Jakarta – The Tana Toraja Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) in South Sulawesi has issued a fatwa declaring a local organization led by a man named Paruru Daeng Tau, who claims to be the final prophet, a heretical organization. The council filed a police report against the leader alleging blasphemy.
Paruru, who comes from the neighboring Gowa regency, is the spiritual leader of an organization called the Customary and Pancasila Implementing Agency (LPAAP) in Tana Toraja.
The group's presence has caused disquiet among local residents because although the organization declared itself Islam-based, its teachings appeared to be against Islamic tenets.
The religious group chose Mambura village in Lembang Bantu Datu, Mengkendek district, as its headquarters. Its followers reportedly believed that Paruru was the final prophet of Islam rather than the Prophet Muhammad.
Tana Toraja MUI chairman Ahmad Zainal Muttakin said the edict was issued in response to reports from local residents and local authorities who grew suspicious of the group's teachings.
Prior to issuing the edict, the MUI opened an investigation of the group. MUI representatives visited its headquarters in October.
The MUI said the LPAAP taught that the five daily prayers, fasting, paying alms and embarking on a pilgrimage – some of the core principles of Islam – were not obligations for the group's followers. The MUI also found that the followers were only required to pray two times a day.
Based on the findings, the MUI issued an edict maintaining that the group had spread heretical teachings.
"The leader, Paruru Daeng Tau, refuted the edict so the Tana Toraja MUI and the Religious Ministry office summoned him to explain his objections last Tuesday," Zainal said on Monday, as reported by kompas.com.
The MUI filed an official report to the police against Paruru's alleged blasphemy on Monday. The MUI asked local authorities to close down the headquarters and revoke the LPAAP's permit, which was first issued in 2016.
Zainal explained that, from residents' testimonies, Paruru was first brought to Tana Toraja by a villager named Syariffudin who worked as a teacher at the SMPN 3 state junior high school in Lamasi, Luwu regency.
"The LPAAP in Tana Toraja currently has eight families or about 50 people as its followers," he added.
Tana Toraja Police spokesman First. Adj. Insp. Erwin said the police had only apprehended Paruru for his safety to prevent backlash from local residents following the MUI's edict. Paruru was not detained further. After his release, Paruru left his home and there were no longer any LPAAP activities in the neighborhood, according to Erwin.
"From our latest information, he has traveled to Palopo and Luwu," Erwin said.
Tana Toraja Police criminal investigation unit head Adj. Comr. Jon Paerunan said the police would begin an investigation.
"We will summon related parties for the investigation," he said, adding that local authorities had started to give guidance to Paruru's congregation to return to traditional Islamic beliefs. (dpk)