The 48th Muktamar (Congress) of Muhammadiyah in Surakarta in 2022 produced a decision on “The Treatise of Progressive Islam”. The treatise affirms distinctive character of Muhammadiyah in understanding and practicing Islam.
The concept of Progressive Islam distinguishing Muhammadiyah from other Islamic movements emerged from formulations of ideas, ethos, character, and ways of practicing religion that have historical references to Kiai Ahmad Dahlan, the early generation of Muhammadiyah, and today’s generation of Muhammadiyah.
“Thus, Islam Berkemajuan (Progressive Islam) is distinctive from other Muslims,” said President of Muhammadiyah Haedar Nashir.
In the Ramadan Preaching 1444H at UHAMKA on Friday (31/3), Haedar said that the concept of Progressive Islam has a historical reference to the thoughts of Kiai Ahmad Dahlan.
Kiai Ahmad Dahlan frequently used the words “akal murni” (pure reason), “akal suci” (sacred reason), “maju” (progress), and “berkemajuan” (progressive) to motivate his students. For example, he said “to become a progressive teacher, a progressive kiai (an Islamic scholar), or a progressive Muslim.
Organizationally, the phrase “memajukan” (to advance) had been mentioned as a purpose of Muhammadiyah on the Muhammadiyah Statute 1912, and in 1920 it was improved to be “menyebarluaskan hal ihwal agama Islam di seluruh Hindia Timur” (to spread teachings of Islam throughout the East Indies).
According to Haedar Nashir, the phrase was then interpreted to be the identity of Muhammadiyah as an Islamic movement, a movement of amar makruf nahi munkar (commanding good and forbidding evil), and a tajdid (renewal) movement.
After the passing of Kiai Ahmad Dahlan, the progressive idea was continued by his students, including Kiai Mas Mansur and Ir. Sukarno.
Ir. Soekarno remonstrated against the use of curtains to separate the meeting area for women and men. Besides, he sent A. Hassan a letter about the idea of Islamic renewal. Haedar said that Soekarno’s behavior was the result of Dahlan’s teaching.
“What Kiai Dahlan said and did represented Islam bringing a more advanced life and civilization for Muslims,” said Haedar.
In the development of Muhammadiyah, the concept of Progressive Islam has begun to be gradually formulated since the 46th Muktamar of Muhamamdiyah in Yogyakarta in 2010 by producing “Pernyataan Pikiran Muhammadiyah Abad Kedua” (Muhammadiyah’s Second Century Thought Declaration”)
“In conclusion, the words ‘berkemajuan’ (progressive), ‘maju‘ (progress), and ‘kemajuan‘ (advancement) are already embedded in the establishment, development, and growth of Muhammadiyah, so it has a legitimate and authentic atsar (trace) with Muhammadiyah. In other words, if someone has a regressive mindset, it is not in line with the concept of ‘berkemajuan’ (progressive),” said Haedar.