Hādī al-‘Alawī and the Heterodoxy of Communo-Sufism

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Abdul Kadir Riyadi


Sufism is time and again being associated with heresy as a result—among others—of a controversial thought by a man called Hadi al-‘Alawī with whom this paper is concerned. Using the concept of heterodoxy, this paper attempts to access the matrix of tensions and representations inherent within his so-called Communo-Sufism. It shows that as a communist, the first phase of his life, he looks at traditional Islam as a feudalized form of religion. It is a kind of natural betrayal to the genuine religiosity and spirituality represented by what he calls the “Jahili Islam”. In his view, the Jahili Islam is authentic and that Muhammad’s version of it is a sheer distortion of true Islam. The paper also tries to show that as a communist-sufi, the second phase of his life, he came up with a distinction between the “dead Islam” and the “living Islam”. The former is represented by traditionally Muslim faithful who adhere to Muhammad’s version of Islam. The latter, in the meantime, is the continuation of the Jahili-Islam. In al-‘Alawī’s discourse, Islam can only live on if it is based on the Jahili-Islam socially and legally. Theologically, Islam must be based on the Judeo-Christian traditions; philosophically on the Persian and Byzantine episteme; ideologically on Communism; and spiritually on Sufism. Vibrant as it may seem at the surface, his premises are nonetheless anarchistic and are an anti-thesis to the existing paradigmatic form of Islam.


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RiyadiAbdul Kadir. “Hādī Al-‘Alawī and the Heterodoxy of Communo-Sufism”. TEOSOFI: Jurnal Tasawuf dan Pemikiran Islam 10, no. 1 (June 1, 2020): 1-28. Accessed July 15, 2020. http://jurnalfuf.uinsby.ac.id/index.php/teosofi/article/view/1411.


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