A SHADE OF PARADISE: Reminiscences on Late Imam Salahudeen Ariyayo Abdulazeez

On last Christmas day, the Oyo State Muslim Community was thrown into mourning following the death of the Chief Imam of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, Imam Salahudeen Ariyayo Abdulazeez  at the University College Hospital after a brief illness. He was buried the same day at his Alaafia Estate residence in Akobo Ojurin, Ibadan after the janazah led by the Chief Imam of Ibadanland. The pioneer chief Imam who retired from BCOS as Director of Personnel Service in 2007 joined the corporation as Producer II in 1982. Before his broadcasting career, he was a teacher in several secondary schools and teacher training colleges owned by the Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria. A graduate of the University of Jos and the University of Ibadan (BA and MA Arabic Language and Literature), Imam Abdulazeez was for many years a member of the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board. A native of Iganna, Imam Abdulazeez is survived by a wife, five children and nine grandchildren.  In this tribute, Abdulwarees Solanke, an assistant director of Strategic Planning at Voice of Nigeria who lived with him for many years in Ibadan paints the picture of a pious and dedicated servant of Allah

Imam Salahudeen Ariyaya Abdul azeez man whose heart was most plain; his home so welcoming; his hands freely giving. He so much believed in his destiny. He followed his own path without envying others. He was measured in his own race of life as he totally submitted to the Will of Allah in life’s buffeting storms. This much I know because I grew in his house, my sister his wife of over four decades. He was a father to me. So, I lost a dear one. Without speaking it, he cherished individual rights and freedom, never imposing his will on others because I seem to see him with a philosophy of “everyone has intelligence and talents and the capacity to reflect, explore and exert them to attain good”. But if you approach him without imprudence, for counsel, you gain a wider view on even your own assumed best view, drawing from deep well medieval and modern experience and quranic insight.