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The meaning of nationalism and the urgency of expanding knowledge

The meaning of nationalism and the urgency of expanding knowledge
Photo: NU Online
Photo: NU Online

One of the great blessings that Allah has given to the Indonesian people is the blessing of independence. A great favor that Indonesians must be grateful for. With independence, people can easily worship, expand knowledge, and other positive activities without pressure and obstacles. With the existence of independence, Indonesia and its people are freed from the shackles of colonialism. All acts that are inhumane are erased by the existence of independence.


Now Indonesia has gained independence. The people do not need to fight to get it back by fighting against the invaders. Indonesian people already have a fairly conducive country. But the fate of Indonesia in the future depends on how its people itself. If implemented properly, the dignity and integrity of Indonesia will be even better. But if the people apply it badly, there will be various setbacks.


Now Indonesia has reached the end of 76 years. Exactly on Tuesday 17 August 2021 AD which coincided with 8 Muharram 1442 H. Declarations of independence flooded the timelines, various social media platforms, reflecting the love for the homeland (nationalism) which is manifested in the souls of the nation's children. In other words, apart from Indonesia's independence, it has children of the nation who really love their country, nation and homeland.


How to dedicate to the motherland

Sayyid Afandi Muhammad in one of his works, at-Tahliyyah, explains at length about the state, love for the homeland, and things that could make people serve their country and nation. In his book it is explained that love for the homeland is an attitude of submission to everything that is ordered by the people who take care of the country (government).

 حُبُّكَ لِوَطَنِكَ عِبَارَةٌ عَنْ أَنْ تَمْتَثِلَ لِمَا يَأْمُرُكَ بِهِ مَنْ تَوَلَّى أَمْرَكَ


"Your love for your homeland is an expression of following what is ordered to you by those who take care of your affairs (government)." (Afandi Muhammad, at-Tahliyatu wat Targhîb fit Tarbiyati wat Tahdzîb, [Surabaya, al-Hidayah], page 30).


According to Sayyid Afandi, nationalism is not just about expressing love for the country without trying to follow orders from the people who take care of it, let alone posting photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other media, with the caption "NKRI the Price Dead". Nationalism is submission to the government in matters that contain benefits, such as seeking knowledge, maintaining ethics, and others. The word submisson in this article of course also has an exception, namely it is not allowed to obey anyone when ordering disobedience.


Loving the homeland or nationalism should be realized by serving and fighting for the nation and state. Every work done by a person must have value for the benefit of the country, the name of the country, and he is willing to sacrifice time for the country. That is the true substance behind the word nationalism that we often hear.


The Real Attitude of Nationalism as stated by Sheikh Ibn 'Allan (died 1057 H) provided a way to serve the country, namely by doing various good and positive actions, as said:


الْإِيْمَانِ أَنْ يُعَمَّرَ وَطَنَهُ بِالْعَمَلِ الصَّالِحِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ


"It is proper for people who are perfect in their faith to prosper their country with good and right activities." (Muhammad Ali bin Muhammad Allan bin Ibrahim al-Bakri, Dalîlul Fâlihîn li Thuruqi Riyâdlis Shâlihîn, [Beirut, Dârul Fikr: 2005], juz I, page 22).


The Sheikh Ibn Allan's explanation suggests that nationalism should be realized by carrying out various activities that are good and right, making the name of the country proud, upholding the dignity of the country. Instead, it undermines the ideology of the nation and divides its people.


Meanwhile, Sayyid Afandi has the best tips to cultivate a true nationalist spirit, namely by learning and expanding knowledge. Because by continuing to learn every citizen will be able to distinguish between good and evil. Of course, if you could distinguish between the two and a nationalist spirit will grow, so that people do not want bad things to happen to their country. Sayyid Afandi says:


 هُوَ أَنْ تَجْتَهِدَ فِي تَحْصِيْلِ الْعُلُوْمِ وَالمَعَارِفِ الَّتِي بِهَا تَتَمَكَّنُ مِنْ خِدْمَةِ الوَطَنِ العَزِيْزِ عَلَى وَجْهِ الْإِكْمَالِ. فَاِنَّ الْجَاهِلَ تَصَرُّفَاتُهُ كُلُّهَا دَرِيْعَةٌ لَا يَعْرِفُ مَا فِيْهَا المَنْفَعَة


“(Realizing the nationalism) is by trying to gain science and knowledge, with which people could serve the noble country in a perfect way. For all the actions of a fool are acts having no benefit anymore.” (Sayyid Afandi, at-Tahliyatu wat Targhib, page 31).


According to Sayyid Afandi, the right attitude to defend the country is to learn knowledge and try to expand it. Because, with knowledge people could serve the country in the right and perfect way. Without knowledge the role played by a person may be of no value, because he does not know the benefits of his role. Therefore,

according to the writer, as an effort to serve the country as well as gratitude for the struggle of the predecessors, expanding knowledge is a concrete choice and very real benefit for the progress of the nation. Let the independence of Indonesia, which has reached the age of 76, be used as a momentum to further expand knowledge. Because with it, serving the country will be more perfect. Wallâhu a'lam bisshawâb.

Ustadz Sunnatullah, Lecturer at Al-Hikmah Darussalam Islamic Boarding School, Durjan, Kokop, Bangkalan.

Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq

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