The Begining and Growth of Islamic Religion in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà
Islam was introduced to Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà by Mallam Mohammed Mustapha in 1895. Mallam Mohammed Mustapha who hailed from Maiduguri, Borno State was the first muslim in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. Not long afterwards, Mallam Gbadamosi returned home to Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà as a muslim. Mallam Aliu Balogun also returned home from Ìjẹ̀bú-Ode as muslim and was later turbaned Balogun-Adinni, Chief Mallam Gbadamosi was from Òkènísà Quarter of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà while Mallam Aliu Balogun was from Odo-Oja Quarter in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.
Others are Mallam Buraimoh from Odo-Ese quarter and Mallam Ladani son of Odole. These four were the first set of indigenes of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà to accept the Islamic faith. They all co-operated with Mallam Mohammed Mustapha.
Mallam Gbadamosi became the first indigenous Chief Imam of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà in 1905. Oba Arójòjoyè I ascended the throne of his fore-fathers in 1910 and upon request for land to build a mosque by the then Chief Imam and other members of the Muslim Community, Oba Arójòjoyè I gave land free to them to build a mosque. The first mosque was built there and later the second.
In 1925 Chief Imam Gbadamosi died and the post was vacant for seven years. In 1932 Mallam Sadiku became the second Chief Imam of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. He died in 1957 after spending Twenty-five years. After Mallam Sadiku’s death, all members of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Muslim Community both at home and outside including those of Ibadan, Ilorin, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Eko etc. convened a meeting where the decision was taken on the appointment of Mallam Saliu Alubankudi as the new Chief Imam of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. He was turbaned as the third Chief Imam of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà in 1958.
Till date, Chief Imam Saliu Alubankudi was the first most progressive Chief Imam of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, with many achievements to his credit. This includes:
- i) The Chief Imam went on holy pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in 1965. Prince Arójòjoyè, the son of Oba ArójòjoyèI was the first Ijesa son to have performed the Holy Pilgrimage to Mecca which took him three months to accomplish.
- ii) A modern and befitting mosque was built and it was dedicated on 20th April, 1973. The ceremony was performed by Alhaji Lateef Adegbite who was then the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs in Western State.
iii) Under the leadership of Chief Imam Saliu Alubankudi, a lot of efforts were made towards the upliftment of the Islamic religion in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. On 18th May, 1991 Chief Imam Saliu Alubankudi died.
After many meetings and deliberations within the Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Muslim Community and those of Ilorin, Calabar, Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Eko (Lagos) and non-indigenes, Alhaji Amodu Adu was unanimously appointed as the 4th Chief Imam of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà on 6th September, 1991. He agreed after consultation with members of his family on 13th September 1991. He was turbaned on Saturday 12th October, 1991.
After his dedicated and meritorious service to Allah, Alhaji Amodu Adu joined his ancestors on February 2nd 1997. The entire Muslim Community then agreed together to appoint Alhaji Abdul Wahab as the next Imam on April 18, 1997. He was turbaned on Oct 19, 1997 at the Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Central Mosque. He later became the Chairman of the League of Imams and Alfas in Oriade Branch and the Chairman of the Muslim Community in Oriade Local Government, Osun State.
A big Multipurpose Hall that can contain about 400 people was recently built in Muslim Primary School, donated to the Muslim Community by Alhaji Saliu Alubankudi, an indigene of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà in 2013. An indigene of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, Alhaja Fausat Iyabode Akangbe was also recently turbaned Iya Adinni at the Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Central Mosque in April 2013. She donated a big well sank for the use of the Muslim Community.
SOURCE: ÌJÈBÚ-JÈSÀ THE AUTHENTIC HISTORY (ÌJÈBÚ-ÈGBÒRÒ, City Set On The Hill) Researched by: Rev. (Dr.) G.O. ÈKÉMODÉ J. Olásebìkan ÒNÍ Chief Victor A. FÁTÍRÈGÚN Chief P.O. OLÁTÚNBÒSÚN Edited and Updated by: Babáníyì BABÁTÓPÉ ÌJÈBÚ-JÈSÀ UNIONS CONFERENCE (IJUC)