Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-ppllx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-04-01T06:12:49.692Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Supplicating, naming, offering: Tawassul in West Java

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2007

Julian Millie*
Julian Millie is an Australian Research Council Fellow at Monash University.
*Correspondence in connection with this paper should be addressed to:


The tawassul is a ritual invocation popularly used in West Java at grave visits and in other Islamic observances. In simple terms, it consists of two acts; the naming of figures who are considered as mediators (wasilah) between a supplicant and Allah, and the making of an offering for the benefit of the mediator. Participants in tawassul hold contrasting understandings of what is achieved by performing it. Furthermore, the invocation is easily adapted for diverse settings while retaining its basic syntax. This multivocality and flexibility provide keys to understanding the popularity of the tawassul as a religious observance for Sundanese Muslims.

Research Article
Copyright © The National University of Singapore 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)