Friday, 20 February 2015


@Olanipekun……..Many thanks for painstakingly highlighted ur views from ur learned perspective. However, u seems to come from a background that is founded on faulty worldview about Islam and Ifa Mythology. No historical evidence pointed to the creation of Islam by Prophet Muhammed (SAW) rather Islam started with the creation of the first man on earth, Prophet Adam (AS). This is more reason that Holy Quran has equal representation of the messages of all Prophets from Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammed (peace be upon them) and lessons for every muslims and humanity at large. Moreso, a Roman Catholic distinguished Prof. John Esposito stated categorically in his book “Islam: the straight path” that Prophet Muhammed was not the founder of Islam, rather he came to complete the message of Islam.

The Yorubas see Ifa as “cultural divinity” rather than “Mythology” as u alluded to in ur view. Before the ancestral Yorubas engaged in anything, they consulted Ifa. This would not be an exception when Islam (Esin Imale) came to Oyo Empire in 14th century during the reign of Mansa Musa in Mali and subsequent conversion to Islam by some Yorubas (see I. A. Akinjogbin, in “The Expansion of Oyo and the Rise of Dahomey 1600-1800). In Yoruba cultural analysis, every new born baby is taken to Ifa for future consultation popularly called “Ikosejaye”. A new dimension to Ifa prediction was a strange corpus of Ifa called “Odu Imale” which is exclusively preserved for a new born baby that will later accepted and practiced Islam (see Gbadamosi, 1978). You can kindly consult with elders that are well rooted in Yoruba cultural civilization on this view.

For instance, Oba Aliyu Oyewole (1795-1820), the seventh Akinrun of Ikirun was reported during “Ikosejaye” that he will practiced Islam despite the fact that he was born into traditional belief. Yet, the prediction came to pass and Islam became a well-known religion in Ikirun during his tenure so much so that he introduced Sharia Court in Ikirun just like Sharia was also practiced in Ijebu-ode, Iwo among other places before colonial master cum missionary came in 1842. A new extensive book has been written on this aspect by a notable Historian, Prof. Siyan Oyeweso. The same Ifa prediction of new born baby also happen to Timi Lagungu of Ede among others. The case of Ibadan during the reign of Iba Oluyole is also worth mentioning when Ifa predicted the coming of Muslim clerics and the warning that they should be honoured and accommodated. It came to pass and the Ibadan Generalissimo, Aare Latoosa, during this time has problem of having a male child among his numerous wives. Yet, Ifa directed him to seek divine intervention in the hands of Muslim clerics which he sought and his prayer was answered (see T.G.O. Gbadamosi: The Growth of Islam among the Yoruba, 1841 – 1908. London: Longman Group (Ltd.), 1978).

He, therefore, became the first Muslim Oba in Ibadan. He compensated the clerics by building a Central Mosque beside his palace. It is the replica of this “divine” assistance that led to the building of Central Mosques beside palace in Yorubaland even within the premise of Ake palace in Egabland. This is the historical context that led to the Yoruba saying that “Aye la ba’fa, Aye la ba Imole, osan gangan ni igbagbo wole” because Ifa divinity recognized the pre-existence of a cultural belief outside Yoruba tradition. While contributing to this historical study of Islam in Yorubaland within linguistic evolution and its cultural adoption, foremost Nigerian Historian, Emeritus Prof. Ade Ajayi argued that the first and the only literacy in Yorubaland before the arrival of Christianity in the nineteenth century was in Arabic (see J.F. Ade-Ajayi, 1960: How Yoruba was reduce to writing, Odu 8). This literacy influenced Yoruba linguistic evolution (e.g Olohun, Alaafia, Asiri, Arisiki, Woli, Wakati, Adua among several others are Arabic loan words) and transformed Yorubas from storytellers to readers and writers of events………………..

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