Have you ever read ‘Robohnya Surau Kami’ by AA Navis? do you notice what surau is, from that classic novel? How you imagine this place based on this novel?
Surau is more than a sacred place to pray for a minangkabau people. Surau is more than a place where you learn how to read Al Quran (like TPA now). Surau, bring its special unique historical feature as a part of Minangkabau lifestyle. Surau have the essence of studying, learning, socializing, and practicing. Surau is ancient complete peacefull school by Islam approach.
For ancient time, surau is a place where boys of minangkabau lived while they were mature enough but not married yet. When an ‘ancient’ minangkabau boys were mature enough, they not allowed again to live together within ‘Rumah Gadang’ where they growth with their parents and family. They should ‘studied for life’, practicing ‘silek’ (a traditional Minangkabau martial art) and studied for islam together in Surau. They pursued not to be a spoiled boy. If they were mature enough to married, the boy will left Surau to live with his wife.. The minangkabau-ers have left this culture together along with time pass by.
When the regional autonomy were held in Indonesia, the Governor of West Sumatra make a project called ‘baliak ka surau’ as the theme of ‘back to surau’. But, this theme, nowadays, just like back to a place where you would studied about islam. When I begin to ‘ngaji’ at surau, for me its feels like TPA. I guess it would hard to really back to surau when all of life style and also culture have changed a lot..
How about you? Have you heard about surau before? How you imagine that place? Have you experienced learn Quran in Surau?