The Columbus Dispatch
Imam’s grievers ‘testimony’ he was a righteous person
Hundreds of Muslims gathered Thursday to pray for the soul of Imam Mohamed Hassan Adam, an Islamic leader who was found dead last week in what police are calling a homicide.
Mourners joined together in a daily call to prayer and performed the Janazah, or funeral prayer at the Ibnu Taymiyah Masjid and Islamic Center on Mock Road on the Northeast Side and afterward attended Adam’s burial at the Islamic Cemetery of Columbus on Sunbury Road.
Imams, or religious leaders, from all over the world traveled to Columbus to participate in the funeral procession, organizers said.
“We as believers, as Muslims, believe that every soul will taste death. And we believe and hope and pray that Dr. Mohammed is with Allah and in a better place,” said Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-islamic Relations (CAIR), which is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
“We will not rest until we found answers. Who committed this crime?”
Adam, 48, was found dead Dec. 24 inside a vehicle that was parked in an unpaved and overgrown lot in the 1400 block of Windsor Avenue, near the intersection of Joyce and Windsor avenues. Police are treating his death as a homicide, but have not yet specified a cause.
Columbus police also have not identified suspects nor given a motive for the crime, though authorities have said that no information has arisen so far to suggest Adam was targeted for his role as an imam.
Adam, who was an imam at Masjid Abu Hurairah mosque on the Northeast Side, was first reported missing Dec. 23. He was last seen the day before after he left home to pick up his child from a day care center on Oakland Park Avenue and never arrived.
Those who attended the funeral service on Thursday remembered Adam as a pillar of the Muslim and Somali communities of Columbus.
He was a respiratory therapist, father, husband, and someone who helped found groups including Ask a Muslim and the Islamic Association of North America (IANA), a Minneapolisbased nonprofit group.
Had he not been killed, Adam would have been in Mecca by now, organizers said, which all Muslims must visit at least once in their life.
“There is a tradition in our religion where we saw God brings the righteous people when a righteous person dies. All of these people coming from different places is testimony that he was a righteous person.” Imam Horsed Noah
“To us, he is the founder of a lot of Islamic centers in the Somali community,” said Imam Horsed Noah, outreach director of the Somali Islamic Centers of Ohio. “He is someone who would always fund-raise for the orphans. He had a program where he would feed the homeless. Him and I used to run a project where we would encourage the youth to stay away from drugs, overdoses and gang violence. In fact, we were supposed to finish our sessions before he disappeared.”
At the Islamic Cemetery of Columbus on Sunbury Road, hundreds of people crowded around Adams’ grave as an excavator turned earth, paying their respects and saying goodbye.
“There is a tradition in our religion where we saw God brings the righteous people when a righteous person dies,” Noah said. “All of these people coming from different places is testimony that he was a righteous person.”
Noah knew Adam for nearly two decades and counted him as one of his best friends. “Two days before he disappeared, he and I had a long conversation and dinner. We were cracking jokes,” Noah said.
“He had a slogan that is still fresh in my mind. He would always say ‘aspire to inspire before you expire.’”
Adam’s family is asking that anyone with information about his death to call police at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461TIPS. The family has also set up a fund to help cover the cost of Thursday’s service and to help continue Adam’s charity work. Donations can be made at http://launchgood.com/mha.
As of Friday evening, more than $50,000 had been raised. email@example.com @Monroetrombly