He is Syaikh Abdur Rauf bin Ali al-Fansuri al-Sinkili. He was born at 1024 H/1615. His father is Arabic comer that get married with woman from Fansur (Barus). It is a central port in West Sumatera and produce champor.
Al-Sinkili for the first time study about religion to Sinkil teacher, especially to his father. After that, he make several journeys to Qatar, Yemen, Jeddah, and Haramain. During 19 years, he studies religion in Hijaz and has many teachers such as Syeikh Abdul Qadir Mawrir, Syeikh Abdullah ibn Jam’an, Syeikh Ishaq ibn Jam’an, Syeikh Ahmad al-Qusyasyi, Syeikh Ibrahim al-Kurani, and Syeikh Abdul Qadir al-Barkhali. The most influence teacher to him are both al-Qusyasyi and al-Kurani. Syeikh al-Qusyasyi is al-Sinkili’s spiritual teacher in Islamic Mysticism and Syeikh al-Kurani is his teacher in Islamic jurisprudence.
From both teachers, al-Sinkili can assign Islamic mysticism based on Islamic jurisprudence that al-Ghazali do before. Al-Sinkili resist strongly philosophy concept that named by Wahdatul Wujud. This concept is distributed by Hamzah Fansuri and Syams al-Din al-Sumaterani. Although, al-Sinkili has big contribution to boost fatwa that allowance to kill follower of Wahdatul Wujud concept as he affirm Islamic jurisprudence as center of life in Islamic mysticism.
From al-Qusyasyi, al-Sinkili narrates many of isnad of Islamic mysticism such as Syattariyah and Naqsabandiyah tarekat. As he pass the study, al Qusyasyi make baiat to him and make him as khalifah of Syattariyah and Qadiriyah tarekat. In his hand, Syattariyah tarekat spreads in Nusantara, begins from Aceh until another region. His students, Syeikh Burhanuddin Ulakan (Minangkabau), Syeikh Muhyi Waliyullah (Jawa), Datuk Maruhung (Padang), Syeikh Tarapang (Kubung Tiga Belas Sorok, Sumatera), Tok Pulau Manis (Trengganu), Teungku Baba Dawud (Aceh), Syeikh Abdul Wahid (adopted children of al-Sinkili), Sultan Iskandar Muda, Syeikh Daim ibn Abd al-Malik (Bugis, Makasar) spread his teaching to many regions in Nusantara.
Among his opus are:
- Mir-at al-Thullah fi Taysir al-Ma’rifat al-Ahkam al-Syar’iyyah li al-Malik al-Wahhab (islamic jurisprudence)
- Arbain Nawawiyah (hadith)
- Tarjuman al-Mustafid (tafsir)
- Kifayat al-Muhtajin ila Masyrab al-Muwahhidin al-Qa-ilin bi Wahdat al-Wujud (sufism)
- Al-Simth al-Majid (Syattariyah tarekat)
Tim Penulis JNM, Gerakan Kultural Islam Nusantara, Yogyakarta: 2015
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