Yuroba witchcraft beliefs and their impact on the stability of Muslim marriages in Yorubaland
Keywords:Witchcraft, Muslim Marriages, Yorubaland
The history of Yorùbá belief in witchcraft is as old as the existence of the Yorùbá race itself. By naming the witch Ìyáàmi-Àjé̩ (my mother witch), the Yoruba betray their biased attribution of witchcraft to the feminine personality. Only women are witches. They are responsible for misfortunes, illness, poverty, untimely death, and inability to gain promotion at work, childlessness in women, impotence in men and many other evils in human societies. However, some witches are said to be Àjé̩-Funfun (white witches) who use their power for the betterment of their families. This belief is held not only by non-adherents of Islam in Yorùbá. Many Muslims also share this belief, which seems to impact negatively on their lives, most importantly on the stability of their marriages. Little wonder then that there are incessant cases of marital disputes caused by accusations and counter accusations by members of Muslim families of one bewitching the other. Often, these accusations occur between mothers and daughters-in-law or stepmothers and step daughters. The study, therefore, examines the impact of the belief in witchcraft on the stability of Muslim marriages in Yorubaland with the aim of proffering solutions from the Islamic point of view.