Header Ads

Header ADS



©Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

Surely, every soul shall taste death. While I am still battling to recover from the death of my dear uncle, Alhaji Suleiman Abdullahi, I have just lost another very close person, Alhaji Muhammad Babatunde Olowo. Although he was my neighbour, our interactions were as if we had  family (blood) bond. 

I had just returned from a very hectic Abuja journey yesterday. I was about sleeping when Ustadh Mahmoud informed me of Alhaji's critical condition. From then, I couldn't sleep again. My wife was trying to calm me, it wasn't just working. Later, I got a call from his brother, Alhaji Salihu Olowo that we had lost Alhaji Muhammad Olowo. His burial arrangements started immediately. Alhaji had always told me if he dies, Ustadh Mahmoud and I should be the ones to bath him, cloth him and he should be buried at the Muslim Cemetery. That was exactly what the family followed. May Allāh reward them. They all confirmed he had told them how he wanted to be buried in a sunnatic way. 

Whenever Alhaji told me I should be the one to bath him, I used to reply him saying, "Alhaji, we don't know who will die first". Alhaji Olowo used to have his burial garments kept with him in his wardrobe. This means he was always preparing for death. He was the one who taught me to have my own burial garment too. If anyone dies, Alhaji Olowo used to give out his own garment and would replace it with another one almost immediately. He had done this severally before my eyes.

Until his death late last night, Alhaji Olowo was the Chairman of Harmony Estate Muslim Community in Ilorin, where I serve as an Imām. Alhaji was a great pillar of support for us. He was a pillar of Islām and Sunnah in the community. He loved Allāh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم wholeheartedly and it used to reflect in his actions.. 

As if I had known his death was near, the topic of my khutbah (Jumat Sermon) in recent time had been on the need to follow the ways of the Companions of the Prophet رضي الله عنهم by supporting the growth of the Sunnah anywhere we find ourselves. For those who have been following, in one of the series of the khutbah, I particularly used Alhaji Olowo as a typical example to all members of the congregation. He stood strongly by us for the da'wah of Sunnah in our community. 

It can be categorically said that Ustadh Yahya Hussein (Imām Oloyin) is the founding father of Sunnah at Harmony Estate, but Alhaji Olowo is the one Allāh has used to solidify it for some years now. Alhaji's efforts towards having a Sunnah Masjid in this strategic location was number. He singlehandedly fought for the acquisition of Allāh before it built by Ibn Qayyim Foundation, facilitated by Dr. Dhunnurain Imam Sahban. May Allāh preserve him.

Alhaji Olowo stood by us the way Abu Bakr, 'Umar, Uthmān, 'Ali and other noble companions رضي الله عنهم stood behind the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in the spread and preservation of pristine Islām. Ustadh Mahmoud and other members of the Masjid can bear witness to this fact. By Allāh, there is no better way to live this life than to be upon pure Sunnah till death takes our lives. We testify that Alhaji Olowo was a lover and adherent of Sunnah till his death. May Allāh have mercy on him.

Alhaji Olowo hated shirk and bid'ah and other forms of evil with passion. On this basis, he abandoned some of his friends who were not ready to quit sihr and other kufr acts. If he hears anyone is boasting upon kufr or bid'ah, he doesn't feel comfortable. Alhaji doesn't act with ignorance. He used to ask questions on anything that was not clear to him in the Deen. Ustadh AbdulFattah Sarumi حفظه الله knew him for this. He was always in touch with him and several other scholars of Sunnah. 

Alhaji Olowo's understanding and practice of Sunnah can be traced back to when he was a very young companion of Sheikh Ibrahim Alabi Makana رحمه الله. Before the great effort of Sheikh Ameenullahi Ibrahim (Baba Madeenah) رحمه الله, Sheikh Alabi Makana was among the foremost personalities to be reckoned with when it comes to the knowledge of Sunnah in Ilorin, albeit with strong preference for Maliki school of thought. Alhaji Makana preached and practised Sunnah to the best of his ability. Alhaji Olowo's closeness with Alhaji Makana greatly aided his understanding and practice of the Sunnah. Alhaji Olowo would hardly say a word without quoting "Alhaji Alabi" severally. Anyone who knew him would agree he used not to hide his hatred for shirk,  bid'ah and other evils. He had a very pure heart towards everyone. He assisted many people to solve their problems. He did a lot of sadaqah; he paid many people's hospital bills; he paid school fees of many young people without even knowing them. A brother informed us earlier this morning that Alhaji was able to clear all his debts.

Even when we were tried with the fitnah of mixing with some people of bid'ah in a way that threatened and nearly truncated the da'wah of Sunnah in our community, Alhaji Olowo's good conscience later showed him the right way and he was 100% convinced that the best way to practice Islām is to always be in the midst of those who strive to practice Sunnah to the best of their abilities and not people who promote bid'ah in one way or the other. He didn't mind if anyone would blame him for his decisions. At a point in time, he was a very influential politician in Kwara State. He later had to quit it out of fear of the dangers of democratic politics. Alhaji used to ask me to pray that Allāh removes politics completely from his mind.

I have said it severally in the past few weeks, Alhaji Olowo's illness exposed so many lapses in our Masjid. We have been missing him so much because we are yet to have anyone who can play his roles in the Masjid. He was in charge of welfare activities in the Masjid. If anyone came for assistance, Alhaji will be the one to verify it before anything is done. Alhaji was the coordinator of Eid el Adha sacrifice. Despite his status, he will clean the Masjid and make sure everything is in proper shape. He used not to miss Salat in congregation. He was instrumental to the extension projects around the Masjid, including the building set aside for bathing of corpses. Only Allāh knows how many times he had lent the Masjid money without collecting it back. This life and its adornments had no meaning to Alhaji Olowo. He used not to wear anything expensive. He can spend his last kobo to assist anyone who needed his help. I used drive his car for distribution of food during Ramadan and even drive it to radio station for Sahur lectures. Alhaji Olowo was indeed a rare Sunni. There is no where you will meet him without reminding you of Allāh and Sunnah. Only Allāh can reward him.

Alhaji Olowo did not only stand firm upon Sunnah, he influenced his own wife, children and other family members towards it. His wife love knowledge of Islām so much. Her daughters and sons are sound in Qur'ān recitation and memorization. Alhaji used to tell me about his two boys (Arafah and Rajab), "I leave them to you, I want them to be like you and Ustadh Mahmoud". Alhaji Olowo was the brain behind the Hajia Maimunat Abeje Memorial Mosque project at Sabo Oke where many young children are learning the Qur'ān and Sunnah free of charge. They don't pay a penny. The mosque was built and financed by his brother, Alhaji Saliu Olowo. 

Our Annual Ramadan lectures at the same Masjid sponsored by his brother, Alhaji Salihu Olowo was also his pet project. Alhaji was the pillar of unity at his family house and at Harmony Estate Community. His roles in the development of the Estate as the Pioneer Chairman of the community cannot be quantified. When we went to greet him recently, one of his younger brothers approached me silently that we should help them to be pray for his recovery. He said Alhaji was the one Allāh has been using to hold their family together. I quickly told him, "he is the one Allāh has been using to hold our Estate too together". He was very energetic, brave and courageous.

I have only mentioned some of his good deeds (I can't exhaust them), so that all of us too can emulate him. This life is very short! I don't think Alhaji Olowo is up to 60 years of age. But he was able to achieve a lot for the hereafter because that has always been his main goal. May Allāh accept his good deeds. Therefore, let us begin to think of what we would do too that would be useful to us, especially on the Day of Judgment. Let us refrain from all kinds of evils that can stand against us on that Day. We may be thinking we still have time, but by Allāh, there is no time. The world is moving and our own expiry dates too are following us.

The janāzah prayer will be offered at his family house, Ile Olowo, Center Igboro, Ilorin after 'Asr in sha Allāh. Please do join us to offer it. May Allāh have mercy on our father, Alhaji Muhammad Babatunde Olowo. May Allāh grant him Aljannah Firdaus. May He grant the family fortitude to bear this great loss.


  1. May Allah accept his return

  2. May Allah have mercy on him and grant him jannatu fridaos

  3. May Almighty Allah forgive him and grant him in aljanna

  4. May Allah accept all his good deeds and grant him Aljanatul Firdaus. Amen


Powered by Blogger.