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Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un! We are from Allah, and to Him shall we return. Again, we today mourn another friend and brother: Professor…

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un! We are from Allah, and to Him shall we return. Again, we today mourn another friend and brother: Professor AbdulHamid Isa Dutse, medical doctor, administrator, gentleman.

All who have commented this past week, on the media (social and traditional) or at the Gidan Makoki (the Dutse family house in Tarauni, Kano), said the same thing – a good man has passed! AbdulHamid was an epitome of gentlemanliness, an exceedingly good man. Ma Sha Allah for this ‘shaida’, this witness, this testimony.

It seems our time is almost up! Death is moving closer and closer, for Prof. AbdulHamid was not even 60 – he was born in December 1960, a few months after Nigeria. But of course, infants and children and young people also do die, but it is not every day that a person so useful to society will be mourned as Prof. Dutse is. May Allah receive our lives at the time He is most pleased with us; and may He be pleased with AbdulHamid.

As Muslims, we believe in Allah’s decree and we find consolation in His saying that: “Every soul shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whosoever is removed away from Fire and admitted to Paradise he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception” (Qur’an, 2:185). May Allah recompense AbdulHamid and others who passed on before him and us all by removal from fire and admittance to paradise.

As far as I can recall, I have never seen the late doctor without a smile. He was so jovial and friendly and helpful and humble. No cause was too small for him. The two of us sat together on the Board of Trustees of the Sickle Cell Community (SCC) in Kano. He was always there for these young men and women who suffer from this debilitating ailment. He is also patron, adviser and trustee for countless other societies and associations. For the one I knew, SCC, he would advise, donate funds and refer cases every time they reached out to him. And he was always present at their meetings. He was ‘human relations’ encapsulated. He was the quintessential ‘Mutumin Kirki’.

In Hausa, there is the concept of ‘Mutumin Kirki’ (or Good Man). The colonial and post-colonial era intellectual A.H.M. Kirk-Greene studied Hausa people and culture deeply and broadly, and summarised the concept in his ‘Mutumin Kirki: The Concept of the Good Man in Hausa’ in a presented April 11, 1973 at the Third Annual Hans Wolff Memorial Lecture at Indiana University in the USA, as retold by current NOUN VC Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu.

Kirk-Greene identified twelve behavioural characteristics which the Hausa people ascribe to a ‘Mutumin Kirki’, listed here alphabetically: Adalci (sense of justice, fairness); Dattako (maturity); Gaskiya (integrity); Juriya (courage); Kama Sana’a (fending for oneself, not ‘sponging’ or ‘maula’); Kawaici (positive aloofness); Kunya da Kara (modesty, humility, Pulaku, simplicity); Ladabi da Biyayya (respectful without being condescending, decorous); Mu’amala (good social skills, sociability, friendliness); Rashin Tsegumi (devoid of idle talk, not poking noses in others’ businesses); Riko da Addini (adhering to religion); and Zumunta (good filial relationships, community spirit).

Late AbdulHamid was all twelve, and more, alhamdu lilLah!

Despite their numbers, perhaps in the hundreds or more, his patients tell me how they were always pleasantly surprised as Prof. Dutse seemed to memorise their complaints and ailments. This would not have been a surprise if it were at hospital or clinic – Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) or Premier, the private hospital he was director of at Gyadi-Gyadi Court Road – with their files open. The evidence for his care and concern was when he met you at, say, a Wedding Fatiha; he could recall your name, your rheumatoid arthritis, the drugs he put you on, and whether you missed an appointment recently. Amazing, said a patient to me.

And the Hausa say ‘Shaidar Mutane Ita Ce Shaidar Allah!’ – (That Allah generally confirms what human witnesses say on and about a fellow human) as this Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace), indicates:

“One day, a group of companions (Sahaba) were sitting with the Prophet, upon whom be peace, when a funeral passed. Some of them made nice comments about the dead person. The Prophet promptly said, ‘Confirmed!’ (Wajabat!). Not long after, another funeral passed and the same people made unsavoury remarks about this second dead person. The Prophet similarly said, ‘Confirmed!’

“The companions asked the Prophet for explanation. He said that in the case of the first person, his entry into Paradise (Jannah) was confirmed by their comments about him, and in the case of the second, Hellfire was confirmed. The Prophet further explained the significance of the comments that people usually make about the dead. ‘You are the witnesses of Allah on earth’, he concluded.

Good people continue to die (even though, thanks be to God, the bad ones also die – and may we be protected from their badness). But this page has mourned many a good persons – Prof. Haruna Salihi, Dr. Habibu Sani Babura, President Muhammad Mursi, Hajiya Aisha Lemu, Brother Yousuf Deedat. If Allah would leave anyone alive for being ‘good’, we would have met Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) on earth.

Our condolences go to the immediate family: Aziza, Zainab and the children; Kabiru, Mu’azatu and other siblings; the Chief Medical Directors of AKTH – of which AbdulHamid was the second – Prof Sadiq Wali (first); Prof Aminu Zakari (third); and Prof AbdurRahman Sheshe (fourth and current). And to all other colleagues and patients at AKTH, Premier and all over.

Late Mamman Shata had said in his dirge on the late Ciroman Gombe in the 1970s: “Kowa yam mutu bai sauri ba! Mu da mu ke nan ba mu dade ba! Sai mun zo Ciroman Gombe”.

Indeed, sai mun zo Prof. AbdulHamid Isa Dutse! Allah Ya jikanmu!