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Nahdatul Ulama

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One of the two largest Islamic traditionalist grassroots social organizations in Indonesia. Established in 1926 as part of the nationalist awakening and general Islamic reform. Its social basis is the pesantren (a traditional institution of Islamic learning), where students live and learn classical Arabic texts under tutelage of a spiritual leader. Reportedly in 2000, about six thousand pesantren and more than one million students were spread throughout mostly rural areas of the country. Its stated purposes are enhancement of relationships among ulama of various Sunni schools of Islamic law; examination of textbooks to determine whether they are appropriate for study; propagation of Islam based on the teachings of four Sunni schools of law; establishment of schools; management of mosques, prayer houses, and dormitories; looking after orphans and the poor; and organization of Islamically lawful bodies for the advancement of agriculture, trade, and industry. It provides a forum for personal piety and spiritual solidarity through face-to-face communication. The group was headed by Abdurrahman Wahid from 1984 until his election as Indonesia's first democratically chosen president in 1999.

Subjects: Religion

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