“For this reason do your utmost to supplement your faith with virtue, your virtue with your knowledge, your knowledge with self control, your self control with patience, your patience with piety, piety with brotherly affection and your brotherly affection with love. Exert yourselves the more then, brothers, to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these things you will never stumble.” II Peter 1:5-10.
Acts of worship are not restricted to any particular race, people or nation. The Isrealites who were reputed to be elect of God were told by God that all mankind is ordained and mandated by God himself to worship him regularly from time to time and from age to age. The holy prophet Isaiah was informed by God to prophesy to this effect.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasized to his followers that the essence of true religion or faith (IMAN) consist in the practice or percepts of the holy Quran as also the Maxims of the apostles and messengers of Allah. He considered as liars and hypocrites those of his followers who teach one thing and practice the contrary. Therefore a look at the following passages from the Hadith or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad are instructive on this matter of what constitutes the essence of true religion or Iman.
70’: There was no messenger sent before me by God to mankind but found friends and companions, who embraced his maxims and become his disciples, after which were born those who gave our percepts which they did not practice and did what they were not ordered to do; therefore those who oppose them with the hand; with the tongue and with the heart are Muslims and there is not anything in Imam besides this, even as much as a grain of mustard seed.
74’: The greatest enemies of God are those who are entered into Islam and do acts of infidelity and who without causes shed blood of man.
80’: Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said the greatest crimes are to associate another with God to vex your father and mother, murder your own species to commit suicide and to swear to a lie’.
In the traditional religion which is falsely called ‘Paganisim’ or Heathenism but which has been called Olodumareism by Professor Most Reverend and Patriarch Emmanuel Bolaji Idowu, but which I call ‘Orunmilaism’ as did my father Aare and Oluwo Eyinwa; High Chief Adegboyega Awofala, all the moral and social virtues taught in the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran are equally enjoined in the sacred message revealed to Orunmila through the Holy Ifa in the 256 Odu.
The Holy Ifa thus constitutes the holy writ of the Africans and the Yorubas in particular as I earlier stated. Every Yoruba traditional worshipping sect base it doctrines and moral code on the Holy Ifa of which Orunmila is the Archpriest and Chief Exponent. The Majorities of the Yoruba deities look up to Orunmila and the Holy Ifa for guidance and directions. It is for this reason that it is almost impossible for any step to be taken without asking the Holy Ifa within the Yorubas.
Decisions such as picking of traditional rulers, dates for traditional festivities, choosing location for settlements in the time past and even when there are important journey to be made or in time of emergencies due to pestilence. Since everything done by the Yoruba religious sect and Ogboni itself is based on the doctrines of Holy Ifa- the religion of the Yorubas and the Africans can be called ‘ORUNMILAISM’. Thank God today we have ijo Orunmila Adulawo Mimo (the Holy church of Orunmila or the church of Holy Orunmila) functioning well in Nigeria.
The moral and social virtues taught in the African religion will be that contained in the Holy Ifa; and these are those taught, practiced and enforced on the Ogboni in any shape or form. What are these moral and social values?
They are as I said before the same which are taught in the holy Bible and Quran and which constitute the essence of true religion.
All these moral and social values are echoed in the several stanzas of the Odu Ifa (Ifa Corpus). Let me quote one passage from Odu on OGBONI. On OGBONI here is a very short but relevant extract from a lengthy stanza on its origin, aim, objectives and purpose.
E ku iru awo ode Egba
E ku agba ni dida awo ode Ijesha
Ara Owu ni a nbu s’ eni owu
Adifa fun agbagba mefa
Ti nwon nlo ree tore ogbo lo’tu Ife
Nwon ni ayafi tin won balemu omi otito
Ki nwon si ma se jeje
Salutation to serfdormthe cult of Egba land
Greetings to Longetivity the cult of Ijesa land
The inhabitants of Owu are caused as Owu
These declared Oracle to six elderly men
Who were going to Ife city to seek old age
They were urged to drink the water of truth
And comport themselves most politely and gently.
In conclusion, therefore, Traditional religion vis-à-vis Christianity and Islam share the same common virtues and moral doctrines which are the essence of true religion.
Prince Awofala Awolola Awoniyi, MROF,FAHP
The Asipa of Eyinwa Land
Odogbolu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Culled from: https://www.naijaroyaltyculture.com/the-essence-of-true-religion-ifa-christianity-islam-in-context-with-tradition/