ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF EBIRA TRADITIONAL PRACTICES ON MUSLIMS’ FAITH

ABSTRACT
This study aimed at bringing out the influences of traditions and culture of Ebira people on the practice of Islam in Ebiraland. It was observed that Islam was resisted by the pagans of Ebiraland, but eventually accepted it through peaceful means that condoned the practice of both systems together. This is because the traditions of Ebiraland such as belief in masquerade, Ori festival, divination with rosary, reincarnation and witchcraft have some influence in the life of some Muslims in Ebiraland; hence the mixing of Islam and traditional practices of Ebira people become common among most Muslims, especially in their marriage and aspects of faith. The study was limited to the five local government areas located in the central senatorial district of Kogi State. Survey design method was used where a proportional stratified sampling method was used for the percentage sampling fraction. A Questionnaire was designed and administered to both scholars and Muslim traditionalists. 430 respondents were randomly selected. Five (5) Null hypothesis and (5) research questions were formulated and analysed at 0.05 alpha level of significance using Wilcoxon sign rank test computing hypothesis one, while spearman rank order correlation test computing hypothesis Two - Five. The result of the findings revealed that there is a relationship existing between religious ignorance and prevalence of tradition and culture in Ebiraland, which has tremendous influence on their religious practices. Similarly, there is lack of perfect comprehension of the knowledge of Tauhid and Islamic teachings, as well as inability to distinguish Islamic tradition from that of Ebira culture and tradition. Hence, the research suggested the establishment of religious institutions and organisations that are fully acquainted with the misleading traditions and cultures of Ebiraland to evolve a training guide for the youths, old males and females through the true and perfect teachings of Islam. The research also suggested modification in the existing mode of preaching and teaching of Islam in the area of study.


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Study
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All thanks be to Allah who revealed the Qur‟an, the ultimate guidance, for the entire mankind. May His peace and blessings be upon the seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (S.A.W), who demonstrated the perfect way of life. In the same vein, may the Almighty Allah be pleased with the companions of the Prophet (SAW) and members of his family who sincerely delivered the trust of the religion to generations after them.

Islam is a religion which encompasses all that man requires. Therefore, the religion demands total submission to the dictates of the Shari‟ah. The person who willingly and sincerely submits to the wills of Allah is known as a Muslim. The religion of Islam is not only concerned with the spiritual aspect of man, but also it covers all aspects that are required in the life of mankind. Notwithstanding, the religion accepts and assimilates other cultures, that conform to its religious belief system and moral values. Those cultures that are not in line with the moral teachings of Islam or not in touch with the belief system of Islam are totally rejected. This is in line with the following Qur‟anic instruction.

                     ﮲ﮱ ﮰﮯﮮﮭ ﮻﮺ ﮹ ﮸﮷﮶﮵﮴



٨٠٣ :ةرقبلا

O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islâm (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islâmic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). Verily! He is to you a plain enemy. (Q:2:208)

Islam spread to Ebiraland in early 1856. Ebira people are majorly divided into three dialects, (Ebira Opete, Ebira Etuno and Ebira Koto) but they have a common culture which is not separated from their system of belief. (Abdullahi 2013 and Shaibu 2013). Thus, the strong attachment of Ebira people to their culture could be a factor responsible for the difficulty in separating their cultures from religious practices after embracing Islam. This attitude therefore has adverse effects on their religious faith and moral values. In view of this, this research is designed to study the extent of the influence of traditional practices in the religious practice of the Ebira people.

1.2       Statement of the Problem
The religion of Islam comprises detail guides to all that affect man‟s life in this world and in the hereafter. This could be the simple reason why the religion demands its followers to be strict about obeying the religious injunctions in all matters affecting their lives. Similarly, the religion is not silent in exposing all that could ruin the faith, health, personality and other aspects of man‟s development. However, in spite of the number of years that Islam has been in existence in Ebiraland, their unguided cultures and traditions are still upheld and have negative impact on their religious and mundane affairs as Muslims. This trend has continued to the extent that some learned Muslims in the contemporary time appeared to be silent and hence turn away from the fact that the people are heading to the wrong direction. On the other hand, some Muslim scholars decided to overlook or compromise with some misleading traditional practices in Ebira land. Therefore, some Muslims consider no religious implication in mingling their marriage practices with tradition and culture of Ebiraland, and Christian method of marriage. The cause of this may be attributed to many factors. Of course, it is quite disheartening for a Muslim to uphold an unguided culture at the expense of the teachings of the true religion. Many would observe that such attitude could be as a result of ignorance about the beauty of the Islamic way of life or because of the inevitable nature of their culture and traditions, or it may be attributed to the misconception or misappropriation of the Islamic objectives. If this misguided behaviour therefore, is not addressed, what would be the fate of other Islamic devotional exercises since Islam demands total submission? These issues made it necessary to undertake this research to enlighten and guide people to the proper Islamic practices.

1.3       Objectives of the Study
The study has the following as its objectives:

i.            To examine the nature of the traditions and cultures of Ebiraland in the light of Islam

ii.             To evaluate the extent of the influence of cultures and traditions of Ebiraland on the lives of Muslims.

iii.             To assess the factors that are responsible for the promotion of the traditions and cultures of Ebiraland among the Muslims

iv.            To appraise the implications of the cultures and traditions of Ebiraland on the Islamic faith of the Muslims.

v.            To proffer solutions in the light of Shari‟ah to the effect of cultures and traditions of Ebiraland on the lives of Muslims.

1.4       Research Questions
i.            What is the nature of the traditions and cultures of Ebiraland in relation to Islamic view?

ii.             To what extent do the cultures and traditions of Ebiraland affect the lives of the Muslims?

iii.             What are the factors that are responsible for the promotion of traditions and cultures of Ebiraland among the Muslims?

iv.            What are the implication of these influences of the traditions and cultures of Ebiraland on the Islamic faith of the Muslims?

v.            What are the possible solutions from the Islamic guides to the effects of the traditions and cultures of Ebiraland on the lives of Muslims?

1.5       Hypotheses
i.            There is no significant difference between the culture and tradition of Ebira people and Islamic cultures and tradition.

ii.             There is no significant relationship between traditions and cultures of Ebira people and the religious practices of the Muslims in Ebiraland.

iii.             There is no significant relationship between religious ignorance and the prevalence of tradition and cultures of Ebira people among the Muslims

iv.            There is no significant relationship between upholding the traditions and cultures of Ebira people with the prevalence of evil and crime among them.

v.            There is no significant relationship between shari‟ah percepts on addressing effects of traditions and culture of Ebiraland.

1.6       Significance of the Study
The essence of the Islamic faith lies in the conviction and submission of a person to the injunctions of Shar‟iah. Thus, one of the principal issues which Islam aims at destroying is every culture that promotes immorality, as well as it displays the capacity of destroying religious faith. Certainly, some of the cultures and traditions of Ebiraland either promote immorality or ungodly attitude. In view of this, any research that stands to expose those cultures and traditions that are responsible for the deterioration or decline in Islamic faith, with a view to providing solutions, is of great significance not only in safeguarding the faith of the Muslims from alien pollutions, but also in promoting the spirit of faith as well as encouraging others to accept the religion of Islam. This of course would serve as a means by which the attitude of the Muslims would concentrate on the guidance of Islam and hence the prevalent evils and crimes in Ebiraland would be brought to an end or minimized. These changes will therefore provide the environment with security, and ensure peaceful co-existence among people, and hence making all development plans to come to fruition.

1.7       Scope Delimitation of the Study
The research revolves around the nature and the influence of cultures and traditions of Ebiraland on the lives of the Muslims. The study therefore is restricted to Ebira people who are situated in several states of Nigeria, but predominantly covers the whole of Kogi central senatorial district and Kogi local government boundaries with the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa State and Edo State. The research revolves around Ebiraland and is restricted to Ebira Tao who are found in five local government areas: Okene, Adavi, Okehi, Ajaokuta and Ogori-Magongo.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 87 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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