HISTORICAL RECORD FOR MADRASAH SUMATERA THAWALIB PARABEK: A historically-forgotten legendary pesantren

A historically-forgotten legendary pesantren

We acknowledge that we intentionally chose the phrase for the headline of this article on some reasons. Firstly, the history of Madrasah Sumatera Thawalib Parabek (MST Parabek) receives less-attention from the writers particularly from the insiders, and therefore, secondly, many people by no intention misunderstand about this pesantren, which is located in Regency of Agam, West Sumatera. On some occasions, we personally involved in some discussion with some friends, and he or she had misperception that this pesantren is located in Padang Panjang, the different regency from Agam. Yes, in the later regency, there is other pesantren namely Sumatera Thawalib—however it is much more familiar to call Thawalib then Sumatera Thawalib for West Sumatera residents—, but it is not ‘Sumatera Thawalib’ we are discussing about; it is not the pesantren founded by Sheikh Ibrahim Musa a century ago in a village called Parabek.[1]

As the writing document, there might three possible kinds of works potentially deal with MST Parabek. Firstly, the specialized work concerns with everything about this pesantren. We so far never find a book or article discuss about the very basic questions on this pesantren: when and where was this school founded; who founded it, how and in what political or social circumstances, etc. However, dealing with Sumatera Thawalib in general, as the turbulence of Islamic thought movement in West Sumatera, we can find it in Burhanuddin Daya’s[2]work. With the deep insight, he describes his analysis on Islamic thought movement in West Sumatera which followed the establishment of Sumatera Thawalib as organization. No wonder then if he also involves in discussion about some schools or pesantrens which named themselves Sumatera Thawalib as the sign of affiliation, including MST Parabek. Thus, it is understandable that he does not discuss every single schools of Sumatera Thawalib in detail. Nevertheless, as the specific MST Parabek, the only brief and simple explanation on some important events chronologically is written in a non-profit magazine called Sarung.[3]

The second possibility is the work dealing with the founding father of this pesantren, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa. In this category, Subhan Afifi publishes his book under the title Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: Inspirator Kebangkitan[4]in September 2010. This book describes Sheikh Ibrahim Musa in integration with Sumatera Thawalib Parabek as his foundation. The author gives information that before him this topic is written by Jayusman Dt. Mangkudun, one of the alumni of Sumatera Thawalib; and Mochtar Naim, a West Sumatera scholar.[5] In addition to that, one other book just describes the very little and short biography of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa is written by Bibit Suprapto; an encyclopedia about Indonesian ulama containing 157 ulamas.[6]

The last possibility is the work dealing with some certain figures, which have special relation to this Madrasah. For this kind, the work about Hamka appears to be the most suitable one. As the most suitable, the case of Hamka is also interesting; MST Parabek is not as popular as Hamka, and even they are not close in popularity. Every people know Hamka but only very small group of him or her knows and even hears about a place in which Hamka gained his knowledge. In addition to that, not only the society around this pesantren, the leaders of pesantren, Sheikh al-Madrasah, the line of successor of Foundation—namely YASIM (The Foundation of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa)—and all teachers share the story of Hamka each other and to the students. In some occasions, this story becomes a favorite one to tell to any official guests coming to Pesantren. His name is always written in brochure as the alumni of pride alongside any other names. Ironically, the books about Hamka, which briefly write that he ever studied in MST Parabek are quite little; majority of them just describe that he studied directly from his father and as the formal school he studied in Padang Panjang.[7]

Beside Hamka, the other nationally recognized figure, Adam Malik, who ever ruled as the Vice President of Indonesia, is also written as the alumni of pride.[8] In addition to that, the other anonymous-verbatim rumors, says that Sheikh al-Zarkasyi and Syubbani, the founding father of Pesantren Gontor, were also of the students of MST Parabek. Nevertheless, I never find the written evidence for this latter two names; however, some alumni of Gontor—in my daily unintentionally conversations—acknowledge this story.

In addition to that, the other reason is that this pesantren has passed his first century old; this is completely not a short age for an academicals institution.[9]It is not the length of a century which brings to this urgency; It rather the important roles it plays in establishment the academicals climate in West Sumatera. MST Parabek remains available and even much develops after its first century whereas the many other Sumatera Thawalib have been losing by the time gone. Alongside many other Pesantren, MST Parabek has been the prominent movement actor for developing the quality of human sources in West Sumatera academically, indeed. Not only in the specific scope of West Sumatera, this school also has the important role in the more general scope, Indonesia. Sheikh Ibrahim Musa and his students involved in some struggle for the freedom of Indonesia. In this context, the activities and role of Hamka and Adam Malik in Indonesia could not receive less regard as well.

Based on the description above, this article will show the short history of MST Parabek. What will you find here is just a brief and simple explanation about the very basic questions of what, where, when, why, and how about MST Parabek. We expect that this simple article could be the key to open many other researches about MST Parabek as well as Sheikh Ibrahim Musa as the founder. Since the written evidences, specifically deals with this topic are quite little, much of information would refer to my personal experience for six years in that school, many interviews, speeches, and verbatim stories within the society; all of those would be compared with that of the written one. In the sake of efficiently, before describing MST Parabek, the discussion would be focused in Sumatera Thawalib as organization in West Sumatera. As it was used largely in Sumatera Thawalib Parabek, the word of Madrasah and Pesantren would be used in initial meaning.

Parabek amongst the other Sumatera Thawalib

According to Burhanuddin Daya, the starting point of Sumatera Thawalib could not be set apart from the existence of surau in West Sumatera. Some of the important surau for Sumatera Thawalib are surau Batu Sangkar, surau Sungai Batang Maninjau, surau Parabek Bukittinggi, and particularly surau Jembatan Besi Padang Panjang.[10]After the ruler of Jembatan Besi shifted[11]from Abdullah Ahmad[12] to Haji Rasul—Haji Abdul Karim Amrullah, father of Hamka—the initiative to set up an organization appeared. It was a discussion between Rasyad and the students of surau Jembatan Besi that inspired to an establishment of an organization namely Thuwailib in 1916. However, this name grew evolutively. In the beginning, the discussion among Rasyad and students of Jembatan Besifollowed a consensus to establish an organization namely pasaiyoan. The main purpose of this organization was to help student in their daily needs. One of the most things needed by students is the soaps, therefore this organization was also known as the association of the soap (perkumpulan sabun).

In Parabek, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa built his own surauafter his arriving from Mecca in 1908. His deep insight and humble personality raised the popularity of himself as well his surau. As surau Jembatan Besi, surau Parabek was the favorite place of students in all over West Sumatera. Inspired by the occurrence of manageable organization in Jembatan Besi, the students of Parabek began to establish such organization called Muzakaratul Ikhwan. There is different opinion on when this organization was established. According to Burhanuddin Daya, Muzakaratul Ikhwan was established in 1919, three years after thuwailib in Padang Panjang. There were three names available; Jamiatul Ikhwan, Tsamratul Ikhwan, and Muzakaratul Ikhwan. However, according to him, it is the third name which is necessarily regarded as the real name, as it was written in a magazine namely Al-Bayan, the magazine written by students of Muzakaratul Ikhwan. To strengthen his argument, Burhanuddin Daya directly quotes a statement of Hamka in Panji Masyarakat that Muzakaratul Ikhwan was firstly established in 1919 by students of surau Parabek.[13] Unlike Burhanuddin Daya, Subhan Afifi argues that Muzakaratul Ikhwan is established three years earlier, 1916, the same year with the arriving of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa from Mecca for the second time. Furthermore, three years later, this organization published a magazine, Al-Bayan; first publication is on September 25, 1919.[14]

In the explanations of both authors, 1919 is an initial number for two different historical facts: the first author says that this is the time, when Muzakaratul Ikhwan was established, and he refers to a document from Al-Bayan; whereas the second says this is the time, when Al-Bayan firstly published and therefore Muzakaratul Ikhwan necessarily was earlier.

Why does Burhanuddin Daya choose 1919? He probably has to refer to a written document, and the earliest document available about Muzakaratul Ikhwan is Al-Bayan. On the other side, Subhan Afifi is convinced by the available brochure about the profile of MST Parabek—the brief and simple information about this pesantren that is written later—as well as the direct interview with the syaikh Madrasah. Therefore, it is necessary to conclude that Burhanuddin Daya is confident enough referring to the earliest written evidence available and the support by Hamka’s writing in Panji Masyarakat; this is a kind of superiority for him to use such sources. However Burhanuddin Daya as well as Hamka himself, never refer to what Subhan Afifi has.

In the sake of argumentation, in one side Al-Bayan completely needed for foundation, holder, or redactor; in this case Muzakaratul Ikhwan was the one. In the other side, Al-Bayan is not the only project of Muzakaratul Ikhwan; the main purposes of Muzakaratul Ikhwan is not just about writing and Al-Bayan was just one of some activities. Therefore, at this point, we can say that Muzakaratul Ikhwan was established earlier, and as the project, Al-Bayan was later. Based on the number of years that are available, the conclusion is then the establishment of Muzakaratul Ikhwan was in 1916, and three years later was the time for Al-Bayan.

Both organizations—thuwalib in surau Jembatan Besi and Muzakaratul Ikhwan in surau Parabek—developed greatly after having a relation to Jong Sumatranen Bond (The Associations of the Youth of Sumatera) in Batavia. Residents of West Sumatera easily accepted the association ruled by M. Hatta and M. Yamin. In addition to that, the close relation between surau Jembatan Besi and surau Parabek—as both leaders also had close relation—brought these organizations into one single designation, Sumatera Thawalib. This unity then inspired many other suraus to participate in; therefore, many other Sumatera Thawalib began to appear, from Aceh to Bengkulen.[15]In the note of Burhanuddin Daya, he explains 10 Sumatera Thawalib in West Sumatera and one in Riau; nowadays, these Sumatera Thawalib run independently, without any clear relations each other.[16]

Brief Historical Record for Sumatera Thawalib Parabek

Parabek is a fresh-air village situated between both months Merapi and Singgalang. If you see to the East, you will see Singgalang; and if you move a little bid to the North, the beautiful landscape of Merapi is available in front of you. This quite small village, 227 Ha large, has about 681 citizens. This number is not including about 300-500 students living in the dormitory of MST Parabek, both boys and girls.[17] This is a village where one of MST Parabek located. The citizens outside of this village usually know this pesantren as Sakola Parabek, whereas the citizens within Parabek itself call it Sakola Thawalib. However, the name of the village, Parabek, is commonly used alongside the name of pesantren, i.e Sumatera Thawalib Parabek. At least, there are two reasons for it: to distinguish MST Parabek from many other Sumatera Thawalib and as the consequence that Syaikh Ibrahim Musa was known as Inyiak Parabek.

It is a hundred years ago, in 1990,[18]a famous and charismatic Islamic scholar of West Sumatera, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa, established a group of study in a surau after his arriving form Mecca.The scholar who also known as Inyiak Ibrahim or Inyiak Syiah was born on August 15th, 1884 in Parabek. The title of Sheikh indicates to the admiration and respect of citizens to an honorable and expert person in religious study in West Sumatera; this seems similar with the title of Kyai in Java. The title of Inyiak is used to the older people; however this is not merely relates to age but also to the expertise in religious studies. Both Sheikh and Inyiak lexically have initial meaning, while the first is Arabic and the second is Minangkabauneese.

Sheikh Ibrahim Musa in his childhood was called Luthan. As the tradition of Minangkabauneese, this small name was changed in adult day, in case of Ibrahim Musa it was changed after his arriving from Mecca. He grew up in a great influence of religiosity of family. His first study was under the guidance of his father, Sheikh Muhammad Musa bin Abdul Malik al-Qarthawi. It seems sensible that he received every support from his very family to be an expertise in Islamic studies. On his 13 years old, he began to leave for knowledge to many surau in West Sumatera. He then studied from Haji Abdul Malik or Tuangku Mato Aia, Tuangku Angin in Batu Taba, Sheikh Abbas, Sheikh Abdusshamad, Sheikh Jalaluddin al-Kusai, Sheikh Abdul Hamid in Suliki, and many others. From these teachers, he studied Tafsir, Fiqh, Tasawuf, Kalam, Nahw, Sharf, etc. In 1902, he leaved to Mecca either to perform Pilgrimage and study.[19]Like many other Indonesian people, he studied from Sheikh Ahmad Khatib al-Minangkabawi, a West Sumatera Scholars who was familiar in Mecca and even ruled as one of the most significant scholars therein.[20]As the result of his intellectuality, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa often wrote in al-Bayan, and in kind of books. He produced Ijabat al-Su’ul (Ushul Fiqh), Hidayat al-Shibyan (Balaghah), and Kitab Hidayah. The first two books were written in Arabic while the last was in Minangkabauneese.[21]

After his arriving from Mecca, he directly began a group of informal study in surau. The characteristic of studying in surau is completely traditional. The students sit in a forum listening to the explanation from tuangku, the headmaster of surau. There was no limitation for the period of study; the student could stay for studying as long as he wished. Every surau and every Tuangku was usually famous with specific intellectual basic This implied to a phenomenon of what so-called ‘the journey for study.’ Many students come to a certain surau for a specific intellectual purpose, and would come to any other surau for the other discipline.

Today, after a century of establishment of such group of study, there is a Pesantren called Sumatera Thawalib Parabek. In its century age old, the figure of Inyiak Syiah remains fresh in every mind of his students who are still alive. His biography is usually told to students. The enthusiasm and respect of students to founding father of their school makes him identical with the pesantren; talking about pesantren is completely relates to the topic of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa, and discussing about Sheikh Ibrahim Musa never miss the topic of MST Parabek. The existence of his cemetery in front of Masjid Jami’, in which every students do their activities, seems strengthen this attitude.

In a hundred years passed, this school entirely faces its own dynamics. The historical record always accompanies days and days this school develops. The group of Muzakaratul Ikhwan greatly grew and the students come from any places. The expertise on Islamic knowledge, humility, and friendly spirit of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa invited many students to come.

After first four years, in 1914, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa secondly leaved to Mecca to perform pilgrimage. As he did before, he did not forget to study and deepen his knowledge. Before leaving, he advised his student to commit and continue holding the group of study. This advice was well held by the students until he came back to Parabek two years later. This consistency makes this Pesantren survives even in the very tough conditions such the era of Japanese colonialism, Military aggression of Netherland, the case of PRRI, until today.[22] In 1926, the earthquake devastated the pesantren; every building broken but Masjid Jami’. However, this very tough condition, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa kept continuing the program 8 days after the earthquake. In 1937, the huge blaze burned and re-destroyed the pesantren. Fife years later, another blaze, the smaller one, came to broke the school. These all never decreased the spirit of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa to struggle in his academicals commitment.[23]A few years later, two other earthquakes shook West Sumatera. In the earthquake of 2007, two classrooms completely devastated, and many others heavily broken and inaccessible for studying program. However, the studying program kept going a week later even though some classes were hardly held within the tents.

Sheikh Ibrahim Musa was a moderate and progressive scholar. He himself submitted mazhab Shafi`i, but never obliged his students to do so; he precisely advised his students to learn every school of thought (mazhab) to know the strength and weakness of every single school.[24]This progressivity was also proved that he realized the urgency of organization. In 1921, alongside Haji Rasul and the students of surau Jembatan Besi, he formed a unity of organization namely Sumatera Thawalib.[25]

Sheikh Ibrahim Musa also aware of the necessity of writing skill, so that he published a 24 pages magazine called al-Bayan once in two weeks. This magazine was to accommodate and stimulate the interest and skill of writing of the teachers as well as students. The main contents of al-Bayan were articles on exegesis, question-answer about religious problem, fatwas, and also article relates to political and nationalism issues. As he encouraged the students to read, he held a library called Kutub al-Khanah in 1920. Furthermore, after receiving the founding, the independent building for kutub al-khanah was built in 1924. This building remains available until today, but not as as library rather than a house. The library itself has moved to a new special building.

Not only academicals activity such as reading and writing, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa also supported the activity of art and youth movement. Unlike the policy of surau Jembatan Besi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa did not forbid football; many students loved playing football. Cooperative bank is encouraged to help the economical problem of students. About art, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa also encouraged his students to study in the school of art, INS in Kayu Tanam. Some of students loving painting went to INS to study more.[26]

Before 1926, before the earthquake shook West Sumatera, Sumatera Thawalib Parabek already had seven classrooms and an office for the teachers. In addition to that, for the sake of students, there is also the 2-floor dormitory with 16 rooms. The new building of Masjid Jami’ was built in 1931. Alongside these all, many students coming from all over Sumatera built their own dormitory around the campus in the village. Therefore, there were dormitories of Manadiling, Jambi, Bangkinang, Padang, Pariaman, Payokumbuah, Banuhampu, etc. All these made Sumatera Thawalib as the largest campus at that time.[27]Approaching 1979, the foundation got the founding from the President and resulted a new physical building for pesantren. Thus, pesantren consisted of three building of classes, one dormitory, an office for school operational, an office for foundation, and a room for teachers.[28]

Since the beginning, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa emphasized that what he had done would not be inherited to his offspring, but rather to ummat. Therefore, unlike majority pesantren in Java, after Sheikh Ibrahim Musa passed away, the managerial of pesantren was not held by his offspring. A few years before he passed away, he had intended to form a foundation. In 1958, every students and alumni gathered to discuss about the establishment of a foundation. This meeting followed a structure of foundation alongside with its article of association. Nevertheless, before this foundation was recognized officially by the act of notary, the case of PRRI stop this initiation. Furthermore, in 1963, after Sheikh Ibrahim Musa passed away, the discussion was re-held. The foundation namely YASIM (The Foundation of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa) then was officially recognized by an act on notary on September 7th, 1963.[29]

Following the inauguration of a new name of Sumatera Thawalib in 1921, the traditional system of halaqah was shifted to a classical one. If in the first system the students could study without any limitation of maximum time, in this new system the period of study was limited to eight years. This system was then developed to a new degree, called Kulliyat al-Diyanah. Therefore, since 1940, the students would be studying in pesantren for twelve years: first eight years for Sumatera Thawalib degree and next four years for Kulliyat al-Diyanah degree.[30]

This system run until Sheikh Ibrahim Musa passed away. Following his death and the establishment of foundation, a new system was introduced. In this new system, the period of study is simplified to eight years only: first four years for Sumatera Thawalib and next four years for Kulliyat al-Diyanah. To adjust to the national education system, in 1979, later system was re-shifted to six years study; three years study for each sanawiyah and aliyah degrees. Then, in 1982, the curriculum of Pesantren was also adjusted to that of Ministry of Religious Affairs without detaching the specification of discipline of Pesantren. Since 1998, the status of Madrasah for Ministry of Religious Affairs had been “disamakan”. Following the occurrence of Ma’had Aly program, today, MST Parabek is one of the members of Ma’had Aly.[31]

After a hundred years, the face Sumatera Thawalib is entirely different from that of a hundred ago. It was possible that in 1990’es the students studied without any electricity. They came to surau through the small and soiled footstep. They heard Inyiak Syiah or any other teachers explaining the matter without microphone. However, they studied enthusiastically on a motto of liyattafaqqahhu fi al-din. Yes, this is the spirit of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa. This Qur’anic verse is then written in the wall of Sumatera Thawalib to remember the spirit of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa, struggling for surviving this pesantren.

Today, with the same spirit, there is a big building of campus. This today campus contains of some buildings. The students study every day in at least 20 representative classrooms equipped with CCTV. There are also the language laboratory, science laboratory, and also computer laboratory. The cooperation bank is located across of the gate of Madrasah. Since this year, in 2011, this cooperation issues a concept of Shariah Village; performing the Islamic concept of mu’amalah to help the villagers and students economically. In addition to that, the library which contains of manual and digital system is one of the prides of Pesantren. There are at least 686/5187 titles/exemplars religious books, 699/6515 titles/exemplars other books, some digital programs like Mausu’ah Mausu’ah al-Hadis al-Syarifah Kutub al-Tis’ah, Maktabah al-Syamilah, Encarta, Oxford Learners Thesaurus, etc.[32]

Some of students, particularly whose house long-distanced away from pesantren, live in dormitory. There is dormitory of boys as well as that of girls. Masjid Jami’ Parabek is located between these two dormitories. Beside school day activities from the morning up to afternoon, the students are also busy with the activities of dormitory. Afternoon is sport time. There are a simple futsal field as well as basketball one. Some others could play badminton in the yard. Then, in evening, there are many agendas of study since Magrib time until ten o’clock.

There are at least 64 teachers and employees who graduated from varied university as well as in Indonesia or abroad. 21 of them are the alumnus of Sumatera Thawalib Parabek.[33]Language rule is available and one of priorities. To make this program reliable, in the first grade, every students study Arabic 12 hours a week in the class or, in the other word 2 hours every day. Furthermore, in the second grade, English curriculum is also set such Arabic is set in the first grade. Therefore, every student has to be able to speak English and Arabic in his daily communications and study the lesson by English or Arabic in the classes; some subject have to be held on Arabic or English since the second grade. Alongside this language program, the other available programs are muhadharah(public speaking class), muzakarah (debating class), hifz Qur’an (memorizing the Qur’an), etc.

MST Parabek so far has been producing many scholars either for local or national level. Amongst the famous names are Buya Hamka (former of MUI ruler), Adam Malik (former of Vice President of Indoensia), Daud Rasyidi Dt. Palimo Kayo (former of Indonesian Embassy in Iraq), Prof. DR. Ibrahim Bukhari, Prof. DR. Amiur Nuruddin, MA., Rifa`i Batubara (Assosiation of Mufti of Malaysia), Prof. DR. Nifasri, etc.


Afifi, Subhan. Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: Inspirator Kebangkitan. Jakarta: NHF Publishing. 2010.

Azra, Azyumardi. “Pengantar” within Afifi, Subhan. Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: Inspirator Kebangkitan. Jakarta: NHF Publishing. 2010.

Brochure of Madrasah Sumatera Thawalib

CSS MoRA UIN Sunan Kalijaga, SARUNG, edisi 1, Januari, 2011-05-26

Daya, Burhanuddin. Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran Islam Kasus Sumatera Thawalib. Jogjakarta: Tiara Wacana. 1995.

Hakim, Ahmad and M. Thalhah. Politik Bermoral Agama: Tafsir Politik Hamka. Yogyakarta: UII Press. 2005

Hamka, Tasauf Modern. Jakarta: Pustaka Panjimas. 1987

Suprapto, Bibit. Ensiklopedi Ulama Nusantara. Jakarta: Galegar Media Indonesia. 2009.

Suwito and Fauzan (ed.), Sejarah Pemikiran Para Tokoh Pendidikan. Bandung: Angkasa. 2003.

Tim Redaksi PSH, Hamka di Hati Umat. Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan. 1996.

Yusuf, Yunan. Corak Pemikiran Kalam Tafsir al-Azhar. Jakarta: Pustaka Panjimas. 1990

Azra, Azyumardi. Jaringan Ulama Timur Tengah dan Kepulauan Nusantara Abad XVII dan XVIII. Bandung: Mizan. 1995

Official data available in the Balai Desa of Parabek.

Short Profile of Sumatera Thawalib Parabek.

[1] After searching in some documents, this misperception probably comes from Hamka’s book. Sharing his biography, he said that he ever studied in both Sumatera Thawalib in Padang Panjang and that in Parabek. In my assumption, the popularity of both ‘town’ played some rules in establishing this misperception. Padang Panjang is much more familiar than Parabek in case that Padang Panjang refer to a Regency or a Kota Madya in West Sumatera whereas Parabek is just a small village in the different regency; the popularity of a regency or Kota Madya is of course better than that of a small village. Therefore, when somebody say to the other, or somebody read, that Sumatera Thawalib in Padang Panjang and Parabek, and they just know Padang Panjang due to its popularity, and in addition to that they know nothing about Parabek, they will only remember that Sumatera Thawalib is in Padang Panjang. If they remember that there is also the initial school in other place, they will not remember that the place is Parabek. See Hamka, Tasawuf Modern (Jakarta: Pustaka Panjimas, 1987), hlm. xv.

[2] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran Islam Kasus Sumatera Thawalib (Jogjakarta: Tiara Wacana, 1995).

[3] Sarung is a non-profit magazine held by an organization of University-Pesantren Students (Mahasiswa-Santri) part UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, who receives scholarship from Ministry of Religious Affairs of Indonesia under a program called Penerima Beasiswa Santri Berprestasi (PBSB). The Official name of the organization is Community of Santri Scholars of Ministry of Religious Affairs (CSS MoRA). In the sake of gathering information, we refer much to this magazine.

[4] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: Inspirator Kebangkitan (Jakarta: NHF Publishing, 2010). This book is launched firstly in a century anniversary for Madrasah Sumatera Thawalib in September, 2010 in MST Parabek.

[5] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 11.

[6] Bibit Suprapto, Ensiklopedi Ulama Nusantara (Jakarta: Galegar Media Indonesia, 2009)

[7] When I compare many books about Hamka, many of them tell that he studied in Diniyyah in Padang Panjang beside his direct study to his Father. However, some other books briefly state that he studied in Sumatera Thawalib in Padang Panjang and that of Parabek. This difference indicates to a division of these literatures into two groups. Those tell that Hamka ever studied in both Sumatera Thawalib in Padang Panjang and Parabek tend to refer to the primary books written by Hamka himself or his biography. And the second, those only describe that he studied in such a school in Padang Panjang tend to refer to the secondary books. However, the second is better in number. Nevertheless, it is understandably that many of those focus in his adult activities whether in politic, social, and intellectual better than his childhood life. See Suwito and Fauzan (ed.), Sejarah Pemikiran Para Tokoh Pendidikan (Bandung: Angkasa, 2003); Tim Redaksi PSH, Hamka di Hati Umat (Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan, 1996); Hamka, Tasauf Modern (Jakarta: Pustaka Panjimas, 1987); Ahmad Hakim and M, Thalhah, Politik Bermoral Agama: Tafsir Politik Hamka (Yogyakarta: UII Press, 2005); Yunan Yusuf, Corak Pemikiran Kalam Tafsir al-Azhar (Jakarta: Pustaka Panjimas, 1990).

[8] Brochure of Madrasah Sumatera Thawalib; Azyumardi Azra, “Pengantar” within Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa,… p. ix.

[9] The speech of The Leader of YASIM (The Foundation of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa) in the advanced opening of the anniversary for first century of Madrasah Sumatera Thawalib.

[10] Surau had occurred in West Sumatera since XVII century. Every teenager, the boy one, had to study in surau on some disciplines such as Tasawuf, Nahw, Sharf, Tafsir, Fiqh, etc to a tuangku, a leader of surau. Surau is an embryo of the later development of education system in Indonesia. See Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 79-81.

[11] The shifting of ruler was not directly from Abdullah Ahmad to Haji Rasul. The first shifting is from Abdullah Ahmad to his brother, Abdul Lathif and Daud Rasyidi, but in the sake of efficiency, we directly state that the shift is to Haji Rasul. Nevertheless, this is not such an apriory attitude because Haji Rasul ruled surau Jembatan Besi directly on the request of Abdullah Ahmad. See Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 82-84.

[12] Abdullah Ahmad was a teacher in surau Jembatan Besi directly after he arrived from Mecca in 1899. He ruled this surau in cooperation with his two brothers Sheikh Abdul Lathif and Sheikh Daud Rasyidi. In 1907, he asked his brothers to lead surau Jembatan Besi, while he built Adabiyah School in Padang Panjang. Since the characteristic of the later school was quite modern, this school was hardly received by citizens. The circumstances were growing complicated since some ulama declared the deviation of this school due to its similarity with the system of Hollandaise School. After two years, this school was closed and re-opened in Padang, following his migration to later city. The building of this school inspired many other schools to occur such Diniyyah School by Zainuddin Labay and Madras School by Thaib Umar. Adabiyah and Diniayahremain available until today. See Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 82-84.

[13] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 88.

[14] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 32.

[15] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 92.

[16] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 343.

[17] This is the official data available in the Balai Desa of Parabek.

[18] That Sheikh Ibrahim Musa arrived from Mecca in 1990 is the overspread information amongst the villagers as well as within MST Parabek, and this is probably what Subhan Afifi refers to. As the information he get from two earlier literatures as well as the interviews with some direct students of Inyiak Syiah, He departed to Mecca on Rajab, 1320 H/1901 M. Nine years later, he came back to his home town, Parabek. See Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 18-20. In other side, Burhanuddin Daya argues that he came from Mecca to Parabek two years earlier. According to him, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa came to Parabek in 1908, and then he directly established a group of study in surau. See Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 89.

[19] In the opinion of dr. Asril Moeis SpOG, one of grandchildren of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa, as Subhan Afifi writes from his interview, his departure to Mecca indicates to his brevity.  “Siapa sih yang sudah berfikiran pendidikan pada waktu itu?” (Who would ever think of education at that time?). See Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 18. Nevertheless, some other authoritative information proof that the phenomena of departure of the youth of Nusantara to Mecca was not a rare one. Subhan Afifi seems agrees with the statement of Sheikh Ibrahim Musa’s offspring, so that he writes so in his book. However, he seems forget that in the initial book, he writes many other names of West Sumatera scholars who also departed to Mecca to perform pilgrimage as well as to study. Alongside this, Burhanuddin Daya lists many names of Nusantara Scholars who studied to Sheikh Ahmad Khatib al-Minangkabawi in Mecca. See Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 11.; Bibit Suprapto, Ensiklopedi Ulama Nusantara,… p. 189-195. Furthermore, the more significant research was done by Azyumardi Azra on this topic. He proved that the departure of Nusantara scholars to Mecca had been starting since XVII century. See Azyumardi Azra, Jaringan Ulama Timur Tengah dan Kepulauan Nusantara Abad XVII dan XVIII (Bandung: Mizan, 1995).

[20] Sheikh Ahmad Khatib al-Minangkabawi was born in Koto Gadang, West Sumatera on 1852. He departed to perform pilgrimage to Mecca with his father on 1871, however he did not come back home as his father did. He chose to live in Mecca to study. Based on his expertise in Islamic Jurisprudence, he ruled as one of Imam in Masjid Haram. Many Indonesian students come to him for studying. Bibit Suprapto lists not less than 26 of his student including KH. Hasyim Asy’ari, KH. Ahmad Dahlan, Sheikh Abdullah Ahmad, Sheikh Muhammad Yunus, etc. see Bibit Suprapto, Ensiklopedi Ulama Nusantara,… p. 189-195.

[21] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 59.

[22] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 331-342.

[23] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 78-79.

[24] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 128.

[25] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 91; Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 33.

[26] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 129-131; Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 58.

[27] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 129. In two last decades, following the intensive construction of the building, the students are gathered in one official dormitory within the Madrasah. Therefore, these separate dormitories begun to be left behind and even be demolished. Today, the only survive dormitory is Pariaman Dormitory; however it is used by the villagers, not students.

[28] Burhanuddin Daya, Gerakan Pembaharuan Pemikiran ,… p. 348.

[29] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 49.

[30] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 35.

[31] Subhan Afifi, Sheikh Ibrahim Musa: ,… p. 84-86.

[32] Short Profile of Sumatera Thawalib Parabek.

[33] Data on September 2010.


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