Islamic Lifestyle

Start of construction of Prophet’s museum in Indonesia delayed due to COVID-19


JAKARTA – The construction of the Museum of the Life of the Prophet and Islamic Civilization in Jakarta is temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will resume in the third quarter of 2020, Syafruddin, Vice Chairperson of the Indonesia Mosque Council (DMI) told Salaam Gateway.

DMI and the Saudi Arabia’s Muslim World League on September 30 last year signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a new branch of the museum dedicated to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Indonesia. The two parties inaugurated MWL’s branch museum in Ancol, Jakarta, by laying the foundation stone in February 26 this year. The 18-month construction period was planned to start in March.

“The timeline (for the project) has been pushed forward due to social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19. But MWL has shown strong commitment to this project and gave serious, special attention since it’s the first branch museum outside Saudi Arabia,” said Syafruddin.

“Since the government has already introduced the “new normal” policy, we’ll soon meet to discuss again with the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, about strategic steps to continue the construction process. Hopefully we can resume the activity in the third quarter,” he added.

Indonesia is the first country outside Saudi Arabia to be selected as home for the MWL’s branch museum.

Unlike the museum in Makkah that features the prophet’s original artefacts or the one in Madinah that holds international exhibitions and houses conference halls, the Jakarta branch has an emphasis on lush gardens.

“We already provided 60,000 square meters in Ancol and we’re mapping its allocation. Actually we have other locations as alternatives such as the Universitas Islam International Indonesia campus in Depok, Al Markaz Al Islami in Makasar, BSD Tangerang but we agreed that it’s the most strategic and reachable location for tourists. This museum will be named Assalamu alaika Ya Rasulallah and the development will be fully funded by MWL,” said Syafruddin.

1 hectare will be used for buildings such as sections that narrate the details of the Prophet's biography and Islamic civilization, technical figures of Makkah and Madinah in the time of the Prophet, the architecture of the two holy mosques to the present day, and a miniature of the most important landmarks in Makkah and Madinah.

In addition to pictures, there will be explanations through interactive screens and the use of other technologies such as 3D holographic display, and augmented reality.

Syafruddin expects the museum to attract many visitors, especially millennials.

“We expect at least 6 million visitors will come to this site each year. Imagine all the legacy from Prophet Muhammad around the world you can see. In the last 13 years, MWL has collected scripts, manuscripts, artefacts, all things related to him, and digitalised it,” Syafruddin said.

DMI will run the museum in Jakarta at the operational and day-to-day level, with audits to be conducted by MWL.  

(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim [email protected])

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Yosi Winosa