It was happiness galore when an Arabic school celebrated another batch of students, who completed the study of recitation of the glorious Qur’an. The school, Sofwatu-R-Rahmat Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies is situated at Ota, Ogun State. The Institute is under an International Islamic Organization, Zawiyatul-Sofwatur-Rahmatil-Islamiyyat (ZASRAM).Founder, Chief Missioner of ZASRAM (Home and Abroad), Sheikh Abdur-Razaq Abdul-Hameed Onaolapo Animashaun (Kasolayo), is also the Proprietor/Principal of the school. So, on Sunday, December 11, 2022, all roads led to the venue of the occasion with gaily dressed dignitaries, parents, guardians and well-wishers thronged the venue where pleasantries were exchanged. The theme of the event, Importance of education and knowledge in the life of man was handled by two lecturers.
The two erudite Arabic/Islamic scholars were Sheikh Sheikh Al-Imam Ibraheem Abdur-Raheem (Alapako), and Sheikh Abdur-Razaq Abdul-Hameed Onaolapo Animashaun (Kasolayo), described education as a survival means for Muslims, male and female in this world and in the hereafter. Abdur-Raheem Alapako is the founder and Chief Imam of of Sawiyatul Istijabat Organization, Atan-Ota, Ogun State, while Onaolapo Kasolayo is the founder, Imam and Chief Misioner, (home and abroad of Zawiyatul-Sofwatur-Rahmatil-Islamiyyat (ZASRAM) also in Ota, Ogun State. Speaking on the theme, the Spiritual Father of the day, Sheikh Al-Imam Ibraheem Abdur-Raheem (Alapako), who also guided the graduating students in the symbolic recitation of the Qur’an, pointed out that, “importance of education in the life of the people can never be over emphasized and so any process towards its attainment should not be handled with levity and carelessness,” stressing that, “the need for everyone to acquire knowledge because of the way it adds value to the wellbeing of mankind, male or female should be accorded a priority.” Alapako, who quoted copiously from the book of hadith and Qur’an to buttress his point added that, “its mandatory, especially for Muslims-Male and Female to acquire both western and Islamic education in line with the instruction of the Noble Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him.”) The cleric, who hails from Ilorin, Kwara State capital city therefore advised the graduating students to put what they have acquired from the school into practice, reminding that, “exhibition of good character, unblemished conduct and acceptable moral values are expected from products of Arabic and Islamic Studies Institutions like ours across the world.” Earlier in his welcome remarks earlier, Founder, Chief Missioner of ZASRAM (Home and Abroad), Sheikh Abdur-Razaq Abdul-Hameed Onaolapo Animashaun (Kasolayo), challenged the parents and the guardians present on the occasion to give priority to their children’s education through prompt payment of their school fees, buying of their books and other levies for learning materials.The respected scholar, who is also the founder and Principal of the institute expressed the displeasure about a common situation whereby parents and guardians nowadays would lavish resources on mundane issues like funeral and wedding attires at the expense of their children’s education, which is the required instrument to prepare the children for the challenges of leadership of the nation tomorrow! “The way we attend promptly to the needs of our children’s western education, we should apply such promptness to the Quranic education,” Kasolaya sermonised, just as he preached the need for both the western and Quranic education “to go hand in hand for the all-round growth, development and benefit of the children.” Rounding off, the vibrant Ifon, Osun State born lecturer announced that, “today’s graduation ceremony is not the end of their courses in the school but it just a step towards promotion to higher classes.” The highlights of the ceremony included the distribution of Certificates of Competence as well as launching of a book, ‘Identification of Arabic Alphabets in Simple Ways’, authored by the Principal, Abdur-Razaq Abdul-Hameed Onaolapo Kasolayo himself. Among the graduating students was Miss Waliyah Morolake Bamidele, daughter of the former Assistant Editor, Sunday Sun Newspapers, Alhaji Abdur-Razaq Bamidele, (Osun State). Others were Rokibat Abdul-Fatah Yahya Sanusi (Kwara), Alia Ishola (Oyo State), Azeezat Maruf Ayofe (Osun), Zainab Onaolapo (Osun) and Fauziyat Badmus (Osun). The well attended August event had in attendance dignitaries and students from other Arabic school around as well as various Alasalatu groups along with their spiritual instructors among others. Some other scholars in attendance were Sheikh Sirajudeen Mustapha of Al-Mustapha College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Sheikh Ahmada Tijani of Arikewusola Central Mosque, Khalifah Ibrahim Akewukanowo, as well as the Proprietor, De Pillars Nursery and Primary School, Khalil Ibrahim Bamidele who is also the Founder of a charity organization, Al-Khaleely Islamic Foundation (AKIF).