Prof. Dr. Nasaruddin Umar, M.A. is the Imam Besar (Grand Imam) of Istiqlal Mosque, Guru Besar Tafsir (Professor of Exegesis) in Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN or State Islamic University) Syarif Hidayatullah, and the Rector of Perguruan Tinggi Ilmu Al-Qur’an (College of Quranic Science), Jakarta. He served as Vice Minister in the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs (Departemen Agama)(2011-2014) and General Director of Islamic Community Guidance in the same ministry. He is also the founder of the interfaith organization Masyarakat Dialog antar Umat Beragama (Religious Interfaith Dialogue Community) and a member of the Indonesia-UK Islamic Advisory Group, founded by UK prime minister, Tony Blair.
After finishing his degree in Pesantren As’adiyah, Sengkang, Wajo, South Sulawesi, he continued his study in Sharia Faculty, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN or State Islamic Institute) Alauddin, Ujung Pandang, in the 80’s, graduating with the Model Student Award from the institution. He then went to IAIN/UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, for a Masters degree (1992) and a doctorate, with the best predicate (1998), with Perspektif Gender dalam Al-Qur’an (Gender Perspectives in Al-Qur’an) as the title of his dissertation. Pak Nasar, as he’s more intimately known, was crowned as the Best Alumni by UIN Syarif Hidayatullah. During his doctorate study, he was a visiting student for a PhD Program at McGill University, Montreal (1993–1994), Leiden University (1994–1995), and Université Sorbonne (1995). Since then, he has been a visiting scholar at Shopia University, Tokyo (2001), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (2001–2002), Georgetown University, Washington DC (2003–2004), and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III. He is the author of 12 books, among them Argumen Kesetaraan Gender—Perspektif Al-Qur’an (Paramadina, 1999), which examines gender bias in the Quran.
He was endowed with Bintang Maha Putra Utama (the highest award for civil servant) by the President of Republic of Indonesia in 2014.