Who is The Real Association of The Semar Figure in Wayang Kulit Jawa?

Formerly when the Hindu version of the Human Puppet still existed and became a special spectacle of society in the Majapahit era, the figure of Semar was better known as Sang Hyang Tunggal, physically fat, short, and ugly face which was believed to be the incarnation of a god.

However, the figure of Semar's character became known when Sunan Kalijaga created Wayang Kulit art whose purpose was to preach Islam to attract the interest of Majapahit Hindus at that time. Of course the entrance ticket for every Wayang Kulit show that was held by Sunan Kalijaga at that time was to utter the sentence of the Creed of Tawheed, then later  the show what and how the meaning of the tawhid creed sentence to the audience who had just been realized by Sunan Kalijaga, certainly smart and effective way.

Every Sunan Kalijaga puppet show, Semar seems to be the central figure in the story. As if this character was created by Sunan Kalijaga as the Narrator in the story that was sung in every puppet story of Sunan Kalijaga, even though the story is different, the Narrator is still the figure of Semar. Semar is black, short, old and big-bodied.

This figure is actually purely a creation of Sunan Kalijaga even though it looks like Sang Hyang Tunggal at a glance in the Hindu wayang story, but is actually different. So who exactly is the figure of Semar who became the central figure in this leather puppet in the style of Sunan Kalijaga? In various fibers of the Javanese babad and the Mataram chronicle, actually the figure of Semar was inspired by a cleric named Syaikh Maulana Maghribi, he was a scholar from Morocco. His physique was as described in Semar, black and big-bodied.

One specialty of a Shaykh Maulana Maghribi who was an early period ulama in Java and also was the first generation Walisongo, namely he was in addition to Sufism experts, he was also a scholar who was an expert in the Ruqyah field. His aim, of course, was that his specialist field, Ruqyah, was not only limited to someone's life, but also to the haunted empty land occupied by many spirits, so that the place was clean and could be occupied as a new colonial society.

Not without reason why Shaykh Maulana Maghribi was brought in from Morocco, because from previous cases many Hindu Pandhito or Buddhist monks were assigned to drive out spirits in certain places but failed miserably.

Then there is one of the most prominent features of the figure of Semar in the wayang kulit style of Sunan Kalijaga, in his story Semar is a figure who is very feared and respected by Hindu gods. Starting from Brahmana, Wisnu, Shiva, to Bhatara Guru, all were reluctant to Semar.

How could a figure whose figure is black, ugly, short and large body be so superior among other puppet figures? Yes, that is actually the figure of Shaykh Maulana Maghribi. The figure of the cleric who grew haunted places became a habitable place for the people at that time. Something that cannot be done by Hindu or Buddhist religious leaders at that time. And the figure of Semar is the creation of Sunan Kalijaga who admires the figure of Shaykh Maulana Maghribi.

The nail here is literally the figure of Syaikh Maulana Maghribi who can cultivate the lands on the island of Java which were originally haunted. And symbolically the Nail  is the figure of Nasab of all wisdom from virtue. Even Semar in the leather puppet story created by Sunan Kalijaga, Semar is a teacher who teaches wisdom to the Pandavas, shifting the position of Krishna.

So this is the origin of the character Semar  that we know today. Hopefully this historical writing is useful and can add insight to friends of World History.

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