The Impact of Islamic Teachings on Arabic Poetry in Ilorin, Nigeria from 1960 to 2010


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Ilorin town is the centre for Arabic and Islamic pedadogy in Yorubaland of Nigeria. Hence the Arabic literary outputs of the Ilorin scholars are generally believed to reflect Islam. This study evaluated the extent to which Arabic poetry of selected Ilorin scholars, between 1960 and 2010, reflects Islamic values and conforms to the acceptable styles of Arabic poetry composition. The methodology adopted was textual and contextual analyses. Selected standard poems, most of which are still in manuscripts, were critically analyzed based on the principles of “Islamic Literature”. It was discovered, among other things, that Ilorin Arabic poets explored virtually all the popular themes of Arabic Poetry, except those considered to be offensive to Islam such as the description of alcohol, infidelity and romance. While some poets exercised their poetic license to disregard the established Islamic principles, others composed high quality poems comparable to the acceptable standard in the Arab world.