Renowned Kano businessman, philanthropist, leader of Islam’s Tijjaniyya movement in Nigeria and patriarch of the famed Isyaku Rabiu family, Khalifa Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu, will be buried on Friday in Kano, according to a statement by the family yesterday.
The statement said the late Islamic scholar, who passed on in a London Hospital on Tuesday, was aged 93 years having been born in 1925. Daily Trust had earlier reported that the late businessman died at the age of 90.
“Khalifa Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu is survived by his wives, 42 children amongst whom are his first son, Nafiu Rabiu; Founder & Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu and Chairman of IRS Airlines, Rabiu Isyaku Rabiu amongst other notable offspring. He is also survived by hundreds of grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” the statement added.
The Kano State Government has declared Friday as work-free in honour of late Sheikh Isyaku Rabi’u.
A statement by the state’s Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba said the holiday is declared to enable Muslims in the state and beyond attend the funeral prayer for the deceased, which is scheduled to take place on Friday at the Sheikh Isyaku Rabi’u mosque, Goron Dutse in Kano metropolis at 2:30 pm immediately after Juma”at prayer.
The remains of the deceased is expected to arrive in Kano today.
The late Khalifah was born to the family of prominent Islamic scholar, Muhammadu Rabiu Dan Tinki, a Qur’anic preacher from the Bichi area of Kano State.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of Sheikh Isyaku Rabi’u as a colossal loss not only not to the field of learning, but also the business sector.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying that “No tribute can do justice to the amazing virtues of Isyaku Rabi’u in view of his vast contributions to scholarship, industrial investments and development in the country.
“The late Rabi’u had the remarkable qualities of combining scholarship and vast business investments that created job opportunities for hundreds of people.
“The deceased had attained success through honest labour and resourcefulness which helped him achieve fame in life, and such virtues are not common in the context of today’s realities where many resort to some other means to gain success.”
Buhari urged the children of the deceased to build on the remarkable legacy of their father, adding that the best honour they could do to him is to live by his good examples.
He commiserated with the deceased’s family as well as the government and the people of Kano State over the loss.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said “As leader of Tijaniyya sect in West Africa, the late Khalifah made huge sacrifices in the promotion of Islam and Islamic scholarship.”
Saraki noted that though the death of Khalifa is painful the consolation that he lived a worthy life is enough to mitigate the effect of his loss.
The Speaker of House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, in a condolence message, said “Late Khalifa Isyaku Rabiu was indeed a great scholar, entrepreneur per excellence and inspiring philanthropist who impacted the lives of many through his uncommon benevolence, generosity and support to the less privileged members of the society.”
He extended his condolence to the family of the deceased, the government and people of Kano State, and prayed God Almighty to grant the soul of the late Khalifa Rabiu eternal rest.
Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, described late Rabi’u as a deeply religious, intensely generous and very simple person, whose conduct has impacted positively within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
Governor Masari also prayed to Allah to forgive him all his shortcomings and make paradise his final resting place, and give the bereaved the fortitude and courage to bear the loss.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, said
“Nigeria and indeed the North have lost a great Islamic scholar whose contribution transcends the shores of Africa. He endeared himself to people of different culture and traditions throughout his life which came with promotion of the values of Islamic teachings, entrepreneurship, common decency, peaceful coexistence and equal opportunity for all which most Northerners share. The best way to remember the Cleric and business doyen is for Nigerians to live up his legacy in our daily lives.”