25November2017

Home Editorial THE ROLES OF SANTRI AND ISLAMIC SCHOLARS IN DEFENDING THE STATE

THE ROLES OF SANTRI AND ISLAMIC SCHOLARS IN DEFENDING THE STATE

Since 2015, the Indonesian government has set October 22nd as the Day of Santri. Santri, in general, is someone who attends Islamic religious education at Islamic traditional boarding schools. The commemoration of the day started from a meeting of representatives of several Islamic organizations, historians and experts of Islam in Bogor, West Java on April 22, 2015. The main topic of discussion at the time was to discuss when the day of Santri had to be set. The two-day meeting was a direct order from President Joko Widodo to Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Syaifuddin.

Various thoughts emerged in the meeting, such as the day would create exclusiveness, because, it was likely that other groups outside the Santri would demand similar things. However, the thought was baseless, because what should be emphasized is the important role of Santri or the Islamic boarding school students in the Indonesian history, especially in fighting for and maintaining Indonesia's independence. From a series of thoughts, October 22nd was then proposed to be the Day of Santri.

History recorded that on October 22nd, 1945 the founder of the largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama -NU, KH Hasyim Asyari issued a Jihad Resolution to fight for defending the Indonesian independence from the Dutch who wanted to reoccupy Indonesia. The content of the Jihad Resolution confirmed that the law of defending the country is a Fardhu Ain or an individual obligation for every Muslim in Indonesia. The role of students is clearly inseparable from the struggle of the Indonesian nation, both pre-independence and post-independence. Then, the Santri Day was set to be commemorated nationally through Presidential Decree No. 22/2015.

The government's decision to set October 22nd as National Santri Day is the right decision. It is not to create exclusiveness but to reaffirm that the role of Santri and Ulama Islamic scholars in maintaining independence is enormous.  Hopefully, the Santri Day is not merely a ceremonial event. Indonesia still needs the greater roles of Santri and Islamic scholars for the betterment of the nation and the state.

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