Khalifa Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu was born in the ancient city of Kano, in the year 1928 at Jingau quarters. His Parents were Sheikh Muhammad Rabiu and Hajiya Fadimatu.
Khalifa started studying the recitation of the Holy Qur’an under the guidance of his Father from 1936 to 1942 when he had the traditional ceremony of completing the reading and learning of the Holy Qur’an. Khalifa Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu proceeded further with his studies in Borno State (Maiduguri) where he completed the memorization and recitation of the Holy Qur’an in 1946.
Khalifa continued with the study of Tasawwuf and Dariqa under Sheikh Abubakar Mijinyawa at Bakin Ruwa Quarters, Kano. He later returned back to his father’s school and further studied the science of Tajwid. However Khalifa Sheikh Isiyaku Rabiu subsequently transferred to Sheikh Abdullahi Salga’s school at Sanka in the city of Kano, for him to study Islamic Law, Hadith and Jurisprudence where he graduated in 1949.
After Khalifa graduated his father gave him permission to start a business, where he started trading in kurmi Market in 1949. In February 1952 Khalifa registered his business as a company called Isyaku Rabiu and Sons Limited.
As time went on in 1973, Khalifa changed the company name to Isyaku Rabiu Group Of Companies a conglomerate of twelve companies dealing in Trading, Manufacturing, Insurance, Banking, Aviation and Real Estate with over 1000 employees. Khalifa Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu is the Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Isyaku Rabiu & Sons Ltd, Kano Vehicle and Accessories Ltd, Bagauda Textile Mills Ltd, Rabiu Bottling Company Ltd, Kano Suit and Packing Cases Factory Ltd, IRS Rice Mills Limited, IRS Airlines Limited, Afro Sacks Nigeria Limited, Kano Sugar Industries Limited and Combined Services Nigeria Limited.
In 1969 Khalifa and some other Businessmen in Kano established the First indigenous trading company, Kano Merchants Trading Company which later switched to Bagauda Textile Mills Ltd. He also played active role in the establishment of companies like, Nigerian Victory Assurance Company, Stanbic Merchant Bank Nigeria (first Chairman), Habib Nigeria Bank Limited, Giwarite Nigeria Limited and Combined Services Nigeria Limited.
Khalifa Sheikh Isiyaku Rabiu was a Director in many other companies across the nation and other countries and was also a member of University Of Ibadan Governing Council, Islamic University of Niger, Niamey, International University of Africa, Khartoum Sudan, Senate Member, Faisal University, Njamena, Tchad, Member of Organisation of islamic conference Saudi Arabia, Member, muslim world league, Saudi Arabia. And also a member of its committee on mosques, Member Coucil of Ulama, Nigeria.
Sheikh Isiyaku Rabiu was appointed as leader of the Tijjaniyya Movement in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries in 1994, and also gained the title of ‘KHALIFA’. He was the President of Sheikh Muhammadu Rabiu Islamic Foundation International, an Islamic organization for both humanitarian and Islamic propagation.
Khalifa received award of Men of Achievement Award in 1991 by the Cooperate Press Services Ltd, Lagos and Kano State Government Sports Award, the Industrial Giants Merit Award in 1998, Ahmadu Bello International Award In 1999 and also honoured with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) during the government of president Olusegun Obasanjo, in recognition of his contributions in uplifting the standard of living in his community and the nation at large. And so many other awards.
He is just the one single person in history of Kano, and the Northern Nigeria in Nigeria that has succeeded in the establishment of Private schools from kindergarten to university level. May his gentle soul continue to rest in Jannatul Firdaus
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