MUHAMMADIYAH.ID, JAKARTA – Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) are two of the greatest gifts for Muslims in Indonesia. Without underestimating roles of other Islamic organizations in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah and NU seem to complement each other.
Both organizations would like to share duties and roles rather than compete. Thus, their differences are not supposed to be contrasted to aspects exalting and belittling them.
Conflicts between Muhammadiyah and NU were created by parties who exaggerated distinctions of fiqh and kalam (Allah’s words). In fact, the organizations have had strong brotherhood as shown by the founders, Kiai Ahmad Dahlan and Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari.
The Friendship of Two Founders
According to a book entitled K.H. Ahmad Dahlan Sang Penyantun (2018) by Imron Mustofa, Kiai Ahmad Dahlan and Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari were friends since they learned from Kiai Saleh Darat from Semarang. Kiai Ahmad Dahlan was 16 years old and Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari was 14 years old.
Due to the age difference, Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari called Kiai Ahmad Dahlan ‘mas’ (a title used as a formal or polite way of speaking to an older brother or an elder man) while Kiai Ahmad Dahlan addressed Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari ‘dek’ (a title used as a formal or polite way of speaking to a younger brother or a younger man).
They learned from Kiai Saleh Darat for two years, and afterward they separated. However, history wrote that Kiai Dahlan visited Kyai Hasyim in Tebu Ireng, and they met again when they pursued their education in Mecca.
Their Keeping in Touch
Imron Mustofa revealed Kiai Ahmad Dahlan’s da’wa in Surabaya in 1921 was known by Kiai Mas Mansur, who later learned to Kiai Dahlan and became Chairman of Muhammadiyah.
Kiai Mas Mansur picked up Kiai Ahmad Dahlan and invited him to stay at his house. It was at that meeting that Kiai Ahmad Dahlan asked about Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari.
“How is Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari doing? Is he doing well?” asked Kiai Ahmad Dahlan.
“Insya Allah, Kiai. We haven’t seen each other for long time, but friends of mine told me he is good,” replied Kiai Mas Mansur as written by Imron.
Kiai Ahmad Dahlan also queried the development of the Pondok Pesantren Tebuireng Jombang (Islamic Boarding School) owned by Kiai Hasyim, and expressed his admiration for him. Kiai Mas Mansur, then, told that Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari’s admired Kiai Ahmad Dahlan as well.
Because of the legacy of knowledge, Kiai Ahmad Dahlan didn’t have no doubt about trusting Kiai Mas Mansur to be Chairman of Muhammadiyah of Surabaya and to develop Muhammadiyah da’wah.