Jakarta-wapresri.go.id Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that the late K.H. Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi is a national figure who had a long life experience.

“K.H. Hasyim Muzadi had various activities. He started from being a student activist, a Parliament member, a kiai (Muslim scholar), and then a politician,” said the Vice President at the book launch of “Takziah Muhammadiyah untuk KH. Hasyim Muzadi (Muhammadiyah’s Tribute to KH. Hasyim Muzadi)” held at the Muhammadiyah Central Building in Menteng, Central Jakarta, Thursday night (April 20).

To the Vice President, K.H. Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi is not only a role model for Indonesian people, but also for the world as he was active in campaigning for peaceful and tolerant Islam.

“He was active in the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS),” said the Vice President. ICIS is an organization promoting peaceful and moderate Islam throughout the world.

The Vice President also appreciated the book written to commemorate the life and struggle of the former chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia.

“If this book is published by NU, it is not surprising. However, as this is published by Muhammadiyah, it becomes newsworthy,” said the Vice President, applauded by the audience.

The Vice President then talked about his memorable experience with K.H. Hasyim Muzadi.

In 2002, he recounted, after the tragedy of Bali Bomb I, the number of tourists in Bali declined from more than 6,000 people to only about 1,000 people per day.

To increase the number of tourists in Bali at that time, the Vice President then invited Syafii Maarif (chairman of Muhammadiyah –Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization—at the time) and K.H. Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi to discuss whether religious holidays, such as the Isra Miraj and Mawlid (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday), could be shifted so that people have long weekend holidays.

“For example, when the celebration is on Tuesday, the holiday is changed to Monday. (Holidays) on Thursday, (shifted) to Friday. (This is because) it takes at least three days for people to have vacation Bali,” said the Vice President.

The two leaders of the largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia, he added, did not object to the initiative.

“If NU and Muhammadiyah do not mind, others will not mind too. That is the history of why religious holidays was moved,” he explained.

The Vice President then conveyed his impression on the name of the late Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi which seems to be a joint name of the founders of Muhammadiyah and NU, namely Ahmad Dahlan and Hashim Asyari.

“Did his parents purposely or not gave the name ‘Ahmad Hasyim’? From the name alone, we know he is close to Muhammadiyah,” he said.

Concluding his remarks, the Vice President hoped that people could take the example of Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi’s thought and commitment to strengthen the relationship between NU and Muhammadiyah.

“Hopefully, this book will provide a step to get closer to each other,” he concluded.

At the event, there were also some national figures who gave testimonials about the late Hasyim Muzadi, all of whom appreciated the deceased’s character and role for the people and the Islamic world.

Din Syamsuddin, former Muhammadiyah chairman, for example, called K.H. Hasyim Muzadi a scholar who had a wide Islamic, national, and societal insight, as well as strategic thinking.

“(He) put Islam appropriately in the world context. His leaving us is a loss not only for the NU community, but also for Muslims, Indonesian people, and the Islamic world,” said Syamsuddin.

Also attending the event were the chairman of the People Consultative Assembly (MPR) for 1999-2004 period who was also chairman of Muhammadiyah for 1995-2000 period Amien Rais; MPR chairman Zulkifli Hasan; Minister of Education and Culture Muhadjir Effendy; Head of the Vice Presidential Secretariat Mohamad Oemar; the Deputy for Policy Support in Human Development and Development Equity of the Vice Presidential Secretariat Bambang Widianto; and a special staff to the Vice President Syahrul Udjud.

The book “Takziah Muhammadiyah for KH. A. Hasyim Muzadi” is a form of appreciation showed by Muhammadiyah to the late K.H. Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi, a NU figure and one of the nation’s best characters. He was born in Tuban, East Java on August 8, 1944 and died in Malang on March 16, 2017 at the age of 72. Muzadi was the NU chairman for the period of 1999-2010 and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council since January 19, 2015.