Spiritual Healing: A Study of Modern Sufi Reflexology Therapy in Indonesia
Main Article Content
There have been advances achieved in modern medicine but traditional treatment methods using certain spiritual approached have become increasingly popular in many parts of the world. Certain Sufi practices, among others, is used in medical treatment to support the healing process. Based on a case study on the practice of Sufi therapy conducted by Akang Syamsudin in the Limbangan Garut area, West Java, Indonesia this article attempts to explore the conversion process and dynamics of the development of Sufi healing. Employing a qualitative approach and Miles and Huberman landscape approach, and supported with interviews, observations, and documentation the research finds that Syamsudin’s Sufi therapy method combines physical and spiritual principles. Syamsudin’s therapeutic approach is based on the following seven factors, are: 1) belief that every disease has a cure; 2) balance and moderation are directly proportional to physical health; 3) spiritual factors dominate over physical factors; 4) the importance of blood circulation; 5) the efficacy of positive suggestion; 6) belief and submission to God’s will; 7) the effectiveness of patience and consistency. The research implications open a new paradigm in the field of non-invasive treatments. This article suggests that modern medical treatment should be complemented with spiritual therapy in order to achieve more positive healing outcomes for patients.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
© The Author(s). Published by Department of Aqidah and Islamic Philosophy, Faculty of Ushuluddin and Philosophy, Sunan Ampel State Islamic University Surabaya, Indonesia.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).
‘Adawī (al), Muṣṭafā. Mafātīḥ al-Fiqh fī al-Dīn. Jeddah: Maktabah Mājid ‘Asīrī, 2000.
‘Aẓīm (al), Sa‘īd ‘Abd and Muḥammad Jamīl Ghāzī. al-Ṣūfiyya al-Wajh al-Ākhar: al-Ṣūfiyya Ṭarīq al-Hāwiyya. Mesir Iskandariyyah: Dār al-Īmān, 2007.
Adlina, Atika Ulfia and Ummi Nadhifah. “Sufi Healing dan Neurosains Spiritual bagi Pasien Skizofrenia di Yayasan Jalmah Sehat Desa Bulungkulon, Kudus,” Esoterik: Jurnal Akhlak dan Tasawuf 5, no. 1, 2019. DOI: 10.21043/esoterik.v5i1.5810.
Allahbakhhsian, Atefeh et al. “The Effects of Foot Reflexology on Agitation and Extubation Time in Male Patients Following Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial,” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 40, no. September 2019, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101201.
Ames, Robert Landau. “Weighing Knowledge Humanity, Modernity, and Ṣafī ‘Alī Shāh’s Mīzān al-Ma‘rifah,” Die Welt des Islams 7, 2018.
Amjadi, Omolbanin et al. “Blood Groups: In Health and Diseases,” Research in Molecular Medicine 3, no. 4, 2015.
Auer, Blain. “The Origins and Evolution of Sufi Communities in South Asia Revisited,” Die Welt des Islams 8, 2019.
Azra, Azyumardi. The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia: Networks of Malay-Indonesian and Middle Eastern ‘Ulama in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Honolulu: ASAA-Allen & Unwin and University of Hawai Press, 2004.
Berberich, F. Ralph. “Attending to Suggestion and Trance in the Pediatric History and Physical Examination: A Case Study,” American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 54, no. 1, 2011.
Biyanto. “The Typology of Muhammadiyah Sufism: Tracing Its Figures’ Thoughts and Exemplary Lives,” Indonesian Journal of Islam and Muslim Societies 7, no. 2, 2017.
Brown, Reva Berman. “Bridging Knowing and Learning: A Suggestion for Accounting Education,” Accounting Education 12, no. 4, 2003.
Christomy, Tommy. “Shaṭṭarīyah Tradition in West Java: The Case of Pamijahan,” Studia Islamika 8, no. 2, 2001.
Davison, Glenda M., Heather L. Hendrickse, and Tandi E. Matsha. “Membrane Influence Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection?,” Cells 845, no. 9, 2020.
Davodabady, Fahimeh et al. “Randomized Controlled Trial of the Foot Reflexology on Pain and Anxiety Severity during Dressing Change in Burn Patients,” Burns, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2020.06.035.
Embong, Nurul Haswani et al. “Perspectives on Reflexology: A Qualitative Approach,” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 7, no. 3, 2017.
Embong, Nurul Haswani., Yee Chang Soh, Long Chiau Ming, and Tin Wui Wong, “Revisiting Reflexology: Concept, Evidence, Current Practice, and Practitioner Training” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 5, no. 4, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2015.08.008.
Gul, Lubna and Syeda Farhana Jehangir. “Effects of Mindfulness and Sufi Meditation on Anxiety and Mental Health of Females,” Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research 34, no. 3, 2019.
Hamsyah, Fuad and Subandi. “Dzikir and Happiness: A Mental Health Study on An Indonesian Muslim Sufi Group,” Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health 19, no. 1, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2016.1193404.
Haque, Amber and Hooman Keshavarzi. “Integrating Indigenous Healing Methods in Therapy: Muslim Beliefs and Practices,” International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 7, no. 3, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1080/17542863.2013.794249.
Haviland, Denis. “Current Position of Spiritual Healing in the UK,” Holistic Medicine 1, no. 4, 1986. https://doi.org/10.3109/13561828609037831.
Interview with Irham Hasan Cahyadi, October 20, 2020.
Interview with Rani Nuraini Setiawan, October 20, 2020.
Interview with Akang Syamsudin, October 13, 2020.
Iqbal, Tahmina and Mazhar Farid. “Sufi Practices as the Cause of Spiritual, Mental and Physical Healing at Chishti Shrines in Pakistan,” Mental Health, Religion and Culture 20, no. 10, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1080/13674676.2017.1372736.
Jum‘ah, ‘Alī. al-Ṭarīq ilā Allah. Cairo: al-Wabīl al-Ṣayyib, 2008.
Kanafi, Imam. “Sufi Practices and the Emotional and Spiritual Quotient (ESQ),” Jurnal Penelitian 8, no. 1, 2011. https://doi.org/10.28918/jupe.v8i1.43.
Karatas, Nimet and Aysegul Isler Dalgic. “Effects of Reflexology on Child Health: A Systematic Review,” Complementary Therapies in Medicine 50, no. October 2019, 2020.
Kars, A. “What Is ‘Negative Theology’? Lessons from the Encounter of Two Sufis,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 86, no. 1, 2018.
Kimbark, Kris. Michelle L. Peters, and Tim Richardson. “Effectiveness of the Student Success Course on Persistence, Retention, Academic Achievement, and Student Engagement,” Community College Journal of Research and Practice 41, no. 2, 2017.
Kurniawan, Ade Fakih., Noorhaidi Hasan, and Achmad Zainal Arifin. “Wali and Karama: A Discourse and Authority Contestation in al-Tarmasi’s Bughyat al-Adhkiya’,” al-Jami’ah: Journal of Islamic Studies 57, no. 2, 2019.
Lasair, Simon. “Reconciliation Through Narrative: Toward a Theology of Spiritual Care in Public Health Care,” Practical Theology 10, no. 2, 2017.
Levy, Ilana et al. “The Effectiveness of Foot Reflexology in Reducing Anxiety and Duration of Labor in Primiparas: An Open-Label Randomized Controlled Trial,” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 38, no. June, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.101085.
Lumbard, Joseph E.B. Aḥmad al-Ghazālī, Remembrance, and the Metaphysics of Love. New York: State University of New York Press, 2016.
Machasin. “Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and The Sufi Tradition,” al-Jami’ah: Journal of Islamic Studies 43, no. 1, 2005.
Michaelson, Valerie et al. “Religious Involvement and Self-Perceived Spiritual Health: A Quantitative Study of Canadian Children with Disabilities,” Journal of Disability and Religion 24, no. 4, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/23312521.2020.1743222
Milani, Milad and Adam Possamai. “Sufism, Spirituality and Consumerism: The Case Study of the Nimatullahiya and Naqshbandiya Sufi Orders in Australia,” Contemporary Islam 10, 2015.
Mitha, Karim. “Sufism and Healing,” Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health 21, no. 3, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2018.1464423.
Moghadam, Mahdi Basiri et al. “Effects of Foot Reflexology on Neonatal Jaundice: A Randomized Sham-Controlled Trial,” European Journal of Integrative Medicine 38, no. November 2019, 2020.
Moordiningsih. “Terapi Pijat Oriental: Budaya Harmonisasi Fisik dan Psikis,” BioPsychology Improving the Quality of Life, 2009.
Moore, J. William and Suzy Holmes. “The Effects of Verbally Controlled Success and Failure Conditions of Persistent Behavior,” Journal of Experimental Education 43, no. 1, 1974.
Mukhtar, Najia. “Using Love to Fathom Religious Difference – Contemporary Formats of Sufi Poetry in Pakistan,” Contemporary South Asia 23, no. 1, 2015.
Muzakki, Akh. “Islamic Radicalism in Southeast Asia: With Special Reference to the Alleged Terrorist Organization, Jamā‘ah Islāmiyah,” al-Jami‘ah: Journal of Islamic Studies 42, no. 1, 2008.
Clark, Phillip G. “What Would a Theory of Interprofessional Education Look like? Some Suggestions for Developing a Theoretical Framework for Teamwork Training,” Journal of Interprofessional Care 20, no. 6, 2006.
Qaraḍāwī (al), Yūsuf. al-Ṣaḥwa al-Islāmiyya bayn al-Ikhtilāf al-Mashrū‘ wa al-Tafarruq al-Madhmūm. Cairo: Dār al-Shurūq, 2001.
-----. Fiqh al-Wasaṭiyya al-Islāmiyya wa al-Tajdīd: Ma‘ālim wa Manārāt. Cairo: Maktabah Wahbah, 2009.
Qashīr (al), Aḥmad b. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. ‘Aqīdat al-Ṣūfiyya: Waḥdat al-Wujūd al-Khafiyya. Saudi Arabia: Maktabat al-Rushd, 2003.
Rahmani, Zohre et al. “Effect of Hand Reflexology on Anxiety and Physiological Variables among Patients Hospitalized in the Cardiac Care Unit: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial,” Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 8, no. 4, 2017.
Rohmana, Jajang A. “Sastra Sufistik Melayu dan Sunda di Nusantara: Mempertemukan Hamzah Fansuri dan Haji Hasan Mustapa,” IBDA`: Jurnal Kajian Islam dan Budaya 13, no. 1, 2015.
-----. “Sastra Sufistik Sunda dan Peneguhan Identitas Islam Lokal: Kontribusi Dangding Haji Hasan Mustapa (1852-1930),” in Ustadi Hamsah et. al (eds.), Cultural Studies di PTAI: Teori dan Praktek. Yogyakarta: Laboratorium Religi dan Budaya Lokal, 2014.
Rossi, Ernest L. and Kathryn L. Rossi. “What Is a Suggestion? The Neuroscience of Implicit Processing Heuristics in Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy,” American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 49, no. 4, 2007.
Sa’ari, Che Zarrina. “Critical Review of Sufi Healing Therapy in Drug Addiction Treatment,” Journal of Critical Reviews 7, no. 5, 2020.
Sahlī (al), ‘Abd Allah b. Dajīn. al-Ṭuruq al-Ṣūfiyya: Nash’atuhā wa ‘Aqāiduhā wa Āthāruhā. Saudi Arabia: Dār Kunūz Ishbīliyya, 2005.
Sanni, Amidu Olalekan. “Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 32, no. 4, 2012.
Sha‘rawī (al), Muḥammad Mutawallī. “al-Ghayb”. Cairo: Maktabat al-Sha‘rawī al-Islāmiyya, 1998.
Sharifi, Neda et al. “The Effect of Foot Reflexology in the Fourth Stage of Labor on Postpartum Hemorrhage and After Pain: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial,” Advances in Integrative Medicine, no. 2019, 2020.
Szilágyi, Adrienn K. et al. “Effectiveness of Psychological Support Based on Positive Suggestion with the Ventilated Patient,” European Journal of Mental Health 22, no. 4, 2007.
Thompson, Mark C. “The Impact of Globalization on Saudi Male Millennials’ Identity Narratives,” Asian Affairs 50, no. 3, 2019.
Togarasei, Lovemore. “Christian Theology of Life, Death and Healing in an Era of Antiretroviral Therapy: Reflections on the Responses of Some Botswana Churches,” African Journal of AIDS Research 9, no. 4, 2011.
Toygar, İsmail et al. “Effect of Reflexology on Anxiety and Sleep of Informal Cancer Caregiver: Randomized Controlled Trial,” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 39, no. February, 2020.
Ueno, Manami. “Sufism and Sufi Orders in Compulsory Religious Education in Turkey,” Turkish Studies 19, no. 3, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/14683849.2018.1438194.
Umam, Saiful. “The Guardian of the Integral Vision of Islamic Practice: The Naqshbandi Sufi Order in Indonesia,” Studia Islamika 13, no. 2, 2006.
Uthaybī (al), Khālid b. Nāṣir. al-Ṭarīqa al-Shādziliyya ‘Arḍ wa Naqd. Saudi Arabia: Maktabat al-Rushd, 2011.
Wakīl (al), ‘Abd al-Raḥmān. Hādhihi Hiya al-Ṣūfiyya. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1984.
Wanchai, Ausanee and Jane M. Armer. “A Systematic Review Association of Reflexology in Managing Symptoms and Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment: Reflexology & Breast Cancer,” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 38, no. November 2019, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.101074.
Werbner, Pnina. “The Abstraction of Love: Personal Emotion and Mystical Spirituality in the Life Narrative of a Sufi Devotee,” Culture and Religion 18, no. 2, 2017. http://doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2017.1326961.
Youssef, Naglaa F.A. and Asmaa Diab A. Hassan. “The Effect of Hand and Foot Massage on Alleviating Pain and Anxiety of Abdominal Post-Operative Patients at a University Hospital: A Randomized Control Trial,” IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science 06, no. 03, 2017.
Yunitasari, Eva., Irna Nursanti, and Giri Widakdo. “The Effectiveness of Hand Massage, Foot Massage and Combination on Pain Intensity of Post Sectio Caesarea,” IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Applied, Natural and Social Sciences 6, no. 9, 2018.
Zaynū, Muḥammad b. Jamīl. al-Ṣūfiyya fī Mīzān al-Kitāb wa al-Sunnah. Makkat al-Mukarramah: Dār al-Muḥammadī, 2000.