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The Workshop for Morality

The Workshop for Morality: The Islamic Creativity of Pesantren Daarut Tauhid in Bandung, Java OPEN ACCESS

Dindin Solahudin
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: ANU Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt24hd6m
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  • Book Info
    The Workshop for Morality
    Book Description:

    This volume is a remarkable study of a most unusual pesantren. Officially known as Pesantren Daarut Tauhid, this pesantren was located in Bandung and flourished at the beginning of a period of Islamic resurgence in Indonesia. More commonly referred to as the Bengkel Akhlaq, this 'Workshop for Morality' exerted a special appeal to groups of young urban Muslims, particularly students. Its founder was H. K. Abdullah Gymnastiar, popularly known as Aa Gym, who later went on to become one of Indonesia's most important Muslim preachers and television celebrities. The Workshop for Morality is a superb work of both historical and ethnographic relevance that reflects the capacity of its author, Dindin Solahudin, to capture a critical moment in the development of Islam in contemporary Indonesian society.

    eISBN: 978-1-921313-68-4
    Subjects: Religion
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Table of Contents

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  1. Foreword (pp. ix-x)
    James J. Fox

    This volume, The Workshop for Morality by Dindin Solahudin is a remarkable study of a most unusual pesantren. Officially known as Pesantren Daarut Tauhid, this pesantren was located in Bandung and flourished at the beginning of a period of Islamic resurgence in Indonesia. More commonly referred to as the Bengkel Akhlaq, this ′Workshop for Morality′ exerted a special appeal to groups of young urban Muslims, particularly students. Its founder was H. K. Abdullah Gymnastiar, popularly known as Aa Gym, who later went on to become one of Indonesia′s most important Muslim preachers and television celebrities.

    Pesantren Daarut Tauhid was notable...

  2. This is a study of Pesantren¹ Daarut Tauhid in Bandung, Java, focusing on its role in the reinforcement of Islamic morality in a contemporary community of Muslims. As a pesantren, Daarut Tauhid is part of the pesantren tradition in Java and thus shares similar features with other pesantren. Yet as a newly emergent institution, it bears novel characteristics that reflect the influence of both local tradition and contemporary modern civilisation.

    In a wider perspective, the rise of Pesantren Daarut Tauhid can be understood as part of the worldwide phenomena of Islamic resurgence. In this case, Daarut Tauhid demonstrates the dynamics...

  3. Officially founded only in 1990, Pesantren Daarut Tauhid was in fact established earlier in 1987 by Abdullah Gymnastiar. This period from 1987 up until 1990 represents the period of the initial stages of the pesantren. There were, during this period, some events which are not merely significant but determinant in the foundation of the pesantren. Echoing Van Gennepian sequences, these events were to a great extent rites de passage, in that they were necessary rites which turned Gymnastiar from an ″ordinary persona″ into an extraordinary kyai (the leader of both the pesantren and many Muslims) and transformed the environment from...

  4. Chapter Two has traced the process by which the pesantren Daarut Tauhid initially grew. We have seen that the foundation of the pesantren Daarut Tauhid was not the result of a solo effort by either its leader, Aa Gym, or his followers, but the fruit of their relatively equal contributions. Both were equally important driving forces in the foundation of the pesantren, although they would not explicitly claim this because, to them, it was nothing but the implementation of the will of Allah.

    In this chapter, I will examine certain aspects of the relations between the leader and his followers....

  5. Characteristics of the leader, the follower, and their patterns of relationship as portrayed in the preceding chapter are given form by the distinctively creative expressions of Islam initiated by Aa Gym and further institutionalised in the life of Daarut Tauhid. As the adjective ′creative′ implies, these expressions of Islam contain many things new to, or at least distinguishable from, local commonly-held understandings and practices of Islam. This is not to suggest that the Islam of Daarut Tauhid has been uprooted from the supposedly original Islam. It is rather a creative adaptation to current social demands.

    The practice of Islam at...

  6. The phrase Bengkel Akhlaq (Workshop for Morality) might remind students of religions that medical practice is often an important feature of Islamic tradition. In Java, in particular, this may be associated with Pesantren Suryalaya in Tasikmalaya, West Java, where Islamic healing is practised (Munawar-Rahman and Ismail 1991, Nurol-Aen 1990, Zulkifli 1994). Horikoshi (1980) has also recorded an Islam-based medical tradition among Sundanese Muslims in Garut town, West Java, that is well-known as Asrama.

    Suryalaya and Asrama practise a rather similar form of Islamic medicine. Suryalaya has, besides wide ranging educational institutions, a centre for the treatment of narcotic addicts and...

  7. I have attempted to portray Pesantren Daarut Tauhid in terms of its emergence, its nature and structure, and the role it plays in the reinforcement of Islamic morality. The emergence of this pesantren in 1990 is part of the general resurgence of Islam in the world. It has been argued that the contemporary resurgence in Muslim societies, particularly in urban areas, can be understood as the continuation of the spirit of reformist renewal in Islam. Christian Kiem (1993:92), observing Muslim youth in Eastern Indonesia, argues that Islamic resurgence among the youth in Muslim countries has to be understood as ″an...