Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu—Ghana’s Revered Islamic Leader

Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu was born on Monday, 4th Jumâdal-ûlà 1343 Hegira which fell on 23rd April, of 1923. He grew up in a pious and Islamic environment. His father, Sheikh Nuhu Bin Mohammed Sharabutu, saw great potentials in his young son, Osman, so he wasted no time to instilling in him the right Islamic teachings and Arabic alphabets, so as to facilitate the easy reading of the Holy Quran.

Later, he trained him in essay writing and correct intonation of the Holy Quran till he became good at recital and composition of excellent essays in Arabic. This paved way for young Osman to master the recital of the Quran which he completed at the tender age of twelve (12).

Since his childhood days, he rarely had time to play because he was completely devoted to his books, which helped him tremendously to commit to memorise various Al-hadiths of the Holy Prophet, Islamic texts, Islamic Jurisprudence and Islamic literature.

His mother, Hajja Ayishatu Abbass, popularly known as Mma Tasidi, also contributed immensely to the moral and psychological development of her son by ensuring that he had the proper Islamic upbringing to go side by side with Islamic education.

When his farther saw his true devotion and love for books and knowledge, he decided to send Osman to a new learning environment. It was later decided that Kumasi, the capital of Ashanti Region, became his new learning destination.

A prominent Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Abdoullah Dan Tano, became his next teacher. That was where he underwent a highly advanced course in Aravic Grammar, Arabic Literature and Texts, the Origin of Islamic Jurisprudence and Al-Hadiths of the Holy Prophet. He remained there until he graduated with distinction.

After his education in Kumasi, Mallam Ousman became a completely changed and reformed personality, due to deep knowledge he acquired outside his original environment. He, therefore, made a decision to devote his time to teach the Moslem youth who were keen in learning to become Islamic scholars, thinkers and Sheikhs in future.

He stayed in the teaching profession, and due to his keen love for knowledge, anytime he heard of an Islamic Sheikh, he would rush to him as a student in order to learn and benefit from that scholar.

Among the illustrious scholars and Sheikhs who taught Mallam Ousman were Sheikh Alhadi popularly known as Baraw and Sheikh Baraw who taught him the interpretation of the Holy Quran, Classic Arabic Language, Literature and Texts.

Another famous Sheikh who served as a tutor and instructor to Mallam Osman was Sheikh Abubakar Fulaaty Al Kanawy who hailed from Nigeria. It was this Sheikh who taught him Arabic Culture, Al-Hadith of the Holy Prophet, Arabic Texts as Fundamentals of Sufism.

Interestingly in 1974, after a lengthy debate among the traditional and tribal chiefs, academic scholars and religious personalities they agreed that Sheikh Osman should be appointed as the Deputy National Chief Imam of Ghana, considering the unique qualities and exemplary lifestyle in him, but he initially refused.

However, after a second thought he saw the appointment as a divine call to serve Allah and humanity so he accepted it until 1993, when he was ceremoniously appointed as the National Chief Imam of Ghana to head the Ghana Moslem communities.

Sheikh Osman is well known for his exemplary lifestyle and generosity to people who face him with their personal problems. He has built many Arabic Schools, Islamic Centres and Mosques. He is seen in Ghana as an embodiment of peace.


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