By Taofeek ‘Kunle Uthman
The Holy Qur’an says unequivocally: Inna lillahi Wahina illahi Rajiuna : From Almighty Allah we came and to Him we shall return. It is true that we didn’t have the prerogative to determine who our parents are and when we were born. In the same manner we are not able to determine our terminal date to exit this world. But one thing is certain: Death is a debt that we are all obliged to pay.
The Holy Qur’an consistently and in several parts emphasized the temporal nature of this worldly life. We are here and our sojourn is indeed temporary. The quantum of our deeds (good or bad) will determine our Permanent Place of Abode. Paradise or Hell-Fire? The choice is (truly) ours. We mourn our friend and brother, Tunde Odunsi (deceased) with whom we (FSAS Class of 1980) associated and interfaced as a family several decades ago in that citadel of learning.
Tunde, the big brother of Subomi was a jolly good fellow. He cracked jokes, some of which were hurtful and drew cartons to enliven the LIDESO magazine, but meant no harm. He was one of those Ikoyi Ajebota boys. As an Arts student, he was an active member of the Literary and Debating Society (LIDESO) and was very active in its activities. I recall that hitherto he was a student of Igbobi College Yaba, and had the characteristics of boys that attended that prestigious school, founded by the Methodist Mission as an offshoot of Methodist Boys High School Lagos.
Tunde was prolific with his pen and was an editorial board member of LIDESO magazine. A few years ago, with others they formed the Old student association of FSAS Class of 1980, despite the fact that the institution had been scapped.
He was a very caring gentleman who assisted others to fulfil their destinies and accomplish the best in them.
A few months prior to his death, he wanted me to assist a lady his mother trained to secure employment in a law office. I explained my constraints, but he was not deterred and there was an argument. Later, we made up and regularly exchanged pleasantries on the Islamic Messages Network platform and the FSAS, Lagos platform. He was a good man, a jolly good fellow and indeed a great guy.
His exit was very sudden and indeed shocking to all his friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. Many turned up to participate in the Islamic burial ceremony. Of course, his wife was devastated and had to be taken out of the scene of the grave. Subomi typified a man of Faith and a righteous Muslim – he was very calm and ensured that Tunde was given a befitting burial in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).
All departed Vault and Gardens with uncontrollable tears, swollen eyes and comforted one another.
May Almighty Allah SWT comfort his aged mother, his wife, children and grandchildren, Subomi (his brother) and his immediate and extended families; his friends and colleagues; the old boys of Igbobi College and his colleagues of FSAS, Lagos Class of 1980.
The Message as clearly stated by the Islamic cleric who conducted the funeral: Who’s next? Necessarily, we all are obliged to thoroughly examine ourselves and strive to be righteous in our deeds. Death is a debt we all must pay. It is not a matter of choice of date, time and place.
Again): “Inna lillahi Wahina illahi Rajiuna” : From Almighty Allah SWT we came and to Him we shall return. May He grant Tunde Odunsi Aljanah Fir’daus and Paradise as Permanent Abode.
Asalamun Alaykum Waramatullahi Taala Waramatullahi.
Chief Taofeek ‘Kunle Uthman, a member of the Body of Benchers is also Administrator, Islamic Messages Network.