Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf
Chairman of the Executive Council of Nahdlatul Ulama
Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf
Chairman of the Executive Council of Nahdlatul Ulama

Yahya Cholil Staquf serves as General Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama ((NU), or “Awakening of Scholars”) Central Board. As the world’s largest Muslim organisation—with over 90 million members and 21,000 madrasahs—the Nahdlatul Ulama adheres to the traditions of Sunni Islam, and teaches that the primary message of Islam is universal love and compassion.

 

Birth: 6 December 2022 (Age: 2022)

Source of Influence: Administration of Religious Affairs

Influence: Leader of approximately 50 million members of the Nahdlatul Ulama

School of Thought: Traditional Sunni

Status: Featured in current year

Influence

Yahya Cholil Staquf serves as General Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama ((NU), or “Awakening of Scholars”) Central Board. As the world’s largest Muslim organisation—with over 90 million members and 21,000 madrasahs—the Nahdlatul Ulama adheres to the traditions of Sunni Islam, and teaches that the primary message of Islam is universal love and compassion.

Personal Education: Mr. Staquf is descended from a long and illustrious line of Javanese ulama and was educated from earliest childhood in the formal and esoteric (spiritual) sciences of Islam, Mr. Staquf later became a disciple of venerated Islamic scholar and head of the NU Supreme Council, KH. Ali Maksum (1915–1989), and of long-time NU Chairman and Indonesia’s first democratically elected head of state, KH. Abdurrahman Wahid (1940 – 2009).

Head of Expansive Network: The Nahdlatul Ulama boasts an expansive network that covers 30 regions with 339 branches, 12 special branches, 2,630 rep­resentative councils and 37,125 sub-branch repre­sentative councils across Indonesia. This network practices the doctrine of Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jama’a, meaning “people of the Sunnah (practices of the Prophet Muhammad) and the community”. They base their practices on the traditional sources of Islamic jurisprudence—mainly the Qur’an, ha­dith, and major schools of law. Among its aims are the propagation of Nahdlatul Ulama’s message and also an expansion of its already extensive network of members in Indonesia. This is the basis of many of the organisation’s social reform efforts. With a solid structure of central and regional boards, branch and special branch boards, and various advisory coun­cils, Staquf sits at the top of this influential Sunni movement.

Model of Traditionalism: With a mainly rural membership base, the Nahdlatul Ulama distinguish­es itself from other Islamic organisations in Indonesia by positioning itself as a premier organisation of tra­ditional Islam—with an emphasis on education and political engagement based on Islamic principles.

Social Service: The Nahdlatul Ulama has made substantial charitable contributions to Indonesian society in the fields of educational development, healthcare, and poverty alleviation. Staquf, like his predecessors, propagates the Nahdlatul Ulama as an organisation that is geared toward establishing a secular nation-state based on a body of modern and moderate Muslims—with agenda items such as an­ti-corruption laws and social reform measures that are deeply rooted in Islamic principles.

Advisor: Staquf also served on HE President Joko Widodo’s Presidential Advisory Council, where he advised the President on religious, domestic and international affairs. Staquf co-founded the US-based organisation Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (The Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation), and the Center for Shared Civilizational Values in 2021, both to serve as hubs for the expansion of Nahdlatul Ulama operations in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Quotes

“Our goal is not to remake the Islamic world in our image. Rather, we seek to establish a credible version of orthodox
Islam toward which—with the appropriate global encouragement—other Muslim societies could choose to move”

Statistics

50 million members and around 14 thousand madrasahs

1926 CE is the year Nahdlatul Ulama was founded