Shaikh Rashad, an eminent Islamic scholar and Arabic poet, passes away

On the 16th of Febru­ary, 2023 the death was re­ported of Shaikh Rashad at the Kumasi Zongo. Below is a short biog­raphy of the Shaikh who is well known among Muslims, particularly the scholars. His father’s name is Ahmed Bin Sulaiman and mother’s name UmKulthum, daughter of Amir Salaw. His parents were Dandes from Benin who settled at the Kumasi Zongo. He was born in 1930 and had 11 children (six males and five females). He began his academic career from a typical Makaranta Quranic School) where he studied the Quran in 1944 from Shaikh Hamja from Kano, Nigeria. After that he was transferred to the Madrasah of Shaikh Dantano, the well-known Arabic grammarian. There he studied Arabic (luggat), Grammar (Nahw), Inflexion (Sarf), Literature (Adab), and principles of Islam (Usul). During his studentship he studied such famous books as: Mu’atta Imam Malik, Ri­sala Abii Zaalain and Irshad Al-Saalih – all in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). In addition he studied Al-Fahuul Sitta, Zahiir, Naabigha, Shu­raa Al-Jaahiliyya (Pre-Islamic Arabic poetry), Maqama Al-Hariri, said to be the most difficult Arabic book of liter­ature, Ishriiniiya, Al-Ashaari­ya, Qasida Al-Burds. In history he studied such books as: Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Hish­am, Ibn Sad, Al-waaqidi. Whilst undergoing advanced and intensive course from his master, Shaikh Dantano, the latter died suddenly in 1949. He never transferred to any other master, but continued studying by himself on the till he attained the highest level of knowledge. There­after he began to transmit knowledge by teaching students knowledge for the next 40 years at his house in Kumasi Zongo.

In 1985 he began lecture in Quran’s Commentary (Tafsir Al-Quran) and has maintained it up to date. Among the student that he has taught are: Abdullah Ibn Imam Fulaani, Talha, Al-Has­sanaDarusu, Mallam Mama Ajarub and Abdullah Dag­omba. In 1975 and 2005 he performed the Hajj. In 1980 he travelled with Shaikh Mu­hammad Appiedu (founder of Islamic Secondary School, Kumasi) to Libya to attend an Islamic conference. In 1985 he attended two Islamic conferences at Colonou and Nouakshot, Mauritani. In 1987 he went again to Libya.

Before I left his presence he gave me an Arabic poem written by him entitled “Taq­riiz Al-Jalalain” (In Eulogy of the Jalaalain).

Jalaalain is the name of a Quranic Commentary that is very popular amongst students of Commentary. It is usually recommended for beginners because of its brevity in explanations.

The following is the trans­lation of the poem: 1. Jalal Al-Mahali was a scholar and interpreter of the Quram. He interpreted the Quran using the style of I’jaz of the Quran of his Lord. 2. But he could not complete the work of interpreting the Holy Book. Due to death that be­fell him before he could com­plete his work 3. Then came Al-Suyuti to complete the challenging task. He was well informed and learned about the ways of interpretation. 4. He completed it by trod­ding the path of his Master (Shaikh) by using the same style of I’jaz which was in ac­cord with his chosen method 5.It became a perfect book without peer. Such that no similar book of interpretation could excel it in fame due to the clarity of its expression. 6. Jalal Al-Suyuti was, when writing the commentary, only 30 years. Yet he caused admi­ration in us for his treatise. 7. According to Al-Suyuti he completed it. In the same span of time as the time in which God fulfilled His promise to Al-Kalim (Mo­ses). 8. By this statement he meant to say that he prayed fervently to his Lord for thirty days, while writing the book. Then topped it with ten days; it was successful by virtue of his understanding 9. And this, by my life, is one of the miracles of our Shaikh. By this feat he has risen higher than the peers of his time 10. His frame in knowledge is not hid­den. From any person who critically examines the gist of his book. 11. Here ends the eulogy of the Jalaalain. I have selected the number twelve for the number of lines of my poem. In allusion to the number of tribes (twelve) of the Prophet Jacob. The poem is perfect in its arrangements (Like how pearls are order­ly arranged on threads) 12. May the Lord of the throne reward our professor (Usta­azana) who explained to us from the commentary? That which was obscured to us,” The poem is self-explana­tory. The word I’jaz means Arabic words used by God in the Quran that are pregnant with meanings, such that opponents cannot put forth something similar.


So ended the life of an Islamic scholar and poet spent who his life in educat­ing the youth. His funeral was attended by the National Chief Imam, Ashanti Region­al chief Imam state official and party functionaries.


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