By Murtala Abdullahi ( Birnin Gwari)
In the name of Allah, most beneficent, most merciful.
Usually in the course of our lives, we often discuss the dynamics of transitory realities of our brief and unfathomable stay here on earth. Normally this kind of thought sparks deep reasoning and intuition especially during painful experiences, disasters or inexplicable misadventures. However, the phenomenon of death especially of a close acquaintance or a significant other, inflict a more serious physical and psychological distress with its attendant elements manifested in sunken feelings of emptiness, helplessness and vulnerability. Such is the current state of mind of so many of us, friends, kinsmen and family members of Late Mal. Hassan Adamu Rasheed, after receiving the shocking news of his sudden death on the early evening of Sunday, 27th day of October, 2019.
Coming to terms with the reality that, an agile, active, humorous and intellectually sound Hassan Rasheed was confirmed clinically death , less than 20minutes after cracking some usual jokes while complaining of a mild headache to some visiting friends in his house was one of the most difficult moments of my life. It was so difficult to accept that a very close acquaintance can leave suddenly, without a goodbye or even a parting word. But one has no option but to accept this painful reality and heed more to the lessons that this world is just vanity upon vanity. The Holy Quran also warn us so vehemently on the unrescinded nature of death, when it says “But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do ,( Quran 63:11).
I was so close to Hassan Adamu Rasheed in the true sense of the word, not only because he used to be my happy host whenever I visited Makarfi, but also because we share a lot of natural traits together. We have a bound through a shared social, religious and economic philosophies. He became a reference point in almost all my social, political and economic Standpoints not long after we meet each other.
He is known for his intellectual prowess, his logical dexterity and amazing eloquence which will justify to you why , it is not by coincidence that he is a blood brother to the prolific Professor of English Language , Former vice chancellor of Bayero University, Kano and the current Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed. Scholarship and intellectualism runs in their family blood for generations.
Late Hassan Adamu Rasheed possessed natural leadership qualities of selflessness, personal sacrifice, integrity and doggedness in defense of truth. To all around him, they knew how Late Hassan Rasheed would sacrifice without hesitation, his personal comfort in the service of a family member, a friend or an acquaintance. There’s no better example of a life loaded with voluntary service in the spirit of kinship, friendship and brotherhood.
I ruminate many of our discussions around the subjects of philosophy, religion and politics. He would always dispense his logical acumen to convince me on the emptiness of our mundane endeavors, he will say to me, “stop given too much emphasis to the material and muddlesome context of this world Murtala”, “Because no matter how long it will take, posterity will subdue you and you will be nothing but a piece of history”. He said to me on one occasion that, he felt he has a moral burden to invest everything on the training and upbringing of his children. He believed the best legacy you can leave behind is a class of upright children that your community and humanity in general can benefit from and be proud of, He said Malam ( referring to his late Father, the legendary Mal. Adamu Rasheed ) has always told us to take our family responsibilities serious. Give our best to the training and welfare of those that Allah has entrusted upon us. He believes his Late Father has sacrificed so much to brought them up in the best possible manner and that he has a moral burden to replicate same to his children.
Hassan Rasheed has exceptional passion for quality Islamic and western education for children. He has always enjoin me to look at my family as a divine trust and noble responsibility from almighty Allah.
He is a man that finds tranquility in the study and discussions on Quran and Sunnah of the prophet s.a.w, always quoting and drawing inference from the massages and wisdom embedded in Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet. He will say Murtala Birnin Gwari did you gasp the Miraculous wisdom and beautiful massages of the Quran?. His famous verses were those that talk about the day of judgement like what Allah says in Quran 83:5-6 ….for a mighty day, the day on which men shall stand before the Lord of the worlds. And also what Allah says in Quran 4:87……He will most certainly gather you together on the resurrection day, there is no doubt in it; and who is more true in word than Allah?.
He was also passionate about the content of Sura yunus verse (24 ) when the almighty Allah says: The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb from which plants and livestock eat…there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday, Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought”.
Hassan Rasheed would also discus to us in a lengthy interactive conversations which I moderate at times on the Quranic verses that talk about the value of serving family, kinsmen, friends and even anonymous visitors on the scale of deeds in the day of judgement. We together study and digest some of these verses, he will talk about what Allah says in sura Taha,…..”And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein.” (TaHa, 20:132) and also what Allah says in Tahrim “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire…” (Tahrim, 66:6). He always Makes reference to sura Nisa…“And live with them [women] in kindness.” (Nisa, 4:19) and what Allah says in sura baqara on family responsibilities “Upon the father is their [i.e., the mothers’] provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable.” (Baqarah, 2:233) . Guided by the embedded wisdom of the Quran, most of our discussions rally around our responsibilities to effect desired changes from our family structures as the most important unit of Socialization in a society.
One of the most enduring legacies of Hassan Adamu Rasheed will be the abiding network of friendship he facilitated with and among people. He is a man of the people, always creating new friends and connecting each with the other in the spirit of affinity and brotherhood. One of his daily routine was to introduce people to people and encourage them to be friends. If today we are friends with some bright and kind minded individuals like Mal. Ibrahim Hassan (Registrar SICHST, Makarfi) , Mal. Lawal Nahaju ( Chief Librarian SICHST) Hon. Muhammad Kadade Suleiman, Hon. Umar Shehu Ajilo, Mal. Nuhu Ahmed Ango, Alh. Abdulkadir Tambaya , Mal. Kabir Abdullahi, and others too numerous to mention, it is all because of the personal efforts and mediation of Hassan Adamu Rasheed. It will be an understatement to say that I have benefited immensely from the friendship network of Hassan Adamu Rasheed. My life and indeed that of many others were made better by the ideas, counsel, guidance, generosity and hospitality of Mal. Hassan Adamu Rasheed.
My last discussion with him was less than 48 hours before his death, when he directed one of our workers from a construction project site he is supervising on my behalf to seek approval from me for a certain additional cost above what was agreed before he can grant him the payment. The worker had to call while Hassan Rasheed was standing in the background to be sure that I have approved the payment. That was my last contact with him, only to receive the shocking news less than 48 hours later.
Mal. Hassan Adamu Rasheed was indeed a true symbol of integrity, selflessness, humility, intellectualism, self contentment and above all religious consciousness. His life was an embodiment of social accomplishment embedded in moderated religious activism and responsible family stewardship.
No amount of words can be sufficient to comfort us of the pain occasioned by this painful lost or fill in the vacuum created by the exit of this great and kind hearted soul. All we can do now is to remain ardently prayerful to the almighty Allah to grant Hassan Adamu Rasheed jannatul firdaus and unite us all therein “in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon, the martyrs, and the righteous, and how excellent these companions are!” [an-Nisa’ 4:69
I will like to end this tribute by extending my heart felt condolences to his obedient and kind hearted wife, Hajiya Maryam Khalid and her children , his elder brother, the iconic professor of English, Former vice chancellor, Bayero University, Kano and current Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, all other surviving brothers and sisters, close and distant relatives as well as all his friends and acquaintances.
May Allah not deprive us of the reward of our praying for him, and May Allah not test us after him”.
Wassalahu was Salim ala nabiyina Muhammad, wa ala alihi, wa sahbihi, wassalaman tasliman kaseerah.
Abdullahi writes from Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State