According to the news headquarters of the International Congress on the Role of the Shi’a School in the Emergence and the Development of Islamic Sciences, Sayyid Umar Shahāb head of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) organization of Indonesia gave an address at the congress being held at the Great Prophet (ṣ) auditorium in the Imam Kazim (ʿa) seminary school in which he referred to the history of Shi’as in Indonesia and stated: “though Shi’as have been present in this country for nearly a thousand years, they were eliminated from the country for a long time; today, however, we have witnessed a revitalization of the Shi’a school and an increase in the number of Shi’a Muslims in Indonesia after the Islamic Revolution in Iran”.
He then continued: “since the independence of Indonesia in the 1970s, the Indonesian Muslims would only engage more in political discussions and less in theological ones. However, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Muslim activists entered a new era called the era of scientific thought”.
The head of the administrative council of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) organization of Indonesia further added: “One of the prominent Shi’a scholars who has done a great deal toward promoting scientific thought in universities and higher education schools, and whose works are met with much interest by the public is Dr. Jalaleddin Rahmat.”
Referring to the role of Shi’as in different arenas in Indonesia, Sayyid Umar Shahab noted: “Today, there are several Shi’a thinkers among the top one hundred thinkers of the country; moreover, a few years ago, Al-Mustafa University has founded the School of Islamic Studies in the city of Jakarta”.
Stating that there are very limited courses offered in Islamic philosophy in Indonesian universities, he further noted: “Recently, a center called “Sadra Philosophical Studies” has been established in the capital city of Indonesia, and those who are interested in Islamic philosophy and mysticism can now refer to this center”.