Employing Politics of Identity and Nurturing Religious Piety: An Experience of the Majelis Pengkajian Tauhid dan Tasawuf Indonesia in Aceh


This article discusses the identity politics of the Majelis Pengkajian Tauhid dan Tasawuf Indonesia (MPTTI) or the Indonesian Council for the Study of Tauhid and Tasawuf in nurturing piety among the Acehnese community. The MPTTI emphasizes the mystical realm of Islamic doctrines and has been considered to spread wujūdiyya or pantheistic ideas of God, which are regarded as deviant by the mainstream or fiqh-oriented groups. However, this organization was able to develop a Sufistic ideology in Aceh and introduced it to a broader audience at national and international levels. Viewed from the perspective of identity politics, this study argues that marginalization has led the MPTTI to fight for equality and challenge the mainstream groups. Meanwhile, the phenomenological approach was used by the study to highlight the identity politics of the MPTTI, which were also revealed to have been employed in religious, social, cultural, and political spheres. Consequently, the mainstream fiqh-oriented groups have gradually acknowledged the MPTTI’s effort to pursue equality, and this council has also successfully established political alliances with the government and other organizations.