The country’s biggest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has said religion in the archipelago should incorporate local cultures.
Religion in the country should not incorporate the culture of another country, the NU further said.
NU chairman Said Aqil Siroj said the NU developed in Indonesia by accommodating local cultures. Many traditional practices had been preserved and incorporated with Islamic values.
Citing an example, Said stated that NU followers commonly held tahlilan (prayer gathering) to mark the seventh, 40th, 100th and 1,000th day of the passing of relatives. Such a practice could not be found in other Muslim communities around the world.
“The practice had long existed in local culture when the NU was formed,” he said during a work meeting of the Nahdliyin Employers Association (HPN) in Jagakarsa, South Jakarta on Friday.
Said further explained that by incorporating local cultures, the NU could help promote peaceful Islam in Indonesia. He asserted that the best way to spread Islam in Indonesia was by conveying Islamic messages through strong culture.