The Philosopy of Tolerance Taught by Sunan Kudus
Sunan Kudus forbid Kudus people to eat beef due to a reason. The purpose was to respect Hindu society as the tolerance in terms of religion. By using the method like this, most Hindu could sympathize to Sunan Kudus and they wanted to learn Islam. This action became the respect symbol to Hindu society because at that time, Hindu was still the largest religion in Indonesia. Cow was “halal” in Islam and humans there were allowed to eat beef. Until now, Kudus society still holds the tradition to not eat beef even when Eid Adha comes.
To replace the beef as the main star of the holy moment, Kudus society chooses to eat goat or buffaloes. Based on the story, Sunan Kudus have ever felt so thirsty and then, Hindu priest gave him the cow milk. To express the gratitude of Sunan Kudus, society was not allowed to eat beef. The society there still used and remembered the advice from Sunan Kudus. It is the form of tolerance to respect other society who is not Islam. Even when you visit the food stall in Kudus, you will not find beef in their menu.
Soto Kudus is the typical food there and soto is identical with beef. However, while other regions used chickens or beef inside the meal, Kudus uses buffalo. There are so many food stalls there that use buffalo as the menu for long time. For the people there, the use of buffalo instead of beef is because they respect other humans who are not Islam. They respect Hindu society who is known to respect cow and they don’t eat cow at all. That is why, the replace beef with buffalo for soto and it is kind of similar.
According to the story, Indonesians still understand and also respect about religion tolerance but Kudus society has been living in tolerance hundred years ago through the culinary tradition like this. Hindu society don’t only respect cow but they make it sacred. Knowing this thing, Sunan Kudus asked Islam society and also the descendants not to eat beef though they could eat it since beef is “halal”. Since buffalo is similar like beef, the society can use the meat including the tongue to make the dishes they used to cook with beef.
The tradition became the typical culinary in Kudus. If you eat Soto Kudus made of buffalo, you will realize that actually it is not only the bowl of meal but it has the deep message and also the philosophy behind it which is you can learn and enjoy the diversity especially about the tolerance among all people as stated in the story of Sunan Kudus. That is why, you have to respect others and you can learn from those who live in Kudus while keeping the tradition and lesson.