With permission from God Almighty, Allah the Merciful, I penned down this belated happy birthday message to you, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, on Divine Mercy Sunday of April 28, 2019. I have taken the humble decision to be the last to wish you a “Happy Birthday,” because I want mine to be the soundest.
Happy Birthday Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, and may the Great One, God Almighty, Allah the Omnificent, create a new life in you as you turned a century old on Tuesday April 23, 2019.
Oh, our dear National Chief Imam, you are most blessed to clock a hundred years on a Tuesday of all blessed days. This day, according to Sacred Scriptures, in the creation story, is the third day. And significantly, it was the only day God blessed twice after seeing His handiworks as good. May He grant you a double portion of life, a fulfilment of life here on earth and life everlasting in the hereafter with Him in that blissful place called Heaven.
Your decision to launch your birthday by joining Christians of the Catholic faith to worship on our most revered and sacred day, the Day of the Resurrection, puts beyond doubt your sacredness in wishing that all people, including those of different religious backgrounds, are united in love with the building strong bonds of friendship, acceptance, tolerance and peaceful co-existence. You are most blessed!
Choosing to worship in a Christian church, which also preaches the need to accept and be tolerant to all men and women, irrespective of their differences, is not only unique but defines what you are and what God Almighty, Allah the Omniscient, chose you from among all men to do, according to His Holy Will.
Your legacy will not be measured in wealth and properties, but it will be measured in the abundance of virtues that you impart unto your followers and your fellow country men and women. May the beautiful qualities you exhibit in this life be like fragrance of the sweetest smelling flower that will spread among all people of this nation for generations to come. May you always be remembered for your love for peaceful co-existence, and love among all peoples.
May the virtues you live and stand for transform and continue to transform this country and all the African people over centuries after you join God Almighty, Allah the Omnipotent, and that your house may become a holy place of pilgrimage, where all people of various religions will go to pray in thanksgiving to God Almighty.
My Dear Wise Old Man, while people speak death into your life, you spoke life and tolerance into theirs, oh, how remarkable this show of holy forgiveness and love. May you continue to be blessed, and please rest assured, we, Catholics, who always speak life into all humans, shall offers prayers for you during the holy sacrifice of the mass, for longevity in your life at the present and life everlasting with Abraham in Heaven.
We, Catholics, were taken by surprise, and pleasantly so, when social media showed clips of you and your blessed entourage sitting in the front row of Christ the King Catholic Church to further express your desire of interfaith love, togetherness and tolerance. But to do so on the Day of the Resurrection defined you for what you truly are.
For on that fine Sunday, almost two thousand years ago, Jesus rose from the death to give life to all mankind. On that day, He did not look into the faces of His disciples who run away when He was arrested and deserted Him to His fate, to tell them a few home truths, and neither did He look straight into Peter’s eyes and demote him as leader of the apostles for denying Him. In fact, Jesus did not mention a word about what happened the previous Thursday and Friday when He was left all on His own, except for John, who defied all odds and got near to His Cross. Showing an abundance of tolerance, love and forgiveness, Jesus simply breathed peace unto them and gave them the Holy Spirit, and forgiving them He gave them the power to forgive sins on his behalf.
These acts of Jesus can be defined in you, since after being openly condemned by a Christian who should know better, and should have known that his ways do not correspond with the ways of the prophets of God, your next most significant public appearance was to go to a Christian Church to express your love for Christians, and promote into us your desire for tolerance and peaceful co-existence among all religions.
Barely a week after your historic visitation to a Christian holy site, we had news that what you did was in a way foretold two years ago, when Shiekh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of United Arab Emirates renamed the Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Mosque, located in Al Mushrif in the city of Abu Dhabi, Mariam Umm Eisa Masjid Mosque, which, in English, is the Mary Mother of Jesus Mosque.
Not many Christians know that in Islam, Mary and Jesus are so revered, and even the Qu’ran recorded some hidden accounts of Jesus infancy, which are not found in canonical Sacred Scriptures. These accounts can, however, be found in some apocrypha books, collectively called the Hidden Books of the Bible.
As I conclude in belatedly toasting to your health and life on your birthday, may I pray to God to upgrade your wishes for mankind, that both Muslims and Christians seek the Truth in the Sacred Scriptures and Holy Qu’ran, and work on what unites us to minimise what divides us, so that sooner than later, we should accept each other as children of God.
I end by quoting the very words that an elated woman said to Jesus, after hearing Him preach so eloquently and heart-warmingly, as I say to you O Wise Old Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, “Blessed is the womb that carried you, and the breasts at which you nursed,” (St. Luke 11:27b).
Happy Birthday, and may your works live on for millenniums after you, for you are, indeed, God’s special gift to mankind.
Hon. Daniel Dugan.