Friday, July 29, 2011

Lakum dīnukum wa-liya dīnī: the Muhammadiyah's stance towards interfaith relations

Burhani. Ahmad Najib. 2011. "Lakum dīnukum wa-liya dīnī: the Muhammadiyah's stance towards interfaith relations." Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, 22 (3): 329-342.

The Muhammadiyah claims, and has been considered by many, to be one of the champions of moderate Islam. However, the movement's position in relation to religious pluralism has not yet been clarified. This article examines the Muhammadiyah's stance towards interfaith relations by looking closely at three events after the 1998 ‘Reformation’ in Indonesia: the publication of Tafsir tematik al-Qur'an tentang hubungan sosial antarumat beragama (Thematic exegesis of the Qur'an on interfaith relations), Din Syamsuddin's offer to Christians of the use of the Muhammadiyah's buildings for their Christmas services, and the publication of Kristen Muhammadiyah (Christian Muhammadiyah). This article argues that, contrary to the common perception, the guiding principle of the Muhammadiyah's approach to interfaith relations is not fa-istabiqū al-khayrāt (compete with one another in good works), but lakum dīnukum wa-liya dīnī (unto you your religion, and unto me my religion). As a consequence of this principle, the Muhammadiyah's theological approach to religious others is different from their sociological approach. Although several efforts have been made to develop the Muhammadiyah into a pluralist movement, this organization might more appropriately be considered an inclusivist movement.

Keywords: interfaith, pluralism, inclusivism, Christian Muhammadiyah, Christmas, lakum dīnukum wa-liya dīnī , fa-istabiqū al-khayrāt

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