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Prof. Dr. H.M. Sirajuddin Syamsuddin

Prof.Dr.Din Syamsuddin and James J. Bötkös

Prof.Dr.Din Syamsuddin, James Bötkös meeting at the « World Forum Dialogue of Civilizations », Rhodos, Greece, October 2011

Prof. Dr. H.M. Sirajuddin Syamsuddin is the leader of Muhammadiyah.  The organization was founded in 1912 in the city of Yogyakarta as a reformist socioreligious movement, advocating ijtihad – individual interpretation of Qur’an and sunnah, as opposed to taqlid – the acceptance of the traditional interpretations propounded by the ulama.

At the moment, Muhammadiyah is the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia with 29 million members. Although Muhammadiyah leaders and members are often actively involved in shaping the politics in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah is not a political party. It has devoted itself to social and educational activities. It has also functioned as a charitable organization. Today it owns several hundred medical clinics and hospitals in Indonesia.

However, the main focus of the Muhammadiyah movement is to heighten people’s sense of moral responsibility, purifying their faith to true Islam. It emphasizes the authority of the Qur’an and the Hadiths as supreme Islamic law that serves as the legitimate basis of the interpretation of religious belief and practices, in contrast to traditional practices where shariah law invested in religious school by ulema.