There is a unique Islamic Boarding School at the edge of the provincial road that leads to the famous Parangtritis Beach. The unique quality lies in their routine. In addition to religious studies, they also have weekly literature studies every week, precisely on Friday night.
Albeit their formal name, however, the organisation is more well known as “Komunitas Kutub” (Kutub Community).
Hasyim Asy’ari Boarding School was founded by the late Zaenal Arifin Thaha (or Gus Zaenal, as he was often referred to by the members of the school) in 1998. Ever since its foundation, literature has been its focus hence the organisation is later also known as the Islamic Boarding School of Literature.
Gus Zaenal himself was a graduate of the famous Tebuireng Islamic Boarding School in Jombang, East Java. The clergyman, who was born in Kediri, took his bachelor degree in the Islamic State University of Sunan Kalijaga, and continued his post graduate study at the Faculty of Cultural Studies in Gadjah Mada University.
Gus Zaenal also founded a publishing house as a private company, Penerbit Kutub, but it is a part of the Hasyim Asy’ari Islamic Boarding School. The publishing house supervises divisions of literature and culture studies as well as other branches of researches in science. The organisation famous name, “Komunitas Kutub” as we know it today, originated in the literature division.
Today, activities related to literature in Hasyim Asy’ari Islamic Boarding School are managed by Lingkar Studi Kutub Yogyakarta (LSKY), known as Komunitas Kutub. Members of Komunitas Kutub are students of Hasyim Asy’ari Islamic Boarding School that (coincidentally) mainly come from Jombang and Madura.
They are not only studying in this Islamic boarding school, but also in universities in Yogyakarta, such as the Islamic State University of Yogyakarta, Ahmad Dahlan University, University of Muhamadiyah Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta State University and Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta.
To be a student of Hasyim Asy’ari Islamic Boarding School and be a member of Komunitas Kutub at a time, one must meet a basic condition. It is quite challenging, especially if you are a university student that comes from faraway place. Anyone who pursues his study in the Hasyim Asy’ari Islamic Boarding School must not ask allowance from his parents.
To meet daily needs the students if Hasyim Asy’ari Islamic Boarding School are required to be creative. Learning to write is one of the ways to earn money. They usually write literary works for print media or writing varieties of books for Penerbit Kutub to publish. Besides, some students have extra activities by working in restaurants, selling newspaper or other halal jobs.
Among successful members of the Komunitas Kutub and are known to be active as authors today are Mahwi Air Tawar, Salman Rusdi Anwar, Ahmad Muchlis Amrin, Syaeful Amin Ghafur, Slamet Riyadi, Muhammadu AS and Yusri Elga. They are example of productive short stories writers, poets and essay writers.
Taking the steps of successful alumni gives a certain motivation for the students of Komunitas Kutub to learn writing and study literature routinely. However , they do not neglect their religious study too. Studying the holybook of Syahul Hikam and sholawat prophet are main activities in this unique Islamic boarding school.
Therefore, praise for the prophet and poems are heard in Komunitas Kutub every night. If you are interested to visit or become a student of Komunitas Kutub, feel free to come to Parangtritis Street 7.5 Km, Cabean,Sewon, Bantul, Yogyakarta. (Translated by: Handa Taulan)