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Graduate School of the University of Muhammadiyah Prof.Dr.

HAMKA The Department of English Education


Semester 1/X 2011-2012

Dr. H. Abdul Muti, M.Ed.

By Evi Sofiawati
November 26, 2011

The movie Sang Pencerah is about how K.H. Ahmad Dahlan brought Muhamadiyyah movement into its existence from the very beginning with all the struggles and obstacles. Ahmad Dahalan, who was the son of a prominent ulama in Yogyakarta, had started to observe the way people in Yogyakarta lived their life at that time since he was still a very young man. He noticed that there are so many poor people around him and that the gap between the respected people and the poor was very wide. He also noticed that Islamic teachings were not practiced properly and that the educational system was very poor. All these facts triggered Ahmad Dahlan to make a difference. Ahmad Dahlan went to Mecca twice and stayed there to deepen his knowledge of Islam from the ulamas and Muslim scholars there. His study in Mecca enlightened him even more to improve the condition of the people in his community in Yogyakarta. Later on, he decided to realize his aspirations in a more formal form. The Muhammadiyah movement was finally founded on November 18, 1912 with Ahmad Dahlan as. Triggered by the poor condition of the community in Yogyakarta, Muhammadiyahs movement was based on social, cultural, religious, and political contexts. The first one is the social context. It i is related to the gap between the different levels in the society in Yogyakarta. The three levels, the aristocrate, the middle class, and the common people, were treated and be treated by each other differently. This difference included the use of language and the way of speaking. The gap was also seen from the economic condition of the different levels and the chance to get education. The second one is the cultural context. It is related to the acute poverty in the community. Ahmad Dahlans intention to improve this condition was based on Allahs instruction in Al Quran which is to take care of poor people. The third one is the religious context. It is about the way the community surrounding Ahmad Dahlan practiced Islamic teachings. The Hinduism and Buddhism still influenced the way people worshiped Allah SWT very strongly. Tahlil, sesajen, and many other so called Islamic rituals were among the influence that Ahmad Dahlan tried to convince people to abandon. His concern to defend the purity and the authencity of Islam was because of his understanding that every rule in Islam must be solely based on Al Quran and the Hadith.

The last one is the political context. It is related to the movement towards gaining independence of Indonesia. In this area, Ahmad Dahlan joined Budi Utomo organization in the hope that he could learn how to manage an organization professionally. This gave an impact on how the Dutch government saw Muhammadiyah movement as a significant organization. Ahmad Dahlans Islamic thoughts were influenced by the progressive Islamic ideas promoted by al-Afghani (1838-1897) and Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) from Egypt. Ahmad Dahlan was attracted to follow and apply Muhammad Abduhs ideas concerning the urgency and the necessity of reforming Islamic education throughout the Muslims lands in facing the modern era. Living under the Dutch colonialism, Ahmad Dahlan was deeply convinced that only through a good, effective, and modern educational system the colonized people would be able to see the true reality of their backwardness in all aspects of life. Most of the aristocrat religious leaders society sharply opposed Ahmad Dahlans religious reform because he toughly defended the purity and authencity of Islamic teachings at all cost based solely on the Quran and the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad. Because of his modernist Islamic thoughts, Dahlan was accused by the traditional ulama as a dangerous deviationist and negative rumors about him were widely spread. Even his own relatives were not absent to boycott him and said that he deliberately created bida (unlawful innovation) which should not be tolerable. On the other hand, Dahlan, who was very confident with his knowledge of Islam gained during his study in Mecca, defended his religious position and accused his opponents minds were full of bida and khurafat (superstitions) which caused the Muslims minds and heart gloomy and frozen.