logodd“Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia[1] or “Dewan Dakwah” for short, was established by the late Dr. Mohammad Natsir[2] the first Prime Minister of the Indonesia (1950-51) on 26 Februari 1967, through a conference of ulemas (Muslim scholars) from and national and prominent figures from various Muslim organizations and regions. The various organizations that were supportive of the establishment of Dewan Dakwah include Muhammadiyah, Persatuan Ummat Islan (PUI), Mathlaul Anwar, Persatuan Tarbiyah Islamiyah (Perti), Persatuan Islam (Persis), Al Jamiatul Washliyah, Jam’iyah al Irshad al Islamiyah, Al Shafiiyyah, Nadhdhatul Watan, al Ittihadiyah and others. Amongst the national figures that were present and supportive of this initiative were: Buya Sutan Mansur (ex chairman of Muhammadiyah), Sjafruddin Prawiranegara (ex Central Bank Governor), Burhanuddin Harahap (former Prime Minister), Prawoto Mangkusasmito (ex Deputy Prime Minister), Kasman Singodimejo (former Attorney General), Mr. Mohammad Roem (former Foreign Minister), KH Faqih Usman, KH Taufiqurrahman, KH Hasan Basri (former Chairman Majelis Ulema Indonesia), Yunan Nasution (former Masjumi Secretary General), Abdul Rahman Baswedan, A. Rahman Shihab, Bukhari Tamam and many others.

 

Dewan Dakwah was established with the purpose of enhancing the Muslims’ understanding of the Islamic values in ibadah (religious matters), akhlaq (morality/ character), and mu’amalah (social life) – including, economic, political and cultural matters, so that they would have comprehensive outlook in life.

 

To achieve these goals and also to educate the young generation,  Dewan Dakwah and its leaders from among the former Masyumi party gave priority to establish educational institutions, at all levels, starting from kindergarten up to higher education in various parts of Indonesia where the curriculum combine religious subjects and sciences as Islam does not recognize dichotomy of education. It has also built and manages more than 750 masajid (mosques), including dozens of campus mosques at various universities as well as Islamic Centers in urban and rural areas. Dewan Dakwah also has university level training programs for du’āt (preachers), teachers and rural development workers called Mohammad Natsir Institute for Dakwah in Tambun, Bekasi and place its graduates in the towns and in villages, particularly in the remote and isolated regions.

 

Ilmu Dakwah (STID) “Mohammad Natsir” with the purpose of enlightening and motivating the Muslim ummah in different cities and villages, including regions in the outline areas that are prone to interference and threats to the integrity of the country. Dewan Dakwah has established many hospitals and community health centres (Puskesmas), in addition to organizing humanitarian institutions and emergency aid for victims of natural disasters. Some of these activities are financed by infāq (charity), zakāt (tithe) and sadaqah (alms) organized by LAZIS Dewan Dakwah which is always ready to help the victims of natural disasters as well as victims caused by negligence or other human activities. Dewan Dakwah has been concerned with the Christian missionaries who use material power to lure poor people and this will understandably result in their apostasy.

 

The Centre for Education and Training (Pusdiklat) of Dewan Dakwah is located on approximately 5 hectare land in Tambun, Bekasi, West Java. Through cooperation with various organizations, both in Indonesia and abroad, Dewan Dakwah assists with scholarships for undergraduate Bachelors (S1) degree, graduate Masters degree (S2), and graduate doctorate degree (S3) studies, in order to enhance the standard of educational and health institutions as well as services to the community. Dewan Dakwah also works with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Law to cooperate in various fields of education, and natural conservation.

There are offices of Dewan Dakwah in 32 provinces and in more than 200 districts, cities and townships throughout the country. Although its activities are broad and far reaching, Dewan Dakwah is a foundation. The chairman of the Dewan Dakwah board of trustee is Prof. Dr. A.M. Saefuddin, former minister in B.J. Habibie’s cabinet. On the board is also representatives of various organizations, including Muhammadiyah, PERTI, PERSIS, al-Washliyah, al-Syafi’iyah, al-Irsyad, PUI, Mathlaul Anwar and others.

At the international level, Dewan Dakwah is a founding member or affiliate of several international and regional Islamic organizations such as al-Rabithah al Alam al Islami in Makkah, Motamar al-Alam al-Islami (World Muslim Congress) based in Karachi, International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) in Kuwait, the Regional Islamic Dakwah Council of South East Asia dan Pacific (RISEAP) in Kuala Lumpur, and the Dakwah Activity Coordinator (chaired by Sheikh Al-Azhar in Cairo) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

With a vast network and diverse activities covering many aspects of life in 32 provinces, Dewan Dakwah is considered at the third largest NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Indonesia, after Nahdhatul Ulama (founded in 1926) and Muhammadiyah (founded in 1912).

Following the passing of Dr. Mohammad Natsir in 1993, the post of the President of Dewan Da’wah was subsequently held by (the late) Dr. Anwar Haryono, (the late) Affandi Ridhwan, K.H. Kholil Badhawi, former member of the Indonesian Legislative Assembly (DPR) and the Supreme Advisory Council (DPA) and (the late) Hussein Umar, and the last five years by K.H. Syuhada Bahri.

In August 2015, by means of consultative mechanism involving the trustee board and all elements of leadership, a new Board of Dewan Da’wah for 2015-2010 was elected with Drs. Mohammad Siddik, MA as its President, and three others as Vices-President, namely Ustadh Amlir Syaifa Yasin, and Dr. Mohammad Noer. Positions of Secretary General and Treasurer are held by Avidz Solihin and Edi Setiawan respectively.

The newly elected President, Drs Mohammad Siddik, MA joined Dewan Dakwah in 1968, the second year of its establishment. Upon completion of studies, he joined the State University of Jakarta (formerly IKIP), before graduate studies in the USA. Drs.Siddik then served as a staff member of UNICEF at the United Nations headquarters in New York City and then in Kathmandu, Nepal. Following UNICEF, he joined Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah and then the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah, and then served as Director for IDB’s Regional Office for Asia and Pacific in Kuala Lumpur. In 2002, having completed his assignment with, he returned back to Indonesia and began again to serve Dewan Dakwah.

The office of Dewan Dakwah occupies “Menara Dakwah”, an eight-story building at Jln Kramat Raya no.45, is strategically located on the longest and widest boulevard in the capital city of Indonesia, adjacent to the Red Cross Indonesia (PMI) headquarters.

Phone no                     : +6221-3909059, 3900201

Fax                              : +6221-3908203, 3103693

E-mail                          : sekretariat@dewandakwah.com

Official website          : www.dewandakwah.or.id

 

[1]  The Indonesian Supreme Council for Islamic Propagation

[2] Mohammad Natsir, was a scholar, freedom fighter and Chairman of the Masyumi Party. In the early years of Indonesian independence, he took the initiative to persuade leaders of 16 states within the Federal Republic of Indonesia, RIS 3) formed by the Dutch (1949-1950) which was prone split the Country, to merge together and with the support of another freedom fighter, Hamengkubuwono IX, the Sultan of Yogjakarta, he filed  a motion at the Parliament, known in the Indonesia’s history as Mosi Integeral (April 1950). Following a long debate it was accepted and the Parliament dissolved the RIS. Thus the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) was born. In appreciation of his merits and services, President Soekarno appointed Mohammad Natsir as the first Prime Miister of Indonesia. In 1998 Mohammad Natsir was awarded Mahaputra Medalof Merit  by President B.J. Habibie and in 2012 he was designated as a National Hero by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.  He was a global figure recognized by many. In academics he received doctorate honorary degree from Islamic University of Lebanon in 1967 for literature and in 1991, he also received an honorary doctorate from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia for Islamic ideas.