Ahmad Tohari dan Kisah Pohon Kurma


Ahmad Tohari was born and grew up in a santri environment. His simple daily life and full of religious content make his figure close to the community. That closeness made him consistently defend humanity in his writings.

His monumental work, the trilogy Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk (first published 1982) was acknowledged to be full of proselytizing. the reason Tohari raised the theme Ronggeng which had a bad image at the time.

Indeed, the reader understood that the intrigue brought by Srintil explicitly revealed a taboo thing. But, Srintil's inner struggle which led to his choice to “repent” and become an ordinary housewife, thick with a cliched message of preaching: ‘everyone, always entitled to have a second chance. For the Almighty God is compassion . Most forgiving.


Seeing Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk written in the 80s and set in 1965, we remember the Development Cabinet brought by Suharto. At that time, social inequality occurred everywhere, especially in remote environments.

Inequality occurred not only in the economic sphere, even in other fields. One of them is education. He conveys perspective with the imagination of the village; primitive and non-educational always loses with the imagination of an advanced and educated city.

Through a novel that will get many of these awards, Tohari is determined to criticize morality and respect for fellow human beings who are not full of traditional dogmas. who imprisoned the 'voice' of women. The humanitarian message was also illustrated in the tragedy that occurred in 1965 in the novel.

Later, we realized that caring for fellow human beings and glorification of women must indeed exist in connection with the approach of bonding with God.

Before Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk, the reader has met the Dome of the Year (1980), which tells of Karman, a person who was originally modest, humble and obedient to religion, due to 'outside' influence, he fell prey to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and often opposed the advice of those who contributed to raising it.

After the September 30, 1965 Movement, he was arrested and exiled on Buru Island. After years of living and contemplating all his actions, he returned home and was welcomed by people around with open arms. He also repented and returned to being a devout Muslim.

We are aware that in this novel, the imagination of the village which is “lost” with old stigma and bumpkin, can still win in the matter of human nature: generous, friendly and forgiving. Tohari highlighted the cultural meaning of rural communities that could not be lost eroded by the modernity of the urban community.

The imagination of a superior village in humanity was later born through a novel Red Bekisar (1993), At Kaki Bukit Cibalak (1994), short stories in the book Smile Karyamin (1989), Project People (2003) and a number of recent short stories published in the mass media.

Since at the beginning of his first work, readers were often invited to trace the beauty and beauty of rural nature. Background that is indeed relevant to his childhood being brought up in a rural environment.

This depiction of nature might be a teaching of our imagination to interpret 'trivial' nature, often clearing it out in the name of development, without contemplating the 'services' of nature serving humans.

Ahmad Tohari, through a series of his words, such as giving the message that humans are not negligent in safeguarding one of God's gifts that are entrusted to us. The setting and atmosphere then become the beauty of the description that the reader hopes to be able to resolve with a deep reflection.

Later, the great works of Ahmad Tohari continued to be born, consistently conveying humanitarian messages. The message of humanity proclaimed is never spiked with verses that can imagine the reader towards 'lectures' and 'sermons'. Therefore, his work was universally accepted by the readers and did not end up contemplated at the same time studied by academics.

From the first time, Tohari did show the character of rebelling against something he thought harmed humanity. When he witnessed that one of his elementary school teachers had to be executed in the local field because he was accused of PKI, his mind rebelled and did not stop reconciling to defend and voice.

That was why the Dome and Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk works. ] he insisted on completing and publishing the time when the New Order era was still stretching in the vortex of Indonesia.

He did not get hearted, seeing the village people who were allegedly involved, also accepting the consequences of being executed without justice, “I counted eyewitnesses, classmates goats, wood-finders, are punished without peramilam, “he thought. quoted from page beritagar.id.

Later, reportedly at dusk, Tohari took care of the Al Falah Islamic Boarding School in his village. He no longer wrote novels and only occasionally attended invitations to become speakers.

From childhood to old age, Ahmad Tohari continued to maintain simplicity, humility and modesty in appearance and deed. All of it was cut off from the plural experiences and religious content taught in the family environment. In his winding and not easy life story, he perceives various things to get lessons about human men and ideals that apply and are needed in the latest circumstances and situations.

Now, Ahmad Tohari has passed on the teachings of truth to us, to join in reading situation and experience, to then defend humanity with courage. Later, the production of his writing was indeed not as much as before, and only a short story. But the consistency of applying about men of humanity remains a valuable memory for the reader. All of his inheritance is worth considering for many reasons.

Semarang, December 2, 2018

* The author and a number of his friends have had valuable and impressive experiences with Ahmad Tohari when he was a speaker at the National Education Seminar in the Indonesian University Language and Literature Student Association of the State University Semarang in May 2017.

This Article Was Published On : ISLAMI.CO

Translated by Google Translate


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