When Habib and Wali are mentioned in cyberspace, what is the difference?
The Difference Between Habib and Wali: Exploring Online Narratives
Habib’s photo recently went viral on various social media platforms, causing a stir among netizens. The image was shared with the narrative “Barakah” (blessing) in the form of a car. In response, netizens engaged in conversations, expressing mixed opinions about this phenomenon. This article dives into the complex discussion surrounding Habib’s photo and its relation to the concept of guardianship in Indonesian Muslim society.
Guardians and Media Development:
In the Islamic world, guardians or “wali” have long been associated with media development. This connection is not unique to the Muslim community, as figures believed to be saints have been depicted and revered through various forms of media, such as photographs and hagiographic stories. Though some individuals reject this shift in media representation, over time, it has become more accepted and integrated into the narrative of sanctity.
The Role of the Community in Appointing Guardians:
Identifying a person as a guardian is a complex matter as there is no central authority that legitimizes or certifies someone as a wali. According to a hadith qudsi, only Allah knows who His beloved guardians truly are. Hence, it is the Muslim community that takes on the responsibility of recognizing and labeling pious individuals as guardians. The appropriate attitude towards a guardian is also guided by the community.
Adapting Expressions in the Digital Age:
When a guardian’s photo becomes pervasive in cyberspace, the community may establish certain expressions and standards associated with it. However, these expressions are not set in stone and may evolve as they go through continuous negotiation. For instance, there are still debates surrounding the act of uploading pictures of guardians on social media platforms for seeking blessings.
Understanding the Wali: The Link Between Humanity and the Divine:
The concept of a wali encompasses someone who is close to Allah SWT and remains obedient to Him. As a result, the community often relates expressions and attitudes of care to the image of a guardian. The presence of walis is perceived as a link between the divine and humanity. Rituals and dogmatic practices found at the graves of guardians reflect people’s desires to experience even a fraction of the purity they associate with the divine.
Habib’s Photo Uploads: Hope and Rationality:
While some may view Habib’s photo uploads as negative, it is essential to recognize that the hope embedded in this expression is driven by the efforts of the Islamic community. Simultaneously, it is intertwined with the appeal of rationality and algorithmic logic. Similar trends can be observed on social media when scholars’ photos or videos are accompanied by prayer captions.
1. What is the difference between Habib and Wali?
When discussing Habib in the context of cyberspace, it refers to the viral photo associated with the narrative “Barakah.” On the other hand, ‘Wali’ is a broader concept, referring to individuals recognized by the Muslim community as pious and close to Allah SWT.
2. How are guardians appointed or recognized?
There is no formal institution or organization that appoints guardians. It is the Muslim community itself that identifies and labels certain individuals as pious and deserving of the title “wali.”
3. Why do people upload photos of guardians on social media?
The act of uploading photos of guardians on social media is often driven by the hope of receiving blessings. It is considered a means to connect with the sanctity believed to be associated with the individual depicted.
The controversy surrounding Habib’s photo exemplifies the complex discourse surrounding the interaction between guardianship and media in the digital age. As the Muslim community adapts to various digital platforms, the expression and understanding of guardianship continue to evolve. It is important to acknowledge the multifaceted nature of these discussions and the diversity of opinions regarding the role of guardians in Indonesian Muslim society.