Nurturing Creation, Building a Noble Civilization

Let’s strengthen our intent
and forge an unbreakable determination
to continuously perform good deeds,
increasing our service to God and humanity.
Spreading love and compassion to all of creation
and building a new and noble civilization
for the sake of peace and happiness together,
acting in accord with the will of Allah, the Great “One,” and receiving His blessings.
~ Nahdlatul Ulama Centennial March
Lyrics by KH. A. Mustofa Bisri

SIDOARJO, East Java, Indonesia — The world’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, has released a new anthem to celebrate its centennial and express its aspirations for the coming century. Former Chairman of the NU Supreme Council, KH. A. Mustofa Bisri, composed the lyrics of the Nahdlatul Ulama Centennial March: Nurturing Creation, Building a Noble Civilization.

Mustofa Bisri is co-founder and Chairman of the Center for Shared Civilizational Values, which serves as permanent secretariat of the G20 Religion Forum (R20), which seeks to ensure, “that religion serves as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions, rather than problems, in the 21st century.”

Under the leadership of KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama central board, NU is moving systematically and institutionally to address a rapidly metastasizing global crisis, which Dr. Timothy S. Shah and Thomas G. Dinham described in an article titled “Humanitarian Islam: Fostering shared civilizational values to revitalize a rules-based international order”:

The post-World War II rules-based international order is under severe stress, challenged by the emergence of “authoritarian, civilizationist states that do not accept [this] order, whether in terms of human rights, rule of law, democracy or respect for international borders and the sovereignty of other nations” (CDI Resolution on promoting a rules-based international order founded upon universal ethics and humanitarian values). What also distinguishes “civilizationist” states — including Communist China and Putin’s Russia — is the weaponization of ethnic, religious and/or cultural identities, including their history and symbols, in order to consolidate and wield power vis-à-vis both internal and external enemies.

“Civilizationism” is part of a global resurgence of identity-based, supremacist politics unfolding in tandem with profound shifts in economic and geopolitical power in the 21st century. Simultaneously, socio-cultural and political developments in recent decades have precipitated a crisis of confidence in Europe and North America regarding the traditional values and legitimacy of Western civilization. These developments have profoundly undermined the philosophical, spiritual and moral foundation upon which the post-war international order was built.

Another version of the Nahdlatul Ulama Centennial March, with subtitles in Arabic, English, and Indonesian may be viewed below.

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