Today, one of my childhood teachers, the former Principal of the Islamic Cultural Institute Madrassah, and someone who was like a father to the Muslim community of Harare, Sh. Qari Abdullah Diwan (May Allah have mercy on him) was buried in Manchester, UK, after returning to Allah Almighty at the age of 85 years this past Thursday evening.
He was someone who Allah Almighty blessed him with a full life alhamdulillah, and despite this, I couldn’t help but feel the impact of the news upon receiving it.
Sh. Qari Abdullah taught me Islamic studies for an entire year in 1996 as he was responsible for all final year students of the institute, and I will always remember him for making me memorise the last aayaat of Surah alBaqarah and teaching me to recite it before going to sleep, amongst other lessons.
In 2002, he had to travel for a period of 6 months, and he honoured me by pleasingly accepting me being the interim teacher for his class during his absence. Before this, and whilst still a student, I always recall him being fond of me, and affording me roles of responsibility within the institute. This naturally caused my classmates to feel that I was favoured. Of course their sentiments couldn’t be further from the truth.
As I sit here tapping away at my keyboard and look back at all these precious memories; I cannot help but feel older and even more responsible! Indeed a generation has departed to Allah, and a generation now waits in line to depart, for death is a door and everyone will walk through it!
Due to personal reasons, Sh. Qari Abdullah made the difficult choice of shifting his Zimbabwe based legacy to Manchester in the United Kingdom in 2010, and I was fortunate to drive to Manchester a few years ago especially to meet him and his wife, who was a like a mother to the parents of Harare, and a grandmother to us all!
As I digested the news of his passing late Thursday evening/early Friday morning, I remembered fondly how smartly dressed he always was, his punctuality, his dedication to the cause, his service, his strong walk filled with purpose, his patience, and his smile.
Given that children always see before they hear; these attributes no doubt played a huge part in shaping the students of the Madrassah, especially during their formative years, and no doubt mine as well.
I found out before his burial today, that an examination into his cause of death showed him to be a positive carrier of the Covid-19 virus, and with this we have hope in Allah Almighty that he was given the status of Shahaadah, inShaAllah. Indeed Allah bestows a unique rank over His slave as He wills.
May Allah make his grave a garden from the gardens of Jannah, raise him with the family of alQur’an on the day of Judgement, grant him shade underneath His throne, and grant him Alfirdaus without any accountability. Ameen.
May Allah make his children and all his students a sadaqatul-jaariyah (continuous charity) for him. Ameen.
May Allah shower a beautiful patience upon his wife, children, grandchildren and relatives. Ameen.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raajioon.
To Allah we belong, and to Allah we shall return!
4th of Sha’baan 1441AH