“May Allah make us more big in Jannah not in dunya”, Cheick Tiote, Muslim ex-Newcastle footballer, last whatsapped his friend before he suddenly passed away

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On Monday, 5th June, 2017 in Beijing, China, Ivorian Muslim professional footballer Cheick Ismaël Tioté suddenly collapsed and died during a training session. Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Elayihi Rajeoun. He was just 30 years old.

Naturally, it shocked the football world and tributes poured in by his friends and other renowned people. The most thought-provoking post was of a close friend of Cheick, Yusuf Abubakar Tumi, who revealed his last WhatsApp conversation with the former Newcastle United player.

The last words that Cheick messaged Yusuf were

“May Allah make us more big in Jannah not in dunya. In sha Allah because dunya will finish bro but Jannah never finished”

Demba Ba, a close friend, a devout Muslim and a former teammate of Cheick was the first to bring out the tragic news. And it was Demba’s tweet which alerted Yusuf Abubakar of the shocking news.

Demba, the next day, posted on his Instagram:

The football world expressed their shock and appreciation of the man Cheick was on and off the field. Here is a full list of tributes.

His former club, Newcastle United also paid their tributes of their former employee.

After Demba’s tweet, Tiote’s agent Emanuele Palladino soon after confirmed the tragic news that Tiote had died on Monday afternoon, saying: “I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote passed away today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises.”

Yusuf Abubakar then tweeted a number of posts recalling his memories with Cheick whilst praying for Cheick’s hereafter.

The next day, a heartbreaking picture was posted on the web where Cheick’s son was pictured wearing the Newcastle United’s football jersey with RIP DADDY 24.

Newcastle United’s fans are even petitioning for the club to retire the number 24 as a tribute to Cheick.

And the tough test for his young family became even more evident when it was made to know that his wife is pregnant and expecting the baby this week in sha Allah (God Almighty willing).

Tiote wasn’t just a footballer, he strived to carry himself to as a practicing Muslim. This was echoed by his friend Yusuf as he said Cheick never missed his Salah, the five times daily prayer.

Yusuf further tweeted about Cheick’s character and connection with Allah by advising Yusuf to not live the world rather do what’s beloved to Allah:

Below are some of the other tributes yet again showing the impact he made on people’s hearts.

We ask Allah to have mercy upon the soul of our brother Cheick Ismail, grant patience to his family and loved ones and reunite him with his family in Jannah al Firdaws.

Written by Adeel Malik

Born in Hong Kong, grew up in Scotland and ethnically Pakistani, Adeel primes himself to be a multicultural individual who is an advent social media user for the purpose of learning and propagating Islam while is also a sports fan. Being an English teacher himself, he envisions a bright future for Muslims which he strongly believes can only be done with education.

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