ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF ISLAM ON THE CULTURAL PRACTICES OF NUPE PEOPLE

ABSTRACT
This study was designed to assess the impact of Islam on the cultural practices of Nupe people. The study was therefore, focused on some cultural practices in Nupe-Land in relation to the cultural behaviours of Nupe people. It was observed that the Islamic literature of Nupe people have not coverall the field of their cultural practices especially, the aspect of belief and its relation to some cultural norms like Gboya (masquerade) and Ndaduma (father Niger). It was also observed that there are some prints of cultural practices observed along with Islamic teachings, e.g. belief in veneration of Jinn (Jennu-Nupe:demon), spirits and practice of divination. Another problem observed was the cultural practice of Nupe Muslim women marrying non-Muslims. As a result, the study was intended to determine the impact of Islam on the cultural practices of Nupe people. It was further aimed at positioning the stand of Islam on some Nupe cultural practices against their lawfulness and unlawfulness, and draw up recommendations that will ensure effectiveness in carrying out their obligations or duties as Muslims. Survey design method was adapted and applied for this study. Also, a proportional stratified sampling method was used to secure a uniform sampling fraction (S.F) from stratum. As a result, some Nupe urban and rural settlements were sampled from three states of Nigerian Federation: Niger, Kwara and Kogi. A questionnaire was designed and administered to 1,066 respondents randomly selected from the urban and rural communities of the above named states. Five (5) null hypothesis and five (5) research questions were formulated and analyzed. Forty two (42) items were generated in the questionnaire using summative rating scale of 1 – 3 response scale. The pie chart was used to determine the level of significance and the relationship between variables at 100 %. The result revealed that Islam has made a significant impact on the cultural practices of Nupe people in many facets of their life and instilled in them the zeal to improve their general religious affairs. The result further indicated that there is significance difference between Islam and the cultural practices of Nupe people. However, the research findings showed that there is lack of sufficient Knowledge of Tauhid(Unity of God). Also, there is lack of sufficient Knowledge of Islamic teachings about commercial laws and regulations. The findings further includes the reluctance on the part of some Nupe Muslims to seek or search for authentic information about Islamic teachings on certain issues such as Istikharah(means of seeking solution from God regarding what one intends to do).


1.0       CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Study
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Creator, the Sustainer and the Cherisher. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his house hold, his companions and those who follow their steps till the day of reckoning.

Primarily, Nupe people are predominantly Muslims with a few Christians. Although before the introduction of Islam to Nupe people, they were followers of Traditional religion. That is, before their contact with Islam, their prime religion was idol worshipping (Kutiji). The practice remained dominant up till the time (15thc.) the Muslim merchants from Mande in the North-west of Nigeria and from Hausa as well as Borno came to Nupe land (Kin Nupe) through trade route.

According to Nadel (1942) Nupe people have tremendous symbol in the history of black race. They live in the heart of Nigeria in the low basin formed by the two River Niger and Kaduna. The Nupe occupies a very significant position in Nigeria. It is one of the national ethnic groups in Niger, Kwara and Kogi States of the Federation of Nigeria. They could be found in Diaspora. This explains that Nupe people lived and existed as a kingdom.They flourished in Central Nigeria, and their authority and jurisdiction extended as far as Yagba, Bunu and Kakanda in the North. Equally, they have their cultural practices traditionally observed. Such cultural practices cut across their religious belief, socio-economic activities and administrative policies before the penetration of Islam to the area. Nupe people have various names by which they are referred to by various tribes in Nigeria. For example, they are called Nufawa or Banufe by Hausa people, Abawa by the Gwari of Kuta and Anupeyi or Nife by Gwari of Paiko. Other names by which they are called include, Anufawalei by the Birnin Gwari people, Takpa (Tapa) by the Yoruba people, Anupeciwayi by Ebe and Lapawa by Duma respectively. More interestingly, the Nupe people address themselves as Nupechizhi (Singular, Nupe or Nupechi) meaning Nupe people and „Za-Nupe (Nupe man, or even the Language they speak).

However, writers on Nupe people like Nadel (1942) and Daryll (1970) have established that the Nupe people had twelve (12) political settlements from the beginning: Bida, Doko, Essan, Ewu, Tafyan, Yessa, Eda, Gaba, Nku, Nupeko, Kpanjuru and Towagi. These communities were politically independent of one another. However, they were strongly linked together economically with Idah in Igala land under the ruler ship of Attah of Igala, to whom annual tributes from Nupe chiefs were paid. Notwithstanding, the Nupe people generally are divided into various groups. In the submission of Nadel (1970) they were divided by ethnic descent, tribal segmentation and political alliance as well as by the cleaver age between urban and peasant population. Again, they were divided by the barriers of social class. It is interesting to note that despite the division, they were held together in the kingdom (Nupe kingdom). This also made it possible for them to accommodate themselves or even stick together in their daily affairs inspite of their religious affliation, perception or understanding. It can further be added, that they are organized into a number of closely related territorial groups of which Bini, Zam, Batachi and Kede are the most important.

The historical evidences indicate that the geography of the Nupe land made it imperative for the inhabitants of the area to become mixed. It favoured the intermingling and exchange of ideas of the communities in the area. These communities continue to share together cultural and religious characteristics rooted in their similar geographical environment. (Idris, 2005). This is clearly seen in the evolution of common religious practices with which the Nupe cultures were and are still virtually indistinguishable. Idris (2005) further admitted that the pre-Islamic and pre-christian religious practices did not distinguish the Nupe people from other neighbouring tribes e.g. Yorubas, and there was possibly no single element of Nupe culture, which was shared by all Nupe groups and not also shared by these neighbour groups. If one observes very keenly the practices of some Nupe Muslims today, it shows that there are some prints or elements of the cultural belief practiced along with Islam, e.g. the practice of Gboya (masquerade) associated with gugu‟, Eba diviner (sorcery), Laba (labation) and Shasha (money interest). It futher included the inter-religeous marriage among Nupe people.That is, a Christian man marrying a Muslim woman just as a Muslim man marrying a Christian woman. These type of practices the researcher supposes, were element of cultural prints.

In pre-Islamic era the Nupe traditional culture evolved centuries cutting across religious, social, economic and political systems. Although Nupe had inter-social mingling with other tribes/communities like Hausa, Yoruba and Gwari, yet they are still firmly attached to their cultural beliefs and norms with very few adoptions. The Nupe cultural practices however contained some aspects which were acceptable to Islamic principles, and some which were unacceptable by Islam. It is said that culture flows through the vein of society the way the blood flows through arteries of the human body (Diamond and Muhammad, n.d.). This perhaps might be the reason why some elements of cultural belief still influence the practices of some Nupe Muslims as earlier mentioned.

By the late sixteenth (16th) century as submitted by Idris (2005), Islam had been fairly established in the whole of Nupe land and, Nupe Muslims have partly or wholly adapted themselves to its teachings. Idris further hinted that by the seventeenth (17th) century, the Nupe people had began to use titles associated with spread of Islam from Hausa people, such as Ladan (the caller to Salat), Liman (one who leads in Salat), Nayibi Liman (the deputy Imam), Nda Kitab (the Chief scribe or Secretary-General), Sadeki (dowry), Aduwa (prayer or supplication), Balayi or Musibah (calamity) etc. Around this period also, names of some Etsu Nupes bearing Islamic names were identified. Examples of such Etsus include: Etsu Mamman Waziri, Etsu Abdullahi, Etsu Aliyu, Etsu Ibrahim, Etsu Idrisa and Etsu Malam Jibrilu, etc. On this note, Isa (1976) submitted that the first Etsu to embrace Islam was Etsu Tafian; Mamman Gana, the Fourth Successor of Jegu from Kings of Bini Nupe. In addition, Nadel (1942) submitted that Bida Nupe (the people of Bida) have replaced many Nupe words by words adapted from Hausa and Arabic.e.gMagaji (the Custodian), Mayaki (the war commander), andJagaba (leading commander) etc. The historical account further indicated that in the early eighteenth (18th) century, Islam saw acceleration in the spread through the policies of rulers like Etsu Jibril (C. 1718-1746)

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Item Type: Ph.D Material  |  Attribute: 303 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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