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Opinions of Sunday, 11 February 2018

Columnist: Inusah Zanjina

A letter to Sheikh

Dear Sheikh

Sometimes, if words could bring back the dead, I would have coined a million words that can fill a basket to bring you back from this journey you have embarked on. I hope you have reached there safely and that our creator is flipping through your pages of life as you smile peacefully, awaiting your results (am sure it would be good).

Indeed, this life is a cycle. Once yours ends, another's own begins. And as Shakespeare rightly said, all the world is a stage and all men and women are merely players. Each plays his part and exits when his time is due. Sheikh Zakaria, did you play well before exiting ? Did you score your goals excellently? Hmm. I know am as usual asking you a lot of questions.

Questions I used to ask you so much to the chagrin of your followers on facebook. But you, Sheikh, were never bothered. Neither were you perturbed in your quest to let the whole world understand the true meaning of the Tijaniya Sufi order as a Muslim.

Dear Sheikh, am here right now. My eyes have become a river flowing endlessly down my cheeks. My heart has become heavy like a granite. Yet my mind is clear of what has happened. The boogeyman came calling you on Friday. Why didn't you consult me before answering his call? So that we make amends to our differences before. So that we finally lay this intra-religious differences to rest. So that you finally give me the Zikr (supplications) of the prophet Mohammed (S. A. W) you once promised me.

I am sorry that I never came to you earlier at the intensive care unit of Tamale Teaching Hospital to catch a glimpse of your face. There are many things that I regret. Things like why humans glorify the dead more than the living. Things like how the world thinks that life is all about piling successes.

I am even sorry that you were always the first to ask of me, though you were old enough to be my father. And, Sheikh, do you remember our banter about the Ambariya Sunni Community and the Tijaniya? About how you were always the first to offer the branch of peace between us (you and me) after our usual disagreements on facebook.

However, Sheikh, there are lot of things I would remember about you. That you were steadfast in worshipping Allahu, our creator. That you never backed down when it came to defending your religion. That your work as a journalist with TV3 was one of ethical rationalism. That matters of development in the North was an artery to your heart. And I would also remember your advice urging me to take up writing as my profession.

Sheikh, I know that as you lie in the darkness of your final abode today, the white cloak we covered you with is serving as light. I even know that you may be reading this write-up and say " Uncle Zanjina can write papa", like you always posted on your wall. Sheikh, we remember you. Sheihk your children, students and friends would remember you. Sheikh, please prepare a place for me as I prepare to join you someday. Thereon we shall sit in the compound of the Holy martyrs of Islam and recite "Laa illaaha illalaahu" (there is no deity but Allah). Smile and rest in peace my beloved friend, Sheikh Zakaria Kadiri. Tini paagi ti paaibu shee.
Your friend
Inusah Zanjina