As I logged in to my twitter account, the first news that popped up on the screen of my tablet was the sorrowful demise of Hajia Bridget Aisha Lemu. For being emotionally disturbed by the news, I said loudly “Allahu Akbar” i.e. “Allah is the greatest” “inna Lillahi wa inna Ilaihi Raji’un” Indeed, from Allah we came, and to him we shall return. Although a British-born author who converted to Islam in 1961, Hajia Bridget Aisha Lemu’s tireless work to Islam and Muslims’ ummah in general couldn’t be overestimated.
As a trained professional teacher of Islamic studies, and having served as teacher at School for Arabic Studies (SAS), Aisha Lemu’s meritorious contribution to Islamic scholarship deserves to be eulogized by all and sundry. What made Aisha Lemu educationally different from her contemporaries was: her ability to write and publish many books on Islamic Religious Knowledge. Still, her books are the best and immediate reference for secondary school students. To sum it up for you, these series are the ones presently used in most of our secondary schools. Therefore, considering Aisha’s enormous and memorable contributions to Islamic education, I urge President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to initiate process to immortalize her. I advise President Muhammadu Buhari to rename one of our educational institutions in memory of Aisha Lemu.
Undeniably, Aisha Lemu was an experienced author, teacher, educator of Islamic studies. Admirably, during her blissful journey on this earth, Aisha Lemu spent most of her times instilling good conducts through teaching of Islamic Religious Knowledge. The way Aisha Lemu graciously conceptualized Islamic knowledge at various levels in line with newly introduced curriculum of Islamic studies gave her a blissful name in most households of Nigeria.
Every person that passed through primary and secondary school in Nigeria must study both Aisha’s junior and senior three-book series on Islamic studies. So Aisha Lemu’s students cut across every length and breadths of Nigeria. Appreciatively, to better suit learners’ abilities at different levels, recall that Aisha Lemu serialized her books into different series. Each series is divided into three sections viz: Hidaya (guidance) which consists of some suwar “chapters” of the holy Qur’an and its studies, Hadith, and Tahdhib. Then section two which includes Tawhid, (Islamic theology), Ibadah (worship). And lastly section three, which contained Tarikh (Islamic history) as well as Islamic civilization.
Also, developments and the spread of Islam in West Africa and the contributions of Islam to world civilization were detailed in this section. As educationist, Aisha Lemu’s objective for this categorization was to simplify concepts of Islamic studies for our respective students. Therefore, this creditable explanation of topics and concepts of Islamic Studies served as guide to students in preparation for various Senior School Certificate Examinations.
Also, the methods and techniques used by Aisha Lemu in both junior and senior three-book series of Islamic studies qualified her as a resourceful tutor with knowledge and experience in educational theories because the contents conform to fundamental principles of learning. As a result, most examination bodies used Aisha Lemu’s three-book series in setting out examination questions. Talk less of advanced numerous Islamic publications. In a nutshell, Aisha Lemu is an experienced author with versatile knowledge and experience in many branches of Islam.
We pray that death will be a relief to her. We pray that her books will lighten up her Qabr (grave) and may Aljannatul-Firdaus be her final abode.
Abbas Datti, Kano
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