A man approached me after Salāh on a Jumu’ah day to inquire about the permissibility or otherwise of ẹ̀wààbejì (beans for a set of twins). That just reminded me of how, long time ago, women used to flood the streets of Lagos with their twin babies singing relentlessly, dancing exhaustively and begging laughably for money.
This Monday morning, I saw again what I had long seen – a mother of two approaching me with mesmeric prayers so I could be moved to lay my hand on hers with some cash. With no pity felt, I passed by her, and looking back, I saw that she had all her limbs properly functioning. “So, why would she turn herself into a beggar?” I soliloquized.
It was a usual customary practice in the days of old that when a set of twins was born, the parents must fundamentally feed family, friends and neighbours with beans prepared the ceremony day. Consequently, the Ifá oracle would be consulted to know if the babies would love or free their parents from dancing round town for an appointed time – one year, two, three etc.
These two practices were usually done to have the Èreèbejí (which would later be moulded and kept in the house) appeased. Culturally speaking, while servitude was being paid to the Òrìsààbejí, people would be periodically served with beans for further protection on the babies, and this might last even till old age.
I never knew this barbaric act still happened until I was confronted with the two incidents aforementioned. I told the man, not mincing my words, that it was impermissible. Given the little background above, one would see that Èreèbejí, ẹ̀wààbejì and dancing round town with twin babies are polytheistic. And anyone who lays claim to the practice of the Islāmic religion shouldn’t be found culpable in that. The implication of an act of shirk (polytheism) done by a Muslim is that all his acts of worship previously done would be destroyed and the rewards forfeited. Allāh said in this regard (while addressing the Prophet):
وَلَقَدۡ أُوحِیَ إِلَیۡكَ وَإِلَى ٱلَّذِینَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ لَىِٕنۡ أَشۡرَكۡتَ لَیَحۡبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِینَ.
“It has already been revealed to you [Prophet] and to those before you: ‘If you ascribe any partner to God, all your work will come to nothing: you will be one if the losers.”
[Surah Az-Zumar 65]
Allāh solely gives children. He alone ensures procreation. No deity other than He has the power and ability to make a couple have a set of twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets, septuplets, octoplets, ninuplets, decaplets etc, and when He does so, it is free of no beans, dancing or begging for money. Ascribing what is singularly done by the Creator to His creatures is, no doubt, the height of stupidity and ingratitude. Cooking beans, dancing round town and begging for money as required the powerless deity is, indisputably, the peak of shamelessness and ignominy. Allāh said:
لِّلَّهِ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ ٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ یَخۡلُقُ مَا یَشَاۤءُۚ یَهَبُ لِمَن یَشَاۤءُ إِنَـٰثࣰا وَیَهَبُ لِمَن یَشَاۤءُ ٱلذُّكُورَ. أَوۡ یُزَوِّجُهُمۡ ذُكۡرَانࣰا وَإِنَـٰثࣰاۖ وَیَجۡعَلُ مَن یَشَاۤءُ عَقِیمًاۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِیمࣱ قَدِیرࣱ.
“God has control of the heavens and the earth; He creates whatever He will- He grants female offspring to whoever He will, male to whoever He will, or both male and female, and He makes whoever He will barren: He is all knowing and all powerful.” [Surah Ash-Shura 49 – 50]