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COMBINING ACTIVISM AND INTELLECTUALISM: THE BIOGRAPHY OF MOHAMMAD NATSIR (1908-1993) | Yusril Ihza Mahendra
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COMBINING ACTIVISM AND INTELLECTUALISM: THE BIOGRAPHY OF MOHAMMAD NATSIR (1908-1993)

 

Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim,

Pengantar:

Mohammad Natsir adalah salah satu tokoh Islam Indonesia terkemuka di abad ke XX. Sosoknya tidak saja dikenal oleh masyarakat Indo­nesia, tetapi juga oleh masyarakat dunia, lebih khusus lagi di dunia Islam. Sepanjang hidupnya, Natsir aktif terlibat dalam pelbagai gerakan, baik yang bersifat sosial, politik, keilmuan, maupun keagamaan. Khususnya dalam bidang politik-keagamaan, Natsir sudah mulai aktif sejak masa remaja. Keberhasilan karir politiknya di antaranya ditandai dengan terpilihnya Natsir menjadi Ketua Umum Partai Masjumi, anggota KNIP, anggota Parlemen dan Konstituante, Menteri Penerangan, dan Perdana Menteri Republik Indonesia. Dalam gerakan keagamaan, Natsir juga mencatat prestasi yang luar biasa. Pada tingkat nasional, misalnya, Natsir memegang pelbagai jabatan penting dalam organisasi-organisasi keagamaan. Dia juga adalah pendiri dan sekaligus ketua Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia yang dipegang sampai akhir hayatnya. Sementara pada tingkat internasional, Natsir pernah memegang jabatan sebagai anggota Majlis Ta’sisi Rabithah al-Alam al-Islami yang berkedudukan di Saudi Arabia, dan sampai akhir hayatnya memegang jabatan sebagai Wakil Presiden Mu’tamar al-Alam al-Islami yang berkedudukan di Pakistan. Semua ini hanyalah sedikit dari sekian banyak prestasi yang diukir oleh Natsir semasa hidupnya.

Meskipun sosok keislamannya begitu menonjol, Natsir tidak pernah mendapatkan pendidikan Islam secara formal. Sebagaimana layaknya anak-anak Minangkabau waktu itu, Natsir juga hidup dalam suasana keagamaan dan adat yang begitu kental. Dia memang pernah sekolah di H.I.S (Hollands Inlandsche School) Adabiyah, namun kemudian pindah ke H.I.S yang dikelola oleh pemerintah Hindia Belanda. Setamat Sekolah Dasar ini, Natsir melanjutkan ke MULO, setingkat SMP, di Padang.

 

 

Akhirnya, Natsir pindah ke Bandung untuk melanjutkan ke AMS (Algemene Middelbare School). Di sekolah ini Natsir memfokuskan studinya di bidang bahasa dan sastra Eropa klasik. Sebenarnya Natsir berhak mendapatkan beasiswa untuk kemudian melanjutkan kejenjang Perguruan Tinggi. Pilihannya adalah antara Rechts Hooge School (Sekolah Tinggi Hukum) di Jakarta atau Economische Hooge School (Sekolah Tinggi Ekonomi) di Rotterdam, Negeri Balanda.

 

 

Natsir tampaknya tidak tertarik dan ditinggalkannya kesempatan emas ini. Dia justru lebih tertarik untuk langsung bekerja dengan masyarakat. Maka dia putuskan untuk menjadi guru dan mendirikan lembaga pendidikan. Pada zaman pendudukan Jepang, Natsir secara for­mal memimpin Biro Pendidikan dan Pengajaran Kotapraja Bandung. Dia juga menjadi salah satu pendiri dan sekretaris STI (Sekolah Tinggi Islam) di Jakarta. Perguruan Tinggi ini merupakan benih awal dari Perguruan Tinggi Islam lain yang kemudian berdiri pada zaman kemerdekaan.

Natsir juga aktifdalam pergerakanpergerakan lainnya, baik sebelum maupun sesudah kemerdekaan. la pernah mengemban tugas sebagai ketua Partai Islam Indonesia (PH) cabang Bandung. Setelah partai ini dibubarkan, Natsir masuk sebagai salah satu tokoh utama Partai Masjumi, di mana dia memegang jabatan ketua selama sepuluh tahun. Pada saat konflik politiknya dengan Sukarno memuncak, Natsir turut pula aktif terlibat dalam gerakan Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia (PRRI) di Sumatera. Pada masa Orde Baru, setelah rehabilitasi Masjumi tidak dikabulkan oleh pemerintah, Natsir memilih aktif dalam gerakan dakwah. Menurutnya, “kita bukan lagi berdakwah dengan politik, tetapi kita berpolitik dengan dakwah”.

Selain sebagai aktivis handal, Natsir juga merupakan sosok intelek-tualyang disegani. Malalui pergaulannya dengan Ahmad Hassan, Agus Salim, dan tokoh-tokoh lain, Natsir sudah mulai terlibat perdebatan intelektual sejak masa remaja. Natsir menulis banyak artikel dalam bidang politik, sosial, agama, maupun filsafat. Dia pun menjadi salah satu perumus utama tentang hubungan antara agama dan negara di In­donesia. Berbeda dari Muslim sekuler, Natsir tetap percaya bahwa Islam dapat menjadi dasar negara. Sementara itu, berbeda pula dari Muslim protagonis, Natsir juga percaya bahwa Islam tidak memiliki preferensi sistem politik tertentu. Islam hanya menyediakan prinsip-prinsip umum untuk diterapkan dalam sistem politik tertentu yang disesuaikan dengan situasi dan zamannya. Maka, Islam dan Pancasila tetap dapat berjalan seiring, karena kesatuan antara Islam dan Pancasila terjadipada tingkat ide.

Meskipun Natsir tergolong intelektual produktif, dia bukanlah sebuah sosok “intelektual murni”. Maka karya-karya Natsir juga tidak dapat dikategorikan sebagai karya “intelektual murni”. Kebanyakan karyanya lebih bersifat kompilatifdanfragmentaris. Hal ini dapat dipahami, karena tulisan-tulisan tersebut lebih merupakan hasil upaya Natsir menanggapi masalah-masalah aktual melalui cara pandang intelektual. Pada titik inilah Natsir menggabungkan antara aktivisme dan intelektualisme.

Tulisan yang saya hadirkan di blog ini adalah adalah tulisan lama yang saya buat pada tahun 1995. Beberapa teman meminta saya menulis tema yang sama dalam rangka memperingati Seratus Tahun Mohammad Natsir pada tanggal 17 Juli 2008 nanti. Sayang, kesibukan saya akhir-akhir ini agak luar biasa, sehingga saya tidak sempat melakukan riset untuk menulis tentang biografi politik dan pemikiran Natsir. Karena itu, yang dapat saya lakukan ialah mempublikasikan kembali tulisan yang pernah diterbitkan dalam Bahasa Inggis oleh Jurnal Studia Islamika Vol. II Number 1, 1995 itu, semoga ada manfaatnya bagi siapa saja yang berminat untuk memahami biografi dan pemikiran politik Mohammad Natsir. Bagi teman-teman yang ingin menyampaikan komentar, boleh menyampaikannya baik dalam Bahasa Inggris maupun dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

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Mohammad Natsir is one of the most prominent Indonesian activists and intellectual figures in the twentieth century. His name is widely known, not only in Indonesia, but also in the Muslim world in general. This article aims to assess his religious, so­cial and political activities, as well as his intellectual contributions to solving real problems faced by Indonesian Muslims. Although not in detail, this article will also discuss Natsir’s participation in other parts of the Muslim world.

 

The following article is mainly concerned with the personality of Natsir within two Indonesian contexts: the colonial and the indepen­dent periods. Nevertheless, to some extent, this restriction will reach a generalization about the dynamic characteristic of the Islamic reli­gious doctrines which wrestle with social transformation. This ar­ticle proves that Indonesian Islam is dynamic because it is always in­volved in an on-going process of social change. Indeed, for its adher­ents, religion is not merely an eschatological belief. Definite and uni­versal religious doctrines must not be ignorant in facing changes; they have to provide answers and make challenges. However, as the initial answer is given and the challenge is launched, new realities will gener­ate new problems which in turn require new answers. Firstly, this article will describe Natsir’s activism first, to understand the histori­cal setting of his intellectual character.

Natsir’s Activism

The Colonial Period

 

Mohammad Natsir, who holds the traditional title Datuk Sinaro Panjang, was born in Alahan Panjang, West Sumatra, 17 July 1908. He passed away in Jakarta on 6 February 1993, after having been in intensive care for some time. Although Natsir had always been active in Muslim movements, he never receive any formal Islamic educa­tion. During his childhood, he entered the H.I.S (Hollands Inlandsche School) Adabiyah, but later moved to a colonial government admin­istered H.I.S. Having graduated from this primary school, Natsir en­tered MULO (secondary education) in Padang and then proceeded to AMS (Algemene Middelbare School) in Bandung, West Java where he studied language and classical European literature. He gained a first honors degree and therefore was entitled to a scholarship for his tertiary education, either at the Rechts Hooge School (Law High School) in Jakarta, or the Economische Hooge School (Economics High School) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.1

 

 

In fact, Natsir did not take up this opportunity. He preferred to work in the community as a teacher and setting up private Islamic schools, an unpromising profession in economic terms. Besides man­aging educational institutions, Natsir, together with A. Hassan, also administered the Pembela Islam andAl-Lisan magazines. Even though Natsir did not undertake a formal higher education, he committed himself to self-study. His fluency in European languages enabled him to discover European heritages in history, philosophy, literature, politics and Orientalism.2

 

 

Meanwhile, his knowledge of Arabic also enabled him to evaluate the classical and contemporary works of Muslim thinkers. During his youth, Natsir investigated various exegeses of the Qur’an and was particularly interested in the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim. He was familiar with the works of the 19th and 20th century mod­ernist Muslims, such as Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida of the Middle East, as well as those of Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Shibli Nu’man and Syed Ameer Ali of South Asia.3 Although he was well-informed about their works, it cannot be concluded that Natsir was deeply influenced by these modernists. As Deliar Noer states, many Indone­sian Muslim reformers, such as Agus Salim and Natsir, had good ac­cess for investigating Islam from its primary sources. Investigating people’s works functions as an attempt to broaden the insight of indi­vidual thought creation in providing answers for their own surround­ing challenges.4

 

 

Apart from his formal and non-formal education, Natsir was also deeply influenced by his social surroundings and the people around him. During his childhood in the village, he was accustomed to live along the lines of the traditions and religion generally applied in the Minangkabau Muslim communities. At the same time, Natsir also witnessed religio-intellectual debates by local reformers challenging traditions. He also experienced the ideological debates between com­munism, nationalism and Islam, which swept the Minangkabau com­munities in the first decades of this century. The influence of his teacher, Engku Mudo Amin, one of the reformist ustadz (religious teachers) in Minangkabau, appeared to have a fairly deep impact on Natsir’s personality. Not surprisingly, after being in Java, he felt some­what associated with reformist ’ulamas, such as Ahmad Soorkati —a Sudanese born ’ulama’ and a prominent figure of the modernist move­ment among Indonesian Arabs— and Ahmad Hassan, an ’ulama’ born in Singapore but of Tamil stock, who then resided in Bandung, West Java. At that time, Hassan was known as a radical ’ulama’, who was always polemical against ’ulamas holding different opinions.5 The in­fluence of Hassan’s habit of polemicizing —he sometimes deliberately involved Natsir in open debates against ’ulama’ of different schools of thought— was obvious in Natsir’s intellectual career.

 

 

Agus Salim was also a figure who opened up Natsir’s intellectual insight. Salim was viewed by many foreign and Indonesian scholars as “the Father of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals.” He combined both intellectual and political activities. As with Hassan, Salim was also inclined towards debate and polemical methods. Nevertheless, if Hassan was known to be a hard-headed intellectual in holding certain ideas, and inclined to understand Islam from a legal point of view, Salim appeared to be more moderate.6 He was open-minded and ap­preciative of different ideas. As such Salim often published two dif­ferent articles on the same topic, one with his own name and the other using initials only. The two articles would have different views about the same topic, so that readers did not recognize that the au­thors were one and the same person. According to Salim’s claims, he deliberately did this in order to teach people to appreciate different opinions. He hoped that by proposing different opinions society would learn about the impossibility of absolute truth. In short, there are many ways to solve a problem.

 

These personal tendencies of Hassan and Salim were also obvious in Natsir’s personality. He was also well-known for his inclination towards debate and polemics. However, he was able to distinguish between differences in opinion and personal relationships. Since his youth, for instance, Natsir had been involved in heated polemics with Sukarno. Yet, this did not hinder his personal relationship with him; in some instances, he was even able to make compromises and coop­erate with the first Indonesian president. Although he did not want to make any compromises with communism, Natsir still made friends with PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) proponents, such as Sakirman and D.N. Aidit. This kind of personal relationship was also obvious in his friendship with Protestant and Catholic leaders, such as A.M. Tambunan and I.J. Kasimo. Yet, at the same time, Natsir was classified as a front-line opposition figure fighting against Christian missionaries in Indonesia.7

 

Natsir’s involvement in “political” movements began when he was studying in Bandung. In this city he was active as one of the leaders of Jong Islamieten Bond 0IB — the Association of Muslim Youth) and Persatuan Islam (Persis — the Unity of Islam). JIB was a youth orga­nization, the members of which received Dutch colonial government administered “secular” education. This organization aimed to deepen its members’ understanding of Islam and encouraged them to be proud of being Muslims. As a cadre organization, JIB was active in conduct­ing discussions and publishing magazines as well as journals.8 Many JIB activists, such as Kasman Singodimedjo, Mohammad Roem, Mohammad Sardjan, Jusuf Wibisono, Prawoto Mangkusasmito, Samsurizal, and others, later came to be prominent leaders at the time of independent Indonesia.

Persis, in which Natsir was active during his youth, was rather more a thought and purification movement than a social organiza­tion. Its social activities were very much conducted through the pub­lication of religious books, brochures and magazines. These publica­tions were widely distributed throughout Southeast Asian Malay so­cieties. Dependent on the central figure of this organization, A. Hassan, many political as well as religious debates and polemics surfaced. One of the polemical issues in the 1930s was the problem of the relation­ship between religion and nationalism. Persis gave special attention to this problem of “loving religion and nation.” Together with Hassan, for example, Natsir participated in an open debate with Muchtar Luthfie, the head of Persatuan Muslimin Indonesian (Permi — the Association of Indonesian Muslims), on the possibility of combining Islamic principles with nationalism.9 Therefore, even though Persis never directly participated in politics, it surely made a contribution to the ideological debates that built the basis of the Indonesian struggle for independence.

 

As a young Muslim proponent, Natsir also held a position in Majlis al-Islam A’la Indunisiya (MIAI). This organization was a federation of all Muslim socio-politico-religious organizations that existed at that time. It was a communication body for Muslim activists, as well as a forum for discussing real problems faced by Muslims and all Indone­sians. Decisions made by MIAI were supposed to be implemented by the organization’s members. The discussions conducted by MIAI were not confined to local matters, but often pertained to the problems of Muslims around the world.10

 

 

Natsir’s full participation in the political arena started in 1940 when he was elected as the head of the Bandung branch of Partai Islam Indonesia (PII — the Indonesian Islamic Party).11 Even though he had a close relationship with the older generation of Sarekat Islam (SI -the Association of Islam), such as Salim, Tjokroaminoto and A.M. Sangaji, he never became a member of this organization, which later became PSII (the Indonesian Islamic Association Party), or even a member of Gerakan Penyadar (GP — the Movement of Conscience), which was headed by Salim himself and supported by young propo­nents, such as Roem, Sardjan and Soedjono Hardjosudiro. At this time, Natsir was 32 years of age. He possibly thought that it was high time to enter the political arena. He chose to join PII, a new party established by Dr. Sukiman Wirjosandjojo and other pioneers who had withdrawn from PSII. In fact, PII gained support from Muhammadiyah leaders, such as Kiyai Mas Mansur and Mohammad Rasjidi. Nevertheless, the presence of PII had not had done much for Islamic political movements in Indonesia. Two years after its estab­lishment, in March 1942, this new party was banned as Japanese troops took over Indonesia from the Dutch colonial government.12

Natsir distanced himself from political involvement during the first months of Japanese occupation. At this time, the mayor of Bandung, Admadinata, who worked under the administration of the Japanese Military Governor in West Java, asked Natsir to head Biro Pendidikan dan Pengajaran Kotapraja Bandung (the Education and Teaching Bureau of Bandung). Based on his ten years experience in educational administration, Natsir agreed to this request. In his spare time, he led Majlis Islam Bandung (Bandung Islamic Council), which constituted a communication forum for ’ulamas, religious teachers and preachers in this city. This council also constituted a semi-official body for the Bandung ’ulama’ in relation to the Japanese Military Government, in which they could openly put forward pleas and wishes. During this period, Natsir’s educational activities were mani­fested in his major contribution to the Sekolah Tinggi Islam (STI — Islamic High School) located in Jakarta. This was the first tertiary education specializing in Islamic studies in the history of modern In­donesia, and it became the seed of other similar education in the era of independent Indonesia.13

 

Natsir’s position as the Secretary of STI, in which Abdul Kahar Muzakkir was the rector and Mohammad Hatta was the head of the Curator Board, enabled him to return to political activities. There was no significant political activity in Bandung during the Japanese occupation. Also, in Jakarta, Natsir held a position in Majlis Sjura Muslimin Indonesia (Masjumi), a federation of socio-religious Islamic organizations, which basically was not political.14 To some extent, Masjumi was the federative organization to replace the role of MIAI, which was influential in the Dutch colonial era but, as also with other Islamic political parties, was banned by the Japanese colonial rulers. The difficulties of communication amongst Muslim leaders was re­solved by the presence of Masjumi. This enabled them to investigate Islamic and Indonesian problems, as well as a strategy for facing the Japanese colonials themselves.15

 

 

Natsir was not recruited as a member of Dokutritsu Zyunbi Coosa-kai (BPUPKI — the Council for the Investigation of Indonesian Inde­pendence Preparation), which was created by the Japanese in the last months before their defeat by the Allied Forces. The task of this coun­cil was to formulate input to the establishment of independent Indo­nesia, which “one day” would be granted by the Japanese to the Indo­nesians. All 62 members of this council were installed by the Japanese colonial government at the request of Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta —two trust worthy figures in the eyes of the Japanese. The members of this council, such as Agus Salim, Sukiman, Masjkur, A. Kahar Muzakkir, Ki Bagus Hadikusumo and some other ’ulama’ generally came from the older generation. Young adversaries, such as Natsir — who was active in intellectual, political and ideological debates with other factions in the Dutch colonial era — were not represented in the BPUPKI. The significance of this council was even felt in follow­ing periods. Most of the bills formulated by this council were ap­proved to become the official constitution of Indonesia i.e Undang-undang Dasar 1945 (the Constitution of 1945), which is still valid today.

The Independent Period

 

Natsir’s political activity in the independent era had ups and downs. He regarded this as normal. He argued that the political positions that he held were no more than a mandate to be fulfilled. His interest in the political arena was not motivated by personal interests, but a call of duty. As such Natsir was unpredictably elected as a member of Komite Nasional Indonesia Pusat (KNIP — the Central Indonesian National Committee) on 29 August 1945. He was active in making a breakthrough to defend Indonesian independence, which was still threatened by the Dutch who wanted to prolong their authority in Indonesia.16

 

 

After the KNIP’s reorganization, changing its function to Parle-men Sementara Republik Indonesia (Temporary Parliament of the Republic Indonesia), Natsir was elected as a member of the Badan Pekerja (Executive Committee) of this council. From the start of his leadership, he appeared to be a constitutionalist supporter who wanted law as the basis of the state authority. For this reason, in the meeting of Badan Pekerja of KNIP held in November 1945, Natsir criticized the government, which changed the state system, from presidential to parliamentary, and followed up with the appointment of Sjahrir as the first prime minister of the Republic of Indonesia. Natsir basically did not hold the opinion that a presidential system was superior to a parliamentary one, because, in his view, the system was only a matter of situational demand. He launched criticism on the way Vice-presi­dent Mohammad Hatta replaced the system by issuing Government Decision number X, 16 October 1945, which, according to Natsir, violated the constitution. Even though he opposed this procedure of replacement, he finally accepted it on the basis that this decision was seen as a state convention, the implementation of which was “accept­able” in the state administration.17

 

In order to mobilize political power among Muslim communities in facing post-independence realities, Natsir arose as one of the pio­neers to take the initiative of creating an Islamic party in Indonesia. This party,whichwassetupinJakarta,eventuallycametoreality through long negotiations with political, social and religious propo­nents.18 The Kongres Umat Islam Indonesia (the Indonesian Muslim Congress) held in November 1945, in Yogyakarta, decided to estab­lish Partai Politik Islam Indonesia (PPII) as the only Muslim party in this country. The term “Masjumi,” which had been popular since the Japanese occupation, was added to the name, so it became Partai Politik Islam Indonesia “Masjumi.”19 Natsir held a position in youth affairs at the beginning of this party. Four years later, he was elected as head of the party replacing Dr. Sukiman Wirjosandjojo. Natsir led the party for ten years until Prawoto Mangkusasmito replaced him in 1959. In his hands, Masjumi was the biggest political party in Indonesia, or can even be regarded as the biggest Muslim party in a Muslim coun­try. During this era, Masjumi was only comparable to the Pakistan Muslim League under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan.

 

 

Based on his position as a member of Badan Pekerja of KNIP at the start of independence, he was then elected as the minister of infor­mation to Sjahrir’s second Cabinet January 1946.20 He was the long­est standing minister holding this post during the time of revolution (1945-1949), a hard time with limited facilities. As the minister of information, he had to have good abilities in explaining the Indone­sian position in negotiations with the Dutch, both those conducted in Indonesia and abroad. He sometime acted more than a minister of information in conducting this task. When Yogyakarta was invaded by the Dutch in the Military Aggression II, December 1948, just prior to his arrest by the Dutch, Natsir still made use of his limited oppor­tunities to give instructions to the guerrilla fighters on how to pro­ceed with the struggle, even though the president, vice-president and the majority of the ministers had been arrested by the Dutch troops.21

 

When Natsir held the position of minister of information, the communist (PKI) rebellion exploded in Madiun, East Java. Facing this situation, Natsir not only had to fight for the return of radio stations that fell into the hands of the rebels, but also had to seize a counter-attack against the propaganda actions of Front Demokrasi Rakyat (FDR — the People’s Democratic Front) led by Muso. Never­theless, Natsir withdrew from his position as a result of his dispute about the release of the arrested President Sukarno, Vice-president Mohammad Hatta and other ministers after the Dutch Military Ag­gression in December 1948. Natsir did not agree with the initiative to negotiate between Mohammad Roem, acting on behalf of the “gov­ernment” of the Republic of Indonesia, the leaders of which were still in the political asylum on Bangka island, and van Roijen, acting on behalf of the Dutch government, to reach a settlement on the conflict between the two nations. Natsir emphasized that the only valid gov­ernment in the Republic of Indonesia was Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia (PDRI — the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia) led by Sjafruddin Prawiranegara and based in Sumatra. Due to these arrests, the government led by Sukarno-Hatta was regarded as “invalid”. Moreover, this government had granted a mandate to Sjafruddin to establish an Emergency Government in Sumatra.22

 

 

Although Natsir did not agree with the Roem-Roijen negotiations, which caused a heated debate between him and Roem in the 1949 Masjumi Congress in Yogyakarta (among its decisions was that to recover the Sukarno-Hatta government and to bring them back to Yogyakarta), he still participated in resolving problems on the imple­mentation of the contents of the negotiation. He accepted Hatta’s request to meet Sjafruddin in order to negotiate the “return of the PDRI mandate” to Sukarno-Hatta.23 What on earth would happen had Sjafruddin not returned the mandate, because the government’s authority was de facto in his hands. The position of PDRI at that time was strong. It was the valid Indonesian government. Its position was approved by the Indonesian people, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI — Indonesian National Army) and the United Nations.24

 

 

After the creation of Republik Indonesia Serikat (RIS — the Fed­eration of Indonesian Republics), Natsir was given a mandate to form the government for the Republic of Indonesia, which was one of the 16 states in the federation. Even though he participated in creating the cabinet, he turned down the position of prime minister. His posi­tion as the head of Masjumi since December 1949 had caused him to move to Jakarta, while the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia was Yogyakarta.25 However, RIS did not exist for long. A couple of weeks later, some states declared themselves dissolved and handed over their authority to the federal government. This dissolvement was continued so that by mid of 1950 only three states remained: the Republic of Indonesia, Negara Sumatera Timur (East Sumatra State) and Negara Indonesia Timur (East Indonesia State). The Indonesian political climate became heated in the midst of attempts to resolve the problems of RIS: what was the future of this state?; what was the best way to dissolve RIS and rebuild a unitary state such as that pro­claimed on independent day in 1945?

 

In response to the dissolvement of RIS, Natsir arrived with his well-known “mosi integral” (integral motion). According to him, the federal government had to hold three-way negotiations between the members of RIS to fuse their states into one unitary state of “the Republic of Indonesia”. This “fusion” resulted in the dissolvement of the federal states and the creation of the Republic of Indonesia. The term “the Republic of Indonesia” was utilized to put to one side the psychological burdens of its leaders, who had experienced the political situation of RIS. The motion gained support from the majority of parliamentary members, and was implemented by the federal gov­ernment of RIS.26 Finally, it was possible to establish a unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 1950. To emphasize the significance of the motion, Natsir made several political approaches to all factions, including the communists. Finally, the dissolution of RIS could be conducted peacefully without any blood-shed.

 

In this new unitary republic, whose territory covered as large an area as the present day’s, minus Irian Jaya and East Timor, Natsir was appointed by Sukarno to form a cabinet for the Republic of Indone­sia. His appointment may have been related to his integral motion, but it may also have been connected with Natsir’s position as the head of the Masjumi faction, which constituted the biggest faction in the Temporary Parliament of the Republic of Indonesia. In the for­mation of the cabinet, Natsir attempted to create a coalition with the second biggest faction in the parliament, Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI — the Indonesian Nationalist Party), but this failed. Finally, he established a “zaken cabinet” with a flexible calculation on the major­ity of support going to the ministers in the cabinet. The pragmatic and flexible characteristic of the Natsir cabinet were manifested in the participation of various ideological and religious factions within it. He involved five Christian ministers i.e M.A. Pallupessy, Tandiono Manu, Herman Johannes, F. Harjadi and J. Leimena. The prominent Javanese mystic, Wongsonegoro, also held a ministerial post in this cabinet.27

Even though it was created with great difficulty, the cabinet lasted quite a short time. Natsir was only prime minister for seven months during 1950-1951. The break up of his cabinet coalition, due to his dispute with Sukarno about the problem of Irian Jaya, and severe opposition launched by the second biggest party in the parliament, PNI, which boycotted parliament assemblies in connection with their demand for the dissolution of representative bodies in the district areas, made him return the mandate to President Sukarno.28 He re­turned to become a member of the parliament, the head of the Masjumi faction, and then represented Masjumi in the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of Indonesian.

Leaving his position as prime minister, Natsir had greater oppor­tunities to pay more attention to movements in the Muslim world. Together with A.R. Baswedan and Anwar Harjono, he made a goodwill trip to Middle Eastern countries, Pakistan, Turkey and Burma in 1952. In the following years, Natsir was active in supporting Muslim struggles in Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine, Pattani and Moro, either through diplomatic means or by raising funds for the purchase of weapons. For instance, he made an initiative to hold an international conference on Palestine in 1956. With his close colleague, Prime Min­ister Burhanuddin Harahap, Natsir also actively supported Tunku Abdurrahman in his struggle for Malaysian independence during 1956-1957.

 

 

The more Natsir was involved in the political arena in his home country, the more apparent became his conflict with Sukarno. The dispute mounted as Sukarno bluntly violated the constitution through the application of the guided democracy system, which, according to Natsir, led the government to a dictatorial system with the support of the communist faction. This situation, and also protracted rebel­lions in the interior of Indonesian, finally drove Natsir to withdraw from Jakarta.

 

 

His departure to Central Sumatra to join military dissidents in this area, was a personal decision without any discussion with his colleagues in Masjumi.29 He felt that he had tried all possible legal and parliamentary procedures to improve the situation, but still failed to get President Sukarno to respect the basic constitution and democ­racy. Meanwhile, he experienced terror from PKI youth cadres such that his personal security in Jakarta was in jeopardy. Even though he reported this problem to the security forces, nothing was done about this.30

 

 

Finally Natsir made a risky political maneuver: leaving Jakarta to join the dissidents. They demanded a political reconstruction at the central level, banning the communist party and maintaining the In­donesian constitution, which had been violated by President Sukarno. When their demands were not fulfilled, the dissidents proclaimed the creation of Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia (PRRI — the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia) as a rival to the central government in Jakarta led by President Sukarno and Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawinata.

Natsir’s departure, later followed by Sjafruddin Prawiranegara and Burhanuddin Harahap, raised controversy among Masjumi propon­ents. Although his leaving was a personal choice, such a decision would generally bring particular consequences for Masjumi, since Natsir himself had not yet given up his mandate as the head of Masjumi. Pro and contra views about his attitude emerged in the Masjumi congress in 1959 in Yogyakarta. Most participants were basically able to under­stand Natsir’s principles in handling Sukarno’s attitudes.31 Neverthe­less, the involvement of Natsir, Sjafruddin and Burhanuddin in PRKI, although formally they were no longer Masjumi leaders, was manipu­lated by Sukarno as one of the reasons to ban Masjumi in 1960, aside from the main reason that Masjumi was construed as a “contra-revo­lutionary” party.32 Sukarno had indeed banned Masjumi, but he did not fulfill all the requirements of banning procedure. Therefore, ac­cording to a legal view, Masjumi could not be categorized as “a for­bidden party” as experienced by the PKI after its banning in 1966.

 

Natsir launched guerrilla movement in the Sumatran jungle to fight against the central government, which was regarded as dictatorial and pro-communist, over at least three years. Extensive military attacks against PRRI, which then changed its name to Republik Persatuan Indonesia, eventually weakened the position of the dissidents. Finally, Natsir and his collaborators “gave up” after the central government offered “public amnesty” to the dissidents. Nevertheless, shortly after his arrival in Jakarta, he was detained and “quarantined” in Batu, Malang (East Java) charged with various subversive practices that were never proven in the courts. He was only released in 1967, after Sukarno stepped down from his throne and was replaced by the New Order government led by General Suharto.33

After the fall of Sukarno and the banning of the communist party, some ex-Masjumi proponents attempted to rehabilitate their party. They had enough reasons to do so. Firstly, although Masjumi had been banned, it was not categorized as a forbidden party, but merely a victim of the application of the guided democracy system and the cunning attitude of PKI leaders. Secondly, Masjumi was the first party to openly oppose Sukarno and demand the banning of the PKI, long before the PKFs coup de ’etat in 1965, when all factions —which later on committed themselves to be anti-Sukarno and anti-communism— did not yet possess the moral courage to firmly and openly insist on their principles.34

 

 

However, their efforts to rehabilitate Masjumi failed. The new government, which was dominated by the military and wanted to build anewtypeofIndonesianpoliticalsystem,wereworriedthat Masjumi would be rehabilitated. Natsir was indeed widely quoted as being the strongest candidate of Masjumi, while he himself felt reluc­tant to get reinvolved in the political arena. Partai Muslimin Indone­sia (Parmusi — the Indonesian Muslim Party) was finally created to accommodate Muslim political aspiration, which had “yet to be ac­commodated in the available Islamic political parties.”35 Although using the symbol of the crescent-star, the ex-Masjumi symbol, this party was not able to regain the old Masjumi image. At the same time, the Indonesian political format changed. As military interven­tion in the political atmosphere was intensifying through the applica­tion of the concept of the military’s “double function”, the role of Indonesian party politics became marginalized.

 

 

 

Natsir, who was wise enough to understand the political changes, did not have to be bothered with building political power through a party. As he often said, a party was a means and not an end. If it was demanded and this means could be effective, a party should be estab­lished. If not, it is better to find alternatives. According to Natsir, the most demanding effort in the New Order political format was to improve the da ’wah (Islamic call) in order to develop the potential of Muslims in the future. For him, da ’wah was a process of conscientation, which led to the broader aspects of social life, including politics. While joking he said that, after the banning of Masjumi, “we are no longer conducting da’wah by means of politics, but engaging in political ac­tivities by means of da’wah .The result will be the same.”36

 

 

In order to engage in politics by da ’wah, Natsir sponsored the es­tablishment of Dewan Da’wah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII — the Council of Indonesian Islamic Da’wah) in 1968. This council was not a corporate body of mass-based socio-religious institutions, but a foun­dation that was only legalized by notarial document. The council had representative bodies in Indonesian provincial cities and even at dis­trict levels. The leadership of this organization, whether at the cen­tral or branch levels, was mostly dominated by ex-Natsirist Masjumi activists, such as Rusyad Nurdin in West Java, Kiyai Misbach in East Java and Ki Abdul Rasyid Siddiq in South Sumatra. The moving of its head -quarterstoJalanKramatRaya45,Jakarta,whichwasthehead­quarters of Masjumi, affirmed the impression that DDII was another form of Masjumi. This impression was not explicitly demonstrated by its activists.

 

Natsir headed this organization from its beginning until his death. The council implemented the mission which he insisted upon, of “engaging in politics by means of da’wah.” It actively supported the es­tablishment of mosques on university campuses, conducting Jum ’ah prayer and da ’wah in government and private offices, da ’i training, nurturing resettled people, sending da ’i into isolated areas, discussing Indonesian Islam and publishing magazines. In Natsir’s hands, even though DDII was merely a foundation, this organization was admired and influential enough, not only among Muslims at the grass-roots level, but also among various Islamic socio-religious organizations. In some respects, this council still retained the image of the unification of “the members of the crescent-star.”37 In handling Muslim political interests, such as the Bill of Marriage, the Bill of National Education, the bill on Pancasila as the “single basis” or about Pancasila Moral Education, this council was powerful enough to mobilize solidarity and unite Muslim organizations in Indonesia. Also, due to Natsir’s leadership, the organization was able to build international networks with Muslim socio-religious organizations throughout the world.

 

Although at this time Natsir was a politician veteran, he could not free himself from politics in the fullest sense. He was personally still influential, both in Indonesia and in the Muslim world. His long un­easy relationship with the Suharto regime —which appeared unhappy with an Islamic political revival in Indonesia— did not hinder him in helping the government to solve various internal problems. He also utilized his personal influence to recover the relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia, which was damaged during Sukarno’s era, to strengthen the relationship between Indonesian and Middle Eastern countries, and to defend the Indonesian position on the problem of East Timor.38 His role in the latest problem, whether that which had in Karachi, Pakistan or at the Mu’tamar al-’Alam al-Islami (MAI — Muslim World Congress) in Cyprus, influenced the attitudes of Mus­lim countries, which had previously been inclined to be negative about Indonesia’s position in East Timor.39

 

 

Natsir’s involvement in the Group of Concern, then popularly named the Petition of 50, which aimed to put forward corrections of Suharto’s maneuver in erecting democracy and constitutionalism, hampered his activities, both inside and outside the country. Since the petition was proposed to parliament in 1980, the Suharto govern­ment has restricted the political rights of its signatories, including the freedom to travel abroad. This means Natsir was unable to travel to Muslim countries and participate in Islamic international assemblies, in which he held a number of positions. Up to his death he was still the vice-president of MAI based in Pakistan and a member of Majlis Ta’sisi of the Rabitah al-’Alam al-Islami located in Saudi Arabia. He also held a leadership position in some regional Muslim organizations.40

 

 

Although his room for movement was narrowed, Natsir’s leader­ship was still influential until his life ended. His home and office were never empty of guests, from worldwide, Muslim and non-Muslim organizations. He was asked for his opinion and advice in connection with the problems of Afghanistan, Cyprus, the Camp David negotia­tions, the autonomy of Palestine, the expulsion of Muslim ethnics in Burma, and the Bosnia crisis. Some non-Muslim governments, such as the Japanese, even informally asked for Natsir’s advice in handling international political issues.

 

 

This is Natsir who, throughout his life, proved himself to be a tough and genuine figure of political, social and religious movements. His age did not prevent him from being active in resolving the prob­lems of Muslim societies. Only death stopped his activities. We leave, for a while, our discussion on the activism of Natsir and move onto the topic of his intellectual contributions to religious, social and po­litical life.

Natsir’s Intellectualism

 

 

 

Throughout his life, Natsir actively made speeches and prolifically wrote articles and essays on various social, political, religious, philo­sophical and scientific issues. However, this does not mean that he can be categorized as a “pure intellectual”, who are usually at a dis­tance from direct involvement in social, religious and political move­ments. On the contrary, Natsir was a prominent activist, who di­rectly participated in real events. Therefore, his works also cannot be classified as “purely intellectual”, resulting from the contemplation of an out-of-reach thinker. Instead these are the writings of an activist who used intellectual activities to resolve empirical problems. For this reason, Natsir’s published writings are rather characteristically compilative and fragmentary. He did not write a unified intellectual work focused on a certain theme, such as those written by other promi­nent Muslim intellectuals.Even though his writings are fragmentary, there is, however, an unbroken intellectual framework in his thought. This framework is his metaphysical thought about human beings, the universe and God.
He investigates this thought from the doctrine of tawhid (monothe­ism), which forms the basis of the whole of Islamic teachings. Allah is the central core of all existence. Allah has a plan for the history of mankind, society and the evolution of the universe. Human beings are the servants of Allah living temporarily in this world and carry­ing out certain tasks which have to be fulfilled. Therefore, life is a responsibility to be conducted on the basis of self-devotion towards Allah. Compulsory prayer and worship are intended to strengthen human consciousness about the meaning and the destination of life. Religion also provides a firm moral basis for human attitudes. What distinguishes an attitude as Islamic or not is whether it is based on the intention of obtaining Allah’s blessing and on the moral codes that determine the normative boundaries of human attitudes. These re­ququirement finally assume the compulsory status of decent deeds for

 

 

 

 

mankind.41

Natsir opines that, even though Islam is a universal religion, its implementation “should consider local and period situations.”42 Mus­lims should always be open-minded to new insights that could bring betterment for themselves. According to Natsir’s view, religion can­not be discerned rigidlyand literally, but should be comprehended elasticallyand flexibly. The function of religion, as is stated in the Qur’an, is as the “guide and distinguisher” for mankind in facing the challenges that emerge in every era. Although Muslims have to be open-minded, this does not mean that they have always to compro­mise with reality. There are limitations, towards which they are al­lowed to make compromises, and towards which they are not allowed to do so. According to Natsir, these limitations have become Allah’s unviolated decisions.43 Based on this frame of thought, we would like to investigate Natsir’s ideas which have been put forward in response to actual social issues.

The writings from 1930-1940

Natsir’s writings during 1930-1940 appear to have been intended to defend Islam. This is understandable, since the position of Islam at that time was under severe attack by the Christian missionaries, secu­lar-nationalist intellectuals and Javanese mystic proponents. Natsir felt a responsibility to explain Islam proportionally by quoting its original sources. He felt there were too many misunderstandings of Islam and “manipulations” of Islamic teachings launched by factions which were not sympathetic to this religion. Within this context, for instance, we can understand the two articles first published in a Dutch newspaper entitled “Qur’an en Evangelie” and “Moehammad Als Profeet”. These two articles were written in reply to the criticism of Domingus Christoffel, a Protestant priest, of Islam and of the biogra­phy of Prophet Muhammad.44

 

After the publication of these articles, Natsir wrote many articles in response to the activity of Christian missionaries in Indonesia. He harshly criticized Christian evangelism, which was very intensive in Christianizing Indonesians and was supported by the Dutch colonial government. He viewed the colonial government as not acting con­sistently with its “neutral” policy, as written in the constitution of the Dutch Indies (Indische Staatsregeling), in its treatment of religions in Indonesia. On the one hand, the government, either directly or indirectly, supported Christian missionaries, while it also restricted Islamic da ’wab on the grounds of security and order. Almost no Is­lamic da’wah was free from the government secret police’s surveil­lance. Even though Muslims had to work hard, due to the lack of available finance, expertise and sound management, Natsir made an appeal for Muslim activists to intensify da ’wah, educational and so­cial activities. In a metaphorical phrase, he saw Christian and Islamic missionaries, especially in education, as being like “an express train competing with a caravan horse,” because the first worked with an international network and supported by the government, while the latter ran on its own capacity. Natsir’s writings about Christian mis­sionaries and Islamic da ’wah were then published as a book entitled Islam dan Kristen di Indonesia (Christianity and Islam in Indonesia), which was reprinted several times and distributed in the community.45 His opinions about Christian missionaries did not change all his life. He was well-informed that Christianity, as with Islam, is a mis­sionary religion, which means that the adherents of this religion have to disseminate the teachings of their religion to all people in the world. However, the adherents of different religions also have the right to defend their faith from “intervention” by other religious adherents. He believed that Indonesian Muslims were still in a weak position after experiencing colonialism for a long period. The independence of Indonesia had not yet improved the social and economic status of Indonesian Muslims who constituted the majority of the population. Therefore, Natsir rejected the Christianization process, which was being evasive about social, educational, health and economic improve­ments, that was supported by missionary wealth accumulated during the time of colonialism and by abundant aid from Christian societies in the West.46

Moreover, the striking activities of Christian missionaries in Mus­lim communities might turn out to be a threat to national unity. Therefore, according to Natsir, if there were assassinations of mis­sionaries, or even burning of churches, these were not “actions” from Muslim, but “reactions” against a mission that did not respect the religious sensitivity of Muslims. For this reason, he proposed formu­lating ethical codes on religious dissemination in Indonesia. He held the opinion of the government of Indonesian that the objects of reli­gious dissemination were only to be communities of adherents of non-world religions. The Muslim faction agreed with this proposal that was formulated at an inter-religious conference in 1968. Unfor­tunately, the Christian faction did not agree with it. Natsir’s activity in Islamic da’wah, and his cooperation with International da’wah organizations, is evidence of his great concern about Christian missionaries becoming stronger in the Muslim world.47

Between 1930-1940, Natsir also wrote short articles on taqlid (un­questioning acceptance) and ijtihdd (independent reasoning), and on daily furu’iyyah (non-principle religious matters). Natsir’s polemics on the furu’iyyah may appear “trivial” in the present context, such as the phrase nawaitu (state of intention) in prayers, the reading of qunut (additional prayer) in the dawn prayer and talqin (death chant) at burials. However, he argued that such debates on trivial matters would motivate people to scrutinize their intellectual roots in the under­standing of religion. Having settled these trivial matters, the debate would proceed to wider problems, which covered social, political and philosophical issues. In Natsir’s view, Islamic intellectual enthusiasm in Indonesia was revived by such “trivial” debates.48

Natsir believed that the revival of Islam required a firm intellectual basis. Even though he was accustomed to classical European thought, he was certain that Islam had also bequeathed a rich intellectual heri­tage. For this reason, he encouraged educated Muslims to investigate Islamic philosophical and theological works written during the golden age. He himself pioneered this effort, although, due to the lack of original sources in Indonesia, he had to utilize secondary sources to investigate the opinions of Muslim philosophers and mutakallimun (theologians). In one of his articles on Muslim civilization (1936), he expressed his yearning for the revival of the past glorious Muslim civilization. He actively encouraged Muslim youths to reconstruct this civilization.49

Within the frame of this intellectual debate, we can anticipate Natsir’s polemics with Christian leaders, such as with Sipatuhar,50 and with an experienced nationalist, Sukarno, about the relationship between religion and state. Indonesia in the 1930s was a nation in search of an ideological format for the basis of common struggle, both in order to strengthen the formation of a “nation” and to build an independent state in the future. Since the emergence of national move­ments at the beginning of this century, various political and ideologi­cal factions had also emerged. In 1920, Sukarno mentioned that there were three main ideological streams in Indonesian national move­ments: Nationalism, Islamism and Marxism.51 Sukarno himself was a pioneer of nationalism, even though in his youth he was much in-/ spired by H.O.S Tjokroaminoto, an Islamic proponent with an incli­nation towards socialism and pan-Islamism.

When Natsir was still residing in Bandung he often attended pub­lic meetings of the PNI (Indonesian Nationalist Party), which was led by Sukarno. Sukarno made energetic speeches in these public meet­ings, insisting that nationalism was the basis of the Indonesian struggle for independence. Nevertheless, Natsir eventually felt that, in some respects, Sukarno’s ideas might contradict Islamic principles. Sukarno tended to contradict statehood aspirations in Islam and Indonesian national aspirations.52 Although Sukarno was a devout Muslim —and read many of Natsir’s writings when he was in political asylum in Ende—, he did not agree with the use of Islam as the ideology of the Indonesian national struggle. Sukarno was of the opinion that, within the political sphere, Islam and the state were two separate entities. In the 1930s Sukarno began to quote the ideas of Shaykh Ali Abd al-Raziq and Mustapha Kemal regarding Turkish nationalism, which was about to lead to secularism.53

Sukarno often emphasized that, as a Muslim, he really loved Islam and wanted to place it in the highest possible position. Therefore, he did not want Islam to be unified with the state. Islam would be stron­ger and more admirable, if it was placed as a religion and “separated” from the state, as with the Kemalists in Turkey. During the Ottoman empire, Islam and the state appeared to be identical. The regression of the Turkish sultanate, due to immoral practices, corruption and authoritarianism, brought about the decline of Islam in Turkey. Sukarno did not want to see Indonesian Islam experience a similar “fate”. He wanted to “build a throne for Islam in the heart.”54

 

 

Natsir could not accept this idea. He believed that Islam not only covered spiritual and eschatological matters, but also all other aspects of human life. Quoting H.A.R Gibb, Natsir said that Islam was more than a religion, being a complete civilization. Therefore, according to him, Muslims, as with Christians or communists, had their own out­look, Weltanschauung (world-view) and ideology.55

 

 

Indeed Natsir did not say that Islam was an ideology. Instead, Muslim ideology is shaped by Islamic teachings, which maintained that the purpose of worldly life is to serve God’s will. He knew that Islam did not recognize theocratic systems where the state was led by a group of priests on behalf of God. There is no religious hierarchical organization in Islam, such as that in Catholicism. Therefore, the separation of religious organizations from the state is irrelevant in Islam. The universal values of Islam cannot be separated from the idea of creating a state. The elements of morals and akhldq al-karimah (decent behaviors) had to be the basis of political attitudes in the state.56 Thus, in Natsir’s opinion, “the unification between religion and state” occurs at the level of ideas. Religion then provides guidance for the citizens of the initial state.

 

In rejecting the idea of “the unification between religion and state,” Sukarno quoted the work of Ali Abd al-Raziq, al-Isldm wa Usui al-Hukm, which had stirred up al-Azhar ’ulamas. Raziq insisted that no verses in the Qur’an encouraged Muslims to build a state. Muhammad’s mission was religious, not political or towards statehood. Natsir re­plied that the order to build a state was not necessarily expressed ex­plicitly in the Qur’an, because the idea of a state was a historical ne­cessity of human society. Whether in “the era of the camel” or in “the era of the airplanes”, Natsir said, state institutions would always be present. The state was a “necessary tool” for the common good, even though it was not an end in itself. The Prophet Muhammad had given examples throughout his life. Nonetheless, Natsir warned, as the state was only a “tool”, the Qur’an merely provided general guidance for Muslims about the requirements of building a state. Among the con­tents of this guidance are the necessity of uplifting equality, responsi­bility and trusteeship, upholding the law fairly, developing economic and social prosperity, and taking the side of the weak in society. These general guidances were “hudud” (boundaries ) that had been deter­mined by God.57

 

 

Within his polemics with Sukarno, Natsir also expressed his opin­ions about democracy. He believed that in many respects Islam con­curred with democracy, because it taught shurd (deliberation). None­theless, this did not mean that all problems had to be decided in terms of majority votes. This was because particular social practices had been explicitly banned by religion. Within this context, deliberation was intended to prevent these forbidden practices. Thus, Islam was neither “100 per cent democracy” nor “100 per cent autocracy.” Islam was Islam; it had its own “begrip” (outlook) on statehood.58

Natsir’s concept of democracy only became apparent when he made a speech in the Majlis Kontituante (the Constituent Assembly) in 1957. Once again he said that Islam was in line with democratic principles. However, there were limitations i.e political ethics and certain bound- . aries that had been decided by God himself. Therefore, Natsir pre­ferred to name his concept a “theistic democracy” i.e a religiously-based democracy.59

In his polemics with Sukarno in 1940, Natsir insisted that there was no preferential structure for a state in Islam. On this matter, he differed from twentieth century Muslim protagonists, such as Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi of Pakistan. Maududi was of the opinion that the khaliphate system, which was inherited by the companions of the Prophet, was the ideal model for an Islamic state, the one that Mus­lims had to recreate in modern times. Contrarily, Natsir believed that Islamic principles of a state may be implemented through various different structures and governmental systems suitable to particular places and times. Thus, it was not misleading if Indonesian Muslims took the model of a modern state that was available in the twentieth century, as long as this model was able to fulfill Islamic ends and provide solutions for the real demands of Indonesian Muslims.60

Writings During the Revolution Period (1945-1949)

Natsir did not publish many articles during the revolution period. His efforts in the struggle to defend independence, both as a member ofKNIPand as minister of information, seemed to decrease his intel­lectual activities. One or two of his articles from this period were speech texts for Muslim anniversaries, and some articles published in Majalah Hikmah (Yogyakarta) and Aliran Islam (Bandung). Natsir warned Muslims that fighting for national sovereignty was a jihad fi sabilillah (struggle in the way of God). On the Adha anniversary, he reminded people that the sincere sacrifices of the Prophets Abraham and Ismael should be the model for Indonesian Muslims in upholding independence and religion in their country. He said that, based on the history of all nations in the world, independence could be firm and strong only when it “had been poured from the blood of its mar­tyrs.” This had been done by Indonesian Muslims, who since early times had been fighting against foreign intruders.61

 

Other writings by Natsir were intended to response to the actual political situation. Knowing the high level of ideological struggles among various factions, as part of creating guidance for the national struggle, Natsir asked Indonesian Muslims to take part in this. He believed that ideological differences did not hinder cooperation on the basis of kalimatun sawd’ (common interest). He appealed to Mus­lims to cooperate with other people by holding to the principle of “struggle according to your faith, because I am also a struggling per­son.” Carrying jihad in the late revolution period did not only mean carrying weapons. Therefore, Masjumi, as the Indonesian Muslim party, was an institution for “jihad in the political arena” in order to reach the situation of haldatun tayyibatun wa rahhun ghafur (a sound state blessed by God).62

Some articles during this period also contained proposals and opin­ions on ways of handling negotiations with the Dutch government. Natsir was indeed an adviser on Indonesian negotiations with the Dutch. Not much is revealed by his writings of this kind, because their relevance to the present time is not very significant. It can only be concluded that, in the difficult time of revolution, and amongst his extraordinary efforts, Natsir still had time for intellectual activities, which was intended to provide society with consideration for their own self-determination.

Writings from the Post-revolution Period

At the end of the revolution period (1945-1949), some ideological polemics again occurred in Indonesia. These polemics emerged from the plan to formulate a permanent constitution to replace the tempo­rary constitution available at that time. Although Natsir was in the Islamic faction and faced other interest groups, he was not occupied by distinctive Islamic symbols in proposing his ideas. According to him, the terms “Islamic ideology” or “Islamic state” might or might not be used. Also the explicit use of the term “Islam” in the constitu­tion was tentative in its nature. The formulation of a national consti­tution might mention Islam explicitly or might only describe the in­tentions of Islam in a general formula.63

Therefore, Natsir viewed the attempts of non-Muslims to contra­dict a “nationalist state” on the one hand, and an “Islamic state” on the other, as a “masterpiece agitasi” (masterpiece of agitation) and “propaganda” to discredit Indonesian Islamic parties. As agitation and propaganda, they had all overstepped the boundaries of honesty and openness in listening to each other’s different opinions. Natsir him­self did not see any dichotomy between a “nationalist state” and an “Islamic state.” The intention of Muslim struggle in Indonesia was to establish a nationalistic state on the basis of Islamic principles.64

Natsir also did not see any dichotomy between a “Pancasila state” and an “Islamic state.” In one of his speeches at Pakistan’s Institute of World Affairs in Karachi in 1952, Natsir stated that Pakistan was an “Islamic state”, whether “seen from its citizens or from the character­istics of its state.”65 At this time, Pakistan had not yet declared itself to be an “Islamic republic.” Only four years later, in 1956, did the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan complete its task of composing a constitution —to replace the India Government Act 1935, which was applied as a temporary constitution. Thus, according to Natsir, al­though Pakistan was searching of its political format, one that was in accord with Islamic and national aspirations, the majority of its popu­lation and the willingness of its leaders to give Islam a proportional place in the state would be the indication that Pakistan was an “Is­lamic state.”

Based on the Pakistan situation, Indonesia could also be categor­ized as an “Islamic state.” The reason for this was simple: “Islam was in fact recognized as a religion and became a guidance for Indone­sians, even though it was not declared as the official religion.” More­over, “Indonesia did not separate religion and state.” On the con­trary, the Indonesian constitution emphasized belief in the oneness of God, which was the first principle of Pancasila, as “the bases of the spiritual, moral and ethical lives of the state and Indonesians.”66 This was one of Natsir’s perceptions of Pancasila, which was regarded as suitable for Islamic principles as long as it was interpreted within an Islamic framework. On many occasions Natsir put forward his opin­ion that the Indonesian constitution (at that time the Temporary Constitution of 1950) had fulfilled the minimum requirements of an Islamic state.

 

 

He did not see any contradiction between Pancasila and Islam. He thought that Pancasila constituted five ideal virtues, all of which were in line with Islamic teachings. However, he warned people not to regard Pancasila as identical to Islam. Pancasila would suit Islam if it was interpreted within the framework of the latter, or it would con­tradict Islam, if it was interpreted in ways contradictory to Islam. Because Natsir viewed Pancasila within the framework of Islam, his statement, that if Islam was the foundation of the state, this would not mean that its five principles would be “swallowed up by Islam”, was understandable. The five principles of Pancasila would always be alive and developing in the lap of Islam. Conversely, should Pancasila rest in the lap of atheists or religious sceptics, its first principle would disappear and only its skeleton would remain. Thus, based on this Pancasila frame of work, Natsir’s and his party’s struggle for Islam by means of valid and democratic ways was not to be regarded as com­peting with Pancasila. On the contrary, the use of Islamic base was instead to strengthen the position of Pancasila itself.67

 

 

According to Indonesian political observers, such as Munawir Sjadzali, there were “some forms of development or shift in Natsir’s outlook” about Pancasila, from that which he stated in Pakistan to what he said in his speech at the Constituent Assembly of the Repub­lic of Indonesia in 1957 about the state’s foundation.68 This shift should be seen in the context of how Natsir interpreted Pancasila, and of how non-Muslim factions understood it. Had the debates in the Con­stituent been closely investigated, it would have been seen that the interpretations of Pancasila by non-Muslim factions, such as PNI, PKI, PSI, Parkindo (Indonesian Protestant Party), the Catholic Party and Partai Indonesian Raya (Great Indonesian Party), were indeed varied and contradicted each other. Nonetheless, what was striking for Natsir was that none of them related the five principles of Pancasila to religi­ous teachings. The only interpretation that related the first principle, Belief in the Oneness of God, was that by Arnold Mononutu, a Chris­tian PNI supporter.

 

It is discernible then, that in the Constituent Natsir finally con­cluded that Pancasila, as interpreted by its own supporters, was identical with “secularism”. If this was the case, there would be only two choices for the form of the state: “religious” or “secular”. Natsir then theorized on the advantages of taking religion as the foundation of state, while describing the weaknesses of secularism.69

 

 

Natsir himself was well-aware that, without a compromise, the democratic process in the Constituent Assembly would never be able to decide on Islam or Pancasila as the foundation of the state. Accord­ing to Natsir, a compromise must be conducted sincerely and openly, each faction stating its opinion about the state’s foundation clearly and in detail. All factions also had to be given an opportunity to raise objections to the views of others. Only by this means, would a com­promise be reached on the basis of honesty and good intentions.70 Natsir himself had frankly declared his objections to Pancasila, as interpreted by its own supporters, and put forward his rationale for taking Islam as the foundation of the state.

 

 

Compromises to resolve the problems were attempted. After the hearing of the state’s foundation, the team of formulators even con­veyed this compromise proposal. The foundation of the state was still the five principles of Pancasila, but the meaning of the first principle was highlighted by relating it to various religious teachings found in Indonesia. The draft of this compromise proposal also mentioned Is­lam, as the religion of the majority, to be considered as the “state’s official religion.”71 Masjumi proponents, including Natsir, could basi­cally accept this compromise.72 Nonetheless, historical records showed that various external factors, such as rebellions in many parts of Indo­nesia and the intention of President Sukarno to apply a guided democracy, had led Sukarno, through the support of the Angkatan Darat (Army), to reapply the Constitution of 1945. The inability of the Constituent to decide whether to reapply the Constitution of 1945 with the amendment of the Jakarta Charter, as demanded by Muslim faction, or without the amendment, basically meant that the return to the Constitution of 1945 was rejected by the Constituent itself.73 In fact, neither alternative was supported by a majority of votes. On this basis, Sukarno then issued the Decree of 5 July 1959 to dissolve the Constituent and reapply the Constitution of 1945.

 

 

When the Constituent was dissolved, Natsir had joined the PRRI in the interior of Sumatra. Yet, in a speech reported on PRRI radio, he criticized the dissolvement of the Constituent and regarded it to be a “coup perampasan kekuasaan” (power robbery) launched by Sukarno. He insisted that Sukarno’s real intention was not to imple­ment the constitution as it was but to gain “absolute power” by using the Constitution of 1945 as a “mask”. There are two articles written by Natsir in response to the political changes after the dissolvement of the Constituent, the first entitled “Showdown” and the second “Cuo Sangi In”. The former criticizes Sukarno’s dissolvement of the Constituent by regarding it as a “dictatorial attitude.” The second criticizes Sukarno, who was regarded as driving the Parliament of the Republic Indonesia to become like “Cuo Sangi In”, a pseudo-repre­sentative body under the Japanese military government during the colonial period.74

 

As an Islamic politician, who viewed Islam as in line with modern constitutionalism and democracy, Natsir represents one of the fig­ures deeply-concerned about the development of a democratic sys­tem in Indonesia, both during the Old Order (1959-1965) and the New Order (1966 to date). Natsir believed that, although democracy constitutes a weakness, because that it may easily slip into being engi­neered by the ruling elites and can change to become an oligarchy as determined by Robert Michels, no better alternative had yet been found. He acknowledges that democracy is a difficult system: slow, long-winded and unheroic. However, its strength is that it enables revolutionary changes to occur peacefully without bloodshed. Demo­cratic values are universal, although their application has to take into consideration the historical and cultural expediencies of a nation. Nevertheless, one cannot simply a change democratic system through a veiled dictatorship in the form of a democracy “that suits the state of mind and personality of the nation”. Guided Democracy or East­ern Democracy, which was introduced by Sukarno in 1957 and which centers power in the hands of the president, is only a “dictatorship in the guise of democracy.”75

In response to the introduction of Guided Democracy, prior to which Sukarno wanted to “bury the parties in Indonesia”, Natsir wrote two articles entitled “Yang Akan Berdiri di Atas Kuburan Partai-Partai adalah Diktatur” (What Will Stand on the Parties’ Graves is Dictator­ship) and “Kemampuan Mengendalikan Diri [adalah] Syarat Mutlak Bagi Kemerdekaan” (the Ability of Self-restrain [is] an Essential Re­quirement for Independence). In these articles Natsir again empha­sized the demand for the preservation of “sound values of life” in running political lives.

Democracy, he said, was not merely a tool, but a foundation for collective life. It could not be replaced by dictatorship, which “obvi­ously was a system in contradiction to Islamic principles”. He re­garded the Indonesian political difficulties in the late 1950s as not lying within the democracy system, but rather in the fact that politi­cians had lost their idealism: the blurring of the boundary between the decent and the indecent, and of “zakelijk and objectief (firm and objective) values. In this situation, Natsir warned Muslims that Islam taught that “in conducting political, social and statehood lives, one is not allowed to detach ethical and moral values, which were not to be bought and sold or made fools of.” In other words, he said “engaging in politics was not to be detached from religious teachings, which were the source of life values and moral standards.”76

 

 

Natsir’s interest in the development of democracy and the decline of constitutionalism in the New Order era also emerged in his 1980s writings. He regarded the Indonesian development strategy, even though it had brought successes, as tending to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. He deeply was concerned about the willingness of the New Order to apply the Constitution of 1945, consequently and as it was, which in practice tended to lead to a concentration of power. Natsir’s article entitled “Indonesia di Persimpangan Jalan” (In­donesia at the Crossroads), which was co-written with A.H. Nasution and Sanusi Hardjandinata, severely criticized this implementation of the Constitution of 1945 by the New Order.

 

In Natsir’s view, the longer the New Order was in power, the more obvious it was that the implementation of democracy did not concur the provisions stated in the Constitution of 1945. He con­strued the five packages of political legislation, including those about political parties and Golkar (the government-supported party), gen­eral elections and the membership component of representative bod­ies, to be the products of a legislation that did not concur with the sovereignty of the people and the Constitution of 1945. Therefore, he regarded Indonesia in 1980s as standing at the crossroads between the ideals of a state based on law and an authoritarian state.77 However, Natsir’s attitude toward the New Order should not only to be seen from its dark side. In fact, after 1992, Natsir’s opinion changed in many respects along with the changes made by the Suharto govern­ment itself. In the dusk of his life, without being recognized by out­side circles, Natsir basically supported the establishment of the Ikatan Cendikiawan Muslim Indonesia (ICMI —the Association of Indone­sian Muslim Intellectuals), although he did not participate directly. Nevertheless, Muslim pioneers, such as M. Imaduddin Abdulrahim, M. Amin Rais, A.M. Luthfie, Hussein Umar and the others, con­sulted Natsir in the creation of ICMI. Anwar Haryono, who replaced Natsir in the Council of Da’wah, built a closer relationship with the government. Were Natsir still alive, he would have been more flex­ible in looking at the changing policies of the Suharto government, which is regarded by many observers as more appreciative towards Islam than the governments of previous eras.

 

Endnotes

 

1.For more complete information about Natsir’s biography, see i.e Jusuf Abdullah Puar, Muhammad Natsir 70 Tahun: Kenang-kenangan Hidup dan Perjuangan Qakarta: Pustaka Antara, 1978) and Ajip Rosidi, Muhammad Natsir, Sebuah Biografi. Oakarta: Umninda, 1989).

2.Interview with Natsir in Jakarta during 1989-1991.

3.Ibid.

4.DeliarNoer, Gerakan Modern Islam diIndonesia 1900-1942 Qakarta: LP3ES, 1982),

p. 325.

5.On Ahmad Hassan and Persatuan Islam, see Howard Federspiel, ’The Persatuan Islam: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century”, Ph. D. Thesis, McGill Uni­versity, 1966).

6.Interview with Natsir in 1989.

7.Ibid. Natsir’s writings on Christian missionaries in Indonesia, see Islam dan Kristen di Indonesia (Bandung: Pelajar, 1972), and Mencari Modus Vivendi Missi Kristen dan Dakwah Islam di Indonesia (Jakarta: Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia,

1971).

8.For reports on this debate, see Risalah Debat Kebangsaan (Bandung: Persatuan

Islam, 1932).

9.Interview with Natsir in Jakarta in 1989 and Mohammad Sardjan in 1990.

10.Interview with Natsir in 1989.

11.See collection of Pedoman Masyarakat (Medan: n.p, 1940).

12.Interview with Natsir in 1989.

13.Ibid.

14.Ibid.

15.Ibid.

16.Ibid. See also Pertelaan Badan Pekerja KNIP (Jakarta: n.p, 1948).

17.Ibid.

18.Interview with Natsir on 3 July 1982; with Mohammad Roem on 14 July 1982; and with Mohammad Mawardi [in Yogyakarta] on 5 January 1985.

19.Kedaulatan Rakyat [Yogyakarta], 8-9 November 1945. Masjumi’s constitution and programs were reported in Kadaulatan Rakyat on 19 November 1945.

20.On this cabinet structure, see Kementerian Luar Negeri RI, Susunan Kabinet-kabinetRI 1945-1963 (Jakarta: Biro Riset Kementerian Luar Negeri, 1963).

 

21.For the complete text of Natsir’s instructions to the guerilla fighters, see Deliar Noer, Partai-partai Islam di Pentas Nasional (Jakarta: Grafiti, 1987), appendix IV, pp. 464465.

 

22.Interview with Natsir, July 1982. On the debate between Natsir and Roem, see ’Boendel Moektamar Masjoemi ke IV di Djogdjakarta” in Masjumi archive.

 

23.Interview with Natsir and Sjafruddin Prawiranegara in 1989.

 

24.On the PDRI, see St. Mohammad Rasjid, SekitarPDRI Qakarta: Bulan Bintang, 1982).

25.Interview with Natsir in 1989.

26.For the complete text of the integral motion, see M. Natsir, Capita Selecta (Jakarta: Pustaka Antara, 1954), Vol. II.

27.On Natsir Cabinet, see Herbert Feith, The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1962) pp. 146-165.

28.Ibid.

29.Interview with Natsir, Mohamad Roem, M. Yunan Nasution, Boerhanoeddin Harahap and Anwar Harjono in Jakarta, 1982-1983.

30.Yusril Ihza, “Prolog PRRI dan Keterlibatan Sjafruddin-Natsir” in E. Saifuddin Anshary (ed.), Pak Natsir 80 Tahun (Jakarta: LIPPM, 1988).

31.See “Bundel Muktamar Masjumi ke LX di Djogdjakarta” in Masjumi archives. Interview with M. Yunan Nasution in 1985; with Firdaus A.N. in 1985; and with Anwar Harjono in 1988.

32.See the decision of the President of the Republic of Indonesia number 100/1960 on the dissolvement of Masjumi. The main reason for this dissolvement —that Masjumi was regarded as “contra-revolution” because it could not “self-adjust” with the Guided Democracy and Nasakom— can be investigated from the offi­cial speech of President Sukarno on 17 August 1960. See Sukarno, Menemukan Kembali Revolusi Kita Qakarta: Kementerian Penerangan RI, 1960).

33.Interview with Natsir in 1982.

34.On the documents on the efforts of Masjumi rehabilitation, see “FaktaDokumenta II” Qakarta: Yayasan Pembangunan Ummat, 1985).

35.On the creation of Partai Muslimin Indonesia, see K.E. Ward, The Foundation of Partai Muslimin Indonesia (Interim report Series, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1970).

36.Interview with Natsir in December 1991.

37.The term “big crescent-star family” is an informal term, which is used as the symbol of solidarity among the ex-activists and supporters of Masjumi.

38.See, Jusuf A. Puar, Loc. Cit.

39.Interview with Dr. Inamullah Khan, the Secretary Genaral of Muktamar alAlam al-Islami, in Karachi, July 1991.

40.The policy of President Suharto to restrict the civil and political rights of the Petisi 50 signaturers was only terminated at the beginning of 1993. B.J. Habibie, the Minister of Research and Technology in Suharto’s cabinet, began a “recon­ciliation” with the petition’s signatories, so the problem was then resolved.

41.For thorough investigation of the basis of Natsir’s thought, see Yusril Ihza, “Modernisme Islam dan Demokrasi: Pandangan Politik Mohammad Natsir”, Islamika (3), (1994).

 

42.This is explicitly mentioned by Natsir in the draft of “Tafsir Asas Masjumi” [1952], With some amendments, at the Masjumi party’s congress, this draft was then approved as the ’ideology” of this party. For complete text of this ideologi­cal formulation, see Pedoman Perdjuangan Masjumi (Jakarta: Pimpinan Pusat Partai Masyumi Bagian Penerangan, 1954).

43.Yusril Ihza, “Modernisme Islam”, Loc. Cit.

44.M. Natsir, Moehammad Als Profeet, reprinted by Penerbit Persatuan Islam (Bandung: Penerbit Persatuan Islam, 1930).

45.M. Natsir, Islam dan Kristen di Indonesia, edited by E. Saifuddin Anshary (Bandung: Pelajar, 1972).

46.Ibid.

47.M. Natsir, Mencari Modus Vivendi.

48.Natsir’s polemics on this issue can be found in the collections of Pembela Islam and al-Lisan. The complete collection of these magazines are held at the Head­quarters of Persatuan Islam [Bandung].

49.M. Natsir, Capita Selecta Qakarta: Pustaka Antara), Vol. I.

50.On his polemic with Ir. Sipatuhar, see A. Moechlis [pseudonym for Natsir) “Kata Berdjawab: Naiviteit Jang Berbahaja”, Harian Pemandangan, (28 and 29 Novem­ber 1941).

51.Sukarno, “Nasionalisme, Islamisme, Marxisme”, reprinted in Sukarno, Di Bawah Bendera Revolusi Qakarta: n.p, 1962).

52.Interview with Natsir in 1991.

53.Sukarno’s writings on this topic, see his Di Bawah Bendera Revolusi, Vol. I.

54.Ibid.

55.M. Natsir, “Islam Sebagai Ideologi”, in D.P. Sati Alimin (ed.), Polemik Sukarno-Natsir tentang Persatuan Agama dan Negara (Padang: Japi, 1972).

56.On Natsir’s analysis on “Islamic ideology”,-see Yusril Ihza “Modernisme Islam” Loc. Cit. and “Muhammad Natsir dan Abul A’la Maududi: Telaah Tentang Transformasi Islam ke Dalam Ideologi Sosial dan Politik” (Seminar on M. Natsir’s thought, YISC al-Azhar, Jakarta, July 1994).

57.D.P. Sati Alimin, Loc. Cit.

58.Ibid.

59.On Natsir’s speech on the state’s foundation in front of the Constituent Assem­bly of the Republic of Indonesia, see TentangDasar Negara di Konstituante (Jakarta: Sekretariat Jenderal Konstituante RI, 1957).

60.D.P. Sati Alimin, Loc. Cit. For an analysis of this topic, see Yusril Ihza, “Modernisme Islam”, Loc. Cit.

61.See the collection of Majalah Hikmah [1949] held at the A.R. Baswedan Library, Yogyakarta.

62.Ibid.

63.For a more indepth analysis of this topic, see Yusril Ihza “Modernisme dan Fundamentalisme Dalam Politik Islam: Sam Kajian Perbandingan Kes Parti Masyumi di Indonesia dan Jama’at-i-Islami di Pakistan” (Ph. D. Thesis, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 1993) pp. 277-316.

64.Ibid.

65.M. Natsir, “Some Observations Concerning the Role of Islam in National and International Affairs”, a speech text in Karachi [manuscript, 1954].

66.Ibid.

67.M. Natsir, “Bertentangankah Pancasila dengan al-Qur’an” ( Harian Abadi, 22 Mei 1954).

68.See Munawir Sjadzali, Islam dan Tata Negara Qakarta: UI Press, 1988).

69.See Sekretariat Jenderal Konstituante, Tentang Dasar Negara di Konstituante.

70.Interview with Natsir in 1989. For more indepth analysis on Masjumi and the state’s foundation in the constituent, see Yusril Ihza, ’Modernisme dan Fundamentalisme Dalam Politik Islam” (a paper presented in Paramadina, Jakarta, 1993).

71.For the complete text of this compromise formulation, see Risalah Sementara Sidang Konstituante, Summit I ( 6 December 1957).

72.Interview with Natsir in 1984; with Osman Raliby in 1984; and with Anwar Harjono in 1989.

73.This is different from the considerance formulation of the Presidential Decree of 5 July 1959. The considerance states that the President’s proposal to return to the 1945 constitution was ’not decided” by the constituent. In my opinion, this for­mulation was wrong because this proposal was not supported by 2/3 of votes. This means that, based on the provisions number 135-137 of the Contemporary Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, the proposal was “rejected” by the constituent.

74.On these articles, see M. Natsir Capita Selecta, Vol. HI, unpublished.

75.Ibid. On his opinions and responses to Guided Democracy, see Kementerian Penerangan RI, Kroniek dan Dokumentasi Demokrasi Terpimpin [1958].

76.M. Natsir, Capita Selecta, Vol. HI.

77.M. Natsir, ’Indonesia di Persimpangan Jalan” in Selamatkan Demokrasi (n.p, 1981).


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26 Comments for “COMBINING ACTIVISM AND INTELLECTUALISM: THE BIOGRAPHY OF MOHAMMAD NATSIR (1908-1993)”

  1. How is the next generation of Natsir?

  2. Dear, Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra

    Natsir as a Founding Father…
    I was completly read your article, read and read it again! That make me “a bit” more understand about what have been done in our Qountry, as special in Muslim side in term of Indonesian situation.
    Weel, here i do not want to make such a long coment for your “Great Article”. I just want to make sure what i know, and what you write down.
    Let say first, following …the Sekolah Tinggi Islam (Islam High School)… I am not really sure that you are corect, becouse in my opinion i think, probably the same like Collegge. Because, then upter in Jakarta this Collegge (i wish you are aggre with…) move to Yogyakarta and by the end call Universitas Islam Indonesia (University of Islam Indonesia). I am really sure about this, becouse i was one of the student in that Collegge, hwo in this time becoming important University of Islam in Indonesia.
    Second, In some opinion of you (like what you wrote about Natsir). I do aggree that Islam can make “colour” of the World, in term the way of life, kind of Intlectual,… History, Philosopy, Literature, an as well as Politics…
    But, in many discuss what i have done. And offcours, in fact that Indonesia as the Biggest Muslim Qountry in The World… I think, we have to calculate our Culture (Adat, or tradition)too. Means, that we (Indonesian as a Nation) have so complacated situation. In one hand, to follow Islam (Kaffah). And in the other hand to follow tradition (Adat) as Culture. And we know exacally, Islam came in Indonesia by natural (trading, friendly relationshif). Without war, but peacefull… as Indonesian Culture…
    So, i think…in my opinion, muslim (Islam) in Indonesian now has to be like that… has to be open minded. Otherwise, we (as a Nation) just make complete, “brutalisme, and vandalisme”…

    In many respect for our Founding Fathers…
    Thanks

    Thank your for your comment. I think you are correct. The Sekolah Tinggi Islam maybe should be translated to “Islamic Higher Education” or “Institute of Islamic Studies” rather than “Islamic High Scholl”. That’s true, the STI move to Yogkarta in the early years of independence and transformed into Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) after new faculties was the established. Actually the term of Sekolah Tinggi Islam as well as Sekolah Tinggi Hukum are the Indonesian version of “Islamitisch Hoogeschool” and “Rechts Hoogeschool” in Dutch. (YIM)

  3. Dari perjalanan intelektual seorang Natsir saya melihat bahwa Natsir adalah representasi dari figur besar yang merangkum dua peradaban sekaligus dalam dirinya yakni peradaban Islam dan Barat. Natsir memilih Islam sebagai dasar fundamental hidupnya dengan memakai khazanah barat sebagai peralatan metodologis untuk menyimak dan menafsirkan realitas. Pemikiran Islam Mohammad Natsir telah melahirkan implikasi berupa pengaruh terhadap perubahan-perubahan tertentu dalam masyarakat Indonesia. Pengaruh dan perubahan-perubahan itu bisa bersifat institusional dan literal. Selain itu beliau adalah salah satu founding fathers bangsa ini yang sangat layak mendapat apresiasi besar atas jasa-jasanya. Allahu yarhamuhu.

  4. Pak Natsir adalah seorang tokoh yamg santun dalam berpolitik walaupun tegas dan teguh terjadap pendiriannya beliau selalu menyatakan pendapatnya dengan kalimat terpilih, jauh dari ungkapan emosi.semasa mudanya beliau bergerak dalam bidang pendidikan dan dakwah Islam dan menurut pengetahuan saya beliau belum pernah masuk /menjadi anggauta lasykar. Dengan kepribadiannya tersebut sampai saat ini saya belum pernah mendapat penjelasan yang lengkap soal alasan keikut sertaan Pak Natsir dalam PRRI. Apakah beliau terjebak dalam pertemuan di Sungai dareh antara toloh-2 militer dan politiisi sipil atau karena sebab lainnya. Memang pada waktu itu Pak Natsir sudah tidak aman tinggal dijakarta. Mohon penjelasannya.

  5. …hiks….sy hanyalah rakyat jelata yg belum terlalu pinter bahasa inggris…tapi pengen baca & ngerti artikel tentang Bp M Natsir ini…

  6. aku juga, dan tampaknya sebagian besar tidak mengerti juga dilihat masih sedikitnya coment padahal ini adalah tulisan terbaru. Bang vava, ada versi Indonesianya nggak

  7. two words to describe mohammad natsir: sophisticated and amazing…

  8. MOHAMMAD NATSIR sebagai sosok yang sangat dikenal dan menjadi fokus perhatian masyarakat di era perjuangan kemerdekaan hingga pemerintahan orde baru. tokoh ini lahir di Minangkabau, 1908 dan wafat pada hari Minggu, 7 Februari 1993. di mata masyarakat, pak Natsir dikenal sebagai pemimpin yang membawa hati nurani umat, ia juga merupakan tokoh yang handal sebagai pemikir, intelektual, pujangga dan negarawan. banyak hal semasa hidupnya yang telah diperjuangkan oleh beliau untuk menghindari negeri ini dari perpecahan.

    sepanjang hayatnya yang berjalan 85 tahun, bukanlah sebuah waktu yang pendek dan singkat. perjalanan kariernya dari seorang kativis hingga menjadi pemimpin di republik ini telah beliau alami. sebagai pemikir lintas zaman, sosok pak natsir merupakan manusia yang terbuka terhadap pihak manapun, ia mau berkompromi terhadap musuh sekalipun, terutama PKI pada masa itu. ia berkawan dengan D.N Aidit meskipun secara ideologis pemikirannya sering bertentangan. namun pak natsir siap “sepakat untuk tidak sepakat”. dia teguh dalam mempertahankan gagasannya, ini terbukti dengan beberapa polemik yang pernah terjadi, terutama dengan Pak Karno.

    karena perbedaan pendapat inilah , pak natsir tidak pernah di beri peluang oleh pak Karno untuk membuktikan kepemimpinannya. perbedaan pendapat pak natsir dengan pak karno berawal ketika pak karno banyak melontarkan pernyataan yang mengejek Islam. Pak Natsir sagat tersinggung dengan beberapa pernyataan bung karno, ia membalas ejekan itu melalui beberapa tulisan yang membuat pak karno marah. natsir dan pak karno ibarat 2 sisi mata uang yang tidak pernah akan bertemu, masing-masing memiliki pemikiran yang berbeda bagaimana strategi membangun indonesia.

    sepanjang karier politiknya, Pak Natsir pernah menjabat sebagai PM. jabatan ini merupakan jabatan tertinggi sepanjang hidupnya yang diberikan bung karno karena telah berjasa bagi republik indonesia terhindar dari perpecahan. di kala itu, usia beliau masih sangat muda, yaitu 42 tahun. pada sidang Parlemen RIS, april 1950, pak natsir melontarkan mosi gai persatuan indonesia, yang sebelumnya mejadi 17 negara bagian. mosi ini sangat populer ketika itu dengan istilah Mosi Integral Natsir.

    namun jabatan ini tidak lama, karena kabinet yang dibentuk oleh Natsir dihadang secara psikologis oleh PNI, PKI dan Bung Karno sendiri. menurut bung Karno, pemimiran pak natsir sering bertentangan dengan pemikiran dirinya, apalagi dalam kabinet itu, PNI dan PKI tidak dilibatkan. situasi ini membuat bung karno berang, ia semakin angkuh di tapuk kekuasaannya bersama orang-orang PKI dan PNI. bung karno sangat kecewa terhadap natsir dengan partai Masyumi. di bawah rongrongan PKI, natsir diintimidasi dengan ancaman yang membuat keluarganya menyingkir ke Padang. situasi ini sangat tidak sehat, soekarno dengan kekuasaannya tidaka menerima perbedaan, mestinya ia harus saling menghargai pemikiran orang lain. kemarahan bung karno inilah yang membuat bung karno secara sepihak membubarkan Masyumi, padahal pak natsir masih di Padang, ia tidak diberikan hak untuk membela partainya. inilah sebuah konspirasi kelicikan dibawah demokrasi terpimpin yang membuat pak natsir dan teman-teman seperjuangannya, sjafrudin di tangkap.

    namun itu bukanlah akhir perjungan pak natsir, masih banyak perjuangan yang ia lakukan setelah itu, semoga sosok seperti beliau sebagai negarawan sejati dapat diteladani oleh para pemimpin kita saat ini. dan kami berharap bahwa pak Yusril adalah penganut ideologis sejati pak Natsir. “The Young Natsir” saya pikir sangat cocok dialamtkan bagi pak yusril. keteguahan hati dan sosk negarawan yang pantang menyerah dan berani melepaskan jabatan hanya sebuah polemik yang kurang bijaksana, saya pikir hal itu tidak lepas dari sosok pak Natsir yang telah bapak teladani.

    semoga menjadi bagian perjuangan kita untuk melihat kebaikan dan perjuangan orang lain sebagai pengalaman yang paling berharga. semoga PBB adalah partai penerus pemikiran masyumi yang teguh dalam menghadapi lawan-lawan ideologis yang tidak suka akan bangkitnya “the new masyumi” yang pernah berjaya di republik ini. mari kita bersama berjunga untuk kemaslahatan umat, bukan hanya untuk umat islam saja tapi lebih untuk rahmatan lilalamin. wassalam.

    KOOHAR

    PUTRA BURMAN

  9. Dalam pelajaran sejarah yang diberikan pada tingkat SMA pada tahun 80-an, kami hanya diajarkan sepenggal kisah perjuangan sang maestro ini, sehingga tidak banyak bentuk apresiasi yang bisa saya berikan atas ketokohan yang dimiliki sosok tangguh dan pemberani ini. Sampai setelah saya menyelesaikan perkuliahan di salah satu universitas di Bandung, itupun melalui gerilya-gerilya kecil (diskusi antar orang pinggiran) terutama dengan beberapa pelaku sejarah sejaman dengan tokoh kita ini, beliau-beliau ini banyak memberikan pencerahan atas pemahaman kesejarahan yang selama ini membelenggu alam fikir saya sehingga banyak persoalan yang saya pahami seolah berada dalam area abu-abu, tanpa kejelasan apa warna sebenarnya yang dominan pada area tersebut.
    Menghadirkan ketokohan pak Natsir dalam konteks kesejarahan Indonesia sebaiknya tidak lepas dari pemberitaan tentang warna apa sesungguhnya yang beliau bawa dan warna ini selanjutnya menjadi corak dalam gerak juang generasi muda saat ini,….. berani berpendapat … siap membela argumennya dengan basis ilmu yang kokoh… tindak dan perbuatannya sejalan dengan keyakinan beliau. HAQ adalah HAQ —- bathil adalah bathil.

  10. Buya Natsir adalah Guru Bangsa Terkemuka, perpaduan paling ideal ISLAMIS – NASIONALIS
    Sekilas tentang Jejak Buya Natsir bisa juga di lihat pada link di bawah ini…trims
    http://bulanbintang.wordpress.com/about/natsir-on-5-jelang-satu-abad/

  11. Ini sebuah upaya pencerahan sejarah tentang Tokoh Islam yang cukup menakjubkan. Banyak hal yang Bang Yusril tulis dalam blog ini yang bersifat informatif sekaligus Edukatif. Selain mengagumi Buya Natsir sebagai tokoh islam intelektual yang mampu mendapat kepercayaan dari Negara-negara lain pada masa itu untuk menduduki posisi penting dalam pergerakan Islam, Saya justru makin mengagumi kemampuan Abang menulis sejarah dengan begitu rinci dan cermat sehingga dengan membaca tulisan Abang tentang Buya Natsir, Alam pikiran saya terseret ke masa lalu dan seolah berada persis didepan sebuah layar yang memperlihatkan bagaimana visualisasi dari aktifitas ” Sang Pejuang Islam ” Buya Natsir. Dengan membaca tulisan ini juga saya menjadi bertanya-tanya apakah masih mungkin di Negri kita ini akan ada generasi baru yang kelak mampu mengikuti jejak Natsir sebagai tokoh islam Intelektual yang disegani oleh banyak orang dengan prinsip-prinsip hidupnya yang begitu kokoh??

    Tantangan buat Pemimpin di Negeri kita ke depan makin kompleks dan saya secara pribadi walau sekarang berada di Amerika namun tetap intens mengikuti tiap pemberitaan tentang tanah air, sangat amat meragukan kemampuan pemimpin sekarang dan yang pernah memimpin Indonesia pada periode yang lalu untuk kembali memimpin Indonesia. Sebagai negara Yang jumlah penduduknya beragama Islam terbesar di Dunia,tidak cukup negeri kita di Pimpin oleh seorang beragama Islam saja namun harus di ikuti oleh tingkat pemahaman yang mumpuni tentang ajaran agama yang di anutnya. Sebagai contoh riil saja bahwa negara kita pernah di Pimpin oleh seorang “Kiyai ” namun belum apa-apa sudah di lengserkan karna terdapat banyak masalah dan jauh sebelum itu Bang Yusril selaku salah satu menteri kabinet saat itu sudah mengundurkan diri. hal ini cukup mencerminkan bahwa kita belum menemukan pemimpin yang benar-benar mampu menjawab tantangan untuk menyelamatkan bangsa kita dan kalau kawan-kawan yang ada di blog ini sepakat, mari kita membuat seruan bersama kepada rakyat Indonesia agar para pemimpin Indonesia sekarang dan yang pernah memimpin Indonesia pada periode yang lalu dimasukan dalam daftar khusus sebagai tokoh-tokoh yang sangat tidak layak dipercaya untuk kembali memimpin negeri ini. silakan kawan-kawan sepakati formulanya seperti apa. lagi pula urusan bakal calon dan calon presiden tetap menjadi kewenangan Partai Politik dan keputusan memilih atau tidak adalah tetap menjadi kewenangan mutlak dari rakyat.

  12. Ada satu yang terlewat dalam artikel yang abang tulis ini yaitu mengenai keterlibatan M. Natsir di organisasi Persatuan Islam (PERSIS). Dari berbagai literatur yang saya baca ketika M. Natsir tinggal di Bandung, ketajaman intelektual beliau banyak diasah oleh Ustadz A. Hassan (guru besar PERSIS) dan M. Natsir sendiri banyak terlibat dalam kegiatan2 yang diselenggarakan oleh PERSIS. Saya tidak tahu apakah abang sengaja mengenyampingkan hal ini atau memang abang kekurangan litelatur? Namun yang jelas dalam artikel ini tidak disinggung sedikitpun bagaimana M. Natsir berkiprah di jam’iyyah PERSIS. Jangan gitu dong bang!! Toh selama ini sumbangan PERSIS bagi eksistensi PBB yang abang pimpin dari mulai lahir sampai saat ini masih signifikan dan tidak bisa dianggap enteng. Jika ditaqdirkan PERSIS tidak menyalurkan aspirasi politiknya ke PBB saya jamin PBB tidak akan eksis seperti sekarang ini. Di daerah2 sudah kadung digeneralisir bahwa PERSIS itu =PBB. So, jangan sakiti perasaan warga PERSIS!!!!

    Saya hanya memohon agar Anda membaca ulang dengan hati-hati artikel dalam Bahasa Inggris di atas. Berulang kali saya mengulas pergaulan dan pengaruh A. Hasan terhadap M. Natsir. Demikian pula keterlibatannya dalam PERSIS dan JIB. Saya menggunakan Majalah Al-Lisan dan Pembela Islam serta berbagai buku yang diterbitkan PERSIS sebagai referensi tulisan di atas. Keterlibatan Natsir dalam PERSIS saya kemukakan ketika beliau masih muda dan tinggal di Bandung. Tidak ada maksud saya untuk mengesampingkan PERSIS, apalagi ingin menyakiti perasaan warga Perses, seperti Anda kemukakan. Tulisan di atas adalah tulisan akademis yang saya buat dengan rasa tanggungjawab seorang akademisi.

    Demikian penjelasan saya, mohon maklum. (YIM)

  13. Terima kasih atas tanggapan abang, cuman gini bang, dalam penulisan sejarah, entah itu sejarah sebuah bangsa ataupun sejarah tentang diri seseorang (biografi), kadang suka terjadi yang namanya unsur subyektivitas. Dalam penulisan sejarah tentang kiprah pergerakan Islam di Indonesia, misalnya, salah satu ormas Islam yang paling jarang mendapat perhatian dalam pergumulan pemikiran adalah PERSIS. Yang paling sering disebut itu paling Muhammadiyah atau NU. Padahal sumbangan PERSIS dalam bidang pemikiran pengaruhnya begitu besar dan tidak bisa dianggap enteng. Dengan jargon “Kembali kepada al-Qur’an dan Sunnah” PERSIS berusaha menyadarkan umat Islam yang ketika itu diliputi oleh berbagai bentuk Tahayul, Bid’ah dan Khurafat. Sampai sekarangpun PERSIS masih tetap konsisten untuk mengembalikan ajaran Islam ke dalam bentuknya yang asli (gerakan puritanisme ajaran Islam). Dalam bidang politik pun PERSIS tidak ketinggalan. PERSIS tetap istiqomah berada di belakang partai Islam yang secara konsisten memperjuangkan tegaknya syari’at Islam. Kalau dulu PERSIS berada di belakang MASYUMI, maka sekarang ada di PBB yang sempat abang pimpin. Jadi mohon maaf bang, bukan maksud saya untuk menggurui abang, namun saya hanya khawatir abang terjebak pada unsur subyektivitas tadi. Hanya karena abang bukan orang PERSIS, terus abang mengenyampingkan peran PERSIS dalam pembentukan karakter intelektual M. Natsir. Ini saya kemukakan karena memang dalam artikel tersebut abang tidak menyebut PERSIS secara eksplisit. Begitu bang, sekali lagi mohon maaf bila ada kata2 saya yang tidak berkenan, tidak terstruktur dan sistematis dalam menyampaikan tanggapan dan tentu saja saya akan selalu berada di belakang abang selama yang abang perjuangkan adalah Islam dengan tujuan mencari ridha Allah semata. O ya bang, saya mengenal abang ketika ada seminar di PP Persis (dulu masih di Jl. Pajagalan Bandung) yang diselenggarakan oleh PP Pemuda Persis tahun 1998, ketika itu pula saya mulai tertarik dengan pemikiran2 abang tentang konsep penegakan syari’at Islam di Indonesia. Sekian dan terima kasih. Wallahu a’lam bi al-shawab.

    Terima kasih banyak atas pengertiannya. Insya Allah, saya akan selalu bersikap obyektif dalam menulis. Cukup lama saya mempelajar PERSIS. Permah suatu ketika nama saya masuk dalam jajaran pengurus PERSIS Jakarta Utara, yang ketika itu dipimpin oleh Hasan Kiat. Pergaulan saya dengan tokoh-tokoh PB Persis di Bandung sangat dekat. Saya mengenal baik Almarhum Bapak Abdul Qadir Hasan dan Alm Saudara Hud A Musa di Bangil. Mohon kiranya saya dianggap sebagai keluarga sendiri. (YIM)

  14. Jazakallah atas tanggapannya.
    Bang, sekarang ini banyak berkeliaran pemikiran2 liberal tentang Islam yang dikemukakan oleh saudara kita sesama muslim dengan memakai gerbong Jaringan Islam Leiberal (JIL). Sampai2 saya harus mengurut dada beberapa kali ketika membaca tulisan2 mereka di Islamlib.com. yang sangat jauh menyimpang dari rel Islam yang sebenarnya. Tega2nya mereka memplintir ajaran Islam sedemikian rupa yang disesuaikan dengan keinginan hawa nafsu mereka. Saya akui mereka itu orang2 pintar, namun kepintaran mereka bukan dipakai untuk memperjuangkan syari’at, namun yang terjadi justru sebaliknya, secara membabibuta mereka bahkan berani melecehkan syari’at Islam. Tentunya pikiran2 mereka tidak bisa dibiarkan, menjadi tanggung jawab kita bersama untuk mengcaunter dan meluruskan pikiran2 mereka. Saya punya usul bagaimana kalau di blog ini juga abang membuat artikel2 untuk mengkanter pikiran2 mereka. Mudah2an apa yang abang sumbangkan melalui pikiran abang jadi pahala di sisi Allah. Amien. Atas perkenannya diucapkan terima kasih. Wassalam.

  15. assalamu`alaikum.
    maaf bang, tentang tulisan diatas belum saya baca smua…j
    sebenarnya saya sedang cari tulisan M. Natsir tentang filantrophi untuk kepentingan Lembaga Zakat Infaq dan Shadaqah (LAZIS) Dewan Da`wah.
    jika abang punya atau sapa2 yang punya boleh kirim ke email ke lazisdd@plasa.com
    terima kasih

    salam

  16. Pak Natsir bagi ranah minang bukanlah hal yang baru, kepiawaiannya selalu membekas bagi generai muda minang, seperti mosi integral Natsir yang mempersatukan kembali NKRI, lalu surat pak natsir sewaktu dipenjara untuk memperbaiki hubung Indonesia dan malaysia paska politik ganyang malaysia.
    Tapi ingat, orang Sumbar tak akan pernah sudi mendengar kalau Natsir termasuk pemberontak pada peristiwa PRRI yang telah meruntuhkan moral dan semangat rang minang selama ini.
    Bagi Sumbar, PRRI dan natsir adalah gerkaan perjuangan untuk keseimbangan daerah dan pusat yang waktu igtu bak siang dan malam.
    Tapi sayang, upaya masyarakat Sumbar mengusulkan M Natsir sebgaia pahlawan nasional, sampai saat itu terus mengendala, akibat cap pemberontak tadi, padahal usulan daerah, puluhan kali seminar telah dilakukan, tapi ettap saja gelar pahlawan natsir tak juga disematkan. Pak Yusril apa langkah kaum muda the next natsyir generation untuk meretas itu. Meski pak natsir tak inginkan gelar dna penghargaan, sebab dia berjuang dan berdakwah penuh dengan sleimut tanpa pamrih.

  17. I think this post should be translated to Bahasa Indonesia in order to provide more comprehension to the bloggers.
    What do you think, Pak Yusril?

  18. tokoh ideologis ini merupakan tokoh Islam ideologis yang terbaik yang pernah lahir di negeri ini. kalau boleh saya usulkan untuk menulis ringkasan atau syarah dari kumpulan tulisan beliau kapita selekta. Kenapa Tan malaka dengan ideologi Sosialis nya punya Website bagi para pengagumnya sementara M Natsir tidak. mari kitapikirkan untuk membuata website tentang Muhammad Natsir dan Ideologi Islam.

  19. Assalamu’alaikum wr.wb.

    Pertama, saya ucapkan terima kasih sebanyak-banyaknya, karena Abang membuka ruang untuk berkomunikasi dengan publik, semoga ruang website bermanfaat sebagaimana Abang dan kita harapkan bersama.

    M.Natsir bagi saya adalah inspirator. Kesederhanaannya, kesopanannya serta perjuangannya baik pada bangsa dan umat Islam sulit untuk dilukiskan dengan kata-kata. Dan almarhum juga yang memberikan banyak jasa pada umat tak terkecuali pada saya. Thus, saya ingin memberikan sesuatu untuk mengenang jasa almarhum dengan menulis buku serius tentang ‘MOSI INTEGRAL NATSIR’.

    Pertanyaannya saya untuk Abang adalah sebagai berikut;
    1. Sejauh ini sudahkah Abang menemukan baik diterbitkan atau tidak (tesis atau disertasi yang menulis tentang MOSI INTEGRAL NATSIR? sebab sepanjang pembacaan saya belum menemukan dokumen atau buku (baik yang diterbitkan atau yang tidak diterbitkan. Kalau ada informasinya boleh saya dikasih tahu, kalau bisa dengan detail (penerbit, tahun terbitan dan kalau bisa dimana mendapatkannya.
    2. Almarhum M.Natsir bagi saya adalah orang tua, guru serta teladan, namun demikian terus terang saya tidak mempunyai lengkap semua dokumen almarhum. Mengingat Abang pernah lama dekat dengan beliau, mungkin Abang sudi kiranya membantu saya untuk memberi kesempatan untuk memfoto copy berbagai dokumen almarhum. Dalam hal ini mungkin saya akan mengatasnamakan lembaga (lembaganya nanti saya sebutkan). Ringkasnya mungkinkah saya mengkopi dokumen-dokumen tentang Almarhum yang ada di Abang ?
    3. Ada yangsedikit mengganjal pada pembacaan saya tentang ‘mengayuh diantara dua karang’, mengenai kebijakan luar negeri Indonesia. Yang saya baca itu merupakan gagasan Hatta, tapi Abang mengatakan itu gagasan almarhum M. Natsir. Mohon kiranya Abang memberikan penjelasan yang lebih lengkap mengenai hal tersebut?

    Sementara sekian, terima kasih saya ucapkan. Mohon jawabannya.

    Wassalam

  20. Assalamualaikum wr.wb.

    Setiap kali membaca tulisan Bang Yusril Ihza Mahendra tentang Pak Natsir dan tokoh-tokoh Islam lainnya yang patut menjadi panutan bagi generasi di zaman ini, seolah mempertemukan saya dengan mata air moral yang tidak pernah kering betapa sering pun ditimba.
    Beruntung Bang Yusril ditakdirkan Allah mempunyai pengalaman berintekaksi secara dekat dengan Pak Natsir dan para pemimpin Masyumi lainnya. Saya sendiri hanya beberapa kali bertemu Pak Natsir ketika saya masih sekolah SMA dan kuliah, tapi tidak sempat berinteraksi pemikiran, kecuali melalui buku-buku yang beliau tulis. Saya mendoakan mudah-mudahan Bang Yusril mewarisi watak, pemikiran dan leadership pemimpin kebanggaan umat tersebut. Hidup adalah akidah dan perjuangan, kata Pak Natsir dalam sebuah tulisannya. Salam hormat.

  21. Kepada Bang Yusril, mengapa pertanyaan-pertanyaan saya masih belum dijawab ?

    Tanggapan saya:

    Saya mohon maaf, beberapa hari ini saya ada di Malaysia dan baru tadi malam pulang ke Jakarta. Namun besok pagi saya akan ke Makasar dan Buton selama beberapa hari. Jadi saya tak sempat membuka blog ini. Tentang dokumen-dokumen mengenai Masyumi dan Pak Natsir, semuanya saya simpan dalam berbagai kotak di suatu tempat. Saya pindah-pindah rumah terus, sehingga belum sempat untuk merapikan dokumen dan ribuan buku koleksi saya. Saya memang berniat untuk suatu ketika membuat perpusatakaan agar segala koleksi pribadi saya, termasuk yang diberikan oleh Alm Prof. Osman Raliby kepada saya, dapat juga dibaca oleh umum. Namun sampai sekarang, ibarat kata pepatah, maksud hati memeluk gunung, apa daya tangan tak sampai. Kalau saya ingin membongkar semua dokumen itu, sungguh makan waktu, karena itu sementara ini saya mohon maaf.

    Mengenai politik luar negeri bebas aktif, demikianlah pendapat saya. Banyak sarjana mengatakan politik bebas aktif itu dirumuskan Hatta, namun berdasarkan berbagai dokumen, saya menyangkalnya. Hatta sendiri menyebut haluan politik luar negerinya itu sebagai “politik netral”. Hal itu dapat dibaca dalam Manifest Politik Hatta, yang kalau tak salah ingat diterbitkan akhir tahun 1945.

    Ketika saya mewawancara Pak Natsir, beliau mengatakan bahwa haluan politik luar negeri yang dianutnya adalah “politik bebas”. Menurut Pak Natsir, idea dasar rumusannya datang dari Mohamad Roem. Rumusannya jelas sekali dalam pidato untuk memperoleh votum kepercayaan PM Natsit di Parlemen tahun 1950, yang judulnya Membangun Di atas Puing Reruntuhan. Pada waktu anggota parlemen bertanya, apakah politik bebas itu berarti tidak berpendirian dan mengikuti arah angin, PM Natsir mengatakan tidak, politik luar negeri yang bebas itu “bersifat aktif”. Dari situlah muncul istilah politik LN bebas aktif itu.

    Demikian penjelasan saya. Terima kasih. (YIM)

  22. Ass,
    Pak, tahun 1999 saya sempat akti di partai yang bapak pimpin.setelah bekerja aktifitas itu agak berkurang & saya lebih memilih menjadi simpatisan saja. Saya juga banyak menyimpan klipin tentang bapak & tentang partai dari trabloid ABADI(sayng tabloidnya sudah almarhum).buku biogarfi Bapakpun saya pnyai. dari buku itu dapat saya rasakan kekaguman bapak terhadap alm.M.Natsir. oya dikeluarga saya, satu-satunya pendukung Bapak & PBB adalah saya, selama ini saya sudah tahan dengan cibiran mereka tentang bapak.sampai akhirnya saya sempat terbawa oleh persepsinya mereka.apalagi setelah berita tentang pernikahan bapak yang kedua, sampai sampai banyak anggota dan simpatisan partai di daerah saya berpaling ke lain hati. sebetulnya saya setuju saja dengan pernikahan ini.setiap orang pasti mempunyai nasibnya sendiri2,saya sangat yakini itu. hanya saja, hal yang membuat saya agak sedikit terganggu adalah komentar keluarga sya yang menatakan seperti ini” katanya pengagum Natsir, tapi kok gaya hidupnya bagai langit dan Bumi?? liat aja tuh anaknya, kemanamana sok petantang petenteng bawa mercy jemput pacarnya yang artis. gak ada sederhana-sederhanaynya.” apalagi saya sempet membaca tentang rumah bapak yang berharga miliarabn rupiah.sekali lagi saya bukannya tidajk stuju tentang hal itu, ukuran sederhana,mewah, cukup atau kurang tentu saja berbeda setiap orang tetapi hal ini memang agak sedikit menggangu. Alhamdulilah bapak dikarunia rezeki yang cukup, namun tentu saja dikarenakan bapak adalah piblic figure serta pemimpin umat, sekiranya kami yang tidak mengerti apa apa memang hanya bisa menilai apa yang terlihat. sudi kiranya bapak juga mempertimbangkan hal-hal seperti ini bilamana bapak memang serius menghadapi 2009. saya setuju dengan beberapa penda[pat di media ini. saya tidak meragukan soal keilmuan bapak.tapi saya rasa pencitraan diri dengan memperhatikan kemauan masyarakat umum juga penting. betapa setelah membaca tulisan /tanggapan bapak memberikan pencerahan lagi pada saya,ternyata keraguan saya selama ini adalah sebuah kesalahan. semoga Bapak selalu di ridhi Allah SWT. oh ya saya bingung tentang satu hal, jadi Partai Bintang Bulan Bintang itu siapa????? Wass

  23. Saya pikir alm. M. Natsir sangat layak untuk dianugerahi gelar Pahlawan Nasional mengingat jasa – jasa Beliau yang luar biasa. Tapi kok sampai sekarang pemerintah belum juga menganugerahinya yah. Seandainya saja Beliau menjadi Presiden kala itu, bisa jadi Indonesia sudah maju dan sejahtera. Kita semua berharap semoga bangsa Indonesia melahirkan generasi – generasi yang mengikuti jejak langkah alm M. Natsir

  24. Saya senang dengan tulisan ini. Mari ajarkan ini ke adik-adik kita di sekolah..jadikan generasi muda kita pera pejuang dengan mengisahkan para pejuang kita…

  25. Sepakat bahwa Mohammad Natsir merupakan tokoh baik politik, agama, sosial, ataupun pendidikan. Tapi kemudian, apakah kita hanya menjadi pengkonsumsi sejarah atau cukup beromantisme dengan perjuangan para tokoh pendahulu kita. Sepertinya sejarah akan berulang….
    Setidaknya, jika kita tidak bisa mengubah lingkungan ataupun negara kita layaknya Mohammad Natsir
    mari kita merubah diri kita, menjadi seseorang yang lebih baik atau menciptakan generasi yang lebih baik…
    Sehingga, Bangsa kita tidak hanya menjadi generasi yang beromantisme terhadap sejarah masa lalu tanpa berbuat sedikitpun untuk perubahan Bangsany….!!!! chayo….,,,,

  26. Mochammad Nor Ali

    Assalaamualaum wr wb. Bang Yusril menyambut 100 tahun muhammad Nasir , kita perlu merenungi kembali cita cita beliau untuk menegakkan Syariah di bumi pertiwi tercinta ini, berabad abad lamanya umat Islam dijajah oleh KUHP Belanda , dan kita sudah hampir 53 tahun merdeka belum bisa merdeka dari penjajahan KUHP Belanda , sungguh sebenarnya perang merebut Kemerdekaan ini belum selesai , saya sempat usul pada pak Jimly Ashidiqy agar beliau mengambil inisiatif untuk membuat KUHP syariah, tapi menurut beliau posisi beliau sebagai ketua MK sangat menyulitakan, dan beliau juga mengatakan bahwa Bang Yusril saat jadi Menteri kehakiman pernah merintis ke arah itu sayang setelah tidak menjabat rintisan bang Yusril tidak jelas lagi nasibnya,……..Bang Yusril …abang memang sudah engga jadi menteri lagi tapi justru disini kesempatan abang untuk lebih bebas berpendapat … seandainya ketika peringtan 100 thn Muhammad Nasir nanti abang bisa ngumpulin pakar hukum pro syariat . dan menjadikannya menjadi momentum kebangkitan umat Islam Indonesia untuk merebut kemerdekaan dari penjajahan KUHP Belanda untuk agar menjadi tonggak sejarah penting .dan pada peringatan 17 agustus tahun ini menjadi tema umat Islam untuk benar benar merdeka dari belenggu yang mengekang hak asasi kita untuk bebas melaksanakan syariah dengan kaffah. Bang kami tahu abang amat sibuk tapi kayaknya hanya anada tokoh yang layak untuk manjadi pahlawan yang mengharumkan Islam sebagaimana cheng ho yang abang perankan….. harapan dan doa kami pada abang Wassalam

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