Main Auditorium, UIN NEWS Online – History book of Mangkunegara I or Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara I, Soul Catcher: Java’s Fiery Prince Mangkunagara I, 1726-1795,  by M.C. Ricklefs, was launched for the first time in Indonesia in the Main Auditorium Room in Jakarta, Wednesday (09/26/2018).

The launch of the book as well as the discussion of the history and progress of the holders of the Mangkunegaran Throne was the first to be held by the Social Trust Fund Research Division in collaboration with the Faculty of Adab and Humanities UIN Jakarta. The discussion was guided by Dr. Amelia Fauzia and Dr. Fuad Jabali presented the resource person of Historian Peter Carey and two Professor of UIN Jakarta Prof. Azyumardi Azra and Prof. Oman Fathurrahman.

In his presentation, Azra revealed, in addition to being a Javanese war strategist, Mangkunegara I was instrumental in starting the formation of Islamic social institutions in Java. It was during the reign of Pangeran Samber Nyawa that the number of pesantren in Java increased from 5,000 pesantren in 1882 to 11,000 pesantren in 1893.

“It can be said, during this leadership period, the formation of Islamic institutions in Java began,” he said.

Such conditions, clearly can be seen from two things. Personally, Mangkunagara I was a devout Javanese Muslim. Besides loving Javanese culture, he also runs the pillars of Islam, even joining the Syatariyah Congregation.

On the other hand, the scientific history of Javanese Islam in its leadership period was marked by the return of a number of important scholars from the holy land to teach Islam in Java. Among them are Shaykh Khalil Bangkalan-Madura, Syaikh Saleh Darat-Semarang, Shaykh Mahfud Tarmasi, Ahmad Rifai Kalisalak, Syaikh Nawawi al Bantani.

The page notes, Mangkunegara I or Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara I is the holder of the first throne of the Mangkunegaran history. He was born in Kartasura (April 7, 1725) with the name Raden Mas Said from the Pangeran Arya Mangkunegara couple and Raden Ayu Wulan.

As a war strategist, Mangkunegara I was noted to have fought against the Dutch Trade Council of the VOC, as well as the local authorities who threatened their political sovereignty. For almost 16 years, Mangkunegara I led his troops to battle 250 times.

When fighting against the VOC, Mangkunegara I got the nickname Pangeran Samber Nyawa for his ability to win the war. To increase the morale of his troops, Mangkunegara I had the motto of Tiji Tibèh, short for mati siji, mati kabèh (one died, all died) and mukti siji, mukti kabèh (one prosperous, all prosperous).

In addition to the war strategist, Mangkunegara I is also the creator of dance art. Some of the sacred dances created by Mangkunegara I include: Bedhaya Mataram Senapaten Anglirmendung, Bedhaya Mataram Senapaten Diradameta, and Bedhaya Mataram-Senapaten Sukapratama. The dances were created to commemorate the struggle of Mangkunegara I on the battlefield.

Mangkunegara I reigned for approximately 40 years. On December 23, 1795 he died. In 1983, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia appointed Mangkunegara I as a national hero and received the Bintang Mahaputra award for his heroic services.

Meanwhile, from the online media connection, Ricklefs appreciated the launch and book review he wrote. He hopes his work can further enrich the dynamics of the study of Islam and Javanese culture. “Thank you, hopefully this can explain the historical role of Mangkunegara I while at the same time enriching the dynamics of the study of Islam and Java,” he explained.

It is known, Rickelfs is an Australian contemporary historian who paid much attention to his research on Islam and Java. Three of them are A History of Modern Indonesia since c. 1200 (1981), The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java, 1726–1749, Mystic Synthesis in Java, Polarising Javanese society, Islamization and its Opponents in Java. (usa)

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