For the first time since he was reported to have collapsed and rushed to hospital, the Mudir (spiritual and administrative leader and rector) of the popular Markaz Arabic and Islamic Training Centre, Agege, Lagos, Habeebullah Adam Al-Ilory, has narrated his experience, even as he thanked God for his recovery.
The Islamic scholar, who spoke to a large audience in Lagos, on the first day of the ongoing 2022 Ramadan, also debunked speculations that he was flown abroad after he fell ill.
He, however, announced his withdrawal from the daily tafsir (lecture) of his mosque throughout the ongoing fasting period, saying he would need to recover fully.
The news of Mr Habeebullah’s sudden collapse had circulated in early February without verifiable details.
But while giving his own account on Sunday, April 3, the scholar confirmed that the incident happened in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during a wedding ceremony of one of the children of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Salhiu Belgore.
The event reportedly held on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the scholar, who arrived at the venue and exchanged pleasantries with other guests and fellow Islamic scholars, religious and political leaders, suddenly collapsed as soon as he began to deliver his sermon.
Narrating the experience in Yoruba language, Mr Habeebullah said the near-death experience was harrowing and that he could have been dead but for the mercy of Allah and the help of some individuals who rallied round him.
He said when the incident occurred, the only thing he could remember was that he was in Ilorin and at the venue of the wedding event.
“I had planned to attend the event and to move from there to another programme,” he said. “But the last thing I could remember was that I arrived at the event, and every other thing that followed could only be confirmed by witnesses.”
The preacher, who said he never knew what being stressed felt like until the event of February, noted that his sudden illness was a big lesson for him to further appreciate the greatness of God and the privilege of being alive and healthy.
He said; “I never knew stress. I had always believed that one only needed to work as long as there was energy. But those who understand what stress is and how to manage it, have been lucky to know when to relax and when to continue.
“But this is the reason we should always be grateful to God almighty for granting us His mercy. The experience was tough but God also pushed many people my way to support and nurture me to recovery.”
He said he was moved from the hospital where he was managed in Ilorin to Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, and that he remained in the city until he substantially recovered and was discharged.
He, however, did not disclose the hospitals where he was managed in Ilorin and Abuja, but unconfirmed reports had suggested that the scholar was initially rushed to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).
“And to those saying I went to India or China for treatment, I was not flown abroad. I was only transferred from Ilorin to Abuja. And here I am today to give glory to God almighty and appreciate you all for your support and prayers,” he added.