UE/R Chief Imam laid to rest

The remains of late Upper East Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Imam Tahir Saeed,  were laid to rest at his residence atBolgatanga, the regional capital,  after the Janazah prayers attended by large crowd of Muslims community across the country and beyond, as well as sympathisers from other faiths.

Imam Tahir, whom a lot described as a great Islamic and Arabic scholar of his generation, died on Saturday at Bolgatanga, after a short illness at the age of 79.

The late Imam Tahir popularly known as “MallamTahiru” last delivered a sermon and led the congregational prayers in the Bolgatanga Central Mosque on Friday, and officiated two marriage ceremonies at Zuarungu, in the Bolgatanga East District on Saturday morning, before his demise later in the afternoon, a source at Bolgatanga told the Ghanaian Times.

His daughter, HajiaHamida Tahir of the Ghana National Fire Service in Accra, broke the news to the Ghanaian Times on Saturday, saying that the death was a big blow to the family in particular, and the Muslim community in general.

Quoting the Qur’an verse Inna Lillahi, wa inna Illayhim ra’jun to wit “Indeed, we belong to Allah and we and Him we shall return,” Hajia Tahir prayed that Allah would grant the late regional Imam a peaceful resting place for his contribution to national development.

The former Upper East Regional Minister,Tangoba Abayage, wrote on her Facebook wall “I’ve received with great sadness the demise of the Upper East Regional Chief Imam. This is a person I’ve worked with over so many years in humanitarian and community development issues. Very dynamic, development oriented and very proactive person. May Allah be pleased with his soul. Rest in peace, Sheikh.”

Imam Tahirwas installed the regional chief Imam last December after the death of the former Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Imam Yussif Adams, who passed on in November. Sheikh Tahir had served as the deputy chief Imam for over two decades.

The late Imam Tahir was also the National Chairman of the Tijanniyya Muslim Council.

He had been a member of the Hilal Committee that determines the start of the annual Ramadan fast. He was also involved in developing proposal for funding from charity organisations for the construction of mosques, schools and small water system for deprived communities, as well as Hajj organization in the country.

He was in Accra two weeks ago, among the 16 regional chief Imams, for a conference at the residence of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh (Dr.) Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, and returned to Bolgatanga a week ago after participating the annual Maulid of the Tijaniyya movement at Prang in the Bono East Region.

The late regional chief Imam had been in the fore front, working with other stakeholders advocating and preaching for peace, interreligious and ethnic co-existence, and stability 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 was born on April 11, 1943 and 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 Quran 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 had 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, sons and daughters.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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