Padri Movement

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Sumatran revivalist movement (1803–37) associated with commercialization of the coffee industry; worked to reform local religious practices, Islamize Muslim villages, and resist Dutch imperialism. It was started by three scholars returning from pilgrimage to Mecca and studies in Mecca and Medina who tried to bring local religious practices into accord with traditional Islamic law. The movement created a peasant resistance led by ulama, upsetting the local balance between chiefs and ulama. It expanded by both persuasion and force; targeted villages were reorganized into communities where popular religious practices were forbidden. Adherents adopted distinctive dress. The Dutch assisted leaders opposed to the Padris, hoping to expand their own power and influence; the result was a relatively united Muslim front supporting indigenous interests and denouncing the Dutch as infidel foreigners. The Dutch were ultimately victorious and retained control over the administration. Some descendants of the leaders became rigorous religious teachers who played an important role in the Islamic modernist movement in Indonesia.

Subjects: Islam.

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