The Muslim community will on Sunday, March 13, perform the Adua (funeral rites) of the late Upper East Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Imam Tahir Saeed Mohammed, a family source confirmed to the Ghanaian Times.
Muslims from across the country and beyond will converge at the Bolgatanga Mobile Park to recite the Holy Qur’an and offer prayers to Allah for the repose of the late regional chief Imam’s soul, who will be much remembered for his contributions to Islamic, secular education and humanitarian services.
Mallam Tahir, as he was popularly known, and whom many described as a great Islamic scholar, died on Saturday, February 19, at Bolgatanga. He was laid to rest at his residence the following day. He was over 80 years.
He was installed the regional chief Imam last December after the death of the former Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Yussif Adams, who passed on in November 2021. Sheikh Tahir had served as the deputy Chief Imam for over two decades.
Imam Tahir delivered a sermon and led the congregational prayers in the Bolgatanga Central Mosque on Friday, February 18, and officiated two marriage ceremonies at Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District on Saturday morning before his demise later in the afternoon.
Until his death, Imam Tahir was also the National Chairman of the Tijanniyya Muslim Council and a patron of the Coalition of Muslim Organisations (COMOG). He was a former Regional Chairman of the Islamic Education Unit, and a member of the Upper East Regional Christian/Muslim Dialogue.
The COMOG President, Abdel-Manan Abdel- Rahman, in a statement copied to the Ghanaian Times said the late Imam Tahir “Served his people with utmost diligence in accordance with the traditions of the Holy prophet of Islam, Mohammed, and to the admiration of all his acquaintances.”
Quoting the Qur’an verse Innaa Lillaahi, wa Innaa Ilaihir raaji’un (verily we belong to Allah, and verily to him do we return), the COMOG said it received news of the death of Imam Tahir “with the deepest pain.”
Another statement to the media signed by Alhaji Suallah Abdalah Quandah, the Executive Secretary of the Conference of Regional Chief Imams of Ghana, described Imam Tahir as “a unifier and a peace loving person,” saying “his knowledge in Islamic doctrine is enviable, and it is therefore not surprising that the same reflected in his daily life when he was with us”.
“Our hearts go out to his immediate family and relatives, and we admonish them to stay strong and united in these trying and troubling moments,” the statement added.
Imam Tahir had been working with other stakeholders to bring peace in trouble spots in the region, including the Bolgatanga and Bawku chieftaincy disputes, and the Doba land dispute in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
Imam Tahir hails from the Bongo District in the Upper East Region, but spent much of his life in the Bolgatanga Municipality, where he studied the Qur’an under the tutelage of his teacher, Mallam Abdul-Salam Mazankano (also late) in the ‘50s and ‘70s.
He had also studied at the Al-Azher University in Cairo, Egypt, in the early 80s and travelled to Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Senegal, among other countries to further deepen his knowledge of the religion and the Qu’ran from other scholars, as well as participated in conferences and seminars.
The late Imam Tahir had mentored a lot of Islamic and Arabic teachers in the region and has established an Arabic and English School at Bolgatanga to make Islamic and western education more accessible to the Muslim community, as his contribution to national development.
Late Imam Tahir left behind his wives: Hajia Hawa, Hajia Sheitu, Hajia Sukeina, Hajia Fawzia, 17 sons and daughters, 47 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman