Muslims in Ghana whose death shocked Ghanaians in 2023
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From Allah we came, and to him we shall return. In honour of the memory of our Muslim brothers and sisters who returned to Allah during the year 2023, we put together the names of a few Muslim personalities whose deaths ruffled Ghanaians.

As you read, don’t forget to say a prayer for relatives, friends, neighbours, and all and sundry who died as Muslims during the year 2023.

1.Firdaus Issah (died January 7, 2023)

Hajia Firdaus Issah was a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, an educationist, and the second wife of Sheikh Dr. Amin Osei Bonsu, Chairman of the Ghana Muslim Mission and the Chief Executive Officer of Amen Scientific Herbal Hospital since 2017.

The founder of the Amaanah Educational Complex was a selfless and generous woman whose virtue was well extolled after her death by fund-raisers and beneficiaries, especially on social media.

The mother of three passed away on January 7 after an illness and was buried in Kumasi.

In an interview days after her death, her husband praised her for being a woman of good heart who was humble, shy, and an affable person who made polygamy a worthwhile experience.

He said prior to his marriage to Hajia Firdaus, he wasn’t sure whether being polygamous would benefit him and his family since he did not want to have someone who would destabilise the family.

He relished his marriage to her as a blessing due to how she honoured him and his family.

2.Sheikh Ahmed Rashad (died January 19, 2023)

Sheikh Ahmad Rashad, a well-respected and humble Muslim scholar in Ghana, died at the age of 96 in Kumasi on the night of Thursday, January 19, 2023, at his Yalwa home.

He was buried on Friday, January 20, 2023, at the Tafo cemetery after Jummah prayers at the Kumasi Central Mosque.

Sheikh Rashad, born on March 30, 1930, is a teacher to many Islamic scholars with a specialty in the Tafseer (exegesis of the Quran) and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed during his lifetime.

He was popularly referred to as a “Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence” whose life was completely devoted to upholding the tenets of Islam based on the teachings and principles of Prophet Mohammed.

Until his demise, he remained the only surviving study mate of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, as a student of Sheikh Mallam Awudu Dan Tano of blessed memory.

Within the scholar community, he was a reference point for ‘Fatawa,’ and would appear at important Muslim gatherings to speak about Islamic shariah and other religious facts.

Mallam Rashad left behind a wife and 11 children, made up of five females and six males.

3.Mohammed Nuru-Deen Jawula (died January 21, 2023)

Jawula dead

The former Chairman of the Ghana Football Association, Mohammed Nuru-Deen Jawula, died on Saturday, January 21, 2023, and was buried in the Tennessee State of the United States on Sunday, January 22, 2023.

His burial ceremony was witnessed by some relatives and undertaken by the Islamic Centre of Nashville (ICN) at Bellevue Mosque in the State of Tennessee, United States of America (USA).

The 74-year-old former football administrator, born on May 2, 1949, was the Lepowura of the Kujolobite Gate of Lepo-Kpempe.

He attended primary and middle schools in Kpandai and proceeded to Tamale Secondary School in 1961, where he won a scholarship to pursue sixth form at Marling School in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.

He also attended the University of Cape Coast, UCC, where he studied English and Economics in 1968; the University of Ghana, Legon, for a Masters of Arts in African Studies, specialising in African literature in 1975; and GIMPA, for a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration in 1977.

In 1988, he proceeded to Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, as a Lester Pearson Fellow, and later pursued a masters programme in social policy at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 2009.

He has worked as an Assistant District Chief Executive in Yendi in 1976; DCE for Walewale in 1979; DCE for Gambaga/Nalerigu between 1981 and 1983; and Tolon DCE in 1989.

He was also a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Harbours and Railways in 2003 and Chief Director of the Ministry of Health in 2006.

As a football administrator, he supervised Ghana’s 1995 U-17 World Cup success in Ecuador and later oversaw the Black Starlets, which finished second and third in the 1997 and 1999 U-17 FIFA World Cups, as well as the Black Satellites, which finished second in the 2001 U-20 World Cup.

Until his demise, he was a member of the CAF Inter-club committee, CAF/FIFA Match Commissioner, and Chairman of the GFA’s committee for Ghana’s Premier League.

4.Alhaji Sultan Umar Farouk Saeed (died February 23, 2023)

The Zango Chief of Kumasi (Sarkin Zango), Alhaji Sultan Umar Farouk Saeed, sadly passed away on Thursday, February 23, 2023. He died at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

Burial prayers based on Islamic principles will be held at the Kumasi Central Mosque after Jummah prayers on Friday, February 24.

Sultan Omar, who was born in 1948 to the late Malam Saeed and the late Uma Fati Kotoko, was the Ashanti region’s 14th Sarkin Zango.

He was installed as Sarkin Zango on January 29, 2010.

He had two wives and two children.

5.Chief Baba Moro Issah (died February 24, 2023)

The former Public Relations Officer of the National Council of Zango Chiefs died on Friday, February 24, 2023, at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra and was buried on February 25, 2023, at the Madina Cemetery in Accra.

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He was the Chief of the Wangara ethnic group of Mamobi, a suburb of Accra, a position he had held since the 1980’s.

Chief Baba Moro Issah was also the Chairman of the Ayawaso North Council of Zongo Chiefs, where he helped resolve countless community problems related to security, health, and economic issues.

He was born on March 10, 1940, at Gariba Zongo in Suhum, in the Eastern Region, where he had his basic secular and Islamic education.

He had basic secular education and Islamic education at both Suhum Zongo and Nima.

He then proceeded to the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) for his diploma in communication.

He also attended Johns Hopkins University USA, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the University of Ghana, and Al-Azhar University in Cairo to pursue various educational programmes.

Chief Issa was a social development consultant with extensive experience in using innovative strategies, including multi-faith approaches to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), family health, birth spacing, social inclusion, and child and family rights.

He was also an advocate for changing harmful traditional practices and negative faith beliefs that adversely affected women and children.

The practices included female genital cutting (FGC), early and forced marriages, and gender-based violence.

He was at some point an Assembly member within the Mamobi Nima community.

6.Hussein Haroun At-Tijjani, aka Alhaji Wofa (died February 25, 2023)

Alhaji Hussein Haroun, who happened to be the elder brother of a senior Tijjaniya cleric in Ghana, Sheikh Abdul Wadud Haroun, died on February 25, 2023.

His death came a day after the death of Chief Baba Moro Issah, the National PRO of the Council of Zango Chiefs, and barely 48 hours after the burial of Sarkin Zango of Kumasi, Sultan Umar Farouk Saeed.

He was on admission for some days and died at the LISTER hospital in Accra before being transported to the Ashanti region, Kumasi, for burial.

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, led his Janaza prayers at his Fadama residence in Accra.

7.Sherif Moro (died March 4, 2023)

21-year-old Sherif Moro was a victim of a mob attack at Ashaiman Taifa on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

He was buried at the Burma Camp military cemetery in Accra after his remains were released from the 37 Military Hospital mortuary in Accra.

He met his untimely death while he was on his way home, at Ashaiman Taifa, near the court building.

The member of the Ghana Armed Forces Band, and a trumpeter for that matter, was stationed at Sunyani in the Bono Region.

He was in Accra for a military course, and in the last three weeks of his life, he had been visiting the parents in their home at Ashaiman every Friday.

He was reportedly confronted by a gang that mistook him for a robber and killed him while he was on his way home.

Sherif Imoro was born at Ashaiman on June 3, 2001, and had his primary and junior high school education at Ashaiman.

He completed his senior high school in 2017 at Akwamuman SHS.

He enrolled in the Ghana Armed Forces in October 2021, was trained at Daboya, and was posted to Sunyani after passing out.

8.Sheikh Yussif Saeed Yahya (died August 18, 2023)

The Kumasi-based cleric died at the age of 56 on August 18, 2023, at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, where he was receiving emergency treatment for a protracted illness.

He had, in the previous year, travelled to the United States of America (USA) to seek medical assistance for the condition that had kept him away from clerical duties for almost a year.

The scholar who graduated from the Islamic University of Saudi Arabia with a specialisation in Islamic jurisprudence was known to be well versed in other areas such as the science of Hadith and fatwa.

The news of Sheikh Yussif’s passing triggered an outpouring of grief, with Muslims and non-Muslims alike expressing their condolences and sharing memories of his significant contributions.

9.Lieutenant General John Henry Smith (died December 19, 2023)

John Henry Smith dead

Lieutenant General John Henry Smith, the former Minister of Defence, passed away on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at the age of 78 after suffering from an undisclosed illness.

He burial service was held at the Al Aziz Mosque at the Burma Camp on Saturday December 23, 2023. 

The late Lt Gen. JH Smith became Minister under the tenure of President John Atta Mills’ term of office from 2009 to 2013.

He was also a former ambassador of Ghana to the United States under the John Mahama administration.

JH Smith was born on January 9, 1945, in Takoradi and attended Achimota Secondary School from 1959 to 1963.

He got enrolled as an officer cadet at the Ghana Military Academy and was commissioned second lieutenant on October 16, 1965, into the Ghana Army Engineer Corps.

He became the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School at Teshie, Accra, in 1993 and later became the Commander of the Second Infantry Brigade Group, now known as the Northern Command, from 1993 to 1996.

In 1996, Smith served as the Company Commander of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in Egypt and was later appointed Chief of Staff of the Ghana Army in 1996 by President Jerry Rawlings until 2001.

Smith is the only Army commander to have commanded three formations, including two Infantry Brigade Groups. He retired from the military in February 2009 after 39 years.

The late Smith had five children. He was married to Douha Smith.

In conclusion, as we remember our beloved and pray that Allah grants them a better hereafter, we ask Allah to grant us also a good ending.

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