The Relationship Between Islam and Mandailing Batak Culture

Identification of Batak Tribes in North Sumatra
Most Batak ethnic inhabit the mountainous regions of North Sumatra, starting from the border of the Aceh Special Region in the north to the border of Riau and West Sumatra. Also, Batak ethnicity inhabits flat land which is located between mountainous areas with the east coast of North Sumatra and the west coast of North Sumatra. Thus, the areas occupied by Batak ethnic groups include Dataran Tinggi Karo, Langkat Hulu, Deli Hulu, Serdang Hulu, Simalungun Dairi, Toba, Silindung, Angkola Mandailing, Tapanuli Tengah, Tapanuli Selatan, Padang Lawas Utara, Padang Lawas, Sibolga, Sidempuan, Gunung Tua dan Natal.
The details of the tribes who inhabit these areas are as follows:
·       Karo Batak inhabits the highlands of Karo, Deli Hulu, Langkat     Hulu, and parts of Daratan Dairi.
·        Batak Simalungun inhabits the parent area of ​​Simalungun.
·    Batak Pak-Pak inhabits the main Dairi area of ​​Tanah Alas and Gayo.
·  The Toba Batak inhabit the area of ​​the edge of Lake Toba,  Samosir Island, the Toba and Silindung highlands, the mountainous regions of Pahae, Sibolga, and Habincaran.
·      The Mandailing Batak inhabits the main regions of Angkola and Sipirok, Batang Toru, Batang Gogar, Sibolga, Padang Lawas, Barumun, Mandailing, Pakantan, Labuhan Batu, Sidempuan, Gunung Tua and Batang Natal.
According to the Tarombo (genealogy) of the Batak people, all sub-Bataks have the same ancestor, the Batak King. It was from this Batak king that later developed into Batak sub-tribes which spread to the regions mentioned above. Each opening of a new village is usually accompanied by patching of a new Marga to the person who opens the village. This is usually done in the Toba Batak sub-environment so that the number of Marga within the Toba Batak tribe is more than other Batak tribes.

Mandailing Tribe
The Mandailing Batak tribe is one of the many Batak families who have lived in a community in the Mandailing-Natal district, spreading also in the Padang Lawas district, North Padang Lawas district, and parts of South Tapanuli district in the province of North Sumatra. The Mandailing people also spread to the regions of West Sumatra province, such as in Pasaman and West Pasaman districts. The Mandailing have their customs, culture, and language. They speak Mandailing. The Mandailing language itself is closely related to the Angkola Batak and Toba Batak languages. Judging from the cultural traditions, customs and languages ​​there is a close connection between the Mandailing Batak tribe and the Angkola, Toba and Padang Lawas tribes.
According to a version that Mandailing comes from the word "Mandahiling" which consists of two syllables namely "Mandala" and "Holing", which allegedly originated from a regional name under the authority of a kingdom, namely the Kingdom of Kalinga. The Kalinga Kingdom is a kingdom from India that once stood in the Mandailing Batak tribe. The Mandailing Tribe is a combination of two large tribes in North Sumatra, the Toba Batak, and the Angkola, plus the Minangkabau culture.
In terms of the Toba Batak and the Angkola Batak, the Mandailing tribe has similarities with both, that is, when viewed from the Mandailing clan many are also used in the Toba Batak and the Angkola Batak. The combination of the Mandailing Batak and the Minangkabau tribe that the Minangkabau tribe considers the Mandailing tribe to originate from a clan within the Minangkabau tribe, the Mandahiliang. When viewed in terms of culture, tradition and physical are very much different.

The Core Values ​​of Batak Culture
The core cultural values ​​of a nation usually reflect the identity of the ethnic group or nation concerned. While the identity is a picture or special situation of a person which includes the soul or spirit of spiritual movement from within. From various studies on several phrases of words, the Batak characters are followed by the experience of the Batak culture in their daily lives. Then it can be seen that there are nine core Batak cultures as follows:

The value of kinship or familiarity is at the foremost of the nine values ​​that exist in the core values ​​of this Batak culture. This is seen in the Toba Batak and Mandailing Batak tribes. All of them together put the value of kinship first, as seen from the Batak community because of the blood ties or marriage ties.

The value of religion/belief in the Batak people is classified as very strong. According to the data (Department of Religion of North Sumatra, 1999), there is a Batak region where the majority of the population adheres to Islam such as the Mandailing Batak. Whereas the Toba Bataks are predominantly Christian, and 50% of them are Muslim, the other 50% are Christians by the Simalungun Bataks. In the rules of the marriage ceremony, the religious nuances are very prominent.
As in the Batak Mandailing tribe, when holding a wedding reception. In the morning there will be a marriage contract, which is attended by only a part of the villagers. Also, there were close relatives of the bride and groom. The marriage contract is conducted following Islamic law.

In the evening before the top event, some people hold an event
Kenduri or called recitation. The festivity is carried out in two ways: The first one is conducting a festivity with maulid  (Al-Barzanji reading). Besides reading Al-Barzanji, the festivity was also filled with Tausyiah events. Secondly, there is accompanying festivity with the Tor - Tor event. The Tor - Tor event is held after the recitation program. The Tor - Tor program is interspersed with drum sounds and is accompanied by typical music from the Batak tribe.
Still, the program at night, after the study session has held the name of the marsimora - mora (advising the bride and groom). This event was only carried out by close relatives of the bride and groom in the area. After the marsimora - mora, all invitations are welcome to sample the dishes that have been served before. The program that night only ended there.
In the morning, precisely the second day of the reception. Today is the peak day of all previous events. Around 8:00 in the morning all invitations invited to attend the morning arrived and were entertained with the sound of drums accompanied by Islamic poetry or referred to as the nasyid group, while the bride and groom had sat sweetly at the aisle.
After the nasyid event is finished enter the main event which is wages. Before the wages ceremony was held, the bride and groom were placed in separate places.
The bride remains in the bride's house, while the bridegroom is taken to a neighbor's house or a house not far from the venue. The house occupied by the bridegroom in the Batak language is called bagas parama - amaan (the elder house). The bride and groom are decorated in their respective places, they are wearing North Sumatra traditional clothes. Well, at this wage - wage ceremony the traditional clothes are worn by the bride and groom. After all the preparations are finished, the bridegroom and his entourage walk to the bride's house. Arriving at the front door of the house the bridegroom and his entourage was not permitted to enter the house. Unless they fulfill all requests of the brides' motorcade. In this procession there are several events:

Unrequited rhyme
In this event, the representatives of the bride and groom reciprocated rhymes which contained about religion and advice to the bride and groom.

Just like the unrequited event, this event is also represented by the close family of the bride and groom. A box is a trapezoidal object covered in yellow cloth. Fist filled with tobacco, betel nuts, betel leaves, gambier fruit, betel leaves that have dried, and others. The purpose of the contents of the pack is to be eaten by people who come to the wage program, but it is not recommended.

Flip a coin
This event is carried out by the bridegroom only. So, the man is at the front door blocked by a long scarf. Supposing the bridegroom is not allowed into the house before opening the key with a coin. Inside the house, there is already a tray to hold a coin to be thrown by someone from the man's side. Having felt enough to open the door, the bridegroom and his entourage were allowed inside.

 Bring prospective daughter-in-law
This event is an event conducted by the mother of the bride to the bridegroom. The bride's mother spreads her long scarf and ties it to the bridegroom or her future son-in-law. The bridegroom was taken directly to the altar to meet the bride who had sat sweetly at the altar. After the four programs are finished, the wage - wage program begins. Wage program - wages begin with an opening opened by the host. The first word of advice is given by the bride's parents. After that followed by the bride's close family to the community close to the family who held the event.
That is a glimpse of the Batak Mandailing custom at a wedding reception that has cultural ties to Islam. In addition to the wedding ceremony, the Mandailing Batak community also follows the Islamic Shari'a regarding the death ceremony. The phenomenon of religion is very strong in the middle of the Batak community, as in the Mandailing Batak community because it is supported by religious education facilities in the form of a large number of Islamic boarding schools. It is known that 32 of the 70 boarding schools in North Sumatra are in the Mandailing Angkola, Padang Lawas, and Sipirok areas.

This cultural value has a meaning as hope for longevity, having offspring to good offspring, pious and pious. The desire of parents who are elderly in the Batak custom is to marry off all their children and get many grandchildren. The happiness of a Batak is when he has many offspring. Even more so if you have a son because the boy here serves to carry on the ideals of parents and continue the parent's clan descent. Because if someone has a son and marries a daughter from another clan, their offspring follow the father's clan. Hagabeon for Muslim Bataks includes his desire to perform the pilgrimage to the holy land of Mecca. Their descendants are the same as other Bataks. But with the KB program from the government, they did not continue the culture anymore.

This cultural value has a meaning of honor, that is, in the Batak tradition lies in the balance between the spiritual (religious) and material aspects that exist in a person. A person's wealth or position will have no meaning without being based on strong religious values. In Batak society, a person who has abundant wealth, high position, diligent in worship, likes to help, has offspring, has strong religious values ​​and promotes others is seen as a "mora" (respected person).

Uhum and Ugari
This value is applied in the Batak culture because this value contains the application and enforcement of the same law both for laypeople and officials. Therefore, in general, the Batak people are honest and straightforward.

Protection or protection is a mandatory gift for all Batak people, especially the Mandailing Batak community. The ones implementing this protection were specifically carried out by the three elements of "Dalihan Na Tolu". Dalihan Na Tolu is the cultural foundation of Angkola, Sipirok, Padang Lawas and Mandailing, which are now slowly experiencing extinction. In Dalihan Na Tolu there are 3 elements, namely:

  • Kahanggi, is a group that protects.
  • Anak Boru, are groups that carry out the task.
  • Mora, is a group that is in an advisory position.

In these three elements, Dalihan Na Tolu has a very close relationship and is considered to be very magical (strong) to strengthen and protect each other. Relationships protect and strengthen each other in this element and are likened to a spider cycle that binds all parties related to Batak culture.

Hamajuon means progress. The purpose of progress here is when someone who is studying or who migrates to someone else's village or area is successful and returns to his hometown and brings something new to his hometown. That is called progress, which is something that is achieved from other people's areas. The cultural value of this pest is very strong to encourage the Batak people to migrate throughout the country. But in line with the dynamics of the Batak people, the purpose of their migration has been increasingly extended to all corners of the country to maintain or improve their competitiveness.

The meaning is the glory or authority of a person. Glory, authority, charisma, a core value that gives a strong impetus to glory. This value gives a strong impetus, more so to the Toba people, in modern times to gain positions and ranks that give glory, authority, charisma, and power.

In the lives of the Toba Bataks, the levels are higher than those in Angkola-Mandailing. This can be understood from the differences in the mentality of these two Batak sub-tribes. The main source of conflict is kinship in the life of Angkola-Mandailing. As for the Toba people, it is even broader because it involves struggling to achieve the results of other cultural values. Among other things Hamoraon who inevitably is a source of eternal conflict for the Toba people.
From all the Batak cultural values that have been explained above, it is clear that the Batak people take great care of their tribal image. The Batak ethnic group maintains a very respectful, respectful relationship with one another. Although they differ in religion, culture, and ethnicity they are still one, one shade in a word, namely Batak.

Acculturation of Islam and the Mandailing Batak World
From the explanation above we know that there is a lot of acculturation of Islam and Batak culture, especially in Mandailing Batak. The acculturation can be seen from all aspects carried out by the Batak community such as the core values of the Batak tribe, one of which is religion. What we can take from this explanation is that Islam and the Mandailing Batak culture cannot be separated. If someone does a Batak culture, the event will be accompanied by religious cultures.

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