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19th February 2018

The Organiser Editor Pays Tribute to Sheikh Barrie, a Positive Sierra Leone Fullah

By Abu Shaw in London (03/02/18)

As Sierra Leone mourns the sudden death of Sheikh Barrie, the Organiser publisher Abu Shaw pays a special tribute to this positive Fullah.

 

I am very fortunate to have known the late Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Barrie (commonly called Sheikh Barrie) in Freetown in the 90s. My first encounter with him proved to me his sharp analytical mindset about society and the world in general. (Photo: Late Sheikh Barrie, a great Fullah role model).

Everything about this great Fullah lawyer, who sees things in the national perspective, was very positive. I was honoured when Sheikh Barrie, behind his unmistakable glasses, championed my marriage ceremony to Mariama in 1996 in Freetown.

Sheikh Barrie's positive advice before, during and after my nuptial ceremony continue to play a significant part for the longevity of my marriage. We last met in 2011 in Freetown during my last visit to Sierra Leone.

His sharp brain could still remember the little things we discussed in 1996. "You still remember these things," I told him. Sheikh Barrie just smiled and bade me farewell.

His unassuming and low profile character was the envy of many. If only Sierra Leone and the Fullah Community in particular could have more 'Sheikh Barries' the country would be a far better place to live in. 

Sheikh Barrie who won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the YADI 1st National Islamic Awards (NIA) 2017, held many portfolios including National Chairman of IDEMSIL Mission; Registrar of Muslim Marriages & Divorce; Western Rural District Coordinator for ISLAG / Focus1000; Coordinator for Saudi Arabia Hajj Programme and Commissioner for Oaths.

I have no doubt that Uncle Sheikh Barrie is in Heaven Now. Prayers were offered at the Ansar Islamic College Masjid Kissy Dock Yard, back of St. Helena School. May his soul rest in peace. Below is a detail profile of late Sheikh Barrie by Alhaj Jalloh in Saudi Arabia:

Sierra Leone Mourns Sheikh Barrie, a Great Islamic Scholar and Lawyer

By M.B. Jalloh (03/02/18)
Sierra Leone has lost one of its finest Islamic lawyers of his generation. The Fullah community will particularly miss his positive attitude.

Sheikh Ahmad Barrie of Ansarul Islamic Mission suddenly died at the Choithrams Hospital in Freetown Thursday morning February 1, 2018 after a brief illness. He was spotted at PZ, the Central Business District of Freetown, going about his normal business a day before his death.

Though every soul must taste death, the demise of such a fearless scholar will continue to be felt by many in and outside Sierra Leone for several reasons. Those of us who have known the Sheikh for years would continue to remember him for the impact he made on our lives. He was remarkable in several respects.

He was friendly, intelligent, humane, gentle, good mannered, forthright, understanding, amiable, humble, human rights campaigner, a peace promoter, a philanthropist, a consummate scholar, a cautious optimist, a believer, a fearless vanguard of Islam and the masses.

His sincerity, frankness and fearlessness in telling the truth to the powers-that-be made him a popular Scholar in and outside the country. Sheikh Barrie was a detribalized scholar; he never reduced himself to ethnic or tribal sentiments. He also committed his entire life to the propagation of Islam within and outside Sierra Leone.

Sheikh Barrie was indeed the personification of humanity, honesty, and sincerity of purpose. He was one of the most peaceful scholars Sierra Leone ever had and he benefitted many Muslims both within and outside Sierra Leone. “The best among mankind is he who brings benefit to others,” said the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW).

Sheikh Barrie was one scholar who valued all types of education and always urged the ummah, especially youths, to further their education, Western education inclusive. I vividly recall how he encouraged me to study the Arabic Language when we met years back at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah - a few days after I assumed duty in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Press Attaché.

And over the years, he made follow-up calls to know if I had enrolled in any of the Arabic Institutes here in Saudi Arabia. That encouragement from the kind-hearted Sheikh made me to enroll at the World Assembly of Muslim Youths (WAMY) institute for Diplomats where I graduated last year with flying colours in two levels for starters in Arabic Language.

Sheikh Barrie told nothing but the truth to whoever he met. It is the saying of the Holy Prophet (SAW) that “Tell the truth even if it be unpleasant.” And the late Sheikh, like any other Muslim, who held the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in high esteem wouldn’t and didn’t hesitate in this regard.

Born in the northern town of Kamakwie in the late 1940’s, the late Sheikh started his early education in Sierra Leone and later went to the Gulf State of Kuwait in the mid 1970’s where he studied briefly before he secured admission into the prestigious Islamic University in Madina in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the late 70’s for his first degree in Islamic Law and continued in Sudan in the early 1980’s where he reportedly graduated as an Islamic Lawyer.

The sudden loss of Sheikh Barrie is sad. He left when we needed him most. He remains in our memories today, tomorrow and forever. This is a big loss to his family, the Islamic Community in the country and Sierra Leone in entirety.
On this basis, I would like to extend my sincere condolence message first to his family and the entire Islamic Community in the country. Indeed this is a loss worth grieving for, but we ought to grieve within our own Islamic principles. Sheikh Barrie is dead, we are sad but we shall utter not a word to displease our Creator, Allah.

May Allah (SWT) broaden his entrance into the choicest place in Paradise. And may He give us the fortitude to continue to bear this great loss.

Finally, May Allah in His infinite mercy makes Al-Janantul Firdaus as his final abode…..Ameen! Sheikh Barrie was laid to rest at the Kissy Road Cemetery on Thursday evening.

Courtesy: By M.B. Jalloh in Saudi Arabia

TRIBUTE: ALPHA SHAW


1958 -1980

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