COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus community honored the life of a beloved local imam who was killed last week. Imam Mohammed Hassan Adam was reported missing last week. He was found dead in a van on Windsor Ave. a day later and his death was ruled a homicide. Adam was shot, according to Columbus Police.
“We are in shock, disbelief. It’s really very hard for all of us. It was very hard for us to believe this,” said Yusuf Abdulle, Executive Director of the Islamic Association of North America (IANA).
Abdulle came from Minneapolis for Adam’s prayer service and funeral. He knew the imam for almost 20 years, both as a colleague and a friend. Adam was recently elected Secretary of IANA last month, according to Abdulle.
“Losing a friend and a family member is always hard but to lose them in this sudden way, it’s really very painful,” he said.
The service was held at Janazah at Ibnu Taymiyah Masjid. Adam helped start this mosque. The building was full for the prayer service in his honor. There were also tents outside for more people to attend. The number of people in attendance shows how many lives the 48-year-old has touched.
“He was a bridge-builder, he was a community builder,” said Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). “He was a community asset, and his loss has left a big void for all of us in Ohio and nationwide.”
Adam was a well-known leader in the Columbus Somali community. Those who knew him said he worked a lot trying to steer youth away from violence. His friends said he was always trying to help others and make the community a better place.
“He’s one of the best imams in town,” said Hassan Omar, President of the Somali Community Association of Ohio.
CAIR is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information is asked to call Columbus Police. A solidarity march for Imam Mohamed Hassan Adam is planned for Friday afternoon in downtown Columbus.