President discusses Wasathiyah Islam with Al-Azhar grand sheikh

President discusses Wasathiyah Islam with Al-Azhar grand sheikh

President Joko Widodo (left) welcomed the Grand Syeikh of Al-Azhar University Cairo Muhammad Ath-Thayyib before making a speech at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Monday (30/4/2018). (ANTARA PHOTO/Wahyu Putro A)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo and visiting Grand Syeikh of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ath-Thayeb discussed about Wasathiyah al-Islam (Islam middle path) at the Merdeka Palace here on Monday.

The Al-Azhar Grand Syeikh is one of invitees who will attend the High-Level Consultation of World Muslim Scholars (summit) which will be held in Indonesian city of Bogor from May 1 to 3.

The event will be declared close by Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Vice Presidential office in Jakarta.

"What we have discussed is how we can work together to spread the Islamic wasathiyah. So, that is the point," Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi who accompanied Jokowi in the meeting stated.

Marsudi said the courtesy call (by the Grand Syeikh) is part of his program to attend the summit.

According to the Indonesian president`s special envoy for Inter-religious and Civilization Cooperation, Din Syamsuddin, around 100 world ulemas and scholars will attend the consultation, 50 of them are from Indonesia.

"We will talk about the Wasathiyah Islam concept and how to implement it especially in the context of the challenges and opportunities of today`s global civilization," Din explained.

Indonesia also wants to show and propose that Islamic wasathiyah has become part of the life of Indonesian Muslims, he noted, adding that the grand Syeikh appreciated the Islamic wasathiyah applied in the country.

Din further said that Indonesia has relatively been successful in showing the Wasathiyah Islam.

The Wasathiyah Islam is an Islam that is not just moderate but a middle way of Islam.

"The point of (the Wasathiyah Islam) is Islamic insight that upholds balance, which is full of tolerance, that takes the middle path, and solves problems through compromise," Din said

During the meeting with the President at the Merdeka Palace, Jokowi had invited the Grand Sheikh to hold Veranda Talk in the backyard of the Merdeka Palace.

Veranda Talk is a special session that is held for guests who are considered to have a special affinity with Indonesia.

The invitees, Grand Sheikh of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and Prof Ahmad Muhammad Ath-Thayyib, arrived in Jakarta on Sunday night.

The Grand Sheikh arrived on schedule at 10:20 p.m. local time on a special aircraft at Halim Perdana Kusuma international airport.

Upon arrival at the airport, the Grand Sheikh was greeted by the Indonesian president`s special envoy for Inter-religious and Civilization Cooperation, Din Syamsuddin; Vice Foreign Affairs Minister, AM Fachir; Director General of Islamic community guidance of Religious Affairs Ministry, Muhammadiyah Amin; and a number of friendly countries` envoys.

The organizing committee of the High-Level Consultation of World Muslim Scholars summit also invited President of Muslim Community Peace Promotion Forum, Prof Abdullah bin Bayyah, who is concurrently the president of the International Muslim Scholars Union; Imam (priest) of Haram Grand Mosque in Mecca, Syaikh Saleh bin Abdullah bin Hamid; and the Imam of Aqsa Mosque, Syaikh Muhammad Ahmad Husein.

Other invitees include Canadian Muslim scholar, Jamal Badawi; Secretary-General of the European Muslim Conference from France, Muhammad Bechari; Secretary-General of the Islamic World League, Muhammad Abdul Karim Al Isa; Iranian cleric, Shaykh Ayatullah Ali Taskhiri; Russian Mufti, Shaykh Ravil Ismagiloviich; and Japanese Muslim Chairman, Amin K Tokomasu.

Reported by Hanni Sofia
(B003/H-YH )
(T.Y013/A/KR-BSR/A/H-YH)

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