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Muslims Defy Death Curse, Throng Osun Mosque for Jumat Prayer

The Inisa Central Mosque in Odo- Otin Local Government Area of Osun State, which has been under lock and key for three years over who becomes the Imam of the mosque, has been reopen December 1, 2023, for prayers. It was learnt that Muslims in the town defied death, curse placed on the mosque and troupe out to observe Jumat prayer. The announcement of the reopening of the mosque was made known on Thursday, November 31, at the palace of Oba Joseph Oladunjoye, Olunisa of Inisa on behalf of the Grand Chief Imam of Osun State in conjunction with the League of Imams, Alfas in the community and Osun in general.

Muslim youths in the town stormed the central mosque on Thursday after the order to reopen the mosque was made by the town monarch, to clean the mosque and make it conducive for the congregation of Muslims in the town that will attend the friday prayer. The controversial mosque came to the limelight when the Ilorin-born Muslim scholar Sheikh Hameed Labeeb Lagbaji posted a video of his visit together with his disciples to the mosque on social media recently.

In the video that went viral, the Muslim scholar lamented how the central mosque had been locked for several years without prayers being observed in it over leadership tussle and a curse placed that whoever that enter the mosque to pray will die. According to Sheikh Lagbaji, community members said a spell had been placed on whoever leads prayer at the mosque will die. He, however, led the dhuhr prayer at the central mosque during one of his visit, to break the ‘pray and die’ jinx, saying no evil would befall him and others who prayed in the mosque.

He said: “It is embarrassing that a central mosque would be shut down for years due to flimsy issues. My mission here is to ensure that the mosque is re- opened for prayers. We will achieve that. I come from Ilorin every day to show I am serious about the reopening of the mosque. “Now, we have the support of Leagues of Imams and Scholars from various parts of Nigeria including Oyo, Lagos and Bauchi.They said there is a jinx that prayer must not be observed in the mosque again. We will break that jinx and spell.” Meanwhile, it was jubilation in the town when the mosque was reopen for prayers on Friday December 1, after three years of under lock and key of the central mosque. Muslims in the community throng the mosque on Friday to observe Jumat and pray, while they were enjoined to love one and another, embrace peace for the growth of Islam in the community.

The Grand Mufti of Yorubaland and Amir of Ta’awunul Muslimeen, Sheikh Molaasan said the Imamship tussle of the mosque could be traced back to 2020. He said the tussle had divided the Muslim community in the town, while also alleging that the council of Obas had a preferred candidate for the Imam- ship position despite having christian mojority. “Muslim leaders and stakeholders in Inisa all agreed to select someone with relevant Islamic knowledge, but the monarch wanted a different person who was not versatile and had a pending case in court,” Sheikh Molaasan said.

“The League of Alfas in Inisa chose someone who had his Arabic education in Saudi Arabia and had been Imam in Canada and Osogbo for over 20 years. Although the person did not seek to be the Imam of the Central Mosque, the clerics visited him and beckoned him to be the overseer of the mosque. The king’s favourite is lower in rank to become Imam. Molaasan advocated a competence test between the two contenders to see who is more capable of being the Imam. He said: “This is the practice laid down by Prophet Mohammad (SAW), which entails appointing someone with a good knowledge of Islam. The two con- tenders should be invited and asked to sit for a competence exam.”

Also sharing information at his disposal, Dr. Sanusi Lafiagi of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, wrote that a couple of Imams have died in the course of the tussle. “There is more to the Inisa central mosque saga than meets the eye. This morning, I received a voice note from one of our mothers detailing what transpired and led to the closedown of the mosque,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I couldn’t believe my ears.

I sent it to a couple of friends, and a Shaykh who is familiar with the story corroborated the narration and even added more to it. Apparently, a couple of Imams have been spiritually killed (by Allah’s per- mission) over the Imamship tussle. “I heard that the last Chief Imam who stubbornly refused to be stopped from leading the Salat didn’t have the opportunity of leading another Jumu’ah prayer after that day. He became so sick that in one day, he received about 20 (drips) and none was found in his body.”

“However, Adebisi was able to lead one Jumat Prayer before he fell sick and later died in 2020. Another Imam, Sheikh Mustafa Baruwa (85), who was installed after Adebisi did not spend three months before he gave up the ghost in 2020, according to some residents of the community.” Since the death of the three Imams, there has been a crisis in the Inisa Muslim community on who to fill the vacant Chief Imam position, adding that the Eesa of Inisa, Chief Enoch Ajiboso, slumped and died while settling rift among the Muslim community members, late December 2020.

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