“Iskeel, you are disturbing me,” Mallam Yusuf Adepoju would often say to Brother Iskeel Mustapha on stage as he moved around during lectures. This phrase became so frequent that “Iskeel, you are disturbing me” almost became a nickname, one that Iskeel took in stride and with good humor.

The news of Brother Iskeel Mustapha’s passing, delivered by Mallam Yusuf Adepoju, was a shock that left me reeling. Upon hearing it, I felt a chill run through my body, and I was rendered speechless. Seven years ago, Allah had spared Iskeel, Ezra Akowe, and me from a fatal accident that left me with implants in my hand and leg. No man escapes death, his time is not just yet. Iskeel’s time had come.

Brother Iskeel was (SubhanAllah, it’s hard to say ‘was’ now) a dedicated member of the Academy of Islamic Propagation (ACADIP). One of his significant roles was documenting the details of new reverts. Throughout his life, he served Allah’s cause with enthusiasm, humility, and a joyful heart.

Death is a poignant reminder to the living. When the death of a loved one is announced, we are once again reminded of the reality amidst shock and surprise. I did not shed a tear for Iskeel until I listened to Saheed Oluomo’s voice note where he kept asking, “Is it true Iskeel is dead? Are you serious? Iskeel dead? Hmm… hmmm,” with the “hmmm” sounding like “I am warning you! Don’t say Iskeel is dead.” Within a few minutes, Oluomo came to the realization and must have, like Ned Kelly, had his “such-is-life” moment. Oluomo himself recently lost a blood brother. Brother Hassan Itire, who probably heard the news inside the Masjid with his students, recorded a melancholic note with Dua, while Badmus Awwal Uptown became a preacher. He (Uptown) said, “Try as much as possible to avoid sins; not everyone has a long life to turn around their lifestyles before death.”

As I write, I remember the death of Brother Semiu, Balinga (who built the stage), Dr. Ogunleye, young Ismail from Ilesha, and Alhaja Ijaya. It is Iskeel’s turn; who is next, and how long will it take to get to the next?

As we go about in search of our daily bread, we must remember the real purpose of our existence, which is the worship of Allah according to Qur’an 51:56, “I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me.” The worship of Allah is the only deed that is of intrinsic value to a good life in the hereafter.

Like Iskeel, you will be missed too, but you will not be the first to be missed. Life will continue; people will marry, laugh, rejoice, and eat without you. People who have done far more than we would ever do have died, and life continued. Iskeel, like others before him, is now left with his own deeds.

We are passersby in this dunya; it is not our home. As one man leaves, another comes. The death of Iskeel was announced yesterday; today, we welcome a new baby boy from Brother Animashaun (Ameer Mowe).

Hmmm! May Allah forgive Iskeel and grant him Jannah. May Allah preserve the baby and make his feet steadfast in service to the cause of Allah.

Until we meet again, brother.

Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman


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