By Alaba Abdulrazak
Equality of human beings is a great concept. At least in being human they are equal. But in actual life, extreme differences are seen between men. It starts from the physical appearance. Not a single person living or dead is like any other human being ever born on this earth. The differences extend to living patterns, standards, attitude or disposition. Yet the beginning and end of life are absolutely identical to all men and women irrespective of their caste, religion, race, language, or place of birth.
At birth, human is a helpless creature entirely dependent on the mother. Death is also a similar event where a person’s helplessness is totally unredeemed. Whatever we have gathered in our lives come to a naught. It is a time when everything of this world is of no use. The richest and the poorest are equal at the final event of life. Hence as the proverb says, death is indeed a great leveler.
Summing up my father’s life, I keep coming back to one thought. Never will you meet a man who more faithfully lived his values.
My father was a teacher of all things. His method was simple. He taught by example. At any time, when faced with an ethical dilemma, after reflection, study, or even rationalization, I find myself coming back to one simple question. What would Dad do? His character is the foundation of my conscience.
My father was strong in body, in spirit, and in commitment. My father never let another man down. He fulfilled every obligation he ever undertook. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it. I never heard him utter a lie, nor intentionally deceive others.
Though he was from one of the richest and respected families in Ibadan, ‘The Adebisi Family of Idikan ‘, my father was self-made and self-reliant. From his education to his career as a renowned pharmacist; he never relied on anybody.
My father was an avid reader and a man who knew little of everything because of his love for reading. As a matter of fact he was a teacher. He ensured that he passed his knowledge to all of his children.
My father never made an enemy. Not one. While he most surely came across a few people he couldn’t countenance, he solved the problem by simply avoiding them. He always insisted that violence never solved any problem. He never once hit another man in anger.
My father was loyal. His faithfulness to the important people in his life could be seen in the way he steadfastly maintained ties with his childhood friends. He assisted family and friends and was never stingy. Though he was a Muslim, he never discriminated against other religion.
My father provided a home for his widowed mother and allowed her build a second life filled with the joy of her grandchildren. While Mom carried the burden of sharing a roof with her mother-in-law, Dad did his best to foster domestic tranquillity.
Throughout my childhood and growing up; I never saw him sick because he took matters concerning his health very seriously. And when on February 27, 2016, I got a call from my younger brother that father took ill and wanted all his children who were in Ibadan to come and see him, I was so afraid. And when I arrived our Molete residence I met my dad in company of my other brothers in the living room discussing. I greeted him and he answered smiling and asked me to sit down. He engaged us all in his usual intellectual discussion and told us all to wait and eat and that he was okay.
And in the evening, when we all left my father’s house, he saw us all out to the gate not knowing it would be the last. We never knew that was Dad’s last parting gift to those of us in Ibadan. At precisely 12am on February 28, 2016, I received another call that my father had passed on.
I couldn’t hold back tears. I kept wondering why such a wonderful father could die at a time like that. My father must have been dead in the flesh but I know his legacies will forever be fresh in the minds of his children and those who had the rare opportunity of getting to know him when he was alive.
As Muslims, we take solace from the verse of the Holy Quran: “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un “, meaning “We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.” Today, marks five years that the entire Adebisi’s family lost a father and a rare gem. As all your children and grandchildren remember you today; we all pray to Almighty Allah to grant you Aljanah Firdaus.