change language
you are in: home - ecumenis...dialogue - internat...or peace - world me... to hope newslettercontact uslink

Support the Community


Let us help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

The Community of Sant'Egidio launches a fundraising campaign to send humanitarian aid to the refugee camps in Bangladesh, in collaboration with the local Church

Christmas Lunch with the poor: let's prepare a table table that reaches the whole world

The book "The Christmas Lunch" available online for free. DOWNLOAD! And prepare Christmas with the poor

printable version
September 30 2013 09:00 | Newman Hall, Urbaniana University

Living in Harmony with Religious Diversity - Nahdlatul Ulama Perspective

Syuhud Sahudi Marsudi

President of the Nahdlatul Ulama Council, Indonesia
Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,000 islands (6,000 inhabited) and it is straddling the equator. Total territorial area is 9.8 million km2, a large part of which (7.9 million km2 or 81%) is sea, while the rest (1.9 million km2 or 19%) is land. Total coastline length of all islands is 54,716 km
Population : Indonesia's 242,968,342 (July 2010 est.) 238 million people make it the world's fourth-most populous state (after China, India and the United States). 
Ethnic groups : At least 300 different ethnic groups have been counted in Indonesia 
Languages :Bahasa Indonesia is the official national language, but there are many different local languages in Indonesia. According to Ethnologies, there are currently 737 living local languages.
Religions :Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census) Muslem in Indonesia is 12.9% from 1,571,198,000  total world moslem.
As the country’s largest Muslim organization, Naahdlatul Ulama ( NU ) has regarded Pancasila as the state foundation and ideology as well. Since the establishment of the beloved Republic of Indonesia, NU has agreed to accept Pancasila as a state ideology. It constitutes the best choice having ever been made by Indonesians. For it contains not only substantive religious values but also the very deeply expression rooted from the Nusantara’s culture. 
Pancasila has become a meeting point especially as facing fierce debates in dealing with the state's ideology, between those expecting Indonesia to be a secular state and those expecting it as a religious one for considering that Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country. Islamic figures have wholeheartedly accepted a reality that Indonesia has not only recognized one religion or faith. KH Wahid Hasyim, chairman of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) taking part in the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI) meeting, for instance, He fully supported Pancasila as the state's ideology and even tolerated the modification of its first pillar, saying the Lordship with the obligations to carry out Islamic law to its adherents to be the Oneness Lordship. 
Pancasila consists of two Sanskrit words, "panca" meaning five, and "sila" meaning principles. It comprises five principles held to be inseparable and interrelated: 
1. Belief in the one and only God, (, Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa).
2. Just and civilized humanity, (, Kemanusiaan Yang Adil dan Beradab).
3. The unity of Indonesia, (Persatuan Indonesia).
4. Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives, and (Kerakyatan Yang Dipimpin oleh Hikmat Kebijaksanaan, Dalam Permusyawaratan Perwakilan, dan)
5. Social justice, for the all of the people of Indonesia (Keadilan Sosial bagi seluruh Rakyat Indonesia)
According to NU’s view, inter-faith dialogue today is a suitable  choice. It is a must. In the era of democracy like today where pluralism, inter-cultural and inter-faith should stad in harmony.
For countries with apparent multi-cultural and multi-faith characteristic like Indonesia, holding diverse social groups with different cultures and faiths in a sustainable way is a heavy task. The key ingredient of a successful multi-cultural and multi-faith society, according to NU’s opinion, is moderation (tawassut), which is the opposite of extremism (tatharruf). 
The teaching of moderation in Islam is very clear. Islam emphasizes moderation and balance in every dimension of human conduct. The Koran says: “We made you to be the community of middle path (Al-Baqarah: 143). Prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him, said: “Beware of excessiveness in religion. People before you have perished as a result of excessiveness.” 
Moderation could close the gap between conscience and doctrine, between what can be achieved and what should be achieved, between Das Sein and Das Sollen, and between rights and responsibilities. Together with other virtues, namely peace (silm or salâm), justice (‘adâlah), freedom (hurriyyah), tolerance (tasâmuh), balance (tawâzun), consultation (shûrâ), and equity (musâwah), moderation will make peoples free  from sufferings and guide them to the true happiness here on earth and in the day after. 
NU adopts Ahlussunnah waljama'ah "Aswaja" which refers to the holy Koran, the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and that of his rightly-guided Successors (four Muslim caliphs  as well as his friends), and is theoretically and factually linked to the theological concepts of Abu Hasan al-Asy'ari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, four mazhab in fikih (Islamic jurisprudence), namely Hanafi, Maliki, Syafi'i, and Hanbali, as well as Sufism traditions of Al-Ghazali and Junaid Al-Baghdadi.  With the basic social relationship teaching as follows: 
1.Tawasuth, moderate attitude, which is based on principles of justice and endeavors to avoid any kind of approach, which is extreme in nature. This principle is primarily based on a verse in the Qur'an, 
And thus have we made you an ummat of midding stand that you may be witnesses over mankind, and the messenger may be (a) witness over you. (QS al-Baqarah: 143).
2. Tawazun that is balancing attitude in serving for harmonious relationship among human beings and between human and God Almighty. that means staying balanced in everything including in using rational "dalil aqli" rational justifications  and "dalil naqli" justifications (based on the Qur'an and Sunnah). Allah SWT said in the Qur'an:
We have surely sent our messengers with clear signs, and sent with them the Book and the Balance, so that man may stand by justice. (QS al-Hadid: 25)
3. Tasamuh, tolerant attitude, which contains appreciation to views of difference and plurality of people's in many socio-cultural background. It also means appreciating any possible differences and respecting those who has not same principle of life. Nevertheless, it does not mean acknowledging or correcting their different beliefs in regard with what they believe in. Allah SWT said in the Qur'an:
And  speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah. (QS. Thaha: 44)
This verse talks about the command of Allah SWT to Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Harun (AS) in order to speak to Fir'aun mildly. Al Hafizh Ibnu Katsir (701-774 H / 1302-1373) as explaining this verse said, "Indeed the dakwa of Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Harun (AS) to Fir'aun is by using blessing,peace,  soft, easy and friendly words. All this is intended to expectedly be more heart-touching, acceptable and beneficial." (Tafsir al-Qur'anil 'Azhim, vol. III page 206).'tidal (the maintenance of harmony). In the Qur'an Allah SWT said:
Oh you who believe, stand firmly witness for Allah with justice and let not the enemity of a nation causes you to do in justice. Do justice that is approximate to piety, and be afraid of Allah. No doubt Allah is Khabir (well-acquainted) with all that you do.  (QS al-Maidah: 8)
The basic teachings above can be grounded and applied in Indonesia become the spirit of brotherhood as follows
1.Ukhuwah islamiyah (Moslem brotherhood ), 2.Ukhuwah wathaniyah ( nationality brotherhood), and 3.Ukhuwah basyariah ( humanity brotherhood).
Finally, it is sunnatullah that man or women and all things in the world must be   in “unity in dersity”. They ere not only having one  religion, but also in having immeasurable races, languages, nations and all of these come from  ONE GOD, The universe Creator, and we sould prove that iIslam is a Rahmatan Lil’alamiin        
( Blessing for all of the univers ).

in the World



October 23 2013

The courage to hope: three videos

From Côte d'Ivoire to Rome, the images of this year's meetings of men and religions broadcast again on television
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | ID
October 3 2013

The spirit of Assisi in Texas

Nearly 1,000 people in San Antonio Texas for the U.S. edition of The Courage of Hope
IT | EN | ES | DE | PT
October 2 2013

“The Courage to Hope”, also organised in Africa.

Religions meeting in Abidjan, in connection with Rome
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | ID
October 1 2013

Speech of the Holy Father Francis to the participants of the International Meeting for Peace “The Courage to Hope”

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | ID
October 1 2013
To delegitimize religious terrorism

The Indian intellectual Kulkarni said: “Religious Terrorism divides ‘in primis’ its originating religion”.

IT | EN | ES | DE | PT | CA | ID
October 1 2013
To delegitimize religious terrorism

Catholic Theologian Puig i Tàrrech: «Terrorism in the name of God is an attack to all the faithful»

IT | EN | ES | PT | CA | ID
all related news

December 26 2017

Look at the world map enlightened by the Christmas lunches

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
December 25 2017

Merry Christmas from the Community of Sant'Egidio!

The joy of Christmas is the joy of a visit, the one we receive, because Jesus comes into the world, and the one each of us can give, because the visit is a joy and a light that remains. WATCH THE VIDEO
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU
December 13 2017 | BLANTYRE, MALAWI

The new church in the House of Friendship of the Community of Sant’Egidio in Blantyre has been inaugurated.

The first prayer was presided by Mgr. Vincenzo Paglia, who met the Community in his visit to Africa
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | NL | PL | HU

September 6 2015
“Takimi i paqes”, krerët botërorë të feve mblidhen në Tiranë
November 11 2013
Herder Korrespondenz
Religion und Frieden: Internationales Treffen der Gemeinschaft von Sant'Egidio
October 29 2013
Roma sette
Preghiera e condivisione fondamenta della pace
October 13 2013
Insieme scegliamo il coraggio della pace
October 6 2013
La Vita del Popolo (Treviso)
La pace delle religioni
all press-related