The Muslim community in Uganda is mourning renowned Muslim cleric, and former District Kadhi of Mbarara, Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu who died on Friday at the age of 88.
Sheikh Kaduyu, one of the founding fathers of the Muslim faith in Ankole died due to a heart failure. His son, Muhsin Kaduyu told SoftPower News that his father died at around 5am on Friday as he was being moved from his residence in Kakoba, Mbarara to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.
Abdunoor Kaduyu dedicated much of his lifetime to Islam, serving the community and fostering unity both within his faith and beyond.
He will among other things be remembered for championing the process of translating the Quran into Runyakore. He became the first Muslim from Ankole and Kigezi to become a Sheikh, a Deputy District Kadhi and a substantive District Kadhi (from 1967 to 2010). Sheikh Kaduyu used his tenure to especially advocate for education among Muslims.
A number of mosques including the main mosque in Nyamitanga were constructed out of his initiative. Other mosques whose establishment he oversaw was Kawempe Masjid Abubakar Jami, Ruharo Mosque and Ruti Mosque – all in Mbarara.
The most outstanding of his attributes is however his role as an agent of unity among the Muslims. He participated in the formation of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and the making of the UMSC constitution, both of which were inspired by his desire for Muslim unity. He was also a supporter of inter faith dialogue.
Many who knew Sheikh Kaduyu described him as a strong advocate for development and economic empowerment. He mobilized people to initiate self-help projects in farming and business. As a result, many Muslims in Ankole have been able to acquire wealth, educate their children and set up institutions that are benefiting many.
“He is one of the longest serving Muslim cleric in the Muslim community. He has a lot about him. I don’t know where to start and where to stop,” Muhsin Kaduyu told this website of his father.
He said that his father was a calm gentleman who promoted unity among the Moslems and also promoting interfaith dialogue especially Western Uganda.
“Sheikh Kaduyu was an honest person. He was never a double sided person. He respected everyone regardless of age or religion. He welcomed everyone at home. We grew up knowing that everyday we would have a visitor”.
He further described his late father as having been very selfless. This, he said, had to do with his string attachment to his heritage and culture, but most of all his role as the first Munyankole Muslim leader.
Muhsin said that the life of his father should be a lesson to Muslims especially on the importance of unity, selflessness and serving God not worldly things.
“He always wanted unity among the Moslem community. So this is a challenge for Moslems to reflect and know it is important to come together, because this is what he wanted”.
Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu will be laid to rest on Saturday in Rwentuha, Bushenyi district.
Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu was born in 1930 in Butare village, Kyamuhunga Subcounty, Igara County in Bushenyi district.
In his retirement, Sheikh Kaduyu was involved in farming in Bushenyi district where he had large banana and planations as well as a dairy farm.
May Allah (SWT) forgive his shortcomings and grant him everlasting Jannah.