The Nahdlatul Ulama (Revival of the Religious Scholars: NU), the largest Muslim association in Indonesia, held its national congress (muktamar) in early August 2015 in its birthplace, Jombang, East Java. It was rather turbulent and chaotic, and almost all energy was devoted to the AHWA (ahlul hali wal aqdi) problem, the question of how to elect the supreme leader (rais aam). AHWA is a team of respected ulama with powers to decide on important matters. Since 1989 (the 29th congress), a voting system had been applied to choose the two top leaders, rais aam and ketua umum (chair of the central executive board). However, a proposal was made to introduce, AHWA as a new system for the rais aam election in order to avoid slander and vote buying. This proposal caused furious opposition in many local branches. Behind this problem, there was a conflict between the incumbent chair Said Aqil Siroj and the former chair Hasyim Muzadi. Said's group tried to introduce the AHWA system in order to stop Hasyim becoming rais aam. Besides this internal power struggle, external interference played a part. The central board led by Said had poor communication with local branch elites, many of whom still supported Hasyim. The congress was disordered from the outset and faced deadlock. In the midst of the crisis, senior ulama elaborated a solution that could be accepted by both sides. The acting rais aam, Gus Mus, gave an impassioned speech that changed the course of the congress, and the AHWA chose Gus Mus as rais aam. However, he declined the position, stating that the AHWA system was made just as a tool by one of the competing groups. By doing so, he showed the moral of the ulama and reasserted the weakened presence of senior ulama.