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No Other Choice But To Fight! Indonesia And Case Of Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir's

02 September 2010

By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun

There is no other choice but to fight the every injustice that befalls the Islamic ummah, we are a one body, mutually bearing one another's pain, together groaning and crying over every wound suffered by a brother, like crying over own's wound.

And the case of Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir's arrest is a harassment against Islam and the Ulama's. Without manners, the police who do not have feelings dragged an old man. Is Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir more contemptible than the corruptors who steal people's money, who are fraudsters impersonating as law enforcement, that he was treated inhumanely?

Come on, why are we still silent seeing all of these injustices, are we scared that when we defend the Ulama's we will meet with death, are we afraid that if we fight munkar we will be tortured, are we more afraid of the ruler of the dunya than the Ruler of the dunya and akhira?

We must rise, do not let any insult on the Ulama' and Islam continue, so that they know that we also have self-respect, that we are also hurt when seeing the Ulama' like Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir being treated spitefully. Let us prove our love for the Ulama's and Islam today, never mind if our whole body disintegrate into the earth but at least we die bringing glory and shedding the odiums that continued to be given by those enemies of Allah.

Have we not had enough humiliation on Islam and the Ulama's already, that we are still silent, locking the house and dressing up as a sissy, letting all this happen without any resistance? Woe to us who had been given the burden to speak the truth and quell the bathil, we're still playing games (not serious) with our promises to Allah, the promise to sell ourselves to the last drop of the blood to defend His Dien until shaheed comes to greet us, will we still be silent over all these?

Hanif, Jakarta

Personality: Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir - A Big Mujahid, Made Big By His Enemies.....

Now Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir is arrested again. An elderly ulama' who is firm in upholding Islam is now becoming the public spotlight as he is accused of having a link to terrorism network.

If we look at the da'wah journey of Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, all are far from the impression of wanting to seek the pleasure of the world, especially popularity in the eyes of the society. But his assertiveness in delivering Islam with whatever is available had made him suddenly famous amidst the ummah.

And what is more astonishing was that there was no effort at all from him to make himself known, in the way celebrities, as well as political figures do to leap up their reputation so as to be known by the society.

Many political figures spend money in their billions (rupiah -ed) so that they will be known by the public, then smoothen their steps to become officials with fat wallets. Any big Mujahid, such as Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, Said Qutub, Usamah bin Ladin, Mullah Umar Muhammad, Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar, etc. including Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was made big by his own enemies, they are considered an impediment to the kafir system.

All this happens because the Mujahids are assertive in presenting and speaking about the truth of Islam. If we come across in our midst a big Mujahid who is firm in voicing out Islam, then give him your supports and join his ranks, you will undoubtedly be safe, because the indicator for the truth in the da'wah is the many number of tests and trials, and not the political podiums.


The long journey of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, began in Pekunden village, Mojoagung sub-district, Jombang district, East Java. It was in that small village that the elderly ulama' was born into this world. His birth in Jombang was greeted by the faint hums of takbeer that sounded in the corners of the village, chanted by the children through the old musollas around his house. The chants of takbeer celebrating the remembrance of the exemplary sacrifice of the Father of Tawheed, Ibrahim AS who wanted to slaughter his son.

He was born on 12th Dzulhijjah 1359, two days after the Eid al-Adha. The thundering takbeer that thrilled the hearts, in conjunction with the roar of the Indonesian people who were fighting for their independence, in a deprived and pitiful condition, to get out from the colonialism by the kafir Dutch forces. The date of his birth coincided with 17th August 1938. Both parents accompanied the birth of Abu Bakar Ba’syir with the facial expression of shukr and tears of gratitude as they hoped he would be able to emulate the sacrifice of Ibrahim and the patriotism spirit of a warrior in upholding the principles of truth and Islam. He was born into the family with three other brothers and three sisters.

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir's father was a not wealthy man like most of the other citizens who were from the descendants of the Arabs. However, it was his parents' love of Islam and submissions to Allah that made the little Abu Bakar able to survive. The descendant blood of Hadramaut Yaman is flowing swiftly inside him. His father's name is Abud bin Ahmad from the family of Bamu'alim Ba'asyir which is the reason why Abu Bakar bears the clan name “Ba’asyir” behind his real name. There's not much sweet memories with his father that he could feel and enjoy. When he was seven years old, his father had to leave the cheerful laughter of the little Abu Bakar. His father passed away. He became an orphan in the midst of the chaotic life of the Indonesian nation, despite having gained its independence.

In the midst of the tangled life of the Indonesian nation, his mother who was still illiterate with the Indonesian Latin alphabets, parented the little Abu Bakar on her own. His mother's name is Halimah who was born in Indonesia although still of a Yemenese descendant from the family of Bazargan. In order to continue the mandate of religion and her husband, the mother continued to instil Islamic values for the sake of his son's future happiness. His mother, who was good at reading the Qur'an and a devout Muslimah, always accompanied the child's religious education at home, although the little Abu Bakar also never missed attending the village musolla for religious education.

Not wanting to let their children fall behind in ignorance, his parents enrolled the little Abu Bakar to take up his first education at Madrasah Ibtida’iyah (an Islamic school in the level of Primary School). However, due to the state of revolutionary conflict of the Indonesian people against the Dutch at that time, his schooling had to be delayed and experience a gap. Only later, after the proclamation of Indonesian independence, that he was transferred to the common school (a public school equivalent to the Primary School today). While becoming a student at the madrassa, the little Abu Bakar had the opportunity to join the activities of the Indonesian Islamic Scouts (during the Old Order which later was fused into the Scout Movement). To cover the deficiencies of the child in religious knowledge, every night, the little Abu Bakar studied the Qur'an and religious knowledge in the village musolla. Besides his activities in the musolla, the mother still continued to directly assist in his education at home.

After graduating from the common school, his education continued to the secondary school level. He attended a junior secondary school in the city of Jombang which was 13 km away from his house. Every day, he had to travel a distance of at least 26 Km with a bicycle. While in this junior secondary school, Abu Bakar actively participated in the organizational activities of the Indonesian Islamic Youth Movement (GPII), of the Mojoagung branch, besides still a member of the Scout Movement.

Stepping into adolescence after finishing education in the junior secondary school, he continued his education in the upper secondary school. At that time, he studied in Negeri Surabaya Upper Secondary School. The condition of the Indonesian economy then, which was experiencing a downturn and evenly affecting all layers of the society, made his education at upper secondary school lasted only for one year. His organizational activity was also forced to halt. Then he decided to move to Solo, to help his brother who was setting up a company in selling woven sarongs in the city of Solo.

In the year 1959 AD, with the encouragement and help of his two brothers, Salim Ba'asyir and Ahmad Ba'asyir, he registered as a santri (religious student) at the Pondok Pesantren Darussalam Gontor, a traditional Islamic boarding school which was known to be the best and most advanced in Indonesia. With the grace of Allah SWT's blessings, he managed to become a santri at that pondok pesantren. Here, his activeness of being in an organization was channelized again in the umbrella organization of the Indonesian Muslim Students (PII), of the Gontor branch. His dream of continuing an education which had been halted, made him feel as if seeing a lamp in the middle of the blind darkness of the night.

Four years of becoming a student at the Pondok Pesantren Darussalam Gontor, with the grace of Alah, he managed to graduate from the Mualimin class in 1963 AD. His enthusiasm to pursue education was still still burning inside him (still under the support of his brothers), he continued his studies at Universitas Al Irsyad in the city of Solo, in the field of Da'wah for approximately three years.

While being a university student, he was active in a number of youth organizations. He became a member of the Muslim Students Association (HMI), of the Solo branch. In the HMI, he got the mandate to be the chairman of the Islamic Students Da'wah Institutions (LDMI) - a semi-autonomous institution of the HMI- the Solo branch, when Ir. Imaduddin became its General Chairman at the time. In the Indonesian Islamic Youth Movement organization, Abu Bakar Ba’syir also got the da'wah mandate to be the Chairman in 1961. Besides that, in the Al Irsyad Youths organization, he became the secretary for the Solo branch.

Coming to adulthood, the call of heart to get married directed him to conjoin a Muslimah named Aisyah binti Abdurrahman Baraja'. Since then, the presence of his wife always accompanies the struggle of his da'wah. The wife's faithfulness was not only proved by beautiful expressions of words and adornment of compliments. But, the presence of his wife, Aisyah Baraja’, in the struggle of da'wah, materialized in the form of concrete actions and facts. From the womb of his wife, both have three children whom now are already married and all are still alive. The three children are made up of 1 daughter and two sons. They are Zulfah, Rosyid Ridho and Abdul Rohim.

His journey of da'wah then continued by setting up a da'wah radio named radio ABC (Al-Irsyad Broadcasting Center) in the building of Al Irsyad Solo which until now still running. Actively participating with him were Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar (rhm), Ustadz Abdullah Thufail (rhm), and Ustadz Hasan Basri (rhm). Due to misunderstandings with a some of Al-Irsyad's managements, relating to the radio shows, he then moved out with some managements of the radio ABC and established the Radio Da'wah Islamiyyah Surakarta (RADIS) which was densely loaded with firm da'wah and avoiding sinful songs. RADIS was set up in the old complex of Masjid Al Mukmin, which was eventually closed by the New Order regime as it was considered as against the government.

Not enough with just da'wah through the aired frequency, he founded the Madrassa Dienniyah (a kind of non-formal institution which teaches Islamic religious education, normally held in the afternoon ) at the complex of Masjid Al Mukmin Gading Wetan (today it has become an Islamic High School 1 Surakarta, not the Al-Islam High School 1 Surakarta). In the beginning, this madrassa which only give inputs in the afternoon, provided Arabic Language education and Islamic Shari'a materials. Thereafter, it was this Madrassa Dienniyah that became the forerunner in the making of the Pondok Pesantren Al Mukmin Ngruki which is still operating today.

Seeing the rapid development of the madrassa and driven by the mandate given by KH. Zarkasyi (the founder of Pondok Pesantren Darussalam Gontor), Abu Bakar Ba’asyir initiated in expanding the Madrassa Dienniyah to become a pondok pesantren which at that time was located in Gading Kidul-Surakarta occupying a narrow area. It was only after two years later that the Pondok Pesantren Al Mukmin moved to a larger ground in the village of Ngruki purchased from one of the religious figures in Solo. The village of Ngruki itself was still “controlled” by the communists who were still quite solid at that time.

Along with Alm. (the late) Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar, Alm. Ustadz Hasan Basri, Alm. Abdullah Baraja', Alm. Ustadz Yoyok Raswadi and Ustadz Abdul Qahar Haji Daeng Matase, Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir continued to build and develop the educations in Pesantern Al-mukmin. The main supporters of the establishment of that Pondok Pesantern were the members of the study circles who were nurtured by the prominent founding figures, especially members of the Zuhr study circle at the complex of Masjid Agung Surakarta. Alhamdulillah, the teaching activities are still running today.

Since the beginning, Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir and his friends had a character which is; they are not reluctant to speak the truth wherever they are and in whatever circumstances they must face, even if they have to deal with the authorities. It is this character that had made the government become stiflingly sweltered. Because the materials they presented were considered as against the regime at that time, in the end Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar, Ustadz Hasan Basri and Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir themselves were jailed for 4 years for no clear reason, that ultimately Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar and Ustadz Abu Bakar were re-sentenced to 9 years in prison. Not accepting the judge’s decision, both of them appealed, until it was reduced to 4 years which was fitting with the detention period they had already served. Not satisfied with the outcome, the Attorney General made an appeal to the Supreme Court.

These two ustadzs were often referred to by some as a single duo. If the nationalist people have the Soekarno-Hatta, then the people of the Islamic movements have the Abdullah Sungkar-Abu Bakar Ba’asyir. After being freed, while awaiting the result of the appeal, Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir along with Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar (rhm), still continued their educational and da’wah activities just like before.

This had made the New Order regime pressure the Supreme Court to raise the sentence to 9 years so as to be made the reason for their re-arrest. When the subpoena from the Sukoharjo court to listen to the court's decision arrived, the single duo understood well the sly intent and purpose of the government. Thus, after a consultation with several ulama’s, they both decided not to attend the summons of the court because it is a sin. There was no other choice for them except to do hijrah or remain at home until they were arrested by the police. For them both, that is more honourable in the sight of Allah SWT than to surrender themselves to the thaghut. It appeared that to migrate was the option selected, because this path is the best of the two options.

With Allah’s help through Mr. Muhammad Natsir, former chairman of Masyumi and the Da'wah Islamiyah Council of Indonesia, they both managed to emigrate to Malaysia and settle there. Then, they were followed by the families who later settled there as well for 15 years. During the period of his migration, he was still working and preaching as before.

Year 1998, Allah SWT willed that the despotic power of the New Order was overthrown. Then in 1999, Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir decided to return to Indonesia with Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar. But not long after that i.e. in the year 2000 to be exact, Ustadz Abdullah Sungkar passed away. Next, Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir decided to return to the Pondok Pesantren Al Mukmin Ngruki to continue the education and da’wah to realize their future goals i.e. for the sake of the implementation of the Islamic Shar’ia in Indonesia. In order to develop the da’wah Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir keeps up with the congress of the Islamic ummah initiated by some da’wah activists in Yogyakarta, where in the congress, the Islamic ummah agreed to create an umbrella organization for the Muslims to unite for the sake of establishing the kalimah of Allah in the land of Indonesia. Hence, the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) was formed. The congress decided that Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was appointed as the Amir Ahlul Halli Wal Aqdi (AHWA) MMI or simply called the Amir of MMI.

Year 2003, he was arrested again by the government of Megawati for allegedly being involved in terrorism which had caused him to be sentenced to two years in jail despite the absence of evidence. Strangely, the verdict was given not because of an involvement with terrorism which so far had been accused on him. The direction of the allegation in the trial diverted towards treason and forgery of KTP (ID Card), although the witnesses at the trial, made up of the Sukoharjo local government officials, themselves stated that there was no irregularities of any sort in the process of the making of Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir’s KTP.

Year 2004, after being released from Salemba prison, he was immediately stopped by the police to be thrown back into jail. Again and again for the same charges. He was believed to be involved in the Marriot hotel bombing case. Whereas, when the Marriott bombing incident took place, he himself was inside the Salemba prison since 1.5 years earlier. Up to the time during the rule of SBY, Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba'asyir still had to remain in jail for 30 months because of the pressure from foreign parties until June 2006. Only then he was feeling the freedom. Next, he still continued his da’wah activities by travelling around Indonesia to promote the implementation of Islamic Shari'a in Indonesia.

Now, through the da’wah umbrella organization of Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), which he formed as a consequence to the differences in principles with the management of the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), he is still struggling for his dream goal to establish the implementation of the Islamic Shari'a until the soul departs from the body.

Not only from among the scholars that he had visited, not a few residentials, housings, office complexes, majelis (assembly) of ta’lim (learnings), masjids, musollas, officials and bureaucrats, as well as prisons that he had visited together with the Islamic activists and Islamic elements. To the Presidents of Indonesia (Megawati and SBY) too, he did give a gift book and firm advices in accordance with his principles of applying polite ways (read his book Nasehat Untuk Penguasa – [Advices For The Rulers –ed]). His preoccupations with da’wah after being freed from the prison almost leaves no time at home for him to mingle with his family, children, as well as his grandchildren the way old folks who are enjoying retirement should, because he knows well that the the world of da’wah has no retirement. Now, he is going back to prison. Quoting the words of Ibnu Taimiyah, Ustadz Abu often advises :

ما يفعل أعدائي بي ؟ ..
أنا جنتي و بستاني في صدري ..
أين ما رحت فهي معي ..
أنا حبسي خلوة ..
و نفيي سياحة ..( يعني الترحيل عن البلد )
و قتلي شهادة ..
المأسور من أسره هواه ..
و المحبوس من حبس قلبه عن ربه

What can my enemies possibly do to me?
My paradise is in my heart;
Wherever I go it goes with me, inseparable from me.
For me, prison is a place of (religious) retreat;
Execution is my opportunity for shaheed;
and Exile from my town is but a recreation
Be patient O Big Mujahid, the generations after you are sure to follow your steps.




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