Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin emphasized that Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) are the nation's assets, as they are the only places that can produce ulema, or Muslim scholars, who can guide the people.

"Islamic boarding schools are the nation's assets," VP Amin remarked at the opening of the Islamic Boarding School Roadshow at Pesantren An-Nawawi Tanara, Banten, on Saturday.

Amin said that pesantrens can produce scholars, who can guide people on all earthly matters in life.

"We must not lose scholars by continuing to produce them through Islamic boarding schools," he affirmed.

He said one of the functions of pesantren is to prepare people, who have an understanding of religion. Currently, the vice president said, several people speak of religious issues but do not necessarily understand them.

Amin stressed that if no scholar were to be left in the world, then the people would elect incompetent leaders that can misguide and mislead them.

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Hence, the vice president emphasized that the Indonesian nation must not lose ulema, as they carry out prophetic duties.

"Ulemas are the heir of the prophets. If there are no pesantrens, ulemas will no longer exist. This must not happen," he emphasized.

In addition, the VP stated that Islamic boarding schools are the places to grow ulemas that understand both worldly and spiritual matters.

According to Amin, several worldly issues are not written specifically in the holy scripture, such as matters on the sharia economy and finance.

"Especially in mu'amalat (Islamic jurisprudence) in the field of economics, there are so many new problems, new transactions that must be answered by scholars, as well as old problems that undergo a process of change and renewal," Amin explained.

In addition to being a dawah and educational institution, pesantren plays a role in empowering the community through halal economic development, Amin affirmed.

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Translator: Rangga J, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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