UHAMKA feels grateful upon a National Hero title bestowed to Buya Hamka

Author : Pimpinan Pusat Muhammadiyah | Saturday, November 12, 2011 19:37 WIB
The University of Muhammadiyah Prof DR. HAMKA (UHAMKA) did an event to express gratitude for a national hero title bestowed to Buya Hamka. The event was held at UHAMKA auditorium on November 12, 2011. The event was attended by some national figures such the Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, the Deputy Minister of National Education Musliar Kasim, the Member of Parliament AM Fatwa, the former of MK (Constitution Court ) Jimly Asshidiqi, Muslim intellectual Azyumardi Azra, The Chairman of MUI (Indonesian Ulema Council) KH Amidhan, the poet Taufik Ismail, Soelastomo, the General Chairman of Muhammadiyah Central Executive Din Syamsuddin, and a big family of Buya Hamka represented by his children such as Aliyah Hamka, Rusdy Hamka, Fatyah Hamka and Irfan Hamka.
UHAMKA President, Prof. Dr. H. Suyatno, says UHAMKA feels very proud of the National Hero title bestowed to Haji Abdul Malik Karim Amarullah or famously known as Buya Hamka. The title was given by Indonesian government on November 10.
With the government's acknoledgement, Prof. Suyatno hopes that all UHAMKA students and its civitas academica will be more awakened to imitate Buta Hamka's behavior and characters. "For UHAMKA, Muhammadiyah members, and Indonesians especially youth figures who will be a leader, should set Buya Hamka's wisdom as an example," said he.
Ulema and Hero
The General Chairman of Muhammadiyah Central Executive, Prof. Dr. Din Syamsuddin, states that Buya Hamka is the real hero for this country. Besides being an ulema with integrity and a man of letters with various literary works, Buya Hamka was also a warrior for the independence of Indonesia.
“The big family of Muhammadiyah is very grateful, happy, and proud upon the government's bestowment to one of Muhammadiyah figures. Undoubtedly,  Prof. Dr. Hamka is the real hero. He was the founder of MUI, got Doctoral degre (Honoris Causa) from Al Azhar University of Egypt, produced literary works, and fought for the independence of Indonesia," he said.
According to Din Syamsuddin, as an ulema, Buya Hamka stood in the middle, combining firmness in holding the principle. For example, when becoming the General Chairman of MUI concerning Christmas Fatwa, he resigned from his chairmanship position for the sake of his believed principle.On the other hand, he was also a flexible and tolerant ulema, so a lot of Muslims, including non Muslim, like his speech. He even forgave his political enemies.
“These are the stance and wisdom of a stateman that are based on religious principle. This character is seldom found, and nowadays this country needs a leader with character, not a weak leader. We have to set Buya Hamka as an example," said he.
Din Syamsuddin hopes that the bestowment of National Hero to Buya Hamka can trigger young people of not only Muhammadiyah and other Muslims but also people in Indonesia. So there will be new Hamkas in a different time and context. He also hopes that UHAMKA learns, conveys, and performs Hamka's wisdoms to be an example for the big family of Muhammadiyah.
“I think our country needs to spread the wisdom of our heroes because those wisdoms can be beneficial in helping and forming national character. I know some big countries in the world that have glory in the past also tightly hold on the thought of humanists and thinkers, so the thought becomes the national characters. I think the bestowment consequence for National Hero to Buya Hamka must be followed up by the country," said a professor from UIN (State Islamic University) Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta.
A Muslim intellectual, Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra, says that Buya Hamka is an ulema as well as a warrior for independence. He was actively involved in Sarekat Islam (SI) in Padangpanjang in 1925. Buya Hamka saw SI as strong social power of Islam to face Dutch colonialism. Besides being active in SI, Buya Hamka was also active in fighting Dutch when becoming a Muhammadiyah consul in Makasar and Medan in 1936.
In his autobiography titlled "The Memory of Life" (book 4), Buya Hamka told his role in guerilla war in the jungle around Medan and West Sumatera. He also became a crucial liaison officer between ulema and other fidhting groups. The role of Buya Hamka from 1945 to 1949, according to Azyumardi incrased along with the revolutionary war against the coming of Dutch for the second time to Indonesia. In 1947, Buya Hamka, together with Rasuna Said, was appointed as the Chairman of Barisan Pertahanan Nasional. Besides, he was appointed by Bung Hatta as the Secretary of Front Pertahanan Nasional (National Defence Front)..
Buya Hamka's activity in independence war continued by forming Badan Pembela Negara dan Kota  (BPNK) or Country and City Defence Body. That was the biggest defence body in West Sumatera that did a guerilla war. Apart from Din Syamsuddin and Azyumardi Azra, some national figures also gave speech about Buya Hamka. AM Fatwa, Zulkifli Hasan, and Musliar Kasim admitted that they were inspired by the role and books of Buya Hamka.
(trans by hamzah - uhamka)