By Isa Muhammad Inuwa
Thousands of Muslims in Kano, Nigeria, had Thursday converged at the Umar Bin Al-Khattab mosque, where they offered funeral prayer in absentia for the repose of the soul of the deceased Sheikh Youssef Al-Qardawi, who passed on in Doha, Qatar, recently.
Leading the congregation, Imam Sheikh Yahaya Tanko delivered the prayer interluded with four Takbirs (Allahu Akbar! chants) and supplications.
Addressing the crowd shortly after, Sheikh Tanko recalled that the distant funeral prayer was first conducted by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), in Medina, for the soul of Al-Najjashi, the then late Emperor of Abyssinia (present Ethiopia). Al-Najjashi was deemed to have converted from Christianity to Islam before his death.
Also speaking to the gathering, Professor Muhammad Babangida of Bayero University, Kano, announced that the late Sheikh Al-Qardawi was “a famous Islamic scholar of international standing, who spent the largest part of his life contributing to Islamic knowledge, through his teachings, writings and extracting solutions to religious matters (Fatwa)”.
He added that the late Al-Qardawi authored no less than 170 books, some of which consisted of several volumes. He said he was head of numerous Islamic bodies and that he migrated from his home country Egypt to Qatar because of threats to his life by anti-Islamic forces.
He described the deceased as a moderate jurist who maintained a middle course in proposing solutions on matters of Islamic jurisprudence. “He neither swerved to the extreme nor tilted to the most lenient side”, adding that he was very apt in addressing current issues arising in modern life in his publications and jurisdictions.
The scholar also described Al-Qardawi’s death as a significant loss to the entire Muslim World, whose replacement is difficult to find. He then asked God to forgive the deceased and rest his soul in the highest abode of Paradise.