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.       


Title Page i

Certification ii



Abstract vi

Table of Contents vii


1.0 Introduction 1

1.1 Background to the Study 3

1.2 Aim and Objective of the Study 3

1.3 Scope of the Study 5

1.4 Justification of the Study 6

1.5 Research Methodology 6

1.6 Definition of Terms 7

Notes and References9


2.1 Concept of Imamship in Islam 11

2.2 Imamship among the Salafs 23

2.3 Qualities of an Imam 29

2.4 Roles of Imam in Islam 40

Notes and References43


3.1 History of Ikotun 48

3.1.1 Geographical Location of Ikotun 62

3.2 Islam in Ikotun 63

3.3 Muslims of Ikotun and Other Faith 68

3.4 Challenges of Islam in Ikotun 70

Notes and References 73


4.1 Imamship in Ikotun-Ile 79

4.2 Contributions of Past Imams in Ikotun-Ile Town 82

4.3 The Central Mosque of Ikotun-Ile 86

4.3.1 Socio-Religious Function 87

4.3.2 Administrative Function 90

4.3.3 Centre of Economic Activities 91

4.3.4 Centre of Learning 92

4.4 Methods of Appointing Imams in Ikotun-Ile 93

4.5 Functions of the Imam of Ikotun-Ile 95

Notes and References  97


5.1 Summary 101

5.2 Conclusion 102

5.3 Suggestion and Recommendation 107

Notes and References  112

Bibliography 113

Appendix 116



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.

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY             

The people of Ikotun-Ile before the advent of Islam were reportedly said to be idol worshipers until the era of Oba Tijuku who was the first person to accept and practice Islam in Ikotun-Ile alongside his wife Aminat Iyamole.3

Furthermore, “Iyamole” enaged herself in luring the children to Tafsin and Qur’an lesions at Alfa Garuba’s House Imam Alfa Garuba did propagated the religion of Islam by preaching, teaching youngster and librating the elders from superstition beliefs and thus was given the mantle of Imamship.

It is on this foundation that the Oba Tijuku ordered people to built a demarcation or a spot which was presently known as Ikotun-Ile Central Mosque today.4  


Motivated by the nature of the present society where the institution of Imamship has been abused as a result of the system of appointing them and their qualification which look un-Islamic in almost all its spheres. And the fact that I strongly believe that we can during our time i.e. (the present generation), produce youths who can advance in faithful leadership after studying the times and modes with system of Imamship in Ikotun-Ile Town of Kwara State.

This research therefore, intends to show the lessons or teachings that can be derived from the precedence of the noble Prophet (S.A.W) in the appointment of leader or Imam of the believers.

The aims and objectives of this research are as follow:

1. To show the moral standard or good quality which existed from Imam in Islam.

2. To discusses the virtue of good and qualified Imam to the present and future generation especially among the youth to enhance the righteous leaders in Islam by looking into the discipline, concept and principles. 

3. To propose the pattern to be adopted in Ikotun-Ile Town of Kwara State to the leader(s) as in conformity with the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W).

4. To show a brief history of Imamship in the Ikotun Town Central Mosque.

5. To draw the attention of future generation to some fainted and lossed about the modes of appointing Imams in Islam.

The above highlighted are the aims and objectives of this great research work on the Imamship in Kwara State a case study of Ikorun-Ile Town.


This project covers the Imamship of Ikotun-Ile Town of Kwara State between 1939 – 2017.

With little notation to the other mosque present in Ikotun-Ile, this research work also discusses in details the status of Ikotun town as well as the Ikotun-Ile Central Mosque, the qualities of Imam in Islam, the duties and the privileges of the Chief Imam of Ikotun-Ile, etc. Also in this research work, effort is made in listing names of the reigning and the successive Imam in Ikotun-Ile Town in Kwara State. 


Significantly this research work serves as a form of codified record and documentation of Imamship in Ikotun-Ile. Hence, there are numbers of works written on Ikotun-Ile Community, Oyun Local Government of Kwara State. But to the best of our knowledge, available records show that there is no single research work yet on the Imamship in Ikotun-Ile Community in Kwara State. This is where the study stands out to bridge the gap.


The method adopted for this research is historical. The sources used includes books, articles and the internet cites that are relevant to the topic. 

Other sources include Qur’an, Book of Hadith; among which are Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim, 40 traditions of an-Nawawi’s Journals of Islamic Studies, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia of Islam, textbooks, pamphlet and other relevant publications.


1. Imam: A religious man who leads the prayers in a mosque or the spiritual leader in Islam, a leader of congregational prayer in a mosque.5 

2. Mu’athin (Aperun): The caller of prayers and Jumat prayer.

3. Pagan: A person not adhering to any major or recognized religion, especially a heathen or non abrahmist, followers of a pantheistic or nature worshiping religion, neopagan.6

4. Tafsir: The word ‘tafsir’ comes from ‘fassara’ which means to explain to expound, to elucidate, to interpret.7 

5. Ikotun-Ile: A town in which its people had tribal marks in the right side of checks but non on the left side. It is located in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

6. Olukotun: This is the title of the king of Ikotun-Ile land.

7. Oyo-Ile: Old Oyo Empire which collapsed. 

8. Bale: The local chief in charge of the community welfare. 

9. Central Mosque: A building use for public worship by Muslim.

10. Islam: Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a religious text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Allah) and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah, composed of accounts called Hadith) of Muhammad (C. 570 – 8 – June 32 CE).8

11. Egungun (Masquerade): A social gathering of person wearing masks and often fantastic customs.9

12. Khalifa: The leader of Muslim community or particular nation.


1. Muhammad Ali, “The Religion of Islam” (Buirut, Darul-l-Kitab, 1981), 205.

2. Yusuf Ali, Qur’an Arabic Translation and Commentary, Qur’an 17:71.

3. Oral Interview with Alh. Bello Ori-Aje, A Cleric, Age 98 Years, Conducted on August 10, 2017 at Ori-Aje’s Compound, Ikotun-Ile.

4. Oral Interview with Mall. Jimoh Nanman Yaso, A Cleric, Age 91, 11th September 16, 2017, at Araromi’s Compound.

5. A.S. Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 7th edition, U.S.A, Oxford University Press (2005). 744.

6. Ibid. 708. 

7. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an, Translation and Commentary 1st Edition, Lebanon, Publishing Printing Distribution (1934), 204.

8. Abdul-Rasaq O. Kilani, Islamology, Lagos, Jetins International Limited (2007), 266.

9. A.S. Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 7th edition, U.S.A, Oxford University Press (2005), 1041.



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