Original Research

Muhammadiyah’s Manhaj Tarjih: An evolution of a modernist approach to Islamic jurisprudence in Indonesia

Ahwan Fanani, Achmad I. Hamzani, Nur Khasanah, Aji Sofanudin
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6942 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6942 | © 2021 Ahwan Fanani, Achmad I. Hamzani, Nur Khasanah, Aji Sofanudin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2021 | Published: 28 October 2021

About the author(s)

Ahwan Fanani, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Science and Politic, Universitas Islam Negeri Walisongo, Semarang, Indonesia
Achmad I. Hamzani, Faculty of Law, Universitas Pancasakti Tegal, Tegal, Indonesia
Nur Khasanah, Faculty of Education, IAIN Pekalongan, Pekalongan, Indonesia
Aji Sofanudin, Office of Religious Research and Development, Litbang Kemenag RI, Semarang, Indonesia

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


This study uses a literature study of examining the Tarjih Council of Muhammadiyah, the second largest Islamic organisation in Indonesia. Criticism is directed towards manhaj’s principle which states that any classical Islamic school of law should not be embraced and, thus, breaks up from the chain of Islamic intellectuality. The critics, however, fail to cover the very idea of Muhammadiyah as an embodiment of the Islamic renewal vision. The article aims to reveal the evolution of the manhaj. The evolution will be elaborated into stages to show the development of concepts and principles in each stage. The article is based on a literature study using constructive conceptual analysis. The analysis is divided into three steps, namely analytical assessment, performative aspects, and conceptual genealogy, stressing the reflective relationship between knowledge and social reality. The study shows that the Tarjih Council’s preference not to embrace any classical Islamic schools of law has developed since the establishment of the Tarjih Council. The developments of manhaj’s formulation occur in three stages from 1924 until 2000. The manhaj comes up with the synthesis of textuality, rationality, and spirituality as the basic vision of Muhammadiyah’s renewal idea which reflects the achievement of a modernist Islamic movement. The study, in comparison to previous research, provides a more comprehensive picture of the manhaj of Muhammadiyah as a representation of the Islamic renewal movement and shows how the manhaj comes to a synthesis that marks Muhammadiyah as a unique modernist-renewal movement.

Contribution: The study enriches the perspectives on the manhaj as the backbone of Muhammadiyah ideology and shows that Islamic modernism in Indonesia has stepped further to uncover a synthesis suitable to Indonesian society.


manhaj tarjih; Muhammadiyah; collective ijtijad; non mazhab; modernist; Indonesia


Total abstract views: 964
Total article views: 617

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.