Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
Regular weekly “prayer-meetings”(separate ones for each sex) are held at which religious specialists from each party, but ot necessarily from the [masjumi, my note] governing board, speak on Islam, mostly usually on its social application and its ethical content. In some villages these “prayer-meetings” (called pengaosan, which strictly means “a reading of the Koran”; but little Koran-readng, except for five minutes or so at the beginning, gets done now) are joint NU an Masjum affairs an therefore more or less nonpartisan, each member being responsible for a small sermon on a religious topic in his turn. Even where separate pengaosans are held for each party, I have known speakers from other party to be invited.
pengeaosans, …are more concerned with general religious and socal doctrine, rather than with specific political problems. [the pengaosan lasted about 4 hours]
[in the NU pengaosan]
a young kijaji “urged people to come to pengaosan, ridiculing people who just sit and pray and don’t do anything else. He also ridicule people who come to pengaosan and fall asleep, who don’t particpate in orgaizational life but just think about the next world. He said that one must adjust Islam to the modern world without losing its essence. He criticized people who didn’t dress neatly, whose hair was uncombed, and whose clothes were disarranged–and he put his hat on sideways in mockery…His speech, which went on for over two hours, as one comic routine after another, each with a moral point.
He made plays on words, mocked the civil servants [prijaji] who think they are better than everyone else…an ridiculed people who worship stones and wood.
The meeting was a kind of religious vaudeville in which moral maxims were dramatized in pantomime. t was also a kind of rally, with speakers exhorting the listeners in the most general terms to rouse up and do something–coming to pengaosan. But the speakers didn’t offer them anything concrete to do.
the Masjum pengaosan (where the revivalist vibe get lessened)
“a kind of scientific rationale for religion”
Pengaosans, because they occur weekly and because they are very popular, are important elements in the social an religious life of both the rural and urban ummat and are more comparable in some ways to our church services than is the Friday prayer.