By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
I express my gratitude to Allah SWT, the omnipotent and supreme being who possesses dominion over the entirety of the cosmos. It has been a span of 78 years since the attainment of independence by my nation, liberating it from the subjugation imposed by colonial powers. The attainment of freedom was secured via the expenditure of emotional, physical, and material resources, including the sacrifice of human lives. The entirety of the nation’s youth is collectively engaged in the endeavour, accompanied by fervent appeals to the Divine, with the shared objective of reclaiming, preserving independence, and upholding the sovereignty of our nation.
In the context of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, it may be observed that Allah SWT has imparted the essence and significance of independence. Hence, numerous individuals believe that Allah has imparted “His verses” to the entire population of this nation. Dynamic situations that are replete with valuable lessons. The essence of independence can be discerned in nature, where a distinct and unambiguous meaning serves as a guiding principle. The precise interpretation of independence is crucial for achieving prosperity. God has demonstrated several attributes via a multitude of His creations, including:
First, the absence of intellectual acumen (rationality) renders physical liberty akin to that of an unrestrained wolf in its natural habitat. The creature has nimble locomotion, although it solely engages in the pursuit of sustenance by seeking out potential prey. Nevertheless, the physical attributes of strength, agility, and sharpness of teeth and nails exhibited by the creature in question do not demonstrate a direct relationship with its cognitive capacity to construct a complex society and achieve economic success. The entirety of its potential is only harnessed for the betterment of its own entity and the surrounding community. The wolf, via its formidable influence, is responsible for the decimation of the entire forest ecosystem. The individual in question exhibits a lack of concern for the well-being of deer and sheep, demonstrates a disregard for the trampled flowers, and shows indifference towards the preservation of the forest as a habitat and vital resource, particularly in the face of encroachment by those driven by avarice and other forms of apathy. From his perspective, the concept of freedom is limited to his ability to engage in predatory behaviour in order to meet his own survival needs, without considering the rights to life and freedom of other inhabitants of the forest.
Hence, it is crucial to avoid misconstruing independence as an avenue for unrestricted freedom in every domain through the violation of legal statutes. Independence does not entail unrestricted control over the economy (capitalist), political sphere, and the fostering of pervasive corruption through deceptive alliances (wolves in sheep’s clothing). Furthermore, it does not involve a justice system that frequently exhibits bias akin to a one-sided blade, openly displaying aggression and arrogance, and taking pride in the accumulation of wealth through illicit means (flexing style) without remorse or moral accountability, even to the extent of treating national assets as personal possessions. Independence does not equate to unrestricted freedom within the context of human rights and the notion of privilege associated with one’s profession and position. The aforementioned perspective on independence might be characterized as a form of hubristic cognition. One cognitive approach can be employed to construct a conceptual framework of “colonization” that deviates from conventional models, yet nevertheless yields significant consequences. This perspective is likely to lead to perpetual societal and environmental distress. The concept of civilized independence can be comprehended as a collaborative endeavour aimed at constructing a society that promotes both the advancement of civilization and the well-being of its members. The prioritization of justice is vital for the attainment of independence. Legislation that is fair and equitable will contribute to the development of a thriving society. The attainment of affluence will lead to the experience of tranquillity.
Second, the concept of psychic freedom might be metaphorically likened to a bird confined within the confines of a cage. Their capabilities are limited, restricted to engaging in chants and offering solemn prayers. Despite the captivating melodic nature of its chirping, which elicits a sense of astonishment in those who encounter it, the subject under consideration remains perpetually confined and is never granted unrestricted freedom. This apprehension stems from their concern that the ownership of their delightful chirping may be claimed by external entities. The concept of psychic independence, while maintaining the ability to produce high-quality outcomes.
Within the historical framework of Indonesia, numerous individuals have emerged as mentally autonomous and proficient in generating extraordinary contributions. The depicted individual is Mohammad Natsir, known for his literary contribution titled “Under the Shade of Risalah,” and Buya Hamka, renowned for his scholarly work called “Tafsir al-Azhar.” Despite the physical limitations imposed on his body, the expansion of his intellectual capacity remains intact, enabling his mind to continuously generate a sophisticated society. The output he generated serves as a tacit testament to his enduring psychological autonomy, which has remained unencumbered. He is capable of preserving autonomy through the use of written notes. The quality of his work is evident as it refrains from engaging in blasphemous, insulting, or slanderous discourse against others with differing perspectives. The artist demonstrates his intellectual autonomy through his creations that are replete with decorum and civility.
Third, the desired form of independence is characterized by both bodily and psychological autonomy. In contemporary society, BJ Habibi serves as an illustrative case of a select group of individuals who possess both physical and mental autonomy. He possesses the physical freedom necessary to focus on the development of German civilization, without being influenced by seductive elements. However, he made the decision to establish channels of communication and make valuable contributions to the development of the Republic of Indonesia. He was not dazzled by the sparkle of diamonds. The individual’s elevated status did not result in his submission. He exhibits unwavering commitment and devotion to his nation, both physically and emotionally. The individual exhibits a state of psychological autonomy, coupled with a remarkable capacity for generating innovative educational concepts aimed at the intellectual development of the nation’s youth. The individual’s behaviours and cognitive abilities demonstrate his notable levels of physical and psychological autonomy. The individual’s speech exhibits a profound eloquence akin to the lustrous quality of pearls. Their demeanour resembles the gentle nourishment provided by dew upon the earth’s surface. Their cogitations flow with a lucidity reminiscent of pristine, unobstructed water. Their deeds serve as a beacon, illuminating the path forward. Furthermore, their endeavours contribute to the elevation of the nation’s prestige and honour.
Undoubtedly, a considerable number of individuals possessed such a form of autonomy during the preceding epoch. The individuals known as the Walisongo, General Sudirman, Pattimura, Sultan Syarif Qasim, KH. Hasyim Asy’ari, Ahmad Dahlan, Ahmad Yani, Moh. Roem, Mohd. Natsir, Soekarno, Mohd. Hatta, Mohd. Yamin and other notable characters have demonstrated their pivotal role in securing the nation’s freedom. Individuals possess both physical and mental freedom, accompanied by an unwavering sense of self-respect that is unaltered by any form of exchange. Possessing a noble disposition is a characteristic inherent to individuals who have attained a high level of civilization. Despite the prevailing trend, a minority of individuals exist who exhibit a paradoxical inclination towards engaging in colonization while simultaneously resisting being colonized. Similarly, these individuals demonstrate a proclivity for oppressing others while simultaneously rejecting the experience of oppression themselves. Furthermore, they consistently evade personal accountability while actively attributing responsibility to others.
In more precise words, colonization refers to the exercise of arbitrary authority over the entirety of individuals’ livelihoods, typically motivated by personal or restricted interests. In the context of governance and political systems, independence refers to the state of being liberated and autonomous, devoid of external control or colonial influence. Nevertheless, it is important to note that independence should not be misconstrued as unrestricted liberty that disregards the rights of others. If this action is carried out, it might be argued that he has effectively assumed the role of a colonizer, albeit with superficial variations, while fundamentally embodying the same principles and practices of colonization towards others. Hence, it is imperative to comprehend freedom as “freedom in conjunction with civilization and justice”. By adhering to adab (rules), individuals have the capacity to exhibit fairness. The establishment of justice is believed to be crucial in the progression of humanity towards a state of civilization, enabling individuals to develop refined behaviours and contribute to the construction of organized societies.
The aforementioned three categories of independence correspond to the manner in which each individual manifests their independence. The selection of a certain type is contingent upon factors such as the underlying basis of belief, cognitive aptitude, personal attributes, self-regard, and the preferred social group. The inherent conflict between these several variables is inevitable. The determination of the chosen independence is contingent upon the degree of faith.
According to the Qur’an, various interpretations of the concept of independence can be discerned. These interpretations encompass:
First, achieving independence entails the act of self-preservation and the protection of the ummah from instances of misguidance or injustice. The pursuit of liberation from the customary practice of venerating beings. The success of the ashabul kahfi youth is seen in their ability to preserve their religious freedom and resist the influence of misguided beliefs and unjust practices, as depicted in the Quranic verses (QS. al-Kahf: 18-19). This phenomenon is also evident in the endeavours of Prophet Moses and the omnipotence of Allah, which resulted in the annihilation of the oppressive authority of Pharaoh. The prophet Moses successfully achieved the liberation of a population, so ensuring the preservation of their existence in a state of tranquillity and prosperity.
Additionally, the pursuit of freedom encompasses liberation from the limitations imposed by ignorance, which has resulted in a lack of direction for individuals affected by various societal issues such as economic oppression, divisive political ideologies, the exploitation of ecological resources, slavery, and other forms of social injustice. The purpose of the Prophet can be observed in his endeavour to safeguard humanity across different historical periods by promoting the principles of tawhid (monotheism) and virtuous ethics. The aforementioned statement is attributed to Allah, as conveyed through His words: “(This is) the Book which We have revealed to you (Muhammad) with the purpose of guiding people from a state of ignorance towards enlightenment, by the permission of God, towards the path of God, the Mighty, the Praiseworthy” (QS. Ibrahim: 1).
The concept of independence has been effectively communicated through religious scripture, as well as through the ethical principles exemplified by the Prophet. The architects of our nation have astutely included the essence of autonomy inside the constitutional framework. The task at hand primarily involves the consistent and equitable implementation of existing resources.
The genuine concept of independence is achieved when an individual recognizes their role as a servant of Allah, adhering to His teachings and the moral principles exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad. This encompasses all aspects of human existence, including one’s relationship with the Creator, acts of servitude, expressions of love, aspirations, emotions, verbal communication, and conduct, all of which should be devoid of reprehensible characteristics, while abiding by the established regulations of the governing authority. The attainment and possession of the genuine essence of freedom can be realized when the concept of freedom is comprehended within this particular context. He will refrain from exhibiting characteristics such as avarice, unfairness, hypocrisy, and other comparable attributes. The individual in question has demonstrated the capacity to emancipate themselves from morally reprehensible characteristics and behaviours, so disseminating a message of moral excellence throughout the entirety of the cosmos. From my perspective, the concept of independence does not entail unrestricted freedom to act according to one’s desires, notwithstanding the presence of norms that may be subject to varying interpretations based on different interests. The concept of self-independence necessitates the consideration and acknowledgement of the rights to the independence of others, as outlined in the foundational principles of the state.
Independence must be comprehended from at least two perspectives, specifically: The term “theoretical” refers to concepts, ideas, or principles that are based on theory rather than practical application. The foundation of a nation’s independence is rooted in the fervour and determination of its youth, who possess an unwavering desire to contribute to the development and progress of their homeland. The spirit is believed to be present within the crimson hue of blood and the pallor of bones, serving as a unifying force. The second aspect is the implementation. The true manifestation of independence is in the establishment of equitable systems of justice and the development of a thriving civilization that benefits all aspects within the borders of the Republic of Indonesia, including human beings, flora, fauna, land and water resources, cultural heritage, natural reserves, and the atmosphere, among others. The attainment of security (justice) and wealth is integral to the realization of the objective of independence. The aforementioned concept is articulated by Allah in His divine scripture, as He declares: “And verily, We shall test you with some fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits.” “And deliver glad tidings to those who exhibit patience” (Q.S Al-Baqarah: 155).
The verse mentioned above highlights two fundamental human wants, namely “fear” which represents the desire for a fair and secure environment, and “hunger” which signifies the pursuit of improving individuals’ well-being. The attainment of these two objectives will signify the realization of freedom in its fundamental form. Similar to a vessel navigating towards the idyllic realm of aspirations. The outcome is contingent upon the combined volition of all constituent components. In the event that there are elements exhibiting divergent orientations, it is imperative to judiciously and equitably align them in accordance with the established principles and regulations. If every constituent possesses identical aspirations and pursuits, the aspirations and ideals of autonomy, which have been bestowed and entrusted by the martyrs and heroes of this nation, would yield enduringly favourable outcomes. They will have a sense of pride and exhibit a joyful facial expression by smiling. The sacrifices made by individuals have not been done without purpose. The charitable endeavours of this organization are currently being embraced by devout individuals who are committed to upholding principles of fairness and loyalty, thus ensuring the continuation of its positive impact.
The capacity for an autonomous state to construct a sophisticated society and achieve prosperity is evident. All constituent elements are actively engaged in the process of nation-building. There is a limited timeframe within which individuals are discouraged from engaging in acts of blasphemy, assigning blame, or identifying faults in one another. Differences serve as a means to foster maturity, mutual respect, appreciation, and wisdom.
Differences should not be utilized as a means to assign blame or inflict harm onto one another, but rather as a platform to identify areas of shared understanding and cultivate mutual respect. If divergences are employed as a justification for refraining from consolidation, the vessel will be rendered inoperative and submerged. The nation might be metaphorically conceptualized as a vessel, with its inhabitants serving as the passengers. In the event that rats are present aboard a boat, even if their population is modest, it is imperative to employ a prudent and expeditious approach to their eradication. However, in the event that the population of rats is substantial, it is necessary to promptly confine their travels to a certain area. Expressing anger at rats is not considered prudent, yet betraying one’s companions might have severe consequences, akin to sinking a boat. This perspective has the potential to result in the demise of all individuals aboard the aircraft. If this option is selected, there would be no distinction between the one who asserts their correctness yet engages in “colonization,” and the perpetrator who is evidently committing wrongful acts. Consequently, liberate oneself from the constraints of bias and disloyalty.
Today marks the commemoration of the 78th anniversary of my nation. We are committed to maintaining your presence, ensuring your well-being, and providing protection for you. I implore the martyrs and heroes to display a smile. Demonstrating our commitment to excellence is how we reciprocate your support. I will ensure that you do not shed a single tear. The act of shedding tears is likely to attract unfavourable consequences and retribution from a higher authority. By means of expressions of joy and supplication, the benevolence and magnificence bestowed by Allah shall be bestowed upon the entirety of this nation. It is prudent to observe each commemoration of the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia with expressions of thankfulness towards Allah, as well as appreciation for the contributions made by the martyrs and national heroes in upholding the integrity and solidarity of the nation.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra
Alumni STAIN Bengkalis