By Muhammad Abdul Aziz
GOMBAK, 29 April 2017: Dr. Sohirin Mohammad Solihin last Friday (28 April) expressed his huge admiration for the contribution devoted by M. Natsir, whom he considered one of the leading figures ever in Nusantara.
In his keynote address at a half-day seminar on the topic ‘The Legacy of Mohammad Natsir’, the academic staff of the Department of Qur’an and Sunnah IIUM stated that Natsir’s influence not only reached Nusantara, but also worldwide.
“Of his main idea is the synthesis between Islam and democracy, a phenomenon that has been widely practised even though it is still constantly disputed among Muslim scholars,” he continued.
Capitalised with his experience under Natsir’s direct tutelage, Dr. Shohirin outlined a number of the figure’s very detailed daily stories stretching from modesty, asceticism, ‘ummatised’ paradigm, and exemplary intellectual performance.
The audiences who numbered around 50 individuals seemed unwilling to leave their seats when listening to his address.
“Even when he (Natsir) died, Japanese Prime Minister, Fukuda, was extremely surprised and stated that news of his death was more terrible than the Hiroshima bombing,” added the author of ‘Mohammad Natsir: Intellectualism and Activism in Modern Age’.
Meanwhile, another invited speaker, Dr. Lili Yulyadi of the University of Malaya, delineated another perspective, i.e. Natsir’s influence in shaping youth generation. “Malaysia is one of the nations where Natsir’s influence has deeply impressed the youths,” said the Indonesian lecturer who has been in Malaysia for the last 24 years.
The seminar itself was conducted by Forum Tarbiyah (FOTAR) in collaboration with Islamic Studies Forum for Indonesia (ISFI).
Asked on the rationale behind choosing M. Natsir’s thought as the seminar topic, Farnaz Unsil Habieb, who was the chief of the committee, said, “We want to raise a figure who can exemplify to youths, the significance of bravery, intelligence, open-mindedness, and righteousness.” ***