and (3) indigenous in the hinterland, who worship trees, rocks, and spirit.[23][24] In his testimony, he said: "The Kingdom of Ferlec (Perlak). "This kingdom, you must know, is so much frequented by the Saracen merchants that they have converted the natives to the Law of Mohammet — I mean the townspeople only, for the hill-people live for all the world like beasts, and eat human flesh, as well as all other kinds of flesh, clean or unclean. And they worship this, that, and the other thing; for in fact the first thing that they see on rising in the morning, that they do worship for the rest of the day.[25][26]

One hundred years after Marco Polo, came the Admiral Zhang He to Java in 1405 AD. He noted, when stopped in Tuban, he found there were 1000 Chinese religious Muslim family. In Gresik, he also found there were 1000 Chinese Muslim family, as well as in Surabaya there were also 1000 Chinese Muslim family.[27] On Zhang He's seventh (last) visit to Java in 1433 AD, he invited his scribe named Ma Huan. According to Ma Huan, the Chinese and the Arab population of the cities on the northern beaches of Java were all Muslim, while the indigenous population were mostly non Muslim because they were worshipping the trees, rocks, and spirit.[28][29]

Seven years later, namely in 1440 AD, came a Wali from the Kingdom of Champa (Southern Vietnam) to Java together with his family,[30][31] namely Sheikh Ibrahim Samarqandi (Maulana Malik Ibrahim) and his two sons, Ali Murtadho and Ali Rahmat. They live in the Tuban area, precisely in the Gesikharjo Village at Palang District. But before had enough time to develop, Sheikh Ibrahim Samarqandi died and was buried there in Gesikharjo Village. After the funeral, both of his sons then heading to the Capital of Majapahit, because their aunt (Princess Dwarawati) was married with the King of Majapahit.[32] And by the King's order, both of them then were appointed as officials of Majapahit Empire. Ali Murtadho as Raja Pandhita (Minister of Religion) for the Muslims, while Ali Rahmat was appointed as Imam (High Priest for Muslims) in Surabaya. Ali Rahmat was known as Raden Rahmat (Prince Rahmat), whose then becomes Sunan Ampel.[33]

From Sunan Ampel, born Sunan Bonang, Sunan Drajat, and his daughters, and then his students, such as Sunan Giri and Raden Patah. From then formed Walisongo. When his first came in 1440, Sunan Ampel was not yet married. And in 1470, or it took about 30 years here, Sunan Ampel develop Islam in Java, while his children and students had already grown up. This is the beginning of the era of Walisongo, namely in 1470.[34]

About 40 years later, in 1513, a Portuguese named Tome Pires came to Java. He noted, along the northern coast of Java, all the dukes were all Muslim rulers.[35][36] Whereas before, according to Ma Huan in 1433, along the northern coast of Java, the indigenous population were all infidels. This indicates that Islam developed as a new mass since the era of Walisongo.

Other testimony, in 1522, Antonio Pigafetta, a traveler from Italy, aboard the Portuguese vessel and came to Java. He watched the natives along the north of Java were Muslims. Deep inside of the island, the kingdom of Majapahit still exist, but not developed anymore.[37][38] Again, this is the evidence of the widespread of Islam in Walisongo new era.

The Dha'wah of Walisongo

The question is: why only in the period of 40–50 years, Islam can be received so widespread in Java, whereas before it was very difficult to develop? One significant key-factor of the success of Dha'wah of Walisongo is how the Walisongo develop an abandoned civilization of Majapahit into a new civilization whose roots form the Majapahit but with Islamic characteristics. For example, until the early Demak era, society is divided into two major groups, such as Majapahit era. First, the Group of Gusti, namely people who live in the palace. Secondly, the Group of Kawula, people who live outside the palace.

Gusti means master, Kawula means slaves or servants, who only have the right to lease, not the right of ownership, because the right of ownership is only belongs to the people with the social status of (Gusti). In the era of Majapahit, all property is owned by the palace (state, or nation, or the kingdom). And if the king wants to give a deserving subject, then by the King's order that person will be given sima land or perdikan land (fief). This also means, if he had been a Kawula, his social status will rise, and he will become a Gusti, and he also has the right of ownership as he was given the simah land (fief).

Walisongo, especially Sheikh Siti Jenar and Sunan Kalijaga, created a new perspective in the cultural and society structure. From the cultural and society structure of "gusti and kawula", they introduce the new community structure which is so-called "Masyarakat", derived from the Arabic term of Musharaka, which means the community of equal and mutual cooperation. It is proven by the absence of the term of "masyarakat", "rakyat", and so on in the Javanese Kawi vocabulary. It's a new term that was brought by Walisongo during their Dha'wah.

One of the methods that were used by the Walisongo is by changing the mindset of the society. People with social status of Gusti pronoun themselves as: intahulun, kulun or ingsun. While the people with social status of Kawula pronoun themselves as: kula or kawula (Javanese), abdi (Sundanese), saya or sahaya (Sumatran): hamba or ambo (Minangkabau). Walisongo changes all those self pronunciation or designation which indicates the meaning of slaves, and replaced it with the term of ingsun, aku, kulun, or awak, and other designations that do not represent the identity of slaves or persons with lower social status. That is the concept of society of Walisongo, society or community of equal and mutual cooperation, which does not possess any discriminations nor discriminate the terms of self designation between subject classes such "gusti and kawula", which is called "Masyarakat". In present days, the term of kula, ambo, abdi, hamba, sahaya or saya, are still being used for the purpose of showing respect toward others, for example: while speaking toward someone older, parents, strangers, and so on.

At the time of Majapahit, in addition to class gusti, people do not have property rights, such as houses, cattle, and so on, because all of them belonged to the palace. If the palace had intent, like wanting to build a bridge or temple and require the sacrifice, the children of class subjects taken and victimized. By changing the structure of society, class subjects can finally rejected because of the equality of the new society system.

The Javanese in the era of Majapahit are known to be very arrogant. Their principle of life is "Adigang Adigung Adiguna" (superior in power, authority, and knowledge). They are very proud to have been able to subdue and or humiliate others. According to the testimony of Antonio Pigafetta, at that time, there's no one is as arrogant exceed the Javanese. If they were walking, and there's also people from another nation who walk at a higher place, they will be ordered to get down. and if they refuse, they will be killed. That is the character of the Javanese. So in old Javanese Kawi, there's no term of "kalah" ("lose"). If someone at odds with others, then there is only "win" or "dead". As Ma Huan noted, in Chao-wa (Java) if a man touches their head with his hand, or if there is a misunderstanding about money at a sale, or a battle of words when they are crazy with drunkenness, they at once pull out their knives and stab [each other]. He who is stronger prevails. When [one] man is stabbed to death, if the [other] man runs away and conceals himself for three days before emerging, then he does not forfeit his life; [but] if he is seized at the very moment [of the stabbing], he too is instantly stabbed to death. The country has no [such] punishment as flogging; no [matter whether] the offence be great or small, they tie both [the offender’s] hands behind his back with a fine rattan, and hustle him away for several paces, then they take a pu-la-t’ou and stab the offender once or twice in the small of the back or in the floating ribs, causing instant death. According to the local custom of the country no day [passes] without a man being put to death; [it is] very terrible.[39]

Walisongo then develop the terms of "ngalah" ("NgAllah"). It is not derived from the word of "kalah" such as in bahasa Indonesia. But it comes from the Javanese prefix "Ng" which means toward (a purpose, and or destination), for example: ng-alas (toward the forest), ng-awang (toward the clouds), and Ng-Allah means toward Allah (tawakkal), the word "ngalah" itself was then used by the Javanese as an expression in avoiding conflict. The other evidence of the arrogance of the Javanese is represented during the time when envoys from China (Meng Xi) came in order to deliver a message from their king (Kubilai Khan) to the king of Singasari (Kertanegara). The messages ordered Kertanegara to submit toward their kingdom. And in return, Meng Xi (the Chinese envoy) was wounded, humiliated, and sent back to China by Kertanegara (it is said that his ear was cut off instantly by Kertanegara himself). The term of Carok in Madura is also derived from the ancient Javanese Tradition. Carok in Javanese Kawi means fighting; Warok means a fighter; and Ken Arok means the leader of fighters. Therefore, Walisongo introduced a new term such as "sabar" (patient), "adil" (fair), 'tawadhu', including "ngalah" or ngAllah (avoiding conflict).

Walisongo sees that Hinduism and Buddhism actually were only embraced by the Gusti society inside the palaces. The common religion that generally embraced by the general population outside the palace is Kapitayan, a religion whose devotee toward Sang Hyang Taya. Taya means "suwung" (empty). God of Kapitayan is abstract, it can not be described. Sang Hyang Taya is defined simply as "tan keno kinaya ngapa", it can not be seen, thought, nor imagined. And the might of Sang Hyang Taya whose then represent in various places, such as in stone, monument, trees, and in many other places in this world. Therefore, they makes their offerings over those place, not because they worshiping the stones, trees, monuments, or anything else, but they did it as their devotion toward Sang Hyang Taya whose his might is represent in all over those places.

This Kapitayan religion, is the ancient religion, in which is studied in the archaeological study, whose its archeological remains and legacy in Western terminology is known as dormant, menhirs, sarcophagus, and many others in which indicates that there is an ancient religion around that place. And by the Dutch historian, this religion is referred to as animism and dynamism, because it worships trees, rocks, and spirits. Meanwhile, according to Ma Huan, such practices are called as nonbeliever.

These Kapitayan's religious values was then adopted by the Walisongo in spreading Islam toward the regions. Because the concept of tawhid in Kapitayan is basically same with the concept of tawhid in Islam: the term of "Tan keno kinaya ngapa" in Kapitayan ("can't be seen, can't be thought, can't be imagined, He is beyond everything"), have the same equal meaning as "laisa kamitslihi syai'un" in Islam ("There is nothing like unto Him"; Qur'an Surah Ash-Syura chapter 42 verse 11).

Walisongo also use the term "Sembahyang" (worshipping Sang Hyang Taya in Kapitayan) in introducing the term of "Shalat" in Islam. In term of places for worship or praying, Walisongo also using the term Sanggar in Kapitayan, which represents a four-square building with an empty hole on its wall as the symbol of Sang Hyang Taya in Kapitayan, not arca or statues as in Hindu or Buddhism. This term of place for praying or worshipping in Kapitayan also used by Walisongo by the name "Langgar" represents the term of Masjid in Islam"

There's also a ritual in form of not eating from morning up until night in Kapitayan, which is called as Upawasa (Puasa or Poso). Instead of using the term of fasting or Siyam in Islam, Walisongo used the term of Puasa or Upawasa from the Kapitayan in describing the ritual. The term of Poso Dino Pitu in Kapitayan whose means fasting on the day of the second and the fifth day in which is equal to seven days of fasting, is very similar with the form of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays in Islam. The Tradition of "Tumpengan" of Kapitayan was also being kept by the Walisongo under the Islamic perspective as known as "Sedekah". This is the meaning of the terminology in which Gus Dur (Indonesian fourth president) mentioned as "mempribumikan Islam" (Indigenize Islam).[40][41]

At the time of Majapahit, there is a ceremony which is called as "Sraddha", a ceremony that being held 12 years after a person's death. There is a time in the Majapahit history, during the Sraddha ceremony a King of Majapahit (Bhre Pamotan Sang Sinagara), a poet namely Mpu Tanakung, composed the "Kidung of Banawa Sekar" (The Ballad of Flowers Boat), to describe how the ceremony was carried out with full opulence and grandeur. This tradition was then called by society around the lakes and beach with the term Sadran or Nyadran (derived from the word Sraddha).[42] Walisongo who derived from Champa also brought religious traditions, such as ceremonies of 3 days, 7 days, 40 days, 10 days, and 1000 days after someone's death. This is a tradition in which derived from Campa, not a native Javanese tradition, nor the Hindu tradition. Because these traditions also exist in parts of Central Asia, such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In the books of Tradition of Champa, such tradition has already exist since a very long time ago.

In the history of Majapahit's superstition, there are only Yaksa, Pisacas, Wiwil, Rakshasha, Gandharwa, Bhuta, Khinnara, Widyadhara, Ilu-Ilu, Dewayoni, Banaspati, and ancestral spirits, in which known by the people of Majapahit. The people of Majapahit was very rational. They all were sailors and get to know people from all across the globe such as Japan, India, China, Africa, Arabia, Pacific Ocean and many other place. In the Islamic era that detracted from Champa a lot of new superstition appears, such as pocong. This is clearly derived from the Muslim faith, because in Majapahit the dead was burned and not covered with sheet. There are also many other superstition like kuntilanak, tuyul, including the legend of Nyai Roro Kidul or Queen of the Southern Sea who came later.

During the Dha'wah of Walisongo, Islam was spread without any force of arms, not even a single drip of blood was spilled. Only after the Dutch period, especially after the Diponegoro War, the Dutch really run out of funds, they even owe millions of Goldens because of it. And even after Prince Diponegoro arrested, his remains were never subject. The Dutch finally deconstructing the stories about Walisongo, as in Babad Kediri. From this Babad Kediri, it was then emerged the book chronicle of Darmo Gandul and Suluk Gatholoco. the one who authored the book is named Ngabdullah, a person from Pati East Java, who because of poverty, making it lapsed and leaves Islam. He later renamed by the name of Ki Tunggul Wulung and settled in Kediri.

In the essay fiber, there are many stories that contrary to historical fact, such as Demak attacked Majapahit 1478 and the emergence of a fictional character Sabdo Palon Naya Genggong who swore that 500 years after the attack, Majapahit will bounce back. Yet according to the more authentic script and more ancient, in that year that attacked Majapahit is King Girindrawardhana, the Hindu king of Kediri. And because of the very strong influence of that tale, it makes President Soeharto, the second president of Indonesia was very confident so that he sets pass of Aliran Kepercayaan (Beliefs) in Indonesia in the year 1978 (500 years after 1478), as a symbol of truth of the oath of Sabdo Palon about the resurrection of Majapahit.

Secretly, it turns out the Dutch make history essay of themselves to confuse the struggle of Muslims, especially the followers of Prince Diponegoro. The Dutch even made Babad Tanah Jawi of their own version, which is different from the original Babad Tanah Jawi. For example, the text of the Kidung Sunda, described the event of Bubad War, it is said that Gajah Mada kill the King of Sunda and his entire family. This is what makes the people of Sunda harbored a grudge against the people of Java. Tracking back from its historical record, the text itself was only appeared in Bali in 1860, made by the order of the Dutch. Sunda is a great kingdom, if such an event was truly ever happened, it must have been written by the Kingdom of Sunda. The Kingdom of Sunda was very detail in describing its historical records. Even the Traditions of Sunda was written in very detail in the manuscript of "Sanghyang Siksa Kanda ng Karesyan". How come such great event was never mentioned even once in the Chronicle of Sunda (Babad Sunda). The event itself was never mentioned in the Chronicles of Majapahit, nor in any other historical records. Again, this is the tactic of the Dutch in dividing the society by creating a false history as part of the Dutch policy "Divide and Conquer". From all of the distortion of history, all must have originated from a script written by the Dutch post-Diponegoro War.

In metallurgical technology smelting iron and steel, for example, people of Majapahit had already possess the ability of creating the Majapahit's heritage, such as keris, spears, arrows, even barunastra, a giant tipped steel arrows that functioned like an underwater torpedo, in which when it was fired, it have the ability to penetrate and bilge the ship. Demak kingdom as the descendants of Majapahit has the ability to create a large caliber of cannons in which exported to Malacca, Pasai, even Japan. The fact that Japanese bought guns from Demak sourced from the record of the Portuguese, during the conquered of the Port of Malacca, the Portuguese intelligences sourced that the Malacca fortress was complemented by large-size of cannons imported from Java. When the Portuguese was just newly arrived from Europe, their ships were uprooted by cannon fires when approaching the port of Malacca. The proof of this can be seen in Fort Surosowan Banten, where in front of it there is a giant cannon named "Ki Amok". As an illustration of the magnitude of the cannon, people can get into the cannon holes. Even the imperial seal of the Kingdom of Demak still clearly attached on the cannon, which is made in Jepara, a region in the Kingdom of Demak whose famous by its craftsmanship. The term of "bedil besar" ("big guns") and "jurumudi ning bedil besar" ("the driver of the big guns") describes "cannon" and "cannon operators". That was the military technology during the era of Walisongo.

Even in the dressing civilization, it was in the era of Walisongo appear kemben (strapless garments), surjan, and so on. Whereas in the era of Majapahit, people are not completely dressed, as this is can be seen in the reliefs of every ancient temples across Nusantara, where men and women are topless.

Majapahit famous puppet show is "Wayang Beber", whereas during the Walisongo era is "Wayang Kulit". Walisongo also changed the story of Mahabharata his in which is different from the original version of India. In the Indian version, Five Pandavas have one wife, Draupadi. This means that the concept of polyandry. Walisongo change this concept by telling that Draupadi was the wife of Yudhishthira, the eldest brother. Werkudara or Bima has a wife namely Arimbi, who later he married again with Dewi Nagagini who have children Ontorejo and Ontoseno, and so on. Illustrated that all the Pandavas were polygamy. Whereas the original version, Draupadi polyandry with five Pandavas. Similarly, in the story of Ramayana. Hanuman has two fathers, namely King Kesari Maliawan and God Bayu. By Walisongo, Hanuman referred to as the son of God Bayu. Walisongo even make the pedigree that the gods were descendants of Adam. This can be seen on the Pakem Pewayangan (the grip of puppet show) Ringgit Purwa at Pustaka Raja Purwa in Solo, which is a grip for every puppet masters in Java.[43][44] So the grip that was used by the puppeteers in Java was the Pakem derived from Walisongo, not India. This puppet spectacle, not only as an entertainment but also functioned as guidance in the propagation of Islam by Walisongo.

In context of literary, the kingdom of Majapahit had already created Kakawin and Kidung. By Walisongo, this literary richness was then enriched by the making of variety of song compositions, such as "Tembang Gedhe" (great song composition), "Tembang Tengahan" (mid song composition), and "Tembang Alit" (short song composition). Macapat flourished in coastal areas. Kakawin and Kidung could only be understood by a poet. But for the Tembang, even an illiterate people can understand.[45][46] This is the method of Walisongo Propagation through the arts and culture.[47]

Another example of the Dha'wah of Walisongo is Slametan which is developed by Sunan Bonang and then followed by the other Sunans. In the Tantrayana (Tantric) religion embraced by kings of Nusantara archipelago, there's a sect in that Tantric religion which is called the Bhairawa Tantra sect that worships the Goddess of Earth, Goddess Durga, Goddess Kali, and others Gods. They have a rituals where they were creating a circle called Ksetra. The largest Ksetra in Majapahit is Ksetralaya, the place today is called Troloyo.

The ritual ceremony itself was known as Upacara Panchamakara (the ceremony of five ma, the malima), namely Mamsya (meat), Matsya (fish), Madya (wine), Maithuna (sexual intercourse), and Mudra (meditation). Men and women formed a circle and all naked. In the center is provided meat, fish, and wine. After eating and drinking, they have sexual intercourse (maituna). After satisfying various desires, they meditated. For higher levels, they were using human flesh for Mamsya replacing meat, Sura fish (shark) for Matsa, and human blood for Madya replacing wine.

At Indonesian National Museum in Jakarta, there is a statue of a character named Adityawarman height of three meters and stands on a pile of skulls. He is the priest of the Bhairawa Tantra, the one who performed the teaching of malima. He was inaugurated and then became the Bhairawa priest carrying the title of Wisesa Dharani, the ruler of the earth. The statue described that he sat on a pile of hundreds of corpses, drinking blood, and laughing uproariously.

Witnessing such situation, Sunan Bonang created a similar event. He entered the center of Bhairawa Tantra in Kediri. As formerly the center of the Bhairawa Tantra, no wonder if the slogan of the City of Kediri now is Canda Bhirawa. During his Dha'wah in Kediri, Sunan Bonang stayed in the west of the river, in the village of Singkal Nganjuk. There he held a similar ceremony, made the similar circle, but all of the participants were all males, in the middle of the circle there is the food, and then they pray together. This is called the Kenduri Tradition (festivity tradition) or Slametan. Developed from village to village to match the ceremony of malima (Panchamakara). Therefore, Sunan Bonang was also known as Sunan Wadat Cakrawati, as the leader or imam of Chakra Iswara (Cakreswara).

Therefore, in the rural areas, people can be considered as a Muslim if he's already stated the Islamic creed, circumcised, and Slametan. So malima was originally not Maling (thievery), Maen (gambling), Madon (adultery), Madat (consuming opium), and Mendem (drunk), but the five elements of Panchamakara. Islam was then growing even faster because the people do not want their children get victimized as in Bhairawa Tantra. Then, they prefer to join Slametan with the aim of "slamet" (safety). This is the way of Walisongo spreads Islam without violence.

In conclusion, about 800 years Islam entered the archipelago, since the year 674 until Walisongo era in 1470, but has yet to be accepted by society en masse. It was then after the era of Walisongo, Islam developed so widespread in the archipelago. And until now, the teaching Walisongo is still run by the majority of Indonesian Muslims.

Names of the Walisongo

Some of the family relationships described below are well-documented; others are less certain. Even today, it is common in Java for a family friend to be called "uncle" or "brother" despite the lack of blood relationship.

Additional Wali sanga

Sources of information

Information about Wali Sanga is usually available in three forms:

(a) cerita rakyat: usually written as school texts for children to understand the lives and teaching of the holy men who propagated Islam in Java and Sumatra. Some have been made into TV series, segments of which are available on YouTube.
(b) kraton (palace) manuscripts with 'sacred' connotations: in verse and subject to limited access.
(c) articles and books about the historical personages: by Indonesian and non-Indonesian writers who attempt to ascertain historical accuracy, sometimes by seeking corroboration from non-Indonesian accounts of history or religion.

See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Islam in Indonesia.
  1. Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-333-57689-6.
  2. Schoppert, P., Damais, S., Java Style, 1997, Didier Millet, Paris, pp. 50, ISBN 962-593-232-1
  3. Freitag,Ulrike (1997). Hadhrami Traders, Scholars and Statesmen in the Indian Ocean, 1750s to 1960s. Leiden: Brill. pp. 32–34.
  4. Martin van Bruinessen (1995). "Shari`a court, tarekat and pesantren: religious institutions in the sultanate of Banten". Archipel. 50 (1): 165200. doi:10.3406/arch.1995.3069.
  5. Muljana, Prof. Dr. Slamet (2005). Runtuhnya kerajaan hindu-jawa dan timbulnya negara-negara islam di nusantara. Yogyakarta: LKiS. pp. 86–101. ISBN 979-8451-16-3.
  6. Muljana, Slamet (2005). collapse of Hindu-Javanese kingdom and the emergence of the Islamic countries in the archipelago. LKIS. pp. xxvi + 302 pp. ISBN 9798451163.
  7. Azra, Azyumardi (2005-01-01). Dari Harvard hingga Makkah (in Indonesian). Penerbit Republika. ISBN 9789793210520.
  8. Russell Jones, review on Chinese Muslims in Java in the 15th and 16th Centuries written by H. J. de Graaf; Th. G. Th. Pigeaud; M. C. Ricklefs, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 50, No. 2. (1987), hlm. 423-424.
  9. Agus Sunyoto , Discussion of Atlas Walisongo with Habib Anis Sholeh Ba'asyin & KH. Mustofa Bisri.
  10. Sejarah Indonesia: Wali Songo
  11. Agus Sunyoto , Discussion of Atlas Walisongo with Habib Anis Sholeh Ba'asyin & KH. Mustofa Bisri.
  12. "Sejarah Indonesia: Wali Songo". Gimonca.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  13. Azyumardi Azra (2006). Islam in the Indonesian World: An Account of Institutional Formation. Indonesia: Mizan Pustaka. p. 14. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  14. Eric Tagliacozzo (2009). Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement, and the Longue Durée. NUS Press. p. 86. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  15. T.W. Arnold (1896). "A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith: The spread of Islam Among The People of Malay Archipelago". www.islamicbooks.info. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  16. Eko Sukoharsono. "Accounting in A Historical Transition: A Shifting Dominant belief from Hindu to Islamic Administration in Indonesia" (PDF): 4. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  17. "The Preaching of Islam". Forgotten Books. p. 294 (313). Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  18. James Clad; Sean M. McDonald & Bruce Vaughn (2011). The Borderlands of Southeast Asia: Geopolitics, Terrorism, and Globalization. National Defense University Press. p. 44. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  19. "Map of Routes of Islam spread in Indonesia". www.sejarah-negara.com. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  20. Agus Sunyoto. "Mozaik Islam Nusantara: Eksistensi Islam Nusantara (The Existence of Islam Nusantara)". Islam Nusantara. 03 (01): 307–324. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  21. Suprayitno. "Evidence of the Beginning of Islam in Sumatera: Study on the Acehnese Tombstone" (PDF). TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies 2011. 2 (2): 125–146. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  22. Agus Sunyoto. "Mozaik Islam Nusantara: Eksistensi Islam Nusantara (The Existence of Islam Nusantara)". Islam Nusantara. 03 (01): 307–324. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  23. André Wink (2002). Al-Hind: The Slavic Kings and the Islamic conquest, 11th-13th centuries. Brill Academic Press. p. 42. ISBN 90 04 10236 1. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  24. Eko Sukoharsono. "Accounting in A Historical Transition: A Shifting Dominant belief from Hindu to Islamic Administration in Indonesia" (PDF): 5. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  25. "The Travels of Marco Polo: Concerning the Island of Java the Less. The Kingdoms of Ferlec and Basma". The University of Adelaide. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  26. "The Travels of Marco Polo: Concerning the Island of Java the Less. The Kingdoms of Ferlec and Basma". Wikisource. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  27. Yuanzhi Kong (2000). Muslim Tionghoa Cheng Ho: misteri perjalanan muhibah di Nusantara. Yayasan Obor Indonesia. p. 236. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  28. "800 Tahun, Islam Tak Diterima Pribumi Secara Massal". Nahdlatul Ulama Online. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  29. Huan Ma; Chengjun Feng; John Vivian Gottlieb Mills (2011). Ying-yai Sheng-lan: 'The Overall Survey of the Ocean's Shores' [1433]. CUP Archive. pp. 45–47. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  30. "Sunan Ampel". SEAsite - Northern Illinois University - Seasite Indonesia. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  31. "Sunan Ampel (2)". Majelis Ulama Indonesia Jakarta Timur. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  32. Musthofa Asrori. "Geliat Islam Nusantara Periode Walisongo". Madinatul Iman. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  33. John Renard (2009). Tales of God's Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation. University of California Press. pp. 343–344. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  34. Musthofa Asrori. "Geliat Islam Periode Walisongo". Nahdlatul Ulama Online. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  35. Barbara Watson Andaya; Leonard Y. Andaya (2015). A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia, 1400-1830. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  36. Amelia Fauzia (2013). Faith and the State: A History of Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia. BRILL. p. 69. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  37. Gunn, Geoffrey C. (2011-08-01). History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789888083343.
  38. Lach, Donald F. (2008-07-15). Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume I: The Century of Discovery. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226467085.
  39. Feng Ch’eng-Chün, J. V. G. MILLS (1970). Ma Huan's Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan : ‘The Overall Survey of The Oceans Shores’ [I433] (PDF). United States of America: Cambridge University Press. p. 88. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  40. Arif, Mahmud (2008-01-01). Pendidikan Islam transformatif (in Indonesian). PT LKiS Pelangi Aksara. ISBN 9789791283403.
  41. Azra, Azyumardi (2005-01-01). Dari Harvard hingga Makkah (in Indonesian). Penerbit Republika. ISBN 9789793210520.
  42. Marr, David G.; Milner, Anthony Crothers (1986-01-01). Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789971988395.
  43. Florida, Nancy K. (1993-01-01). Javanese Literature in Surakarta Manuscripts: Introduction and manuscripts of the Karaton Surakarta. SEAP Publications. ISBN 9780877276036.
  44. Najawirangka (Mas Ngabei.) (1966-01-01). Serat pakem ringgit purwa tjaking pakeliran: lampahan Palasara (in Javanese). Mahabarata.
  45. Muljono, Untung (March 1, 2012). "PENDIDIKAN NILAI LUHUR MELALUI TEMBANG (LAGU) DOLANAN ANAK". Jurnal Online ISI Yogyakarta. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  46. "Walisongo (3): Tembang, Cara Lembut Sunan Giri Siarkan Islam | Dream.co.id". Dream.co.id. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  47. "Tembang Karya Walisongo akan Ditampilkan dalam Resepsi HUT RI". NU Online. Nahdlatul Ulama Online. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  48. "Sunan Ngudung". IndonesiaCultures.Com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
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