A STUDY INTO THE PRACTICE OF WASIYAH AMONG THE MUSLIMS IN ABEOKUTA
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
The waves of Islam is felt in nook and cranny of the world as the result of its sound seed which is its creed planted on a fertile land of Arabian Peninsula in fourteen hundred years ago by the able Planter, the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad bn Abdillah bn Abdilmutalib. The growth of the seed was rapid and miraculous with the production of gigantic trees across the globe; Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North
and South America. The companions of the Prophet like Abubakr, „Umar, „Uthman and a host of others contributed greatly to the spread of Islam into the aforementioned continents after the death of the Prophet. Africa felt the presence of Islam during the life of the Prophet in 6th century and this continued after his death. West African empires also were flourished with Islamic civilization through the effort of Islamic traders and clerics who travelled to Biladus-Sudan, Mali, Ghana, Songhai, Timbuktu etc. The unflinching interest of the Jihadists in spread of Islam made the incursion of Islam in the 7th and 8th century to Nigeria a reality before the creation of Nigeria as a country in 1900. Islam had spread to virtually all the northern territories between 10th and 14th centuries. Its incursion to Yorubaland was in the 16th century with the help of both traders and Islamic clerics who settled at Oyo Ile during the reign of AlafinAjiboyede.1
Abeokuta which is the capital of Ogun State since 1976 had felt the impact of Islam before the creation of Ogun State. People of Abeokuta was known as Egbas who were people of civilization as at 1830 in all spheres of life before the advent of colonial master.2
Islam had been in Egba forest by 18th century when the Owus(the fourth kingdom in Egba) came as refugees seeking protection from Egba, a Fulaani Mallam accompanied the Owus to Abeokuta and he began the practice of Islam.
Itoko and Ijemo were known to be the originators of Egbaland after which people from Orile-Ake joined the two. There were some personalities in Itoko who strived for the spread of Islam in Abeokuta from Orile to Adagba in 1829, they were; Saliu, the Baale of Itoko, Muhammad Etu-Kosi, the Alari of Itoko and Ahmad Mogaji, the Oloko of Itoko land. The number was few then because of the activities of these people, Islam became a household name till date in the history of Egba which comprises of Ake, Oke-Ona, Gbagura and Owu kingdoms.
Wasiyah had been made obligatory at the inception of Islam with the total amount of money, property and estate given as gift to the relative heirs, parents in particular.