K.H. AHMAD Azhar Basyir was the chairman of the Islamic organisation of Muhammadiyah. He was born on 21 November 1928 in Yogyakarta and passed away of complications of heart disease and diabetes at the Muhammadiyah Hospital of Yogyakarta on 28 June 1994.
After finishing his elementary school in 1940, he continued his studies at Madrasah Al Falah and Pesantren Termas of Pacitan, East Java. He also studied at the Madrasah Muballighin (school for prospective Muslim preachers) of the Muhammadiyah in Yogyakarta, in 1946.
After joining the Muslim militia Hizbullah during the struggle for Independence against the Dutch, he returned to school to finish the Madrasah Aliyah of the Muhammadiyah in 1952. Then he studied in the State Institute for Islamic Higher Education, the precursor of the IAIN, from which he graduated in 1956. He continued his studies at the University of Baghdad, Iraq, majoring in Arabic literature. One year later, he moved to the University of Cairo, Egypt, and obtained a master’s degree with a thesis entitled Nidam al-miradth
fi Indunisia bain al-‘urf wal-shari’ah al-islamiyyah (The System of Inheritance in Indonesia between Custom and Islamic Law). He had finished about 60 per cent of a doctoral dissertation devoted to the legal aspects of Muslim welfare under the supervision of Prof. Dr. H. M. Rasyidi.
His whole life was dedicated to education and Islamic development. He was active as lecturer on Islamic law, Islamic philosophy, and education of the Islamic religion at various universities (IAIN Sunan Kalijaga, the Gadjah Mada University, and the Muhammadiyah Universities in Yogyakarta and Malang, East Java).
At the time of his death he was also a member of the Academy of Fiqh of the Organiation of Islamic Conference, the Majlis Ulama Indonesia, the Advisory Council of the Bank Muamalat Indonesia, and the Supreme Advisory Council (DPA). With K.H. Ilyas Rukhiyat of the Nahdlatul Ulama, he was nominated na’ib amir al-hajj (deputy leader of the nation¬al contingent of pilgrims) in the 1994 hag pilgrimage season. He fell ill shortly after his return from the Holy Land. (AM, 8-21 July; HT, PE, RE, 29 June 1994)
Source: INIS Newsletter Vol XII 1996, pp148-149