On Wednesday 25 September 2019, the PISAI welcomed Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council. Founded in 1926, Nahdlatul Ulama is the world’s largest Muslim organization with over 50 million members and 14,000 madrasas. Sheikh Yahya also serves in the Presidential Advisory Council, where he advises the Indonesian President on religious, domestic and international affairs. He is also co-founder and Director of Religious Affairs of Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation) and one of the leading voices of ‘Humanitarian Islam’.
Inspired by the legacy of former Nahdlatul Ulama Chairman and Indonesian President H.E. Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid (1940-2009), ‘Humanitarian Islam’ is a global movement “that seeks to restore rahmah (universal love and compassion) to its rightful place as the primary message of Islam”. During his visit to the PISAI, Shaykh Yahya was accompanied by members of Nahdlatul Ulama’s Barisan Ansor Serbaguna youth wing, including Chairman Yaqut Cholil Qoumas. Also accompanying the delegation were H.E. Agustinus Agus, Archbishop of Pontianak, Borneo West, and Father Markus Solo Kewuta, S.V.D., from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.