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Jakarta Post

Indonesia, Saudi Arabia exchange Qurans as gifts

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 13, 2017   /  07:22 am
Indonesia, Saudi Arabia exchange Qurans as gifts Saudi King Salman (center) prays at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on March 2. Saudi Arabia pledged $1 billion in development financing to Indonesia and expanded cooperation in other areas, deepening ties with Southeast Asia's biggest economy as the Saudi king and a huge entourage were on a nine-day visit. (AP/Achmad Ibrahim)

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifudin exchanged Qurans, Muslim holy books, as souvenirs with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Sunday before the king left Bali for Tokyo to resume his Asia tour.

Lukman said that he gave a special Istiqlal Quran to the king. It consists of three volumes with illustrations on the edges of every page depicting all provinces of the archipelago. Every 20 pages of the manuscript represents one of the country’s 34 provinces.

“The Quran represents the characteristics of Indonesia. Thus it will be a very meaningful gift for King Salman,” Lukman said. “The king was so happy [with the gift] because we all know that the Quran is a very meaningful holy book for Muslims.”

(Read also: Jokowi bids farewell to King Salman)

The Quran that the king gave to the minister, Lukman said, was also special as the cover, paper and packaging was more extraordinary than the usual Qurans that Saudi Arabia produced.

King Salman left Bali on Sunday afternoon for Tokyo, after spending a three-day official visit in Jakarta and a nine-day vacation on the island. The King was supposed to spend time at the St. Regis hotel in Nusa Dua Bali for only six days but he extended his stay for three days.

Lukman and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi accompanied the king to Ngurah Rai International Airport after they had a 10-minute meeting during which the King received a farewell phone call from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. (wit)

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