In the moment of 72 years of independence of the Republic of Indonesia, memory of our nation’s history recorded an important event about the historical and humanitarian ties of Indonesia and Palestine. In fact, Palestine is the first entity to encourage and recognize the independence of the Indonesian nation, in addition to Egypt being the first country to recognize it. By de jure, Indonesia which had independence on August 17, 1945 needed the support and recognition from other countries to become a sovereign State.
More specifically, the support was initiated and given by Shaykh Muhammad Amin Al-Husaini. He was a scholar and activist of the struggle who was then serving as a Palestinian mufti. In his capacity as a mufti, Shaykh Amin Al-Husaini was pleased to welcome the delegation of the Central Committee of Indonesian Independence. His full support and congratulations were broadcast by the Berlin radio on September 6, 1944, to coincide with Japan’s recognition of Indonesia’s independence. (Zein Hassan: Diplomacy of the Indonesian Revolution Abroad, 1980, p 40). Endorsement and full support was delivered precisely when the Palestinians were seriously confronted the efforts of British and Zionist to seize over their land.
Shaykh Amin Al-Husaini was born in Al-Quds and was known as a scholar who has high concern. His role was very visible in the struggle against Zionist Israel and Britain, especially after the publishment of Balfour declaration in 1917.
If the memory of history is withdrawn 5 centuries before the moment of independence of the Republic of Indonesia, will again be found great services of the Palestinian scholars against the Indonesian Nation. When Sultan Mehmed I (1394-1421) also known as Mehmed Çelebi or Kirişci was the Ottoman Sultan , the Ottoman Caliphate sent a letter to provincial officials in North Africa and Middle East, to send a scholars team consisting of experts in various disciplines besides the main expertise of religious scholars. This team was later termed as walisongo. Interestingly, some members of the da’wah team were from Palestine:
1. Maulana Hasanuddin (1404-1435)
2. Maulana Aliyuddin (1404-1435)
3. Shaykh Ja’far Shadiq (1435-1463)
4. Syarif Hidayatullah or Sunan Gunung Jati (1435-1463)
The four then lived and inherit in Indonesia. Even specifically Shaykh Ja’far Sadiq named his place of dakwah by the name of the Holy city (Kudus city) was inspired from the holy city of Al-Quds in Palestine. He also founded a Grand Mosque called Al-Aqsa Mosque but better known as Menara Kudus Mosque. (Saiful Bahri: The Forbidden Country, 2013, p3)
Two stories of the independence support from Palestinians and their services and role of da’wah of the Palestinian scholars in the beloved Indonesian land, all are facts about the historical knot and humanitarian between the two Nations.
There are many meanings contained within the tangle of historical knot. One of them, perhaps not exaggerated if there is a phrase: long time ago before Indonesia gave concern to the Palestinians, the nation who was then become a target of Zionist has been first concerned about Indonesia. The sending of scholars of dakwah from Palestine belonging to the walisongo caravan was also a great service Indonesia that has the biggest Muslim communities in the world. If you care with Palestine because returning the favor is a natural thing. That meaning may be the answer to a question: why we should care about Palestine, however Indonesia still has a lot of homework? Furthermore, there are still some of other meanings that can be revealed.