Fourah Bay community mourns the loss of Imam Sanusi Tejan

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 August 2014

Imam Sanusi TejanImam Alhaji Mohammad Sanusi Tejan, passed away last Friday afternoon at the Intensive Care Unit in Connaught Hospital, after a short illness.

The 64 year old Imam was laid to rest yesterday by his family, the Jamiul Baitullah Jammat and the entire community, at the Fourah Bay cemetery.

Politicians from across the country’s political landscape were also present at the funeral yesterday, including SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Prince Harding, mourning with the family.

In the last twelve months, the Fourah Bay community has suffered many losses, including; Dr Afyz Hardy, Alhaji Babatunde Savage, Haja Marie Kassim, and Mrs Tejan Cole.

Imam Sanusi Tejan is one of the most iconic imams that the community has had in recent years.

In 1995 at the age of 45 years, he was the youngest Naib to lead Eid prayers at the railway field.

He was born on the 19th January 1950 to Mrs.  Jemilat Ilara Tejan and Alpha Abdul Karim Tejan (commonly called Alpha Pressi), and was given the name of the late venerable Imam – Alpha Mohammad Sanusi Macauley.

Fourah Bay - FreetownHe was born and bred in a household at Lucas Street, Fourah Bay, where children and teenagers were taught the Quran and the Hadith.

And at the age of 2 years, the young Mohammad Sanusi began to learn the Quran and teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings upon him).

Young Mohammad Sanusi completed memorising the Holy Quran at the tender age of 12, along with other rising stars – Alpha Musa Nabie, Alpha Abdul Rahman Tejan (his brother) and Alpha Teslimi Williams.

But his devout Islamic upbringing and background of his parents did not inhibit them from sending young Mohammad Sansui to pursue his academic career.

He began his primary school education at the Tower Hill Municipal School, and then went on to the Methodist Boys High School where he completed his secondary education.

Immediately after completing his secondary schooling, Mohammad Sansui Tejan gained employment at the ministry of works in 1971, as a trainee surveyor.

Young Sansui’s career potential became glaringly obvious to his employers – the ministry of works who then decided to sponsor his further studies at the Technical Institute, where he went on to qualify as a brilliant Surveyor and Architect.

Following the attainment of his Diploma in Surveying and Architecture, Mohammad Sansui was seconded by the ministry to work on various civil engineering projects across the country.

He worked with the German engineering consultant – Dr. Ing Walter, during the construction of the Sierra Leone and Liberia Link Road. He also worked with a Japanese road infrastructure team in constructing the Pamelap – Kamakwei Road; as well as Messrs Louis Berger on the second Highway Project.

In 1988 the government of Sierra Leone needed to recruit competent local technical staff to work at the newly established Sierra Leone Airport Authority.

Mohammad Sansui Tejan was among the most qualified recruited to work for the Authority, where he gave his full service with professionalism, dedication and commitment, until he was finally called upon last Friday by Allah, to go and continue his work in the next life.

But Mohammad Sansui’s dedication and achievements were not limited to his professional career. He was very much preoccupied with the belief that he had a mission to accomplish; and his words: “To become an erudite Islamic scholar, tutor and imam.”

In pursuing this dream, he sought the companionship of the venerable Alpha Alhadi Sulaiman Carew – composer, laureate and teacher – otherwise known as teacher Lehadi. And it was teacher Lehadi who taught him the introductory lessons in Tawheed.

He also taught him how to establish, organise and lead Muslim groups in the community, especially Muslim women organisations.

Along with teacher Musa, they developed the Jamiatul Talbiyatt and Madrasatul Harounia as the citadel of Islamic education and scholarship for boys and girls, not only in Fourah Bay, but the entire capital of Freetown, under the tutelage of Alpha Lehadi.

Many of teacher Lehadi’s pupils went on to become sheikhs, imams, naibs and muezzins.

But teacher Lehadi saw leadership qualities in Mohammad Sansui Tejan and Musa Nabie. In 1984 when Alhaji Lehadi died, both Mohammad and Musa went on to become his heir, especially in managing and running the affairs of the various groups established by Alhaji Lehadi.

In 1984 also, Alpha Mohammad Sansui went on to form the Dahiratul Imam at the Kissy Low Cost, and became tutor and mentor at several mosques in Freetown, including; the Jamiatul Nurul Muminat in Aberdeen, the All Muslim Women Association at James Street, and the United Association of Muslim Youths – where he succeeded the late Alhaji Cole of Foulah Town.

Imam Sanusi TejanMohammad Sansui Tejan’s rise to becoming the Imam of Fourah Bay was quite meteoric. In 1989, he was promoted to Naib by Alhaji Sheriff Savage and was able to lead Jumaat prayers for the first time on 28th December 1990.

In June 1992, he served as the Acting Imam when Alhaji Sheriff Savage became ill. And at the age of 45 years, in March 1995, he was appointed Muezzin by Alhaji Nazim Sahid, and became the youngest to lead the Eid-Ul-Fitri prayers at the community railway field at Cline Town on the 2nd of March of that same year.

On 19th November, 2006, Alhaji Mohammad Sansui Tejan was ordained as that Chief Imam of the Fourah Bay community, and became the unifying force in the Mass Jammat, where he succeeded in uniting all three factions.

Imam Mohammad Sansui Tejan will be sorely missed, not only by his family and the Fourah Bay community, but by many – far and wide.

He will also be remembered for his frequent appearances on national radio and television, discussing about Islam.

He is survived by his two wives – Isatu and Isha, and six children.

1 Comment

  1. Imam Sanusi was a good man who made himself available to the people.

    He was approachable and always full of good advice.

    He officiated at many weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies (comojadeh, and other ceremonies.

    Many loved his khutbas during Friday Jumaah prayers and would fill the mosque to capacity.

    Indeed, he united the mass, trus and Ark Jamaat in Fourah Bay and brought peace to the community.

    May his soul rest in perfect peace.

    Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajihoon

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