Kyai Haji Abdul Halim Majalengka, often known as KH Abdul Halim (1887-1962) was an Indonesian Islamic scholar and nationalist figure. He founded a number of Islamic organizations in the Dutch East Indies, including the Hayatul Qulub and the Persyarikatan Ulama and was a member of several national consultative councils during the transition to Indonesian independence in the 1940s. He was declared a National Hero of Indonesia in 2008 by then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.[1]


Dutch East Indies

Abdul Halim was born in the village of Ciborelang in Majalengka Regency, West Java, Dutch East Indies on June 26, 1887. His name at birth was Otong Syatori; his father was Haji Muhammad Iskandar and his mother Haji Siti Mutmainah.[1] Aside from getting Islamic education from his father, he studied in various Pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) in his early years, including the pesantren Bobos in Cirebon, pesantren Ciwedus in Kuningan, and one in Pekalongan.[2] In 1908, he married Siti Murbiyah, daughter of Kyai Haji Muhammad Ilyas.[2]

In 1909 he spent time in Mecca where he was exposed to ideas of Islamic reform being espoused by Rashid Rida, Mohammed 'Abduh, and others. He studied under Ahmad Khatib al-Minangkabawi, an influential Minangkabau Islamic teacher who was then resident in Mecca.[3] During his time there he also befriended other students of his generation, such as Mas Mansoer, who would also later return to the Indies and play an important role in Islamic educational reform.

During the 1910s, after returning to Java, Abdul Halim founded a number of Islamic organizations, including Madjisul 'Ilmi (1911), Hayatul Qulub (1912) and Persyarikatan Ulama (1916).[2]

Japanese occupation and war for Independence

In 1945, towards the end of the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies, Abdul Halim was appointed by the Japanese to the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (BPUPK).[1] Of the 62 members of the committee, he was in a group of eleven representing an Islamic faction, which also included Haji Agus Salim, Sukiman, Abdurrahman Baswedan.[4]

In the following year, he was also appointed to the Central Indonesian National Committee, a consultative body meant to advise the president of Indonesia as the country was gaining its independence.[1] During the Indonesian National Revolution in 1946–7, he was also involved in leading guerilla forces against the Dutch in his home region of Majalengka.[2]

Independent Indonesia

In 1955, Abdel Halim was a founding member of the Persatuan Ummat Islam.[2]

In 2008, Abdul Halim was declared a National Hero of Indonesia by president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Mirnawati (2012). Kumpulan pahlawan Indonesia terlengkap (Cetakan I ed.). Mekarsari, Cimanggis, Depok. p. 254. ISBN 9789797883430.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sarulina, Betaria. "Kyai Haji Abdul Halim". Historia - Majalah Sejarah Populer Pertama di Indonesia (in Indonesian). Historia. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  3. ^ Effendi, Djohan (2008). A renewal without breaking tradition : the emergence of a new discourse in Indonesia's Nahdlatul Ulama during the Abdurrahman Wahid era. Yogyakarta: Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia. p. 72. ISBN 9789798726361.
  4. ^ Effendy, Bahtiar (2003). Islam and the state in Indonesia. Athens: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 57. ISBN 9789812300836.