Exploring Religious Teaching and Attitudes of Traditional Muslim on Social Politics in Indonesia

Jubair Situmorang, Mohd Mizan Aslam


Today Indonesia encounters a significant downturn in its political life amid the society participation, among other things, by traditional Muslim society. Consequently, attentions are drawn to the religious teaching the traditional Muslims obtain to adapt to social or political life in Indonesia. This study aims to describe the impact of religious teaching on traditional Muslims’ ethical behaviors and to analyze their behavior shifts towards the socio-political situations in Indonesia. A literature review was employed as the data collection technique by way of observations, in-depth interviews and documentaries. Semi-structured interviews were selected using purposive sampling techniques. The population and participants involved came from the Ternate Sultanate, North Maluku Province, Indonesia.  The research methodology used the historical, sociological, theological and phenomenological approaches to analyze problems related to traditional Muslim political life and the role of religious teachings in it. The result demonstrated that the traditional Muslims, who appeared to be rigid, doctrinal, and intolerant towards newly developed ideas, were influenced by literal perceptions. Furthermore, strong local cultures and attitudes performed in religious rituals for maintaining traditions over generations have also created the various attitudes of traditional Muslims towards the politics in Indonesia. The interviews revealed that the existence of 'Pangaji' (a term for religious leaders who teach religious teaching in the Sultanate of Ternate) in 'Bobato' could shape improved individual characteristics. Based on the diversity paradigm approach, 'Pangaji' ,despite their rarity in modern Muslim societies, has resulted in a shift in political behaviors wherein democratic values, justice, solidarity among society groups, a sense of responsibility, and respect for human rights are promoted. This finding hopefully strengthens the political structure in Indonesia, as the existence of religious teaching should initiate spiritual expansion, which seeks to help the Muslim society understand the true meaning and function of religious and socio-political life.


individual behavior, traditional Muslim politics, social politics

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
All articles published in JSSER are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The JSSER is indexed and/or abstracted in: