Tuanku Rao: The Padri Leader and Commander
Tuanku Rao was an influential figure in the history of West Sumatra, Indonesia. He was born in 1790 and became a leader and commander of the Padri movement, a group of Islamic reformists who wanted to purify Islam from local customs and traditions. He was inspired by the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism, a strict interpretation of Islam.
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Tuanku Rao fought against the Dutch colonialists and their local allies, who opposed the Padri's efforts to impose Islamic law and practices. He was known for his courage, charisma and military skills. He led several battles and sieges, such as the Battle of Bonjol (1821), the Siege of Bukittinggi (1825) and the Siege of Fort de Kock (1826). He also established a network of Islamic schools and mosques in West Sumatra.
Tuanku Rao died in 1833 after being wounded by a Dutch cannonball. He was buried in Bonjol, where his tomb is still visited by many people. He is regarded as a national hero and a martyr by many Indonesians. His life and legacy are documented in various books, such as Tuanku Rao by Mangaraja Onggang Parlindungan[^1^] [^2^].Tuanku Rao's life was full of challenges and struggles. He faced not only the Dutch colonialists, but also the local rulers and elites who resisted his Islamic reforms. He also had to deal with the cultural and religious diversity of the Batak people, who had different beliefs and traditions from the Minangkabau people. He tried to persuade them to embrace Islam and follow the Padri's teachings, but he also faced opposition and hostility from some of them.
Tuanku Rao was a visionary and a pioneer. He wanted to create an Islamic state in West Sumatra that would be independent from foreign domination and local corruption. He also wanted to spread Islam to other regions, such as Aceh, Java and Malaya. He was one of the first Indonesian leaders who fought for national liberation and religious revival. He inspired many other fighters and reformers who came after him, such as Tuanku Imam Bonjol, Diponegoro, Kartini and Sukarno.
Tuanku Rao's legacy is still alive today. He is remembered as a national hero and a martyr by many Indonesians. His name is honored in various places, such as streets, schools and monuments. His story is taught in history books and celebrated in cultural events. His spirit of jihad and dakwah is still relevant for the contemporary Muslims who face various challenges and opportunities in the modern world.Tuanku Rao came from a noble Minangkabau family that originated from Rao, Pasaman in West Sumatra. His father was from Tarung-Tarung, Rao, and his mother was from Padang Mantinggi, Rao[^1^] [^2^]. He had a strong Islamic upbringing since his childhood. He studied Islam at the surau of the prominent ulama Tuanku Nan Tuo in Koto Tuo, Agam, and then continued his education at the surau in Bonjol. He completed his studies of Islamic jurisprudence with the honorable title thayyib jiddan (very satisfying), awarded by Fakih Muhammad[^1^] [^2^].
Tuanku Rao married a noblewoman, the daughter of Yang Dipertuan Rao, the ruler of Rao. He took over the leadership of Rao from his father-in-law, who was not a follower of Wahhabism and did not have the enthusiasm to resist the Dutch colonialism. He then adopted the title Tuanku Rao[^2^]. He had several children, some of whom followed his footsteps and joined the Padri movement. His son Tuanku Nan Renceh was one of his trusted commanders and fought alongside him in many battles[^3^].
Tuanku Rao's family was not spared from the hardships and tragedies of war. His wife and some of his children were captured by the Dutch and exiled to Batavia (now Jakarta). His son Tuanku Nan Renceh was killed by a Dutch bullet in 1832. Tuanku Rao himself died in 1833 after being wounded by a Dutch cannonball. His body was allegedly dumped into the sea by the Dutch troops[^2^] [^3^]. His family's fate is a testament to their sacrifice and devotion for their faith and nation. 0efd9a6b88