Banjarese Islamic Scholars (‘Ulema) and Social Transformation in Tembilahan (preliminary research)

Raihani Raihani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Banjarese, an ethnic group in South Kalimantan, were estimated to have migrated to Tembilahan and its surroundings in the 19th century following the defeat of the Banjar Sultanate by the Dutch colonialists. The religious intellectualism rooted in the Banjarese tradition has until now resulted in the production of ‘ulema (religious scholars) even in new places to which they have migrated. Using in-depth interviews with several figures in Tembilahan, this preliminary study sheds light on how Banjarese ‘ulema in the area have contributed to the transformation of society. This study is important as there has not been solid research-based information about this important topic publicly available. It found that Banjarese ‘ulema have played an important role in educating people through formal and informal ways to be religiously committed and socio-economically active. They have demonstrated dynamic relations with society, but some of them were not immune from political and material temptations. It seems that the farther they stay away from such temptations, the more charisma they develop, and the more the opportunities they may have to contribute to the social transformation of Tembilahan society
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalJurnal Ushuluddin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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