[Friday Sermon] A Tribute To Ohinoyi Of Ebiraland, Alhaji Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ado Ibrahim (CON) By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Kind


All praise is due to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be upon Allah’s Messenger, his Companions and whosoever follows his guidance.


Inna lillahi wa inna Ilaihi raaji’uun! Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!! Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!!!


Truly, to Allah we belong and truly to him we shall return.


اللهم أجرنا في مصيبتنا، وأخلف لنا خيرًا منها.


May Allah Almighty have mercy on our father, the late Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ado Ibrahim, forgive his sins, shine his light upon him, expand his grave and grant him Jannatul Firdaus. And may he have mercy on all the ones that have passed before us. Ameen.


Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.


إنَّ لِلَّه ما أَخَذ ولَهُ ما أَعطَى، وكلُّ شَيءٍ عِنده بِأجَل مُسمَّى فَلتَصبِر ولتَحتَسِب.


Surely, Allah takes what is His, and what He gives is His, and to all things He has appointed a time. Those who have patience get rewarded.


Dear brothers and sisters! Surely death leaves a heartache no one can heal.


Our revered father, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Ado Ibrahim (CON), is dead!


The paramount ruler of Ebiraland have died in the early hours of Sunday, October 29, 2023 at the age of 95.


He died in an Abuja hospital where he had been receiving treatment for age-related ailment.


His remains was buried in Okene according to the Islamic rites.


I pray, may Allah Almighty forgive his sins, his mistakes, his shortcomings and failings, bless and accepts his soul and grant him Jannatul Firdaus. And may the Almighty Allah grant us all the patience and fortitude to bear the great, irreparable and irreplaceable loss, ameen.


Respected brothers and sisters! Alhaji Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ado Ibrahim, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was born on Thursday, February 7th, 1929 to His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Onoruoiza Attah and Hajiya Hauwa’u Ozianuva.


He completed his Nursery and Qur’anic education at the age of eleven, and he was enrolled in the Okene Native Administration (NA) School from 1934 to 1940 for his elementary education.


Upon completion of his elementary education, he was admitted to Okene Middle School in 1941. After spending two years, he moved to the famous Ondo Boys High School for his secondary education from 1943 to 1946. From 1947 to 1949, he moved to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife where he completed his secondary education.


He was employed with the United African Company (UAC) in 1950 as a special entrant for accelerated management. Having successfully gone through the accounting and Sales Department in 1952, he was promoted to the post of Manager at the Kingsway Stores, Kaduna.


In January 1953, he quit Kingsway stores and moved to Jos as Personnel Manager of Amalgamated Tin Miners of Nigeria Limited (ATMN) in charge of the maintaining operation area of Bukuru, Barikin Ladi and the Ropps. That same year, he attended the first Mining School in Jos and qualified as a Mining Prospector and Area Manager. Later in the year, he was sent by the company on a further technical training course, organised by the Anglo-American Mining Corporation, in Johannesburg, South Africa. On his return, he was immediately promoted to Area manager and assigned the responsibility to excavate the Lead/Zinc Ore deposits at Izom in Abuja district, and to lead a team prospecting for gold and base materials in the location.


Meanwhile, he had enrolled in 1952 as an external candidate for a degree at the London School of Economics, by utilising the extra mural study facilities organised by the British council in Jos.


He combined his mining and prospecting duties successfully with the undergraduate study programme and earned the Bachelor of Science degree in statistics of the London School of Economics in 1954.


The following year, he won a Ford Foundation Sponsorship to undertake a six month course in marketing and business strategy at the Business School of Harvard University. On the strength of his performance, he was later readmitted into the Master’s Programme of the school as a full time student. He thus earned the celebrated Harvard MBA in 1959.


He assumed the office of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, on 2nd June 1997, after the passing away of the former Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Sani Omolori who ruled for 40 years and 40 days as Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.


Alhaji Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ado Ibrahim’s reign was marked by peace, security, economic prosperity, and development in Ebiraland, in Kogi State and generally in Nigeria.


His contributions were invaluable in maintaining stability in successive administrations in Kogi State. He played a pivotal role in ensuring peace and security in Ebiraland, and Kogi State in general. These are things we cannot easily forget about him.


He was the fourth traditional ruler and Ohinoyi of Ebiraland. With a strong foundation in Islamic knowledge, Alhaji Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ado Ibrahim was an economist with international education, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Master’s degree from Harvard Business School in 1954 and 1959, respectively.


He was coronated by the then-Governor of Kogi State, the late Prince Abubakar Audu.


Respected servants of Allah! Death is a subject people often avoid talking about much less remember. The noble Qur’an alludes to death at various places. A verse from chapter three called the Family of Imran (Ali Imran) reads:


“Every soul shall taste death and you will be paid in full only on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is kept away from the Fire and admitted to the Garden (Paradise) will have triumphed. The present world is only an illusory pleasure.” [Qur’an, 3:185]


Please, let us all ask ourselves, what is life?


Philosophers have grappled with this question for centuries. Rather than discussing their speculative thoughts, it is best to know what Allah Almighty Himself says about life. He said:


“Know (O people) that the life of this world is but play and amusement, adornment and mutual boasting and (competition in) multiplying of wealth and children.” [Qur’an, 57:20]


This is generally the reality of man’s perception about this worldly life, whether that person is a Muslim, a follower of another faith, an agnostic, or even an atheist.


Although death is certain and inevitable, people tend to live as if they are going to live forever. Death knows no age. Very often people die in the prime of their youth. There are times a father has to bury his own son. My own son died at the young age of 10. The term of one’s life is predetermined before birth and this knowledge rests only with Allah. Allah Almighty said:


“If Allah took people to task for the evil they do, He would not leave one living creature on earth, but He reprieves them until an appointed time: when their time comes they cannot delay it for a moment nor can they bring it forward.” [Qur’an, 16:61]


Dear brothers and sisters! This mystery of life and death is not without purpose. The life of this world is a test from Allah. He said:


“Every soul is certain to taste death: We test you all through the bad and the good, and to Us you will all return.” [Qur’an, 21:35]


In this worldly life, people will constantly be put to all types of tests. Believers are urged to be patient while facing trials and tribulations. Allah Almighty said:


“O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer, for Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an, 2:153]


And He said:


“We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But, give good news to those who are patient.” [Qur’an, 2:155]


When inflicted with illness, believers do not complain but resign themselves to Allah’s will. They remain patient in the face of adversity knowing fully that they belong to Allah and to Him they will return. Allah the Most High said:


“Those who, when inflicted with a calamity say, ´We belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’ Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are (truly) guided.” [Qur’an, 2:156,157]


Dear brothers and sisters! What is the reality of death? When it occurs, the spirit (ruh) leaves the body. We learn through Prophetic Hadiths that a righteous soul comes out of the body with ease, while an evil soul, which resists leaving the body, is taken out harshly by the angel of death. The two types of souls are accordingly honoured and dishonoured in their respective journeys to the heavenly dimensions and back to the grave when they are questioned. Allah the Most High said:


“Say (O Prophet), ´The Angel of Death, who has been given charge of you, will take you back and then you will be sent back to your Lord.’” [Qur’an, 32:11]


Some die suddenly while others may go through sickness, pain and suffering before they die. According to Prophetic Hadiths, sickness is a source of mercy and a chance for forgiveness. In one saying, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) says:


“For every misfortune, illness, anxiety, grief or hurt that afflicts a believer – even the hurt caused by the pricking of a thorn – Allah wipes off his sins and his sins fall away from him as leaves fall from a tree.”


And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed us that:


“If a servant of Allah falls sick or goes on a journey, he (continues) to be rewarded for the good deeds that he used to do when he was healthy or at home. This is Allah’s gift to the believer.”


Visiting the sick is not only highly encouraged, it is an obligation. This is because it gives the patient much needed care and moral support. In this regard, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:


“A caller from heaven calls out to the person who visits a sick person, ‘You are good and your path is good. May you enter your residence in Paradise.’”


He also mentioned:


“When a Muslim visits the sick in the morning, seventy thousand angels pray for him, and they continue praying for him until the evening. When one visits the sick in the evening, the angels pray for him and continue to pray for him until the next morning. Moreover, he will be rewarded with the choicest fruits of Paradise.”


Visitors should pray for the recovery and health of the sick. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) instructed that:


“When you visit a sick person, give him hope for a long life. This will not avert anything, but will please the patient and give him comfort.”


When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) visited sick people, he used to say to them, saying:


“Do not worry! It is a means of cleansing (you) of sins, Allah willing.”


Unless desired by the sick person, it is preferred to shorten the visits and to make them less frequent, lest they should become burdensome for the patient.


One may supplicate for the sick person the way the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did:


“O Allah, The Sustainer of mankind! Remove the illness, cure the disease. You are the One who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant (us) a cure that leaves no trace of illness.”


One may supplicate using his or her own words in any language he or she speaks.


A patient who is going through severe pain or one whose days are numbered is prohibited to wish for death. When the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) found his ailing uncle wishing for death, he said:


“O Abbas! O uncle of Allah’s Messenger! Do not wish for death. If you do good and live long, your good deeds will multiply. Then that is better for you. If you are not well and your death is delayed, you may seek Allah’s forgiveness. That is better for you. So do not wish for death.”


Visiting someone who is on his/her deathbed is highly desirable. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:


“When you visit someone who is ill or is dying, say good things about him (or her). Indeed, the angels say, ‘Ameen’ to whatever you utter.”


It is highly desired to have the patient or someone on behalf of the dying patient to do as many good deeds as possible. This allows the person to die on a state of goodness.


Inevitably, people will eventually have to expire. And we take nothing with us in our grave. We learn through a Prophetic saying that:


“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: perpetual charity (Sadaqah Jariyah); knowledge which is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).”


Such admonitions remind us that we should hasten in doing good deeds before our time is up and our book of deeds closes forever.


Being the most certain reality, conscious believers prepare themselves here in this world for the eternal and perpetual blissful life of the hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in one of his sayings said:


“Clever is the one who controls his passions and prepares for life after death.”


Dear brothers and sisters! Wallahi we should not allow the life of this world to deceive us. Please let us all look at our father the late Alhaji Muhammadu Mai Deribe’s House in Maiduguri, Borno State. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannatul Firdaus, ameen. The house was a place where royalty visited in those days. As I learnt, now nobody lives in it. The wives and children are not there, and it can’t be sold. The vanity of life and man’s material acquisition.


Yes you can enjoy your life as much as you can, nobody stop you, especially with your halal earnings and in a halal way, but remember that everything is for a time. As Muslims, you must assist and help those in need, and you must support your religion (Islam) with all what you have. And if we can remember that we are all in the train, and when everyone gets to his or her bus stop or destination will get down, this life will be easier for all of us.


Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi (rahmatullah) said:


“Days consist of hours and hours are made of the breaths you take. Every breath is a treasure chest, so beware of letting a breath pass by with no benefit. You do not want to find an empty treasure chest on the Day of Judgement and regret.” [Nasihat al Walad 49]


Lastly, I pray, may the souls of our respected father, the late Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, and his predecessors rest in perfect peace, ameen.


All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.





Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of: Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque; and Late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected]; or +2348038289761.





This Friday sermon (Jumu’ah Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rabi’ul Akhir 19, 1445 AH (November 03, 2023).

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