n Gender and Behaviour - Religious experience and women leadership in Yoruba (Nigeria) Islam : a case study of Alhaja Sheidat Mujidat Adeoye




This paper examines the status and role of women in Nigerian Islam, with the case study of Alhaja Sheidat Mujidat Adeoye, the founder and leader of the Fadillullah Muslim Mission, Osogbo, Nigeria. It discusses religious experience of Sheidat Mujidat Adeoye which gave an impetus to the founding of her movement as this has not only changed the nature and form of Nigerian Islam, but it has also introduced a new expression into the tradition, thus causing an alteration in religious stereotypes within a religiously pluralistic community.

The study adopts a multi-disciplinary approach of anthropology, phenomenology and hermeneutics. The significance of this study lies in the tremendous and imposing prominence and huge patronage of Sheidat Adeoye, both by the people of Osogbo and the numerous visitors from several parts of Nigeria. This paper examines the uniqueness of the practices of Adeoye vis-á-vis the religious experience that gave birth to her movement. It investigates her activities and practices, her acceptance within the Muslim religious and Yoruba cultural patriarchal community, and public responses to her movement. The paper assesses the relevance of the movement as an Islamic group in religio-cultural and inter-religious contexts.


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