Biography of Sheikh Imam Nawawi al-Bantani
List of Contents
1 Life story and Family
1.2 Family History
1.3 Passed away
2 Sanad of Knowledge and Education
2.1 Wandering for Knowledge
2.2 His Masters
2.3 Establishing an Pesantren
3 His Successors
3.1 His Students
4.1 His Service. Ma'shum Lasem
4.1.1 Struggle of Sheikh Nawawi
4.1.2 Reject Wahhabism
4.2 His Work
5. His Speciality
5.1 The Forefinger Shines and Can Be a Light
5.2 Seeing the Ka’aba from a Distant Place
5.3 The Body That Remains Intact
5.4 Prayer in the mouth of a big snake
1. Life story and Family
Abu Abdul Mu'thi Muhammad Nawawi bin 'Umar bin Arabi al-Jawi al-Bantani or commonly called Sheikh Imam Nawawi al-Bantani was born in Tanara, Serang, Banten, in 1230/1815 AD.
His father, Sheikh Umar al-Bantani, was a scholar figure who still had a kinship relationship with Maulana Syarif Hidayatullah or Sunan Gunung Jati (Cirebon) until Muhammad SAW.
Linkage, Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani include the following:
- Syekh Nawawi al-Bantani
- Syekh Umar al-Bantani
- Syekh Arabi al-Bantani
- Syekh Ali al-Bantani
- Syekh Jamad al-Bantani
- Syekh Janta al-Bantani
- Syekh Masbuqil al-Bantani
- Syekh Maskun al-Bantani
- Syekh Masnun al-Bantani
- Syekh Maswi al-Bantani
- Syekh Tajul Arsy al-Bantani (The princess of Sunyararas)
- Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin
- Sultan Syarif Hidayatullah
- Syarif Abdullah Umdatuddin Azmatkhan
- Sayyid Ali Nurul Alam Azmatkhan
- Sayyid Jamaluddin Akbar Azmatkhan al-Husaini (Syekh Jumadil Kubro)
- Sayyid Ahmad Jalal Syah Azmatkhan
- Sayyid Abdullah Azmatkhan
- Sayyid Abdul Malik Azmatkhan
- Sayyid Alawi Ammil Faqih (Hadramaut)
- Sayyid Muhammad Shahib Mirbath (Hadramaut)
- Sayyid Ali Khali' Qasam
- Sayyid Alawi ats-Tsani
- Sayyid Muhammad Sohibus Saumi'ah
- Sayyid Alawi Awwal
- Sayyid al-Imam 'Ubaidillah
- Sayyid Ahmad al-Muhajir
- Sayyid 'Isa Naqib ar-Rumi
- Sayyid Muhammad an-Naqib
- Sayyid al-Imam Ali Uradhi
- Sayyidina Ja'far ash-Shadiq
- Sayyidina Muhammad al-Baqir
- Sayyidina Ali Zainal Abidin
- Sayyidina Husain
- Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Thalib dan Sayyidah Fatimah az-Zahra binti
- Sayyidina Muhammad SAW
1.2 Passed Away
Sheikh Nawawi passed away in Mecca on the 25th of Shawwal 1314 Hijriyah or 1897 AD. His tomb is located in Jannatul Mu'alla, Mecca. His grave is next to the tomb of Sayyidina Abu Bakr Ash-Siddiq's daughter, Asma΄ bint Ab Bakr al-Siddq.
Even though he passed away in the Arabian land, until now every year there is always a commemoration of the death of Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani in the country, to be precise at the pesantren An-Nawawi Tanara, Serang, under KH. Ma'ruf Amin. Haul Sheikh Nawawi is always crowded with Nusantara students, even foreign country.
2. Sanad Sanad of Knowledge and Education
2.1 Wandering for Knowledge
Since he was five years old, Syekh Nawawi has started to study Islam directly from his father. Together with his siblings, Sheikh Nawawi studied basic knowledge of Arabic, fiqh, monotheism, the Qor’an and interpretation. At the age of eight years with his two younger siblings, Tamim and Ahmad, Syekh Nawawi studied with KH. Sahal, one of the famous ulama in Banten at that time. Then continue the activity of studying with Sheikh Baing Yusuf Purwakarta.
At the age of not yet fifteen, Sheikh Nawawi had taught many people, until then he looked for a place on the beach so that he could more freely teach his students, which were increasing day by day. Only after he reached the age of fifteen, Sheikh Nawawi performed the pilgrimage and then studied with a number of well-known scholars in Mecca at that time.
2.2 His Masters
- Sheikh Nawawi's teachers include:
- Syekh Umar bin Arabi al-Bantani (Ayahnya)
- Sayyid Ahmad Zaini Dahlan
- KH. Sahal al-Bantani
- Syekh Baing Yusuf Purwakarta
- Syekh Ahmad Khatib asy-Syambasi
- Syekh Ahmad Zaini Dahlan
- Syekh Abdul Ghani al-Bimawi
- Syekh Yusuf Sumbulaweni
- Syekh Abdul Hamid Daghestani
- Syekh Sayyid Ahmad Nahrawi
- Syekh Ahmad Dimyati
- Syekh Muhammad Khatib Duma al-Hambali
- Syekh Muhammad bin Sulaiman Hasbullah al-Maliki
- Syekh Junaid al-Batawi
- Syekh Zainuddin Aceh
- Syekh Syihabuddin
- Syekh Yusuf bin Muhammad Arsyad al-Banjari
- Syekh Abdush Shamad bin Abdurahman al-Palimbani
- Syekh Mahmud Kinan al-Palimbani
- Syekh Aqib bin Hasanuddin al-Palimbani
2.3 Caretaker of pesantren
He teaches in his yard. At first there were only tens of students, but as time went on the number grew more and more. They come from all over the world. Until he became Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani as a scholar who was known to be skilled in the science of religion, especially about monotheism, fiqh, interpretation, and tasawwuf.
3. His Successors
3.1 His Students
Sheikh Nawawi's students who became scholars include:
- Syekh Muhammad Mahfudz at-Tarmasi
- Syekh Kholil al-Bangkalani, Madura
- Syekh Tubagus Ahmad Bakri as-Sampuri
- Syekh Tubagus Muhammad Asnawi al-Bantani, Caringin, Labuan, Pandeglang
- Syekh Arsyad Thawil al-Bantani – The hero of Cilegon war 1888 and Islamic spreader in North Sulawesi
- Syekh Abu al-Faidh Abdus Sattar bin Abdul Wahhab ad-Dahlawi, Delhi, India – the great teacher in Masjidil Haram
- Sayyid Ali bin Ali al-Habsy – the great teacher di Masjidil Haram
- Syekh Muhammad Zainuddin bin Badawi as-Sumbawi, Sumbawa, Nusa Tenggara Barat
- Syekh Abdul Qadir bin Mustafa al-Fathani, Pattani, Thailand
- Syekh Abdul Haq bin Abdul Hannan al-Bantani - Cucu Syekh Nawawi
- KH. Saleh Darat as-Samarani
- KH. Hasyim Asyari, Jombang – the founding father of Nahdlatul Ulama
- KH. Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta – the founding father of Muhammadiyah
- KH. Hasan Genggong – the founding father of Pesantren Zainul Hasan Genggong
- KH. Mas Abdurahman – the founding father of pesantren Mathla'ul Anwar
- KH. Raden Asnawi, Kudus
- H. Abdul Karim Amrullah, North Sumatera
- KH. Thahir Jamaluddin, Singapura
- KH. Dawud, Perak, Malaysia
- KH. Hasan Asyari, Bawean
- KH. Najihun, Mauk, Tangerang
- KH. Abdul Ghaffar, Tirtayasa, Serang
- KH. Ilyas, Kragilan, Serang
- KH. Wasyid – the combatan of Cilegon war 1888
- KH. Tubagus Ismail – the combatan of Cilegon war 1888
- KH. Arsyad Qashir al-Bantani – the combatan of Cilegon war 1888
- KH. Abdurrahman - – the combatan of Cilegon war 1888
- KH. Haris - the combatan of Cilegon war 1888
- KH. Aqib - the combatan of Cilegon war 1888
4.1 Struggle of Sheikh Nawawi
After three years living in Mecca, in 1828 AD, Sheikh Nawawi finally returned to Banten. arriving in his homeland, he witnessed many practices of injustice, arbitrariness, and oppression by the Dutch East Indies government against the people. By seeing the reality that was so unjust, the surge of jihad flared up.
As an intellectual who has a high commitment to the principles of justice and truth, Syekh Nawawi then preached around Banten waging resistance against the invaders until the Dutch government restricted his movements, such as being prohibited from preaching in mosques.
In fact, later he was accused of being a follower of Prince Diponegoro who at that time was waging resistance against Dutch colonialism (1825 - 1830 AD), until he finally returned to Mecca after pressure from the Dutch to expel him, right at the peak of the Prince Diponegoro Resistance in 1830. in Mecca he immediately returned to deepest the knowledge of religion to his teachers.
Sheikh Nawawi became famous when he settled in Shi'ib 'Ali, Mecca. He teaches in his yard. At first there were only tens of students, but as time went on the number grew more and more. They come from all over the world. Until he became Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani as a scholar who was known to be skilled in the science of religion, especially about monotheism, fiqh, interpretation, and tasawwuf.
The name of Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani became more famous when he was appointed as the Imam of the Grand Mosque, replacing Sheikh Achmad Khotib Al-Syambasi or Sheikh Ahmad Khatib Al-Minangkabawi. Not only in the cities of Mecca and Medina, he is known, even in Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and even Hindustan, his name is so famous.
Sheikh Nawawi held a central role among the ulama al-Jawwi. He inspired the al-Jawwi community to be more seriously involved in Islamic studies, but also played a role in educating a number of prominent Islamic boarding school scholars.
For Sheikh Nawawi, the Islamic community in Indonesia must be freed from the shackles of Colonialism. By achieving independence, Islamic teachings will be easily implemented in the archipelago. This thought encouraged Syekh Nawawi to always follow the developments and struggles in the country of the students from Indonesia and contribute his thoughts for the progress of the Indonesian people.
In addition to religious lessons, Sheikh Nawawi also taught the meaning of independence, anti-colonialism and imperialism in a subtle way. To produce patriotic cadres who will later be able to uphold the truth. Syekh Nawawi's struggle was not in the form of a physical revolution, but through education in fostering the spirit of revival and the spirit of nationalism.
In addition, the development efforts carried out by Sheikh Nawawi for the al-Jawwi community in Mecca also became a serious concern of the Dutch government in Indonesia. The productivity of the al-Jawwi community to produce alumni who have the integrity of religious scholarship and the spirit of nationalism is a concern for the Netherlands.
To anticipate the movement of the al-Jawwi community, the Dutch government sent a government advisor, Christian Snouck Hurgronje to visit Mecca in 1884 - 1885. Snouck's arrival was aimed at further research and to see firsthand the various things that have been done by Indonesian scholars who joined in the al-Jawwi community.
4.1 Reject Wahhabism
Even though at that time Saudi Arabia was ruled by a Wahhabism government, Sheikh Nawawi dared to disagree on the grave pilgrimage. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia forbids pilgrimages to graves on the grounds of heresy, but Sheikh Nawawi is not against this practice.
This opinion is based on the findings of Sheikh Nawawi regarding the legal provisions in Islamic teachings. Sheikh Nawawi even advised Muslims to respect the tombs of people who have contributed to the history of Islam, including the graves of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and his companions.
According to Sheikh Nawawi, Visiting the grave of the Prophet Muhammad SAW is a worship practice that is identical to meeting face to face (tawajjuh) with the Prophet and reminds the greatness of the struggle and achievements that deserve to be imitated.
4.2 His work
Sheikh Nawawi's intelligence and wisdom are unquestionable. The Egyptian cleric, Sheikh 'Umar 'Abdul Jabbar in his book "al-Durus min Madhi al-Ta'lim wa Hadlirih bi al-Masjidil al-Haram" (several past and present studies on Modern Education in the Grand Mosque) wrote that Syekh Nawawi has been so productive in writing that his works have reached more than a hundred titles covering various disciplines, many of which are in the form of syarah or commentaries on classical books.
Some of Sheikh Nawawi's works include the following:
- al-Tsamar al-Yani'ah syarah al-Riyadl al-Badi'ah
- al-'Aqd al-Tsamin syarah Fath al-Mubîn
- Sullam al-Munâjah syarah Safînah al-Shalâh
- Baĥjah al-Wasâil syarah al-Risâlah al-Jâmi’ah bayn al-Usûl wa al-Fiqh wa al-Tasawwuf
- al-Tausyîh/ Quwt al-Habîb al-Gharîb syarah Fath al-Qarîb al-Mujîb
- Niĥâyah al-Zayyin syarah Qurrah al-‘Ain bi Muĥimmâh al-Dîn
- Marâqi al-‘Ubûdiyyah syarah Matan Bidâyah al-Ĥidâyah
- Nashâih al-‘Ibâd syarah al-Manbaĥâtu ‘ala al-Isti’dâd li yaum al-Mi’âd
- Salâlim al-Fadhlâ΄ syarah Mandhûmah Ĥidâyah al-Azkiyâ΄
- Qâmi’u al-Thugyân syarah Mandhûmah Syu’bu al-Imân
- al-Tafsir al-Munîr li al-Mu’âlim al-Tanzîl al-Mufassir ‘an wujûĥ mahâsin al-Ta΄wil musammâ Murâh Labîd li Kasyafi Ma’nâ Qur΄an Majîd
- Kasyf al-Marûthiyyah syarah Matan al-Jurumiyyah
- Fath al-Ghâfir al-Khathiyyah syarah Nadham al-Jurumiyyah musammâ al-Kawâkib al-Jaliyyah
- Nur al-Dhalâm ‘ala Mandhûmah al-Musammâh bi ‘Aqîdah al-‘Awwâm
- Tanqîh al-Qaul al-Hatsîts syarah Lubâb al-Hadîts
- Madârij al-Shu’ûd syarah Maulid al-Barzanji
- Targhîb al-Mustâqîn syarah Mandhûmah Maulid al-Barzanjî
- Fath al-Shamad al ‘Âlam syarah Maulid Syarif al-‘Anâm
- Fath al-Majîd syarah al-Durr al-Farîd
- Tîjân al-Darâry syarah Matan al-Baijûry
- Fath al-Mujîb syarah Mukhtashar al-Khathîb
- Murâqah Shu’ûd al-Tashdîq syarah Sulam al-Taufîq
- Kâsyifah al-Sajâ syarah Safînah al-Najâ
- al-Futûhâh al-Madaniyyah syarah al-Syu’b al-Îmâniyyah
- ‘Uqûd al-Lujain fi Bayân Huqûq al-Zaujain
- Qathr al-Ghais syarah Masâil Abî al-Laits
- Naqâwah al-‘Aqîdah Mandhûmah fi Tauhîd
- al-Naĥjah al-Jayyidah syarah Naqâwah al-‘Aqîdah
- Sulûk al-Jâdah syarah Lam’ah al-Mafâdah fi bayân al-Jumu’ah wa almu’âdah
- Hilyah al-Shibyân syarah Fath al-Rahman
- al-Fushûsh al-Yâqutiyyah ‘ala al-Raudlah al-Baĥîyyah fi Abwâb al-Tashrîfiyyah
- al-Riyâdl al-Fauliyyah
- Mishbâh al-Dhalâm’ala Minĥaj al-Atamma fi Tabwîb al-Hukm
- Dzariyy’ah al-Yaqîn ‘ala Umm al-Barâĥîn fi al-Tauhîd
- al-Ibrîz al-Dâniy fi Maulid Sayyidina Muhammad al-Sayyid al-Adnâny
- Baghyah al-‘Awwâm fi Syarah Maulid Sayyid al-Anâm
- al-Durrur al-Baĥiyyah fi syarah al-Khashâish al-Nabawiyyah
- Lubâb al-bayyân fi ‘Ilmi Bayyân.
In addition, his commentary, al-Munir, is very monumental, some even say it is better than Tafsir al-Jalalain, the very famous work of Imam Jalaluddin as-Suyuthi and Imam Jalaluddin al-Mahalli. while Kasyifah al-Saja is a syarah or commentary on the book of fiqh Safinatun Najah, the work of Sheikh Salim bin Sumeir al-Hadhramy.
His works in the field of faith, for example, are Tijan ad-Darary, Nur al-Dhalam, Fath al-Majid. while in the field of Hadith, for example, Tanqih al-Qaul. His works in the field of Fiqh are Sullam al-Munajah, Nihayah al-Zain, Kasyifah al-Saja, and the most famous among the students of pesantren in Java is Syarah 'Uqud al-Lujain fi Bayan Huquq al-Zaujain. As for Qami'u al-Thugyan, Nashaih al-'Ibad and Minhaj al-Raghibi are works of tasawwuf.
5. His Speciality
5.1 The Forefinger Shines and Can Be a Light
Once upon a time on a journey in syuqduf (houses on camel backs) Sheikh Nawawi once composed a book using his index finger as a lamp.
This happened because there was no light in the shuqduf he was traveling in, while the idea of writing a book was rapidly filling his head. Sheikh Nawawi then prayed to Allah so that his left index finger could become a lamp, illuminating the right finger that he would use to write. The book which was later born with the name Maraqi al-'Ubudiyyah syarah Matan Bidayah al-Hidayah had to be paid for with a defect on the left index finger, because the light that Allah gave to his left index finger carried a mark that did not disappear.
5.2 Seeing the Kaaba from a Distant Place
He also showed another character of Sheikh Nawawi when he visited the Pekojan Mosque, Jakarta. The mosque built by Sayyid Uthman bin 'Agil bin Yahya al-'Alawi (Betawi mufti descendant of the Prophet Muhammad) is still not facing the Qibla direction. In fact, it was Sayyid Uthman himself who determined the qibla for the mosque.
That way, when Sheikh Nawawi, whom he considered just an unknown teenager, blamed the determination of the Qibla, Sayyid Uthman was very surprised. Discussions ensued between the two of them, Sayyid Uthman still held that the Qibla of the Pekojan Mosque was correct, while the teenage Sheikh Nawawi was of the opinion that the direction of the Qibla should be corrected. When an agreement could not be reached because each of them defended his opinion vehemently, the teenage Sheikh Nawawi pulled Sayyid Uthman's sleeve and brought his body together so that they could be closer to each other, then said:
Sayyid Uthman was stunned. The Kaaba that he saw by following the index finger of the teenage Sheikh Nawawi was clearly visible. Sayyid Uthman was amazed and realized that the small teenager in front of him had been blessed with glory, namely the opening of nur basyariyyah.
With that speciality, wherever he is the Kaaba will still be visible. With great respect Sayyid Uthman immediately hugged Sheikh Nawawi's small body. Until now, in Pekojan Mosque, it will appear that the Qibla has been shifted and does not match the original.
5.3 The Body That Remains Intact
It has been the policy of the Government of Saudi Arabia that people who have been buried for a year must have their graves dug up. The bones of the corpse are then taken and put together with the bones of other corpses. Furthermore, all the bones were buried in another place outside the city and the grave that was dismantled was left open until the next body came one after another. This policy was carried out indiscriminately until it also hit the grave of Sheikh Nawawi.
After his grave was one year old, officials from the city government came to dig his grave. But what happened was an unusual thing. The cemetery officials did not find the usual bones, what they found was a body that was still intact. Nothing less, no abrasions and no signs of decay like a corpse that has been buried for a long time. Even the shroud covering the body of Sheikh Nawawi was not torn and not rotten at all.
The incident shocked the officers. They rushed to their boss and told him what had happened. After being investigated, the superior then realized that the tomb that was excavated was not someone's grave. For such an incident, finally, the government forbade the dismantling of Sheikh Nawawi's tomb. His body was then reburied as usual, and until now the tomb of Sheikh Nawawi remains in Ma'la, Mecca.
5.4 Prayer in the Mouth of a Big Snake
One day while on his way, Sheikh Nawawi rested in a place for the call to prayer and then prayed. After he got the call to prayer, it turned out that no one came, he finally finished and prayed alone. After the prayer, Sheikh Nawawi continued his journey, but when he looked back, there was a giant snake and his mouth was gaping. Finally he realized that he was praying in the mouth of a very large snake.
6. Honorary Degrees
Among the honorary titles assigned to Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani are as follows:
- al-Sayyid al-'Ulama al-Hijaz (great master in Hijaz) atau Sayyidul Hijaz ( Hijaz’s keeper)
- Nawawi at-Tsani (second Nawawi). The first person who give this title to Syekh Nawawi is Wan Ahmad bin Muhammad Zain al-Fathani
- al-Imam wa al-Fahm al-Mudaqqiq (the figure and the teacher who has deepest insight
- A'yan 'Ulama al-Qarn ar-Ram 'Asyar Li al-Hijrah (the master Islamic figure in 14 century
- Imam 'Ulama Al-Haramain (the priest in two holy cities)
- The God doctor (The first person who gave this title to Syekh Nawawi was Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje)
- asy-Syaikh al-Fakih (this title given by pesantren community)
- The father of yellow book (this title given by Indonesian Islamic teachers).
7. Chart Geneology
The following is a genealogy chart for the teacher of Syekh Nawawi Banten, which can be seen HERE, and a genealogy chart for his students can be seen HERE.
This article was previously edited Maret 19, 2021, and last edited September 15, 2022.
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