Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | 18:57 WIB

Tracing Buya Hamka’s footsteps at Al Azhar Grand Mosque


Jakarta, IO – The Al Azhar Grand Mosque looks majestic amid the towering skyscrapers in South Jakarta. Located near Blok M shopping center, this old mosque has become a religious tourism destination.

According to, the mosque was built between 1953-58. It was once the largest mosque in Jakarta, able to accommodate 2,500 worshipers, before the construction of Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta. It has a long history, founded by 14 figures including those from Masjumi. It also stands witness to the life of renowned Muslim scholar and literary figure KH. Abdul Malik (popularly known as Buya Hamka).

KH Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah
KH Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah (Buya Hamka). (Source: Special)

Buya Hamka was the first chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). He was also a prominent scholar and politician, having been active in the Masyumi political party. As an Islamic activist, he received an honorary doctorate from Al Azhar University, Egypt, in 1959.

There was a story of why the mosque was redesinated from Kebayoran Baru Great Mosque to Al Azhar Grand Mosque. Rector of Al-Azhar University in Egypt Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Syaltout came to Indonesia in 1960 to give a lecture. He named the mosque Al-Azhar, which means “most luminous.”

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Apart from being a place of worship, this mosque court has also been used as a place for youth and women activities since 1962. It was later designated a cultural heritage building in 1993. (un)


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