Two leaders of Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) received the title of National Heroes from the President of the Republicof Indonesia, Ir. Joko Widodo in the Conferment Ceremony in Jakarta National Palace, on Friday (8/11). This Conferment decision is codified in Presidential Decree Number 120/TK year 2019 dated 7 November 2019. The conferment of this title was delivered directly by the President of the Republic of Indonesia to the representative of the national hero’s heir. 

These two leaders of UII who received the title of National Heroes are Prof. K.H. Abdul Kahar Mudzakkir, the first Rector of UII, who held office in 1945-1960 and Prof. Dr. dr. M. Sardjito, MD., MPH. who was the third rector of UII, who held office in 1963-1970.

Inevitably, pride and gratitude are with as the entire family of UII. UII’s Rector, Fathul Wahid, S.T., M.Sc., Ph.D. recalled a memory about the examples brought about by them.  Fathul Wahid said, pak Kahar who was a pioneering rector, the first rector, was faced with difficult times in the beginning of establishing Sekolah Tinggi Islam (UII). 

They have also embedded crucial values for UII to this day.

Islamic values are integrated with intellectual values. UII is a place where religion meets science. It also provides real examples of nationhood values. “When people are struggling, UII would be on suspended status, when Jogja became the site for conflict. UII would fight with the people to defend this republic,” he explained.

Nevertheless, pak Kahar consistently tended the existence of UII. “For example when UII celebrated 4th anniversary in 1949, the anniversary ceremony was still held amidst the warfare, not in the campus, but in Tegal Layar village, Srandakan in Bantul. For what? To maintain its existence,” he explained..

Subsequently, Fathul Wahid told that Prof. Sardjito also conducted another historical duty. He was “thickening the advantages.” When UII was fostered by Prof. Sardjito in 1964-1970, he opened branches of UII in many cities. “There are five cities where it was opened, and at the same time we opened faculties in exact sciences. There are Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Pharmacy at that time,” he explained.

“To his final day in 1970, when Prof. Sardjito hadn’t even ended his terms in office, UII had been distributed into eight cities, with 22 faculties. That is the density of fruits that has been planted, offered and made by our third rector,” he explained.

Then the process of proposing their National Hero title was under the advocacy of UII.  Fathul Wahid explained that for Prof. K.H. Abdul Kahar Mudzakkir, the title was proposed in quite a long term prior to 2014. “The first proposal was rejected, the second was not quite a luck as well, and the third time we didn’t get the chance, and the fourth was last year, we proposed again. Alhamdulillah it is granted this year by the President of the Republic,” he recalled.

In the proposal process, Fathul Wahid explained that UII was visited by a team of National Government in August last year, when it was chaired by Prof. Anhar Gonggong to validate it physically, in what way or how to place them in our daily life. . Anhar Gonggong had also visited the Museum of UII. “This is one of our parts to exalted them, so that they would deserve to be heroes,” he explained. 

Fathul Wahid added, when pak Kahar came back from Cairo, he became actively involved as Director of Madrasah Mualimin Yogyakarta. Besides that, pak Kahar was also active in the struggle for national independence. “He was a member of BPUPKI, he was also a member of the Committee of Nine, who initiated Jakarta Charter,” he explained.

“Therefore, UII was born from the same womb as the Republic. It is difficult for UII to betray the nation. He had taught, put on example for us, about how to never get tired of loving our nation and state,” he revealed. 

The name of heroes are perpetuated in many places. Auditorium building was named after Prof. K.H. Abdul Kahar Mudzakkir. And then Prof. Dr. Sardjito’s name is used to call general lecture building. What we obtained from pak Kahar’s house, is now placed at UII, for example the guest chair.

“We also collected the andong that Prof. Kahar usually rode to go to work, from home in Kota Gede to UII campus. We can find these because Prof. Kahar is very religious and pious. He stated that brotherhood is crucial and it is impossible without respecting one another. This is what we teach,” he asserted. 

Female students who wear short skirt are invited to the front one by one. “And then some newspapers will be distributed, for what? To cover their knees. That is how pak Kahar do dakwah. Without anger,” he explained. 

“He was highly respected. In 1956, for example, he was invited to talk in front of his fellow in Singapore, delivering a lecture about the importance of brotherhood,” he revealed. (D/RS)