THE TITLE KHALÎFAT ALLÂH IN 17TH CENTURY ACEH: Concept and Meanings

Amirul Hadi

Abstract


Abstract: This article attempts to study the use of the title ‘khalîfat Allâh’ in seventeenth century Aceh. The main bulk of this inquiry revolves around the concept and meanings of the title, which was adopted from the mainland of Islam. This study is historical in nature and it is done by employing the ‘descriptive analytical’ method. The description of the use of the title khalîfat Allâh and its relations with the Acehnese political structures will be investigated. This step is then followed by the ‘analytical’ part, in which the exploration of the Acehnese conception and the meanings of the title will be given. As a sultanate, Aceh was seen as a khilâfah in its own right in which God’s religion is to be implemented. As Such, the ruler’s task was not only to pursue the prosperity for the country and its people but also to foster God’s religion. Based on this tenet, the head of the state was to hold the title ‘khalîfat Allâh’, which simply meant the ‘deputy of God.’ By this very title a ruler was to possess both political and religious authority. Yet, by holding the religious authority did not necessarily mean that a ruler was a scholar of religion; it can be best described as a ‘religiously sanctioned authority’.


Abstrak: Artikel ini mengkaji penggunaan gelar ‘khalîfat Allâh’ di kerajaan Aceh pada abad ke-17. Fokus utama dari penelitian ini berkisar tentang konsep dan makna yang terkandung dalam gelar dimaksud, yang diadopsi dari kawasan utama dunia Islam. Kajian ini berbentuk historis, dan ia dilakukan dengan menggunakan metode ‘deskriptif analitis’. Deskripsi mengenai penggunaan gelar khalîfat Allâh dan hubungannya dengan struktur politik di Aceh ketika itu akan diinvestigasi. Langkah ini kemudian diikuti oleh bagian ‘analisis’, di mana eksplorasi mengenai konsep dan makna dari gelar ini akan dipaparkan. Sebagai sebuah kesultanan, Aceh dilihat sebagai sebuah khilâfah yang berdaulat di mana agama Allah diimplementasikan. Dengan demikian, tugas seorang penguasa tidak hanya mewujudkan kemajuan kerajaan dan kesejahteraan rakyatnya tetapi juga meliputi penegakan agama Allah. Atas dasar ajaran ini, kepala negara menyandang gelar ‘khalîfat Allâh’, yang bermakna ‘wakil Allah’. Gelar ini memberikan makna bahwa seorang penguasa memiliki otoritas politik dan agama. Namun, kepemilikan otoritas agama tidak berarti bahwa penguasa adalah seorang yang ahli dalam bidang agama (‘ulama’); ia dapat dikatakan sebagai ‘otoritas yang memiliki nilai keagamaan.’              
 
Keywords: Aceh, sultanate, khalîfat Allâh, authority, politics, religion


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30821/miqot.v45i1.826

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