Spiritualism and Functionalism of the Glorious Qur’an in the Eyes of the Yoruba Muslims of Nigeria: A Critical Analysis
Undoubtedly, the spread of Islam beyond Arabian Peninsula is seen as a blessing to the adherents of Islam who take keen interest in the study, learning and teaching of the Glorious Qur’an. Through learning, recitation and memorization of the Glorious Qur’an, a quite number of Yoruba Muslims have developed morally and spiritually while in some instances, its study has not really transformed positively lives of some Yoruba Muslims. Thus, it seems there is a gap between spiritualism of the Qur’an and its societal reformation. The study adopts qualitative research cum observation method to critically analyze the existing literature on the status of the Qur’an among Yoruba Muslims. The study reveals that a large number of Yoruba Muslims see the Glorious Qur’an as a scripture that addresses spiritual and metaphysical problems and also as a book that is more functional during aqiqa (child naming rites), walimatul-nikah (wedding feast) walimatul-Qur’an (ceremony on the completion of the reading of the Qur’an), janazah (funeral rites), Ramadan period and other social functions. The study posits that the applicability and enforceability of the Qur’anic teachings by Yoruba Muslims will go a long way in reforming their decaying society. Yoruba Muslims in Nigeria should see the Glorious Qur’an as a scripture for societal reformation rather than being a mere spiritual or devotional book. The study suggests that Yoruba Muslims should take learning and teaching of the Qur’an more seriously right from the primary school level and that the Yoruba Muslim philanthropists and notable Islamic societies/groups in Yorubaland should support Qur’anic education through the establishment of Qur’an memorization/studies centers, whose curricula will address practicalising the teachings of the Qur’an by individual Muslims beyond its recitation and memorization for competitions.
Keyword: Spiritualism, Functionalism, Quranic Education, Yoruba Muslims, Societal Reformation