Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu was born in Lemu (Niger State), Nigeria, on December 21, 1929. He received his early education at Quranic School in 1932, followed by elementary school (1939), then intermediate school (currently Government College) in Lemu, from which he obtained his intermediate school certificate in 1948.
Thereafter, he joined the School of Shari’a Law (currently the School of Arabic Studies) in Lemu from where he obtained Middle (1950) and High (1952) Teachers’ Certificate (Level Two) in Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, Shari’a Jurisdiction and General Education.
In 1954, he went to the United Kingdom to study at London University’s School of African and Oriental Studies. He obtained the certificate of General Education (Advanced Level) in History, Arabic, Hausa and Persian Languages in 1961, and Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) in African and Oriental Studies in 1964.
Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu served in the field of education for more than half a century, during which he undertook various teaching and educational responsibilities.
He started as teacher of Arabic language, English language and Islamic studies at Government Secondary School in Bida between 1953 and 1960. In 1960, he became a senior teacher of Arabic Language, Islamic Studies and Education, and supervisor at the School of Arabic Studies in Kano, then Director of the school and Deputy Director of Government Secondary Education in 1965. He became Dean of the Arabic Teachers’ College in 1966, Senior Inspector of Education in 1970 and Chief Inspector of Education for Sokoto State in North-West Nigeria between 1971 and 1973. He also served as Technical Director (1974-1975) and Director of Educational Planning (1975-1976) in the State. In 2009, he was appointed Consultant at Fountain University in Osogbo, Nigeria.
In addition to his major role in teaching and education, Dr. Shaikh Lemu has also served in the Judiciary, first as a Shar’ia Judge at the Court of Appeal in the States of Sokoto and Niger (1976 – 1977) then as Chief Shar’ia Judge at the Court of Appeal in Niger State (1976 – 1991).
Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu also made significant contributions towards official efforts pertaining to security, reconciliation and dialogue during security challenges in northern Nigeria. He was a member of the Nigerian Council of Religions, the Presidential Council for Youth Development, the Presidential Experts Committee for National Security and various other national committees and councils.
His Eminence Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu was a renowned Islamic scholar, known and respected by West African Muslims and throughout the Islamic world. He was a composed intellectual, a devout Muslim and an advocate of moderation, justice and open-mindedness. He was also a strong supporter of women’s rights.
His relentless efforts to advance Islamic education, development and Da’wah (call to Islam) are evident from his publications, countless lectures, seminars and classes, and active participation in national, regional and international Islamic conferences and events.
He was a member of several international Islamic organizations worldwide, and author or editor of many books and school references which aim, along with his lectures and classes, to promote and re-enforce the proper understanding of Islam and expand knowledge of the Islamic creed. He is also known for his deep involvement in Islamic humanitarian activities. He is the Founder and President of the Islamic Education Trust in Nigeria and a member of several other humanitarian societies and endowments that serve Muslims in his country.
Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu’s immense contributions have earned him several prizes and accolades, including, among others, the Prize of Merit from the Government of Niger State in 1991; the Nigerian National Order by former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999 and former Nigerian President Obasanjo in 2001; Honorary Doctorate Degree from Uthman Danfodiyo University (1996); Honorary Doctorate Degree from Osogbo University (2011) and Honorary Doctorate Degree from Al-Hilal University (2013).
The King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam for the year 2014 (1435H), has been awarded to Shaikh Dr. Ahmed Lemu; Chairman of the Council of Trustees at the Islamic Relief Commission Office, for the following reasons:
▪︎ Shaikh Dr. Ahmed Lemu was a composed intellectual, a devout Muslim, and an advocate of moderation and open-mindedness. He was a member of several international Islamic organizations worldwide.
▪︎His efforts towards education, development and call to Islam were evident from his hundreds of lectures, seminars and classes.
▪︎ He authored several Islamic books and school references which fulfilled a significant part of the needs of the Nigerian community and served as important resources for many Nigerian Muslim generations, helping them to understand Islam and expand their knowledge of the Islamic creed.
▪︎He established a number of societies, schools and endowments such as the Islamic Endowments Society, which became one the most important institutions collaborating with the Islamic Bank for Development in the field of study scholarships in Nigeria.
▪︎ He played a significant role in defending Muslim women’s rights. His efforts culminated in the establishment of the Union of Muslim Women’s societies in Nigeria, promotion of peaceful co-existence and fight against sectarian violence in that country.
▪︎He also established the Islamic Da’wah (Call) Institute to combat extremism.
▪︎ He was awarded several national and international accolades and prizes for his services of Islam.