Pagduwaa Kaja: Old Folks Perspective


Buranun and Sharif [have an Arab Bloodline link to the Ba’lawi] are an ethnics in the Sultanate of Sulu do the Pagduwaa Kaja. The way that open this practice to these ethnics according to historian way back to the Sultan Shariful Hashim era, when he preached Islam to this hilly people [Buranun]. Some local says this practice served as a replacement instead of giving dowry to the only daughter of Sheikh Makhdum in Sulu. It was then the subsequent generation of the Buranun and Sharif devotedly practicing this adat until now.

Pagduwaa Kaja is a form of Prayer conducted at the Shrine of Ahlul Bayt. The shrine called in Bahasa Sug as Tampat. Most of the known tampat were located at the zenith of hills or mountains in the entire Sulu. The common mountains and hills always hike by the observers of this adat are the Bud Tapul, Bud Kaha, Bud Datu, Bud Bongao, Bud Siasi, Bud Tumantangis, Bud Pata and others. Some tampat which located in lowland, the most popular are in Tubig Laya, Patikul, Pasil, Bualu’ and other parts of Sulu Archipelago. Most of the people buried in these hills, mountains and lowland were the Awliyah and Scholars.

Most people to do this pagduwaa are to ask help from the buried Awliya [istigatha] and to avoid the obligation prayer [sukut]. It is believed by traditional Sunni scholars that the karamah of the Awliya’ [special power endowed by Allah to his beloved] during their lifetime would not be decreased even after their demise.  As mentioned below:

“...I have proven in another book that the awliya' possess karamat after they die, too."[46] The Hanafi scholar Ahmad ibn Sayyid Muhammad al-Makki al-Hamawi and the Shafi'i scholars Ahmad ibn Ahmad as-Sujai and Muhammad ash-Shawbari al-Misri wrote booklets in which they proved with evidence that awliya' possessed karamat, that their karamat continued after their death, and that tawassul or istighatha [see below] at their graves was permitted (jaiz).[47]”[1]

Pagduwaa kaja will be practiced when a newly couple begot a child. Afterwards there are schedule to be followed for continues observation of this adat.  The next schedule is when the couple have first grandson of their first child.

The foods and thing to be brought to the tampat are yellow rice, Piyanggang Manuk [traditional roasted chicken] and coconut Shell which would be used as plate and for drinking water. The cook allowed to prepare the food must be clean from any dirt both physical and spiritual. The purpose is to keep away all unclean things.

During the Ligu’ [ritual to sprinkle water at the back of persons usually done by the imam] the imam will tell the spirits responsible for the prayer that the family of so and so have performed what has been due to them[2]. On this part the imam will make a Tawassul and Istigatha. After the couple and their child done with Ligu’, the imam will then start the prayer beside the tomb. All good things in this world and in the hereafter are beseech by the Imam.  And all illnesses and problems of the family will be prayed to Allah with the recommendation of his beloved such as Sayyidina Muhammad saw, Sahaba and the Awliya.

After the prayer all foods brought should be eaten by the couple and their child. On that part, to talk is seriously prohibited. If one want to request for something must be done through hand language.

Sufi in Uzbekistan pray at the Awliyah Shrine

As all rituals been done the family will be asked to leave the shrine without turning their faces back to the shrine. It is believed once the doer would look back they would be reminded [sukut] again to do another pagduwaa.

Mock of the Najdis

The Tausug who are practicing this adat were labelled by the Najdis as polytheist, innovator, grave worshipper and other derision. The fact is that those Tausug being mocked have in mind that all scholars were in agreement to go against them. Thus, as a challenge, the old folks would advise their progenies to get rid of the new belief brought by the ustadz [wahabbism] educated in Saudi Arabia, for they are here – according to them - to spifflicate the practice of Islam introduced to the forebears.

Some old folks’ progenies who have narrow understanding of Islam saw this practice negatively. They regarded all practices of the old folks were unaccepted thus must be Islamized if not Wahabbized. As they always believe any practices which had not done by Prophet Muhammad and the Sahaba are innovation, thus innovator would be gone to hell.

This Najdis or Hanabilah Mujassima had been regarded by Sheikh Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyib as Neo-Khawarij. They are the source of fitna in this contemporary world. Anywhere, in the world they have the same approach – harsh and suspicious. As what they believed all Muslims for 600 years had been committing polytheism. To read more what this group is telling to the world please visit this site .

May Allah increase the love of the Tausug to the Ahlul Bayt of Rasulullah! Ameen.

Yazir Rajim

[2] Ibid, A hadith ash-Sharif says, "After my death, I will hear as I do when I am alive." Another hadith ash-Sharif reported by Abu Yala says, "Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salam) are alive in their graves. They perform salat." Ibrahim ibn Bishar and Sayyid Ahmad ar-Rifai and many awliya (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) said that they had heard a reply after they had greeted Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam).