Jakarta, Indonesianpost.com – The Chairman of the Tabligh Assembly of the Muhammadiyah Central Board, Ustadz Fathurrahman Kamal, stated that the Muhammadiyah Regional Leadership (PWM) in East Java has officially bought a church in Alcala, Madrid, Spain. The church was originally a mosque from the Abbasid Caliphate era.
According to Ustadz Fathurrahman, the purchase of the church was made by the Muhammadiyah Regional Leadership in East Java, which was previously led by Dr. Saad Ibrahim.
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“That church has been bought by PWM East Java. That’s why my department head is Dr. Saad Ibrahim, he has done it and it is concrete, and I think that things like this are also important to be directly discussed,” said Ustadz Fathurrahman on Wednesday (1/3/2023).
“I heard the information that we received from East Java, and I think that it is part of what will be taken seriously,” he added.
Ustadz Fathurrahman stated that there is currently a growing trend toward the internationalization of Islamic preaching within Muhammadiyah. According to him, the purchase of the church by Muhammadiyah PWM is also one of the efforts made by Muhammadiyah to carry out preaching at the international level.
“Including the products of the Solo Muktamar, one of the orientations for the future is how to internationalize the preaching of Muhammadiyah,” said Ustadz Fathurrahman.
He also stated that Muhammadiyah representatives are already present on five continents, namely Asia, Africa, Europe, America, and Australia. In Egypt, he said, Muhammadiyah already has business ventures and has even established the Muhammadiyah Tapak Suci Martial Arts School.
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“Then recently, PWM East Java bought a church in Spain,” he said.
He added that Muhammadiyah has always moved from the bottom up, without instruction or a top-down approach.
“So the activities of friends or cadres who are diaspora in many large countries, including Japan, also initiate various activities, not only religious activities but also humanitarian activities, such as in Turkey and so on,” explained Ustadz Fathurrahman.
It should be noted that Muhammadiyah’s desire to buy a church in Spain first arose at the First Plenary Session of the 48th Muhammadiyah Congress held in Surakarta in November 2022. It was mentioned by Dr. Saad Ibrahim, who was then the Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Regional Leadership in East Java.
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“We declare that God willing, and we ask for the prayers of all PWMs, especially the Muhammadiyah Central Board, we are currently discussing the purchase of a church in Spain. This is part of our commitment to enlighten the universe, which is a church in the Alcala area near Madrid,” said Saad Ibrahim on Saturday (5/11/2023).
After becoming the property of Muhammadiyah, the church building will be converted into a mosque as a facility that can be used by the local Muslim community. The location of the worship site is quite strategic, as the building is located not far from the center of the Spanish capital. The journey to get there can be made in around 15 minutes by using a four-wheeled vehicle from Madrid.