Obit: Alhaji Ariṣekọla Alao, The Arẹ Musulumi of Yorubaland is dead – Tola Adenle

June 18, 2014

Society/Living

The death has occurred in London of Alhaji Arisekola Alao, the Aarẹ Musulumi of Yorubaland (the highest titled person among Yoruba Muslims) this morning after a brief illness.

Arẹ, as he’s popularly known, took his religion seriously enough that he did not take any traditional chieftaincy titles, much as he must have been sought after by different communities because of his very generous nature.  Many people in every part of Nigeria, especially in his native Yoruba Southwestern Nigeria, owe him for his generosity which, much as he was hailed for those publicly done, was nothing compared to those he did for people who were not in any position to repay him.

A businessman and industrialist, he first came into the limelight as the Chairman of Lister Motors, Nissan’s major Nigeria dealer in the 70s and 80s, and although he would go into other major businesses, “Lister” was like another name for Alhaji Arisekola, the name – without ‘Alao’ – that he was widely known all over Nigeria.  He was not only one of Yorubaland’s very well-known philanthropists but stood tall among those always ready to lend a hand in Nigeria.

He is survived by wives and children.

Aarẹ Musulumi was 67 years old.  May his soul find eternal rest in Allah.

 

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014.  7:34 p.m. [GMT]

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7 Comments on “Obit: Alhaji Ariṣekọla Alao, The Arẹ Musulumi of Yorubaland is dead – Tola Adenle”

  1. Yisa Ajao Says:

    Tola, Sorry to hear about the death of Alhaji Azeez Arishekola Alao. I met him a few times during Babangida/Abacha regimes. I was sent to him by a senior military brass. He was affable, a humble and receptive person, and had a remarkable awareness of current affairs.

    On the issue of Muslim titles in Yoruba land, there is no formal Islamic recognition of any title above an Imam in a Muslim community. All these Baba Adini, Aare, Seriki, etc are not Islamic titles. None of them is a measure of piety,Islamic knowledge or jurisprudence. Every Muslim is a priest of Islam by training and upbringing..These titles are our own inventions to satisfy personal ego; they are purely honorific. There is no succession rule. For example the Aare Musulumi is not responsible to or for anybody by any law in Islam. Azeez built mosques in Ibadan to the glory of God. God bless him. Who will vie for the title now There is no formal Islamic hierarchy like Christians have Reverend, Canon, Arch Deacon, Bishop, Arch Bishop, Pope (and new powerless Pope emeritus). I know some people may want to argue this with me. I welcome reasonable objective criticism.

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Dear Doctor.

      The Alhaji Arisekola Ajao you met in the 80s was always the same person that those who knew him saw: “affable, receptive and humble”, VERY HUMBLE. One thing that also stood him out among Muslims, especially those often labeled as “God-fearing” was his keeping to Christian tradition of men removing their caps before entering churches while the “God-fearing” ones would keep their caps on in churches. The last time I saw him was about a month ago at a Commendation Service here at Ibadan; he did the same thing which he never forgot to do.

      I was impressed to see the Queen of England on a tv news-report keep not just her usual hat but an additional scarf when she visited the Middle East a year or so ago.

      Respecting others’ traditions – social and religious – would make for a better and peaceful world. Aare practised that dictum of “when in Rome …”

      As for the titles, you are very right. Worse in the Christian churches are the modern titles that call for recipients to have friends and families bussed in from far and near, wearing aso ebi and spending a lot of money on what should be – or at least used to be – simple church affairs.

      May his soul rest in peace.

      Regards,
      TOLA.

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      • emotan77 Says:

        Thanks, Dear Doctor.

        The Alhaji Arisekola Ajao you met in the 80s was always the same person that those who knew him saw: “affable, receptive and humble”, VERY HUMBLE. One thing that also stood him out among Muslims, especially those often labeled as “God-fearing” was his keeping to Christian tradition of men removing their caps before entering churches while the “God-fearing” ones would keep their caps on in churches. The last time I saw him was about a month ago at a Commendation Service here at Ibadan; he did the same thing which he never forgot to do.

        I was impressed to see the Queen of England keep not just her usual hat but an additional scarf when she visited the Middle East a year or so ago.

        Respecting others’ traditions – social and religious – would make for a better and peaceful world. Aare practised that dictum of “when in Rome …”

        As for the titles, you are very right. Worse in the Christian churches are the modern titles that call for recipients to have friends and families bussed in from far and near, wearing aso ebi and spending a lot of money on what should be – or at least used to be – simple church affairs.

        May his soul rest in peace.

        Regards,
        TOLA.

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  2. emotan77 Says:

    From my Mailbox:

    Ha a! May his soul rest in peace. What a big blow to the many beneficiaries of his generosity!

    S. Bisi

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Sis.,

      His generosity and the point I raised in my response to Dr. Ajao’s comments are two parts of him that I respected. He never had that holier-than-thou attitude that many Muslims have when attending Churches as often happen in Yorubaland’s multi-faith society. I never saw him enter a church with his cap on his head.

      This sensitivity to, and respect for others’ mores would help lessen the tension that has now created an Us-vs-Them society.

      Fond regards,
      TOLA.

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  3. Falade A.G. Says:

    I wish him a joyful activity in the great beyond.

    A. G. Falade

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