Preserving History: The Legacy of At-Taqwa Magazine of Persatuan Islam (Persis)

Since its inception in Bandung in 1923, the Persatuan Islam (Persis) organization has been a beacon of Islamic education and culture. One of its remarkable contributions is the production of several periodicals, reflecting the organization’s commitment to knowledge dissemination. Among these, At-Taqwa magazine stands out as a testament to Persis’ dedication to media and education.

At-Taqwa was a pioneering effort, not only in its content but also in its language choice. The magazine was published in both Malay and Sundanese, catering to a wide audience and showcasing the diversity of the Indonesian archipelago. This bilingual approach was a strategic move to reach a broader readership, reflecting Persis’ inclusive ethos.

One of the notable aspects of At-Taqwa was its editorial team, led by E. Abdurrahman and O. Qamaruddin. Despite its modest beginnings, with only two editors, the magazine became a platform for intellectual discourse and religious teachings. Through At-Taqwa, the editors addressed various topics, from Islamic jurisprudence to social issues, reflecting the depth of thought within the Persis community.

The magazine’s content was not limited to religious discussions. It also featured short stories, cultural reflections, and news updates. This diversity of content highlighted Persis’ holistic approach to education, recognizing the importance of integrating religious teachings with cultural and societal insights.

One of the magazine’s significant achievements was its role in clarifying misconceptions and defending the reputation of prominent figures. For instance, in response to false accusations, Sukarno, who was in exile at the time, used At-Taqwa as a platform to refute claims and reaffirm his commitment to Islam.

Despite its impactful presence, At-Taqwa faced challenges, particularly during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in 1942. The organization’s activities were disrupted, and the magazine’s publication ceased temporarily. However, Persis persisted, and in 1948, with the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia, Persis resumed its activities, including the publication of At-Taqwa.

The magazine’s revival in 1949 marked a new era for At-Taqwa, expanding its scope and readership. The editorial team continued to innovate, introducing new columns and topics to engage its audience. At-Taqwa’s second period was characterized by its commitment to adapt to the changing times while staying true to its core values.

In 1967, Persis introduced a new magazine, Iber, continuing the legacy of At-Taqwa by providing educational and informative content to its readers. Over the years, Iber has evolved to reflect the contemporary issues facing the Muslim community while still maintaining its roots in Islamic teachings.

Today, the legacy of At-Taqwa and Iber continues to inspire the members and supporters of Persatuan Islam (Persis). These periodicals serve as a reminder of the organization’s rich history and its ongoing commitment to education, culture, and Islamic values. As Persis moves forward, it looks to its past for guidance, ensuring that its publications remain a beacon of knowledge and enlightenment for generations to come.