“The concept of a Muslim praying only in Arabic language … indirectly subjugates Yoruba culture …” – Mojeed A. Amidu

July 1, 2016

Faith, Nigeria

It is only in Nigeria that people are always more catholic than the Pope. Most of all these so called religious leaders only use religion to weaken the reasoning of their sheepish followers. What is the point promoting the Arab culture at the detriment of our own rich culture? Already, the concept of a Muslim praying only in Arabic language and not his mother tongue is indirectly subjugating the Yoruba culture and Arabizing our psyche. I’ve looked through the entire Koran and unable to find where Muslims are specifically instructed to pray in Arabic language or to wear any kind of attire. Hijab is Arabic culture and not Yoruba culture. To me God is interested in your heart and not your attire. Hijab is nothing but a show and to draw unnecessary attention to oneself. Nigeria will remain backward until we all realise that religion is a personal thing and must not in anyway be a national issue.


Mr. Mojeed A. Amidu, a Muslim as the name implies, submitted comments to an online posting [Nigeria’s The Guardian] on Nigeria’s commonsense-defying fixation on religious extremism. TOLA.

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2016. 2:20 p.m. [GMT]


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4 Comments on ““The concept of a Muslim praying only in Arabic language … indirectly subjugates Yoruba culture …” – Mojeed A. Amidu”

  1. bisisowunmig Says:

    This is the most heartening news I have ever read from a Nigerian Muslim!

    Mr Amidu is to be highly commended for his profound and courageous articulation of the fundamental truths that religion: is a personal matter between one and one’s God; is also a matter of the heart and not ostentatious display; can be abused to subjugate and manipulate uncritical and docile people. Also that God understands ALL languages and no one language is the “holy” and therefore the only one to be used in communicating with God.

    Language is an important aspect of non- material culture and is a very potent medium for use in worship as it articulates in ways unique to each language the deep feelings and yearnings of the soul. Indigenous languages are consequently the best medium of communication in religious matters.

    Religion should be used in freeing and not enslaving, controlling and subjugating people. It is a gross, self-serving, selfish, and hypocritical abuse of religion to make religion “an opium” of the people.

    I pray that the inner eyes and intellect of many more Yoruba Muslims will be freed to think like Mr. Amidu. Knowledge is power and gives wisdom!

    Mr Amidu must be commended and not vilified by his fellow Yoruba Muslims!


    Sent from my iPad




  2. F Bakare Says:

    I would not know if Mr Mojeed A Amidu will be able to read this. I am not joining issues with him to give a little bit of enlightenment on the part referred to him as being quoted. That all Muslims pray in Arabic language shows the Uniqueness of the Islamic religion.

    We pray in that language all over the world irrespective of your race or status. It is not assumed to be promoting the Arabic culture.
    Another uniqueness of Islam religion is that any Muslim can pray in any Masjid in the world. It does not ,mean of you are NASFAT, Ansardeen, Islahudeen or Ahhamadiya.

    That is why, irrespective of where one comes from in the world and your Islamic sect, we all pray together in the holy Masjid of Haram in Makkah.

    Prophet Mohammad (SAW), being an Arab, could not read nor write. He was taught the Quran by angel Jubril (Angel Gabriel) in his language and this was passed down to the adherents in the same language. When prayers are being said in Arabic, those who learned Arabic language understand what is being said. How odd will it look if one is in the Yoruba speaking area in Nigeria and the prayer is said in that language, but different in the North, in the East, in fact in all the more than 250 languages in Nigeria alone talk less of other languages in the world.

    He confused this or misses it with hijab. It is compulsory in Islam for a woman or lady to cover her head and/or some other parts of her body and is a matter of convenience to those who choose to do it. It is not only in Islamic doctrine that we have it. It is compulsory for the Rev Sisters of the Catholic. Even they have to wear it on mufti dresses. So there is no promoting any Arabic culture. Luckily he could see verses in the Quran that emphasises this.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thanks for this contribution but I disagree with you on a single point. I believe that prayers being said in Arabic is definitely cultural imperialism.

      As most experts have always pointed out – not about Muslim religion as I know nothing about the faith – language is THE main anchor of any culture.

      As an example, the Catholics used to say all masses in Latin. We both have Catholic School in our educational backgrounds but unlike me, you were a little late to meet Latin Masses. I can still chant most of “I believe in God” (Credo in unum Deum); “Glory to God in the highest” (Gloria in Excelsis Deo) … in Latin but as we both know, they are now not only chanted in English but in every language where Catholics are all over the world, including Yoruba.

      Of course there’s nothing wrong in Moslem adherents saying your prayers in Arabic; my comments concern mainly the idea that it is not cultural imperialism to MAKE Yorubas or any other group chant prayers in a language they understand not.

      Finally on a personal note, I love Yoruba prayers, especially the Litany when said in Yoruba. The hymns, too, have deep and relevant meanings for and to me when I sing the Yoruba versions because I often – at home where I sing a lot – place them side by side to share the excellent translation by Bishop Ajayi Crowther.
      Everywhere I go in the world, I carry my Yoruba Prayer/Hymn Book. Of course, understanding the English is no problem for me but the Yoruba touches me in a way that the English does not.

      Sincere regards and thanks, as always.



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