How Muslims in Indonesia consider their religious practices, politics and culture as Islamic is described in this volume. By examining the various ways Bima Muslims constitute their Islamic identities and agencies through rituals and festivals, this book argues that religious practice is still vigorous in present Bima. It explores the reproduction of religious meanings among various local Muslims and the differences between social groups. Islam is represented as divided between the traditionalist Muslims and the reformist Muslims, between the royal family and the ordinary Muslims, and between Muslim clerics and lay people. Consequently, there is no single picture of Islam. As Bima Muslims construe their Islam in response to their surroundings, what it means to be a Muslim is constantly being negotiated. The complexity of religious life has been a result of the duality of socio-political settings in Bima which stems from the early period of the Islamization of Bima to the present.
Muhammad Adlin Sila is currently working at Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and is a lecturer at the State Islamic University of Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta. His research focuses mainly on social anthropology and religious studies.
All in all, this is the best book on Islam in everyday life in Bima, which I know of.
One of the aims of the book is to show how villagers have continued to maintain a large degree of local social cohesion in the performance of a variety of rituals despite the over-arching presence of a global conflict in the Islamic world between traditionalist mysticism and scripturalist rationalism.