Intellectual Attitudes Toward Islam Nusantara and Their Religious Ideas

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Cut Linda Marheni


Secondary literature examines the legitimacy of Islam Nusantara, taking into account Islamic legal maxims and institutional rejection, often stemming from religious reasons. This research aims to comprehend participants’ attitudes towards Islam Nusantara (IN) and their religious justifications, including their understanding of religious authority and the application of Islamic Law. This is crucial for elucidating the primary factors behind varying IN attitudes, whether driven by religious considerations or other factors. We argue that religious differences are not the primary determinants of IN attitudes, as evidenced by participants’ discussions regarding religious authority and the application of Islamic Law. While a minority of conservative participants endorse the formalization of Sharia based on textual religious authority, the majority, including some who express reservations about IN, perceive Sharia as a set of values. They advocate for contextual interpretations that align with IN’s values but stop short of full endorsement. In a broader context, this study uncovers the intricate interplay between religious ideas and socio-political attitudes within diverse Muslim groups. It enhances our understanding of the dynamic relationship between religion, society, and diverse interpretations.


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How to Cite
Marheni, Cut Linda. “Intellectual Attitudes Toward Islam Nusantara and Their Religious Ideas”. Islamica: Jurnal Studi Keislaman 18, no. 1 (September 1, 2023): 75-98. Accessed June 21, 2024.


1. Books and academic articles
Abbas, Megan Brankley. Whose Islam?: The Western university and modern Islamic Thought in Indonesia. California: Stanford University Press, 2021.
Alatas, Ismail Fajrie. What is Religious Authority?: Cultivating Islamic Communities in Indonesia. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021.
Baso, Ahmad. NU Studies: Pergolakan Pemikiran antara Fundametalisme Islam & Fundamentalisme Neo-liberal. Jakarta: Erlangga, 2006.
Braun, Virginia and Victoria Clarke. “Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology.” Qualitative Research in Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2006).
Burhani, Ahmad Najib. “Islam Nusantara as a Promising Response to Religious Intolerance and Radicalism.” Trends in Southeast Asia, No. 21 (2018).
Duderija, Adis. “The Concept of Sunna in Progressive Muslim Thought.” ICR Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022), 136-148.
-----. “Evolution in the Concept of Sunnah During the First Four Generations of Muslims in Relation to the Development of the Concept of an Authentic Ḥadīth as based on Recent Western Scholarship.” Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4 (2012), 393-437.
-----. “The Relative Status of Ḥadīth and Sunna as Sources of Legal Authority vis-à-vis the Qur’ān in Muslim Modernist Thought.” The Sunna and Its Status in Islamic Law: The Search for a Sound Hadith, ed. Adis Duderija. N.p.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
El Fadl, Khalid Abou. Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women. Oxford: Oneworld Publication, 2001.
Formichi, Chiara. “Islamic Studies or Asian Studies? Islam in Southeast Asia.” The Muslim World, Vol. 106, No. 4 (2016), 696-718.
Ghazali, Abdul Moqsith. Metodologi Islam Nusantara. Bandung: Mizan, 2015.
Harisudin, Muhammad Noor. “Islām wa Fiqh Nusantara: al-Tanāfus ‘alā al-Huwīyah wa ‘Alāqat al-Sult}ah wa al-Ramz al-Dīnī li Jam‘īyah Nahdlatul Ulama.” Studia Islamika, Vol. 24, No. 3 (2017), 503-554.
Kersten, Carol. Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
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Luthfi, Khabib Muhammad. “Islam Nusantara: Relasi Islam dan Budaya Local.” Shahih: Journal of Islamicate Multidisciplinary, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016), 1-12.
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Rahman, Fazlur. “Sunnah and Hadith.” Islamic Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1962), 1-36.
-----. Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition, Vol. 15. University of Chicago Press, 1984.
Sani, Ahmad Faiz Ibnu. “Munas Alim Ulama NU Sepakati Pengertian Islam Nusantara,” Tempo, March, 1 (2019).
Syamsuddin, Muhammad Din. “Islamic Political Thought and Cultural Revival in Modern Indonesia.” Studia Islamika, Vol. 2, No. 4 (1995), 47-68.
Woodward, Mark. “Islam Nusantara: A Semantic and Symbolic Analysis.” Heritage of Nusantara: International Journal of Religious Literature and Heritage, Vol. 6, No. 2 (2017), 181-198.

2. Interviews
Abidin Wakano, September 09, 2021.
Ahmad Suaedy, Januari 07, 2022.
Ahmad Ubeidi, January 06, 2022.
Aisyah Kara, September 25, 2021.
Fahmi Salim, January 08, 2022.
Hamid Fahmi Zarkasyi, June 08, 2022.
Husnel Anwar, September 17, 2022.
Ikhwan Djalil, September 21, 2022.
Kamaruzzaman Bustamam Ahmad.
Komaruddin Hidayat, February 8, 2022.
Luthfi Bashori, September 15, 2021.
Muchlis Hanafi, March 13, 2022.
Muhammad Nur Harisuddin, January 27, 2022.
Mujiburrahman, November 03, 2021.
Nasaruddin Umar, January 27, 2022.
Participant 1 (pseudonym), August 31, 2021
Saiful Bahri, September 24, 2021.
Syamsuddin Arif, August 31, 2021.
Zainul Milal Bizawi.