A Drummer's Testament
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Chapter II-20:  The Muslim Religion in Dagbon  <PDF file>

Christianity and Islam; types of Muslims; Naa Zanjina and the introduction of Islam; the benefits of Islam; obligations of faith; prayer; the role of maalams; types of Muslims; areas of Muslim concentration in Dagbon; Muslim elders

Supplementary material
Paragraph outline
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms



Supplementary material
  <top of page>

Images [forthcoming]


Contents outline by paragraph  <top of page>

Introduction:  religious divisions in Dagbon

1.  many Dagbamba are Muslims; typical Dagbamba follow the gods; Christians are separate and more presence in South and Asante
2.  Prophet Muhammad more important than Prophet Issa; no trust of Christians but no argument
3.  Christian presence in Dagbon is increasing with typical non-Muslim Dagbamba in villages
4.  Muslim religion is increasing more; many young people learning to read Arabic
5.  Muslim religion has many talks; differences compared to drumming talks
6.  Muslim preachings have differences; Muslim groups; rely on Holy Qur’an and Hadith

How the Muslim religion came to Dagbon


7.  Naa Gbewaa not Muslim; list of chiefs who followed the gods; Naa Zanjina brought the Muslim religion

8.  first Muslims came during Naa Tutuɣri’s time; Wangara and Arab maalams were at Larabanga
9.  during Naa Zanjina’s time, Hausa maalams were in Mossi and Mamprusi; drummers show that Naa Zanjina traveled to Hausa land and learned to pray
10.  Islam attained significant presence under Naa Zanjina; Hausa maalams

Benefits of the Muslim religion


11.  the Holy Qur’an; Lahilori:  Muslim teachings on correct living

12.  the Muslim way of marrying and bringing a woman to one’s house
13.  the naming day of a child; gathering of friends and families; role of maalams
14.  the Ramadan fasting
15.  the pilgrimage to Mecca; some children attend university in Muslim countries
16.  the Muslim way of performing funerals with prayers
17.  slaughtering of animals
18.  giving alms and having pity for others
19.  the respect of Naa Zanjina for bringing Islam to Dagbon
20.  the benefits of Islam are uncountable; chieftaincy, marriage, slaughtering animals, not to eat pork or to drink, not to sacrifice to the buɣa, not to commit adultery
21.  Islam and maalams have role in many aspects of life

Learning to read


22.  a Muslim must be aware of God role in everything; should fear God by not doing bad things

23.  learning to read; Arabic school
24.  send children to a maalam to learn to read Arabic; difficult to older person to study and learn

Maalams’ work


25.  one who becomes learned in reading can become a maalam; benefits and gets respect

26.  praying is the work of maalams; prayers support and help people; maalams give advice
27.  maalams whose prayers are effective get followers and earnings; what makes a good maalam

Differences among Muslims


28.  long-term Muslim families; mainly Hausa maalams’ families; wives stay in house

29.  prayer is more important than reading
30.  someone who prays can know Muslim religion more than someone who reads
31.  no restrictions on entering Islam or learning to pray; no separation like Dagbamba occupations; anyone can join

Prayer


32.  should clean oneself before praying; preparing one’s heart to pray

33.  the five prayers during the day; their names in Dagbon; also sit and add other prayers
34.  Zumma:  the Friday prayers
35.  festival prayers after Ramadan fast
36.  general prayers; importance of praying with others

Islam in Dagbon


37.  Dagbamba pray more than other groups in Ghana; difficult to know if more Dagbamba pray or follow the gods

38.  classifying Dagbamba Muslims:  those who pray, those who read; those who have full faith; those who prayer outnumber those who can read
39.  Nanton, Savelugu, Kumbungu:  prayers are more than readers; only few typical Dagbamba

Muslim towns and towns where many follow the gods of the land


40.  some Dagbamba who pray to gods of the land and family gods also pray Muslim prayers; not included as Muslims

41.  some towns have both those who pray and those who sacrifice to buɣa and baɣyuya; example: Tolon
42.  Tolon, Tampion, Galiwe, Karaga, Gushegu are god-towns; Tamale, Kumbungu, Savelugu, Nanton are Muslim towns

43.  in eastern Dagbon, many Konkombas who don’t pray; prayers are in the town and villagers are for the gods; Sunson, Gushegu, Piong, Sakpiegu, Demon, Kunkon
44.  Yelizoli townspeople pray, villagers are Konkombas; same with Korli and Wariboggo
45.  Kpatinga, Yamolkaraga, Gaa have more prayers
46.  Yendi townspeople pray; villagers are Konkombas and Kambonsi; not many Kambonsi pray, except in Diari
47.  Mion and its villages Kpabiya and Guunsi pray more; Sang and Salankpang pray; Zakpalisi prayers are fewer in number; Jimli and Tijo are for buɣa; Tugu has more who pray
48.  Tamale has more people who pray, but nearby villages are for the gods
49.  Nanton, Ziong, and Nantonkurugu people pray and many read
50.  Voggo and Jegbo pray, but not Kasuliyili; Lungbunga people pray; Diari people pray

Muslim elders and their origins and roles


51.  many Muslim elders; Limam, Naayimi, and Yɛri-Naa in many towns; Kamshe-Naa is senior, at Kamshegu; under Kamshe-Naa are Walga-Naa and Yidan Chim

52.  Yendi Muslim elders:  Yendi Limam, Yidan Kambara, Ʒeemoli, Yidan Moli, Yidan Korimoli, Yidan Tahamoli, Maalam Albarka, Yidan Asachia, Mandaha-Naa, Yidan Kaafa, Yidan Kaama
53.  Yɛri-Naa bathes dead bodies
54.  maalams from different places:  Kambara-Naa are Wangaras but originally Arabs; also Mossis
55.  most Muslim elders are Hausas; Kambara’s house and Mandaha-Naa are Wangaras; Yidan Moli, Ʒeemoli, Korimoli, Tahamoli are Mossis; Kamshe-Naa and others are Hausas
56.  Kamshe-Naa and starting of Kamshegu; senior Muslim elder
57.  people traveled in olden days; Naa Zanjina himself traveled; Hausa maalams the main influence

Conclusion


58.  transition to the talk of the pilgrimage to Mecca




Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

Naa Zanjina lit a lantern and opened the eyes of Dagbon.

Our everything is inside the Muslim religion.

As we Dagbamba call the name of God in everything we do, that is why we who are following the Muslim religion do our everything inside it.

It is good that you know there is God, and you will fear God.

What a child will learn easily, for an old person to learn it is difficult.

When an old man enters Arabic school, when he wants to read, thoughts will come into his heart.

The learning of an old person is difficult.

As for a child, the only thing worrying him is to eat and be satisfied.

If somebody learns work and doesn’t learn it well, he doesn’t gain from it.  But the one who learns his work well, whatever work he is doing will be benefiting him.  That is the way of the whole world.

It is someone who prays who is called a Muslim,

The Holy Qur’an is like the foundation of a house, and so it is good when you are following the Muslim religion and you know how to read the Holy Qur’an.

God says that we should beg Him; and He says again that if we beg Him, He will give us.

God only wants the prayers, and that is how it is.



Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Muslim elders
Asachia, Yidan Asachia
Kambara-Naa, Yidan Kambara
Kamshe-Naa
Korimoli, Yidan Korimoli
Limam
Maalam Albarka
Mandaha-Naa
Naayimi
Tahamoli, Yidan Tahamoli
Walga-Naa
Yɛri-Naa
Yendi Limam
Yidan Chim
Yidan Kaafa
Yidan Kaama
Yidan Moli
Zohe Limam
Zheemoli  (Ʒeemoli)

Muslim terms
adiini munaafichi
afa, alifa, afanima
Ahmadiyya
Alhaji
Allah Akubaru
al-mumin
Awuzu
Azafari
chefira  (chɛfira)
Eid’
Iddi
Ishai
Lahilori
Lahisari
maalam, maalams
Magarbi
moli
mori
mumin
Munchiri
Naafila
Naawunyɛrba
Subaai
walga
yizibli
Zumma

Chiefs of Yendi
Naa Briguyomda
Naa Darzhegu  (Naa Dariʒɛɣu)
Naa Daturli
Naa Dimani
Naa Gbewaa
Naa Luro
Naa Nagalogu  (Naa Naɣalɔɣu)
Naa Ninmitooni  (Naa Niŋmitooni)
Naa Nyagsi  (Naa Nyaɣsi)
Naa Shitobu  (Naa Shitɔbu)
Naa Siglinitobu  (Naa Siɣlinitobu)
Naa Tutugri  (Naa Tutuɣri)
Naa Yenzoo
Naa Zagli  (Naa Zaɣli)
Naa Zanjina
Naa Zolgu  (Naa Zɔlgu)
Naa Zulandi
Naa Zunzon  (Naa Zunzoŋ)
Yaa-Naa

Chiefs and titled persons
Asantehene
Demon-Naa
Gushe-Naa
Kamo-Naa
Kari-Naa  (Karaga-Naa)
Korli-Naa
Kumbun-Naa
Mamprugulana
Mionlana
Nanton-Naa
Pionglana
Sabali Yɛri-Naa
Sampahi-Naa
Sunson-Naa
Tolon-Naa
Wulana
Yelizolilana

Names and people
Abukari Moro
Diari Kamo-Naa Kalim
Holy Prophet Muhammad
Holy Qur’an
Kissmal  (Ibrahim Hussein)
Prophet Ibrahim
Prophet Issa
Sang Sampahi-Naa Ibrahim  (Alhassan)

Miscellaneous terms
amaliya
awusa
bagyuli, bagyuya  baɣyuli, baɣyuya
boligu
bugli, buga  buɣli, buɣa
cedi
chim
Chimsi
Dagbani
Damba
houseshrines
jinwarba
Kambonsi
pong  pɔŋ
pesewa, pesewas
Ramadan
sapashini
tindana
walga
zabla

Towns and places
Bimbila
Boligunawusaa
Dagbon
Damongo
Demon
Diari
Gaa
Galiwe
Gushegu
Guunsi
Jegbo
Jimli
Kakpaguyili
Kamshegu
Karaga
Kasuliyili
Korli
Kpabiya
Kpatinga
Kumasi
Kumbungu
Kunkon
Larabanga
Lungbunga
Mion
Nanton
Nantonkurugu
Piong
Sabali
Sakpiegu
Salankpang
Savelugu
Sunson
Tampion
Tijo
Tolon
Tugu
Voggo
Wariboggo
Yaan’ Dabari
Yamolkaraga
Yelizoli
Yendi
Yong Dagbooshe
Yong Dakpemayili
Zakpalisi
Ziong

Cultural groups
Ashanti, Ashantis
Dagbamba
Gonja
Hausa, Hausas
Konkomba, Konkombas
Larabawa, Larabansi
Mamprusi, Mamprusis
Mossi, Mossis
Wangara, Wangaras