The Characteristics of Muhammadiyah Struggle
Since its first establishment, Muhammadiyah has paid attention to the factors underlying the establishment, that is, the aspiration, the motives, the ideals, the efforts, and the movement. Based on those factors, it is clearly seen that there are some characteristics that become the identity and the essence of Muhammadiyah organization. Anybody can easily see that the characteristics of Muhammadiyah are as follows.
1. Muhammadiyah is an Islamic movement
2. Muhammadiyah is an Islamic dakwah that invites people to conduct good deeds and abandon the bad ones.
3. Muhammadiyah is a a renewal/reform movement
A. Muhammdiyah as an Islamic Movement
The previous chapter has explained that Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah was founded by KH Ahmad Dahlan as the concrete product of the study and the deep thought (tadabbur) of Alquran. This is the major factor of the establishment of Muhammadiyah, while other fators can be considered as supporting or stimulating factors. By studying Qur’anic versus meticulously, especially studying surah Ali Imran, article:104, Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah was born with new concrete practices. Similar studies have been developed so that KHR Hadjid named the results of the verse studies “17 groups of KH Ahmad Dahlan teachings, groups of Qur’anic verses” which describe clearly the origins of the spirits and the soul of Muhammadiyah in serving Allah SWT.
From the background of Muhammadiyah establishment, it is obvious that the birth of Muhammadiyah is indeed inspired, motivated and supported by Qur’anic teachings, therefore, all movements are not done but merely to realize Islamic principles. Everything that Muhammadiyah does in the sectors of education and teaching, social welfare, household, economy, etc. cannot be seperated from the effort to realize and implement Islamic teachings. The firm attitude of Muhammadiyah is to present real and concrete Islamic image that can be felt, and enjoyed by all communities as the blessing to the universe (rahmatan lil’alamin).
B. Muhammadiyah as an Islamic Dakwah Movement
The second characteristic of Muhammadiyah movement is known as Islamic dakwah movement. The characteristic has been existing since it was established and it still sticks as Muhammadiyah identity. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the major factor of Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah establishment comes from the deep thought of KHA Dahlan in Qur’anic verses, especially Surah Ali Imran, article:104. The verse underlies the khittah or the basic strategies of Muhammadiyah struggle which are Islamic dakwah, invitation to conduct good deeds and abandone the bad ones with society as the media of its struggle. Muhammadiyah plays its role in Indonesian community by building various kinds of businesses that can really touch the lives of many people, such as various kinds of educational institutions starting from kindergartens up to universities, building many hospitals, orphanages, and so on. All of the businesses are the forms/manifestations of Islamic dakwah. They are done with one single objective, that is, to make them as the facilities and the media of Islamic dakwah.
C. Muhammadiyah as a Renewal/Reform Movement
The third characteristic of Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah is as the Renewal Movement or Reform Movement. Since the very beginning, Muhammadiyah has positioned itself as one of the organizations that focuses on spreading Islamic teachings as stated in Alquran and sunah, as well as purifying many people’s religious practices that obviously violate the Islamic teachings in the forms of superstition, shirk, or heresy through dakwah movement. As one of the renewal movements chains started by a big ulema, Ibnu Taimiyah, Muhammadiyah has the same spirit, that is, totally fighting against all kinds of Islamic teaching violations, such as shirk, superstition, and heresy because all of them are parasites destroying someone’s belief and religious practices.
The renewal charateristic in Muhammadiyah movement is not only limited to the definition of the effort to purify Islamic teachings from all the violations, but also the effort to do many kinds of renewals of Islamic practices in the social life, like renewing the educational system, poor and orphans charity program, al fitr alms and property alms management, hospital management, Eid prayer practice and qurban practice, etc.
The term renewal can be classified into purification and reformation. In relation to one of Muhammadiyah characteristics as a renewal movement, Muhammadiyah can be stated as Purification Movement and Reform Movement.
(trans by Jijah – uhamka)