Building Bridges of Understanding: International Sufi Conference 2023

Building Bridges of Understanding: International Sufi Conference 2023

On August 29, 2023, the International Sufi Conference 2023 was officially inaugurated by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia in Pekalongan, Central Java. This significant gathering brought together 80 Sufi scholars from 37 countries, all united in their participation. The event was initiated by Habib Muhammad Luthfi bin Yahya, the National Leader of Jam'iyyah Ahlith Thariqah al-Mu'tabarah an-Nahdliyyah (JATMAN) and a Member of the Presidential Advisory Council of the Republic of Indonesia.

In his address at the International Sufi Conference 2023, President Joko Widodo emphasized the paramount importance of harmony and tolerance in Indonesia, particularly in the face of challenges posed by instances of intolerance. President Jokowi underscored that the practice of tasawwuf (Sufism) plays a pivotal role in strengthening tolerance, unity, and cohesion within society. He emphasized that it brings forth the values of Moderate Islam, thereby enhancing Indonesia's global standing. The President also commended Indonesia for maintaining political stability, owing to the moderate character of its populace amidst the nation's cultural diversity.

During the International Sufi Conference 2023, three commissions convened, focusing on strengthening the roles of education, grassroots economy, defense, and security, all oriented towards countering radicalism and terrorism. In addition to these critical topics, various other themes were discussed, enriching the discourse.

The conference yielded a series of significant resolutions, which included recognition and appreciation for President of the Republic of Indonesia and Habib Muhammad Luthfi bin Yahya for their pivotal roles in organizing this forum and for the warm reception extended by the Indonesian people. Furthermore, the conference advocated for the integration and institutionalization of Sufi tariqa efforts and investments in agriculture, sustainable development, and renewable energy.

Participants also called upon Sufi tariqas to contribute to education through a Sufistic approach, combat global propaganda contrary to religious values, support the annual convening of the Sufi conference, and expand the reach of the World Sufi Assembly through branch offices across continents. Additionally, the conference urged nations facing internal turmoil, such as Sudan, Nigeria, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and others, to prioritize dialogue and national interests, eschew chaos, arms use, violence, and divisive politics, and provide opportunities for wise scholars to resolve contentious issues through peaceful dialogues. The delegates vowed to continue seeking solutions to the significant issues facing the Muslim world in Palestine.

The resolutions and discussions held during this conference are expected to have a far-reaching impact on the future of Sufism and its contributions to global peace and understanding.

Rafa Sukoco

An Indonesian, born into a multiethnic family, with a passion for traveling, culinary experiences, and delving into history and religion. Enjoying life through listening and sharing stories.
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