REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) condoled the demise of a senior cleric of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), KH Maimoen Zubair, calling it a major loss for the nation.
"Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiun, Kiai Maimoen Zubair passed away this morning," President Jokowi remarked while expressing his condolences following a coordination meeting on land and forest fires on Tuesday.
The cleric breathed his last on Tuesday at 08:17 a.m. local time at a hospital in Mecca while performing hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. The cleric, popularly known as Mbah Moen, was a charismatic ulema, who had become a guiding beacon for Indonesian Muslims, especially with regard to sharia law, he noted.
According to Jokowi, Mbah Moen had also made persistent attempts in defending the Unitary State of Indonesia. "Hence, it is a big loss for us. On behalf of the government and people of Indonesia, I offer my condolences," Jokowi stated.
KH Maimoen Zubair.
"He gave a lot of advice. I cannot tell you all," Jokowi recalled.
Mbah Moen was a respected cleric of the NU and senior politician of the PPP. He led the Al Anwar Sarang Islamic boarding school in Rembang District, Central Java.
As a senior figure in Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, Mbah Moen held the position of Muhtasyar NU, or NU's advisory council, along with some other figures, such as Vice President-elect Ma'ruf Amin. While in PPP, he held the position of chairman of the party's sharia board.
Mbah Moen was known for his loyalty to PPP. He remained in the party despite NU's decision to establish the National Awakening Party (PKB) in 1998. He noted that the PPP was not established merely for Muslims but for Indonesia.