TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - The Sabdaraja (King’s proclamation) of Yogyakarta’s Sultan Hamengku Buwono X has drawn mixed responses not only from within his royal palace, but also from the outside, including from the country’s renowned Muslim organizations Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah.
The country’s largest Muslim organizations said on Wednesday they regretted the Sultan’s decision to alter the Yogyakarta Sultan’s nickname of “Ngarso Dalem Sampeyan Dalem Ingkang Sinuwun Kanjeng Sultan Hamengku Buwono Senopati Ing Ngalaga Ngabdurrakhman Sayidin Panatagama Khalifatullah Ingkang Jumeneng Kaping Sedasa Ing Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat”.
"The removal of the sultan’s alias as a Muslim religious leader will practically change the identity of the Yogyakarta Kingdom, which has long been known as the Islamic Mataram Kingdom,” Heni Astiyanto, the head of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta chapter, told Tempo on Wednesday.
He added it was not necessary for the sultan to scrub his khalifatullah alias just to modernize the royal values. The title, he claimed, meant that the sultan was not only the leader of the Muslim community.
“Khalifatullah means the leader of the Earth, not only of a particular religion,” Heni said, adding that the organization was also against the appointment of the sultan’s eldest daughter G.K.R. Pembayun as crown princess. “We are against it [a queen], it isn’t about gender equality, but we’re talking about traditions.”
Jadul Maulana from the NU Yogyakarta chapter has also voiced concerns that the removal of the khalifatulah alias would disorient the palace, as the title derived from the Koran teachings. “It isn’t about discrimination, but to guide leaders so he can act according to the teachings of Allah. This is universal in nature."