Sheikh Jaafar Mahmud Adam: A tribute to our mentor

Late Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “to Allah we belong, and to Him is our return."” Q2:155-156 Friday 13th April 2007, was a day that reminded us once again, that life is truly transient as contained in the Glorious Qur’an. At about 6:30 am on the day mentioned, the news filtered across to us of the death of our mentor, Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam. It was like a bad dream we would wake up from, but alas it was not a dream but reality. The late Sheikh was born about forty six years ago in Daura from where he moved to settle in Kano where he lived till the end of his life. Malam’s life was dedicated to the propagation of Islam. He hardly spent a full week at home with his family without being invited for one Islamic activity or the other.

A few days before Malam’s demise, he was in Abuja where he delivered his farewell lecture to us, aptly titled: Alamomin tashin kiyama (Signs of the end times). Thereafter, he proceeded to Bauchi, before he returned to Kano and then he travelled again to Zamfara and Bauchi and returned to Kano the night before his death. As far back as 2003, Women in Da’awah, was in touch with Malam , but due to his busy schedule, it took us 2 years (2005) to be able to get him to come to Abuja to share his knowledge with us, that became the beginning of an eventful, fruitful but short-lived relationship. He was impressed with the fact that women could spare time outside their primary duties to come together to propagate Islam especially in Abuja. He also saw in us the potential of uniting the Ummah. For that reason, he took special interest in our activities. He gave us all the necessary support and encouragement. It was therefore not surprising that within a very short time, we grew from a locally based organization in Abuja to all the northern states. This culminated in our first National Conference which was held in Kano in 2006.

The resounding success of that conference was mainly due to the active role he played from the beginning right through to the end of the conference. When our personal schedules were threatening to take over our da’awah activities, he nudged us to wakefulness. He helped us with resource persons to enable us continue with our lecture series. He always advised us on the best ways to go about our da’awah. Our last meeting with Malam was truly intriguing. This was because he unexpectedly called us to ask if we could accommodate a lecture from him. We were pleasantly surprised because we couldn’t have wished for more. Thus we sent him a list of topics but inexplicably – at that time - he came up with his own topic which was ‘the signs of end times’. We all wondered why that topic, but apparently it was Malam’s farewell to us. At that lecture, and subsequent lectures, Malam spoke a lot on Muslims waking up to their responsibilities and avoid incurring the wrath of Allah. He specifically stressed avoiding bloodshed; little did he know his would be shed. In fact his last outing in Bauchi, a day to his death, he stressed on the evil consequences of killing a soul without justification (Haqqin kashe wani). The Qur’an reminds us severally of this, stating: …..We ordained for the children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people………Q 5:32 The Qur’an also says ….take not life which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom. Q 6:151. Allah SWT tells us that man was created in the best form and then reduced him to the lowest…………. That man has truly gone low, is the only way we can describe the heinous and dastardly way in which Malam was killed. Otherwise, which person in his right sense, will go into the mosque – the house of Allah – and shoot to kill the Imam who was leading others in prayers on a Friday morning? The world is truly becoming a jungle in which man is the wild beast inhabiting this jungle. Where is the civilization we claim? Where are our values? Truly, the Ummah has lost a gem but the worst losers are Malam’s killers. For Malam came for a purpose and he had served that purpose. We believe his days on earth had come to an end. He could not have stayed a second longer. We use this medium to call on security operatives to fish out the killers of Malam and safeguard the lives of other citizens. We want to use this medium also to condole with Malam’s family and the entire Ummah. We pray that Allah forgives Malam’s sins, accepts all his good deeds and grants him jannatul firdaus – amin. Truly, Malam had left a gap that will be difficult to fill, but we pray that Allah replaces Malam for us with someone better. May his dream of the Ummah attaining unity become a reality – amin.

Written by Women in Da'awah

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