Your contribution to religious tolerance outstanding – First family celebrates Chief Imam@104
On the 23rd of April 2023, President Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca, paid a visit to the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, at his residence in Fadama to wish him a happy 104th birthday.
The President considered the Chief Imam’s age to be a fortunate and privileged accomplishment. He also commended the Chief Imam’s exceptional leadership in guiding the Muslim community in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo expressed that Ghana may be the object of admiration to the world for its religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, with the Chief Imam playing a significant role in this achievement.
He concluded by praying for God’s blessings of wisdom, good health, long life, and prosperity for the Chief Imam.
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Biography of Nuhu Sharubutu
Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu was born in April 1919 at Accra cow-lane, to well-respected parents from a cultured and knowledgeable family.
His father, Sheikh Imam Nuhu Sharubutu, served as the regular or residential Imam of the Accra Central Mosque from the late 1960s until his death in 1982.
Meanwhile, his mother, Hajja Ayishatu Abbass, also known as Mma Tasidi, played a significant role in her son’s moral and psychological development, ensuring he had the proper upbringing that combined Islamic education with a nurturing home environment.
Sheikh Osmanu started his education at home, learning from his father during the day and his mother at night.
It is said that his uncle, the late Imam Abbas Mazawaje, saw qualities of leadership and fear of Allah in Osmanu’s father, making him a prominent student and member of the family.
As he grew older, Sheikh Osmanu became a model of Islamic faith, acquiring a vast knowledge and wisdom that made him a unique heavyweight worthy of emulation.
He has consistently advocated for peace between Muslims and Christians, warning that divisive tendencies could create an opening for enemies to penetrate and defeat Ghana.
His journey to Kumasi
After observing Osman’s dedication and love for books and knowledge, his father decided to send him to a new learning environment.
Eventually, they settled on Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region, where he was taught by Sheikh Abdullah Dan Tano.
During his time in Kumasi, Osman excelled in Arabic grammar and literature, Islamic jurisprudence, and the practices of the Holy Prophet.
His time in Kumasi had a profound impact on him, leading to a personal transformation that saw him devote his life to teaching Muslim youth who wanted to become Islamic scholars, teachers, and imams.
Osman continued to pursue knowledge and learn from illustrious scholars, such as Sheikh Alhaji Mohammed and Sheikh Abubakar Fulaaty Al Kanawy, who taught him about the Arabic language, literature, texts, and Sufism.
In his free time, he studied the Tijjaniyya movement and Sufism, and eventually embraced the Tijjaniya Meditation, which was introduced to him by his maternal uncle, Sheikh Imam Alhadji Mohammed Abbas Mazawaje.
Osman pursued the Tijjaniya Meditation until he met Grand Sheikh Alhadji Ibrahim Nyass, who taught him about the deeper spiritual aspects of Sufism, mysticism, and esoterics, allowing him to become a true leader in the Tijjaniya Movement in Ghana.
His appointment as National Chief Imam
Interestingly in 1974, after lengthy discussions among the traditional and tribal chiefs, academics, Islamic scholars, and religious personalities, a consensus was reached for Sheikh Osmanu to be appointed as the Deputy Regional Chief Imam of Ghana, deputising his cousin, Sheikh Imam Muhammed Mukhtar Abbas who succeeded his father.
The appointment of Sheikh Osmanu as deputy Greater Accra Region Chief Imam was done in consideration of the unique qualities, Intellectual capacity, dedication to teaching and passion for Islam and exemplary lifestyle in him, but he turned down their offer which was forced on him by the Prominent Muslim Chiefs who persistently asked him to give it a serious thought stressing to him that it could be a divine call to serve God.
Subsequently, when it dawned on Sheikh Osmanu that it was a divine call for him to serve Islam and Muslim communities, he finally accepted the position as the acting Greater Accra Regional Chief Imam until 1993, when he was ceremoniously appointed as the National Chief Imam of Ghana to head the Ghanaian Muslim Communities.
His Islamic activities
Sheikh Osmanu is known for his generous and exemplary lifestyle, helping people who come to him with their problems and building numerous Arabic schools, Islamic centers, and mosques.
He spends a large sum of money organizing conferences, seminars, and symposia on Islamic issues, and as a result, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Ghana.
He deserves more recognition from Islamic universities and institutions for his contributions to maintaining peace and promoting development in Ghana, as well as his efforts in reviving good values and reforming the Muslim youth and communities.
He has also taught many Islamic scholars and sheikhs, including Muhammad Munir Dan Alpha who now serves as his deputy.
Sheikh Osmanu is considered one of the most prominent Islamic scholars in Ghana, along with contemporaries such as Sheikh Kamâludeen and the late Sheikh Alhadji Haroun Rasheed.
He is also the Grand Khalipha of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass and founded two organizations focused on education, interfaith relations, peacebuilding, and unity.
The works and activities of the Chief Imam
1. Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu Education Trust Fund (SONSETFUND) www.sonsetfundgh.org and the
2. Islamic Peace and Security Council of Ghana (IPASEC) www.ipasecgh.org cannot be overemphasised or overlooked in contemporary Ghana.
The accomplishments of Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu at a glance;
1. The establishment of the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana in 1992
2. Engineered the realisation and manifestation of two (2) national holidays for Muslims in the official calendar of the Republic of Ghana
3. Establishment of seven Islamic schools; the Answaru-Deen Islamic School Complex, in the Greater Accra region
4. Self-trained, educated, sponsored and empowered over 50 well-disciplined and taught students in Islamic studies and they have become a force to reckon in the Muslim community in Ghana and have excelled in the field of Islamic knowledge and jurisprudence
5. Personally promoted Islamic education and encouraged the establishment of a unique system of education in Ghana, the marriage of traditional Islamic institutions and secular education to promote the acquisition of both.
6. Personally promoted and encouraged mutual understanding, dialogue and peaceful coexistence between religions (Interfaith relations) and interfaith beliefs (sects).
7. Self-sponsored (financially) hundreds of students to attain circular education in Ghana and abroad.
8. The establishment of an educational Trust Fund to support brilliant but needy students; the Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu Education Trust Fund (SONSETFUND) www.sonsetfundgh.org
9. The establishment of an organisation that promotes peace, unity and sustainable peace in Ghana and abroad; the Islamic Peace and Security Council of Ghana (IPASEC) www.ipasecgh.org
10. The establishment of an orphanage to look after the education and welfare of homeless Muslim kids in Ghana; the Nuuru Usmaniya Foundation for Humanitarian Services and Development (NUSMA
11. The establishment of a first-class educational complex in Kasoa, Central Region; Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu Educational Complex
12. Engineered the attraction of the financier organisation (Hunan Development International Foundation-HUDAI from Turkey) on the ongoing construction of the National Mosque at Kawo Kudi, Kanda, Accra.
13. Personally officiated over 5000 marriages in Ghana alone
14. Led funeral prayers on over 4000 Muslims in Ghana
15. Personally officiated over the naming ceremonies of over 10,000 Muslim children.
16. He was decorated with honours by the premier nation’s university, the University of Ghana, Legon in 2006 with doctorate degree for his works in humanities, teaching, imparting knowledge and peaceful activities.
17. Several other local and foreign universities awarded him with doctorate degrees.
Eminent Foreign Personalities
1. Sheikh Alhaji Ahmed Tijjani Ibrahim Niass, Grand Khalipha of Sheikh Alhaji Ibrahim Niass in Madina Kaolakh, Senegal
2. Sheikh Usman Thahiru Bauchi, Prominent Islamic Cleric in Nigeria
3. Sheikh Imam Tijjani Cise, Imam of the Grand Mosque of Sheikh Alhaji Ibrahim Niass in Madina Kaolakh, Senegal
4. Sheikh Alhaji Mudassiru Adeleke Shitu Bulala, the Chairman of Al-Kanz magazine in Nigeria and CEO of a multinational group of companies in Ajay, Lagos
5. Sheikh Hisham Kabani Haqqani, President of the Islamic Supreme Council of America and World Wide Deputy Leader of the Naqshabandiya Sufi order
6. Minister Louis Farakan, Leader of the Nations of Islam in America
7. Minister of the Religion, Dr Khalid Yasin from the United States of America
8. Sheikh Imam Hassan Cisse, Imam of the Grand Mosque of Sheikh Alhaji Ibrahim Niass in Madina Kaolakh, Senegal
Ironically, all the above dignitaries revisited the National Chief Imam several times on their own personal accord on account of his leadership and hospitality.
1. Republic of Turkey
2. Islamic Republic of Iran
3. The United Kingdom
4. United States of America
5. Royal Kingdom of Canada
6. Royal Kingdom of Morocco
7. Royal Kingdom of Denmark
8. Royal Kingdom of Finland
9. Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
10. Federal Republic of Nigeria
11. Republic of Senegal
12. Republic of Togo
13. Republic of Benin
His Eminence Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, as of today, is a member or patron of the following organisations in Ghana and abroad;
1. NATIONAL PEACE COUNCIL (NPC), member
2. TIJJANIYA MUSLIMS MOVEMENT OF GHANA (TMG), Spiritual Leader
3. GHANA CONFERENCE ON RELIGIONS AND PEACE (GCRP), member
4. RELIGIOUS BODIES NETWORK ON CLIMATE CHANGE (RELBONET), member
5. GHANA NATIONAL MEDICAL AWARDS TEAM (1Z GROUP), patron
6. ALFAIDAH INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION (ALIF), patron
7. AFRICAN SUPPORT NETWORK (ASN) GHANA, patron
8. HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS FORUM IN GHANA, to mention just a few.
His Eminence received the following awards among many others that will be mentioned in his comprehensive autobiography Insha Allah;
Honorary Professorial Degree Award by Poltava University, Ukraine 2019.
Muslims Achievers Award by the Ghana Muslims Achievers Awards, 2018.
Ghana Muslim Students’Association Patron Award, (GMSA) 2018.
Martin Luther King Jnr Award for Peace and Justice by the United States Embassy in Accra. 2016.
Muslims Excellence Award by the Yankasa Assoictaion Inc, USA, 2015.
Northern Achievers Award by the Northern Youth for Development, 2015.
Man of the year Award by the Abnaul faida, Lagos, Nigeria, 2014.
Muslims Personality Award by the Ghana Muslims Award, 2013.
Ghana Most Influential Award, 2nd most influential personality of the year, 2012 by the ETV Ghana. 2013.
Yankasa Man of the Year Award by the Yankasa Association Inc. USA, 2013.
Tijjaniya Muslims Movement Highest Man of Personality Award by the Tijjaniya Muslims Movement of Ghana, 2011.
Member of the Star of Volta Award by the Republic of Ghana, 2007.
Member of the Star of Volta Award by the Republic of Ghana, 2006.
1. Brokering of peace between Muslims and indigenes of Hohoe, Volta region in 2012 following a conflict that resulted in the loss of lives and properties.
2. Brokering of peace between Muslims and indigenes of Tafo, Ashanti Region and the Muslim youth of the region in 2016 following a conflict that resulted in the loss of lives and properties.
3. Gracing of programmes of non-Islamic faiths such as his attendance and honouring of invitations of the Catholic Church during their centenary anniversary in Accra.
4. Brokering of peace between Kusasis and Mamprusis in the Upper East Region following a protracted conflict that resulted in the loss of lives and properties.
His Eminence played a key and vital role.
5. Brokering of peace between Muslim youth and the Imams of Nkawkaw, Eastern Region over leadership crisis that resulted in the closure of mosque and the imposition of a curfew by the state security agencies to protect lives and properties.
6. Permission to Pastor Mensa Otabil, the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, to finance the painting of the National Mosque in 2011.
Compiled by; Alhaji Khuzaima Mohammed Osmanu
Personal Assistant to the National Chief Imam, Executive Secretary of IPASEC and SONSETFUND Grandson of Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu with the assistance of Ustaz Issah Gibriel Abbas.