American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Reconsidering the influence of Islam on Yoruba cultural heritage, 1930-1987
Akeem Abiodun Oladiti

Previous studies on the activities of Islam have focused on the contribution of the religion to state building [Last: 1967], the nineteenth century jihad [Smith: 1961] and its phenomenal expansion under colonial rule [Gbadamosi: 1978]. However, this present article provides an alternative view on how Islamic literacy has affected Yoruba cultural heritage with specific focus on the area of religion education and language. The period covered in the present study (1930-1987) was epitomized by the full Islamization of Yoruba society through the establishment of structures which undermined the preservation and legitimacy of Yoruba indigenous religion, education, and culture. My data for this paper comes from archival materials from the Ibadan office of the Nigerian National Archives. Oral interview collected from a spectrum of people, traversing generations, social class, and gender complement and supplement my archival sources. Islamic literacy has brought about cultural changes in the mode of language, beliefs and education of the Muslims in Yoruba society. The Arabic schools in Yoruba society promoted cultural influence with the establishment of structures which undermined the preservation of Yoruba religion, language and education.

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