Chapter

Some Advice

Muhammad Hasyim Asyari

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Some Advice

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Kyai Haji Muhammad Hasyim Asyari (Java, 18711947) is widely regarded in Indonesia as one of the most respected religious leaders of the twentieth century. Educated in his father's school in Java, with further studies at Mecca, he founded and taught at several pesantren (seminaries) in East Java and was a primary organizer of the Nahdlatul Ulama (Renaissance of the Religious Scholars) association in 1926, leading that organization until his death in 1945. He was active in nationalist politics, usually calling for greater unity among Muslims in the independence movement. Asyari was a transitional figure between traditionalism and modernism in Muslim religious thought. He held tightly to the importance of the traditional Muslim schools of law, stating that they held the vital truth about Islamic doctrine. At the same time, he left room for new interpretation by scholars who were appropriately trained and who stayed within traditional bounds. He introduced new teaching methods in his schools and encouraged his son and his favorite students to undertake further experimentation in subject matter and styles of teaching. He attempted to seek reconciliation with modernists, but was usually rebuffed by them; at the same time he apparently convinced many in the Muslim community at large of his sincerity. The selection chosen for translation, a 1935 speech delivered to the Nahdlatul Ulama organization Asyari helped to found, appeals for harmony between traditionalists and modernists. Asyari describes the Islamic community as all-inclusive and tolerant, though his opponents did not view him or his efforts as achieving these goals.1

Chapter.  1506 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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