“`The news of your demise still feel like a terrible dream that I wish I will soon wake up from. Unfortunately, this is no dream, your death is real as you have since been buried!
Sadness falls flat on its face to describe my emotional state of mind. Being distraught, confused, in shock, cannot begin to explain what I am going through. The news of your death is just too devastating I feel exhausted, spent and helpless.
I have known brother Nurudeen Ismail Adewole since Allah made our path to cross some thirty years ago at Obafemi Awolowo University, during our undergraduate days. He was young and vibrant, full of optimism for the future, exuberant to call to the path of Allah, plain as snow, sincere as the Dove, diligent like the Bee, kind as a Lamb, focused on achieving his goals as laser beams and lion-hearted. He is austere and very religious. These qualities remained with him till the last moment of his life. I have never seen anybody like him who barely changed when all the variables and conditions surrounding him changed so drastically.
We shared my room for some time when I was the hostel master at a private school in Ile-Ife. That was when I was able to see him up close. He would wake up at midnights and pray for long hours, fast on Mondays and Thursdays, read a Juz of the Quran every single day without fail. The little we had, we shared. He never complained of anything worth complaining about, neither would he express anger when infuriated. He would simply win you over with his smile and gentle demeanor.
Life split us and we went our ways. I travelled to Malaysia he went to Europe but he kept in touch. Keeping me updated about his progress and aspirations. When I had a major death blow to my business in which he had a substantial amount invested, he reached out, not to let me know how naïve or stupid some of my decisions had been but to tell me that I should keep the faith alive. He kept on saying “there is light at the end of the tunnel, we can do this together.” He will place a call of up to an hour long, advising, strategizing, coming up with brilliant ideas on how to move us forward, informing me of the properties he is negotiating on my behalf, he was simply a satellite beaming to me everything that is going on at home to make me successful after the initial failure. With Allah’s grace and the help of a sincere friend, we had marched to the road of full recovery until some few days ago when death yanked him off from the earth surface!
Every individual will, without doubt, leave stories for people to narrate after death. The story Nurudeen Ismail Adewole left is that of commitment to His creator and a sense of duty to call to His path. His life is a perfect description of responsibility to family far and near. He left for us to learn how to love one’s wife and recognize the sacrifice she makes every single day. He left us with a story of taking care of our children, spending quality time with them, giving them sound education, Islamic and Western, and planning for their future.
He left us the story of being pragmatic, pursuing one’s goal as early as possible and not being distracted because as it turns out, death is lurking at the corners for everyone.
He taught us that friendship matters, that relationships should be cherished and not severed and that everybody is relevant in the larger scheme of things. He brought home to me the pivotal importance of collaboration and networking. He was a unifier, merging the bridge between those at the far left and those at the far right.
He taught me how to be a better listener. How to pay attention and be attentive. He never discards any idea, however silly. He would just listen. His story is that of selfless sacrifice and philanthropy. He spends lavishly on sadaqah without fear of poverty, knowing fully well that sadaqah does not deplete wealth but rather increases it.
Every time my wife and children go to bed is another time for me to weep silently for the loss of this dear friend and sincere partner. However greatly I try to keep it back, it just seems the tear glands have conspired not to listen. The grief intensifies at each passing minute and the pain of losing this illustrious son of Islam, who has so much to offer the Ummah is indescribable. But then, My soul is lifted when I remember that he died a righteous Muslim, the grief dissipates even more as friends forward messages to me and I read more eulogies about his sparkling life. All these write ups point to the fact that his relationship with me was not an outlier, this was who he was, to every Abdurahman he knew or every Khadijah he did not know. He simply was a very good man who epitomizes the teaching of Islam. May Allah accept all his deeds as act of worship and admit him to Jannat Firduas.“`