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Destination: The Harmony in Diversity around Lingsar Temple in Lombok

Destination: The Harmony in Diversity around Lingsar Temple in Lombok

Pura Lingsar is a historical site that tells lots of stories about the Sasak tribe, the indigenous people of the island of Lombok - West Nusa Tenggara and their spiritual journey as a tribe since centuries ago. This temple complex was built in 1714 and is one of the holiest places for the Hindus in Lombok.

Unlike most temples, this unique temple has a role that exceeds the one as the place of worship for Hindus. This temple is also considered a holy place for the indigenous Sasak people who are part of the Islam Waktu Telu belief system.

Islam Waktu Telu is not exactly a religion. It is more of a belief system which blends the cores and principles of the indigenous belief system called Bodha with the teachings of Islam as it entered in the late 16th century when Lombok was still ruled under the Majapahit kingdom, before it was conquered by the Balinese Gelgel Kingdom.

Bodha is the indigenous religion of the Sasak people which is mainly animism and dynamism, with a strong Hindu influence in its practice. When Islam was spread, most of the Sasak people which includes the royal families, converted to Islam. Some other communities got a hold by of the Islam teachings, however they only received parts of it, and refused letting go of their original religion. That phenomenon led into the combination of Bodha and Islam which was later on recognized as Islam Waktu Telu.

Islam Waktu Telu’s teachings require people to pray three times a day instead of the five times a day as Islam requires. Aside from that, Islam Waktu Telu practices rituals for ancestors in the way it has been practiced by the Bodha Sasak people. Lots of its other teachings also contradict Islam and resemble Hinduism and Buddhism as Bodha does.

These days only 1% of the Muslims in Lombok are part of Islam Waktu Telu. They live in certain areas, one of them being around Narmada in West Lombok, where Lingsar Temple is nestled. This temple is home to spiritual activities by both the Hindus and the Islam Waktu Telu community.

This might be one of the very few temples around the world that has the entire area split into two parts; the south and north side, each side designated for each community. The temple itself represents both the Hindu as well as the Islam Waktu Telu values. Needles to say, these two communities have always lived side by side in peace and harmony.

Cherry on top of the sundae is that there is actually one ceremony that is held by both communities together at this temple once a year. The ceremony is known as Perang Topat. Ini this ritual, they put up a “fight’ using topat or in Bahasa Indonesia known as ketupat, which is a traditional form of rice cakes, boiled in a rhombus-shaped packet of plaited young coconut leaves. The fight is performed by having these ketupats thrown at each other.

This ceremony is normally held before the planting season and after the dry season. The purpose of the ritual is to show gratitude for all the good things in life that God has provided them with.

This temple is located in Lingsar village, district of Narmada, West Lombok, around 18 kilometers from the city central area of Mataram, or around 33 kilometers (one hour drive) from the Senggigi Beach area.
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April, 2018
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