Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, the Kano based erudite Islamic scholar was murdered in cold blood in the morning of Friday 13 April 2007 while performing the Subhi (Dawn ) prayer. The death of Sheikh Ja’afar through the assin’s bullet has placed him in league with other great men. The most notable was Islam’s second well-guided Khalif, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab who prayed to Allah SWT to bless him with martyrdom right inside the Prophet’s mosque in Madina. Umar was assassinated there while leading the faithful in prayer. Sheikh Yassin of Palestine was assassinated by the Israelis while leaving mosque after the dawn prayer. Also great men and women in Islam were known to die on the blessed day of Friday. One of the late Ja’afar’s mentors, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gummi died on a Friday back in 1992. Nigeria’s most notable patriotic military leader General Murtal Ramat Muhammad, was callously assassinated on Friday, February 13. 1976.

? This writer often wondered where have all our tears gone as they fail to flow after several travails; but once the shocking death of Sheikh Ja’afar sank into me, the tears? were flowing in abundance. Sheikh Ja’afar is the kind of person you will meet and come to like instantly. He was young and vibrant probably in his early 40s. listening to him recite the verses of the holy Qur’an which he committed into memory and for which he once won the First place prize in International? ? Musabaqaah competition, is a moving experience. It is reported in Islamic traditions that a person is most likely to be raised on the day of judgement what he died on; Sheikh Ja’afar literally died while praying or shortly after. Sheikh Ja’afar rose astronomical along the path of Islamic scholarship given his age rising from a roaming slim student to the decisive moment in the early 80s when he gained admission into the Islamic University of Madina. His strongest field of study was the recitation and the sciences of the holy Qur’an a field where even Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil one of the Kano’s most articulate scholars? today will refer students to him. That is not to say Sheikh Ja’afar was not well groomed in other fields of Islamic scholarship; whose of us who listened to him espouse from the Ahadith (Traditions of the Holy Prophet), no doubt knew the Sheikh was a kind of all-rounder in Islamic scholarship. He was also very articulate in current affairs whose analysis of World affairs particularly the Middle East will send many professors of international relations to take cover.

? The views of Ja’afar Adams on several national and international issues were however often so blunt that many saw him as either hard lined or confrontational. On the contrary, Sheikh Ja’afar was one of the most peace-loving and amiable person one ever came across. His sense of humour was legend and was ironically the moderating experience on other members of the Ta’awun scholars group to which he belonged. A once fire-brand Izala young scholar, Sheikh Ja’afar was himself a subject of attack by more radical Izala elements who wrongly perceived him as having mellowed down sice his return from Madina where he bagged his first degree in Islamic studies. When some few years back Sheikh Ahmed who offered the Ahadith sessions at the old BUK mosque left in protest and migrated to Niger republic, Sheikh Ja’afar led the peace mission which persuaded him to return. During the 2003 pro-shari’a mobilisation which by God’s grace led to the victory of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as Kano State Governor, Sheikh Ja’afar was one of the leading lights. He was one of the well travelled scholars spreading the message of Islam. The Gadon Kaya mosque built by a Kano businessman, Alhaji Yusuf Ali, was Mallam Ja’afar’s Da’awah center where he along with others run the Ali Ibn Abi Talib Islamic Foundation and school. His weekly Friday Tafsir sessions were beehive of activities. Sheikh Ja’afar’s Ta’alim and lecture sessions always attracted large crowd for their rich and often fearless disclosures. The Al-muntada mosque opened about 5 years ago at Dorayi quarters in Kano was another major Da’awah centre for Sheikh Ja’afar and was the chief Friday Prayer Imam. The tiny mosque along Ungogo road opposite Daula hotel in Kano will also miss his weekly teaching of the Hadith book, Riyadus-salihina. Also the Beirut road mosque built by the late? Alhaji Atana the venue of Ja’afar’s Tafsir, will greatly miss him. Those who killed Sheikh Ja’afar did him the favour of martyrdom; they killed his human body but not his spirit with which he managed to return to his creator. Sheikh Ja’afar’s close associates and fellow scholar such as Mallam Abdulwahab, Abba Koki, Nazifi Inuwa, Aminu Daurawa and Sani Ashir among others will greatly be shocked beyond imagination for his inspirational role but must take solace that he died in active service for Islam. The Ndimi mosque where he delivered annual Ramadan Tafsir for several years and by implication, the entire Maiduguri metropolis will be greatly miss Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adams following his shocking assassination. Sheikh Ja’afar was no doubt a young man very much older than his age for his depth of knowledge and readiness to disseminate it. Once you invite him to deliver an Islamic lecture or talks, is rest assured he will oblige you unless the odds were overwhelmingly against him.?

? But who could have been after Sheikh Ja’afar? Several well entrenched forces on whose toes the late scholar stepped. Those jittery about the security of well marked personalities will always fear for the safety of such articulate and fearless scholars as Sheikh Ja’afar but always encouraged nevertheless that only the God the Most High can guarantee the ultimate security. A very interesting discourse by Sheikh Ja’afar was where he made a distinction between the so-called Religious Crisis and Jihad. He said most of the crisis often described as “Religious” were indeed looting sprees unconnected with the struggle for the protection of Islamic faith and the enthronement of a just society preached by the blessed prophet Muhammad. Given his views, political motives cannot be ruled out, but those who brutally killed Sheikh Ja’afar will never know peace or have their ambitions fulfilled in this world while grave calamity awaits them in the hereafter. As we mourn,? cry and pray over the immeasurable loss of Sheikh Ja’afar, we must be consoled that his legacy lingers on and that several Ja’afars will rise up to take his place. God is enough for the grieving Ummah.? ? ? ?

Written by

Garba A. Isa

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