The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has stated the litigated Oluwo Central Mosque is an extension of his palace and exclusive asset of his stool.
Oluwo said it is indefensible to forcefully bequeath landlord’s property on his tenant.
Orientating the public on the uniqueness of the Mosque, the Oluwo narrated thus:
” Iwo, unlike many other cities has peculiar history. Its peculiarity is not only limited to its traditional relics but also religious adoption. At early embrace of Islam, 99% of her population accepted to be Muslim. But as expected and obtainable in some other communities, civilization crawled in through Christianity. As such, few converted to Christian.
Islam was first accepted in Iwo by Oluwo Alausa in 17th century. With his status as a king, he commanded many while others were influenced to embrace the religion. Of strange was his resolution to lead Mosque prayers and weekly Jumaat prayer.
Apart from Mecca, only Iwo has synonymous history of Mosque citation on shrine. Oluwo, being a practicing Muslim directed Babalosa (a man in charge of shrines) to accept Islam. He obliged and Oluwo built a Mosque at the spot himself. It should be noted that Babalosa was a staff of the palace, he resided and slept in the palace before and after accepting Islam. He commanded everyone in Iwo to accept Islam.
As such, Oluwo established the Mosque and led the congregation as Imam. Alausa did not only led weekly but also daily prayers. Should he out of the town for special event, he delegated prince to lead prayers. As more assignments and engagements flew in, subsequent Oluwos could not sustain the punctuality most especially Oba Abimbola who later converted to Christian. Irrespective of the King’s religious attachment, all officials of Oluwo Central Mosque are employers of Oluwo delegated to preside over the sacred place affairs. They seek Oluwo’s consent on managerial and religious conducts. They take instructions with total submissiveness to the authority of the monarch. Any actions contrary to the wish of Oluwo is seen as insubordination and could be translated to a tired worker waiting for relief by his employer.
It is visible to the blind that the said Oluwo Central Mosque is an extension of Oluwo palace. There are two Oluwo Mosques within the palace. One is for daily while the other is for weekly Jumaat prayer. Iwo post office, NITEL office, customary court, Iwo City Hall and surrounding shops at Iwo Central Mosque, Iwo were part of the palace. All the shops are till date paying annual due to Oluwo.
“The Mosque belongs to the king. It was built by Oluwo and not leagues of Imam and Alfa as done in some other cities. Oluwo appoints Imam for the Mosque. That is why no Imam can be installed at vacancy in the absence of Oluwo. It is necessary for a free sane and sound mind to note and respect this peculiarity”
Unlike other cities, Oluwo Central Mosque is an exclusive asset of Oluwo. It is called “Mosaasi Oba” meaning “King’s Mosque”. There are many Central Mosques in Iwo because of the heterogeneous nature of Islamic societies and associations. Out of the many, Oluwo prays only in his Mosque (Oluwo Central Mosque) except once in a blue moon formal special request from other central Mosques within the town or he has special religious announcements to be made.
Not only that, Oluwo observes annual fasting and Eid-el-Kabir prayer (Ileya) at his praying ground popularly called ” Yidi Oba”. He doesn’t observe the two annual prayers elsewhere. His Mosques and praying ground command highest congregation because of the desire of the citizens to interact with heir king.
Iwo, due to her early acceptance of Islam and continuous proliferation of Islamic scholars was unanimously tagged as the headquarters of Islam in southwest.
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