Home National Figures Ahmad Dahlan, Founder of “Muhammadiyah” in Indonesia

Ahmad Dahlan, Founder of “Muhammadiyah” in Indonesia

Let’s Get to know Indonesia National Figure, Ahmad Dahlan!

National hero who is also the founder of Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah. He is a reformer youth figure who prioritizes idealism in his life, especially in the field of education.

1. Biography 

K.H. Ahmad Dahlan born in Yogyakarta, August 1, 1868, has the first name of Muhammad Darwisy. Ahmad Dahlan is an Indonesian National Hero. He is the fourth son of seven brothers from the K.H family. Abu Bakr. KH Abu Bakar was a prominent scholar and preacher at the Great Mosque of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta at that time, and the mother of K.H. Ahmad Dahlan was the daughter of H. Ibrahim who was also the head of the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate at that time. He is the fourth of seven children who are all his sisters, except his youngest brother. He belongs to the twelfth descendant of Maulana Malik Ibrahim, one of the foremost among Walisongo, the pioneers in the spread of Islam on Java. 

Ahmad Dahlan Married his cousin named Siti Walidah (Nyi Ahmad Dahlan), the daughter of Kyai Penghulu Haji Fadhil. From this marriage, they have 6 children namely Djohanah, Siradj Dahlan, Siti Busyro, Irfan Dahlan, Siti Aisyah, and Siti Zaharah.

Aside from Siti Walidah, Ahmad Dahlan had also married Nyai Abdullah, the widow of H. Abdullah, Nyai Rum who was the younger brother of Kyai Munawwir Krapyak, Nyai Aisyah who was the younger brother of Adjengan Penghulu Cianjur and from this marriage Ahmad dahlan had a son of Dandanah. And Ahmad Dahlan also married to Nyai Yasin Pakualaman in Yogyakarta. 

2. Education

At the age of 15, he went on the pilgrimage and lived in Mecca for five years. During this period, Ahmad Dahlan began to interact with reformist ideas in Islam, such as Muhammad Abduh, Al-Afghani, Rashid Ridha and Ibnu Taimiyah. When he returned to his village in 1888, he changed his name to Ahmad Dahlan. In 1903, he left for Mecca and settled for two years. During this time, he learned from Syeh Ahmad Khatib who was also a teacher of the founder of NU, KH. Hasyim Ashari.

K.H Ahmad Dahlan gained a lot of knowledge from many kyai in various fields of science such as K.H Muhsin in the field of grammar (Nahwu-Sharaf), K.H. Muhammad Shaleh in the field of Jurisprudence, Kyai Mahfud and Syekh K.H. Ayyat in the field of Hadith Sciences, K.H. Raden Dahlan in the field of astronomy or astronomy, Sheikh Hasan in the field of medicine and animal poisons, and Sheikh Amin and Sayid Bakri Satock in the field of Al-Qur’an. 

3. Influences

In 1909, K.H. Ahmad Dahlan joined the Budi Utomo organization and there he taught religion and lessons needed by members. The lesson given by K.H. Ahmad Dahlan felt very useful for members of Budi Utomo, then they suggested that Ahmad Dahlan open a neatly arranged school and supported by a permanent organization.

On November 18, 1912, K.H Ahmad Dahlan founded an organization called Muhammadiyah which was engaged in community and education. By establishing this organization, he hopes to advance education and build Islamic society.In the field of education, Dahlan changed the pesantren education system at that time. He established religious schools which also taught general subjects and also Dutch language. He included religious studies in public schools as well. Ahmad Dahlan continues to develop and build schools. In addition to school during his lifetime he also built mosques, langgar, hospitals, polyclinics, and orphanages.

In the field of organization, in 1918 he founded the Aisyiyah organization for women. for young people, Ahmad Dahlan formed Padvinder or Pandu (now Scouts) named Hizbul Wathan. Everything done by K.H.Ahmad Dahlan aims to prove that Islam is a religion of progress that can elevate people to a higher level and that it has a positive impact on Indonesia, which is predominantly Muslim. Many young people and intellectuals are interested in the methods taught by K.H. Ahmad Dahlan so that many of them joined the Muhammadiyah organization.

Muhammadiyah which is also being a charity organization and runs the idea of ​​updating K.H. Ahmad Dahlan has really attracted the attention of world Islamic observers. Even writers and scholars from the east focused on Muhammadiyah. Since then Muhammadiyah become Indonesia’s most well known islamic organization. 

Aside from being active in rolling out his ideas about the Muhammadiyah movement, he was also known as an entrepreneur who was quite successful by trading batik, which at that time was a quite profound entrepreneurial profession in society. As a person who is active in community activities and has bright ideas, Dahlan is also easily accepted and respected in the community. 

4. The Death of Ahmad Dahlan

On February 23, 1923, at the age of 54 K.H. Ahmad Dahlan died in Yogyakarta. Then he was buried in the village of Karangkajen, Brontokusuman, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta. On December 27, 1961, based on the Decree of the President of the Republic of Indonesia No. 657 of 1961 for his services the state gave him the honorary title of Hero of Indonesian National Independence.

“The truth of a matter is not determined by how many people believe it.”

– Ahmad Dahlan

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