Penned by Aboo Aamir
Yorùbáland is blessed with many people who ascribe themselves to Islam. There is no gainsaying the fact that the major cities of Yorùbáland are populated by such people. Ibadan is a casestudy.
Visit any of the main markets in the city of Ibadan and see the Muslims in their multitudes. In Bodija Market alone, the number of Muslims you will encounter will surprise you. The spare-part market at Gate is another example of where you see a lot of Muslims.
However the sad reality is that this number is of no much importance because the bulk of these Muslims are literally ignorant about their religion and are not free from engaging in one form of shirk or the other.
Thus the ignorance is more evident in their understanding of the concept of Tawheed (the belief in Oneness of Allaah in all ramifications) in Islam.
We are not talking about the technical meaning of Tawheed here, that is better learnt in the madaaris (Ilé Keu) but the general understanding of it which every Muslim is expected to know.
It is a must for a Muslim to know that Allaah - the Mighty Lord - should be free from all forms of ascribing partners to Him.
He the Mighty is One and Only. He has nobody as His helper. He doesn't relinquish any of His Divinity to any creature be it an Angel or a Prophet let alone a mere mortal.
All acts of worship are for Him Alone. Your prayer, your bowing, your fear, your hope, your vows, your slaughters etc, are for Him Alone.
Many Muslims in Yorùbáland do not understand this concept of Tawheed. Muslims go to masaajid while still believing in amulets, paro, asoko, asoro, ifunpa, ihadi, etc.
Many Muslim traders fortify themselves with fetish with which they think will save them from unwarranted loses and evil eyes. Some even go as far as invoking spirits that will make their merchandise progress.
The belief of people are so corrupt that they think it is not possible to rely on Allaah alone. A picture of a chaotic society filled with evil spirits is often created by some people to instil fear in the general populace.
The Christian pastors have affected a lot of Muslims in this respect. They have scared a lot of Muslims out of their senses. They have told them the clog in the wheel of their success are their close ones like their fathers and mothers. How many former Muslims have abandoned their parents in the village because of imaginary enemies?
Those Muslims who remain in Islam do so upon that perpetual fear of the unseen, and this has really impacted their Islam. So they are ever on edge as far as their Islam is concerned.
Allaah the Mighty said about such people and what they call upon:
'And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.
He calls besides Allah unto that which hurts him not, nor profits him. That is a straying far away.
He calls unto him whose harm is nearer than his profit; certainly, and evil Maula (patron) and certainly an evil friend!' Hajj: 11-13
The cause of this problem are the ulamau (the self-styled Muslim scholars). These ulamau donot preach the correct Islam to the people, and quite unfortunately they are the ones closer to the generality of the people.
The main masaajid (central mosques) of most Musilim cities are under the control of such ulamau. What they dish out to the people is a version of Islam not known to the early Muslims, of the time of the Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - and His Companions.
Many of these preachers rather than teach the people Tawheed scare them by saying they need to stand firm with fetish to survive in life.
Therefore many the Muslim societes are still shirk-prone. The belief in nankali and other charms is well embedded. The slogan is 'Ọlọhun ó kọọ aájò' 'Allaah does not disapprove of seeking help (via other means).
Thanks also to the Sufi charlatans that have turned the people to their sources of livelihood. Jalabi is a thriving business which has cost many Muslims their eeman.
In the recent past, the Sufi and Jalabi enclaves cried out that those calling to the correct Sunnah and Tawheed are impoverishing them. Some of them even threatened to go to any length to discredit the people of Sunnah and Tawheed.
By Allaah, if the Muslims in South West Nigeria and Ilorin have been more serious with their Islam by imbibing the correct teachings of Tawheed, things would have turned better than this.
Until the Muslims return to this important basis, we would never cease to see the likes of Tani Ọlọhun and his accomplices among those who put on the garb of Islam while they are a thousand kilometers away from Islam.
So the missing link is Tawheed in Yorùbáland and several other places.