Chapter

The Unity of Human Life

Achmad Dachlan

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 The Unity of Human Life

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Achmad Dachlan (Java, 18681923) received a traditional education in Java, but was influenced by modernist teachings during his three years of study at Mecca. He spent much of his life as a teacher of religion in the new educational system promoted by the Dutch Administration. One of several reformers who held that secular education needed a leavening of Islamic teaching, he and his followers devised and used new teaching material in Dutch, Javanese, and Indonesian. Active in many of the leading organizations of the daythe cultural Budi Utomo (High Endeavor), the educational Jamiat Khair (Benevolent Association), and the political Sarekat Islam (Islamic Association)he also founded his own organization, the Muhammadiyah, which became the largest modernist Muslim organization in Southeast Asia. The Muhammadiyah was originally concerned with Muslim education, but later expanded into the entire social welfare sector. Dachlan was an accomplished teacher and organizer, but he wrote very few essays. The text selected here appears to have been part of instructions to Muhammadiyah leaders, exhorting them to provide role models, overcome the force of local custom, gain more knowledge of true Islam, and make it accessible to their followers. The work is not marked by intellectual citations or even religious allusions, but uses Islamic language, such as happiness in the Hereafter and the reality of God. Despite Dachlan's opposition to Sufi mysticism, he consistently draws that tradition into his work, especially with his rejection of human desires and reference to the importance of human conscience.1

Chapter.  2718 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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