It was with great sadness that we recently heard about the passing away of Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Rashad Abdulle, a former recipient of OSA Life Time Award. He was a great Muslim scholar, who cultivated the flowering of literature in the Oromo language. His death is a great loss to his family members and to all who cherish the development of Oromo Studies. Members of the Executive Committee of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) express their deepest condolences to his family members and all those who were touched by his infectious love for intellectual enrichment of his people. May his soul rest in peace. May our Waaqaa comfort his family members and all those who knew the great scholar and an outstanding poet and versatile writer.
In his memo of nomination of Dr. Sheikh Rashad for OSA’s Lifetime Award, Jawar Mohammed of Columbia University, also an OSA member, listed the following as some examples of the major works of the great scholar, whom we lost recently.
- The first Quran translation in Afaan Oromo;
- Translated over 40 Hadith books from Arabic to Afaan Oromo;
- Produced Somali-Afan Oromo dictionary;
- Numerous articles on Islam in Focus;
- Hadji and Umra guidance book for Oromo pilgrimages;
- Translation of Towhid in writing and audio form;
- Collection of poems in Afan Oromo;
- Children stories in Afan Oromo;
- History of prophet Muhammad in Afan Oromo;
- History of Islam in Afan Oromo;
- Arabic-Oromo dictionary (the first);
- Collection of Oromo traditional songs such miriysaa, dhiichisa, shaggooyyee, geerarsa.
Although Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Rashad Abdulle was suffering from poor heath in the past few years, those who knew his resilient spirit did not expect that the end would come so suddenly. The news of his passing away shocked more than his family members and friends. It saddened those who were expecting the publications of his scholarly works while he was still alive. We are told that Islam teaches that death has to be accepted with grace. However, it is very hard to accept with grace the loss of Dr. Sheik Muhammad Rashad Abdulle.
May our Waaqaa bless our society with millions of brilliant minds, the likes of Dr. Sheik Muhammad Rashad Abdulle.
Mosisa Aga, Ph.D.