In some hours to come, we would have, God willing, laid the remain of Alhaj Dawud Arogundade, Abu Ruqayyah, Granpa, Pa Arogundade in his destined six feet space and place in the grave. He never knew, he would be buried where he would be buried.
It has become his turn as it was for Omo Alhaja and others. Ummu Muhsinah’s departure from this fleeting world is still fresh in the memories; here is the turn of an Icon from all ramifications.
Abu Hasan….Abu Abdul-Azeez….Abu Ruqayyah were all there for many souls we cannot count. Each was placed best where Allah (SWT) wanted them to aid His mission. They were never the same how Allah (SWT) used them. They have all gone where no mortal returns from. They have all left behind this world of deception.
Our talks, sweet and bitter memories, sobs and cries, pains and sorrows can never return Pa Dawud Arogundade to this world again. He has gone forever.
Will that time ever come when sorrowful hands of death will not touch our homes again? How will his death affect all that know this great icon of Islamic work? Will death stop turning children to orphans? Can we ever have moments when death will leave us alone and never take our beloved ones again?
From which angle do you want to remember Abu Ruqayyah? He laughs in a way peculiar to him. He speaks with warmth of conviction. His retentive memories tend to validate every minutes written. He hardly speaks of one point in any discussion; he will raise his hand; when permitted, he will say, “I have five, four, three…points which may also have subsidiaries; he will indeed channel all such that you wonder where the points were coming from. He will always write his points down in a special handwriting for ease of presentation. He believes in treating issues to details.
His genuine concern for others is worth emulating. During his earthly sojourn as an Islamic activist, and when the cloud was intense, he stood firm to see it fade away!
How many sisters but Umus today will not have nice experience of change to narrate? How many of our daughters today will not remember him for one thing or the other? How many married ones will not remember his fixing roles?
Talking of keeping records, in brain and archives, you will meet him in the forefront. How about always carrying bag of loads every where he goes, there must be one edible you ask to get when your meeting progresses.
Talking of _practicals_ and that *it is very possible*, he is known as all angles! He thinks deep and very empathetic. He recognises his fallibility and always bow to correction with a sober mind.
Unfortunately, this generation does not learn BEYOND NIKAAH as one of the five principles of reawakening. Those who passed through that school can remember with nostalgia. He was a pioneer of women training. He was one of the pillars of Islamic reawakening in this part of the country. He was a children concern person per excellence.
One-on-one engagement was a core value he cherished. From Ewutuntun across Lagos, many souls were born and bred. From Oyo to UI, several souls were touched and reawakened. From Ijebu to Abeokuta, many souls were nurtured and revamped. I wonder how many mosques will not remember Abu Ruqayyah’s presence for Da’wah. His ideological stance was till his death. He is a mortal who erred like others. But you cannot but pray and appreciate his warm concern for all.
He was with Vanguards before Vanguards. He was also in and with Vanguards till death. No stakeholder was more on ground in Vanguards than him. Vanguards’ thought was the fountain of his life. It is not an exaggeration if he is crowned as the grand founding father of Vanguards.
As the Vanguards administrator, I consulted him more than any other. We worked together as a think tank. He was ever there to discuss and guide where necessary. I am not too sure anybody can fill his place in Vanguards, not just being a teacher of geography and a teacher of teacher of geography; not about just being one time Chairman at both Management Board and Governing Council, not about just being the unemployed Guidance counsellor and Visting Guidance Counselor, not about just being a father and trainer to all staff, parents and students, not about just being firm on discipline and principles, not about just being a mentor and thinker for the school, but also about thinking Vanguards in sleeping and wakefulness, in absence and practical presence there.
Death has again struck and hit us as decreed by Allah (SWT). Just last week he left the gate of Vanguards with the mind to return this week but unknown that it will be to the grave we will hear of him next; he never knew he will not be able to meet the current students writing SSCE as he has always been around to encourage and guide them; he never knew that the last Stakeholder summit he attended would be the last. If you were there, you could try to imagine those valuable points he was making.
I don’t know which of his team players he spoke with last. But in my last discussion with him. We talked about Sheikh Dhikrullah Shaffi. I can only imagine how saddened he would be when he got the news! As for Abu Baba, he would likely have uttered Allahu Akbar and got lost in deep thought chronicling the journey so far! Madan, Abu Asmau and Ibn Sadiq would be shocked to marrow. They would sigh and exalt Allah (SWT) and re-scan thetransience of the this duniya.
My brothers and sisters, my children and readers, we are swallowing the bitter pill of what death makes us feel but that does not mean we will refuse to eat our sweet food. We will cry and wipe our tears, we will remember moments with Granpa and leave it behind, we will look at the children and wish Granpa had not gone. All road may to his janaazah tomorrow from all states. We want to go and do what will also be done to us.
The last wedding of his child and the grandchild naming he witnessed were that of Abdullah Arogundade!
There are still seven or eight others at different level of education. As for those, he will never be there. That is qadar. All children should learn this reality of life. Do not postpone being kind and nice to your parents. They may not be there tomorrow. I pray Allah (SWT) grant my dutiful Ruqayyah and her siblings fortitude to bear the loss.
As for the wives, the two of them, yes you have become what those before you became…widows! The memories will always be there, I pray Allah (SWT) grant you succour and support. As for other wives, learn that the beloved husband may not be there tomorrow, be the best you can be to your husband today, drop the worldly thoughts and start to prepare for Akhirah. Think more of using him to entre Jannah than making him mar your Jannah.
The main lesson death teaches is that nobody knows whose turn it will be so that we can all prepare and reform ourselves. It is not like a queue at bus stop for BRT or bank. The last in row can be the first to die. It teaches that you cannot pick from where you stopped; you simply proceed to the grave to be lonely and see the reality. It teaches that only Allah (SWT) can ever be there; not the father or the mother.
Let us all pray for our departed great Icon of struggle and sacrifice that Allah (SWT) overlooks all his shortcomings and grants him Jannah firdaws.
Bye ya Aba Ruqayyah!
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