By Auwalu Rimi
“When it is their appointed hour, one is neither hastened nor delayed for an hour.”
I received the news of Muhammad (Mu’awiya) Ibrahim with total and deep shock, for I neither heard of his sickness nor of involvement in an accident, two basic phenomena one’s unexpected demise is attributed to. But one’s consolation as a Muslim is in the above-quoted translated verse of the Glorious Qur’an.
My brief acquaintance with the deceased was eventful and quite beneficial. This was someone I came across through a mutual friend, Badamasi Shu’aibu Burji, a writer and publisher of repute. Popularly referred to as ‘Chairman,’ Badamasi is a nucleus, attracting young and firebrand intellectuals who have flair for writing and investigative journalism. His office is a melting pot where people with divergent and diametrically opposed ideas converge.
Muhammad Ibrahim might have been attracted as such, and he proved to be quite resourceful and exuberant. His love for writing and journalism practice is legendary, which was why he combined so many things along the same line in what might appear as a complete synergy. He was a reporter, columnist, commentator, analyst, and polemicist.
It was not surprising that he soon metamorphosed into a publisher of a Kaduna-based news medium, a magazine. His publication might not have been sustained because of the obvious operational challenge occasioned by the hostile operational terrain. This is an affliction commonly suffered by an average Northern-based media practitioner.
Late Muhammad Ibrahim had accomplished his objectives in media practice, though in an unconventional manner. The deceased had bestridden the new media in the most unprecedented manner, carving a niche for himself in social media as a recurring decimal. It was where he made many friends and foes, especially on an issue he held dear.
The deceased was not cowardly in making his position known and presenting his his views in an unequivocal way. He was always ready to express his views in clear terms and write rejoinders time and over. He was very prolific and could extensively quote from various sources witin and outside his immediate environment.
Muhammad Ibrahim had made friends and very many foes, as regards his religious views. He was unrepentant Rafidhi (Shi’ite) a sect he unapologetically adhered to. In this, he was not a blind follower, unlike many self-professed Nigerian Shi’ites, most of whom are blind followers.
His open adherence to Shi’ism was unexpected from someone whose background was predominantly conservative Sunni. There is hardly any self-confessed Rafidhi who is as open and unapologetic in the vibrant social media as Muhammad Ibrahim. It is a vacuum left by the deceased which might take longer to fill.
Muhammad Ibrahim was relatively young that might not have lived a fulfilled life. It is saddening that the cold hands of death have snatched him so soon, and his absence would surely be felt by both friends and foes.
One prays to Almighty to forgive his sins and grant his family and friends the fortitude to bear the loss.
Auwalu Rimi is a Kano- based journalist.