Yvette Tanamal, Jakarta – The late prominent Muslim scholar Azyumardi Azra, who passed away on Sunday, aged 67, in Selangor, Malaysia, was laid to rest at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery on Tuesday morning in a state-funeral ceremony led by Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy.
Islamic funeral prayers were recited earlier during the day at Hidayatullah Islamic State University (UIN Hidayatullah), where Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan marked Azyumardi's contribution to democracy and progress. The prayer was followed by a convoy to the burial site in South Jakarta, Kompas reported.
Several other top officials came to pay their respects, including former vice president Jusuf Kalla, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speakers Hidayat Nur Wahid and Arsul Sani, National Police Chief Sigit Listyo Prabowo and Democratic Party leader Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.
Deputy Religion Minister Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi and Istiqlal Mosque Grand Imam Nasaruddin Umar also came along to pay their respects.
"[Azymardi's] departure is a deep loss to us. The intellectual blocks that he built upon are invaluable to our nation's progress, especially in the realm of social sciences, culture and Islamic scholarship," Muhadjir said, as quoted by Tempo.
Azyumardi was known as a figurehead in modernizing higher Islamic education in Indonesia, earning him an honorary title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions. His influence was marked by an earnest conviction of championing interfaith dialogue, the progression of democracy and Islamic moderation.
The scholar, affectionately known as Kak Edi, was also prominent in the field of journalism. In May he was elected as chair of the Press Council, when he noted that the council ought to "be a critical partner of the government".
Indonesian envoy for Malaysia Hermono said that Azyumardi's passing was caused by acute inferior-myocardial infarction. His body was flown back to Jakarta on Monday evening.