Ma'ruf Amin

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Ma'ruf Amin
Ma'ruf Amin 2019 official portrait.jpg
13th Vice President of Indonesia
Assumed office
20 October 2019
PresidentJoko Widodo
Preceded byJusuf Kalla
Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council
In office
27 August 2015 – 27 November 2020
Inactive from 20 October 2019 to 27 November 2020
Preceded byDin Syamsuddin
Succeeded byZainut Tauhid Sa'adi (acting)
Yunahar Ilyas (acting)
Miftachul Akhyar
Supreme Leader of Nahdlatul Ulama
In office
6 August 2015 – 22 September 2018
Preceded byMustofa Bisri
Succeeded byMiftachul Akhyar
Personal details
Born (1943-03-11) 11 March 1943 (age 78)
Tangerang Regency, Japanese East Indies
Political partyIndependent (2011–present)
Other political
  • PPP (1973–1998)
  • PKB (1998–2006)
  • PKNU (2006–2011)
Siti Churiyah
(m. 1964; died 2013)
(m. 2014)
ResidenceKoja, Jakarta
  • Politician
  • Islamic cleric
  • lecturer

Ma'ruf Amin (born 11 March 1943) is an Indonesian politician, Islamic cleric and lecturer who is the 13th and current vice president of Indonesia.[2] Aged nearly 77 years old when inaugurated, he is the oldest Indonesian vice president to ever be sworn in.

He was the chairman of the Ulema Council of Indonesia (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, or MUI) when he accepted the vice-presidential nomination.[3] On 9 August 2018, President Joko Widodo announced that Ma'ruf would be his running mate in the 2019 Indonesian presidential election. Following his candidacy, he resigned as Supreme Leader (rais 'aam syuriah) of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world's largest Islamic organization.

Early life and career[edit]

Official portrait of Ma'ruf Amin as a member of the People's Representative Council in 1999

Ma'ruf Amin was born during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies to Mohamad Amin and Maimunah. He first went to primary school in the kecamatan of Kresek. He continued his studies at Pesantren Tebuireng in Jombang, East Java, an influential Islamic boarding school established by NU founder Hasyim Asy'ari. Later, he received a bachelor's degree in Islamic philosophy from Ibnu Khaldun University in Bogor, West Java.[4]

Shortly after graduating from college, Ma'ruf carried out dakwah missions in Jakarta. At that time, NU was still an active political party and Ma'ruf was elected to the Indonesian parliament, the People's Representative Council (or DPR, Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) in the national election held in 1971. Six years later, in 1977, he was elected to the Jakarta City Council as a member of the United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan or PPP) for one term (1977–1982) and served as leader of the PPP caucus. At the end of his term, Ma'ruf returned to academia and social activism.[5] In 1989, he was appointed as a katib 'aam, a senior position within NU's syuriah, its supreme governing council. He then rose to be one of the rais, a leader, overseeing the executive leadership of Abdurrahman Wahid.

Following the fall of Suharto in 1998, Ma'ruf became an advisor to Wahid's National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa, or PKB) and advised Wahid throughout the period of his presidency of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001.[6][7] Ma'ruf returned to active politics and represented the PKB in the national DPR from 1999 to 2004. During this second term in the DPR, Ma'ruf was chair of the Fourth Commission (agriculture, food, and maritime affairs) as well as member of the Second Commission (government affairs and regional autonomy) and Budgetary Board.[4][7]

While a member of the DPR during 1999–2004, Ma'ruf chaired the Ulema Council's committee in charge of issuing legal opinions (fatwa). He did not seek re-election to the DPR in 2004 and returned to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to chair its National Sharia Committee (acting from 2004 to 2010). He also served as an advisor to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his Presidential Advisory Council from 2007 to 2014.[8]

In 2015, Ma'ruf ran for the position of rais 'aam syuriah of the NU, equivalent to chair of the supreme governing council. He finished in second place after the incumbent Ahmad Mustofa Bisri from Rembang's Pesantren Raudlatuth Thalibin. In a significant development, Bisri withdrew his name from the race and Ma'ruf was then elected to the position by NU's 33rd Congress.[5]

Several weeks after his ascendancy to NU's highest post, Ma'ruf was elected to be the chair of MUI, succeeding Muhammadiyah's Din Syamsuddin on 27 August 2015.[9]

Vice presidential candidacy and victory[edit]

President Joko Widodo announced that he would run for re-election in the 2019 presidential election. His vice president Jusuf Kalla was not seen as eligible for another term because of the term limits set for the positions of president and vice-president. (Jusuf Kalla had already served a five-year term as vice-president under Yudhoyono from 2004 to 2009.) Speculation as to who Jokowi might select as his running mate focused on several candidates including Mahfud MD, a former defence minister and chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

On 9 August, in a surprise move, Widodo announced that Ma'ruf would be his running mate. Mahfud had been reported to be preparing himself to become Jokowi's vice presidential candidate but, following a push by several constituent parties of Widodo's governing coalition and influential Islamic figures, Ma'ruf was selected instead.[10] Explaining his decision, Jokowi referred to Ma'ruf's extensive experience in government and religious affairs.[11]

The General Elections Commission announced Widodo and Ma'ruf's victory, with the pair securing 55.5 percent of the votes, on 21 May 2019, though Ma'ruf's status as Vice President-elect was pending any lawsuits to the Constitutional Court.[12]


Ma'ruf was sworn in as vice president on 20 October 2019. Aged 76 years and 223 days when inaugurated, he is the oldest-ever Indonesian vice president to be sworn in.


As MUI chair, Ma'ruf gave his support to regulations prohibiting pornography and supported a decree banning Ahmadiya activities. In addition, Ma'ruf "regretted" the Constitutional Court's ruling to reject a proposed ban on sexual activities of homosexuals in 2017, instead wanting "stern regulations".[13]

In 2012, Ma'ruf also issued a recommendation that Muslims not say Merry Christmas, citing the controversy associated with the saying.[14] However, in 2018, he noted that there was never an explicit ban of saying Christmas greetings issued by MUI, after a video of him saying Merry Christmas circulated.[15] Ma'ruf similarly supported prohibiting Valentine's Day, claiming that its celebration would "only cause a fuss and destroy norms and morality", though he does not believe that every region in Indonesia must ban it.[16]

On Islamic terrorism, Ma'ruf stated that suicide bombers are not martyrs (shahid), and that the present time is the era for intellectual instead of physical warfare.[17] During the debates for the 2019 presidential election, he emphasized the importance of deradicalization in counterterrorism.[18]


The Ahok affair[edit]

Ma'ruf was embroiled in part of the controversy surrounding the contentious Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2017. The then-Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as "Ahok", became the target of numerous protests in Jakarta in November 2016. In response, Ahok alleged that Ma'ruf had taken sides in the election due to a phone call with former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono was running against Ahok in the election.[19][20][21] Ahok later apologized to Ma'ruf via social media for any implication that Ma'ruf had been influenced by political pressure.[22][23]

Ma'ruf accepted Ahok's apology, saying that the matter was resolved.[24] Despite Ma'ruf's willingness to let the matter rest, an organization known as the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs reported Ahok to the criminal investigation unit of the Indonesian National Police for allegedly having harassed Ma'ruf and wiretapped his phone conversations with former President Yudhoyono[25] despite previous denials by Ahok's legal team of the latter act.[26]

In a separate interview, conducted after his selection as a vice presidential candidate, Ma'ruf stated that he regretted testifying against Ahok and added that he was "forced" to do so because he is enforcing the law.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Portrait of Ma'ruf Amin and his first wife, Siti Churiyah.

Ma'ruf's first wife, Siti Churiyah, died on 22 October 2013 at the age of 67.[28] From the 49-year marriage, they had nine children and 13 grandchildren.[1] Seven months later, on 31 May 2014, he married Wury Estu Handayani who had been a widow for around two years. They were married in a private ceremony at the well-known Sunda Kelapa Mosque in Menteng, Central Jakarta.[29]

Ma'ruf is a fan of association football. He previously supported Manchester United, but after a few years of poor performances by the club, Ma'ruf switched his allegiance to its archrival Liverpool in 2019.[30]


As vice president of Indonesia, Ma'ruf is automatically bestowed the highest class of 6 out of 7 civilian Star Decorations (Indonesian: Tanda Kehormatan Bintang), namely:[31]


  1. ^ a b c Siti Afifiyah (21 October 2019). "Cinta Beda Usia 31 Tahun Maruf Amin-Wury Estu Handayani". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Vice President's Profile". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Kepengurusan MUI | Majelis Ulama Indonesia". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Diamanty Meiliana (9 August 2018). Diamanty Meiliana (ed.). "Ini Profil Ma'ruf Amin, Cawapres Jokowi". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b Saat, Norshahril. "Perspective: Nahdlatul Ulama's 33rd Congress: Ma'ruf Amin's Rise and its Impact on Indonesia's Traditionalist Islam" (PDF). Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  6. ^ Agustiar, Dwi (9 August 2018). "Jadi Cawapres Jokowi, PBNU: Ma'ruf Amin Sudah NU Bahkan Sebelum Lahir". IDN Times (in Indonesian). Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Profil Maruf Amin". VIVA (in Indonesian). 22 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Presiden lantik anggota Wantimpres". BBC News Indonesia (in Indonesian). 25 January 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Jadi Ketua Umum MUI, Ini Pekerjaan Rumah Ma'ruf Amin". Tempo (in Indonesian). 27 August 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  10. ^ Marguerite Apra Sapiie, 'Jokowi may pick Mahfud MD as running mate', The Jakarta Post, 9 August 2018.
  11. ^ Sita W. Dewi, 'Who is Ma'ruf Amin, Jokowi's running mate?', The Jakarta Post, 9 August 2018.
  12. ^ Ghaliya, Ghina (21 May 2019). "KPU names Jokowi winner of election". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  13. ^ Dewi, Sita W. (9 August 2018). "Who is Ma'ruf Amin, Jokowi's running mate?". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  14. ^ "MUI: Umat Islam Tidak Usah Ucapkan Selamat Natal". Tempo (in Indonesian). 20 December 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Ma'ruf Amin: Tak Ada Larangan Mengucapkan Selamat Natal". Tempo (in Indonesian). 28 December 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Valentine Day worthless: MUI - The Jakarta Post". The Jakarta Post. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  17. ^ "MUI: Pelaku Bom Bunuh Diri Tidak Akan Mati Syahid". (in Indonesian). 11 October 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  18. ^ Andayani, Dwi (18 January 2019). "4 Kali Ma'ruf Amin Bicara di Debat: Soal Disabilitas hingga Terorisme". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  19. ^ John McBeth, Jakarta heads for run-off as election tests Indonesia’s religious tolerance. The National, 15 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  20. ^ Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Haeril Halim and Margareth S. Aritonang, Palace calls on SBY to leave Jokowi out of Antasari spat. Jakarta Post, 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  21. ^ Nahdlatul Ulama supports Ma`ruf Amin in dispute with Ahok: PKB. Antara, 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  22. ^ Winda A. Charmila, Ahok apologizes to MUI chairman Ma’ruf Amin. Jakarta Post, 1 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  23. ^ Ahok Apologizes to Ma`ruf Amin Through Mass Media. Tempo, 6 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  24. ^ MUI Chairman Ma`ruf Amin Accepts Ahok`s Apology. Tempo, 3 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  25. ^ Considered Having Insulted Ma’ruf Amin, Ahok Reported to Bareskrim. Netral News, 6 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  26. ^ Erwin C. Sihombing, 'We Don't Have Yudhoyono-Ma'ruf Phone Call Transcript,' Says Ahok's Lawyer. Jakarta Globe, 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Ma'ruf Amin says he regrets testifying against Ahok". The Jakarta Post. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Ketua MUI Seakan Ada 'Feeling' Istri Akan Tutup Usia". Republika (in Indonesian). 22 October 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Kisah Pertemuan KH Ma'ruf Amin dan Istrinya". (in Indonesian). 31 May 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  30. ^ "MU Terpuruk, Ma'ruf Amin Sekarang Dukung Liverpool". (in Indonesian). 21 October 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Tanda Kehormatan yang dimiliki Presiden" (in Indonesian). Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.