MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA—Muhammadiyah is often associated with Salafism, whose genealogical ideas refer to Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (780-855 AD), Ibn Taimiyah (1268-1328 AD), and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab (1703-1792 AD). However, according to Chairman of Muhammadiyah Agung Danarto, Muhammadiyah and Salafism are distinct.
First, Muhammadiyah and Salafism believes returning to the Quran and Sunnah, but their methods of interpreting them are different. Agung mentioned that Muhammadiyah understands them by using reason in accordance with the spirit of Islamic teachings. Salafis understand them literally. This literal understanding leads them to the most difficult opinions under the pretext of caution.
Second, in the discourse of modernity, Muhammadiyah accepts modernity and modernizes. Salafism rejects modernization but accepts technological products. “Muhammadiyah accepts Western culture in accordance with Islamic teachings and rejects what is not appropriate. On the other hand, Salafism rejects Western culture,” said Agung in the Ramadan Preaching 1444 H on Saturday (25/3).
Third, regarding local culture, Muhammadiyah accepts local culture and Islamizes unsuitable local culture, while Salafis reject local culture and refer to Arab culture as mentioned in hadiths.
FoFourth, Muhammadiyah carries out amar ma’ruf individually and institutionally. Individually, it is performed through preaching and tabligh (Islamic outreach). Institutionally, it is done systematically through Muhammadiyah business institutions. Besides, nahi munkar is executed systematically. However, Salafis do it with tahzir (warning) and hajr al-mubtadi’ (isolating/removing the perpetrator of bid’ah).
Fifth, Muhammadiyah established the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) and fought for it to become baldatun thayyibatun wa rabbun ghafur (a good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord). Meanwhile, differences of opinion occur among Salafis. Salafi Yamani is obedient to the government of NKRI but passive. Their da’wah (preaching) focuses on the development of aqidah (faith) and akhlaq (morals). Meanwhile, Salafi Haraki and Jihadi want to replace it with an Islamic government/state.
“Muhammadiyah considers the NKRI to be sufficient, and it is only necessary to fill it with Islamic teachings. Salafi Yamani is apolitical, but idolizes the way of life during the time of the Prophet. Salafi Haraki and Jihadi fight for the formation of an Islamic state,” said Agung.
Sixth, Muhammadiyah believes that reason is a tool bestowed by God to humans in order to survive. Reason functions to understand nature and religious texts. Religious texts need to be understood using reason because Islam is revealed for all human beings with different cultural and civilizational backgrounds. Salafis disregard the role of reason in interpreting religious texts. They believe truth is sole and only lies in revelation, which is the first and last undisputed source.
Seventh, according to Muhammadiyah, women have domestic and public roles. Women can hold public office and travel without mahram (a male chaperone) when the situation is safe and protected from temptation. According to Salafis, the role of women is in the domestic sector, while the public sector belongs to men. Women who travel must be accompanied by a mahram.
“According to Muhammadiyah, women, just like men, should get the highest education in any fields. According to Salafis, women need to get good education, especially dealing with religion that supports their domestic role,” said Agung.
Eighth, Muhammadiyah believes the essence of clothing is to cover aurat (body parts that should be covered according to Islamic teachings). People may wear traditional, local, or Western clothes. Batik, sarong, peci (traditional cap), suit, long pants, and kebaya (traditional blouse) are commonly worn in Muhammadiyah. Salafi clothing habits consist of four identities, namely jalabiya (long robe), isbal (ankle-length pants), lihya (beard), and niqab (face veil).
Ninth, according Muhammadiyah, music, songs, drama, and theater can be media of da’wah. For Salafis, those arts are considered bid’ah (innovation) and haram (forbidden). Watching TV, listening to the radio, and entertainment are prohibited.