One of the most unfortunate things about Nupeland is that the things we proudly celebrate as culture are acts of Shirk, Kufr and grave sins. I will pick just three examples:

i. Ndakogboya (Masquerades) are remnants of widespread Shirk in Nupeland and are till date featured in our movies, annual Sallah celebrations, coronations as well as other important events. This culture of disbelief is so common with us that the Yoruba will taunt us saying, “So audacious is the Tapa man that he erected a house for his masquerade.” Religiously, and over 90% of Nupes are Muslims, this ugly tradition amounts to Shirk and should have been abandoned long ago with the entry and spread of Islām in Nupeland. Sadly, it is still promoted by rulers and elites of Nupeland as though Islām permits it. Were Shaykh Uthmān Dan Fodio alive today, will he allow this in his kingdom?

Worse still, these Ndakogboyas commit three grievous sins while doing their charade:

a. Magic
b. Soothsaying and fortune telling
c. Extortion of gullible people

ii. Tsankan dance: This involves young women dancing to a particular genre of music by twisting their waists vigorously. The perverts in Nupeland entertain themselves and guests at occasions with this evil. To them, this is the perfect exhibition of Nupe culture. Today, even Nupe students in higher institutions of learning across the country cannot organise Nupe Day celebration without featuring tsankan! This is a grievous sin that must be eradicated from our cultural heritage and tradition. It amounts to objectification and sexification of women, and Islām forbids such display of evil. It is not permitted even for men!

iii. Eyanma (Magic): A normal celebration in Nupeland is incomplete without the presence and performance of magicians. Personally, while growing up I witnessed this a number of times. Men, old and young are invited to display their magical prowess to the entertainment of the audience. Some chew blades and nails with their teeth, some insert long blades into their throat, some swallow fire, some attempt to cut their tongue with 🔪, etc. The learning and practice of magic are forbidden in Islām and are considered as Kufr by consensus of the Ulamā’ of Islām. Watching magicians perform their magic is equally a sinful act of grave consequences, let alone promoting such.

As Muslims, any culture that contradicts the fundamentals or morals of the Sharī’ah should be discarded. It is largely because of the pervasive syncretism in Nupeland that has made it easy for mentally deranged fellows like the infamous Shemi of Raba and now Hasan Patigi to feast on the gullibility of our people and take them for a ride.

Nupeland is still centuries away from pristine Islām. May Allāh assist us in ridding our land of these evils.

Sanusi Lafiagi


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