The term genealogy comes from Greek which consists of two words, namely: γενεά, genea, which means “descent” and λόγος, logos, which means “knowledge”. In the beginning, genealogy was a study of family and the tracing of descendent and their history or is called a biological genealogy. Genealogists use ‘the word of mouth’, historical records, genetic analysis and other recording to get information about a family and show the kinship and genealogy of its members. The results are often displayed in the form of chart or are written in the narrative form. Some experts distinguish between genealogy and family history and limit genealogy to a kinship relations only, whereas “family history” refers to additional details concerning the life and the context of the history of that family. Genealogy which once was part of biology then becomes part of sociology, anthropology and historiography studies after being discussed thoroughly by Michel Foucault (1926-1984) from philosophical point of view. By using sociological, anthropological and historiographic approaches the writer uses diachronic (long-continuous) study for historical methodology in writing the intellectual genealogy of Betawi scholars from the 14th century to the 21st century without giving detailed, extensive and deep synchronous analysis. It is because, the purpose of this study is only to give narration of the network of intellectual Muslim scholars. Therefore, further analysis with various interests will be discussed separately in other books or to be left to the readers for various purposes.
It is certainly difficult to find references concerning this subject as there are not many researches being done on this. However, there are two published research results which become the main references in this study; the first is the research which was done by Ridwan Saidi being published by PT. Gunara Kata under the title of Profil Orang Betawi: Asal Muasal, Kebudayaan dan Adat Istiadatnya (The Profile of Betawinese : Its Origin, Culture and Customs). The second is Riwayat Tanjung Priok, Sejarah Jakarta dan Peradaban Melayu Betawi (The History of Tanjung Priok, Jakarta History and Betawi Malay Civilization), and the third is Potret Budaya Manusia Betawi (The Cultural Portrait of Betawi Man). All of these three books are published by Perkumpulan Renaissance Indonesia. The second research is done by Abdul Aziz which has been published by the Logos Publisher under the title Islam dan Masyarakat Betawi (Islam and Betawi Society). Thus, it is worth noting that this intellectual genealogy study is a development and a continuation of the studies being conducted by Ridwan Saidi and Abdul Aziz. However, for Abdul Aziz research, this study also functions as a correction to its result which did not put Sheikh Juned as a figure who had an important role in the intellectual genealogy of the Betawi Muslim scholars.
The Significance of Study: Leadership Issue
Analyzing the intellectual genealogy of the Betawi ulama becomes significant if it is related to the issue of leadership in the Betawi ethnic group, since the formation of this ethnic group to the present time. According to Ridwan Saidi, although since the 18th century the Dutch colonial government had tried to establish a formal structure of leadership for the Betawi ethnic group where the position of Bek (guard/warrior), the lowest position in the structure was a position which directly related to ethnic Betawi,and thus was much better known among society, but that leadership did not get social acceptability as a Betawi ethnic leader. The respected leaders and their influential leadership being followed and obeyed by the Betawinese were the Guru and the Mu`allim (ulama leadership), while the Betawi leader was Jagoan/ Bek (village champion) whose position was only to be respected only but not to be followed. Although there was a dualism in the structure of leadership of the Betawi ethnic group but the relationship between the Mualim and the jagoan was not confrontational. The jagoan reads certain wirid-aurad-dhikr (prayers) to increase his ability in punching force (maen pukul). Jagoan weapons like golok (traditional metal big blade from Betawi)- namely golok ujung turun or golok betok or golok piso raut, usually are given religious a spell reading known as wafak in Arabic on the metal blade of the weapon taught by mu`allim. During the Post-independence, there is no formal structure in Betawi ethnic leadership. There were only the leadership of the ulama and jagoan. However, the efforts to form the Betawi ethnic leadership structure apart from the Ulama and jagoan were continued, either in a broad scope or in a limited scope in the form of organizations based on lineage, friendship, profession or any other interests. As that phenomenon was considered to be less representative and did not represent the interests of the Betawi community as a whole, then Bamus Betawi (Betawi Deliberation Body) was established in 1978. Even though there are Bamus Betawi and other Betawi organizations being shaded by the Betawi figures who led them, still the ulama and the jagoan occupy central position in the leadership or elite of the Betawi ethnic group. It is the Betawi ulama (Betawi muslim scholars) who remained the most influential of these two Betawi elite groups. This is quite understandable because the high sense of religiosity of the Betawi people have made them dependence on their ulama. This dependence directly have made the intensity of the meeting between the two and it certainly intensifies the flow of knowledge transfer from the Betawi Muslim scholars to the people. It is from this society, then the next generation of the Betawi Ulamas were born. This is the cycle of the leadership of the Betawi Ulama. The cycle which will come to an end when the Betawi ulamas cannot play their role to keep and improve the sense of religiousity of the Betawi people.
It is worth noting that Betawi people are supposed to be proud of by the action and social work being produced by Betawi scholars since the 19th century to the present time. However, there is the problem which is worth noting that from the results of genealogy study being carried out by the Jakarta Islamic Center, it can be said that the intellectual qualities of most of the Betawi scholars at the present time is quite alarming. There are very few of Betawi scholars whose quality of their intellectual work resemble that of their predecessors. Most of them are more active as lecturers and some of them become the teachers of Kitab Kuning (yellow books) from the legacy of the previous scholars, either those written by the Betawi ulamas or those by the ulamas outside of Betawi. Indeed, there is an awareness of these scholars to make the written works, but unfortunately, society still needs time to see and enjoy their works in the community even if the works are consisted only for few pages. Finally, the result of this study is certainly intended as an early warning to anyone wishing the Betawi people to have a high sense of religious authority and they are still led by their ulamas, whose social and intellectual works in particular can be known outside the area of Betawi at the present time as well as in the future.