Gus Dur- A man of God, a man of humanity

Jakarta Post: by Moh Yasir Alimi,

Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, the fourth president of Indonesia, a great ulema and a man of humanity, is no longer with us, but he is not dead. Neither is he in the grave. He lives in us.

His human touch and spirit — for justice, freedom, humanity, tolerance, decency and simplicity — live and rise as ripples and then as waves of love within many hearts. A teacher of love and compassion, Gus Dur remains a fearless defender of tolerance, pluralism and constitutionalism.

In front of him, you were precious not because of your religion, wealth, affiliation or social status, but because you were simply human. The fact that you were human gave the man enough reason to respect you. That was his religiosity…………

The humanist spirit of Gus Dur — religion with sacrifice, tolerance, justice, democracy, constitutionalism and spirituality with love — was well summarized in a dangdut song titled “Pendekar Rakyat” (The People’s Hero) performed by Sagita.

“I want my grave¬stone to read ‘Here lies the body of a pluralist’” - Gus Dur (1940−2009), Indonesian President, Pluralist.

 “Although your eyes are blind

 Your heart is with sight

 You know which one is a cat and which one is dog

 It doesn’t matter whether you are NGOs or parties, organizations or community activists

 The most important is the character

I remember your simple advice

Religion should protect the universe.”

Gus Dur’s conviction that religion should protect humanity and universe remains absolutely true. The fundamental objective of religion for Gus Dur was to protect life, because every life is sacred.

Religion, in his own words, should “reflect God’s mercy and compassion, and bring the blessings of peace, justice and tolerance to a suffering world.”

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Categories: Asia, Indonesia

1 reply

  1. Gus Dur passed away on Dec. 30,2009. Inter-faith leaders remember Gus Dur as a pluralist leader. Amid the recent religious based violence, hundreds of people commemorate the death of former president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid today as ” the hero of pluralism”.

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