The national chief imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu has encouraged the rest of the world to emulate the unity between Muslims and Christians in Ghana.
He said the two religious groups have lived in peace and tranquility for the past decade.
He made the call when joined members of the Christ the King Catholic Church in Accra to worship ahead of his 100th birthday on Easter Sunday.
He also used the occasion to call for continues peace and religious tolerance among Ghanaians.
He stressed that Christian’s and Muslims must continue to unite for a common goal.
For his part, the Parish Priest, Father Andrew Campbell presented a bouquet of flowers and other gifts to the chief Imam.
The chief Imam thanked the church as he presented a token to the church.
Biography of the national chief imam
Osman Nuhu Sharubutu was born in Accra Old Fadama in April 23, 1923.
He studied under his father, the late Sheikh Nuhu Bin Mohammed Sharabutu, his mother, late Ayishatu Abbas (Mma Tasidi) and his uncle, the late Sheikh Mazanwaje Abbas, who was the leader of the Tijaniyyah Movement of Ghana at the time.
On like other children, he rarely had time to play because he was completely devoted to his books, which helped him tremendously to commit to memory various Al-hadiths of the Holy Prophet, Islamic texts, Islamic Jurisprudence and Islamic literature.
By the age of twelve, Osmanu had mastered the recitation of the whole of the Holy Qur’an and had become one of the youngest Huffaz at the time to have memorized numerous verses and Suras (chapters) of it. When his father, Sheikh Nuhu, realised the potentials of his son, he decided to send him to a new learning environment in Kumasi where he studied under Sheikh Abdoullah Dan Tano among other prominent scholars.
Mallam Ousman became a completely changed and reformed personality upon return from Kumasi, due to deep knowledge he acquired outside his original environment. After careful contemplation, he made the decision to devote his time to teaching the Muslim youth who are keen in learning to become Islamic Scholars, thinkers and Sheikhs in future. Among his students are Sheikh Yahya El-Ameen, Mallam Adam Attah, Mallam Saeed, Alhadji Jibril Madaha, Mallam Ibrahima Nyass, Mohammed Muniru “Dan Alfah” and Mallam Zurkanain.
He remained in the teaching profession for a number of years. Due to his keen love for knowledge, anytime he heard of an Islamic Sheikh, he rushed to him as a student in order to learn and benefit from that scholar. Notable scholars whom he conferred within that regard include Sheikh Abubakar Fulaaty Al Kanawy from Northern Nigeria and Sheikh Alhadi (Baraw). Sheikh Baraw taught him interpretation of the Holy Quran, Classical Arabic Language, Literature and Texts whiles Sheikh Abubakar Fulaaty Al Kanawy enlightened him on Arabic Culture, Al-Hadith of the Holy Prophet, Arabic Texts and Fundamentals of Sufism.
In 1974, after lengthy debates and consultations among the country`s traditional Muslims (Tijaniyyas) and concerned parties, it was agreed by consensus that Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu should be appointed to deputy Imam of Tijaniyya in Ghana. However, Sheikh Osman turned down the offer of appointment with the excuse that he was a professional Islamic teacher and educator with over 20 students under his care at the time and he was concerned about their future growth and development.
It was later and after further persuasions and persistence by the Islamic teachers that Sheikh Osmanu realised that the appointment was a divine call for him to serve Islam and the Muslim communities.
In 1993, he succeeded his cousin, Sheikh Mukhtar Abbas who was ill and physically weak as head of Tijaniyya Muslims in Ghana.
As National Chief Imam
Sheikh Osman was appointed in 1993 to occupy the newly created office as the first National Chief Imam of the Republic of Ghana and invested at a simple but colorful ceremony.
Throughout his life, Sheikh Osman has had a reputation for promoting Islamic education and encouraging the establishment of formal educational institutions.
Sheikh Osmanu and managed by various individuals have established seven educational institutions in the Greater Accra Region.
He has built many Arabic Schools, Islamic Centers and Mosques. He spends huge sums of money organizing conferences, seminars and symposia on thorny Islamic issues prevailing in the Islamic societies and the country as a whole.
He has undertaken a number of official state visits to connect with Ghanaian communities in the diaspora. On all occasions, he emphasizes the need for Ghanaians in the diaspora to live exemplary lives and abide by the rules of their host countries in order to portray a positive image for their home-country.
He is responsible for the realization of two national holidays in the official calendar of the Republic of Ghana; Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.
In 2002, he foundered The Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu Education Trust Fund (SONSETFUND); a Non-governmental organization committed to supporting education in deprived communities in Ghana. The Sonsetfund provides support for individuals at different levels as well as supporting the youth in literacy and skills training to attain Higher Education.
He also established an orphanage center to look after the education and welfare of homeless Muslim kids in Ghana called the Nuuru Usmaniya Foundation for Humanitarian Services and Development (NUSMA)
He is well known for his exemplary lifestyle and generosity to people who face him with their personal problems.
He has personally sponsors hundreds of needy Muslim children mostly from the disadvantaged and vulnerable Muslim communities in Ghana.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in 2013 by the University of Ghana for his wondrous contribution to public service and his immense contribution at maintaining peace and development in Ghana.