Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian mosques have been recognized by the United Nations (UN) as a model for global mosque development in the future, according to Jakarta's Istiqlal Mosque Grand Imam Nasaruddin Umar.

While delivering his Isra Miraj commemoration message here on Thursday, he recounted the moment he met the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé, who said that the UN was inspired by Istiqlal Mosque's development.

Muslims believe that during the Isra and Miraj, Prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven to receive the command of the five daily prayers from Allah.

"Istiqlal Mosque is not only a model for all of us in Indonesia because, praise be to God, the international community has begun emulating what Indonesia has done," Umar said.

The Grand Imam said that mosques are a symbol of unity as their activities are often attended by a large number of participants.

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He noted that in some mosques in Europe, congregants often overflow onto the road in front of the mosques, forcing the mosques to close temporarily to accommodate them.

"Even in the United States, no one can match congregations who partake in worship activities at mosques. Hence, awakening this collective spirit is essential," he emphasized.

Umar highlighted that an interfaith community in Los Angeles, the United States, has also sought his advice to attract congregants to participate in religious activities, as he has done in Istiqlal Mosque.

He further said that pursuing worldly pleasures and financial gain can cause people's hearts to become empty. Visiting a mosque, where they can be soothed by the imam's beautiful Quran recitation and solidarity to pray together, can replenish their hollow heart, he added.

He also said that commemorating Isra Miraj is a way to enhance the spirit of participating in mosque activities together, especially with Ramadan around the corner.

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Translator: Mecca Yumna, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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