By Muhammad Abdurrahman
The death of two foremost Islamic scholars, Professor Hussein Akande Abdul Kareem and Dr. Ahmad Datti, has been announced. Professor Abdul Kareem died in Lagos on Sunday, December, 26, 2021, while Dr. Ahmad Datti died in Kano on Thursday December, 30, 2021. An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described them as two giant scholarly figures.
MURIC’s reaction was contained in a statement issued by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, 30th December, 2021.
MURIC said: “Islamdom in Nigeria has been hit by the loss of two great scholarly figures who died within four days of each other. Professor Hussein Abdul Kareem died in Lagos on Sunday, 26th December, 2021 while Dr. Ahmad Datti died in Kano on Thursday 30th December, 2021.
“Professor Hussein was a former president of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN). He was one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Welfare Foundation (IWF), the Islamic Study Group (ISGON) and many others Islamic organisations. He was a great motivator, a team player and a transparently honest man. He was a profound ascetic who shunned worldly luxuries.
“A professor of biochemistry, he taught and researched in several local and overseas universities including the University of Khartoum, Sudan, University of Maiduguri and the Lagos State University. He retired voluntarily in 2006 and became a full time Islamic worker. He was nominated by the International Biography Centre, Cambridge, England as the International Man of the Millenium Award in 1999. Professor Hussein died at the age of 85. He has since been buried in Badagry, Lagos State.
“Dr. Ahmad Datti was an energetic Islamic activist of no small measure. A trained medical doctor, he was the president of the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN). The deceased played a prominent role in the spread of Shariah in the Northern states of the country from 1999 onwards.
“A pragmatic Muslim leader, Dr. Datti encouraged Muslims to join politics in order to bring the teachings of Islam on probity, accountability and good governance to bear on politics and Muslim politicians. He practiced what he taught by becoming an aspirant of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the early 90s.
“He became a household name particularly in the whole northern Nigeria. He also participated in the activities of several Islamic organisations and he was the chairman, Board of Trustees of the Usman bin Affan Islamic Trust, Gadon Kaya, Kano. He died after a protracted illness at the age of 83. He was buried at the Tarauni Cemetery, Kano. Dr. Datti has left a vacuum that will be difficult to fill.
“The death of these two giant Islamic scholars has left MURIC in deep grief. We are devastated. We pray that Almighty Allah will overlook their trespasses and repose their souls in Al-Jannah Firdaus. We also pray that Allah will give their families the fortitude needed to bear the losses.
“As we commiserate with the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, MSSN, ISGON and the Lagos Muslim Community on the death of Professor Hussein Abdul Kareem, we equally condole with the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, MURIC Kano Chapter and the good people of Kano, over the demise of Dr. Datti Ahmad.”
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