“I earlier intended to follow (Kyai Haji Sahal Mahfudh’s) steps. He earlier served as rais aam (supreme leader of Nahdlatul Ulama) concurrently as the chairperson of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), and I also followed his steps and also served as rais aam and the MUI chairperson, yet later, Mr Jokowi invited me to become the vice president,” Amin stated here Friday.
While officiating the Baiturrahman Great Mosque and Central Java MUI’s Sahal Mahfudh Building here, the vice president also said that Sahal Mahfudh, the late Muslim cleric, on whose name the building was named, must become an example for Muslims.
Mahfudh was the supreme leader of Nahdlatul Ulama during the 1999-2014 period and concurrently served as MUI chairperson for the 2000-2014 period.
“It is appropriate that (Sahal Mahfudh’s) name adorned the new building because he must be an example for all, including his deeds and thoughts. It is also a tradition of us Muslims to dedicate a monument to ensure (the person) will remain an inspiration for all of us,” Amin affirmed.
The vice president then lauded Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, who initiated the development of Baiturrahman Grand Mosque.
“It turns out that he often prayed here, and because he understood the conditions here, he believed the place’s condition was inappropriate, considering its historical importance. Hence, he proposed the mosque’s development,” he explained.
“If you want a good mosque, (then) invite him to pray there. The renovation worth Rp652 billion (US$43.6 million) of Istiqlal Mosque was initiated by him, and he also proposed (the renovation) of other mosques,” Amin stated.
The development of Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, constructed in 1955, took place for a year, from August 2021 to August 2022, and the renovation costs totaled Rp92.58 billion (US$6.20 million).