1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Among the core fundamental human rights allotted to every Nigerian citizen is the fundamental right of freedom of religion. Also, Nigerians, like many of their counterparts across the world, have the rights to peaceful religious assembly and association , without being disgraced, discriminated against or trampled upon provided it is done without any sole purpose of breakdown of law and order . Religion constitutes the core of every human being, it is “a personal conviction/awareness of the existence of a supreme being or of supernatural powers or influences controlling one’s own, humanity’s, or all nature’s destiny.” While Friedrich Schleiermacher in the late 18th century conceived religion as the “feeling of absolute dependence on a supernatural being” indirectly reiterating the truth of man’s nature, Jonathan Haidt, a known self-proclaimed atheist in an interaction with CNN, had the following to say about religion, hence its importance: Whether or not you believe in God, religions accomplish something miraculous. They turn large number of people who are not kin into a group that is able to work together, trust each other, and help each other. They are living embodiments of e pluribus Unum (from many, one). No other species on the planet has ever accomplished that. Bees and ants are great at it, but they can only achieve that because they are all sisters. On his part, the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, on the nature of man and the need to interact with other members of natural species described man as a social animal. Centuries later, the German philosopher, Carl Marx, submitted in 1844 that “religion is the opium of the people.” The reality of today’s life is that there is no escape from religion and there is no doubt about its indispensability. It is inevitable that One must pass through it at one stage or another in life: at birth, at marriage and at death. Thus, in a country like Nigeria whose Muslim population is estimated to be about 50.1% of her total population, it is only natural to find unprecedented number of Islamic organizations in the country. The relevance of history lies in its cognitive value which made Fafunwa to posit that memory is to an individual what history is to nations. Islamic organizations have become firmly rooted in The Nigerian society especially in the northern and western part of the country so much that the history of Islam in Nigeria cannot be told without them. Reasons would vary about why individuals “belong” to particular religious groups rather than others, the core issue is that all Islamic organisations were formed, helping the deprived, gaining religious knowledge and insight and thus making believers become better Muslims with a view to propagating Islam in other to impact on the life of the people. From the simple individual Da’wah efforts and mosque affiliations of the pre-amalgamation years to the modern and organised “Alasalatu groups ” and charismatic Muslim organisations especially in the Southwest zone of Nigeria, Islamic organisations have fully evolved overtime. Many of them are thriving though almost all of them may be facing the same direction of practice.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The misconception of Islam by people of other religion and more especially Muslims of different sects has become a cause for concern as there are a lot of misconceptions as regards the impact of Islam on Muslims generally. Islam has grossly been misinterpreted to mean a religion of violence and has had little or no influence on Muslims.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of Islam on the people of offa in Kwara state. Other specific objectives of the study are to ;
1. To examine the history of Islam in Nigeria.
2. To determine the typology of Islamic organizations in offa
3. To examine the management of Islamic affairs in Nigeria.
4. To examine the contributions of Islamic organizations to national development.
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the impact of Islam on the people of offa in Kwara state?
2. What are the typologies of Islamic organizations in Nigeria?
3. How are Islamic affairs managed in Nigeria?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no impact of Islam on the people of offa
H1: There is an impact of Islam on the people of offa
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to the Muslim community in Nigeria as it would reveal the impact of Islam on the people. The study would also benefit students, scholars and researchers who are developing a further study on the subject matter.
1.7. SCOPE AND LIMITATION ON THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the impact of Islam on the people of offa people in Kwara state.