Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas expressed deep condolences over the demise of Sheikh Ali Jaber, saying that this Indonesia's Saudi Arabia-born ulema had notably contributed to "dakwah," or Islamic preaching.

"Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun (We belong to God and to God we shall return). We deeply condole the passing away of Sheikh Ali Jaber. He made a great contribution to 'dakwah' in Indonesia," he told journalists in Jakarta on Thursday.

Qoumas noted that the ulema’s death was a huge loss for the Indonesian Muslim communities and also the nation, so he called on the people, at large, to pray that God shower his mercy on Sheikh Ali Jaber.

"Ulema are the role models for Muslims and from whom to study religious teachings. In the fight against COVID-19, late Sheikh Ali Jaber had also kept edifying Muslim communities about the importance of containing the spread of the virus," he remarked.

Syekh Ali Jaber Foundation Chairman Habib Abdurrahman Alhabsyi officially announced the demise of Sheikh Ali Jaber at Jakarta's Yarsi Hospital on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. local time on the foundation's official Instagram account.

According to Alhabsyi, Sheikh Ali Jaber had tested negative for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prior to his death. He was hospitalized since December 29, 2020.

"We sincerely pray for him to return to his Rabb (Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala)," he stated while urging Muslim communities to pray for him and forgive any faults he may have made.

Ali Jaber's demise was widely reported by numerous news media outlets of Indonesia.

Various elements in the Indonesian society at large, such as Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, deeply condoled the passing away of this charismatic ulema.

Governor Parawansa affirmed that this charismatic Saudi-born ulema cared deeply for disabled people through efforts facilitating their digital access to Quran.

To this end, Sheikh Ali Jaber had constantly urged Muslim communities to donate a small portion of their wealth for preparing the digital Quran for disabled people, particularly for those having gone blind due to vision loss.

Before being admitted to the hospital owing to symptoms of COVID-19, Sheikh Ali Jaber had made a round trip in East Java for a noble mission to enlighten and empower Muslims in the province, she stated.

Born in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on Feb 3, 1976, Sheikh Ali Jaber, whose full name is Ali Saleh Mohammed Ali Jaber, had been widely known as a Muslim preacher and ulema.

Ali Jaber held an Indonesian citizenship. He was popular among Indonesian Muslims as a juror of Quran memorization contests on the country's TV stations. Related news: Indonesia's Saudi Arabia-born ulema Sheikh Ali Jaber passes away
Related news: Vice President Amin condoles death of Ali Jaber


Translator: Anom P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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