Jakarta. Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin on Thursday met with the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to express his concern about a proposal to move the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad, but the envoy said there was no such plan.
“I will tell the ambassador that the majority of Indonesian Muslims strongly object to the plan,” Lukman was quoted as saying by news portal jpnn.com on Thursday, before the meeting.
According to a report by British newspaper The Independent, a Saudi academic recently revealed a 61-page proposal to move the prophet's tomb and his remains from the Nabawi mosque in Medina to the nearby Al-Baqi cemetery. The idea behind the proposal was to prevent Muslims from committing idolatry by venerating the tomb. At the cemetery, the prophet would be given an anonymous grave.
But Lukman said after the meeting that the Saudi ambassador, Mustafa Ibrahim Al-Mubarak, denied that his government was planning to move the tomb. In fact, the ambassador had told him the Saudi government was committed to keeping the remains at the Nabawi mosque.
On Wednesday, Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU), urged the Indonesian government to make known its opposition to the plan.
“The PBNU will send a letter to the president, asking for the Indonesian government to send a letter to Saudi Arabia's government to remind them not to remove the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad,” said Said, as quoted by Antara.
Nahdlatul Ulama is the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia.
The Prophet Muhammad's tomb is visited by millions of pilgrims from around the world every year.