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  • Date of birth
    Oct. 5, 1967 (age 52)
  • Place of birth
    Bulukumba, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Education
    International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) Comparative Study of Religion · Islamabad, Pakistan Darul Arqam Gombara Makassar
  • Company
    Nusantara Foundation and MFA
  • Role
    Imam

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Shamsi Ali
Imam and Interfaith activist, President of Nusantara Foundation and MFA
Biography

Ali was born as Muhammad Utteng Ali in the village of Bulukumba in Kajang district of Bulukumba Regency in South Sulawesi, Indonesia on October 5, 1967. He is the third of six children (though only five survived into adulthood). His parents were a couple with farming background, Ali Kadrun (father) and Inong Tippangrom (mother). His parents were not religious, but they wanted him to learn how to read the Koran, so they sent him to Daarul Arqam Islamic boarding school. During his childhood, Utteng (as he used to be called) was rebellious, lazy and often truant. He was one time detained for hitting a student named Mustafa, breaking his nose and sending him to the hospital. Mustafa's parents then called the police and they arrested him, though he was not entirely guilty. Finally Utteng was jailed for two weeks. Fortunately, he was not expelled from the boarding school due to the incident. His name was changed from Utteng to Shamsi (an Arabic word which means Sun) when he and his father met with the Daarul Arqam school headmaster, Abdul Jabbar Asyiri. The headmaster argued that in Islam, the name is a prayer and should have a good sense, and he eventually renamed his middle name from Utteng to Shamsi with hope, Utteng could be the praiseworthy one (from his first name) and can illuminate (from his middle name, with the same way the sun does) people's hearts

Professional background

Nusantara Foundation President: 2014 to present · New York, New York A Non profit primarily working on Interfaith and education Jamaica Muslim Center (Official) Jamaica, New York

Notable works

"Ambassador for Peace" by the International Religious Federation in 2002 one of seven most influential religious leaders in New York City one of 100 recipients of the 2009 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award recipient of Turkish Cultural Center's Friendship Award

Personal life

lives with his wife, two sons and three daughters

Opinion
About God

“In the name of God, most Benevolent, most Merciful..”