Sheikh Abdillahi has left behind thriving Shia community in Kenya: Abdul Qadir Nasir

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

The son of late Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir said, “The efforts of this eminent scholar brought fruit as many people persuaded by his lectures and writings as well as by his personal example, joined the path of AhlulBayt (a.s.). Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir has left behind a thriving Shia community in the region and beyond.”

Sheikh Abdillahi has left behind thriving Shia community in Kenya: Abdul Qadir Nasir

On the occasion of the demise of the divine scholar, the preacher of the teachings of the Quran and AhlulBayt (a.s.) in East Africa, and Kenyan member of the General Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir Juma, a commemoration was held online and in person on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, from 19:00 Tehran time at conference Hall of AhlulBayt (a.s.).

In this ceremony, referring to the biography of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir, his son Haj Abdul Qadir Nasir stated, “This eminent scholar was a member of the General Assembly of AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assemby until he passed away on 11 January 2022, equivalent to 8 Jumada al-Thani 1443 AH, at the age of nearly 91.”

“The early religious learning of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir commence with Madresah education at the young age of 4 and continued from 1936 to 1946. At the same time, he had normal school education attending to Arab boys’ primary school in his hometown from 1941 to 1949 and later joined Zanzibar’s Beit al-Ra’as teacher training college from 1950 to 1951,” he continued.

“With his intellectual inquisitiveness, the Sheikh from his younger ages did not share all the religious perspectives common among local traditional scholars. His inquisitiveness often put him at loggerheads with traditional scholars. But he was lucky to find someone who was broad minded enough to mentor him and revolutionize his thinking. He was Sheikh Muhammad Ghazali (r.a.) that encouraged Sheikh’s intellectual curiosity and critical thinking and developed his intellectual potential,” stated the son of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir.

Through his critical reading of history Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir become convinced of rightness of the path of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) from a very young age. His teacher Sheikh Ghazali, although himself a Sunni, did not discourage him rather introduced him to the famous book Al-Ghadir which strengthen his conviction in the rightness of the path of the AhlulBayt (a.s.). However, on the advice of his teacher and mentor, the young Sheikh Abdillahi took a cautious approach as his reputation would have been irreparably damaged if he stood against senior Ulama of that time who would not have entertained like him challenging the long-held beliefs,” Abdul Qadir Nasir stated, referring to the story of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir’s tendency towards the Shiite school.

“Upon his return to Mombasa, he taught to the Arab primary school from 1951 to 1954. Because of his health condition he was medically boarded out. After recovering from his illness, he joined Mombasa institute of Muslim education as an accounts clerk and as a part-time religious instructor from 1955 to 1957. Due to his opposition to the colonialism and the interest in defending the interests of Islam and Muslims, Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir took active in pre-independence Kenyan politics from 1957 to 1963. He was elected to Kenya’s pre-independence legislative council and served in this capacity from 1961 to 1963,” he continued.

“As a member of the Kenya’s legislative council, he also attended the historic Kenya constitutional conference held at the Lancaster House in London in 1964 to liberate his people from colonial rule and negotiate the best dispensation for Kenya, Islam, and the Muslims in post-colonial Kenya. He later left politics for not being pleased by politics of that time. From 1964 to 1965 he went on the work as an Arabic Swahili monitor with the British Broadcasting Cooperation BBC in Nairobi. Later he joined the Oxford University Press and worked as a Swahili Editor with the Eastern Africa Branch of Oxford University Press in Nairobi from 1965 to 1973. In 1973, Sheikh Abdillahi left the Oxford University Press to form his own Publishers. In 1974 he was recalled by the Oxford University Press to head the Eastern Africa Branch as General Manager and served in this position from 1974 to 1977. He quitted his job with Oxford University to run his own publishing company to promote Swahili language and culture,” stated the son of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir.

“Despite being active in Kenyan politics, the Sheikh devoted part time in preaching and Tabligh activities from 1954 to 1959, strongly believed the Islam was a solution for his people and country’s problems. During 1960-1980, he engaged in translating and commenting on the Holy Quran during the holy months of Ramadan while living in Mombasa 1960–64, and later when he settled in Nairobi 1965–1980,” Abdul Qadir Nasir stated, referring to the propagation history of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir.

“From 1978 to 1980, he worked as East Africa Representative of the Jeddah based World Assembly of Muslim Youths, to be able to engage with and develop the Muslim youth of the region. He later had to quit his job after his open support for the Islamic Revolution in Iran which was led by Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and the path of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) became obvious for his Saudi employers and they didn’t tolerate this. It was followed by the vicious campaign by the Wahhabi clerics, supported by local Saudi Embassy, to vilify and isolate him and Shias form Sunni Mosques and social circles. This, however, did not deter Sheikh from his principal support for the AhlulBayt (a.s.) and the unity between the Shias and Sunnis.”, he continued.

“His audio and video cassettes as well as his Swahili language Minbars, were circulated all East African region and beyond, making him very popular. Sheikh worked to the pulpits of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the region to defend the path of AhlulBayt (a.s.) from misinformation and lies which were spreading by Wahhabi, Zionist, and the Western propaganda media. He crossed the entire East African region and beyond for the invitation of the local communities to spread the truth of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) and promote the unity between the Sunnis and Shias. Sheikh went on to fund and head Madrasa Amir Al-Momenin (a.s.) a Shia theological seminary near Mombasa which was devoted to train young Shia scholars before his retirement to focus on writing” added the son of Sheikh Abdillahi Nasir.

“Sheikh published several books and booklets in defense of the path of AhlulBayt (a.s.) in his AhlulBayt (a.s.) center and other publishers in Kenya and Tanzania. His books include ‘Tafsir Amm Juz’, ‘Tafsir Sura At-Talaq’, ‘Shia and Quran’, ‘Shia and Sahaba’, ‘Shia and Hadith’, ‘Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) is not Haram’, ‘Nikah Mut'ah is a Valid Marriage’, Tafsir of Surah Al-Ahzab’, ‘Tafsir of Surah Al-Hamd’, ‘Ahl al-Kisa’, ‘Shia and Quran’, ‘Shia and Hadith’, ‘Shia and Companions’, ‘Shia and Taqiyya’, ‘Fadak’, ‘Yazid was not the Amir Al-Momenin’. Some of his works have been translated into English and other languages,” Abdul Qadir Nasir stated, referring to his father’s books.

“His efforts brought fruit as many people persuaded by his lectures and writings as well as by his personal example, joined the path of AhlulBayt (a.s.). Many went on to join several Hawzas locally and abroad to peruse high studies and continue propagating the path of AhlulBayt (a.s.). Sheikh Abdillahi has left behind a thriving Shia community in the region and beyond Alhamdulilah. However, his dream of completing and publishing a Swahili translation of the entire Quran did not fulfill because he passed away on 11 January 2022 leading the project incomplete.” he concluded.


Ahl Al-Bayt World Assembly

The Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly  is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) that was established by a group of Shiite elites under the supervision of the great Islamic authority of the Shiites in 1990 to identify, organize, educate and support the followers of Ahl al-Bayt.

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