Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-largest Muslim-based organization owning some 177 higher educational institutions across the archipelago, suffered a major setback on Thursday following the demise of its noted cadre and prominent scholar, Bahtiar Effendy, on early Thursday.

"Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihirojiun" (We belong to God and to God we shall return). The cadres and big family members of Muhammadiyah all over Indonesia deeply mourn the passing of Bahtiar Effendy at the age of 60,” General Chairman Haedar Nashir stated with grief.

Nashir voiced his heart-felt condolences over the demise of this prominent Muslim scholar through the official website of this second-largest Muslim-based organization after the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

Nashir prayed that the Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala may grant mercy and blessings on the deceased, who was buried at a cemetery near his house in Depok City, West Java Province, after dzuhur, or the midday prayer.

Nashir portrayed Effendy as a Muslim scholar and Islamic political scientist whose analyses were always focused and sharp.

His PhD dissertation on issues of Islam and State at the Ohio State University and his preface for the book of Olivier Roy on the failure of Political Islam remain factual and deep, he pointed out.

The depth and accuracy of his vision and perspectives were apparent during his briefing of those in Muhammadiyah on ways to respond to the current political scenario.

Drawing focus to the noble deeds, outstanding services, and intellectual quality of Effendy, Nashir called on members of Muhammadiyah's young generation to emulate him as an inspiring figure.

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Effendy, ex-chairman of Muhammadiyah's central executive board for international relations, breathed his last at the Intensive Care Unit of Cempaka Putih Jakarta Islamic Hospital at around 00:00 a.m. local time.

Muhammad Sirajuddin "Din" Syamsuddin, Muhammadiyah’s general chairman for the 2005-2010 leadership term, expressed regret over the sad news of the death of Effendy that was confirmed by his daughter, Atia Ajani.

Din Syamsuddin expressed his deep condolences over the demise of Effendy, a notable figure of Muhammadiyah, who had earned his PhD from the Ohio State University in 1994, and called upon the nation to pray for him to be awarded "husnul khotimah" (with blessings ahead).

Scores of figures across the nation are in mourning over his demise. Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy, for instance, fondly recollected Effendy as being his good friend, and his passing being a huge loss for him.

On Wednesday morning (Nov 20), he had paid a visit to Effendy at the hospital and prayed for his recovery.

Effendy's death has led Dahnil A. Simanjuntak, former leader of Muhammadiyah's youth wing, currently spokesman of Prabowo Subianto, to recollect fond memories of him.

Simanjuntak noted on his Twitter account on Thursday that late Professor Effendy was one of Muhammadiyah's senior figures, who had encouraged him to be actively involved in real politics and to resign from his status as civil servant.

"For him (Bahtiar Effendy), a political arena has greater energy for exercising the 'amar ma'ruf nahi munkar' (enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong), and the real test will take place in the arena," he remarked.

Born on December 10, 1958, in Ambarawa, Central Java Province, Professor Effendy completed his Sarjana, or bachelor’s degree, from the Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University and earned his master’s degree from the Ohio State University.

Effendy, who had reportedly published at least 15 books, was popular among scholars owing to his active contribution to academic discourses on various religious and political issues. Several of his writings were published in credible media in Indonesia.

He launched one of the books titled "INSIGHT: Essays on Islam and Public Affairs" (UIN Jakarta's official website, 2019) at the hall of the Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University's Social and Political Sciences Faculty on May 2, 2017.

The preface of this 237-page book was penned by R. William Liddle, professor emeritus at the Ohio State University. The book has five chapters: Islam and Public Affairs, The Reality of Democratic Politics, Islam and Electoral Politics, Religious Dialogue, and International Affairs.

Professor Effendy was not merely noted as a professor in political sciences at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, his alma mater.

As a leading Muslim scholar, he had also taught at the University of Indonesia's Postgraduate Studies and had headed post-graduate studies at the Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta.

As published on the website, he had also become a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (March 2007-Feb 2008), and at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2008).

Professor Effendy was also a member of the American Political Science Association (APSA), the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP), the Indonesian Muslim Scholars Association (ICMI), and the Indonesian Political Sciences Association (AIPI).

Adieu Pak (Mr.) Bahtiar Effendy. Rest in peace in the 'jannah' (paradise) of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. Related news: Muhammadiyah's role in national education draws acclaim from Makarim
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Editor: Sri Haryati
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