The Path of Transformation: A Comparative Analysis of Isese and Pre-Islamic Arabia By Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
Isese, the indigenous Yoruba religious practice, is often perceived as ancient and inceptive. However, when we delve into history, we find parallels between Isese and the pre-Islamic Arabian society before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). In this article, we will explore these parallels, focusing on the worship of idols and the transformative power of Islam in Arabia.
Idol Worship in Isese and Pre-Islamic Arabia:
In pre-Islamic Arabia, the practice of idol worship was deeply ingrained. Isese practitioners also venerate numerous deities and spirits, seeking their blessings and guidance. Similarly, in Arabia, idols were considered intermediaries between humans and the divine. This polytheistic belief system was firmly rooted in both cultures.
Qur’anic Verses and the Call to Abandon Idol Worship:
The Quran, the holy book of Islam, contains explicit verses condemning the worship of idols and urging the pagan Arabs to abandon these practices. Surah Al-Ankabut (29:17) states: “You worship besides Allah only idols and you only invent falsehood.” This divine message was a call to the pagan Arabs to return to the monotheistic belief in the one true God, Allah, which resonates with the essence of Isese, the worship of God without idols.
The Transformation through Islam:
The arrival of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) brought about a monumental transformation in Arabia. His mission was to guide the pagan Arabs away from idol worship and return them to the worship of the one true God, Allah. The Quran proclaimed the message of monotheism and the rejection of idols, culminating in the cleansing of the Kaaba from its numerous idols.
Parallel to this transformation, Isese practitioners today face a similar challenge. The Isese practice has evolved over time, with syncretism and the incorporation of various elements. The question arises: who will lead Isese adherents back to the essence of their faith, worshipping God without idols, saints, and deities, just as the Prophet did in Arabia?
The historical parallels between Isese and pre-Islamic Arabia shed light on the transformative power of Islam. While Islam guided the pagan Arabs from the darkness of idol worship to the light of monotheism, the current Isese adherents remain stuck to the way of pagan Arabs.
It is a call to rediscover the true essence of Isese, worshipping God without intermediaries, just as the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) guided the Arabs back to the inception: the worship of One God, which preceded the worship of idols.
When will Isese become true Isese?
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman