By Qudus Abiola Ojomo
• Says Yoruba’s true religion is monotheism
The paramount ruler of Iwoland, the Oluwo of Iwo, His Royal Highness, Oba (Dr.) Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi has disassociated Yoruba people from idol worshipping, saying that kingship in Yorubaland is not about idol worship.
He made the revelation while receiving an award as the “Defender of the Faithful” at the retirement/book launch ceremony of the Executive Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Lakin Akintola, who bowed out of service as a Professor of Islamic Eschatology at the Lagos State University, Ojo after 39 years.
The influential King said, “As the paramount ruler of Iwoland, we have changed the course of history of the Yoruba people. We have let them know that kingship is not about idol worshiping, but that it is the institution of Allah; an institution of God, Whom the Yoruba call Olodumare.”
“One is not expected to worship his father. One does not go to God through an intermediary (like an idol). One should not say “Sangoshanufunmi” “Sangogbemi”, or “Ogungbemi”, what is the meaning of this? One does not need an intermediary to reach God.” He added.
The King further claimed that “The religion of Adam is the religion of the Yoruba and no one knows where Adam comes from, except the Yorubas.”
He said “It is the Yorubas that join names together, for example, “Olamitide” coined to be “Olamide”, Ademituntiji (coined to be Adetunji). So (based on this) what is Adam? He asked.
“Adam comes from our place here (Yorubaland) and the meaning of Adam can only be translated by the Yorubas. Who else knows the meaning of his name?” He asked rhetorically.
“What the English call him (Adam) is “created from the red soil”. What does Yoruba call “Created”? we call it “Ada”. They (English) called it red soil, which is known in Yoruba as “amo” (clay in English). We can’t call it “Iyepe pupa” (loose translation of red soil in Yoruba) because when you mix water with red soil, it becomes clay.” He explained.
The King then said, “So, what they (English) call “Adam” translates to “Ada lati ara amo” (based on the Yoruba way of child naming).
“So, if our father is Adam, what is the religion of the Yorubas?” He queried.
“Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the one who brought salvation, but he is not the one that brought knowing God as One. The one who brought this was Adam (Alayhi Salam) and he is our father (Yorubas). He didn’t speak Arabic. Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Nuh did not speak Arabic,” he continued.
The chants of “Shehu, Shehu, Shehu” reverberated in the hall as the king unravelled what he called “the true history of the Yorubas”.
“So, Muslims are the owners of ‘esin shenbaye or esin abalaye’ (the religion of our forefathers) which we call Islam today (because it is an Arabic name). And we are happy because (Islam) is the way brought by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW),” he added.
“Because we do not have a code of worship, he (Prophet Muhammad) is the one that brought this code of worship and we accepted it. Just like Western education that you accepted from the Whites which you studied to become lawyers, to do innovations like airplanes.”
He further stated, “So, what came from us (Yoruba) is the education of worshipping one God; to worship Allah and that is what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) brought – how to worship God.”
The king reminded the audience that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born into knowing God as one because Prophet Isa and Musa (before him) didn’t speak Arabic, but he (Prophet Muhammad) called all the Prophets Muslims because they accepted God as one.
He further said, “O People, knowing God as one is the religion of our fathers and forefathers. It is the God of Abraham, even the Christians say it. They will say the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. We (Yoruba) now say for us, knowing God as one is the religion of our forefathers and our forefather is Adam.”
The king also claimed that Adam’s wife was from the Yoruba line. He said “Even his wife (Eve), it is we (Yorubas) that can translate her name. The Yoruba name for her is “Hawau” which was coined from “Awawu jade lati ara Adamo”. In English, this means Eve was created from Adam’s ribs!
He continued that “Oduduwa didn’t worship Sango, because the latter was not even birthed when the former was king. He was a grandchild of Oduduwa. So, Yorubas are not idol worshippers.” He asserted.
The king then advised the audience not to turn their forefathers into madmen. This was followed by several questions that further emphasize that idols are not worthy of worship.
He asked them: Where do they give idols food? The audience responded: Orita (at an open junction).
He then asked: Do you eat outside in an open junction? No, replied the audience.
The King also asked: Where do they place their food? People responded: On the floor. Do you eat on the floor?, asked the King.
“Do idols bathe? It is only madmen that do not bathe.” He stated.
The king further emphasized that the religion that knows God as one is the religion of the Yorubas and that people should not go astray by worshipping their fathers and mothers.
He went further to advise his fellow kings (Obas) thus: “The Yoruba Obas are supposed to be the vicegerents of Allah. But, today, we do not see Obas that live up to this. You Alfas (Islamic Scholars) are the messengers of God. Do not relent in reminding us (the kings) of God that we are the vicegerents of God. We are the ones that bear names that are closest to God.”
He added: “They call you (the Obas) Kabiyesi, are you really Kabiyesi? I am not Kabiyesi as you see me.”
“Our word is that, Obas should not worship idols, the one who deserves their worship is the one who employs them, which is Allah. You are a vicegerent of Allah (on earth).” He opined.
“You can see that Obas are not valued in Yorubaland because there is no sign of God in them. It is in the life of Islamic Scholars that people see the signs of God and Islamic scholars should not (necessarily) be above an Oba, but because the Obas worship idols, their life becomes worthless due to that.” He added.
In a joyous mood, the King conclusively stated thus: “I am happy for this award. This one (the award) is looking like gold, deserving of an Ọba. Hope he (referring to the earlier awardee, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai) would not become jealous of me. God bless you, thank you very much.
“Professor Ishaq Lakin. Akintola, you are a good man. Look at all the people here today, please continue the way you do,” he concluded.
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