By Abubakar Aliyy Kamal
As a result of the urge and desire to increase the spate of development in the and propagation of Islam, students who were tutored under the scholarship of Shaykh Muhammad Kamalud-deen, the Old Students formed Al-Jama’at Al-Adabiyyah. The steady progress being made in the spread of the message of Islam in the south western part of Nigeria attracted admirers, supporters and followers who were not his students. The latter group demanded that the society should adopt a name or identity which will fully accommodate the students and non-students of the Shaykh.
In view of this, the name “Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria” was also adopted on 28th May, 1942. It was the first voluntary organization that was founded in Northern Nigeria, and the first to be accorded voluntary agency status by the then Northern Nigerian Government. The society justified the confidence reposed in it by the spectacular achievements made within a short period of time.
The society has good working relationship with other Muslim organizations. It is member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and a member of the Muslim Schools Proprietors of Nigeria. The Society played a significant role in the formation of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam of Nigeria. When the Late Premiere of the defunct Northern Nigeria. Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto visited Ansarul Islam Primary and Islamiyyah Schools in the course of his visit to Ilorin in 1961, he was so impressed by what he saw that he vowed to establish a similar Muslim Organisation in the Country. This was the genesis of the establishment of Jama’at Nasril Islam. In 1992 Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria marked its Golden Jubilee Anniversary.
KAMAL SCHOOL FOR ARABIC AND ISLAMIC STUDIES AND AL-JAMA’ATUL-ADABIYYATUL-
As early as 1951, Shaikh first planted the seed that germinated to become his School (al-Ma’hadal-lyly) – an Evening School for the extermination of ignorance and illiteracy in the Society before it was renamed as Kamal School for Arabic and Islamic Studies after it had developed considerably.
Immediately Shaikh – a competent and intelligent preacher – felt the importance of group and collective work in the area of Da’awah, he established, with the collective effort of his students as well as his admirers, Al-Adabiyyatul-Kamaliyyah Society of Nigeria in 1970 as an overseer for Kamal School for Arabic and Islamic Studies. Consequently, they bought eighteen (18) hectres of land named as MADINAT SHEIKH TAJUL – ADAB (Shaikh Tajul–Adab Memorial Islamic Village), Foma Babalaje, Abayawo, Ilorin, where all his educational foundations are based, except its branches at various places. The school equally has educational and dawa’ah affiliations with various universities at home and abroad, including Al-Azhar university, Cairo, Islamic University, Madina, Jordan University, Jordan and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
The life history of Fadheelat Shaykh Abdul Raheem Abata Ameenullahi Al-Adabiy (Global Preacher), THE NATIONAL MISSIONER FOR ANSARUL-ISLAM SOCIETY OF NIGERIA AND THE FOUNDER OF AL-ADABIYYATUL-KAMALIYYAH SOCIETY OF NIGERIA AND THE GENERAL MANAGER OF ITS INSTITUTES.
The erudite scholar, Shaikh Alhajj Abdur-Raheem Ameenullah Al-Adabiyy, Abata, was born in the year 1921 into a learned Muslim family of intellectuals and teachers. His father, Sheikh Ameenullahi Al-Adabiyy, was initially a bosom friend and companion to the eminent Sheikh Tajul-Adab and later became an accompanying student to him. He, the father of the deceased scholar, Shaikh Ameenullahi, also learnt the fundamentals of Islamic Religion from the Eminent Sheikh Tajul-Adab until he became (Ajanasi) spokesman to the Shaikh during his preachings. His mother, Ruqayyah and his grandmother, Bilqees, were learned Muslim women scholars in Qur’anic education. The second of the two mothers, Alhajja Bilqees, was a highly productive Islamic educationist resident in a building which later became known as “ILE IYA KEWU” (The House of the Mother of Islamic Knowledge). His father’s family house was known as Alawuyan which descended from Alawuyan Village, one of the administrative provinces / districts in Ilorin.
Shaikh started his early education from the lowest elementary Qur’anic School of his father and, thereafter, proceeded to Shaikh Muhammad Kamalud-deen Al-Adabiyy (May Allah’s choicest blessings be rained upon them all). Under the tutelage of Shaikh Kamalud-deen where he was given access to drink from the fountain of Arabic and Islamic Knowledge together with its teachings in an interactive way, including some of the students of Shaikh Muhammad Kamalud-deen Al-Adabiyy such as Shaikh Alabi Onikijipa and Sheikh Khidr Salahud-deen, the present Mufti, and others, just as he benefited from different scholars of Al-Azhar who came as delegates to Ilorin Al-Azhar Islamic Institute of Ansarul-Islam Society of Nigeria, among whom were Shaikh Ad-Danasuri as well as from his educational services to them.
Shaikh was talented with prodigious and extraordinary educational refinement in Arabic and Islamic Religious knowledge to the level that bewildered and astonished other contemporary scholars of his, despite the fact that he was not trained in any of the Arab countries. Consequently, he became enamoured and infatuated with research and facts finding and therefore got addicted to or obsessed with many books of Arabic language and literature, even in his special private hours. He was also filled with brilliant reasoning and uncommon sagacity; just as sufficient reserve (of knowledge) of English (western) civilization was deposited in him. Whosoever listened to his lectures and sermons would bear testimony to all of this, when he would instantaneously translate simultaneously some Arabic words into English and vice – versa. He was indeed an encyclopedia of the knowledge of Science and Art to the extent that the Eminent Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilori (May the blessings of Allah be upon him) described him in his well-edited book, LAMAHATUL-BALLUR”, as “the translator”. Shaykh Abdulrahim Oniwasiagbaye Shaikh was always in love with quoting sound and clean poetry in teaching his students and patronisers of his lectures and sermons in addition to his love in quoting some Qur’anic verses and prophetic traditions to buttress and substantiate his claims at his various lectures at different occasions. This is in accordance with the saying of Sayyidina Umar Ibn al-Khattah that: “Teach your children good poetry to reform their behaviour”. To this end, Shaikh (May Allah be pleased with him) had reasonable lines of poetry he composed to which he was naturally disposed at different fora.
SHAIKH AS A RENOWNED ISLAMIC PREACHER
Shaikh was well known as an effective Islamic preacher and missioner starting his Da’awah movement from the beginning of his Da’awah life in the early 50s to the Eastern and Southern parts of the country, accompanied with the one with melodious tone, Shaikh Mustapha Oniyangi till the first Mufti established with him, Islamic forum for Ansarul-Islam Society of Nigeria in front of the Ilorin Central Mosque in the nights of Ramadan. He continued until he became the National Missioner of Ansarul-Islam Society of Nigeria upon the demise of the first National Missioner, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Solahud-deen (May Allah be pleased with him).
Thereafter, Sheikh (May Allah’s choicest blessings be rained upon him) became highly famous as Oniwasi Agbaye “the Global Preacher”. As a consequence, His Royal Highness, the 11th Emir of Ilorin,Dr. Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, turbaned him with that title. He was equally the Palace Preacher and the Head of all preachers.
Until his death, Shaikh was always awake to the call to Allah’s cause with wisdom and best counsel. He also treated the socio-psychological diseases of people in the societies to which he was always called to deliver the message of Allah, with sound method of giving glad tidings (to the believers in Islamic Monotheism) as well as giving warnings (to disbelievers and transgressors). He was a great model from Allah brought to oversee and direct to the right path, the minds of the servants of Allah and to impact considerably on the lives of the people of the world with civility and politeness, and with the best knowledge of the ways and methods of invitation to Allah’s cause and of dealing with the invited servants of Allah.
The eminent, erudite and well trained Islamic scholar, late Alhaji Abdur-Raheem Ameenullahi Al-Adabiyy received several awards, distinctions and honours from different organizations for his immense and unquantifiable intellectual and Da’awah efforts in and outside Nigeria, including but not limited to: World Assembly of Muslim Youths (WAMY), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Kwara State Government House, Ilorin, Jama’at Nasril Islam, Ilorin Emirate Branch, Jama’atu Ansarul-Islam, among other Islamic organizations. Shaikh was a member of Nigeria Da’awah Coordination Council (NDCC), Minna, Nigeria, Ansarul-Islam Society of Nigeria, to mention only but a few.
Shaikh also participated in various intellectual and educational conferences and workshops in various Arab countries such as those of the Islamic Da’awah Society, Libya in 1965 and Morocco in 1970, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Cairo in 1974 and the Muslim World league, Saudi Arabia and Muna Forum, Saudi Arabia for many years from the time of King Fahad of Saudi-Arabia.
He also delivered series of lectures in America, Canada, Tunisia, Sudan and others. He was one of the founding members of the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board. He was in that position until he became the Chairman of the Board in 1986.
Almighty Allah blessed Shaikh with the opportunity of performing pilgrimage to Mecca fifty – two (52) times during his lifetime.
Shaikh was also blessed with glorious children, golden men and women holding important positions in different sectors. Among them is a lecturer in the university, two accountants / bankers, a State Security Officer, business tycoons and so on.
The soul of Shaikh was anchored onto its Creator after he had observed the Juma’at prayer on Friday, 5th of Rajab, 1433AH corresponding to the 25th May, 2012.
We beseech Allah to shower His forgiveness and abundant blessings continuously upon Shaikh and those who have rights on him till the Day of Reckoning, and to guide and guard all that he left behind, including the animates and the in-animates. (Amin).
Abubakar Aliyy Kamal, is the Public Relations Officer of Ansarul Islam Society, Ilorin Branch and Chief Imam of Muritala Central Mosque, Muritala Mohammed Way, Ilorin.
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