Islam is a religion and a way of life for the Muslims, it consist of worship of the creator and goodness to others to ensure a just society for all. Salat is a very important duty in Islam as it distinguishes Muslims from others. It is an institution of the Muslim congregation in a locality with the Imam as the head and Mosque as his office. Nonetheless, it is on this background therefore that this research aims at discussing the institution of Imamship in Ikotun-Ile Town Central Mosque with a view to (i) Examine the concept of Imamship in Islam (ii) Document the historical origin of Ikotun-Ile (iii) Identify the pattern adopted in Ikotun-Ile to appoint leaders. (iv) Assess the contributions of earlier Muslim to the spread of Islam in Ikotun-Ile (v) Give the historical account of Imamship in Ikotun-Ile town Central Mosque (vi) Highlight the problems encountered by earlier Muslims in Ikotun-Ile. The study has adopted historical and descriptive methods of research. The historical method has assisted in rendering the historical account of Ikotun-Ile town as well as the contribution of the earlier Muslim in Ikotun to the spread of Islam. While the descriptive method has helped in describing the past and present activities such as the methods of appointing Imam in Ikotun Central Mosque as well as the duties and functional roles of Imams in Ikotun Central Mosque. The major findings of the study were: (i) Most of our present day Imams are easily brought over when it comes to monitory matter owing to the fact that they are not placed on regular salaries. (ii) People seek for the position of Imamship using all means possible because of its attractiveness and respect. (iii) In some places, the position of Imamship is based on blood relationship or hereditary. (iv) Some people have inordinate ambitions that lead then to resort to evil ways in their bid to actualize their dreams of being an Imam. The study therefore concluded by recommending that our present day Imams should emulate the deeds and good character of the Prophet and most of the scholars should join hand in condemning the in ordinate ambition of those people who resort to evil ways in their bids to actualize their dreams of being an Imam.
The compatibility of Islam to humanity covers every aspect of human endeavors, political, social, economical and spiritual life. Islam is a universal religion followed by over one and half billion people living in different areas of the world.1 The teachings of Islam seek to protect people from harm and mischief and serve their interest through the effective use of given resources.
These objectives must be achieved within the framework of justice dignity, and benevolence. The teaching of Islam provide a philosophy and a plane for people to live by. This research work intends to affirm the fact that Imamship is inevitable in any given situation where ritual prayer (Salat) is observed between two or more believers. In this sense, the institution of Imamship in Ikotun-Ile Town Kwara State forms the basis of this research. This is because the institution of Imamship in Ikotun-Ile town among others is worthy of emulation for any society which intends to discuss this reputation of the faithfuls.
In the same vein, this research emphasizes the significance of Imamship in Islam because on the Day of Accountability, every individual will be summoned with their Imams. Allah says:
يَوۡمَ نَدۡعُواْ كُلَّ أُنَاسِۢ بِإِمَٰمِهِمۡۖ فَمَنۡ أُوتِيَ كِتَٰبَهُۥ بِيَمِينِهِۦ فَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ يَقۡرَءُونَ كِتَٰبَهُمۡ وَلَا يُظۡلَمُونَ فَتِيلٗا ٧١
(And remember) the Day when we shall call together all human beings with their Imams so: wherever is given his record in his right hand, such will unjustly in the least.2 (Qur’an, 17:71).
The above injunction reveals that we are all going to be accountable for all our deeds, behind our leaders.